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6 Must-Watch Movies Celebrating Phenomenal Women

During a difficult South African women's month we turn to some amazing women-affirming movies to keep us inspired.

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It's Women's Month in South Africa, and to be honest, it's been a pretty disheartening one. It seems that every time August rolls around, we as South African women brace ourselves for, as one woman put it, "that time of the year when the country pretends it actually cares about us". If women aren't being raped or murdered (which is rare), they're taking their own lives because of the trauma. I for one have certainly balled up into a foetal position on some days, but in my darkest moments I've turned to inspiring movies to remind myself that I and other women, despite our seemingly inexorable circumstances, are phenomenal.

And so here are several films and documentaries exploring several real-life women and fictitious characters' life stories you can watch on Showmax. They're sure to leave you feeling strengthened, heartened, and perhaps even a little...celebratory.

1. Mrs Mandela


In this powerful BBC production, Sophie Okonedo stars as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The film tells the story of a young Winnie and how her life progresses to turn her into a political and revolutionary anti-apartheid activist. The film also zooms in on Winnie and Nelson's courtship in the 50s, their marriage and their relationship post Nelson's imprisonment. It's a story of evolution, the emergence of imbokodo, a rock of a woman, and an unapologetically militant activist. Watch now »

2. Not A Bad Girl

There is no South African, young or old, who is not familiar with the great Brenda Fassie, lovingly referred to as Ma Brrr. I grew up listening to her many musical hits and, in fact, I have one of her albums playing on repeat in my car right now. From her rise from the townships to the glitz and glamour of the northern suburbs, her struggles with drug abuse and her experience of motherhood, this documentary explores the very intimate details of the musician's life on and off the stage before her passing in 2004. Watch now »

3. Mma Moeketsi

On 16 August 2012, one of the greatest atrocities happened in this country. Thirty-four miners working at Lonmin mine, men who had simply asked their employers to "come and see how we live" and proceeded to protest for higher wages, were massacred by police. I cannot watch the several documentaries that have documented the Marikana Massacre without weeping. The film Mma Moeketsi remembers this tragedy as it follows a feisty woman who works as a domestic worker in a northern suburb whose son, a mineworker at Lonmin mine, is unreachable during the clash with police on that fateful day. Watch now »

4. Strike A Rock

Another production earnestly and powerfully narrating the story of the tragic Marikana Massacre, this award-winning documentary follows the lives of two women, mothers and best friends, whose small and impoverished mining town's foundations are shaken to the core in the wake of what has been termed the worst act of civilian brutality in South Africa since the Sharpeville Massacre under the apartheid regime in 1960. Watch now »

5. Little One

This film will definitely tug at your heartstrings. A woman finds a little girl who has been beaten and, in essence, left for dead. As she assists the detective working on the little girl's case, she develops such a strong bond with the child that she begins the journey of attempting to adopt her. Tears are guaranteed but witnessing the unconquerable spirit of a phenomenal woman is sure to make it worthwhile. Watch now »

6. Ties That Bind

Kimberly Elise, my favourite actress, who is known to bring a unique and rare level of raw emotion and vulnerability to her craft, stars in this movie that tells a tale of tragedy as three women, who have each lost a child, find healing, kinship, love and strength when they begin renovations on a small and decrepit clinic in a Ghanaian village. Watch now »

Watch these films and more on Showmax »

All these movies and more are available to stream at Showmax.com. Sign up for a 14-day free trial, add to DStv Premium for free or pay just R49 if you're a Compact or Compact Plus subscriber. Sign up now »

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"If we aren't talking about growth, positivity and good energy in the opportunities that we have, then we're wasting our opportunities" Walshy Fire says. "It's about helping move the culture forward - which is what I want to do". The artist, born Leighton Paul Walsh, recently released his Afrobeats and dancehall-fusing debut solo album, ABENG, after achieving global success as one third of supergroup Major Lazer and producing standout hits such as Koffee's "Toast".

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BUDX Lagos is Bringing Together Some of Nigeria's Biggest Culture Creators

For three days in June, Lagos will be home to a global celebration of creativity. And it's free.

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At the heart of all cultural movements are the people that drive it. That's the philosophy behind BUDX, a globe-traveling celebration of creativity from electronic music magazine Mixmag and Budweiser beer. The goal of BUDX is to unite and spotlight outstanding creative minds by focusing on exciting local scenes from around the world. From Tokyo to Lagos to Ho Chi Minh City, BUDX presents the absolute best that these cities have to offer across cultural hot points including music, art, technology, fashion and film. Innovative and carefully curated talks, masterclasses, installations, visual arts and performances, give creative leaders their time to shine.

The latest edition of BUDX, is happening in Lagos from June 26th to 28th. That's three full days and nights of music panels, workshops and parties featuring many of Nigeria's biggest stars alongside global speakers and artists.

The speaker's list is stacked with OkayAfrica favorites. Day one sees Trinidadian DJ and former Major Lazer affiliate Jillionaire who will talk about how music is bridging the gap between Africa and the Caribbean—one of our favorite topics. Then DJ Obi will talk about how he fought sleep deprivation, hallucinations, hunger and fatigue while breaking the record during a DJ set that lasted 10 days. Later Jillionaire will cap off a night of performances featuring Ycee, Rema, DJ Obi and Smallz the DJ.

Day 2 brings style icons Tokyo James, Orange Culture and Ladipoe together to talk about the evolution of Nigerian fashion into the globally influential scene it is today. Following that, Teni the Entertainer, OkayAfrica's "breakout star of 2018" will lead a panel on how Nigerian women are leading the next wave of Nigerian culture. Then the discussion will turn to Nigeria's biggest cultural export—film—with the multitalented Kemi Adetiba and legendary filmmaker Sesan Ogunro alongside pop-music icon Banky W. The panels will be followed by performances from Distruction Boyz, Teni the Entertainer, DJ Nana and special guests TBA.

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So, come to BUDX Lagos for a three day program meant to amplify the voices and stories of rising artists, to seize new, energizing opportunities and encourage all culture creators to rise up and Be a King.

Entry to this exclusive series of events is free but you need to RSVP via www.budxlagos.splashthat.com.

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Simone gives a general reading of what December has in store to help you know what actions and thoughts are necessary to get the best out of the month. This is a special installment as it also guides you through the end of the year—and the end of the decade.

Watch below.

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