News

Pearlena Igbokwe Makes History as the First Nigerian Woman to Lead a Major U.S. TV Network

Lagos-born Pearlena Igbokwe’s appointment as president of Universal Television suggests #BlackGirlMagic has achieved peak status.

In 2016, #BlackGirlMagic has officially reached peak status.


In February, ABC named Channing Dungey, who helped to develop the network’s TGIT hits Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, as its broadcast president. The decision is historic as Dungey became the first Black American to lead the entertainment department of a major U.S. broadcast network.

In May, Twitter, which has been the subject of considerable criticism over its lack of diversity and sexual harassment woes, appointed Debra Lee, CEO of Viacom’s Black Entertainment Television (BET), as its first black and third woman board member. Yup, because the future of Twitter is black.

Adding to the black excellence in media—Universal Television handpicked veteran executive producer Pearlena Igbokwe to be its president Friday, Deadline reports. The decision for the subsidiary of National Broadcasting Cable (NBC) is unprecedented, making Lagos-born, Igbokwe, not only the first Igbo Nigerian to helm a major U.S. TV studio, but also what is estimated as the first black American woman appointed to the role.

Igbokwe, who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of six during the Biafran War and went on to attend the prestigious Yale University, will take over for Bela Bajarian, who exited the role last month, effective immediately.

“Pearlena’s remarkable track record in drama programming at NBC over the last few years made it clear that she was the ideal choice to lead the studio into its next phase of growth,” Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment and Igbokwe’s supervisor, says. “Her leadership, vision and taste have resulted in an impressive string of drama successes—from The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Med, Shades of Blue and the upcoming series This Is Us, Timeless and Taken—that coincides with our return to a top position among networks.”

Seriously, what a time to be alive!

Music

Listen to Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims’ New Mixtape ‘3 Way’

Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims finally share their debut mixtape.

If you've been following the ATM (African Trap Movement) gang closely, then you know a joint project from three of its members—Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims—has been a long time in the making.

3 Way is a 10-track mixtape consisting of songs performed by the trio collectively, including the lead single "M.I.A," which has been out for a few months. The only guests on the project are two of ATM's founding members Emtee and Saudi, who appear on the songs "Where Would I Be" and "Silent Night."

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News Brief
Gallo Images/Getty Images

'My Name is Reeva' is the New Documentary About the Late Reeva Steenkamp

The South African documentary series will tell the personal story of the model who was murdered by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius.

It's been four years since one of the most infamous court trials rocked South Africa. Oscar Pistorius, South Africa's once beloved Paralympics gold medalist and "Blade Runner", was charged with the murder of South African model, and his girlfriend at the time, Reeva Steenkamp. Initially, Pistorius was sentenced to a measly six years behind bars following a controversial trial and subsequent judgement. However, a little over a year later, his sentence was increased to 13 years and 5 months.

Over the years, there have been much speculation about the relationship between Pistorius and Steenkamp. Question marks still abound in terms of what really transpired on the day Steenkamp died. More recently, her family announced that they are working on My Name is Reeva, a new tell-all documentary they hope will set the record straight on a number of issues, Channel24 reports.

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News Brief
Photo still courtesy of Vlisco&co.

Nigerian Filmmaker Dafe Oboro Tells the Lagos Hustle Story in His Vivid Fashion Film for Vlisco&co

"A Beautiful Struggle" is Vlisco&co's latest collaboration where Dafe Oboro shows us the beauty of the grind in his home city.

Vlisco&co; continues to lend African creatives a platform to tell their unique stories while incorporating designs using the vibrant wax prints we all love.

With their latest collaboration, the brand tapped Nigerian filmmaker Dafe Oboro—the mind behind the fashion film A Beautiful Struggle featuring designs by Papa Oyeyemi and Abiola Olusola.

The film is a portrait showing what the Lagos hustle looks like and the beauty in the midst of it all from Oboro's perspective. We follow Smart Song—an aspiring musician hailing from a small-town—who lands in a psychadelic Lagos to follow his passion of music and being a star by any means necessary.

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Audio
Nonso Amadi. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Nonso Amadi Is Making His Unique Blend of Afro-Fusion

We speak with the Toronto-based Nigerian artist about his new self-produced EP, Free, which includes features from Mr Eazi and Simi.

Nonso Amadi is a Toronto-based musician cooking up his own blend of afro-fusion by mixing influences from his Nigerian background with elements of RnB, soul, pop and much more.

His releases and production over recent years have made Nonso one of the standout acts from a new wave of young Nigerian artists experimenting and pushing boundaries on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 23-year-old artist just dropped his latest release, Free, a 6-song EP which features appearances from Mr Eazi on lead single "Go Outside" and Simi, who provides vocals on "Better." The EP was entirely produced by Nonso himself, with a little help from British-Ghanaian producer Juls and AoD.

We spoke with Nonso Amadi during a visit to NYC about his genre-bending EP below.

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