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'Polyglot,' A New Web Series On Young Creatives Of Color In Berlin

Polyglot is a new web series from Rwandan-German filmmaker Amelia Umuhire that explores the daily lives of young creatives of color in Berlin


Amanda Mukasonga as Babiche Papaya in 'Polyglot'

Polyglot is a new scripted web series from Rwandan-German visual artist and self-taught filmmaker Amelia Umuhire that explores the multi-hyphenate identities of young creatives of color in Berlin. The show's first episode, which premiered in April, introduced viewers to Babiche Papaya, a rapper and poet played by Umuhire's sister, Amanda Mukasonga. Titled "The Bewerbungsgespräch" ("The Interview"), the five minute clip follows Papaya as she tries to find a home among other international Berliners.

With its intimate fly-on-the-wall cinematography, Umuhire plans for future episodes of the web series to focus on a rotating cast of young polyglots navigating daily life in the German capital. The show's recently-uploaded second episode, "Les Mals du Pays," returns to Babiche's world as she deals with the malaise of homesickness and the frustrations of maintaining a natural hair care routine. "If I were in a TV show, normally as me a black woman, I wouldn't get to be this real, as this 3D, as deep as a character, you know," Mukasonga told NPR Berlin of her role in the series.

The Rwanda-born Berlin-based sisters who grew up in a small town in West Germany are quintessential polyglots-- fluent in German, English, French, and Kinyarwanda. Growing up with multiple means of expressing themselves and their culture, Umuhire and Mukasonga look to challenge preconceived notions of Afro-European lives with the series. "There is this one image of Germany, like you have white people speaking German, if you look at the TV landscape for example. Black people only appear as nurses, or cooks," they said. "You don't get to know people, this big part of Germany and Berlin, because they are kind of marginalized in media."

Watch episodes 1 and 2 below. Keep up with Polyglot on Facebook and Instagram.

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Image courtesy of artist.

Interview: Lady Du, Amapiano’s Sultry-Voiced Superstar, Is Smashing The Glass Ceiling

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Lady Du is currently one of the hottest voices in amapiano. Born into a family of musicians, her father DJ Choc and uncle DJ Zan D are reputable deejays and producers. Lady Du, real name Dudu Ngwenya, first learned how to play at the tender age of nine. Since then and during her early adult life, she had been trying to get a successful break into the music industry. Though she made songs with renowned producers such as DJ Clock, DJ Mshega and DJ Maphorisa (back when he still did gqom) in 2013, 2014 and 2018 respectively, her breakthrough only came under a year ago through the track "Superstar", alongside revered amapiano deejay and producer Mr JazziQ.

Lady Du's musical journey speaks to her resilience, and her success can rightfully be attributed to her perseverance. On "Superstar", Lady Du sings about aspiring to superstardom, even going as far as mentioning some South African celebrities that she looks up to! Today, her name is listed among the very stars she once mentioned on the track. Since 2020, she has collaborated with heavyweights like Oskido, Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Focalistic, De Mthuda, Josiah De Disciple, Busta 929, DBN Gogo and many others. Her signature sultry voice, which sometimes resembles that of a baby, can also be heard on some of amapiano's biggest smash hits like "Umsebenzi Wethu", "Dakiwe", "Catalia", "Woza", "GUPTA" and more.

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