News

Ugandan Transgender Web Series 'The Pearl of Africa' Explores Body Dysmorphia In Episode 2

The new documentary series on Ugandan transgender activist Cleopatra Kambugu, 'The Pearl of Africa,' explores body dysmorphia in episode 2.


The Pearl of Africa is a forthcoming feature-length documentary about Ugandan transgender rights activist Cleopatra Kambugu. The project, from Swedish filmmaker Jonny von Wallström, follows Cleo's public transition over an eighteen month period, and is being made available to watch online in seven short vignettes ahead of its official release. The first clip debuted last week, and today we bring you the second installment in the series.

Titled "When Love Overcomes Fear," the latest episode focuses mainly on Cleo and her boyfriend Nelson's relationship. As the cameras follow the couple on a hillside date Cleo addresses her decision to no longer live in fear of being hatefully targeted for her sexuality: "I used to get scared to go to some places. [...] But now I don't care, I'll still go out and claim my space." The episode also highlights Cleo's body dysmorphia as she speaks on her desire for sexual experiences that mirror her gender identity.

There are five more installments planned for the series, which we’ll be posting as they’re made available each week. Stay tuned for our continuing coverage and watch the second episode of The Pearl of Africa below.

>>>Watch Episode 1 of  Ugandan Transgender Web Series The Pearl Of Africa

>>>Read: Ugandan Transgender Rights Take Center Stage In Documentary Film The Pearl of Africa

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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