Film

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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The Best Ghanaian Songs of 2018

Here are the 23 best Ghanaian tracks of the year featuring La Même Gang, KiDi, Juls, Efya, Sarkodie, M.anifest, Kwesi Arthur, Kuami Eugene and many more.

Welcome to our inaugural list of the Best Ghanaian Songs of the Year.

The big name artists have made impressive showings in 2018, as did a swathe of newcomers who are making commendable strides towards their debut projects and establishing their identities. Even more refreshing is the emergence of emo raps in the music of La Même Gang. Friction between Sarkodie and Shatta Wale may divide fervent fans but it's made for some energetic competition and debates in what's been a big year's harvest of soundscapes, styles and good fun.

Read along for our selection of the Best Ghanaian Songs Of 2018. Listed in no particular order. —Sabo Kpade

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Art
The Rain Prayers by Simphiwe Ndzube. Photo by Jalil Olmedo.

This Exhibition is Uniting the Artistic Traditions of Mexico and Southern Africa

Crossing Night, is a first of its kind exhibition, creating dialogue between the two regions.

It's mid-morning in Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico and the walls of ex-convento Santo Domingo de Guzman reverberate as a local marching band begin their procession playing, Hamba Kahle Mkhonto we Sizwe (Go well Spear of the Nation). One of several iconic songs of the Apartheid struggle in South Africa, sung as a custom by mourners at the funerals of members of the African National Congress's armed wing—the song was also famously sung at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

The marching band was met by local Calenda dancers outside, before continuing their procession through the streets of Oaxaca onto the San Pablo Cultural Centre as part of the Grand Opening of Hacer Noche (Crossing Night). Although the significance of the song was lost on many, some South Africans included, the depth of the music appeared to touch the core of much of its audience.

Hacer Nocer is a program of exhibitions in Oaxaca Mexico, focused on art practices of Southern Africa. The event comprised of a month-long artistic residency program and a week-long educational program with talks open to the public, culminating in an exhibition of work by artists from Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Ambitious in its conception and intended scope, Hacer Noche is the first exhibition of its kind in Mexico. The term Crossing Night alludes to themes of death, night journeys and the event coinciding with the Mexican festival of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The exhibition touches upon the shared histories of slavery, colonisation and postcolonial narratives as part of the DNA of both regions.

Hacer Noche ExposicionesPhoto by Jalil Olmedo

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Still from YouTube.

Watch Davido's New Music Video for 'Wonder Woman'

The video features cameos from several accomplished Nigerian women.

Davido has had a pretty solid 2018, but he's not done yet.

Today the singer shared his latest music video for the single "Wonder Woman," dedicated to powerful women.

In the video, Davido pays tribute to several wave-making women. The music video is notably reminiscent of Drake's "Nice for What" video from earlier this year, as Konbini points out.

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