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.


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.


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)


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.

Arts + Culture
'Sailing Back to Africa as a Dutch Woman,' 2017, from Fortia. By Keyezua, photo courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery.

Our 9 Favorite African Visual Artists of 2018

We look back at the contemporary African visual artists who caught our eye this year.

This year, African visual artists have done their due diligence to carve their own path leading to creative autonomy, authentic storytelling and straight up greatness.

From photography and film, to even mixed-media art, the following have produced stand-out work that deserve their due accolades.

Feast your eyes on our nine favorite African visual artists of 2018 below.

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"Thank you to the talented African designers who kept me feeling fresh. Y'all go so hard," the singer wrote on Instagram.

Beyoncé opted for bold colors and rich patterns during her trip to South Africa earlier this month for Global Citizen Festival, making a vibrant fashion statement with every outfit she was spotted in.

During her performance, the singer sported an ancient Egyptian-inspired beaded body suit, a bodice designed similarly to traditional Zulu jewelry and an emerald green ensemble made in collaboration with South African designers Enhle Mbali Maphumulo of Manual Rossa Apparel and Quiteria & George—but she rocked African-made looks off the stage as well.

In an Instagram post today, Queen Bey shared a slideshow of some of the striking outfits she rocked while in South Africa, and gave a shoutout to the designers behind them. "Thank you to the talented African designers who kept me feeling fresh. Y'all go so hard," wrote Queen Bey.

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These Nigerian Songs Broke YouTube and Google Records in 2018

Davido's "Fall" has set another YouTube record, while Wizkid's "Fever" was the most googled Nigerian song.

Nigerian music had a big year, and the numbers prove it.

After becoming the most watched Nigerian music video on YouTube earlier this month, the video for Davido's hit song "Fall" has set a new record, becoming the first Nigerian music video to reach 100 million views on YouTube.

The music video, which was uploaded in 2017, edged out Yemi Alade's memorable 2014 video for "Johnny," which currently sits at 98 million views to claim the title.

READ: Best Nigerian Songs of 2018

Last time we checked in, "Fall," directed by Daps, was sitting at just over 98 million views as well, which means it gained 2 million new views in just 2 weeks, as Konbini points out.

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