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South Africans are Getting Ready for the First Xitsonga Telenovella

"Giyani: Land of Blood" shows that representation of ALL people matters.

South Africa has eleven official languages but some languages are seen to be more equal than others. Whilst isiZulu and isiXhosa are perhaps the more widely spoken of the Bantu languages, TshiVenda and Xitsonga, languages spoken in the eastern part of South Africa, are often marginalized. In a historic television moment, Giyani: Land of Blood, the first Xitsonga telenovella, will be airing on local screens for the first time ever today.


The telenovella is set in a fictional village called Risinga in the real town of Giyani which is in the eastern province of Limpopo. The plot, which is often the case in many South African dramas, centers on a conflict between two powerful families who have been warring over land and the banana plantation built on that land for decades.

Giyani: Land of Blood stars famed singer and humanitarian Yvonne Chaka Chaka and actor Obed Baloyi among many others. The telenovella has been endorsed by "Huku" singer Sho Madjozi and President Cyril Ramaphosa who both hail from Limpopo.

Speaking on the importance of the Xitshonga drama, actor Fumani Shiluvana said:

"For a long time our people have been complaining that our language is not well represented on TV and now a door has been opened for us, but for it to work they need to support us for more opportunities to arise for the Tsonga people through this series."

Watch the trailer for the telenovella below:

Giyani: land of blood - Eps 1 promo (1 April 2019) youtu.be

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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