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Black Women Speak Candidly About Sex In A New South African Web Series

Black women explore the taboo politics of South African sex and how it affects their lives in a series from Mmabatho Montsho.


This week marks the start of South Africa's Women's Month, an annual commemoration of the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters who led a historic march against apartheid pass laws in 1956.


Coinciding with the national holiday, Johannesburg-based actress and director Mmabatho Montsho has produced a 10-part web series centered on South African sex and its impact on the daily lives of women. The candid interviews featured in Women on Sex include television and radio personalities Khanyi Mbau, Hajra Omarjee and Refiloe Mpakanyan, as well as doctors, pastors, businesswomen and more.

“There are so many factors that influence not only how and when black women have sex, but also how, where and when we are able to talk about it freely," Mmabatho said in a press release. “Social media has provided a wonderful platform for black women to ensure that their voices are heard and as a budding director, I felt I could contribute another platform for candid conversations about sex and to put it on record. It is a conversation that needs to be encouraged beyond Women's Month."

The first episode of Women on Sex will debut on Friday, Aug. 7, on YouTube. Watch a trailer for the series below. For more, check out Women on Sex on Facebook and Twitter.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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