News Brief

Project Runway SA Premieres Today, But Will It Be Better Than Other Reality Show Spin-Offs?

The first season of Project Runway SA begins today and joins a long list of African spin-offs of American reality shows.

Watching African spin offs of American and European reality TV shows can be a fun guilty pleasure or an awkward and brutal experience.

The first season of Project Runway SA is premiering today on Mzansi Magic at 9:30pm. The show will be hosted by Lerato Kganyago andthe contestants will be mentored by Gert-Johan Coetzee. While most of the response on social media has been positive, we will have to wait and see if the show will offer an interesting perspective on fashion in South Africa or if it will be a failed attempt to mimic the American original.

There's a long history of reality competition spin offs that have come before Project Runway on the continent including Idols, The Voice, Big Brother Africa, and Real Housewives. Many of these shows are a hit or miss, though many times the hit is from finding pleasure in the most awkward moments of the show.

Despite the success of these shows, they often struggle to accommodate Black African contestants and to restructure the original format to a new location. In 2013, the first season of Africa's Next Top Model premiered and launched the career of the winner Aamito Lagum. The show was filled with political uncomfortable scenes, from the models (particularly two white South African models) posing in high fashion clothes in a Cape Town township that led to the people living there protesting the shoot in the episode, to the language difficulties faced by the contestants from Angola and Mozambique that were never quite resolved.

Despite the shady history of reality tv spinoffs in Africa, there is a lot of excitement on Twitter for Project Runway SA. Fans of Project Runway are excited to see how the show will play out in South Africa. The competition is for aspiring designers who have to create runway ready garments with restricted time and materials for each challenge. If the show follows the formula of the original, the challenges will include ready to wear, unconventional materials, avant-garde, red carpet, and group challenges. It's not evident yet what unique challenges the South African show will offer.

South Africa's fashion industry has produced many talented designers, and it's hard say whether this show will necessarily create the next top designer. The winning designer will show their collection at Paris fashion week 2019.

Watch the trailer here.

Photo credit: YouTube

Major Lazer, Major League, Tiwa Savage & Maphorisa Want You to Have Some 'Koo Koo Fun'

Major Lazer and Major League Djz just released they're collaborative "Koo Koo Fun" record featuring Tiwa Savage and DJ Maphorisa.

Major Lazer and Major League Djz drop a new track featuring Tiwa Savage and DJ Maphorisa. The dance record, which is additionally produced by Don Jazzy and Stargate is accompanied by a bubbly music video which showcases a disco scene and African modern party scene. The track is the first of Major Lazer’s music releases this year and is primarily in the Amapiano style—the South African sound that has recently become widely successful in Africa and the diaspora. "Koo Koo Fun" is a musical reunion for Major Lazer and DJ Maphorisa, who had previously collaborated on the song “Particula,” which featured Ice Prince, Jidenna, Patoranking and Nasty C.

Major Lazer is a dance music group that includes record producer Diplo, DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums. The group was originally founded 2008, and although some original members are no longer a part of the team, the current trio have achieved great commercial strides and global success so far.

Major League Djz aretwin brothers who have quickly risen to prominence on the South African dance music scene and have become commercially successful for their hit dance songs, which have continued to place African music on the map. The duo recently performed at Coachella alongside Black Coffee and at the O2 Academy Brixton.

Maphorisa is a South African producer, and vocalist, whose production credits have been featured on records from the likes of Drake, Wizkid and Black Coffee, among others. Nigeria's Tiwa Savage is a pioneer in her own right, with numerous accolades and a global recognition, the icon has solidified as Africa's leading pioneers, harnessing motherhood and superstardom seamlessly.

Watch the music video for "Koo Koo Fun" below.

Photo by: Afrima Awards

Here Are the Nominees For the 2022 AFRIMA Awards

Burna Boy, Costa Titch, Davido, Dadju, Tiwa Savage and others get nominations for this year's All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).

The All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)recently released an official list featuring all of the nominees for this year's awards. From Davido's "Campion Sound" featuring Focalistic to Burna Boy's Love, Damini and Tiwa Savage's "Somebody's Son" and many others, the nominees were hand-selected from a submitted pool of 9,067 submitted entries.

South Africa's Costa Titch and Frrench-Congolese artist Dadju lead the group, with each artist earning six nominations. Burna Boy, KIzz Daniel, Tiwa Savage and Fireboy DML bagged nominations each.

This year, the organization received its highest number of entries ever recorded since the award show began in 2014. The award show's jury chose 382 nominations across 39 musical categories, to underscore five African regions and the musical talents that represent those regions.

South African jury member Adam Tiran, said that he was confident that he and other members had made the right selections this year for talent.

“We are confident in our selection this year, after carefully reviewing all 9,076 entries. We are sure this is an accurate and inclusive representation of where the African music industry currently is," said Tiran. "We have put in the effort to ensure that AFRIMA’s nominations remain as credible and authentic as always.”

West African countries led the charge with a total of 134 nominations, and this was followed by the Eastern African region, whose artists came to 69 nominations. Southern African artists followed behind with 68 nominations and Central African artists had 52 nominations, while Northern African artists had an entry totaling to 49 nominations. The global region for this year's award show representing non-Africans pulled in 10 nominations.

The nominations fall into a variety of categories, according to Angela Martins, Head of Culture, African Union Commission on the Jury:

“The nominees list comprising 29 continental award categories and 10 regional award categories released for public voting on The remaining category for the “Legend Award” will be announced at the awards. Also, we brought back the “Best Soundtrack in a Movie, Series or Documentary” category, this year, due to the availability of quality entries for this year’s edition. Recall that we had to suspend it, last year, due to a shortage of quality entries, said Martins. “Overall, we are very proud and confident in our work, and we would continue to intensify our efforts to ensure AFRIMA remains the ultimate recognition of African music globally in line with its vision.”

This year, the All Africa Music Awards will be a four-day event held from December 8th to 11th, 2022. The organization plans to announce on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, what country will host the award show.

See the full Contintenal and Regional list of AFRIMA 2022 Nominees below

Breakdown of AFRIMA 2022 Nominations

Photo: courtesy Temitope Dada

How Nigerian Director Temitope Dada Became ‘Da Best’

The commercials and documentary maker who’s worked with leading names in Nigeria hasn’t been in the game for a long time, but he’s already leaving an indelible impression.

TV commercials in Nigeria are as old as television is in the country, but the quality of them has only just recently started reaching world-class standards. It’s thanks to exciting young creative filmmakers like Temitope Dada, popularly referred to as “Dabest” by his friends and protégés, that TV ads in Nigeria are something worth talking about.

“To be honest, I don't know how the name came about,” Dada told OkayAfrica with a glee evident in the pitch of his speech. At the time of this conversation, he’s on vacation in Accra, Ghana for a birthday getaway. Having just turned 30, the interview gives Dada the chance to reminisce on his filmmaking journey so far. A journey that led him to one of the biggest youth-recognition platforms on the continent -- the Future Awards Africa -- in February this year, where he was nominated in the cinematography category.

“When Facebook became a thing in Nigeria, I was trying to create a username and Facebook suggested “Dabest” and I picked it. I was a café attendant and graphics designer at the time,” he says.

From starting out as a café attendant, to becoming an underpaid graphics designer, to a photographer, and now one of the most celebrated TV commercials directors on the continent, Temitope’s evolution has been one that even he didn’t exactly see coming. Growing up in a suburb in Ikeja, Lagos, it was never his plan to be a filmmaker.

“I just wanted to be rich, to be honest,” he admits. “I was one of those kids that had no idea what we wanted to make out of life. Did I do anything film when I was younger? No, but I knew I had love for computers and all that.” He remembers trying to repair broken radios and mobile phones as a teen. After high school, he befriended the owner of a cyber café and that gave him unlimited access to the facilities there. “That was where I learnt how to use CorelDRAW,” he says.

It was a pivotal moment in Dada’s life, and kickstarted his informal education in visual creativity. He studied Geography at the University of Lagos but dropped out in his very last semester. This was partly out of necessity. “It is all just the quest to live a better life,” he says. “In my first semester in the university, I lost my mother who was my major financier. When she died, there was no money coming in from anywhere. I needed something that would give me enough money to sustain myself in school. Photography did that for me. So I was just chasing the money. I switched to filmmaking because I realized I could do more with my talents and make more money, too.”

The other reason for leaving university was because Dada considers he was ready to do so. He considered himself to be at the peak level of his cinematography career at the time when he made the decision to discontinue his education. And he doesn’t regret it.

“I don't have regrets, but the fact that I got out of college in the second semester of my 400 level disturbs me sometimes,” he says. “I was just tired of the entire school process, and I had started gaining traction in my career. I felt that my career needed more attention than the classes I was attending. Perhaps I will regret it in the future, but right now, I don't. I love my life!”

In the year since he directed his first TV ad in 2021, he has become popular for his detailed-approach to shooting. In his words, “story is king.”

“I learnt in the very early days of my career that if you get the story right, every other thing is just like adding sauce to an already made stew,” he says. Research is a major part of his process, too. “I'm a sucker for knowledge. I have a whole wealth and gallery of projects saved to my YouTube and Pinterest and other platforms. What makes my work unique is my understanding that each project is different and requires a particular style; a particular way to execute.”

When asked how he was able to build this name for himself in the space of just one year, Dada says it’s a combination of things. “I think it's intentional branding, plus I'm a good person,” he says. “I've learnt to be accessible to people. I have random conversations with people you probably would think I don't respond to. Presently, I try to have a policy of replying to all my meaningful direct messages on social media. I'm open to people, and I'm an OG too. I've worked with a wide number of creatives and I was good to them, so I deserve the same respect with which I treat people.”

Dada’s catalogue of work includes projects for multinationals like Guiness, Martell, the UN, Havana Club, Chipper Cash and leading names in Nigeria like GTBank, Nigerian Breweries, Abeg, PiggyVest and a long list of others that also includes working with artists like Tems and Burna Boy. Still, of all these, his favourite project is one that never got released for airplay.

“It was the first advert I ever directed,” he says. “A colleague of mine was trying to create social media content for a company and I decided to shoot that for free. It was so good, but the company never got back to us.” It turned out to be a fortuitous experience. though. “Later down the line, when it was time to shoot my first proper television commercial, it was the same guy that was on the table of decisions and he chose me to direct it, even though I had zero experience.”

From then on, Dada decided to take the art of TV commercials even more seriously. “When I get a project, I read the brief and because I most likely have already watched a good amount of such material already in my life, I start picturing what the brief is all about and videos similar to what the brand is trying to create,” he says. “I already have references in my head. Then I share with my friends to sample their thoughts on what I'm creating.”

Dada has taken what he’s learned and used it to help train other young Nigerians interested in doing what he does. He runs a cinematography training program called “Shoot, Edit, Repeat,” which he believes is his way of giving back to society.

“One of my goals in life is not to be the only king,” he says. “I want to be able to look back and say, ‘Oh, these are the people that I have pointed in the right direction.’ Shoot, Edit, Repeat involves seeing people with zero knowledge in filmmaking become very experienced and sought after in the industry. We have had six editions in two Nigerian cities, and we have had a good number of successful students come out of the classes. That makes me very happy.”

Dada is driven by impact and how many lives he can affect positively. As a person who is constantly evolving, it is his resolution to always help as many people as he can, regardless of the umbrella under which he does so.

“I don’t have to wish for more projects because I know I have lots of those ahead of me,” he says. “Fulfilment for me would be looking at the industry and being able to point out a number of people that can say that I have been instrumental to their journeys and growth processes. That’s what I cherish the most.”

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