News Brief

Michaela Coel Is Set to Write and Star In a New BBC Drama About Sexual Consent

She is booked and busy this year and we are here for it.

Chewing Gum and Black Earth Rising star Michaela Coel continues to flex her creative muscles in an anticipated landmark drama for BBC Two.

The broadcaster recently announced in a statement and at the Edinburgh International TV Festival that Coel has created, written and will star in Jan 22nd—a "fearless, frank and provocative" series that digs deep exploring the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation.

"I feel weirdly overwhelmed and honored to be making something again," Coel says. "Something I'm making myself, with a great team."


The synopsis details:

Set in London, where gratification is only an app away, the story centers on Arabella (Coel) whose raw and personal experience of consent sits at the heart of the story. Through Arabella we meet a group of fictional friends and colleagues whose sexual adventures frequently collide with a world in which new codes of sexual practice are emerging.

Jan 22nd was commissioned by BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger and Patrick Holland, BBC Two controller.

"Michaela Coel is a unique talent and her writing for this drama explodes from the page," Wenger says in the statement. "It promises fearless, provocative and gripping storytelling exploring one of the defining issues of our times."

The series is produced by Various Artists Ltd and co-produced with FALKNA Productions. Coel is the executive producer for FALKNA, Phil Clarke for Various Artists Ltd and Wenger for BBC Two.

More details are to be announced soon.

Additionally, Coel is due to give the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival this evening. Read more about the honor here.

Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.
Interview

Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.

From being a backing vocalist for some of Eswatini's household names like Bholoja, Siyinqaba and Nomalungelo Dladla, Velemseni has gone on to soar to greater heights.

The Eswatini guitarist and soul singer's debut album, We are People (2014), showcased soothing vocals and strong musicality. The project was received well, getting airplay in the country's major radio stations (EBIS1 and 2).

The 11-track project was produced by David F from France, Martin Berauer from Austria and Eswatini's Bholoja. It led to Velemseni embarking on a US mini-tour in 2014.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: 'Carpe Diem' Is Olamide's New Way of Life

Olamide communicates his current mood of living on his own terms, gives us his thoughts on #EndSARS, and tells us about fulfilling his singing desires while introducing the current sound brewing underground in Nigeria.

The death of Dagrin, who through hip-hop championed a course for the underground slums of western Nigeria, was a blow. While Nigeria inadvertently sought a progeny, an underground rapper silently picked up steam through bluetooth shares and word of mouth. By the end of 2010, Olamide broke into mainstream consciousness after releasing "Eni Duro," a street freestyle that caught the attention of ID Cabasa who then signed him to Coded Tunes where he released his debut album, Rapsodi in 2011.

In 2012, Olamide teamed up with a handful of relatively unknown producers, rappers for his sophomore album YBNL, which he also christened his own record label, marking his exit from Coded Tunes. YBNL has now become one of Nigeria's leading record labels having produced talents like Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold, Fireboy DML, and more. It comes with no surprise that the recording artist born Olamide Adedeji, revered as the "voice of the street" has become one of Nigeria's most successful rappers ever. He's now known for his multilingual tracks which showcase his ability to rap and sing in English, Yoruba, Pidgin. His knack for lacing wordplay into his music stems from experiences of his formative years in Bariga, a rural part of Lagos.

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Watch Burna Boy & Chris Martin's Electric Performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2020

The Nigerian star performed "Monsters You Made" in front of a backdrop of #EndSARS protest footage as Coldplay's Chris Martin lent his voice virtually.