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Dee Koala announced Best Female at the South African Hip-Hop Awards 2020.

Here Are the 2020 South African Hip Hop Awards Winners

Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Costa Titch and Yanga Chief are just some of the winners from this year's South African Hip-Hop Awards.

The annual South African Hip-Hop Awards winners have been announced. The celebratory awards recognises stand out South African hip hop artists and took place this past Saturday evening. The ninth edition of the South African Hip-Hop Awards was broadcasted on SABC 1 with music fans following the awards show on social media via #SAHHA2020.


Read: Here are the South African Hip Hop Awards 2020 Nominees

Cassper Nyovest led the winner's pack with three awards. The rapper also won "Song of the Year," "Album of the Year" and "Best Male". Costa Titch bagged "Best Collaboration" and "Best Remix" for his "Nkalakatha" remix featuring Riky Rick and AKA. Def Jam's Nasty C raked in a win for "Best Digital Sales". The Zulu Man with Some Power rapper won the category for a second time following last year's win in the same category. Yanga Chief scooped "Best Mixtape" for Becoming A Pop Star (BAPS) whileCape Town rapper Dee Koala won "Best Female".

Twenty-two year old Dee Koala from Khayelitsha broke into Johannesburg's difficult hip-hop scene after getting a cosign from Riky Rick in 2018. Her debut mixtape 4 The Khalthsa landed her onOkayAfrica's 2020 "100 Women" where she was recognised for empowering women and her distinctive rap style. Riky Rick, known for his drip, won the prestigious MVP award which "is for the most bankable artist in monetary terms through achievements". The finely dressed rapper recently released cultural hit "Ungazincishi" featuring Focalistic and Tyler ICU.

Below is the full list of winners:

Song Of The Year

"Good for That" Cassper Nyovest

Best Album

Cassper Nyovest Any Minute Now (A.M.N)

Best International Brand

Sporstcene

DJ Of The Year

DJ Ph

MVP

Riky Rick

Best Digital Sales

Nasty C

Best Remix

"Nkalakatha Remix" by Costa Titch featuring Riky Rick and AKA

Best Radio Show

DJ Ready D Show (Good Hope FM)

Ubuntu Activism

Enzo Slaghuis

Honorary Award

Prophets Of Da City (POC)

Best Video

"More Drugs" by Nadia Nakai ft Tshego Directed by Allesio Bettocchi and Jilten Ramlal

Best Male

Cassper Nyovest

Best Female

Dee Koala

Best Local Brand

Skhanda World

Producer Of The Year

Tweezy

Lyricist Of The Year

Stogie T

Best Freshman

Focalistic

Best Mixtape

Becoming A Pop Star by Yanga Chief

Best Collabo

'Nkalakatha Remix' by Costa Titch

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Watch the Trailer for 'Gangs of Lagos,' Amazon's First African Movie

Amazon's Gangs of Lagos will premiere on April 7th.

Nollywood is coming to Prime Video.

On Monday, the conglomerate announced that it would be releasing Gangs of Lagos, its first original African movie, on April 7th. The project, which is directed by renowned filmmaker Jáde Osiberu, features Nigerian stars like Tobi Bakare, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Chike Osebuka, Chioma Chukwuka, and Iyabo Ojo.

The movie will follow the lives of a group of friends as they navigate the bustling streets of Lagos.

In a press release, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, head of Nigerian Originals at Prime Video, described the movie as a story that highlights the importance of friendship and family.

"Gangs of Lagos is a unique story about family and friendship, against the action-packed backdrop and striking set pieces of the streets of Lagos,” Mba-Uzoukwu said. “As the first Nigerian Original to launch on Prime Video, Gangs of Lagos sets the tone and standard, with the authentically Nigerian storyline in a genre that is so popular around the globe, making it a movie for our audiences at home and abroad.”

Gangs of Lagos - Official Teaser | Prime Video Naijawww.youtube.com

Located on the country's southwest coast, Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria. Over the years, the vibrant city has become known for its bustling economy, eclectic culture, and rich history. The crime drama promises to showcase the nitty gritty rumble and tumble of Lagos, as well as the authentic elements that make it one of the most renowned cities in the world.

Ned Mitchell, head of African and Middle East Originals, Prime Video said that with the roll out, Prime Video was hoping to connect with original voices.

“At Prime Video, we are looking to work with original voices to create spectacular stories and events that audiences can connect with wherever they may be,”

Mitchell said. "Gangs of Lagos launching will truly be a global cultural moment that marks the beginning of a new era in storytelling, where audiences everywhere can see the full power of Nigerian and African voices and the depths of our continued commitment to the local TV and film industry.”
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Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

Costa Titch Was Just Getting Started

Following his tragic passing, we take a look back at the polarising South African rapper’s career.

AKA expressed that his and Costa Titchs joint album, You’re Welcome, helped take him out of a dark place after losing his fiancé in 2020. “He and I started just hanging out, and he brought me out of my shell, saying, ‘Come out, come make music again, come start performing again,’” AKA told HYPE Magazine two weeks before being shot and killed in Durban last month.

Costa Titch, who died a month later while performing on stage at Ultra Festival in Joburg, had met AKA through Riky Rick, who also passed away in 2022. AKA and Riky appeared on the remix to Costa Titch’s 2019 breakout hit “Nkalakatha”—and AKA they hit it off from then.

Breaking Through to the Mainstream

The “Nkalakatha” remix was Costa Titch’s knighting event. Following years of bubbling under, the New Wave (South Africa’s SoundCloud rap scene) pioneer had not just caught the attention of two of the biggest rappers in the country, but he was on a song with them.

Costa Titch had worked his way up from dancing with his homeboy Benny Chill while growing up in Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga province. Costa and his crew had a stint as Cassper Nyovests’ official dancers in the mid-2010s. But Costa Titch found himself being a recording artist after making music with Tumi Tladi (another South African rapper who passed on last year). Their thinking was that, in order for their dance videos to be played on TV, they needed to be accompanied by original music. When people fell in love with their music, the two rappers ran with it and Costa Titch started building his name in South Africa’s SoundCloud rap scene.

By the time of his death, Costa Titch had grown into an A-list South African artist. His breakout hit “Big Flexa” had gone viral through a TikTok challenge and a music video that had surpassed 40 million views. His lyrical approach to amapiano was reminiscent of Focalistic’s style. “‘Ke Star’ like Foca,” Costa rapped on the song which featured his early collaborator Alfa Kat alongside Sdida, Man T, C’buda and the duo Banaba Des.

Polarising Nature

While millions of fans danced to Costa’s viral hits, the critics were crying foul play at a white kid appropriating black culture. “I had a lot black friends and I connected with black people more,” Costa Titch explained in an interview with SlikourOnLife. “I’ve just been around African culture.” Costa Titch’s best friend growing up was the rapper Benny Chill with whom he remained close until he passed on. “I’m learning Zulu through making music,” Costa said at the time.

The game opened its arms to the young rapper. His debut album Made In Africa, which dropped in 2020, featured the likes of DJ Maphorisa, Sjava, Riky Rick, AKA, Boity, Boskasie, YoungstaCPT and a few other South African music stars.

Costa Titch’s music was catchy and allowed him and his dancers to give a lively show on stage. He also maintained the dance element in his music which was helpful in an era when fans connect with songs they can dance to on camera, becoming TikTok sensations in the process.

Explaining the joint album, AKA said the two of them had set out to make a “non musical project.” “We are living in the amapiano era. So we said how can we make amapiano without making amapiano,” he said. “We wanted to make TikTok songs… We didn’t wanna make long songs.”

Saving AKA’s Life

You’re Welcome hardly made a dent. The album wasn’t well-received by fans and its lead single “Super Soft” didn’t do much either. It also felt too soon for AKA to be making music after the controversial passing of Nellie.

To AKA, though, You’re Welcome meant a lot. He was introduced to Costa’s younger fanbase as the duo performed in spaces AKA wouldn’t normally give the time of the day. Costa Titch saved AKA’s life, but both rappers, unbeknown to anyone at the time, didn’t have much time left.

AKA passed on two weeks before the release of Mass Country, his comeback album which was led by the monster single “Lemons (Lemonade)” which featured Nasty C, a rapper AKA has invited to rap on stage in Durban many moons before Nasty became a superstar himself.

Costa Titch was only getting started. His career had just taken off. At this year’s Cotton Fest in February, Costa brought out Akon as a surprise guest. The Konvict Kulture head honcho announced a partnership between his company and the South African rapper. “I wanna inaugurate him into the Konvict Kulture family,” he said. A remix of “Big Flexa” featuring Akon followed a week after. Costa Titch was about to make the world his oyster. But the universe had other plans. He collapsed while performing at Ultra and was pronounced dead almost instantly.

Costa Titch was a polarising artist as, while some felt he was performing musical black face, those on his side felt he was just being a citizen of a post-racial South Africa where racial and cultural lines are blurred the way Mandela envisioned.

Others hailed Costa Titch as an icon, understandably so. “You were that white kid who stood out like a sore thumb because of how incredibly skilled, technical, intentional, creative, professional, disciplined, hardworking and wildly amazing you were as a multitalented dancer and choreographer,” wrote Bontle Modiselle, who also spent a long time in the thriving South African hip-hop dance scene of the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Costa Titch joins a plethora of popular South African musicians who have passed on in what seems like a purge of sorts. In the last two years South Africa has lost talents such as Riky Rick, AKA, Tumi Tladi, Mpura, Killer Kau, DJ Dimplez, DJ Citi Lyts, Mampintsha and DJ Sumbody, a majority of who were on top of their game and had exciting futures ahead of them in the game.

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Photo by Nipah Dennis.

Idris Elba, Black Sherif and Sheryl Lee Ralph Join Kamala Harris in Ghana

Idris Elba, Black Sherif and Sheryl Lee Ralph recently visited a music studio in Ghana with Kamala Harris.

Idris Elba, Black Sherif,Sheryl Lee Ralph and other celebrities joined Vice President Kamala Harris in Ghana as she visited the Vibration studio at the freedom skate park in Accra, Ghana. Harris visited the community recording studio with the stars as part of her weeklong tour of Africa. The visit was a step towards highlighting the growth, talent and evolution of African creatives and the creative industry in Africa. Other notable figures who joined Harris on the tour included Baaba J, Ria Boss, and Moses Sumney.

In the past, British actor Elba, whose mother is Ghanaian, has been vocal about the West supporting and investing in African creatives. Earlier this month, he joined forces with Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu to launch a joint film and TV venture that would support new projects from rising African talent in the continent and the diaspora.

While talking with the press, the “Luther” actor said that he and his wife first met Harris at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit last year.

“[Harris] said, ‘Hey, I really want to come to Africa. And we said we’d love to do that,’” Elba told White House press reporters in Ghana, according to The Hill.

“If you ever go to Africa, let me know,” Elba said. “So here we are.”

The Golden Globe winner also mentioned that the creative talent pool in Africa is rich, and it was a good idea that Harris had visited.

“I think it’s a great signal for VP to come to Ghana, to come to Africa and be that interface to show the rest of the world that actually it is a fantastic place to sort of look at in terms of partnership and investment,” said Elba.

During the event, which gathered a crowd of creatives, Lee sang “Endangered Species,” after which she addressed the attendees.

“You must invest in yourself, in your art, first. And then you birth it out to the world,” Ralph said.

After her visit to Ghana, Harris will make a stop in Tanzania and then wrap up her African tour in Zambia.

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Photo courtesy Industrie Africa.

Five Women-Led Companies Taking African Fashion to the World

These are just some of the trail-blazing women who are overcoming obstacles and globalizing African fashion with their e-commerce platforms.

E-commerce has become a vital part of the fashion industry. In recent years, it’s revolutionized the way we shop for fashion and beauty products, and made it easier for consumers to access products from all over the world. African fashion has become more accessible for anyone who wants to wear it – thanks to a number of e-commerce hubs that help bridge the gap between brand and fashion-loving consumer.

E-commerce revenue in Africa is only going to keep increasing, and by 2027, it could even reach a value of over $82 billion, according to estimates by Statista, an international consumer data and marketing company. E-commerce platforms help address many of the challenges faced by African fashion brands in getting their product to buyers, particularly when it comes to shipping.

But according to International Finance Corporation, which runs an initiative with the European Commission aimed at boosting online commerce opportunities for women in emerging markets, there is a need to close the gap between the earnings of male and female merchants. Doing so, they say, would increase Africa’s market value by about at least $14.5 billion.

There’s been a dearth of women successfully raising giant companies in this sector. Techpoint Africa reports that only 10% of female-founded startups in West Africa have raised up to $1 million since 2010. Women’s Month presents an opportunity to highlight this, and to raise up those women who have, in spite of this, managed to make their names known as leaders in this realm.

Here are 5 women who spoke to OkayAfrica about the highs and lows of owning an African e-commerce business in the fashion world.

Nisha Kanabar

An image of Nisha Kanabar in a blue dress, looking off to the side, smiling, with her arms crossed.

Nisha Kanabar created Industrie Africa to challenge how people perceived African fashion and what it could be.

Photo courtesy Nisha Kanabar.

Nisha Kanabar, a Tanzanian of Indian descent, built Industrie Africa in 2018, along with Georgia Bobley, to challenge the stereotypical constructs and bias of what people perceive African fashion to be. She wanted to harness pan-African industry voices through a global fashion lens and framework, and to create a hub of connectivity within the industry that would make it easier for the next generation of entrepreneurs to break into the business.

“I first launched Industrie Africa as an answer to the fracture and underrepresentation of Africa’s fashion industry at the time,” Kanabar tells OkayAfrica. “[I also wanted] to address the media bias, the gaping lack of global presence, [and] the ignorance of even the simplest of its vernacular. By establishing Industrie Africa, I kind of intended to create a channel for authentic connectivity – regionally and globally.”

In May 2020, Industrie Africa launched an online retail destination, enhancing its content around African fashion. Through this e-commerce platform, Kanabar intended to give people access to the top designers in Africa, and create a sustainable way of bridging existing barriers between these designers and their markets.

“It’s been a special journey with a steep learning curve,” says Kanabar. “I’ve had to break conventions and get creative in order to cultivate relationships with logistics partners, like DHL, to access payment tools that are user-friendly, or to create systems around quality and consistency.” She encourages other women who have an interest in this area of fashion to dive in. “It’s never too late to break into the space, and do what you feel passionate about,” she says. “All your experiences matter, and [it] enriches your perspective and what you bring to the table.”

Pinaman Owusu-Banahene

An image of Pinaman Owusu-Banahene looking at the camera wearing a black dress with a striking image embossed on it.

Pinaman Owusu-Banahene started building Adjoaa as a multi-brand online marketplace for African brands in 2021.

Photo courtesy Pinaman Owusu-Banahene

Pinaman Owusu-Banahene has a unique eye. The Ghana-born fashion tech entrepreneur brings her background in public policy together with her love for fashion in Africa in running ADJOAA – a one-stop shop for consumers looking to purchase garments that value sustainability and are from young design talents in Africa. The likes of LVMH semi-finalist Bloke, Ajabeng Ghana, Boyedoe, and Olooh Concept are currently stocked here. “ADJOAA is a curated multi-brand online marketplace [that was built in 2021], specializing in sustainable fashion and lifestyle products by African designers and of African descent,” Owusu-Banahene says.

She has consistently contributed to the development of this space, and in 2015, staged New Zealand’s first-ever Africa Fashion Festival, before going on to explore the e-commerce space. “Although I have been following fashion for a very long time [since 2010], I have looked at this from a perspective of economic development,” she tells OkayAfrica. “And I saw that our fashion industry and young designers [have] been at the fringes of the global fashion market.” ADJOAA aims to rectify this – so far, they’ve introduced over fifty African designers from fifteen countries in Africa and in the diaspora onto the site.

Financing, however, remains Owusu-Banehene’s biggest challenge. “Part of my work with the International Chamber of Commerce is also to highlight that access to capital is a major barrier,” she says. “I’m excited about the works that are underway to support growing fashion SMEs in the continent. We want to be more proactive about building this.”

Amira Rasool

An image of Amira Rasool in a brown dress looking towards the camera with her hand on her knee.

Amira Rasool is behind The Folklore, one of the top places to find the best African designers.

Photo courtesy Amira Rasool.

Based between New York City and Cape Town, Amira Rasool has nurtured The Folklore into an e-commerce company that gives a diverse range of brands the tools they need to reach their customers. The idea for The Folklore came about when the New Jersey-born entrepreneur moved to Cape Town in 2016 for her post-grad at the University of Cape Town, and found a growing interest in the local items she was wearing when she’d return to the U.S.

“[We built The Folklore] to source brands and place them on our platform, so merchandisers, buyers, and retailers can find them,” she tells OkayAfrica. The success The Folklore has amassed in the four years since its inception is notable: it launched during New York Fashion Week in 2018, and now has a hand-picked selection of apparel, shoes, and jewelry from more than 20 designers from the continent and in the diaspora.

“It’s been pretty challenging getting this together. A challenge for us and the brands has always been logistics and bringing said products here [to the U.S.],” Rasool says, “but it’s really why we’ve continued to collaborate and work with logistics companies to empower us and help overcome such challenges.”

Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi

A portrait of Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi looking straight at the camera.

Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi started Losode Inc. because she believed in the strength of commerce and is passionate about it.

Photo courtesy Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi

Nigeria’s Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi is the founder of Losode Inc., a multi-hyphenated e-commerce platform that places itself between fashion designers and brands that make affordable clothing and accessories in Sub-Saharan Africa, and buyers or merchandisers. “I started Losode [in 2020], and I did it because I really just believed in the strength of e-commerce, and have been passionate about it,” she tells OkayAfrica. In the last 15 years, Ajose-Adeyemi has worked across tech in Nigeria, the U.K., and the U.S., and has incorporated that knowledge into building Losode.

“With Losode, we’re building an infrastructure that will drive trade and commerce across Africa,” she says. “We don’t have a solid commerce structure in Africa.” Losode has over 30 designers and beauty brands, and the business is centered around five major core values, including empowering entrepreneurs and dismantling existing trade borders. “We’re really just bold and confident about these pillars that guide us because we’re all about smashing these borders, and building something that allows others to have access to the remarkable works of the brands in Africa,” adds Ajose-Adeyemi.

The biggest challenge her business faces, she says, is finding the right quality brands, and bringing them onto the platform. To address this, she asks each brand about its vision, and listens to their entire process. “It helps us get a better sense of who they are, and their values,” she says.

Elorm Dela-Seshie

An image of Elorm Dela-Seshie looking towards the camera with some tree leaves in the foreground.

Elorm Dela-Seshie started Adorn Me Africa to help a few small sustainable brands and independent artisans based in Ghana get more exposure in the U.S.

Photo courtesy Elorm Dela-Seshie.

Like almost every success story in fashion, Elorm Dela-Seshie was introduced to an appreciation for clothing at a young age. Growing up in the U.S., she fell in love with fashion when she saw how her parents confidently represented Africa through their Ghanaian attire. Being an African in the diaspora instilled within her a kind of curiosity for the culture, and by extension, its fashion.

“That same curiosity birthed Adorn Me Africa; which I started in 2017 as a means to play a supportive role in assisting a few small sustainable brands and independent artisans based in Ghana in hopes of getting more exposure to these brands and helping them to sell their products to a wider market within the US,” she tells OkayAfrica.

What started with a focus on contemporary fashion in one country 7 years ago has since expanded to sourcing from over 30 different brands from over 15 countries across the African continent. “Our ultimate goal is to represent and feature sustainable products and independent fashion brands from all 54 countries of the African continent,” says Dela-Seshie. This, of course, comes with its own difficulties, such as supply chain issues in importing from Africa and the cost associated with doing so.

“Despite the challenges that we’ve faced, we’ve continued to push forward and respond with innovation, strategic pivoting, and a creative perspective on how we can best position the brand to continue to make the most impact and continue to serve as many brands as we are able to,” says Dela-Seshie.

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