News Brief

The Stories You Need to Know: Nigerian App Developer Wins Top Engineering Prize, Nollywood's Crop of Female Directors and More

Nigerian app developer wins prestigious engineering award, Steve McQueen's star-studded thriller gets a release date and more.

NIGERIA—Tuteria, a Nigerian tutoring app created by 27-year-old Godwin Benson, has won the UK's Royal Academy's award for innovation in engineering. Benson earned a $32,000 cash prize for his app which links students with qualified tutors in their area. He beat out 16 other participants to claim the prize.


"We're proud to have him as our third Africa Prize winner, and we trust Tuteria will go on to change the lives of millions of people who are eager to learn and develop new skills," said Malcolm Brinded, one of the competition's judges.

Read more on this via BBC Africa.

NIGERIA—Female directors are leaving a much-needed imprint on the Nollywood scene. Isoken, the latest film directed by the industry's growing crop of female talent, is premiering in London this week. It's directed by Jadesola Osiberu and stars Dakore Akande who plays a 34-year-old woman whose family is uncomfortable with the fact that she is unmarried. When she does bring someone home, they are even more shocked to find out that he is white.

SOUTH AFRICA—One of South Africa's top investigators, Brigadier Piet, has died from lung cancer. He was 67.

The celebrated police officer responsible for the arrest of some of the country's most infamous serial killers. He served on the force for 38 years before retiring in 2010.

ZIMBABWE—President Mugabe's daughter has been appointed head of Zimbabwe's  censorship board, in what actor Silvanos Mudzvova, has described as "the final nail in the coffin for artistic freedom in the southern African state," New Zimbabwe reports. Her appointment has been highly contested by Zimbabweans.

Read the full story here.

DIASPORA—An official  release date for Widows—Steve McQueen's forthcoming thriller starring Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Daniel Kaluuya and more—has been set. The highly anticipated film will hit theaters on November 16, 2018, Shadow and Act reports.

 

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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