News Brief

Kenyan Director Wanuri Kahiu Has Signed with The Gotham Group

Well-deserved for the mind behind "RAFIKI."

Wanuri Kahiu, the writer and director of RAFIKI—the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival—has signed with The Gotham Group, Deadline reports.

The Gotham Group is a diversified management and production company that have produced films like The Maze Runner series and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

"Wanuri Kahiu is a prodigiously talented and brilliant woman," Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, founder and CEO of The Gotham Group, says to Deadline. "As an advocate for Africans, especially young women, Wanuri has established herself as a major cultural force. That she refused to edit Rafiki in any way to avoid the Kenyan ban is a testament to Wanuri's courage and commitment to her creative vision."


Kahiu's film received a well-deserved standing ovation after it screened at Cannes—and the reviews have been positive in light of Kenya banning the film.

"In our difficult times, and I say this despite the serious themes in much of my work, I also believe film—and television—needs images of joy and frivolity as well," Kahiu says. "My hope is that the whole dimension of the human spirit, in Africa and around the world, be reflected in my work."

After this power move, we're excited to see what's next for the visionary. Congrats, Wanuri!

Interview
Photo courtesy of Darey.

Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."

In 2017, when Jeminat Olumegbon, an events manager in Lagos, set up the Female Bikers initiative (FBi) with her friend, Nnenna Samuila, the objective for the organisation was to facilitate some form of education for Nigerian women. "A bunch of us, bike riders, came together because we knew when we ride we draw attention to ourselves so we used that as a form of communication starter, especially in rural areas," Olumegbon, code-named Speed Diva, tells OkayAfrica via a phone call. In the three years since the initiative has been in operation, it has started a number of programs aimed at confronting socio-cultural barriers set against women in Nigeria but none is more resonant than the group's campaign against breast and cervical cancer.

"We found out that a lot of women die of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and they shouldn't be dying because there are preventive measures but lack of knowledge is what is really killing us," Olumegbon says. According to Nigeria's Cancer Control Plan, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent forms of cancer in Nigeria, disproportionately affecting women. And the Female Bikers initiative, a scion of D'Angels Motorcycle Club, Nigeria's first all-female bikers club, is working hard to get women tested early.

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(Youtube)

Watch Wizkid’s New Music Video For ‘Smile’ Featuring H.E.R.

The Nigerian star dedicated the new video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

Nigerian musical heavyweight Wizkid released his latest track today. The song, titled "Smile," features Grammy award winning US singer/songwriter H.E.R.

The track coos sounds of unconditional love and the things we do for it. It features Wizkid and H.E.R. going in over an infectious beat.

This comes as Wizkid fans await the release of his delayed fourth album, Made in Lagos. We're sure they'll be more excited than ever after getting this new single.

"Smile" follows Wizkid's latest release Soundman Vol. 1 EP, which came out late last year and featured the likes of Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more.

Listen to Wizkid and H.E.R.'s "Smile" below.

Update: Watch the newly released music video for "Smile" below. The Nigerian star dedicated this new Meji Alabi-directed music video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

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Photo courtesy of Sam Soko.

Interview: Sam Soko is the Kenyan Director Behind Sundance Hit, 'Softie'

We meet filmmaker Sam Soko who has made a stirring documentary about the Kenyan protest leader Boniface Mwangi

Filmmaker Sam Soko didn't intend on making a documentary about Kenyan photojournalist-turned-politician Boniface Mwangi.

The original idea he had was to make a manual of sorts, a short video guide, on how to protest, the do's and don't's. Soko, himself an activist artist who cut his teeth convincing friends to let him create political music videos for their apolitical songs, knew Mwangi's experience on the streets both photographing protests and staging them meant he had a lot to share with others.

But then came the blood. A thousand litres of it, to be precise. And the pigs. Dozens of them, with words like MPigs written on them. Like the graphic photos Mwangi had become known for taking—it was a sight you couldn't look away from. It was a protest Mwangi organized, in 2013, to decry corrupt members of the Kenyan parliament who had decided to increase their salaries, 2 months after taking office. And at his side, through the thick red liquid of it all, was Mwangi's wife, Njeri, ready to be arrested with him.

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Whoisakin Channels His Love For Anime In the New Video For ‘Magic’

The single, featuring Olayinka Ehi, comes off his latest EP Full Moon Weekends.