Events
South Africa's AKA. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Here Are All The African Artists & Events To Catch At SXSW 2018

SXSW kicks off its Music, Film, Interactive, Comedy and Gaming Festivals today.

SXSW returns this year as the premier destination for discovery. Starting today through March 18, the conference and festivals continues to celebrate the film, music and interactive industries coming together to foster creative and professional growth.

Since Africa and its diaspora are on the steady mission of world domination, we had to highlight all things Africa during the festivities, from insightful panels and exciting performances by your favorite afrobeats stars.

Take a look at what you can't miss below.


AFRICA HOUSE

The folks over at Insider presents Africa House—an official SXSW Interactive activation devoted to catalyzing partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors looking to do business in Africa.

"From South Africa's Silicon Cape to the Silicon Savannah of Kenya, African innovation is taking off. Africa is the future of global growth, and our goal for this program is to connect Africa to the rest of the world," Aubrey Hruby, co-founder of Insider, says. "Africa House will give entrepreneurs, founders, artists, and designers a platform to promote themselves globally while also providing prospective investors the opportunity to learn about the latest innovations Africa has to offer and how the continent's tech boom is reshaping the business, culture, and economic trajectory of many of its countries."

Take a look at a snippet of this weekend's exciting programming below. For the full schedule, click here.

Ready for Your Close-Up: Rewriting the African Script: Powered by Temple Motion Pictures. Participating companies include Temple Motion Pictures, Ebony Life and Kwese.

Africa has always been a huge consumer of Western TV and Film content. The tables have turned over the last decade and the continent is now looking inwards to satisfy its viewing appetites. Whilst production values have improved, there remain significant challenges. This plenary will explore what gaps exist in the Film and TV value chain and how individuals and companies can take advantage.

Dancing to the Afrobeat: The rise and rise of African music: Participating companies include RocNation, Abiola Oke, CEO of OkayAfrica, First Access Entertainment, Touch HD

African music is enjoying a global renaissance. Over the last five years, artists have risen from relative obscurity to global recognition. What business opportunities does the entertainment value chain provide for local talent? How can entertainment support services be developed?

#TheFutureIsFemale: Tobi Karim, Founder, The African Feminist in conversation with Afua Osei, Co-Founder, She Leads Africa.

The digital wave has often been credited with advancing the fourth wave of feminism, and nowhere is this truer than in Africa. In tech hubs across Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos, 46 percent of African startups are founded by women—compare this to 17 percent of American startups with female founders. Africa's rapidly expanding tech market is hungry for new talent, and women have eagerly stepped into—and succeeded within—this dynamic space. She Leads Africa and The African Feminist are companies that facilitate dialogue with African female business leaders and entrepreneurs to encourage increased female participation as women harness the digital wave.

#AfroFuturism: How African Superheros are Saving the Day: Featuring Roye Okupe, CEO, YouNeek Studios

Roye Okupe, author of award-winning graphic novel series' E.X.O. & Malika, will discuss how superhero stories inspired by African history and mythology reveal the true importance of diversity and how these narratives are changing the new entertainment landscape. Roye's goal is to put Africa on the map when it comes to comics & animation, inspiring as well as empowering children and adults alike.

MUSIC

Every year, SXSW hosts a decent number of African and diaspora musicians, who touch down in Austin, Texas to showcase their best live sets. We rounded up the acts you should catch this year at the festival:

Adekunle Gold (Nigeria)

AKA (South Africa)

Alsarah & The Nubatones (NYC/Sudan)

The Compozers (UK)

DJ Juls (UK/Ghana)

Donae'o (UK)

Ezra Collective (UK)

Kelela (USA/Ethiopia)

Kwesta (South Africa)

LAX (Nigeria)

Lorine Chia (Cameroon)

Mélat (USA/Ethiopia)

Mookomba (Zimbabwe)

Oshun (NYC)

OY (Germany/Ghana)

Pierre Kwenders (DRC/Canada)

Sammus (USA/DRC/Ivory Coast)

SassyBlack (USA)

Seyi Shay (Nigeria)

Wunmi (UK/Nigeria)

Yxng Bane (UK/Angola/DRC)

Sahad and The Nataal Patchwork (Senegal)

Remna Schwarz (Cape Verde/Guinea Bissau)

Sarahmée (Canada)

TIGA (Benin/France)

NIX (Senegal)

DJ Dollar Senegal (Senegal)

CONFERENCE + FILM

Check out these moments featuring African creatives during the conference and film portions of SXSW below.

The Quirky Black Lunch Table: Why You Need A Seat featuring Jacque Amadi of Adorned by Chi.

On Doing Better: A Convo featuring Luvvie Ajayi and Evelyn From The Internets.

2018 SXSW Gamer's Voice Awards featuring nominee Nyamakop's video game, South African game makers, Semblance.

Number 37 directed by South Africa's Nosipho Dumisa.

Pass Over by screenwriter Antoinette Nwandu, directed by Spike Lee.

Interview
Supplied

Nana Mensah's 'Queen of Glory' To Screen At The 2021 TriBeCa Film Festival

Ghanaian-American actress, writer and filmmaker Nana Mensah talks tenacity in filmmaking and telling immigrant stories from a joyful perspective.

Much has changed in the time since Nana Mensah first had the idea for her directorial feature debut — a dark comedy about a Ghanaian-American scientist trying to reconcile her family heritage in the wake of her mother's death — and began the Kickstarter in 2014 that would help turn it into a film. It may have taken a few years, but the movie Queen of Glory is now showcasing as part of the TriBeCa Film Festival's 20th edition, with a world premiere set to take place at Hudson River Park on June 15th.

When Mensah began working on the film, she was trying to break into an industry that lacked roles for complex, conflicted characters — particularly for Black women. So, she co-founded a production company with her friend Anya Migdal to create those very kinds of projects. She has since forged a solid stage and screen career, with roles in Netflix's Bonding and 13 Reasons Why, as well as NBC's New Amsterdam, and in theatrical productions alongside the likes of Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Anthony Mackie. Last year she was in Ekwa Msinga's Farewell Amor, as well as Apple's Anthology series Little America, and she'll soon be seen in Netflix's The Chair with Sandra Oh this summer and Kogonada's upcoming film After Yang, with Colin Farrell. Yet through it all, Mensah has never lost sight of finishing her first film project.

She opens up about what it took to get the film from a mere idea to the TriBeCa Film Festival.

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