News Brief

Wanuri Kahiu's 'RAFIKI' Has Been Banned In Kenya

The Kenya Film Classification Board said the film "seeks to legitimize lesbian romance."

Kenyan storyteller Wanuri Kahiu's film RAFIKI was hit with a huge blow today ahead of its Cannes premiere.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said the film has been banned because it "seeks to legitimize lesbian romance," BBC reports. They also warn that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years.


Kahiu says on Twitter that this ban prevents Kenyans the right to decide the content they want to view.

"I'm really disappointed because Kenyans already have access to watch films that have LGBT content on Netflix, and in international films shown in Kenya and permitted by the classification board itself," Kahiu says to Reuters. "So to then just ban a Kenyan film because it deals with something already happening in society just seems like a contradiction."

Watch the trailer below:

BBC reports supporters of the film have criticized the ban on social media, including Kenya's National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

This isn't the only time the KFCB banned content on this same token; preventing access to American children's shows The Legend of Korra and Hey Arnold for showing "disturbing content glorifying homosexual behavior." In 2016, the KFCB forced Coca-Cola to scrap a kissing scene in a television ad because it "violated family values."

News Brief

Twitter Set to Build New Africa Headquarters in Ghana

According to Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, their new Africa headquarters will be in Ghana — beating strong contenders such as South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, has reportedly announced that the social networking service will be basing its new Africa headquarters in Ghana. The announcement was shared, earlier today, on Twitter's own blog and via Dorsey's personal account. Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo quickly confirmed the news, stating that Ghana welcomed the announcement and the confidence reflected by the giant social media company's choice of country.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Fally Ipupa Continues His Legacy With 'Tokooos II'

The iconic Congolese singer opens up about his latest album, vast influence and future plans.

After a moment's long view of his Paris studio, Fally Ipupa finally approaches the screen with a confident aura, filling the room with an energy that leaves me thinking: "He looks exactly like he sounds!" My mental image of Fally in a '90s music video, thanks to my parents' cassettes and CD tapes, immediately elapses as the all-white fit, button-down shirt, big glasses and bowler hat combo I had imagined is replaced by a sharply dressed dude wearing a warm smile and a baseball hat that he raises as he prompts me to begin.

From the DJ mix at every family gathering to the Apollo Theater in New York City, many would argue that Fally Ipupa has single-handedly popularised Congolese Rumba—a sound he describes as one of "dance, passion, and love."

The renowned musician began his career in the late '90s, singing and dancing alongside music legend Koffi Olomide in a group called Quartier Latin — before taking on the role of accompanying his mentor alone, and soon after pursuing a solo career through his debut offering Droit Chemin. This 2006 album earned gold status when it sold over 100,000 copies. Over and above his incredible discography, Fally Ipupa stays connected to the world through effortless features as seen in "Chaise Electrique" with former G-Unit singer Olivia, "Nous Les Meilleurs (We The Best)" alongside D'banj, and on "Yakuza" featuring Wizkid. He has also been the recipient of multiple awards including MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Video and Best Francophone Artist.

The 43-year-old star was born and raised in Kinshasa, the largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo—also home to the most influential Rumba and Soukous acts, which include the likes of Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomide. Fally combining the acoustic bass, the fingerstyle guitar, the vibrating brass and live drums is truly one of the continent's most influential and indelible sounds. However, his immense crossover with his 2017 album Tokooos was met with a lot of disapproval from many of his Congolese fanbases as they yearned for a strict Rumba project. But as they say, "People don't like change until they do." A year later, he satisfied his fans with the release of the album Control, proving that he can execute both sounds with ease.

The award-winning mogul has impelled new generations with his peculiar sound—a medley of soul, R&B, the original styles of Soukous and Rumba. Four months into the release of his latest album, Tokooos II, we discuss everything from his undeniable influence, future plans and much more.

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(Youtube)

Watch Mr Eazi Escape Capture & Become 'The Don' In New Short Film

A new and striking six-minute visual from the emPawa boss man.

Mr Eazi comes through with a new 'short film' to accompany "The Don," the standout single off his Something Else EP.

The new video, directed by Babs, starts off with a prison transportation scene in which 'The Don' (Mr Eazi) is broken out of police capture and taken to back to the area he rules over. The rest of the visual is packed with striking shots of kids getting "Don Eazi" tattoos, dancers with creepy clown masks and a beautiful waterfall scene.

The operatic afro-trap single "The Don," produced by Killertunes and E Kelly, showcases Eazi's expanding sonic world and musical output.

Speaking with OkayAfrica in a recent interview, Mr Eazi told us about his excitement for what's still to come from the ever-burgeoning African music scene, saying ""I feel like afropop is at the place hip-hop was in like 1990 or 1991."

Watch "The Don" short film below and read our full interview with Mr Eazi here.

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South African Writer Phumlani Pikoli Passes Away

South African multimedia journalist and author, Phumlani Pikoli, sadly passed away this past Sunday. He was 33.