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A New Film Looks To Tell 'The Unseen' Stories Of Post-Colonial Namibia

Perivi John Katjavivi's new film, The Unseen, is a collection of philosophical musings on what it means to be alive in independent Namibia.

Still from The Unseen. Courtesy of Perivi John Katjavivi. 
The Unseen, written and directed by Perivi John Katjavivi, is the story of three young people as they navigate spaces, both emotionally and physically, in modern day post-colonial Namibia - spaces that are normally ‘unseen’. Katjavivi was born in Oxford, England to a Nambian father and English mother and moved to Namibia after the country's independence from South Africa in 1990. The Unseen is his first feature film.

"It’s a collection of philosophical musings on what it means to be alive in independent Namibia," Katjavivi writes in an email to Okayafrica.


The film blurs the line between documentary and fiction, skilfully exploring heavy issues of South African Apartheid, the legacy of German colonialism, post-colonialism and cultural appropriation. Katjavivi describes the project as a black French New Wave film. It recently had its premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California.

The stars of Unseen include Senga Brockerhoff, Matthew Ishitile, and Antonio David Lyons. It follows the interwoven stories of their characters as they traverse a myriad of emotions.

Brockerhoff, an accomplished actress who won the 2002 National Theater of Namibia's Best Actress Award for her role in Poppie Engelbrecht and served as Chairperson of the Filmmakers Association of Namibia, plays Sara, a rebel who has seen the world yet upon returning home finds emptiness.

Ishitile, a musician in his own right, plays Anu, a musician perched on cloud nine who has difficulty explaining the hallucinations he has begun experiencing to his homies.

Lyons, known for his roles in Hotel Rwanda, Scandal, 24, American History X and others, plays Marcus, an African-American actor on assignment in Nambia for an epic historical film. He is estranged from his wife and roams the outback struggling to find meaning and significance.

The Unseen is a movie that decidedly chooses to not engage or envelop its subject matter with the usual tropes of African films: poverty, war, child soldiers, HIV/AIDS, corrupt government officials. A press release describes the project as:

A side of African life that doesn't make the international news headlines, namely its young people, getting on with lives characterized by the kinds of things that vex twenty- somethings the world over – the stresses and pleasures of city-life, relationships, and struggling to accept and explore oneself. It is with this that I hope that audiences far and wide will embrace the non-generic treatment of his African story. We have three wandering souls, each being pulled and tugged in opposite directions. Somewhere in the middle is something beautiful, something terrifying, something unseen.

The Unseen is making its rounds at festival circuits. Up next is Oshakati in the North of Namibia followed by a screening at the Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt this March.

Watch the film's trailer below. The Unseen's director, Perivi John Katjavivi, is on Twitter at @oldlocationfilm.

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Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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