News Brief
A screen grab of the "oh my god wow" guy from the Ghanaian film "Azonto Ghost" which is now a popular meme.

This Is Where the 'Oh My God, Wow' Meme Comes From

The viral meme is from a scene in the 2012 Ghanaian film, "Azonto Ghost."

In keeping up with the rise of African movies being utilized as viral memes on social media, we had to look into the origin of latest one that's graced your timelines for at least the past week.

Check out a few hilarious memes below.


This clip is part of a scene in the 2012 Ghanaian film, Azonto Ghost, starring Lil Wayne (not the rapper), Bill Asamoah and Benedicta Gafah. This film, produced by AA Productions, also was a catalyst for hiplife artist Bisa Kdeihis theme song with the same name as the movie earned him 'Best Original Song' at the Ghana Movie Awards that year.

Azonto Ghost is spoken in Twi, one of Ghana's major languages, and thanks to director, producer and screenwriter Scilla Owusu, she was able to summarize and give context as to why the man's so excited—and it's a simpler reason than we thought.

"The woman is pregnant but she was too shy to tell her husband. The husband finally convinces her to tell him what news she was hiding from him," Owusu says. "She then lets him know she's 3 months pregnant. He's so happy and gives thanks to the Lord and is very relieved to hear the great news."

It's definitely interesting to see how films like these are used in a fresh way online. Regardless of how we engage with the content via watching the film or meme generation, we still end up with uncontrollable laughs.

For our Twi speakers, check out Azonto Ghost in full on Youtube.

News
Photo: Getty Creative Images.

Ghana’s LGBTQ+ Community Faces Increased Backlash During Pride Month

The marginalized community fights an uphill battle for acceptance as lawmakers push a bill that criminalizes the group’s existence.

The month of June is well known around the world as Pride Month, a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. However, in Ghana, intolerance of the LGBTQ+ community and its members is at an all-time high. In November 2021, we reported on an “anti-gay” bill that had begun to make its way through Ghana’s Parliament, a bill criminalizing the very existence of LGBTQ+ individuals as well as LGBTQ+ advocacy.

The controversial bill which was titled the "Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill" proposed up to five years in prison for LGBTQ+ Ghanaians, forced medical procedures for intersex children, jail terms for family members and teachers who fail to report gay relatives and students, jail terms for public displays of same-sex affection or cross dressing, a 10-year jail term for LGBTQ+ advocacy, criminalizing the distribution of material deemed pro-LGBTQ+ by the press, among other harsh legislation that puts LGBTQ+ individuals and their loved ones at risk of falling victim to state-sanctioned discrimination or worse.

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Design

Nana Mitch Is Personalizing Ghana’s Snapchat Experience

We talk to the 24-year-old digital artist is the creator of Ghana’s most popular Snapchat filters.

Padmond Annor, popularly known as Nana Mitch is a Ghanaian creative who has achieved something remarkable in Africa’s social media space, particularly on the popular photo and video sharing app Snapchat. The 24-year-old digital artist is the creator and designer is the artist behind a number of Snapchat filters that have gone viral among a section of Ghana and Africa’s Snapchat users.

Nana Mitch had been an avid Snapchat user for years, but in 2019 he felt something was lacking. He saw the need to diversify and better represent Ghana and the Ghanaian experience on Snapchat. Because of that, he decided to take upon himself the mission of personalizing Ghana’s Snapchat experience. After making that decision, he then dedicated a year of his life to learning how to create and edit filters, through an online workshop combined with a lot of research and practice.

His first-ever creation was a beauty filter he titled “Ahuofe,” which means “beauty” in Twi, one of the major languages of the Ghanaian people. “Ahuofe”, which currently has 7 million views caught on, and Nana knew he was on to something. So far, Nana Mitch's creations have collectively earned a total of 100 million views. He’s now a verified creator on the highly popular photo and video sharing app, on which he currently has over 47,000 subscribers on his personal account.

He went on to create more, including customized filters for a number of celebrities and influencers across Africa to commemorate important events in their lives and careers. His most popular filter has a total of over 50 million views. However, that isn’t all there is to Nana Mitch. He’s also a film school graduate, who works on creative campaigns for companies and brands. He writes, directs, shoots, and edits brand campaigns and as an all-round creative, his work on Snapchat was just the tip of the iceberg.

We sat down with Nana Mitch where he tells us about his journey, making Snapchat filters for the president, and what being a creative means to him. Check out our conversation below.

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Featured
Photo Credit: Damilare Kuku

Damilare Kuku on How Real Life Inspired Her Hit Novel ‘Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad’

OkayAfrica spoke to author Damilare Kuku about her salient breakout novel ‘Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad.’

Damilare Kuku is new to Nigeria’s literary scene. But her short story collection, Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad, came with a buzz. Released in October 2021, the book is a collection of twelve salient tales of young Nigerians in Lagos. Capturing the complexion of the city, it grapples with themes like love, sex, deceit, infidelity, companionship, and heartbreak.

The characters in Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad are women. However, they are not just any kind of women. They are people with whom Kuku shares certain connections with.

Some of these women are friends, close acquaintances, and relatives. "One of the aims of my work as a creative artist is bringing human beings closer, especially women," Kuku told OkayAfrica. "Because women need to know that whatever they are going through, they are not alone. There are other people with the same thing happening to them."

Kuku, who loved reading books as a child, grew up between Lagos and Ile-Ife. Before her debut novel became a hit, Damilare played roles in movies. She’s made appearances in Africa Magic's television series Unbroken and Nollywood blockbusters like The Set-Up (2019), Chief Daddy (2018), and Love is War (2019). As her writing career enjoys attention and success, she landed her most important Nollywood role yet — in the Biodun Stephen-directed drama The Wildflower, released in May.

OkayAfrica caught up with Kuku on Zoom to talk about this anthology work, its inspiration, and her most important role in Nollywood yet.

Damilare Kuku book

How did you come up with the title?

The title of the novel came to me after a prayer session. I'm an unapologetic child of God, which means I rely heavily on God. I was actually in between projects and remembered I was in my one-room apartment in Yaba, Lagos — a very cute little place. I liked it, and I was so proud of the space.

Whenever I am not working, I pray. Somehow, somewhere, I was praying, inspiration came and was like, "how about you write a novel titled Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad?" It wasn't even the inspiration for the stories; it was only the title. So immediately, I sent the title to a very well-known Nollywood actor's assistant. I never got a response, which discouraged me a bit, but I thought maybe it wasn't the right time, so I let it go. This was in 2019. A year later, I submitted a book to my publisher. This was the publisher who later published Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad, and they were like we see potential, and we'd love you to come in for a meeting. So I went in for a meeting and they wanted to sign me on the spot.

Your book deals with themes like deceit, companionship, infidelity, social class, friendship, and heartbreak. Was there any of these themes you wanted readers to pay more attention to?

All stories in the novel are as personal as they can be. I don't have a story in the book, but each story was carefully written, which is interesting because I had all of these things written out, hoping anybody reading the book would get the message. When the message was clear, it was pretty comforting. Every particular story was of clear intention. The same thing with any of my work has always been clear. I'm always delighted when people see my message's clarity. Each story is a love letter to some woman I know.

In the story “Beard Gang” from Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad, you explored how Gay men use marriage to straight women to conceal and hide their sexual orientation. Do you think Nearly All The Men in Lagos helped in any way to pinpoint how this is problematic?

Firstly LGBTQ+ community is very precious, and I'm cautious with what I say. I believe my work mirrors what is going on in the society. Take from it what you will. I tell most people I'm not here to educate you, and I'm more of a timekeeper. That's what I am as a writer. I'm saying this is what is happening. As Damilare, I believe people should be who they want to be. People should learn to accept people for who they are. That's my phenomenon; that is my theory about life. When a person shows you who they are, accept them, but on the other hand, I'm not doing that in this book. I'm simply saying that this is where our society is. Read it and then take from it what you will.

Because it would be foolhardy of me to say this is wrong or right. I'm not here to teach anybody, I'm just here to mirror the society and say how it is. I've had many reporters ask me what my view on queer people is. I don't have an opinion, and that's not because I'm trying to play it safe, but this is what society is.

Damilare Kuku green shirt

"I'm very intentional with my work, and I feel like, as a woman, I can only share stories about what it feels like to be a woman," Damilare Kuku said.

Photo Credit: Damilare Kuku

Let’s talk about the theme of sex. Why was it so essential to the stories being told in your novel?

For me, it was the characters telling their stories, and I can remember older people who had read the book who called me and said, "Is this what is happening now?" and I said yes. I told them it was different from their time when women were very conservative about their sexual life and sexuality. Nowadays, if a woman consents to sex, she's doing it of her own free will. So is that necessarily a good or a bad thing? Then again, it is not my place because if I pass judgment as a writer, I'm not doing my job telling the story. It is left to the readers to make with it what they will. I remember I did an interview a while ago and the interviewer and critic called NALMILAM not too far from pornography, and I laughed. Similarly, the book is dedicated to my mom Oluremi Abake. She started reading the book, but she also says the sex talk is a bit too much for her. But I feel like it's a normal phenomenon; young people living in Lagos are having sex, so why sugar coat it?

Was there any story in Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad that was tedious or mentally draining to write?

The only thing that was quite tedious was emotions. So when my friends — the inspirations behind the stories — went through what they went through, I related as a listener. To write about their experiences, you have to become them. So I found myself being them. Sometimes I would even cry. In the story "Ode-plus complex," the main character (Jide) was a family member's experience. I became the character to understand what they went through, which helped me as an actor. It was very therapeutic.

Let's talk about your latest role in The Wildflower. Share with me what it was like to play the role

As I said, I'm very intentional with my work, and I feel like, as a woman, I can only share stories about what it feels like to be a woman, either through what friends have been through or what I know someone else has gone through. I can tell what other women go through because I am one myself, so when I got the role in The Wildflower, after several auditions, I was very excited. I wanted to tell the story of women and what they go through, abuse in the workplace and many girls go through that. They are being marginalized. Women go through a lot, and most times, some people who do these things to us don't think they've abused the woman.

In The Wildflower, my character was abused by her boss, and there was a scene after the abuse where he said to her, "If only you've been a little bit more cooperative..." and I believe most men think like this. They think, "I didn't rape you — we had sex." But no, it's rape. I told you "no." You didn't listen and went ahead to do what you wanted. When someone says "no," no should mean no. I have often heard some ridiculous views like, "when an African woman says no, she means maybe."

We are here in a society where men don't respect boundaries. They don't respect personal space, and they think it's okay to touch a girl because she's wearing a short skirt. I read a review about The Wildflower from a popular site, and the reviewer said, "absolutely not recommended because abuse has been talked about," and I actually wish I could talk to the person and say, "just because abuse has been talked about many times, doesn't mean it shouldn't be explored."






Music
(YouTube)

The 4 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Mr Eazi x MIchael Brun, Gyakie, Flvme, and Asari Music.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.

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