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Quacks: Hilarious Short Film

Check out this short African film by Abba Makama, which tells the story of young Nigerian elites who have to decide whether or not to join the revolution or watch from the sidelines.


Every time we watch an Abba Makama short we're kind of stunned by how good they are. That's not to say there aren't some great films coming out of Lagos, but Makama's aren't just great, they're truly creative and engaging. "We shoot things bitches" is how every Osiris Production ends, but each project is visually and substantively unique presenting exceptional art, which always deserves a shout out.

Makama's newest short, which is also an entry for the Afrinolly Short Competition titled "Quacks" is a follow-up to "Party of Ministers" and an excellent parody about the young, educated, and successful African elite whom via BBM groups continuously discuss the state of the world, but fail to act on their ideas of how to improve their respective countries. Quick synopsis:

An elite group of pseudo intellectual leftists are summoned for an emergency meeting. The agenda: overthrow the existing regime ran by a cabal of self-centered materialists. Will they succeed?

In "Quacks" Makama integrates real footage from the 2012 protests in Nigeria, which is an amusing juxtaposition to the ever so chic Quacks whom from the comfort of their extravagant homes appear not only detached but disinterested in the state of their country. Did we mention they look hella hella chic? The film also features one of our favorite Nigerian directors, Bolaji Kekere-Ekun- who shows us he has skills in front of and behind the camera. We don't want to give too much away, but check out the film (below) for some quality entertainment and a dynamic representation of the bizarre  potential of protest and revolution in Nigeria. Seriously, might be the best 8 minutes of your day.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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