Video

'Squeers' is an Animated LGBT Series About 2 Gay Squirrels in Cape Town

Screengrab: Squeers official trailer


Squeers is a forthcoming animated satirical comedy series about two gay squirrels, Neil and Artel, who live in the treetops of Cape Town’s City Gardens. The series is being directed by Capetonian Matt Torode and written by Johannesburg-based writer, Lebogang Mogashoa. It’s based on Roberto Milan’s comic strip of the same name that was originally published monthly in the South African LGBTI newspaper, The Pink Tongue.

The proposed 78-episode, 7-minute-long series is being lauded as the first LGBTI animated series in South Africa. The show draws inspiration from an immensely relatable aspect of human life including dating, work life, diets, going green, or where to bury their nuts for the night.

According to their website, Squeers will play a role in "normalising sexual diversity, breaking stereotypes and through satire, we hope to humanise shared issues and open dialogues around basic human rights and equality.”

The animated series will feature a selection of interesting characters including Cashiefa Cupido, a Cape Malay transgender squirrel and Chow, a Durban curry-loving bunny client.

The project is currently being pitched to broadcasters and potential investors.

Check out the trailer for the series below:

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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