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Kenyan Animated Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Explores Colorism & Self-Image Among African Girls And Women

Kenyan filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii's animated short film 'Yellow Fever' explores colorism and self-image among African women.


Yellow Fever is a mixed-media documentary animation by Kenyan filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii. The short film, which served as Mukii's thesis project at London's Royal College of Art, is a captivating blend of live-action, stop-motion, spoken word, and vibrant hand-drawn animation that explores the effects of Eurocentric beauty ideals, as disseminated by mainstream media and advertising, on African women.

With a runtime of just under seven minutes, Mukii's film highlights the dissatisfaction that some darker skinned women have with their complexions and the often harmful measures taken in their quest for a lighter skin tone, most notably through the use of skin bleaching products (known in Kenya as mkorogo). Yellow Fever also addresses the trickling down of these beauty standards through generations, with one particularly compelling moment within the film occurring when Mukii's niece proclaims that she feels a certain discomfort with her dark skin every time she sees her reflection in the mirror.

The award-winning filmmaker shared her motivation behind the animated short saying, "I am interested in the concept of skin and race, and what they imply; in the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time. The idea of beauty has become globalised, creating homogenous aspirations, and distorting people’s self-image across the planet. In my film, I focus on African women’s self-image, through memories and interviews; using mixed media to describe this almost schizophrenic self-visualization that I and many others have grown up with."

Watch 'Yellow Fever' below. H/T Shadow & Act

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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Image courtesy of Ng'endo Mukii

We Spoke to Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii About Taking Part in TIFF's Filmmaker Lab

Mukii was the only African to take part in the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival's professional development program.

"As a Kenyan filmmaker, it means a lot. It validates my journey."

Ng'endo Mukii spent a busy week at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) taking part in the Filmmaker Lab program. The professional development program is part of TIFF's industry conference, and brought together 22 emerging directors from all over the world. Ng'endo was the only filmmaker selected from the African continent.

Using a workshop approach, the participants were exposed to ideas and approaches to film making from a range of perspectives, with mentors like producer Cassian Elwes (Mudbound) and director Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust). "Different ways of making film," she reports, "different ideologies. That's what I've been doing this week."

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Faced with a lack of party options, a group of friends in Côte d'Ivoire sought to revolutionize the way their city turns up.

The opening line of DJ Arafat's hit song "Maman Sery" plays and the people on stage scream it as loudly as the crowd facing them below. Lighted phones are up in the air. Where some strangers embrace one another, others clutch their chests. The setting? A garden in Abidjan's commune of Cocody on a Sunday night.

Sundays in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire had always been reserved for beach trips and family time. All of this changed dramatically in December of 2018 when Fayçal Lazraq, Lionel Obam, Aurore Aoussi, Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, and Aziz Doumbia, better known as Bain de Foule Creative Studio created La Sunday and it took Abidan by storm.

According to Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, co-founder of La Sunday, "The idea was to create an alternative event for fun amongst friends." The differentiating factor here was these "friends" weren't just anyone; they were trendsetters at the epicenter of Abidjan's bustling creative scene. Shares from these creatives were instrumental in creating the engagement surrounding La Sunday and its subsequent expansion.

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Watch Simi's Beautiful Music Video For 'Selense'

Premiere: Simi shares the upbeat new video for "Selense," a song about time which draws inspiration from classic highlife.

Nigeria's Simi comes through with the new music video for her recent single, "Selense."

The song, which sees her sing about using your time and years on this earth preciously, gets a beautiful new video that follows Simi's verses about different characters who may or may not be spending their hours in the best way.

The upbeat new music video, which was directed by Adasa Cookey, is getting premiered here on OkayAfrica today.

"'Selense' is a song about time," Simi tells OkayAfrica. "The song draws inspiration from classic African highlife. A timeless classic that is perfect for all seasons."

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