News Brief

The Stories You Need to Know: Lupita Nyong'o and Rihanna's Twitter Film Gets the Green Light, South African Men Protest Sexual Violence and More

Netflix picks up the social media-generated movie about Lupita Nyong'o and Rihanna, Wizkid wins three Billboard awards, and more.

DIASPORA—The Twitter-generated film concept, based on a 2014 photo of Lupita Nyong'o and Rihanna, is coming to life, Entertainment Weekly reports. The film has been picked up in "a very aggressive bid" by Netflix, and will be directed by Ava DuVernay. Issa Rae is in talks to write the script.


Rihanna and Lupita made an informal Twitter agreement to star in the movie together last month. Read the full story via Entertainment Weekly.

SOUTH AFRICA—Hundreds of men gathered in South Africa's capital on Saturday, to protest violence against women for the #NotInMyName demonstration. The event was organized in response to rampant gender-based violence in the country.

"The time to take collective responsibility for our shameful action is now," Kholofelo Masha, one of the organizers, told the BBC. "You hear a lady screaming next door, you decide to sleep when you know there is a problem. No man should beat a woman or rape a woman while you're watching."

Check out a recap of the #NotInMyName protest, here.

DIASPORA— Wizkid won three awards at last night's Billboard Music Awards. He won for “Top R&B Song,” “Top Streaming Song (Audio),” and “Top R&B Collaboration,” for his 2016 Drake collaboration "One Dance."

SOUTH AFRICA—A drought has been declared in South Africa's Western Cape. The warning is set to last about three months.

With the onset of the drought, the region faces its most intense water shortage in about 113 years, reports BBC Africa.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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