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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 21: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Pearl Thusi during the Comedy Central Roast of AKA held at Montecasino's Teatro, Fourways on February 21, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event, hosted by Pearl Thusi, boasted panellists like Mark Fish, Nina Hastie, Nigerian pop star, Davido and Francois van Coke.

Netflix Cancels Second Season of 'Queen Sono' Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Netflix has reportedly cited filming challenges that have been brought on by the pandemic as the reason for their decision to cancel the second season of the spy-thriller series, 'Queen Sono'.

According to The Citizen, Netflix has decided that Africa's first Original Series, Queen Sono, will not go ahead for a second season. This comes after initial reports in April of this year that Queen Sono had been given the thumbs-up for a second season. Speculations on the possible reasons for halting the show vary, according to IOL. However, Netflix cited difficulties in filming due to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Read: 'Queen Sono' is the Bad-Ass Women-Led African Spy Thriller Like No Other: Here's What its Stars Have to Say About It.

Queen Sono lead, Pearl Thusi, released a bittersweet statement to The Citizen in response to the news.

"It's so incredible that we as a team got a lifetime opportunity to make history together as there will never be another 'first' African Netflix original series. I'm proud of the work we did, but everything happens for a reason. I am excited about what the future holds."

The Netflix team reportedly stated that axing the show was a difficult decision because of the "dream vision" achieved through the show. According to The Citizen, Netflix' spokesperson thanked Queen Sono fans from around the world for their continued and fervent support of the production. Furthermore, Queen Sono creator, Kagiso Lediga, commented on the recent news saying, "We wrote a beautiful story that spanned the continent but unfortunately could not be executed in these current trying times."

Queen Sono is the first Netflix African Original Series to come out this year. The series follows an action-packed story about a South African spy played by Thusi. The show was initially commended for its high production quality although there were some lukewarm responses internationally. The Hollywood Reporter especially critiqued Thusi's inconsistent performance and lack of character development in relation to the rest of the cast.

Queen Sono is one of many productions to be halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira's Americanah series was recently cancelled by HBO Max before it went into production. South Africans, however, can still look forward to the second season of popular Netflix Original Series, Blood and Water

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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