News Brief

These South Africans are Being Awarded Presidential Honors

From veteran musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka to actress Mary Twala-Mhlongo, these distinguished South Africans are receiving national orders from the president today.

The national orders are the highest honors that can be bestowed by the president of South Africa to South Africans and foreign nationals who have not only made it their business to advance democracy, but improved the lives of other South Africans. These awards include, among several others, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of Mapungubwe.


Among the recipients is internationally recognized musician, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. She received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for her contribution to music and bringing about social cohesion in South Africa. Chaka Chaka's song "Umqombothi" is perhaps her most well known and was from the 2005 album Hotel Rwanda which was used for the movie with the same title. Back in 2017, Chaka Chaka was awarded the Global Good Star and Power Award by BET.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka - Umqombothi (South Africa) youtu.be

Legendary actress and mother to celebrity and television personality Somizi Mhlongo, Mary Twala-Mhlongo, also received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for her lifelong work in film and television. Twala-Mhlongo has acted in the historically important 1992 film Sarafina alongside Whoopi Goldberg as well as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and even The Dark Tower alongside Idris Elba. Twala-Mhlongo received this award along with fellow performing artist, Nomhle Nkonyeni.

Mathata Tsedu, a veteran journalist who for decades has dedicated his life to seeing the liberation of South Africa, was also awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in silver. He is the former editor of City Press and board member of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

In a special award, the Order of Mendi (for bravery) was awarded posthumously to Thapelo Tambani, a 9-year-old boy who drowned whilst saving a friend of his who had fallen into a construction pit. He is the youngest to ever receive this award.


Music
(Youtube)

The 8 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (February)

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Here are 11 Oscar-Worthy African Feature Films to Watch

While Ivory Coast's 'Night of the Kings' and Tunisia's 'The Man Who Sold His Skin' have been shortlisted for the "Best International Feature Film", here are 9 additional films that made strong contenders for an Oscar.

The Oscars are only a few months away. While Tunisia and Ivory Coast were the only African countries to have been shortlisted for the Oscars in the "Best International Feature Film" category, there are a number of African feature films that are certainly Oscar-worthy and a must-watch. Africa is no stranger to the Oscars party having triumphed in this category three times already, starting with 1970 when the Costa-Gavras Algerian-French co-production, Z dazzled the world. The latest win arrived in 2006 with South Africa's crime drama, Tsotsi.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the professional organization that awards the Oscars, put forward, at the beginning of this year, an approved list of ninety-three countries that submitted films eligible for consideration in the "Best International Feature Film" category for the forthcoming 93rd Oscars. In order to qualify for the category, the film must be feature-length (more than 40 minutes), produced outside of the United States with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue.

This year had African films being some of the strongest Oscars submissions they have ever been. Eleven African countries were initially represented in the Academy's approved list. Algeria had submitted its entry, Heliopolis earlier but it was curiously missing. Sources report that the country voluntarily withdrew its submission but the reason is yet to be made clear. Among the countries, Sudan and Lesotho were first-time participants in the process. Although Tunisia and Ivory Coast ultimately outcompeted the rest, the high quality of submissions this year is a reflection of the filmmaking talent on the continent despite severe structural limitations.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on April 25. In the meanwhile, here is a list of 11 African feature films that were initially submitted to this year's Oscars and made (or still make, in two instances) strong contenders for an award in the "Best International Feature Film" category.

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Image courtesy of the artist.

Nasty C Set to Appear on the 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

Nasty C will make his daytime US television debut on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' this Friday. He's also set to perform his latest single 'Black and White' alongside Ari Lennox.

South African rapper Nasty C has announced that he will be appearing on the popular US television show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, this Friday. This will be the artist's debut on US daytime television having previously performed "They Don't" alongside T.I. on late night television show, Late Night with Seth Meyers. The artist recently shared the exciting news via social media.

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