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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

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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