Photos

Senegalese Basketball Powerhouse The SEED Academy [Victory Journal Gallery]

Victory Journal sent photographer Alessandro “Zuek” Simonetti to photograph Senegalese basketball school The SEED Academy (SEED Project).

Located in Thiès, approximately 50 miles outside of Dakar, the SEED Academy is a co-ed institution and a Senegalese basketball powerhouse. A basketball school that houses 30 full-time student-athletes, and 50 or so part-time after-school participants, SEED (which stands for the Sports for Education and Economic Development Academy) and the SEED Project work to create community leaders, whether through their athletic skills or otherwise.


There are now nearly 100 SEED alumni working in 15 countries around the world, 29 of whom are playing high school or college basketball in the U.S., and 20 others playing professionally somewhere on the globe — most prominently Gourgi Dieng, a 2013 NBA first round draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Brooklyn-based sport and culture publication Victory Journal sent Italian-born photographer Alessandro “Zuek” Simonetti on assignment to capture a few days in the lives of SEED Academy students. His striking images originally appeared in a special SEED edition of Victory late last year. Okayafrica was granted permission to share the photos in the gallery above. Click through and visit the SEED Project for more information.

On Tuesday, June 24th, SEED will be holding its annual summer event at Up & Down in NYC, honoring Toronto Raptors General Manager, Masai Ujiri (Nigeria) and former NBA player DeSagana Diop (Senegal). Additional details and tickets for the event can be found here.

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Runtown. Photo courtesy of the artist.

How Runtown Got His Groove Back

In the past year, Runtown has had to look behind him to shed the ghosts of his former label. Now he's looking forward to more success.

In May of 2018 with two months left on his contract, the Nigerian popstar Runtown woke up one morning to news that his record label, Eric Many Entertainment, was suing him for damages worth N267 million. A potential local court injunction against him meant Runtown might face the possibility of being barred from making music until the suit was resolved. It was the the start in of a string of legal battles between the singer and his label that threatened his very existence as an artist.

As Runtown planned his next steps, his boss, Ukwudili Umenyiora was doing everything he could not to let him go. The suit was a ploy to get him to extend the contract, or reach a settlement that would allow the label to keep a stake in his future business. In the press, Runtown was lambasted daily by suspected paid agents of the record label.

After the record label tried to prevent a performance in Canada, and sent cease and desist letters to radio stations, asking them to pull Runtown off playlists, something cracked in his camp. His legal team mobilised. They launched an offensive, filing cases and petitions on many fronts across Lagos, Abuja and New York. His boss and aggressor, Okwudili Umenyiora, was arrested twice by the local police on petitions by Runtown. To stop the media harassment, Umenyiora signed a legal agreement promising to back off. With the coast clear, he could then focus on the music.

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Video still via YouTube.

'Ratnik' Is the Dystopian Nollywood Action Film You Didn't Know You Needed

Watch the dramatic teaser from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola.

A film 2 years in the making is yet another cinematic moment contributing to the growing diversity of subgenres in the Nollywood industry.

Ratnik is a dystopian action film from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola his production company Flipsyde Studios. The teaser recently dropped this month ahead of the official trailer—and from this 1-minute clip we're anticipating suspense, explosions, peculiar superhero characters and impressive vfx that we're seeing more of in Nigerian films.

Get into the teaser below.

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Music
Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Swiss Producer Dejot Enlists South African Leftfield Artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, RADIO 123 and More in His New EP ‘Uhujano’

Listen to Dejot's latest EP.

Swiss electronic producer Dejot has a fondness for South African and its musicians. "What was really surprising to me was the fact, that when I played my music, my demos or ideas, people started to dance immediately," says Dejot in an email to OkayAfrica. "I was really surprised, that there was something in my music that hit them and made them move. This is very different compared to Europe or Switzerland, where people mostly stand around and just listen to it."

Last year, Dejot produced the rapper Robin Thirdfloor's EP Bhotela in its entirety. He has also worked with Bongeziwe Mabandla. This year, for his latest EP, Uhujano, he enlisted South Africa-based artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, Robert Machiri and the duo RADIO 123.

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