Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Idris Elba Wants to Build a Film Studio In Tanzania

Renowned British actor Idris Elba is planning to open up a film studio in Tanzania, reports say.

Celebrated British actor Idris Elba is planning to open a film studio in Tanzania. The news was revealed by Tanzania's Director of Presidential Communications, Zuhura Yunus, during a press conference. According to Yunus, the plan for the studio was set in motion during Elba's meeting with President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Discussions on the project have just begun, and if successful, the project will help not only Tanzania but also Eastern and Central Africa,” said Yunus.

In the past, Elba, who is also an award-winning actor, filmmaker and musician, has made concerted efforts to be involved in, and contribute to the African entertainment industry. In the past, he has featured on songs with prominent African artists like D'banj, Drizilik, and Phyno, among others. Although he is a celebrated Hollywood actor, Elba has always stayed connected to the motherland and has made several efforts to represent his own Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian roots.

In an interview with South Africa's SA People News in 2022, the British movie star mentioned that he wants to shoot more films in Africa, as well as contribute in building and developing the future of the African film industry.

“Young Africans view me as a leader or a beacon. And I feel like I could bring something. So I’m keen to bring what I’ve learned in media and amplify it in Africa,” the Beast actor said at the time.

During the interview, the actor also mentioned that the continent deserved "real tender care."

“I’m really keen on the development of Africa. My parents come from Africa and more than anywhere in the world, I feel like that continent deserves some real tender care and love and thought.

Elba has historically represented Africa in powerful rooms that he has walked into

During the US-Africa Leaders Summit’s; Africa Digital Innovation Competitors event, he did not hesitate to place the importance of the African entertainment market at the forefront of his conversation.

“If there are any investors listening or watching today if you do not consider Africa as a viable investment, you’re not considering yourself or your future. Africa’s future is your own future and vice versa,” said Elba at the time.“We do not need aid anymore, we need innovation. We need partnership,” he added.

While there are no new updates on the move to build the studio in Tanzania, it seems as though the process is underway.


The Best East African Songs of 2022

Featuring Diamond Platnumz, Sauti Sol, Addis Legesse, Nandy, Eddy Kenzo, and many more.

2022 was a groundbreaking year for East African music. We saw many newcomers make their mark and break through the charts, and some OGs try things experimenting with their sounds, with it paying off in the end.

This year we saw the newer generation of East African artists truly separate themselves from their newbie status and become respectable and competitive brands in the region. Artists like Nikita Kering have received local and international recognition culminating in awards, lucrative endorsements and record deals. With the organic growth of their fanbase , local drill duo Buruklyn Boyz arguably were the biggest breakout acts from Kenya. This feat culminated in them even being the face of Spotify Africa’s RADR Africa playlist.

Popular band Sauti Sol focused on their individual solo projects this year from Bien, Savara, Fancy Fingers and Chimano which was refreshing for long time fans of the group. In Tanzania, Diamond Platnumnz continued to reign with his Wasafi franchise and his debut EP, First Of All, which included hits like “Melody” featuring Nigerian singer Jaywillz and “Mtasubiri” featuring his Wasafi bongo princess Zuchu.

In Ethiopia we got to see some exciting new stars with one example being Addis Leggesse who made waves with his single “Enja,” an outstanding Amharic Ethio-Jazz rendition that made heads turn even internationally. Uganda saw a lot of evolution in its music scene, with R&B and hiphop being embraced a bit more besides the usual dancehall that dominates the charts. Hot newcomers like Rickman Rick and Joshua Baraka created massive noise that could not be ignored.

In more unfortunate news, East Africans mourned the loss of one of Rwanda’s most exciting young stars Yvan Buravan who died at the age of 27 while undergoing treatment in India. He sang many memorable and popular hits including “Oya” and “Malaika.” His loss was overwhelming for the Rwandese music community and East Africa as a whole, but his music will forever live on.

In conclusion, this was an evolutionary year for the East in music with a lot of growth in different sectors of the music business. Here are our top picks for the Best East African songs of 2022 in no particular order.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


AMAA 2022: Nigeria,Tanzania, and South Africa Win Big

This year's installment of the Africa Movie Academy Awards took place at the Jewel Aeida Hall in Lekki, Lagos, and saw Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania take home accolades at the ceremony.

The 5 Best East African Songs of the Month (October)

Featuring Harmonize, Nikita Kering, Octopizzo x Buruklyn Boyz and more.

The 5 Best East African Songs of the Month (August)

Featuring Nandy x Oxlade, Karun. DJ Xpect, Harmonize, Marioo x Platform and more.

The 8 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Zuchu, Bien (of Sauti Sol), Harmonize x Spice, Julixn Drizzle, and more.


The Best East African Songs of 2022 So Far

From Kenyan drill to bongo flava and everything in between, here are the best East African songs of the year so far featuring Buruklyn Boyz, Zuchu, NJERI, Diamond Platnumz, Khaligraph Jones and more.