Popular

South Africans Honor the Life and Work of Poet Laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile

The celebrated South African poet, and father of rapper, Earl Sweatshirt, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 79.

There's been an outpouring of love and recognition following the death of South African poet laureate and anti-apartheid Keorapetse Kgositsile, who passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 79.

The celebrated poet and father of rapper Earl Sweatshirt, was born in Johannesburg in 1938. He began his career working as a journalist before taking on a career as a political activist with the African National Congress. He lived in exile in the Untied states between 1962 and 1975—It was during this time that his exemplary literary career burgeoned. He became poet laureate in 2006.


Kgositsile, influenced artists, activists and fellow writers alike, most notably The Last Poets—considered the grandfathers of hip hop—who spoke about how he was an inspiration for their name in an interview with The Guardian last year. It's no secret that his talent for wordplay, was inherited by his son, hip hop artist Earl Sweatshirt, though the two shared a complicated relationship.

Earl has rapped about his father's absence on tracks like "Off Top" and "Grown Ups." In a 2011 interview with The New Yorker, Kgositsile admitted that he had never listened to his son's music, "When he feels that he's got something to share with me, he'll do that," he said. "And until then I will not impose myself on him just because the world talks of him."

The writer did express his feelings for his son, in perhaps, the way he knew best: through his writing, particularly in the poem Random Notes For My Son.

Kgositsile's death is a major loss to the black literary world, many South Africans and followers alike, have taken to social media to pay their respects to the poet, share personal accounts of their time with him, and pay homage to his contributions, not only to the literary community, but also to the South African freedom struggle, and even the founding of hip hop music.

Music
(Youtube)

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Fireboy DML, Juls, Adekunle Gold and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less
Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

Meet Duro Arts, the Man Behind Your Favorite Afrobeats Album Covers

We talk to the Lagos-based digital artist about his work with Olamide, Phyno, Falz and more.

Duro Arts has found himself illustrating the cover artwork for a new wave of Nigerian musicians. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Oluwadurotimi Bolaji Idowu started digital art in 2010, at a time where afrobeats music was still grasping its feet. Now, 11 years later, he has made covers for heavyweight hitmakers like Peruzzi, Phyno, Olamide, Zlatan, Oxlade, and Davido.

We caught up with Duro Arts on a Sunday afternoon over Zoom. He took the call from Accra, Ghana, where he's currently working. We talked about his journey as a digital artist, his portfolio, creative process, and the changes he'd like to see in the creative industry.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Series Producer Bonga Percy Vilakazi Is Big On Telling Progressive Stories

The award-winning South African writer and producer cut his teeth in the TV industry washing and drying make-up sponges. Today, he's responsible for entertaining millions of soapie lovers on the African continent.