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Investigation Launches Into Death of LGBT Sex Worker in Police Custody

Elma Robyn Montsumi is yet another Black South African to die in the wake of continued police brutality during the country's national lockdown.

South Africa's Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has reportedly launched an investigation into the death of LGBT sex worker, Elma Robyn Montsumi, who was being held in custody at Cape Town's Mowbray police station. Montsumi had been arrested for alleged drug possession in April. IPID's investigation comes after advocacy groups including the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), Sisonke, the National Movement of Sex Workers and Triangle Project all raised concerns over the circumstances surrounding Montsumi's death, News24 reports.

READ: From 'Star Wars' to the War on Racism: John Boyega's Speech at a Recent London Protest Moved Masses

According to several reports, Montsumi was supposed to be released on bail according to the South Africa's ongoing lockdown regulations. However, she was never released and allegedly went on to commit suicide. In a joint statement by the advocacy organisations involved, they write the following:

"Robin's partner reported that he and some of her friends from the area were able to communicate with her by shouting from the outside and she would call back on how she was doing. They reported she said on the Saturday [11 April] that she felt ill and was vomiting," the organisations said on Friday. According to her friends, she did not respond [on the] Sunday morning [12 April] when they tried to call on her and when her partner got to the police station, there was an ambulance and bystanders told him that it was Robyn inside and that she [hanged] herself."

The statement goes on to add: "Our lobbying officer went inside the police station to inquire and she was simply told that Robyn had been taken to Groote Schuur hospital. Robyn's family... went to Mowbray police station and was told that the detective who came to the station just before noon to book Robyn found her body in the cells."

Police brutality towards Black people particularly during the national lockdown continues to anger many South Africans. In the just the first few weeks of the lockdown, more Black people died at the hands of police and SANDF officials than from the coronavirus. As protests against police brutality sweep across America, France, England, Australia and New Zealand, the anti-Black and racist nature of many police systems is being thrust into the spotlight.

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(Youtube)

Watch Davido Perform 'Assurance' & 'Jowo' On Jimmy Kimmel Live

The Nigerian superstar performed for the late night American TV show.

Davido stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to give viewers a lively performance.

Backed by a full band, the Nigerian superstar kicked things off by playing A Good Time single "Assurance," which will reportedly be featured in the Coming 2 America soundtrack. After a quick interlude and set change—a king's throne appeared onstage—Davido and his band went into a medley of "Jowo," his A Better Time single.

Davido's been busy this year as he recently shared the music video for A Better Time's "The Best" alongside Mayorkun, was featured in the remix of Focalistic's "Ke Star," and collaborated with Teni on "For You."

Watch Davido's Jimmy Kimmel live performance of "Assurance" and "Jowo (Medley) below.

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Still taken from 'Walking With Shadows film trailer'

Opinion: Nollywood & the Imminent Second Coming of Queer Cinema

An exploration of queer representation and misrepresentation in Nollywood, jaded stereotypes and what the future of queer cinema in Nollywood could look like.

In a scene from Daniel Orhiari's 2018 psychological thriller Sylvia, Richard (Chris Attoh) and Obaro (Udoka Oyeka) are friends casually catching up while drinking at a bar. When Richard tells him that he's in love with a woman he's just met and intends to marry her, Obaro is relieved and chuckles. ''I was beginning to wonder, you know, if you were gay or something,'' he says. While Richard looks incredulous and rejects the notion, the scene devolves into both a commentary and cautionary tale about married gay men in Lagos sleeping with their houseboys, reinforcing the idea that homosexuality is synonymous with paedophilia.

The homophobia in the scene becomes truly apparent when the bartender, having heard their conversation, slips his phone number towards Obaro after Richard leaves. Although Obaro had told his friend he has nothing against gay people, he shows disdain towards the bartender and flees the bar. Queer representation may be non-existent in Nollywood, but pockets of homophobia like this have showed up in the works of overzealous filmmakers, as shown in Ramsey Nouah's Living in Bondage: Breaking Free (2019) where the male protagonist was assumed to be gay after he indicated interest in a woman.

Nollywood is a microcosm of the larger virulently homophobic Nigerian society, but queer cinema had somewhat thrived around the early 2000's before flatlining into oblivion. This era followed the home video boom that began in the '90s, and was marked by slightly changing attitudes–or curiosity–about sex and sexuality. Soft pornography was consumed in the form of magazines (Hints) and other variants, glossy booklets with hardcore images were openly sold in shops, depicting women engaging in sexual acts with men or with themselves, and video porn was widely available in public spaces.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

ProVerb’s Memoir Is A Huge Slap In The Face To South African Hip-Hop

In his memoir, one of South Africa's revered lyricists ProVerb and his co-author compromise his rich story with trite motivational talk.

The Book of Proverb

ProVerb has had a strange relationship with the SA hip-hop scene. Albeit being one of the most gifted lyricists the country has ever seen, he has grown to flow less and hustle more. Despite this, his name still comes up when the greatest (South) African rappers of all time are mentioned. MTV Base placed him as the 7th in their list of the greatest SA MCs of all time in 2018 for example.

The rapper-turned-media personality dedicates a paragraph of his memoir, The Book of Proverb, to explaining his complicated relationship with hip-hop. "Although I built my brand as a hip-hop artist, I never enjoyed full support or success from it," he writes. "Music is and always will remain a pass ion, but it stopped being viable when it stopped making business sense to me. If I was given more support, I might continue, but for now, I'll focus on my other hustles."

On the cover of the book which was released towards the end of 2020 by Penguin, Verb is wearing a charcoal blazer and sporting a white ball cap, so one can be forgiven for getting into it expecting both sides of his story. This memoir, however, is too vague to be a worthy read if you aren't necessarily reading to get motivated but to be simply informed and inspired.

While a few of The Book of ProVerb's chapters touch on his rap career, most of the book is about ProVerb the man, personality and businessman. Not so much one of the country's finest lyricists. This omission is a huge slap in the face for his fans and SA hip-hop fans in general.

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Filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr Explores the Sweet Spot Between Nollywood & Hollywood

Winner of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, London-based Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr speaks about his experimental film 'Lizard', what belonging looks like and the overlap between Hollywood and Nollywood.