News Brief
Photo by ER Lombard/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Bellville Campus on June 09, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa.

COVID-19 Cases Surge To Five Million In Africa

As the world approaches a post-pandemic era, South Africa, Kenya, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Ethiopia and Egypt top the list of countries contributing to Africa's alarming five million COVID-19 cases.

Africa has reportedly reached a highly concerning number of COVID-19 cases. Recent statistics show that over five million Africans have contracted the coronavirus since its discovery in 2019. These numbers are alarming despite Africa's large population of over 1.2 billion, marking a reported increase of 16 percent in death rates. South Africa, which is officially in a third wave, leads the numbers and accounts for almost half of the deaths across the continent. On the contrary, cases globally have been declining for the sixth consecutive week.


Read: Africa's High COVID-19 Death Rates Are A Huge Concern

Approximately 110 000 cases were confirmed in the last week alone in Africa, with South Africa averaging 7219 new infections. According to ABS-CBN News,70 percent of new cases were discovered from five countries including South Africa, Zambia, Tunisia, Egypt and Uganda. Zambia, however, is worringly where the coronavirus is spreading exponentially.

Looking at data collected since the emergence of the coronavirus in 2019: South Africa's COVID-19 numbers are nearing two million, Morocco follows closely with half a million and Tunisia's records show 358 183 confirmed cases. Ethiopia and Egypt's case numbers are close to each other at 273 195 and 273 175 respectively. These are the top five countries which collectively contribute to more than two-thirds of the five million cases, leaving the rest of the cases spread out across the remaining 49 African states.

South Africa initiated its vaccine rollout plan at the end of February but has faced outrage from citizens and political parties about the slow rate of vaccinations. Less than half a million of the population has been vaccinated, which is arguably miniscule compared to the population of approximately 58 million citizens. According to a recent News24 article, Africa vaccinates at an average rate of three percent per 100 inhabitants, meagre figure compared to the approximate global rate of 30 percent. According to MarketWatch, over a whopping 24.5 million vaccinations have been administered in the continent.

South Africa officially entered into the third wave with over 9149 cases recorded last week on June 4. Since May, the country has been at an adjusted level 2 lockdown.

Music
(YouTube)

The Best Amapiano Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Aymos, Uncle Vinny, Blaqnick & MasterBlaq, 2woBunnies, Balcony Mix Africa, and more

It's only been few weeks in and 2023 is already promising to be one of the most impactful years for amapiano internationally.

The recent announcements of Uncle Waffles and Major League DJz being billed to play at Coachella and Tomorrowland, respectively, earmarks the continuing steady rise of amapiano on the global stage. Drake (who recently likened listening to Kelvin Momo’s music to a religious experience) included some ‘piano tracks in his DJ set at a listening session in NYC. After its introduction to the festival last year, Afrochella’s Piano People stage is also heading to Miami this coming May with the likes of Focalistic, Musa Keys, Vigro Deep and TxC expected to perform.

With that said, we introduce our monthly round-up, solely dedicated to amapiano. Here are the amapiano songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.

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Music
Image via Sheila Afari PR/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

The Best South African Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Bongeziwe Mabandla, Sjava, Tyla, Blxckie, Msaki, AKA x Khuli Chana, and more

Here are the South African music videos and new songs that caught our attention this month.

For more music lists, check out our Songs You Need to Hear This Week roundups and our regional monthly lists for Nigeria, Ghana, and East Africa.

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Film
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Idris Elba Wants to Build a Film Studio In Tanzania

Renowned British actor Idris Elba is planning to open up a film studio in Tanzania, reports say.

Celebrated British actor Idris Elba is planning to open a film studio in Tanzania. The news was revealed by Tanzania's Director of Presidential Communications, Zuhura Yunus, during a press conference. According to Yunus, the plan for the studio was set in motion during Elba's meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


“Discussions on the project have just begun, and if successful, the project will help not only Tanzania but also Eastern and Central Africa,” said Yunus.

In the past, Elba, who is also an award-winning actor, filmmaker and musician, has made concerted efforts to be involved in, and contribute to the African entertainment industry. In the past, he has featured on songs with prominent African artists like D'banj, Drizilik, and Phyno, among others. Although he is a celebrated Hollywood actor, Elba has always stayed connected to the motherland and has made several efforts to represent his own Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian roots.

In an interview with South Africa's SA People News in 2022, the British movie star mentioned that he wants to shoot more films in Africa, as well as contribute in building and developing the future of the African film industry.

“Young Africans view me as a leader or a beacon. And I feel like I could bring something. So I’m keen to bring what I’ve learned in media and amplify it in Africa,” the Beast actor said at the time.

During the interview, the actor also mentioned that the continent deserved "real tender care."

“I’m really keen on the development of Africa. My parents come from Africa and more than anywhere in the world, I feel like that continent deserves some real tender care and love and thought.

Elba has historically represented Africa in powerful rooms that he has walked into

During the US-Africa Leaders Summit’s; Africa Digital Innovation Competitors event, he did not hesitate to place the importance of the African entertainment market at the forefront of his conversation.

“If there are any investors listening or watching today if you do not consider Africa as a viable investment, you’re not considering yourself or your future. Africa’s future is your own future and vice versa,” said Elba at the time.“We do not need aid anymore, we need innovation. We need partnership,” he added.

While there are no new updates on the move to build the studio in Tanzania, it seems as though the process is underway.

Music

The Best Ghanaian Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Bisa Kdei, Darkovibes, Kelvyn Boy, and more.

We’re at the top of a brand new year, and you know what that means: brand new music!.Our favorite Ghanaian artists have already begun to stir things up with brand new tunes. From history-making collaborations to drill posse cuts, we bring you all the new heat from Ghana. Check out our picks of the best Ghana music of the month below.

For more music lists, check out our Songs You Need to Hear This Week roundups and our regional monthly lists for Nigeria, South Africa, and East Africa.

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