News Brief

Veteran South African Actress Nomhle Nkonyeni Has Passed Away

After having been in hospital since last week Friday, the actress has passed away at 77.

Nomhle Nkonyeni's family have confirmed that she passed away in the early hours of this morning, according to SowetanLIVE. Her passing comes just two months after President Cyril Ramaphosa awarded her with the Order of the Ikhamanga in silver, for her lifelong contribution to the performing arts.


Nkonyeni was one of the most awarded actresses in South Africa and understandably so. Her acting career, which spanned over 50 years, saw her take up roles in numerous theatrical productions, local television series such as Scandal, Igazi and Gaz'lam as well as the 2004 feature film, Red Dust.

Her debut role in the play Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena which took place at the Cape Performing Arts Board (Capab) theater in Cape Town, saw her becoming the first Black woman to ever set foot on that stage during what was then Apartheid-era South Africa. Speaking about that historic moment, Nkonyeni said, "I was the first Black person to perform on that stage and when that door opened, I never shut it."

In 2016, she received the lifetime achievement award from the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs). Nkonyeni had aspirations of eventually opening up her own performing arts academy in New Brighton, a township in the Eastern Cape province—her hometown. Nkonyeni said, "It's my dream to leave a legacy behind. I don't want God to ask me when I get up there what I've done with the talent He's given me."

Tributes and condolences have been pouring in on social media since the news of her passing.

Music
Photo courtesy of AYLØ.

Interview: AYLØ Bridges His Music & Universe In the 'Clairsentience' EP

The Nigerian artist talks about trusting your gut feelings, remedying imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do.

AYLØ's evolution as an artist has led him to view sensitivity as a gift. As the alté soundscape in the Nigerian scene gains significant traction, his laser focus cuts through the tempting smokescreen of commercial success. AYLØ doesn't make music out of need or habit. It all boils down to the power of feeling. "I know how I can inspire people when I make music, and how music inspires me. Now it's more about the message."

Clairsentience, the title of the Nigerian artist's latest EP, is simply defined as the ability to perceive things clearly. A clairsentient person perceives the world through their emotions. Contrary to popular belief, clairsentience isn't a paranormal sixth sense reserved for the chosen few, our inner child reveals that it's an innate faculty that lives within us before the world told us who to be.

Born in 1994 in Benin City, Nigeria, AYLØ knew he wanted to be a musician since he was six-years-old. Raised against the colorful backdrop of his dad's jazz records and the echoes of church choirs from his mother's vast gospel collections, making music isn't something anyone pushed him towards, it organically came to be. By revisiting his past to reconcile his promising future, he shares that, "Music is about your experiences. You have to live to write shit. Everything adds up to the music."

Our conversation emphasized the importance of trusting your gut feelings, how to remedy imposter syndrome and why our identity is best rooted in who we are, rather than what we do,

This interview has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.

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