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Juba. Image courtesy of the artist.

The New 'Assurance' Documentary Follows the Experiences of Female DJs in Nigeria

"Assurance was conceived out of my desire to find new perspectives in the music industry's gender imbalance debate," says DJ Juba.

Juba is a British-Nigerian DJ based in Berlin. She's also the co-founder of Boko! Boko!, a collective that works towards increased female representation in DJ booths and show lineups.

Juba is now sharing the 35-minute long documentary Assurance, which takes an in-depth look at the experiences of three Lagos-based DJs: Sensei Lo, DJ Yin and DJ Ayizan.

Through raw and personal footage, the documentary paints a full picture of the obstacles each DJ faces as they navigate Nigeria's societal expectations and the gender issues within the Lagos music scene.

"Assurance was conceived out of my desire to find new perspectives in the music industry's gender imbalance debate," Juba tells OkayAfrica. "Since I started DJing in 2016, I've only been able to look at the topic through the European lens and the discourse in general is overwhelmingly dominated by voices from the Global North."

"Going to Lagos and immersing myself in conversation with the three DJs exposed me to a different set of narratives in a totally new, often ignored context. Stories like theirs are necessary for enriching and broadening the conversation around women in music and prove the importance of wider representation when discussing issues that are relevant to people all over the world."

Watch Assurance below.


ASSURANCE youtu.be

Interview
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Nana Mensah's 'Queen of Glory' To Screen At The 2021 TriBeCa Film Festival

Ghanaian-American actress, writer and filmmaker Nana Mensah talks tenacity in filmmaking and telling immigrant stories from a joyful perspective.

Much has changed in the time since Nana Mensah first had the idea for her directorial feature debut — a dark comedy about a Ghanaian-American scientist trying to reconcile her family heritage in the wake of her mother's death — and began the Kickstarter in 2014 that would help turn it into a film. It may have taken a few years, but the movie Queen of Glory is now showcasing as part of the TriBeCa Film Festival's 20th edition, with a world premiere set to take place at Hudson River Park on June 15th.

When Mensah began working on the film, she was trying to break into an industry that lacked roles for complex, conflicted characters — particularly for Black women. So, she co-founded a production company with her friend Anya Migdal to create those very kinds of projects. She has since forged a solid stage and screen career, with roles in Netflix's Bonding and 13 Reasons Why, as well as NBC's New Amsterdam, and in theatrical productions alongside the likes of Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Anthony Mackie. Last year she was in Ekwa Msinga's Farewell Amor, as well as Apple's Anthology series Little America, and she'll soon be seen in Netflix's The Chair with Sandra Oh this summer and Kogonada's upcoming film After Yang, with Colin Farrell. Yet through it all, Mensah has never lost sight of finishing her first film project.

She opens up about what it took to get the film from a mere idea to the TriBeCa Film Festival.

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