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4 Ways Michaela Coel's Interview with The London Times Has Gems For Days

The BAFTA Award-winning actor also gives an update on the return of Chewing Gum.

If you haven't caught on by now, we're obsessed with Ghanaian-British actor and showrunner extraordinaire, Michaela Coel.

In a recent interview with The London Times, Coel speaks candidly about life as a female comic, gives more tea on season three of Chewing GumChewing Gum, as well as her role in the newest season of Black Mirror.

Take a look at four of our favorite takeaways below, and have a full read of the interview here.


On doing the big chop:

"I wanted to be strong as well as vulnerable, I wanted to go against the grain, provide something different for young people to aspire to be."

On why she plans to have a writers room for Chewing Gum's third season:

"Because I don't want to die. My sets are not peaceful. It's a beautiful catastrophe. I am running around like a headless chicken. I don't sleep because I am writing. It's manic. I love it—I don't know if I would want it any other way, but I've learnt from working with proper people like Charlie; they really prepare in advance."

On the pact she made with a group of friends to not be about that 'happily ever after' life:

"We have all made a pact that we will just live in a big house and have girlie nights all the time, and work, and we will invite a man, and we will sample him, and we will bond with him, all of that, but we don't want to do the whole marriage thing. But I do need sex. We do need sex, so we need to find a way to have the sex."

On how her success since Chewing Gum still feels too good to be true:

"I mean, I am grateful. I have 'Whoa!' gratitude. I put my life and soul into writing this story and actually people heard it. People write scripts and nobody ever sees or hears them. And I have never written a script that people haven't seen. I try to give advice to others too, even though I'm still in a sense thinking, 'What's going on?' I think I am quite alienated by the idea of what is going on in my life right now. It's all quite strange, quite surreal."

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Cedric Nzaka Debuts Photographic Coffee Table Book

Kenyan photographer, Cedric Nzaka, has announced that his coffee table book 'Everyday People Stories' will be released this March.

The prolific Kenyan photographer Cedric Nzaka has reportedly announced that his new coffee table book Everyday People Stories will be published this March. The publication of the book follows Nzaka's decade-long career in South Africa that has seen him photograph everyday people in the urban areas of Johannesburg as well as high profile people including Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, American rapper, Rick Ross and Nigerian singer, Davido.

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Photo by Tseliso Monaheng.

Interview: Amarafleur Has Stopped Caring

With the release of her debut EP '... And Then I Stopped Caring', South African R&B and soul singer Amarafleur signals a newfound self-confidence in her music.

Besides her 2019 single "DontLetGo" and the 2020 track "Reckless", fans of Joburg-based singer Amarafleur's soothing vocals had to be satisfied with her collaborations with the likes of Xenlaii, ECHLN, and Maramza as they waited for her to release a larger body of solo work. That day finally came with the release of her debut EP ...And Then I Stopped Caring, a three-track offering that sees the songstress overcome her fear of judgment and explores personal themes that include growth, anxiety, and intimacy.

The journey that led to the release of the EP began in 2019 after the release of "DontLetGo", which found Amarafleur in a space where she was doubting whether she had done enough creatively for the song, causing her to promote it less than it deserved. In looking back at this period, she was able to identify the reason that, up to then, had prevented her from releasing more music. "I realised it was because I cared about what happened when the music was out to others too much, so you're not creating anything," she says. "And that is how I got to the point where I decided to write what I wanted to write, make sure that what I feel is at the fore of the music-making process. I decided that this time it's about the end product and how I feel about it first before how the audience will feel about it."

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Interview
Image by Molly Albright.

In Conversation with Nomzamo Mbatha on the Role of Her Life in 'Coming 2 America'

South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha speaks on her role as Mirembe in 'Coming 2 America', the power of comedy and experiencing pure joy with the entire cast being dressed in South African luxury brand, Maxhosa.

Coming 2 America premiered last Friday on Amazon Prime, and several cinemas on the continent including South Africa and Nigeria, and there was much excitement around the highly-anticipated sequel. Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Jennifer Sears—members of the original cast—the film also had a cameo appearance from Davido and saw the only South African actress on set, Nomzamo Mbatha, in her breakout international role.

While it had all the excitement and fanfare of Black Panther, there have admittedly been some mixed reviews from South Africans on social media since the premiere. Chief among the skepticism were the dated "African accents" used by the characters in the film and more especially with regards to Mbatha, in her portrayal of Mirembe, the royal groomer. Times have certainly changed in the three decades since the first film premiered and social media didn't exist either. However, to be fair, these accents have not actually changed from the first film—just the awareness around them.

Nonetheless, this is Mbatha's first international role alongside a multitude of acting veterans. The South African actress has previously starred in local films including Tell Me Sweet Something (2015), All About Love (2017) and The Jakes are Missing (2015) and is an active humanitarian with her work with the Nomzamo Lighthouse Foundation in addition to being a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR as from 2019.

Ahead of the premiere of Coming 2 America, we caught up with her from Los Angeles to speak about her breakout international role, what this opportunity means for her professionally, having famed costume designer Ruth Carter dress the entire cast in South African luxury brand Maxhosa, and the power of comedy in society.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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10 Things We Learned From Zubz’ Appearance on i(m)bali LIVE with Helen Herembi

In the latest episode of i(m)bali LIVE, host Helen Herembi sits down with veteran emcee Zubz for an intimate discussion about his life and career. Here are 10 takeaways from the interview.