News Brief

South African Spaghetti Western ‘Five Fingers for Marseilles’ Is Almost Here

After seven long years of research and development, the Michael Matthew and Sean Drummond-led production is a step closer to its 2017 release.

Heavily influenced by American westerns of the spaghetti and John Ford-era variety, South African film duo Michael Matthew and Sean Drummond have finally wrapped principal photography on thriller, Five Fingers for Marseilles.


The bad-to-the-bone flick has been seven years in the making with 5,000 miles tread through the rugged terrain of the East Cape, researching and developing, according to Variety.  And it picked up an award for Best South African Film in Development at the Durban FilmMart’s finance forum in 2013.

The synopsis of Five Fingers for Marseilles, courtesy of Shadow & Act, explains:

The community of Railway, attached to the remote South African town of Marseilles, are the victims of brutal police oppression and only the young “Five Fingers” will stand up to them. Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills three policemen in an act of passion. He flees Marseilles, fearing for his life, but his action has triggered what will become a violent war between the police and his remaining Five Finger brothers. Twenty years later, Tau is released from a Johannesburg prison. He has become a feared and brutal gang leader, but scarred and empty inside he renounces violence and returns to the community of his childhood desiring only a peaceful life. In a new South Africa, Marseilles is indeed free, but to his dismay Tau finds that rather than the haven he hoped for, the town is a community now caught in the grip of cross-border gangs and corruption. Struggling to reconcile with his bitter past, he can keep his head down only so long. When violence spills into his own life he is reluctantly compelled to act. Railway and Marseilles need a champion to fight for their freedom once and for all. Calling in old prison-mates and with new blood at his side, Tau forms a new Five Fingers, standing against old friends and new enemies alike in a thrilling escalation of battle.

And all this action takes place over the course of two decades, and in the Xhosa language.

Drummond, who handled the screenwriting and shared production duties with Matthew, also helming, through their Cape Town-based Be Phat Motel Film Company, tells Variety, “Socially and politically, a lot of the themes we explore are resonating now,” adding that “the good Westerns always had socio-political undercurrents running through them.”

Yup, confronting police brutality and addressing South Africa’s socio-political and economical climate through allegory is absolutely right on time.

The ensemble cast includes lead Vuyo Dabula alongside Kenneth Nkosi, Mduduzi Mabaso, Lizwi Vilakazi, Kenneth Fok, Anthony Oseyemi, Dean Fourie, and Jerry Mofokeng. Acclaimed casting director Moonyeenn Lee also recruited local talent in supporting roles from the East Cape community.

Photos from Five Fingers for Marseilles promise its release sometime in 2017, will be well worth the wait.

Young Five Fingers, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Vuyo Dabula as Tau, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

The Night Runners, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Zethu Dlomo as Lerato, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Anthony Oseyemi as Congo Dread, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Brendan Daniels as Slim Sixteen, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Mduduzi Mabaso as Luyanda, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Young Five Fingers, Courtesy of "Five Fingers for Marseilles" Photo credit: Graham Bartholomew

Head over to the film’s Facebook page for more.

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(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Rejoice! WhatsApp Places New Restrictions on Chain Messages to Fight Fake News

To combat the spread of misinformation due to the coronavirus outbreak, users are now restricted from sharing frequently forwarded messages to more than one person.

The rise of the novel coronavirus has seen an increase in the spread of fake news across social media sites and platforms, particularly WhatsApp—a platform known as a hotbed for the forwarding of illegitimate chain messages and conspiracy theories (if you have African parents, you're probably familiar). Now the Facebook-owned app is setting in place new measures to try and curb the spread of fake news on its platform.

The app is putting new restrictions on message forwarding which will limit the number of times a frequently forwarded message can be shared. Messages that have been sent through a chain of more than five people can only subsequently be forwarded to one person. "We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful," announced the app in a blog post on Tuesday. "In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers."

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Sarkodie Hits Hard With His Latest Single 'Sub Zero'

The Ghanaian heavyweight rapper shows up with the fire bars over an Altra Nova-produced beat.

Sarkodie has dropped a new aggressive track in the shape of "Sub Zero."

"Sub Zero" follows the star Ghanaian rapper as he throws back criticisms that have come his way from other rappers with his own ice cold flow. The new track was produced by Ghanaian beatmaker Altra Nova and mixed by PEE On Da BeaT.

"Sub Zero" follows Sarkodie's turn-up single "Bumper," which dropped bak in February.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

8 South African Hip-Hop Battles We’d Love to Watch

After Tweezy and Gemini Major's battle, we'd like to see these ones next.

Last week, Gemini Major and Tweezy, two of South African hip-hop's super producers hopped on the trend of the Instagram Live beat battle started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, amidst the lockdown enforced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much to the delight of fans and industry mates alike, Tweezy and Gemini Major showcased their best productions, with many realizing and marveling at the fact that they're the two foremost producers responsible for multiple hits in the South African hip-hop industry for the past 10 years.

South Africa's hip-hop scene has a wide range of producers who have shaped the sound of the country's scene over the years since the 90s and 2000s, to the current crop. Taking that into account, we bring you eight pairs of producers we would like to see go against each other in an IG Live beat battle.


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Watch Phyno's New Music Video for 'Oso Ga Eme'

The Nigerian rapper shares a gritty new track from his latest album 'Deal With It.'

Phyno is back with his latest, "Osa Ga Eme," the latest single from his fourth studio album Deal With It.

The track is a gritty banger, with a catchy hook that sees the MC delivering rapid rhymes in his native Igbo. The energetic music video features several hip-hop dancers who deliver standout performances as they move along to the songs lyrics. The video was directed by Unlimited LA.

READ: The 10 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

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