Folarin Falana, better known by his stage name Falzis a Nigerian rapper and funny guy. Falz describes his style of music as “Wahzup music” a fusion of comic lyrics with the contemporary hip-hop in a faux lispy Yoruba accent. Falz, a lawyer by education, called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from the Nigeria Law School, Abuja is the son of popular Nigerian human activist and lawyerFemi Falana.
Falz just released the official video for his hit song ‘Soldier’ featuring sweet singerSimi , one of Nigeria’s fast rising female artistes with a sonorous, smooth and soulful voice. The song ‘Soldier’ off his Stories That Touch album released late 2015 is a musical narrative of an army official trying to win the heart of a beautiful village sweetheart. The visuals for ‘Soldier’ is in form of a short film and it stars Falz, Simi, Actor Deyemi Okanlawon, Oluwasesan Salami, Efa Iwara and Morenike Alausa and was directed by Clarence A. Peters.
‘Soldier’ is a short musical film, shot By Clarence Peters, and taken from ‘Stories That Touch’ – the second studio album by Falz TheBahdGuy. Written by Clarence Peters and Chioma Onyenwe, scored by Oluwasesan Salami, with music by Oscar Ackah.
Watch the well produced video below:
Here is another collaboration by both artistes that is very enjoyable. A previously released song by Simi “Jamb Question”. The two surely have some good musical chemistry going on.
There are stories that need to be told over and over again. Havard Business School has just released an audio commentary of the story of the entrepreneurship and progressive success of the historical hair business icon and philanthropist, Madame C.J. Walker aptly titled The Amazing Life of One of America’s Earliest Black, Female Entrepreneurs
Culled: Though not everyone may know her name, Madam C.J. Walker helped invent what have become staples of our modern country and economy: national sales forces, corporate social responsibility, and, yes, even basic hair care. Orphaned at age 8, married at 14, and widowed at 20 with a daughter to raise, Walker went on to become a millionaire entrepreneur in the Deep South at the turn of the century, against all odds. Professor Nancy Koehn describes Walker’s inspiring real life story of making good on her own unique American dream.
ROOTS, The MiniSeries
I remember watching and re-watching Roots in the earlier years on Nigerian TV, truly drawn in and deeply empathetic and affected by the horrific experiences of the primary character Kunta Kinte(played by LeVar Burton) and his kin.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S. down to Haley (via Wiki).
“Roots opened up the minds of Americans of all colors and faiths to one of the darkest and most painful parts of America’s past.” – Publisher’s Weekly
PBS states that Roots is one of the most-watched miniseries of all time, Roots captivated its audience over eight consecutive nights in January 1977. The award winning series followed the multi-generational account of author Alex Haley’s family line from enslavement to liberaton. For the first time, America witnessed on film the horrors of slave ships, the mistreatment of slaves and human cost of slavery. Roots has since become a part of American cinematic history and cultural consciousness.
Fast forward to 2016, Roots has been remade. IT PROVES SOME STORIES ARE WORTH TELLING AGAIN, ISTORY® premieres “Roots” on Memorial Day 2016, airing over four consecutive nights at 9 p.m. beginning Monday, May 30, 2016. The four-night, eight-hour event series developed by HISTORY, from A+E Studios, is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.
“Roots” will be simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, in addition to HISTORY. The stellar cast includes Academy Award® winners Forest Whitaker (“Fiddler”) and Anna Paquin (“Nancy Holt”); Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award® winner Laurence Fishburne (“Alex Haley”); Golden Globe Award® winning and Emmy Award® nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“Tom Lea”); Tony Award® winner Anika Noni Rose (“Kizzy”); Grammy Award® winner Tip “T.I.” Harris (“Cyrus”); Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Belle”); Matthew Goode (“Dr. William Waller”); Mekhi Phifer (“Jerusalem”); James Purefoy (“John Waller”) and introduces Regé-Jean Page (“Chicken George”) and Malachi Kirby (“Kunta Kinte”).
This blog brings you the best and latest of African talent and art; on the continent and in the diaspora. Here are 3 movie finds that would be worth checking out-
Popular Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, on Thursday in a press conference unveiled the full details of his next movie, The CEO. The film showcases a cross-selection of African & international cast and crew members with diverse talents and backgrounds.
The cast includes Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, entertainer and activist from Benin, Angélique Kidjo; Haitan actor and model Jimmy Jean-Louis, best known for his role as The Haitan on the NBC television series Heroes; actor and founder of the New Nigeria Cinema movement, Wale Ojo; French-Ivorian actress and model, Aurelie Eliam; South African actor and presenter, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos; Nigerian actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju; Moroccan star, Fatym Layachi; Kenyan actor Peter King, and Nigerian actress, Hilda Dokubo among others.
Synopsis – The CEO tells the story of TransWire Communications, a global phone network with major operation in Nigeria. The CEO, an expatriate, has retired; hence the Global Chairman has decided to send five nominees among his most senior-level staff across Africa on a leadership course in order to determine which one to appoint as the new CEO of Nigeria. The process that started relatively smoothly suddenly climaxed in a game of an intriguing death.
(Trailer not yet released) To stay updated, follow on Facebook here or follow the hashtag #theceomovie on social media
Hot off its selection for the 2015 BFI London Film Festival, EbonyLife Films today released the official trailer for its highly acclaimed feature film, Fifty. The movie stars Ireti Doyle, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Omoni Oboli and Nse Ikpe-Etim.
Directed by Biyi Bandele and executively produced by Mo Abudu, FIFTY, captures a few pivotal days in the lives of four Nigerian women at the pinnacle of their careers. Tola, Elizabeth, Maria and Kate are forced at midlife to take inventory of their personal lives, while juggling careers and family against the sprawling backdrops of the upper middle-class neighbourhoods of Lagos.
The trailer is a sneak peek into this tender but unflinching exploration of love and lust, power and rivalry, life and loss in twenty-first century Lagos. The four lead characters, six-inch heels, partying hard and loving strong, with courage and fortitude, navigate life’s unending curveballs.
Fifty will premiere in a special grand Lagos ceremony on the 13th of December 2015 at The Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos and will be released in cinemas nationwide on the 18th of December 2015.
The powerful new film starring Idris Elba recently had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will screen at the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and London Film Festival. Beasts of No Nation, A Netflix Original Film.
Synopsis – When civil war tears his family apart, a young West African boy is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters and transform into a child soldier. Available in select theaters and on Netflix October 16.
Written and directed by Emmy Award winner Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective,” Sin Nombre) and starring Golden Globe winner Idris Elba (“Luther,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Beasts of No Nation will debut Friday, October 16, 2015, the same day in Landmark theatres in the U.S. and worldwide on Netflix in all territories where the world’s leading Internet TV network is available.
Beasts of No Nation is based on the highly-acclaimed novel by Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala, bringing to life the gripping tale of Agu, a child soldier torn from his family to fight in the civil war of an African country. Newcomer Abraham Attah gives a stunning portrayal of Agu, while Elba dominates the screen in the role of Commandant, a warlord who takes in Agu and instructs him in the ways of war.
The film is produced by Amy Kaufman and Cary Fukunaga (who previously worked together on Sin Nombre), Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker and Dan Crown for Red Crown Productions, along with Elba. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King are executive producers for Participant Media; Donna Gigliotti is executive producer for Levantine Films; Elizabeth Koch and Kristina Kendall are executive producers for New Balloon; and Bill Benenson, Laura Bickford and Todd Courtney are also executive producers.
Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing
Organically Singing the new album, click here to download and sign up for updates
Tempting Fate, the Movie, comes to African (Nigerian + Ghanaian) Cinemas on July 17, 2015. Directed By US Based Nigerian Filmmaker Kevin Nwankwor of KevSTel Group and Theatrical Distribution for West Africa handled by Silverbird Distribution Company, Tempting Fate is a ‘Hollywood meets Nollywood’ riveting film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, scene by scene. Starring RAMSEY NOUAH as UGO and ANDREW ONOCHIE as EDU , two brothers, one of deep faith and the other buried in a life of crime who have their worlds torn apart when the wrong one goes to jail and the other commits an unforgivable act.
Two brothers share the same blood but walk parallel paths. Tempting Fate is the story of two brothers ; Edu and his older brother Ugo Okoye. Edu is a talented singer, he is calm, reflective and peaceful. He relies on his spirituality and the love of his wonderful girlfriend Tracey to help him combat a life threatening illness.
On the other hand, Ugo is hotheaded, impulsive and at times menacing. He finds himself wrapped in a life of robbery and crime which he knows will lead him down a path of destruction but it’s not an easy one to leave; a point his gang leader Scorpion (Dan Davies) has made clear. In an attempt to get money for a lifesaving procedure for his brother, Ugo triggers a chain of events that sends their worlds clashing, leaving behind a trail of hurts , deception and betrayal. Does the walker choose the path or the path the walker ?
Watch the Trailer below
About Kevin Nwakwor
Kevin Nkem Nwankwor (KNN) has had a passion for film throughout his life. Born in Issele-Uku Nigeria, he has made persistent steps toward his dream of becoming an accomplished filmmaker, first writing plays for the children and adult ministries of his local church, while leading its drama group.
While he studied Project Management and ultimately earned a
Bachelor of Science degree from the Federal University of Technology (2000), the passion still burned brightly to make films and provide entertainment. While in college, he formed its first Christian drama troupe, The Heavenly Theater (also known as The Thevites), and wrote and directed such plays as “In The Den of Agbalakwem” I and II (1996) and “Ashes of Regret” (1998). Kevin also toured with his troupe around universities throughout the East of Nigeria.
Before graduation, he went on to star in Nollywood movies “Enemies” (1997) and “Heartless” (1997) with veteran actors Kanayo O Kanayo, Saint Obi and Eucharia Anunobi. He also created and produced live comedy show “Comedy Half Hour,” hosted on NTA Channel 5 Abuja.
In 2008, after relocating to Atlanta, Kevin earned an MBA degree in Marketing (2010). This was the next step toward his dream of becoming a well-rounded filmmaker. Two years later, he obtained a Masters of Fine Art in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. Today, that experience has led to the successful production a number of film works that showcase his faith with stories that move the soul. Kevin served as writer, producer and director for shorts films “Enemy Within” (2012) and “A Mother’s Love” (2012). The latter-based on a true-life event-was an official selection at Georgia’s Gwinnett Film Festival (July 2013) and Spain’s Marbella Film Festival (October 2013). His most current work is “Tempting Fate”
In addition, Kevin is CEO of faith-based entertainment company KevStel Group LLC, in Atlanta, where he resides with his wife Unoma, and their two children. The company’s mission is to provide quality content based on faith, hope and love through visuals and print.
Juju Girl is a Short Film/Music Video set in 1960s Ghana from the latest project titled D I A S P O R A D I C A L the EP by the eclectic Afrocentric hip hop artist, Blitz the Ambassador coming out this April. I have for a while now, admired Blitz’s brand and music and the way he so effortlessly fuses and delivers his talent in a musically idiosyncratic manner. You can tell he knows and cares not just about the chops but also the message. Lyrically and musically on point. Excellence. And his passion for the continent is infectious. Tops in my books. Here’s two of my favorites from him.
Blitz is the conveyor of the Afrotronic-hop. A hip hop ambassador of African culture in the diaspora.
Samuel Bazawule known by the stage name Blitz the Ambassador, is a Ghanaian-American hip-hop artist and visual artist based in Brooklyn, USA. Samuel Bazawule was born in Accra, Ghana in April 1982. He is the third of four children and attended the renowned Achimota School. While in school he amassed awards for his visual art, but later developed an obsession with hip hop music after hearing his older brother play the classic Public Enemy album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Drawing on his love for history and social observation, he began to research and write historically-loaded rhymes for which he became famous in school.
Blitz (as he had come to be known) was first recognized by Ghanaian Ace producer Hammer of The Last Two. Blitz was asked to come to the studio the next day after delivering an impressive eight bars upon meeting Hammer, who wasted no time in putting him on wax. He recorded a verse on the song Deeba and – in the fashion of one of his idols, Nas, gained instant notoriety and received an award for best new artist at the 2000 Ghana Music Awards. Soon after, in 2001, he moved to the USA to study at Kent State University in Ohio. It was while studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration that he developed his skills as a live artist, performing at several live shows and opening for iconic rappers such as Rakim as well as recording a self-released album, Soul Rebel (2004), under the moniker Blitz.
After graduation, Blitz moved to New York City to pursue his dream. In NYC, Blitz recorded another album, Double Consciousness (2005), discography after this includes 2009: StereoLive EP and in 2013: The Warm Up EP. Studio Albums: 2009: Stereotype, 2011: Native Sun, 2014: Afropolitan Dreams and more recently a 2015: Diasporadical EP. Drawing from his diverse musical background, he immersed himself in the project with explicit intent of changing Hip Hop forever. …via wiki
Blitz the Ambassador live in Switzerland (Full Show)
With a vision that embraces his personal West African past and a revolutionary future of Afropolitan cross-pollination, Blitz the Ambassador meshes African popular sounds, American vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics with the help of an international cast of collaborators, including the elegant Angelique Kidjo and Afrobeat firebrand Seun Kuti.
But as always with Blitz, the album is about far more than the music. It’s about the Immigrants who made America, who shaped and molded it. Each person, each generation, each bearer of culture arriving on a boat or airplane has made an impression. Immigration is the chain that links the past to the present, the near to the seemingly far…Via his site for more info.
Stay tuned for more news on the forthcoming Diasporadical EP (released on Jakarta Records) on Blitz The Ambassador’s page.
In the wake of February 14 (Valentine’s day of course), UAE trained Nigerian Filmmaker, Joe Adetona releases this very timely short film titled ‘False Promises’, a love story set within the 1958 Constitution Conference event in Nigeria ( Side Note- Coincidentally, Nigeria’s political elections takes place on the same date, Feb 14, 2015 ). “False Promises’ short film features actors – Samuelson Jackson, Chinwe Adigwe, Joe Adetona and Fortune O. Ibrahim.
False Promises – Breaking Up is Hard but Moving on is Harder. Set during the 1958 Constitution Conference, ‘False Promises’ is about the protagonist finding hope in life and it reinforces the belief that true love is eternal.
About Joe Adetona
Joe Adetona is an award winning Nigerian Filmmaker/Director holding fort at his Production outfit – Luxury Pictures. His directorial debut was “Loni”, a fantasy film based on an imaginary story. Other works include 1959, Oko Ojokan, Best or Last, Apola among others. Joe has created sleek cinematic music videos for various music artistes including Reminisce, Ajay’P , Dare David, Ini, Dafidi, to name a few, totaling up to 1 million views or more on YouTube. He is also a successful photographer, graphic designer working editorials, album covers and other branding projects. All in all, Joe Adetona is multi-talented creative who has carved his niche in the media and film industry, both in his home country, Nigeria and internationally.
For more info and to check out more of his projects, click here
I am spotlighting two artsy fundraiser projects that are telling the African story to dispel preconceived perception and media projections.
1. Photography by Andre Washington – AFRICA TRAVELOGUE
Africa Travelogue‘s mission is to share photographs and travel journals to tell the stories that showcase the intense beauty of Africa – in all its culture rich variety – in order to bring new insight valuable to seeing, understanding, and truly appreciating this magnificent continent.
The aim of this project is to magnify the importance of this kind of work that pertains to seeing Africa in a different light.
“Africa Travelogue urgently needs the help and support from friends, followers, and you in order to continue the work and mission of revealing the magnificent beauty of Africa.
I desperately need to raise these funds especially in a time when the entire continent of Africa will now face the lopsided stigma of the Ebola crisis. My work can and will provide an accurate balance in imagery and reporting”.
To learn more about Africa Travelogue and give your support by purchasing a limited edition gallery print or making a donation, here is the link and password to the private fundraiser for a limited edition print sale for Africa Travelogue:
2. Film and Dance – #TDMP: The Dance Movie Project. Africa’s 1st AFRO BEAT Dance Film.
On October 6, Lexxistalking Production, a film production company based in New York City, announced the launch of an exciting rewards driven Indiegogo campaign for ‘#TDMP: The Dance Movie Project,’ a new drama film set in Lagos, Nigeria that is based on real life events about the richness of Africa’s dance culture, the prevalence of diabetes in Africa and encouragement of African elders to nurture its youth’s natural talents.
“I wanted to create an attention-grabbing story that shows the world what’s going on in Africa, particularly in countries like Nigeria where the prevalence of diabetes is on the rise. I also wanted to create a motion picture that would stimulate dialogue around the dance talents of African youths, particularly in ways that will exceed people’s preconceived notions about Africa . When completed, #TDMP will be the world’s first Afrobeat dance film.” – Alexander “Lexx” Ore
We hope that #TDMP will not only cultivate public awareness of the rich dance arts culture in Africa, but that it will also be the beginnings of a movement to inspire public health change. Additionally, when you support #TDMP’s Indiegogo campaign, you are proclaiming to the world that you believe that the raw talent of African youths should be developed and nurtured.
The Nollywood Diaspora Film Series presents: CULTURAL CONFIDENCE
The Nollywood Diaspora Film Series is pleased to present its second annual forum, themed Cultural Confidence: Acquiring and negotiating authentic cultural identity in a globalized world. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Nigeria and 54 years of Nigerian independence, NDFS will screen world-class films of New Nollywood and host panel discussions on pertinent issues facing Nigerians at home and abroad.(Buy tickets) Presented in partnership with NYU Africana Studies and the Yoruba Cultural Institute, NDFS Cultural Confidence promises to be even more exciting than last year’s event.
With a line up of incredible minds and talents –actors, producers, writers and other key stakeholders—delving into issues of critical importance at this time in history, Cultural Confidence will build significantly on the conversation begun last year. With a larger and more improved film selection, increased opportunities for networking and increased dialogue, this year’s event will demonstrate and define cultural confidence through film, fashion and music; giving participants the opportunity to assess their individual level of cultural confidence and to receive the means of acquisition. – See more
Watch Promo Video
Official Press Release
New Nollywood Rebrands Nigeria
2nd Annual Nollywood Forum to Focus on Cultural Confidence at NYU Oct 9-12
NEW YORK, NY – October 3, 2014 – The Nollywood Diaspora Film Series will host its second annual forum at NYU Kimmel Center next weekend, October 9-12. In commemoration of Nigeria’s centennial and 54 years of independence, NDFS will explore the notion of cultural confidence with film screenings and panel discussions featuring notable African filmmakers, actors, producers and designers.
In addition to the US premiere of critically acclaimed October 1 by leading Nollywood filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan–who the New York Times called an “African Scorsese”–special guests Adepero Oduye (Twelve Years a Slave, Pariah), Gbenga Akinnagbe (24, The Wire), Wunmi Olaiya and others will engage NYU filmmakers and the larger community on issues facing Nigerians, using film as basis to explore the role of the Diaspora in social change in Africa. “Of special interest to us is the role that film can play in elevating the social consciousness of Nigerians and the image of Nigerians across the world,” says Ololade Siyonbola, NDFS founder.
On the theme of Cultural Confidence, Andrew Dosunmu, whose film Mother of George will screen at the mini-festival, said “Knowing oneself…it’s the greatest wealth one can have.”
In addition to Dosunmu’s film, the forum will feature Supreme Price, by award-winning filmmaker and Harvard lecturer Joanna Lipper, which highlights the legacy of Nigeria’s first democratically elected president—MKO Abiola—from the perspectives of his wife, Kudirat, leader of the pro-democracy movement, and daughter, Hafsat Abiola.
Biyi Bandele’s Half of a Yellow Sun and a number of short films will also screen. The forum opens with a reception Thursday October 9, followed with The Supreme Price screening on Friday and Half of a Yellow Sun, Mother of George and October 1 on Saturday with panel discussions to open the day. Cultural workshops take place Sunday October 12.
NDFS Cultural Confidence is sponsored by VLISCO, Holland Textiles, Sonna Textiles, Africa Magic GO!, Yoruba Cultural Institute, NYU Africana Studies.
The Nollywood Diaspora Film Series is a platform created to rebrand Nollywood and bring international attention to New Nollywood, Nigerian cinema of international standards, which teaches about Nigeria’s cultures and peoples with authenticity, texture and beauty.
Media Contact: Ayodele St. Louis
Saturday Oct 11, 2014
7.30p.m @ NYU Kimmel Center.
60 Washington Square South.
OCTOBER 1, the film everyone in Nigeria is talking about, will have it’s US debut at CULTURAL CONFIDENCE. This HISTORIC film is the epitome of what NDFS (Nollywood Diaspora Film Series) was created for — culturally relevant, world class storytelling.
BUY Tickets in advance here and tickets also available at the door
Q & A with Director Kunle Afolayan all the way from Lagos, Nigeria! Dont Miss out, Spread the word, Come one! Come All!
NDFS brings you a weekend Films, Panels and Networking. For full program of weekend activities from Thursday 9th Oct – Sunday 12th Oct visit: http://filmseries.co
SPECIAL GUESTS: Adepero Oduye Gbenga Akinnagbe Wunmi Olaiya Joanna Lipper
FILMS: Supreme Price Half of a Yellow Sun More films TBA **A portion of proceeds benefits the Joyful Joy Foundation**
Connect with them on Social Media: #CULTURALCONFIDENCE October 9-12, 2014
Location: NYU Kimmel Center* 60 Washington Square S, New York City, NY 10012
Produced and Directed by Joanna Lipper, ‘The Supreme Price’is a feature length documentary film that traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. Following the annulment of her father’s victory in Nigeria’s Presidential Election and her mother’s assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, Hafsat Abiolafaces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women.
“….Some of the best documentaries tell inspiring stories of people overcoming the unthinkable… With an uptick in kidnappings and killings, the situation in Nigeria is looking bleak. How exactly did the country get to such a state? Joanna Lipper’s film looks at the pro-democracy movement in the corrupt African nation but also gives a helpful tutorial on Nigerian politics….” – The Washington Post
Gidi Up is a Nigerian television and web drama series starring OC Ukeje, Somkele Iyamah, Adeyemi Okanlawon and Titi Sonuga in lead roles. The series is created by Jadesola Osiberu and executively produced by Lola Odedina. It is produced by Ndani TV and sponsored by GTBank. Episodes are first aired online through Ndani.tv web channel and the first episode was aired on 20 February 2013.
The series follows the lives of four young adults (Obi, Tokunbo, Eki and Yvonne) who are pursuing success and independence in the city of Lagos, revealing the challenges they are faced with at every step of the way in their quest to achieve their dreams. The title of the series is culled from the popular term “Las Gidi”, a nickname for Lagos city.
The first season of the series was an eight-part web miniseries, with a length of approximately eight minutes per episode and used to be broadcast only online.The second season was however converted into a full 30-minute episodial television and webseries, with the first season combined together, re-edited and aired on television as the pilot episode for season 2. (culled wiki)
I got hooked on Season 2 and the season finale Episode 12 was published today. This will not be a review, or an expose on my favorite or least favorite characters because I will not like to preempt your thoughts about it. I must say it however gives you a good perspective of contemporary modern life of the young and upwardly mobile professionals in today’s Africa plus it’s great entertainment. The script/film is quite impressive and the acting is on point. I have compiled the videos below for your easy viewing. Enjoy!
And if you want to watch a compact Season one, here goes