Arts + Culture

August Festivals On The Continent

Music festivals in Africa featuring International Festival of Bizerte, Oppikoppi, and Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival

Photo via Tyrone Bradley.

As we get into the last months of festival season our contributors Sute Iwar and Alyssa Klein cover some remaining ones on the continent, specifically in South Africa and Tunisia. See them below and check back for updates!


Oppikoppi – August 8-10 - Limpopo, SOUTH AFRICA

August sees the 19th return of the second of SA's holy grail weekends for festival-goers (the others being Rocking the Daisies and Splashy Fen). Since its earliest days in 1994 as a festival geared towards Afrikaans rock, Oppikoppi has grown to lay host in all its dust and glory to 20k+ tune lovers of all shapes and genres. This year's theme of BewilderBeast found its spirit-god and namesake from the 2000 Badly Drawn Boy album The Hour of Bewilderbeast. We're not sure what the album has to do with South Africa or Oppikoppi — but we do know we were really into it when it came out. Amongst those making the trek from abroad are Robert Delong, Deftones, Yellowcard, Manchester Orchestra, and Finley Quaye. Truth be told Oppikoppi doesn't even need international help. It's the homegrown talent that makes Oppikoppi one of the world's most epic times. Some sets to look out for are OKA favorites Christian Tiger School, Jumping Backslash, Mi Casa, Das Kapital, TumiBeatenberg, one-man-wonder Jeremy Loops, and the Al Bairre kids and their good-time instruments. Basically, there's A LOT of good music to choose from. Further complicating scheduling dilemmas are shenanigan events like the Dustbowl Olympics (read: the Boom Street 500 naked rush), the Wil(d)abong Surf Classic, the Box Car Race, and the Running of the Bewilderbeats. With great times come great agony-making choices. It'll be so worth it though. - AK

Check out this recap of Oppikoppi 2012's electro-festivities featuring PHFat, Sibot, + more.


International Festival of Bizerte – July 18-August 17 - Bizerte, TUNISIA

This year’s Festival International de Bizerte kicked off with a unique musical experience by the Bizerte Musical Troupe titled “The Perfume of Medina,” which involved 40 musicians and popular Tunisian singers summoning up the spirit of the Medina. This is the 31st edition of a festival that only gets better by the years. Running from July 18 to August 17, Bizerte treats its audience to scores of shows celebrating music, theatre and dance. Besides the performances offered on the amphitheatre stage, the festival is also a perfect opportunity to bask in the atmosphere of one of Tunisia's oldest cities, which rests on the northernmost point in Africa. Bizerte boasts a rich cultural heritage and beautiful beaches that illuminate the festival after dark. — SI


Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival - August 22-24 - Joburg, SOUTH AFRICA

SA Jazz legend, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ahmad Jamal and Grammy award-winning Terence Blanchard are headlining this year's edition of the Joy of Jazz. They represent a handful of the 50 artists performing across Jo'burg's venues. Three days of unrepentant immersion in the rhythms of traditional and African Jazz coupled with a golf day, workshops and community concerts to turn Joburg into a jazz enthusiast Ozland. — SI

Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Image courtesy of Adekunle Adeleke

Spotlight: Adekunle Adeleke Creates Digital Surrealist Paintings That Celebrate African Beauty

Get familiar with the work of Nigerian visual artist Adekunle Adeleke.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Adekunle Adeleke, a Nigerian visual artist, using digital mediums to paint dream-like portraits of Africans. Read more about the inspirations behind his work below, and check out some of his stunning paintings underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Can you tell us more about your background and when you first started painting?

I am a self taught artist. I started drawing from when I was really young. I mostly used graphite pencils and paper. But about six years ago, I think it was 2014, I wanted to start getting into color. I was a university student at the time and I lived in a hostel with three other people, so I couldn't go traditional so [instead], I started making paintings digitally, first on my iPad and then on my laptop with a Wacom. I have been painting ever since.

What would you say are the central themes in your work?

I personally think my work celebrates beauty (African beauty to be precise) and occasionally absurd things. I really just want to make paintings that are beautiful.

How do you decide who or what you're going to paint?
I do not have an exact process. I do use a lot of references though. Sometimes, I had an idea of how exactly the painting would look, others I just make it up as i go along.

Can you talk about a particular moment or turning point in your life that made you want to pursue art or a creative path?

I am not sure–I did not actively pursue art in a sense. I was just doing it because it was fun and I wanted to. Then people all of a sudden wanted to put me on projects and offer to pay for my hobby. I have thankfully been able to make art and also work in a separate field—which I also enjoy–by day.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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