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This Must-Watch Short Film Introduces A South African Superhero Origins Story

The short film 'Umkhungo' follows an extraordinary orphaned boy as he masters his superpower gifts in the Johannesburg slums of Hillbrow.


Whether you believe superheroes are born or made, filmmaker Matthew Jankes has brought a new one to life in his short film Umkhungo.

Currently available for viewing on Vimeo, the 2010 film tells the story of Themba (Sivuyisiwe Mtshaka,) an extraordinary young orphaned boy from the overpopulated Johannesburg slums of Hillbrow. He develops an unlikely bond with Mthunzi (Israel Makoe,) a jaded hustler who begrudgingly rescues Themba after the brutal murder of the boy's mother and the mysterious death of his father. The villain, Themba's superstitious uncle Gwala (Lennox Mathabathe,) pursues the pair as they learn more about Themba's burgeoning power and race to locate Mthunzi’s long-lost brother, culminating in a spellbinding final scene of superhuman proportions.

"Jankes wanted to create something that didn’t simply rip Hollywood off, but also had a big heart," wrote Vimeo Editor Jason Sondhi. "Using the native attributes of Johannesburg helps to effectively accomplish this desire, and the blending of paranormal and supernatural feels like an area ripe for further exploration."

Umkhungo, which translates to "The Gift," was made through a now defunct program launched by Focus Features called Africa First Shorts. Its digital release comes six months after the online debut of the West Africa-based superhero film Oya: Rise Of The Orishas. Nosa Igbinedion, the Nigerian writer, director and producer behind Oyatold an interviewer that he made the short film in order to prove that there is a market for sci-fi films revolving around African characters and storylines.

Check out the impressive short film below and let us know what you think. Are you as eager to see what happens to Themba as we are?

H/T Shadow & Act

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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