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This Zambian Filmmaker Won a BAFTA for Her Debut Film 'I Am Not a Witch"

The filmmaker say her win "was a real big shock."

"I Am Not a Witch," a Zambian film about a nine-year-old girl, played by Maggie Mulubwa, sentenced to exile at a witch camp, earned the award for Outstanding debut at the 2018 BAFTA's.

Zambian-born filmmaker, Rungano Nyoni, who moved to wales at the age of 9, expressed genuine shock over the win. "I was waiting for my category to go so I could go to the toilet," said Nyoni afterwards. "It was a real big shock."


The film is heralded for bringing attention to an often overlooked issue that affects various young women on the continent. For research for the film, Nyoni spent time at a "witch camp" in Ghana, reports BBC Africa. We featured the film on our list of 16 films by black directors to check out at Sundance this year.

A review of the film from Sundance reads:

Writer/director Rungano Nyongi's deft directorial instincts unfurl this tale of interconnected vignettes in true mythological fashion, pointedly and with playful vigor. Gorgeously photographed and performed with resolute confidence, Nyongi's astounding work layers satire and social critique into a richly textured and refreshing take on institutional subjugation, and the film resonates with earth-shattering power.

Nyoni spoke to Deadline last week about the film, and she offered practical advice for aspiring filmmakers.

You know what? People are always gonna give you advice about what you ought to do. But for me, the only thing that will ever work, which trumps everything, is just to work hard. They'll always tell you, "Do this, go there, go to film school." But I didn't go to film school. They say, "You've got to network." But I hate networking. I never did it. I found my own way and got there. And I just think hard work really overrides everything. Because I'm not connected, nothing. I just put in all the hours. You have to just put in the hours, I think.

It's clear that her hard work certainly paid off.

Watch the trailer for "I am Not a Witch" below. Congrats to the young filmmaker!

News Brief
Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander via Getty Images.

South African Minister Jackson Mthembu Dies from COVID-19

South Africa pays tribute to Minister Jackson Mthembu following his sudden death after contracting COVID-19.

South African Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, has reportedly died from COVID-19 complications. The 62-year-old minister died this past Thursday after revealing last week that he had contracted the coronavirus. Tributes have been pouring in from colleagues, opposition parties, media personalities and South Africans in general. President Cyril Ramaphosa shared the news of Mthembu's sudden passing on social media.

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Listen To ‘THE 5 YEAR PLAN’, A New Song From A-Reece’s Upcoming Project ‘Today’s Tragedy, Tomorrow’s Memory: The Mixtape’

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A-Reece and fellow 1000 Degreez and Rubber Band Gang member Wordz reconnect on "THE 5 YEAR PLAN". Their interpretation of the open-ended flamenco string-laden instrumental is a catchy hook ("I'm 'bout to break the bank"), lofty bars ("She saw my drip, she thought I was filling the tank", Wordz raps) and high energy (Reece's adlibs are a whole mood).

"THE 5 YEAR PLAN" adds to a growing series of collaborations between A-Reece and Wordz. Both rappers come from 1000 Degreez, a supergroup from Pretoria that was active in the mid-2010s and played the role of launching the careers of both rappers and their acolytes.

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Music

Listen to Femi Kuti's New Song 'As We Struggle Everyday'

Femi explains: "'As We Struggle Everyday' is about how hard people work everyday to make ends meet and still go to vote corrupt politicians into power who are meant to be in jail."

Femi Kuti shares his new single, "As We Struggle Everyday," the latest drop from the upcoming double album Legacy +, a joint endeavor with his son Made Kuti.

"As We Struggle Everyday" is a politically-charged afrobeat tune about people having the voting power to hold their 'leaders' accountable, but often failing to do so. Throughout the song, Femi sings "As we struggle everyday We try to find a better way See these leaders wey suppose jail Na him my people dem dey hail."

Femi explains: "'As We Struggle Everyday' is about how hard people work everyday to make ends meet and still go to vote corrupt politicians into power who are meant to be in jail."

Legacy +, which is due out February 5 from Partisan Records, includes a full album by Femi titled Stop The Hate and an album by his son, Made, titled For(e)ward. The pair have previously shared the singles "Pà Pá Pà" and "Your Enemy" off the upcoming release.

Listen to Femi Kuti's "As We Struggle Everyday" below.

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The Sounds of Somali Supergroup 4 Mars

A seminal anthology of 4 Mars, a 40-member Somali supergroup formed in 1977, is coming out via Ostinato Records.