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South African Actress Nomzamo Mbatha has Joined the 'Coming 2 America' Cast

She joins Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Kiki Layne and several others in the sequel to the 1988 comedy.

South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha, along with American actress Garcelle Beauvais, are the latest additions to the Coming 2 America cast. The sequel to the popular 1988 comedy film, will star its original leads Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, and will be directed by Craig Brewer, Deadline reports. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production of the film is underway and shooting is set to begin next week.


Mbatha will reportedly take on one of the lead roles, although it is not clear at this point which one that will be. A few months ago, the actress moved to Los Angeles and left many South Africans wondering what she had developing in the pipeline that necessitated the move abroad.

TimesLIVE reports that Mbatha released a statement saying, "To God be the glory. It is truly unreal to me. The sacrifices have paid off. The goal was never insurmountable, but rather a path of commitment, diligent work and sacrifices by me and my team". The actress added that, "Moving to Los Angeles was a choice of faith, and God has surpassed my wildest dreams. This moment is bigger than me—this moment is for every single girl who doubts herself or just how big her God is. My life is a testament to that. My life says God is bigger than ginormous! I am grateful, I am humbled, I am honored to be cast in Coming 2 America."

While the likes of James Earl Jones, John Amos and Shari Headley will be returning to reprise their original roles, new members of the international cast include Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Kiki Layne, Rotimi, Teyana Taylor and several others. Coming 2 America is slated to be released in December 2020.

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Photo: YouTube

Alice Diop's 'Saint Omer' Will Debut in January

The French director's riveting legal drama will be released in the US early next year.


After a year of accruing critical acclaim from film festivals across the world, Alice Diop's Saint Omer now has a release date. The film will hit theaters in the US on January 13, 2023. It is France's submission for the 95th Academy Awards in the Best International Picture category, and makes Diop the first Black woman to represent that country in the Oscar race.

Saint Omer is based on a true story, and critically examines themes of motherhood and infanticide. These themes are chronicled through the life of Laurence Coly, a young mother who is accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter after negligently abandoning her in a rising tide on the beach.

The courtroom drama is named after a northern town in France, which is also the setting for the film. Diop gives a unique spin on the court case by unraveling its storyline through the eyes of Rama (Kayije Kagame), a young, pregnant novelist who attended Coly's trial. The drama also shows Rama grappling with her moral compass and personal convictions as more details unravel during the trial, making it increasingly difficult for her to trust her judgment.

Through Saint Omer, Diop critically delves into the intricacies of motherhood and the effects of generational trauma. So far, the evocative drama has won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, and is expected to make a big splash during awards season.

Although Diop previously worked primarily as a documentary filmmaker, Saint Omer is her first transition into the world of narrative feature films. The screenplay was co-written by Diop along with Amrita David and Marie NDiaye. Throughout the course of her career, the director, who has Senegalese heritage, has been known for telling human interest stories that inspire emotion and reaction.

Earlier this year, Diop sat down with OkayAfrica, and shared her convictions for creating deeply personal stories that underscore the experiences of marginalized people. "Film, for me, is not a space for entertainment; it is a space for revenge and self-care. Saint Omer is not about the banlieues at all. I believe that people from the banlieues have every right to make films that are not about the banlieues," said Diop. "It is about maternity, and I have every right to talk about maternity because it is a question that is relevant to Black women as much as it is to white women. I am speaking from my own body, and I think the closer I am to myself, the more likely I am to touch other people."

Watch the trailer for Saint Omer below:

Music

Listen to a Fela Kuti Tribute Album Featuring D'Angelo, Questlove, Nile Rodgers​ & More

2002's Red Hot + Riot albumis available on streaming platforms for the first time.

Red Hot has made the their Fela Kutitribute album Red Hot + Riot available for the first time on all streaming platforms to mark its 20th anniversary.

Red Hot + Riot features notable contributions from an all-star guest ensemble that includes D’Angelo, Questlove, Femi Kuti, Talib Kweli, Sade, Tony Allen, Macy Gray, Nile Rodgers, Jorge Ben Jor, Baba Maal, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dead Prez, Kelis, Roy Hargrove, Archie Shepp, and many others.

The updated 20th anniversary version includes bonus material including a remastered version of the entire project. The project also includes a cover of “Sorrow Tears & Blood” by Bilal, an acoustic version of “Trouble Sleep” with Baba Maal accompanied by the legendary kora player Kaouding Cissoko and an extended version of Sade’s “By Your Side” by Stuart Matthewman.

The original album had to be heavily edited to fit the time limit of a physical CD. This new version includes a vast amount of bonus material that includes an extended versions of many tracks, including early mixes, acapellas, instrumentals and more.

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Film
Photo: Sundance Institute

Four Films We're Most Looking Forward to at Sundance 2023

These titles, selected from a record 4,061 feature submissions, make their premiere at the prestigious film event next year.

Last year's Sundance Film Festival gave us delights such as Nigerian American director Adamma Ebo’s debut feature, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul, and Oliver Hermanus' Living, a moving retelling of the Kurosawa classic, Ikiru. It also saw the debut of Nikyatu Jusu's Nanny, which went on to win the fest's main prize. The Sierra Leonean American director's film, about an undocumented Senegalese woman who becomes a nanny to a wealthy couple on New York’s Upper East Side, stayed top of mind for many critics in the months that followed after its premiere.

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Events
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Why Are Concert Tickets in Nigeria Getting So Expensive?

Criticisms have trailed Asake, Burna Boy, and Wizkid's ticket prices for not being affordable. Industry insiders weigh in on what this means for concert-going in Nigeria.

In 2022, no newcomer artist ruled Nigeria’s music scene like Asake. Almost as if the 27-year-old singer-songwriter blew out of nowhere, his rise to fame came from catchy anthems like "Sungba" and "Terminator," emerging as the next correspondent of street pop.

His debut album Mr Money With The Vibe, released in September, cracked into the Billboard 200 at #66, making it the highest charting debut album from Nigeria. On Apple’s Nigeria Top 100, it became the first album to have all 12 spots occupied. The UK leg of his international tour had tickets already sold out.

So then it’s no surprise that December’s tradition of concert-going in Lagos had enlisted him as a main attraction. He’s leaned into the grittier side of afrobeats, making street slang and Yoruba lyricism sound glamorous. And this is what fans crave for at this year’s Flytime Music Festival, where he would perform as a headliner.

The show promoters, Flytime Promotions, are seemingly the right handlers. Yearly, they host the biggest concert franchise in West Africa, doing so since 2004. At a time where Wizkid, Tiwa Savage and Davido were entering the mainstream in the mid and late aughts, Flytime Music Festival (or Rhythm Unplugged, as known to many), became a crucial entertainment vehicle that brought fans closer to the artists they idolized.

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Watch Red Bull's 'Uncredited: The Story of Afro Dance' Documentary

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Niger Singer Hamsou Garba Dies At 64

One of Niger's prominent musicians, Hamsou Garba, has died at the age of 64.