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Netflix Has Picked Up an Animated Musical Inspired by Shona Mythology

"Tunga" is the brainchild of Zimbabwean-born screenwriter Godwin Jabangwe.

The latest African story to become a Netflix original will be an animated, family-friendly musical based on Zimbabwean culture, Deadline reports. The streaming service won a four-way bidding battle for Tunga, created by Zimbabwean-born screenwriter and newcomer to the film industry Godwin Jabangwe.


Inspired by the mythology from Jabangwe's Shona culture, the musical follows a young girl named Tunga, who embarks on an adventure to a mythical lost city after the death of her father. There, she must meet her spiritual elders who will teach her how to summon the rain and save her village from drought.

"Accompanying Tunga is her animal totem Zuze—a wooden figurine that comes to life as a trouble-making honey badger—who Tunga must learn to trust and work with in order to complete her journey," Deadline continues.

Jabangwe first discovered a knack for screenwriting while working long shifts at a community college library—eventually graduating from UCLA's screenwriting MFA program.

"I never dreamed that a story set in Zimbabwe, on the streets that I grew up playing soccer with a homemade ball, would get made," Jabangwe says to Deadline. "I'm thrilled to be working with Netflix to bring Tunga to life and grateful to Imagine Impact for helping me take the strand of an idea and weaving it into a tale that I truly hope the world will love."

Tunga is the first deal out of 22 projects developed in the Impact 1 program from Imagine Entertainment co-founders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The initiative seeks to fund new writers and champion new voices to develop film and TV projects that were pitched to the industry towards the end of 2018. The program pairs each creator with a mentor, or what they call a "shaper"—Jabangwe's was Kate Purdee, co-executive producer of Bojack Horseman. The next iteration of the program will begin this April.

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Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."

In 2017, when Jeminat Olumegbon, an events manager in Lagos, set up the Female Bikers initiative (FBi) with her friend, Nnenna Samuila, the objective for the organisation was to facilitate some form of education for Nigerian women. "A bunch of us, bike riders, came together because we knew when we ride we draw attention to ourselves so we used that as a form of communication starter, especially in rural areas," Olumegbon, code-named Speed Diva, tells OkayAfrica via a phone call. In the three years since the initiative has been in operation, it has started a number of programs aimed at confronting socio-cultural barriers set against women in Nigeria but none is more resonant than the group's campaign against breast and cervical cancer.

"We found out that a lot of women die of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and they shouldn't be dying because there are preventive measures but lack of knowledge is what is really killing us," Olumegbon says. According to Nigeria's Cancer Control Plan, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent forms of cancer in Nigeria, disproportionately affecting women. And the Female Bikers initiative, a scion of D'Angels Motorcycle Club, Nigeria's first all-female bikers club, is working hard to get women tested early.

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Watch Wizkid’s New Music Video For ‘Smile’ Featuring H.E.R.

The Nigerian star dedicated the new video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

Nigerian musical heavyweight Wizkid released his latest track today. The song, titled "Smile," features Grammy award winning US singer/songwriter H.E.R.

The track coos sounds of unconditional love and the things we do for it. It features Wizkid and H.E.R. going in over an infectious beat.

This comes as Wizkid fans await the release of his delayed fourth album, Made in Lagos. We're sure they'll be more excited than ever after getting this new single.

"Smile" follows Wizkid's latest release Soundman Vol. 1 EP, which came out late last year and featured the likes of Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more.

Listen to Wizkid and H.E.R.'s "Smile" below.

Update: Watch the newly released music video for "Smile" below. The Nigerian star dedicated this new Meji Alabi-directed music video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

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