News

The Side Eye: The DNA Project + Africa Is Listening

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We found this little gem through the good folks at Africa Is A Country. A South African production company, Egg Films, created this video for "The DNA Project," a local “not-for-profit company committed to advancing justice through the expanded use of DNA evidence in conjunction with a national DNA criminal intelligence database.” The aim is to discourage people from meddling with crime scenes, but that message was lost on us due to the overall whackness of the ad (seriously, don't even know where to begin). We agree with AIAC when they say it plays perfectly into the fear-riddled white South African state of mind. Read the full post here.

  • In Africa listening is a guiding principle
  • Live in Africa if you want to escape the 'egocentricity' of the Western world
  • 'Soon African literature will burst onto the world scene'
  • In Africa people are generous and mystical
  • Africa is a country

These are all things we learned from a recent New York Times opinion piece about how Africans listen better than westerners written by Swedish author Henning Mankell. Dude lived in Mozambique off and on for 25 years and is now the authority on what "Africans" do and don't do. Mankell clearly learned his generalization techniques from Binyavanga Wainaina's essay, "How To Write About Africa." We were particularly side-eyed at the suggestion that African literature has not already burst onto the 'world scene'  - where has dude been? We're packing up Chimamanda Adichie's "Half of a Yellow Sun" and Chris Abani's "Graceland" to ship to his cave right now. We appreciate the sentiment that it's now "Africa's turn," but don't announce it in The Times as if it's news to folks.

 

 

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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