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Photo by Tyler Boye via Wikimedia Commons.

'The Water Man,' David Oyelowo's Directorial Debut, Is In the Works

The "Selma" star is set to direct, star and produce the film with none other than Oprah Winfrey as his executive producer.

David Oyelowo is yet another African in Hollywood dominating 2019.

The Selma star will helm The Water Man, a feature drama written by Emma Needell with Oprah Winfrey as his executive producer, Deadline reports. This will be his directorial debut as production begins very soon.

"We are thrilled to support David on his directorial debut," Shivani Rawat, CEO of ShivHans Pictures who's financing the project, says to Deadline. "We can't wait to start our adventure together in Oregon this Spring."


Here's the synopsis:

The story centers on precocious young boy Gunner (Chavis) who, in order to save his ill mother (Dawson), runs away from home with a local misfit Jo (Miller), to find the legendary figure called the Water Man who has been said to have the power to cheat death. While extremely close to his mother, he and his father Amos (Oyelowo) are forced to learn about each other as Amos goes on the search for his son.

Oyelowo's co-stars include Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us), Amiah Miller (War for the Planet of the Apes), Alfred Molina (Vice) and Maria Bello (History of Violence). His production company, Yoruba Saxon, along with Harpo Films will be producing the film. Carla Gardini and Monica Levinson are also on board as producers.

"The Water Man as written by Emma Needell is that rare, beautiful script that can touch your heart and challenge your mind while also lifting your spirits," Oyelowo adds. "I feel blessed to be entrusted with bringing this imaginative and moving story to life."

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Black Coffee's Appearance on 'The Daily Show' With Trevor Noah Has South Africans Celebrating

In the interview, the celebrated artist discusses bringing the sounds of South Africa to the world and his dreams for the continent.

It was a truly South African affair on Tuesday when veteran hitmaker Black Coffee appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

The fellow South African stars shared mutual respect for one another throughout the 7-minute interview. "You have taken the world by storm," Noah said of Black Coffee's career, to which the artist responds, "doesn't it sound like your story?"

Black Coffee expanded on the reasons that he's always stay closed to his South African musical roots rather than trying to imitate popular American or European forms of house music. "What set Black Coffee apart for me, was that you made music of Africa, and the world fell in love with that," says Noah.

He also spoke about the building of a new school and neighborhood in his hometown of Johannesburg, and his mission to transform perceptions of the continent. "We always see Africa as an inferior place, all the best things were on TV, It took away so much from the continent and we're trying to reverse that and create a space in Africa that will inspire africans to want to stay and create a future," says the artist.

Noah later asked the artist to speak about his "Africa is Not a Jungle" initiative—which will provide a platform for African artists through curated shows—and share what he hopes to achieve with his music on a global scale.

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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Nigerian Artist Ben Enwonwu's Painting 'Christine' was Recently Auctioned Off in London

The owner of the painting Googled the signature on the artwork and only then realized its enormous value.

The late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu is considered the "Father of African Modernism". His 1974 painting of the Ife princess, Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, was dubbed the "African Mona Lisa" by veteran Nigerian author Ben Okri. The painting of the the young royal of Ife, an ancient Yoruba city in the south-western region of Nigeria, was discovered last year in a London flat after having disappeared for close to four decades. The artwork was then sold a few weeks later for a record-breaking USD 1.6 million More recently, his 1971 painting entitled "Christine", was auctioned off in London after the family who owed it Googled the signature on the painting and realized its enormous value.

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Watch Solo’s Music Video for ‘Two by Two’

The video shows highlights from Solo's wedding.

This morning, Solo shared the visuals for "Two by Two," the lead single to the South African rapper's latest album C.Plenty.Dreams.

"Two by Two" features BETR Gang member, Solo's long-time collaborator and producer, Buks. "Two by Two" sees the rapper open up about his admiration for his wife and admits he will always seek guidance from his parents.

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