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This Video Explores the Rise of Nigeria's Animation Industry

Is animation the future of Nigerian cinema? A new video from BBC Africa, breaks it all down.

For years, Nollywood has been at the forefront of all things Nigerian cinema, but a new video from BBC Africa suggests that the country's animation industry may have the potential to become just as big as Nollywood.

The use of animation in films is steadily rising in the country, propelled by the innovative 2016 3D short film Dawn of Thunder, which tells the ancient story of Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder. The first animated version of Sango appeared in a Marvel Thor Comic from 1982 and then again in a DC comic entailed New Earth in 1990.

Dawn of Thunder, was created by Lagos-based animation house, Komotion Studios, where creators wanted the story of Sango to be told from a uniquely African perspective.


"What we were trying to do, was to tell an African story the African way, using technology and using tools that will be able to portray them properly," says Komotion Studios CEO Kolawole Olarewaju.

"People are kind of realizing now that it's going to be an economy booster in the long run," he continues.

While the industry still has some growing to do before it is fully competitive with Nollywood, the future looks promising.

"Animation is definitely growing at a slower pace than Nollywood in general," says Chioma Onyenwe of the African International Film Festival. "But the audience is growing, the animators are growing, they are getting better. The landscape is easier, so it's easier to learn, you go online—the technology is more accessible."

With the advancements made in Nigeria's animation industry and the upcoming US release of animated films like "Bilal," inspired by the story of the great Ethiopian warrior—who became Islam's first muezzin—it appears that the telling of African narratives through previously unexplored mediums is on the rise.

Learn more about Nigeria's budding animation studios with the short clip below, and head to BBC Africa to watch the full video.

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Listen to 10 Great Songs From Johnny Clegg

Here are some of the best songs to remember South Africa's son of the soil.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that South African musician, Johnny Clegg, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Understandably, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in ever since. Long before it was cool (or even legal) to be in close proximity to blackness and anything attached to it in South Africa, Clegg, a white man, was doing just that. That is exactly why he was given the endearing title of South Africa's "son of the soil."

Growing up during Apartheid, Clegg was taught how to speak the Zulu language by a domestic worker named Charlie Mzila. In his teenage years, his appreciation for the Zulu culture continued and he soon learnt the traditional dance styles known as isishameni and also learnt how to play the Maskandi guitar. Clegg's music was a beacon of light during a very dark time in South Africa's history and his songs about Nelson Mandela (at a time where songs were banned for merely mentioning the name of the late statesman and other key struggle activists) brought the country together.

It is irrefutable that a music giant has fallen. However, Clegg leaves behind a wealth of music featuring other great South African artists and groups such as Zakwe, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Juluka/Suvuka, among several others. His music undeniably brought South Africans and people all around the world together.

We've picked ten of our favorite songs from the late musician's discography in honor of a life that was lived to the fullest.

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Stonebwoy in "Tuff Seed"

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Stonebwoy, Mahmoud Ahmed, Tiwa Savage x Zlatan, Africa Express, Juls x Mr Eazi and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Beyoncé Wore These 2 African Designers in Her Music Video for 'Spirit'

Queen Bey continues to include and give a nod to African talent in her visuals.

As we draw even closer to Disney's The Lion King opening in theaters this week, Beyoncé continues to lead the way with her new music video for "Spirit"—the first single off of the film's album she produced and curated, The Lion King: The Gift.

Shot in the Havasu Falls in Arizona's Grand Canyon, Beyoncé and her legion of beautiful dancers are one with nature and its various elements as she beckons us to be brave and hear the calling of spirit. As we noted when she announced the album, the track opens with a call and response in Swahili that translates to "Long live the king": Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme—uishi kwa.

Keeping our eyes peeled for African influences in the music video, it's evident that is seen in the choreography. We even spotted our extended fam with the afrobeats moves—the AVO Boys: Stephen Ojo and Caleb Bonney—as two of her dancers in the video.

Beyoncé continues to also give a nod to African talent through the looks she donned in "Spirit" styled by her mainstay, Zerina Akers.

Take a look at the two African designers she wore in the video below.

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