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Anele Mdoda has big plans for 2021, and it’s starting with S2 of her laughter-filled reality quiz show Celebrity Game Night on E! Entertainment (DStv 124).

Anele will be inviting back her two team captains, actress Ayanda Thabethe and comedian Jason Goliath, as well as using her star power to draw in fame-game professionals like Minnie Dlamini-Jones, Boity Thulo, Maps Maponyane, Roxy burger and more. Because the more, the merrier, right?

Heavy hitter

Celebrity Game Night is based on the Emmy Award-winning US series Hollywood Game Night, but things are always better with an Mzansi vibe.

After the success of S1 in early 2020 – it took home the SAFTA for Best International Format Show – it was a no-brainer to greenlight S2, says executive producer Kee-Leen Irvine from the show’s production company, Rapid Blue: “We’re thrilled at the success of Celebrity Game Night, presenting an often unknown and incredibly funny side to many of Mzansi’s best-loved celebrities. We can’t wait to bring loads of new games and many giggles to your screens. Game-face on!”

 

 

The show hasn’t let COVID-19 lockdown hold it back, with S1 filmed and edited before the March lockdown before airing from April 2020. S2 of Celebrity Game Night will be heading into pre-production for S2, with all-new celebrity guests being lined up, as well as new games to go with fan favourites like Where Are You Going?, Popped Quiz and Clue Room, all taking place in the comfort of Anele’s “lounge”.

 

 

Safety for cast and crew will be paramount, adds Lee Raftery, Managing Director, EMEA and Chief Marketing Officer, NBC Universal International. “S2 of this South African Film & Television Award-winning production promises the same fun and hilarity while carefully following strict COVID-19 precautions, prioritising the health and safety of everyone involved.

 

Hostess with the mostess

While viewers tuned in during S1 to see which new celebrity friends Anele and her captains invited to play games and crack jokes every week, there was one clear favourite on social media: Anele herself. She even got a celebrity thumbs up – see if you can spot which star is an Anele fan!

S2 will consist of 10 1-hour episodes, with filming set to start in 2021.
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Snuggle in for #Shocktober with Natasha Thahane

Posted by radio On October - 12 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Natasha Thahane is ready to hold your hand as you watch Lifetime’s (DStv 131) creepiest movies together this #Shocktober

“A Lifetime (DStv 131) movie is an addictive movie,” says Natasha Thahane (Amo in soapie The Queen on Mzansi Magic, DStv 161). “The titles can seemweird, but they’re fun to watch, easy to watch. I would recommend them to anybody.”

This #Shocktober, Lifetime fans will be treated to a host of spicy, sexy, and oh so creepy movies, full of real-world horrors. They’re airing every Saturday and Sunday in October at 19:20, and throughout the week at 14:35.

“I love watching movies that speak to women’s fears and vulnerabilities. We’re human, and tapping into that space takes a lot of courage, and not everybody can just do it. That’s why women are called ‘izimbokodo’ (rocks),” Natasha says proudly.

Natasha’s movie night setup is scary-movie ready. “I always set it up. My popcorn, I just go buy snacks. Especially now because of lockdown, I’ve been watching a lot of scary movies because I’m a ‘G’ like that. I wear pyjamas normally or just a chilled outfit with sneakers, slippers, whatever it is. Make-up off, wig off, I want to be comfortable and just enjoy that space in that moment.”

Watch Lifetime now

Renting a nightmare

Natasha and her cousin, Lesego Mapeka, will be glued to Lifetime watching all their Shocktober movies, including their movie of the month, My Nightmare Landlord (on Saturday, 24 October at 19:20). Moving is stressful, expensive and difficult, and it can put women in a vulnerable position when someone they’re renting from pushes their boundaries. In this story, Lydia (Caroline Harris) is trying to make a fresh start in a new home after she breaks up with her boyfriend. And while her handsome, shirt-averse landlord, Drew (Ignacyo Matynia), might seem like something out of a romantic comedy dream, he’s a nightmare landlord, always creepy around, letting himself into her place while she’s out and sneaking through her stuff.

 

 

Natasha’s nightmare scenario as a renter would be “finding out if there’s cameras in my apartment, or finding out my landlord has an extra spare key and is then going through my stuff. Or my neighbours going through my trash. That is creepy,” she says. As to whether she’s ever had a landlord from hell, Natasha jokes, “Does my mom count?”

 

 

And you can bet Natasha will be giving her advice and commentary throughout the action. “I feel like I yell,” she admits, laughing. “‘No, don’t do it!’ I just guide them throughout the movie.” As a performer, though, she has her eye on more than just the action. “I also check other things as well, like the continuity and the frame… like ‘No! Why would you do that?!,’ So yes, I yell.”

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Amapiano undoubtedly continues to be one of Africa’s most prolific genres. Rooted in the Kwaito era the genre is seeing exciting cross-regional and diaspora experiments and collaborations, which have sprung up from Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, London and New York signalling this genre is far from over. Rather it seems to be on the cusp of even more diverse and exciting global expressions in the future.

The rise of the genre is evident, with Amapiano hit makers Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa taking the top spots as the Most Streamed Artists in South Africa on Spotify in 2019. Amapiano was also the most streamed local genre on Spotify in South Africa, with a phenomenal 145% increase in global streams in the first half of 2020 to the previous year.

To explore the DNA of the Yanos sound, its impact locally and its international ascent, Spotify recently hosted an Amapiano virtual panel featuring key industry players including pioneers of the genre, artists, deejays and producers. Moderated by music journalist Helen Herimbi, Amapiano Keys featured Sha Sha, Focalistic, Don Laka, Semi Tee, Mfr Souls, Njelic as well as music and culture journalist Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi.

 

Where it all started

Legendary musician, composer and co-founder of Kalawa Jazme, Don Laka, kicked off the session by emphasizing that Amapiano is not a departure from Kwaito, but rather forms another branch of it. While Kwaito was born to ring in a new culture for the youth of the (then) new democracy,  Amapiano has done the same for its generation, giving today’s youth a voice and a sense of belonging that subsequently formed into one of the biggest music communities in South Africa.

 

Amapiano started to dominate the streets from as early as 2016 and has been claimed by several different players in the industry from various townships across South Africa.  While it’s challenging to pinpoint exactly when the sound began to dominate local dance floors, according to Setumo the pivotal moment came when Amapiano received radio airtime.  Nowadays with audio streaming platforms like Spotify amplifying the genre from the township streets where it began to a global audience, the reach is endless.

 

The Rise of the genre

Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi, who has been at the forefront of documenting the genre by immersing himself in its culture, supports the belief that Amapiano is not just a genre but a movement.  A common misconception is that Amapiano took off overnight, however East Rand based musical duo Mfr Souls are testament to the hard work that happened behind the scenes to launch and position the genre to where it is today and the ongoing work to grow it even further. Reminiscing on how they got started back in 2013 demonstrates in part the evolution of the genre – from layering Kwaito tracks with an instrumental sound including piano solos to now featuring more vocals.

 

 

 

Enhanced storytelling with an introduction of vocals 

According to ‘Ke Star’ hit maker Focalistic the introduction of vocals extended the narrative journey for listeners around what he was experiencing when the track was made.   Semi Tee agrees that lyrics are a way to showcase the culture through storytelling. Referring to his popular yet controversial track Labantwana AmaUber’, he explained how the lyrics were meant to tell a story that there is more to life for township youth.  Setumo summed up the idea perfectly by adding that  Amapiano represents real-life elements that form part of the youth’s lives – the socio-economic climate of the country and high unemployment rate that has caused the youth to look for an escape and outlet from their day-to-day existence and ‘’Amapiano is it.”

 

From South Africa to the World

The growth of audio streaming has also been pivotal to the expansion of the genre. Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager, examined how through the power of data, Spotify was able to identify a demand for the tracks that were already popular on the streets but were not yet available for streaming. In response Spotify curated its flagship Amapiano playlist titled ‘AmaPiano Grooves’ – providing a space for artists and producers to connect and drive the genre on a global platform. AmaPiano Grooves was not only the most streamed playlist in South Africa by June 2020, but it transcended borders and was also popular with audiences in the UK and the US amongst others, with Njelic’s hit ‘Shesha’ featuring on the tracklist for the British comedy-drama series, I May Destroy You.

 

British-Ghanian producer Juls, who was first introduced to Amapiano when he heard ‘Love You Tonight’ by Mfr Souls, believes that the reason Amapiano has been able to garner international attention is because of the familiarity of the sound – the drums, percussion and house music to which music lovers gravitate towards.  ‘’The sounds of house music from across the world can be traced back to Africa this can also be a reason why sound has crossed over and been adopted so freely.’’

 

Creating a global movement

There was a time when South African and African music in general was enjoyed almost in isolation. Now with access to a global stage, the influences of Afrobeats and genres such as Amapiano are taking Africa to the world while also creating a space for African artists to influence and be influenced by one another.

 

As the Amapiano genre continues to reach different parts of the world it will need to be supported, as more of a Glocal movement with different collaborations and influences continuing to shape and broaden the genre. Phiona concluded by sharing Spotify’s vision for continued support of African artists and helping to grow Africa-centric sounds to its global audience of over 299 million active users.

 

“We believe in being a true partner to artists. We support artists, amplify their story and connect them to their fans across the globe. This is just the beginning, when we launched Amapiano Grooves last year, we visited the artists and producers who were immersed in the culture to showcase how Spotify could support them. We believe in staying close to the community and maintaining our drive to educate them on how the platform can help them connect and broaden their audience base, driving discovery and collaboration down the line.’’

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Two of Newzroom Afrika’s top journalists – Politics Editor Sbu Ngalwa and News Director Katy Katopodis – were elected to the leadership of the SA National Editors Forum (SANEF) at the weekend.

 

 

Ngalwa, who previously served as the SANEF Eastern Cape convenor, steps into the all-important position as SANEF Chairperson, while Katopodis, who has enjoyed two terms as deputy chairperson, was elected Gauteng Convenor and remains a member of the SANEF Management Committee.

 

 

Newzroom Afrika is proud of the contribution these journalism stalwarts make to the work of SANEF in promoting quality, ethics and diversity in the South African media and preserving freedom of expression – values which the channel strongly supports.

 

 

 

 

“These are extraordinary times for journalists everywhere,” said Ngalwa, “and the public relies on us more than ever for reliable and accurate information so they are equipped to make informed decisions that are critical to their wellbeing.

 

“At the same time, the journalism profession is under huge pressure in a rapidly changing media environment and the work of SANEF is absolutely vital to protect the core values of an independent media.

 

“It’s a big task, but a very important one and I’m honoured to serve as the SANEF Chairperson.”

 

Katopodis, who served her first term at SANEF 6 years ago as Secretary General, said while the media landscape was shifting profoundly with the rise of digital media and citizen journalism, the essence of newsgathering and storytelling remained the same.

 

“Democracy depends on the free flow of information and, most importantly, a commitment to truth, which is the primary purpose of the media. SANEF is a very important platform for media to stand as one in defence of these values and to make our voice heard. As representatives of Newzroom Afrika, we are pleased that we can contribute to this critical work.”

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Lerato Segadi Talks Influencer Marketing

Posted by radio On August - 16 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

In what seems could be an industry-shaking move, Humanz has announced the appointment of influential marketer Lerato Sengadi to head up their South African operations. The appointment appears aligned to the company’s stated effort to grow its innovative, diverse, and influential leadership team and demonstrate its commitment to, and understanding of, local markets, even as it continues its global expansion.

Lerato Sengadi is well known in the South African  advertising and entertainment spaces, with over 15 years-experience producing award-winning, ground breaking, culture shifting, narrative changing, and global best practice work for clients that range from grassroots to luxury, artists and events to FCMG.

 

“With a unique perspective on the content and influencer marketing space from both the client and influencer side, Lerato is uniquely positioned to assist Humanz as it continues to disrupt the traditional value channel.” comments Pierre Cassuto, Humanz global CMO.

 

“Future-forward marketers tap into credible influencers for deep collaborations, where they garner market insights, strategy ideas, creative work and targeted/impactful reach. Humanz is here to help fast-track this future, a mission which Lerato shares and can help enable” he adds.

 

Here, in her own words, is Lerato Sengadi’s take on the current state of influencer marketing and her excitement as she takes up her new role as General Manager at Humanz South Africa.

 

On being an “influencer”….

 

I am a marketer who is influential and not an influencer who is a marketer.

 

As for becoming an influencer, that was something that happened very organically through simply sharing authentic content that I believed in. It was not something I intentionally sought to become, and that for me sums up what true influence is.

 

Being on the both ends of the Influencer marketing spectrum, (as client and as an influencer) puts me in a unique position with an understanding that most people in the space will never have. These insights have enabled me to create impactful campaigns, foster long lasting relationships with influencers, and create a working environment where both parties are able to put their best foot forward.

 

On joining Humanz….

 

It was important for me to join a company that is diverse and inclusive and reflects the diversity of the country we live in so that our voices are heard and represented… correctly. And Humanz is exactly that.

 

On why there is so much criticism of the influencer marketing space….

 

Much of the criticism exists because the influencer marketing space is marred with many grey areas and there is still not enough clear understanding of the sector and how it works. It’s easy for people to criticize what they do not understand.

 

Many people, and even marketers think it’s just paying a celebrity to post brand content. But there is a whole other eco-system at play in order to make this kind of marketing work. Like any campaign, there needs to be research to understand your market and your spokespeople, planning and developing a well-timed roll out, development of creative content, and intensive follow up engagement.

 

Brands need to be less prescriptive in their briefs and need to leave some wiggle room that will empower influencers to create the necessary magic that they can do so well. Brands also need to refrain from viewing influencers as merely “paid for ad space,” but must partner with them as content creators and market experts in order to create successful campaigns.

 

Content creators – influencers- need to also become more professionalized and understand their role within the entire marketing mix. They need to see themselves as more than just digital billboards and understand that while they play a valuable role in the ecosystem, they also need to step-up in terms of professional and ethical behaviour.

 

On how is Humanz and their tech is  improving the situation…

 

I believe that the role Humanz plays in driving innovation in the social marketing space is essential not just by making credible data available to both influencers & clients, but more than just a data tool, it is also a much needed educational platform for influencer marketing.

 

Humanz enables  their clients to make informed decisions when selecting influencers to partner with on specific campaigns. It has also made it easier for agencies to be able to justify why they chose those partners and back it up with credible, detailed data for the client to view. The reporting tool has also made it easier for clients and agencies to gauge the success of the campaign based on credible and verifiable data.

 

This data, coupled with understanding of human behaviour, enables both parties to create engaging, tailored and impactful campaigns. Influencer marketing has moved from “the one with the highest following is best for the job” to selecting campaign partners who are best suited, and using credible data to support these decisions.

 

Humanz has enabled easy access to  credible and  accurate data from start (briefing), to campaign execution to completion (reporting).

 

On what the future of the influencer marketing space looks like…

 

Influencer marketing will not replace traditional marketing, in fact it should be viewed as an extension of the marketing mix. The space is still very new and will keep evolving. Our duty is to stay at the forefront of that change and help brands, agencies & influencers manoeuvre these uncharted waters and create successful work.

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Joanne Josephs bids farewell to 702

Posted by radio On August - 16 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Station Manager Thabisile Mbete says Joanne has contributed to, and shaped, important social and political narratives in SA

Talk Radio Station 702, part of Primedia Broadcasting’s portfolio of radio stations, last week announced that the station will be bidding farewell to well-known radio presenter Joanne Joseph on 28 August 2020. Joanne currently hosts The Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph from 15:00-18:00, Monday to Friday.

Joanne joined 702 in May 2018, returning to her radio roots after a number of years hosting TV news shows with the SABC and eNCA. Over the past two decades, she has anchored several high-profile live broadcasts, most notably the live coverage of former president Nelson Mandela’s passing and his successor Thabo Mbeki’s inauguration.

Joanne has also used her media platform to raise awareness for causes close to her heart, including engaging the Minister of Justice to prioritise abuse cases and expedite interventions that safeguard society’s most vulnerable.

Commenting on her journey at 702, Joanne said: “I want to express my particular thanks to The Afternoon Drive team for their professionalism and collegiality. They have been a wonderful support system for me during my time at 702, showing infinite enthusiasm, dedication, and acting as a buffer in times of crisis. The media landscape is evolving, traditional consumption habits are changing rapidly and with the energy and agility that have characterised my work of the last twenty-odd years, I am preparing to take up the challenge in new ways.”

 

702 Station Manager Thabisile Mbete adds: “Joanne has encouraged a culture of empathy in tackling systemic societal issues that many would hesitate to take on. As a member of the 702 team, she has contributed to, and shaped, important social and political narratives in South Africa. We know that her next chapter will be an exciting one and we wish her well.”

 

 

702 will announce Joanne’s replacement in due course.

“Joanne has brought her own voice to The Afternoon Drive and has a unique ability to articulate key issues, bringing them to the fore. We recognise her contribution to 702 and know she will continue to be the voice for those who are still finding theirs,” comments Geraint Crwys-Williams, Acting CEO of Primedia Broadcasting.

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The Gagasi FM Shero Awards are back. Now in its fourth year, the awards celebrate extraordinary women who push boundaries and excel in their respective fields. Recognition is given to women who are making a difference in their communities, oftentimes with limited resources and without expecting anything in return.

This year, the Gagasi FM Shero Awards will once again pay tribute to such remarkable women and it’s all happening in August as part of celebrating the Women’s Month. The big change this year is that the awards will take place live on -ir and online, there will be no awards ceremony this time around due to Covid-19 pandemic. Listeners can look forward to the exciting Gagasi FM Shero Awards live winners’ announcement, full details to be shared in due course.

 

 

“We are very excited with this year’s edition of Gagasi FM Shero Awards and we believe that being unable to host the awards ceremony gives us an opportunity to explore other creative ways to execute. The awards have been growing each year and we are aiming for an even greater impact this year. From the listener’s participation in the form of submission of entries, to the selection of nominees and getting to know who they are and, ultimately, the announcement of winners and celebrating them, we are anticipating a very successful campaign,” says Gagasi FM head of brand Phinda Magwaza.

 

The overall Shero Award category for this year has been named after the late television icon Mama Mary Twala. Every year, this award is named after a female icon whose journey has been inspirational and whose life significantly represents a true Shero. The winner for this overall award is chosen among winners of the other categories.

 

 

Submission of entries is now open, listeners can visit www.gagasiworld.co.za and click on the Gagasi FM Shero Awards 2020 banner to access the nominations page. More details will also be available on the official Gagasi FM social media pages with a link to the nominations page.

The categories for the Gagasi FM Shero Awards are as follows:

  • Entertainment and music

  • Sport

  • Science and technology

  • Big Business Professional (legal, medicine, finance, administration, HR, marketing etc.)

  • Enterprise (small business)

  • Social entrepreneurship

  • Education

  • Public service

  • Community leadership

  • KZN ambassadors

  • Mama Mary Twala Award

The winners’ announcement will take place on the 28 August 2020 live on-air and online.

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Legacy – coming soon to M-Net

Posted by radio On June - 15 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

First, M-Net took authentic South African story-telling to the next level with Trackers, the action-packed adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel, which is taking the world by storm on HBO’s sister channel Cinemax. Hot on its heels came the beautiful family saga Still Breathing. Now, M-Net is expanding its slate of world-class series with more dynamite drama– this time in the form of a classy, first-of-its-kind South African telenovela called Legacy.

 

 

With startling storylines set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires and a sterling, diverse cast, this new daily, designed for DStv’s Premium audience, is destined to become the talk of the town when it launches in September 2020.

 

“Imagine the machiavellian mega-rich characters living dysfunctional lives in the award-winning HBO series Succession in a fresh, distinctly South African context,” says Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net Channels. “Add a daily dose of The Bold and The Beautiful, colour the concoction with pure escapism in the topical and aspirational style of the best Brazilian telenovelas, and you have Legacy in a nutshell.”

A new frontier

This is the first time in many years that M-Net viewers can come home to the magic of a daily local drama. Legacy is M-Net 101’s very first telenovela.

“Moving into this popular genre is an exciting step for the channel,” du Plessis adds. “ We managed to sign up the most acclaimed production company currently working in this field as well as a cast that combines top-flight established soap stars and hottest up-and-coming talent. We’re also pulling out all the stops to ensure that Legacy will be remembered for its arresting plots and new ways of filming. Expect all kinds of innovation to cement M-Net and MultiChoice’s reputation as Africa’s most loved storyteller.”

Web of intrigue

Legacy’s locus of conflict is an upmarket investment empire that was established by Sebastian Price, the patriarch of the super-wealthy Price family, decades ago, when he was in his early twenties. Now he is a silver fox approaching retirement and it is clear that a family member will soon have to take over the reins. But who will it be? And, at what cost? Sebastian’s bitter ex-wife and ruthless first-born daughter will do whatever it takes to ensure that Sebastian’s second wife, Dineo, does not push her playboy son into the position of CEO.

Of course the power struggle turns nasty. A witches’ brew of betrayal, secrets, lies and revenge.

Expect the best

Stepping into the roles of the current Mrs Price, Dineo, and Sebastian’s ex-wife, Angelique, a former lawyer who is now a woman of leisure, are two of South Africa’s most formidable leading ladies: Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes, both known for creating unforgettable soap characters. After a long stint on Isidingo, Kgomotso this year clinched a SAFTA award (her third) for her performance in Scandal. She is cut out for the role of Dineo, a beautiful yet tragic second wife with a heart of gold beneath all the Gucci. Michelle rose to fame in the eighties with star turns in series like Arende and Konings, and ruffled the feathers as At Koster’s wife in Binnelanders. And who will ever forget how she called the shots as Isidingo’s super-bitch, Cherel de Villiers?

 

 

In Legacy, Mary-anne Barlow will be the villain everybody loves to hate – Felicity, Sebastian’s eldest daughter. Mary-anne has proved her mettle in shows like Egoli, the British drama Wild At Heart and 1 Magic’s The River, for which she scooped a Best Supporting Actress SAFTA award.

 

 

Seasoned film, television and theatre actor Deon Lotz is Legacy’s Sebastian. Deon had a starring role in Skoonheid – South Africa’s Academy Award entry for 2011, and the first Afrikaans film to be shown at the Cannes film festival, where it won the Queer Palm Award. He also played government kingpin Kobie Coetsee in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and boasts a long list of accolades for his work in kykNET films.

 

 

The charming stud who will set the hearts aflutter with his dazzling good looks is Sebastian’s wastrel son, SJ. The role fits Anton David Jeftha like a glove. He has made international inroads in US series filmed in South Africa – most notably Strike Back, Homeland and Dominion.

The rest of the cast will be announced in due course.

 

 

Get ready

Legacy is the brainchild of Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon from the multiple-award-winning production company Tshedza Pictures. Their latest feat, The River, made a clean sweep at this year’s SAFTA awards with ten Golden Horns. Johnny Barbuzano (Still Breathing) shares director’s duties with Catharine Cooke and Krijay Govender. Trevor Brown is the director of photography.

 

 

Legacy will be screened in September 2020 on M-Net Channel 101. DStv Premium viewers can also catch the series on Catch Up, or stream the episodes live via their mobile devices on DStv Now. Follow all the breaking news around the show on the M-Net Website , and join the conversation with #LegacySA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv) and Facebook (@MNet).

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Today Spotify is excited to announce that South African rapper Willy Cardiac is the second artist to join RADAR – Spotify’s global emerging artists program featuring artists from over 50 markets worldwide. RADAR is Spotify’s commitment to emerging artists across all stages of their career development.

Willy Cardiac’s new single “Fan of Me” is available for streaming on Spotify

This announcement comes with the release of his latest single “Fan of Me” that is now available for streaming on Spotify. ‘Fan of Me’ serves a high energy iteration of Trap&B, with equal parts thump and rhythm, the track marries both worlds perfectly. Flexing on production by KindlyNxsh, the irresistible melodic trap that Willy Cardiac delivers features a suave verse by Los Angeles crooner Eric Bellinger. Bellinger is renowned for working with artists including Justin Bieber, Usher and Chris Brown. ‘Fan of Me’ is bound to gain Willy Cardiac even more fans.

 

Back in 2017 Willy Cardiac dropped his debut track “Sippy Dippy”, which saw him go viral and earn a league of fans dubbed the Willy Gang and it is this growing fan base that fuels Willy Cardiac’s performances. The 19-year-old rising star, who has been described as ‘authentic’ and ‘forward thinking’, has a raw energy that captured the eye of popular rapper Ricky Rick and earned him an invitation to perform at the inaugural Cotton Fest.

After years of online success, Willy Cardiac has finally broken into the mainstream and bagged himself a spot on MTVs ‘Hottest MC List 2020 New Wave.’ Now, his inclusion in Spotify’s RADAR program will further accelerate his career by helping him deepen his connection to his existing audience as well as extend his reach globally.

 

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for South Africa, said: “Now more than ever, emerging artists need as much platform support as possible to showcase their music to local and international audiences. Spotify has always been committed to artist development, and to connecting fans with the music they will love. We believe that RADAR will help set up Willy Cardiac for long term success with a worldwide Hip-hop listenership.”

 

Together with the RADAR program, Spotify also recently introduced the On Our RADAR: Africa playlist, which will highlight music from new African artists and their latest releases. The playlist will also serve as a content hub for all the must-know tracks and hot new artists across a full spectrum of genres from the continent and the African diaspora. The playlist will continue to solidify Spotify as the ultimate destination for artist discovery and a powerful partner for rising artists.

 

Under the RADAR program, Willy Cardiac will be supported across different verticals. From first-hand editorial and on-platform support, to bespoke Spotify social media content to broaden his fan base and more.

 

“I am thrilled to be chosen by Spotify to be a part of their RADAR program,” says Willy Cardiac. All the hard work I have put into my music continues to be recognised and having Spotify support me on my journey will make my music accessible to millions of users around the world, from South Africa all the way to America. There’s no limit to where your music can go.”

 

Willy Cardiac joins Spotify’s emerging artist program, following the footsteps of international superstars such as Lil Baby,  Rex Orange County, and Lauv who not so long ago were just starting out. Each one was assisted in this journey by Spotify’s dedication to bringing up-and-coming artists to music fans’ radar.

 

Earlier in March, Spotify announced Elaine as their first South African RADAR artist and continue to support Elaine’s music to date with forthcoming fan-driven events and editorial support from all around the world.

 

This weekend Willy Cardiac will kick off an IG Live series where he will be joined by some of his popular industry friends to trade ‘fan encounter’ stories. The IG Live series will start on Monday 1 June from 8pm (SAST) and run as per below –

 

Download the Spotify app via the Android or iOS app store or by heading to www.spotify.com – to embed Spotify into a website – right click on any playlist, go to ‘share’ and copy embed code.

 

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The borders are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore your continent this Africa Day, thanks to this starter guide to classic African films on Showmax.

BOTSWANA: 

 

A United Kingdom (2016)

 

The year before South Africa formalised Apartheid in 1948, King Seretse Khama (two-time Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo) of the neighbouring British protectorate of Bechuanaland married a British white woman, Ruth Williams (Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike). This upset both their families, not to mention the governments of South Africa, South West Africa, Rhodesia and the United Kingdom, who tried to declare Khama unfit to rule.

 

The opening film of the 2016 BFI London Film Festival, A United Kingdom is more than just a heart-warming true story of love overcoming all odds: it’s also the story of Botswana’s independence, its transition to democracy, and its fight to retain the rights to any diamonds found within its borders.

 

Director Amma Asante (The Handmaid’s Tale) won the Black Reel Award for Outstanding World Cinema Motion Picture; Guy Hibbert (Eye in the Sky) won a British Screenwriters’ Award for Best British Feature Film Writing; and South African actress Terry Pheto (Tsotsi) was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Seretse’s sister, Naledi Khama.

 

A United Kingdom has an 84% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian hailing it as “a beautifully shot, crowd-pleasing gem.”

Watch and embed the trailer: https://youtu.be/pX5vI4osR50

BURKINA FASO: 

Mooladé (2004)

Ousmane Sembène’s Mooladé is set in a village in Burkina Faso, where four young girls flee their ritual ‘purification’ to the household of Colle’ Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong-willed woman who has managed to shield her own teenage daughter from female genital mutilation.

 

Colle’ invokes the time-honored custom of moolaadé (sanctuary) to protect the fugitives but the ensuing stand-off pits her against the village traditionalists, both male and female, and endangers her daughter’s upcoming marriage.

 

Mooladé won Un Certain Regard and a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes in 2004. The movie has a 99% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus calls it, “A vibrant, powerful, and poignant glimpse into the struggles of women in modern Africa.” It’s been included in The New Yorker’s list of the Top 25 Films Of The Century So Far,  the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century, and Steven Schneider’s 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Watch and embed the trailer: https://vimeo.com/159338258

 

CAPE VERDE

Nha Fala / My Voice My Voice (2002)

Flora Gomes’ Nha Fala / My Voice My Voice follows Vita, a young woman from a family in Cape Verde that has been cursed: any woman in the family who sings will be struck dead. But while studying in Paris, she falls in love with a musician and becomes an international star. Convinced she’s proved the curse isn’t real, she returns to Cape Verde to convince her family.

 

Nha Fala / My Voice My Voice won six international awards, including the Laterna Magic Prize at Venice in 2002, and was the only film from Africa to compete at Berlin that year.

 

Grammy-nominated Cameroonian star Manu Dibango, who tragically passed away from Covid-19 in March 2020, wrote and produced the film’s music.

 

Watch and embed the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTvM9s7rbSM

EGYPT

Bab El Hadid / Cairo Station (1958)

In Bab El Hadid / Cairo Station, Youssef Chahine both directs and stars as Qinawi, a crippled newspaper vendor who falls for a lemonade seller, Hanouma, who is engaged to another station worker, Abu-Serih. As Abu-Serih tries to unionise the station workers, Qinawi’s fixation on Hanouma crosses the line from innocent crush to dangerous obsession.

 

Cairo Station was included in The Story of Film, the definitive history of cinema, and Chahine went on to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cannes in 1997.

 

The movie has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Time Out praised it as “a great overlooked masterpiece”, The Guardian as“unmissable”, The Hollywood Reporter as “a jewel of a film” and BBC as “an excellent thriller, and one that anticipates the serial killer genre that Hitchcock’s Psycho kick-started a few years later… a cinematic triumph.”

 

Watch and embed the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOJpiUZphTE

 

ETHIOPIA

Harvest: 3000 Years (1975) 

Haile Gerima’s feature film debut, Harvest: 3000 Years, is set in Ethiopia and follows a slow-boiling feud between a wealthy land-owner and a protestor who feels he is mistreating his labourers.

 

Shot during the Ethiopian civil war, Harvest: 3000 Years won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Silver Leopard at Locarno in 1976.

 

Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) presented a restored version of Harvest: 3000 Years at Cannes in 2006 and at Tribeca in 2008. As he wrote for Tribeca, the film “has a particular kind of urgency which few pictures possess. This is the story of an entire people, and its collective longing for justice and good faith. An epic, not in scale but in emotional and political scope.” The Tate Modern also honoured the film with a special screening in 2015.

 

Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th) has hailed Gerima as a “a giant of cinema. A giant, I say.”

ESWATINI

Liyana (2017)

Liyana is a genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who, with some guidance from South African storyteller Gcina Mhlope, turn past trauma into an original fable about a girl named Liyana, who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves Liyana’s animated journey together with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.

 

Winner of over 35 awards, Liyana is the directorial debut of Swaziland-born-and-raised Aaron Kopp, with his wife Amanda. Before moving into directing, Aaron shot the Oscar-winning documentary Saving Face and the Oscar-nominated The Hunting Ground.

 

Liyana is executive produced by Emmy winner Thandie Newton (Westworld), produced by Oscar winner Daniel Junge (Saving Face), and edited by Davis Coombe (Chasing Coral, Chasing Ice). Nigerian Shofela Coker created the stunning animated artwork, while South African Philip Miller composed the score.

 

Entertainment Weekly hailed it as “gorgeous. Unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen,” while The Hollywood Reporter praised it as “A lyrical work, as bright and captivating as it is poignant.”

 

Watch and embed the trailer: https://youtu.be/CjT9RtV9gs4

 

KENYA

Supa Modo (2018)

Jo (Stycie Waweru) is a witty nine-year-old obsessed with Jackie Chan movies. She’s also terminally ill. When she is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life, her only comfort is her dream of being a superhero – a dream her rebellious teenage sister Mwix (Nyawara Ndambia), overprotective mother Kathryn (Marrianne Nungo) and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfil…

Directed by Kenyan Likarion Wainana and produced by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Perfume, Babylon Berlin), Supa Modo has won over 50 international awards, including Best European Film For Children at the European Children’s Film Association Awards in 2019, a Children’s Jury Special Mention in the Generation 14Plus category at Berlin in 2019, and the Audience Award at Children’s Film Festival Seattle in 2019.

 

Supa Modo has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes: Variety called it “a tender, bittersweet fable,” while The Seattle Times wrote, “I’m glad movie theatres are dark because I ugly-cried my way through all 74 minutes of Supa Modo. I straight-up bawled my eyes out… Brutal and beautiful, melancholy and joyous, Supa Modo is simultaneously crushing and uplifting.”

 

Watch and embed the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK6JwllJTRY

 

MALAWI: 

 

Buddha in Africa (2019)

In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, a Malawian teenager finds himself torn between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock is now in his final year of school and has to make some tough decisions about his future. Will he return to his relatives in his home village or study abroad in Taiwan?

 

Directed by South African Nicole Schafer, Buddha in Africa was praised by Variety as “a complicated portrait of what’s been described as the latest chapter in Africa’s long struggle against colonization.”

 

Buddha in Africa screened at IDFA 2019, arguably the world’s top documentary festival, as part of their prestigious Best Of Fests line-up, after winning Best South African Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival. At the 2020 SAFTAs, Buddha in Africa won both Best Documentary and Best Directing.

 

Watch and embed the trailer: https://vimeo.com/327736704

 

MALI:

La Vie Sur Terre / Life on Earth (1998)

 

Abderrahmane Sissako’s 1998 film La Vie Sur Terre / Life on Earth follows Dramane, who returns from France to visit his father in a village in Mali.

 

Life on Earth is ranked joint fourth on the Tarifa-Tangiers African Film Festival’s list of the 10 best African films of all time and won 10 international awards, including the Grand Prix at Fribourg, where the FIPRESCI critics jury also gave the film a Special Mention “for the high level of the director’s political debate and the loveable, poetic and ironic view on the everyday life of his characters.”

 

Sissako went on to direct Timbuktu, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2015 and named one of the Top 25 Films of the 21st Century by The New York Times, among other honours.

 

Watch and embed the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw9wnztETMo

 

SENEGAL: 

 

Hyènes / Hyenas (1992)

In Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1992 classic Hyènes / Hyenas, an exorbitantly rich woman returns to her poor Senegalese village and forces it to choose between her patronage and her old flame, now the mayor.

 

Hyenas was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1992 and was ranked joint fourth on the Tarifa-Tangiers African Film Festival’s list of the 10 best African films of all time.

 

The Hollywood Reporter called it “a wicked skewering of both the rich and those who seek their handouts… Mambety’s beautifully shot and colorfully performed fable entertains, but its final frames are no laughing matter.”

Watch and embed the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqO9FFwIAGA

 

Other African classics on Showmax include:

  • Idrissa Ouedraogo’s breakthrough 1989 film, Yaaba / Grandmother, is the story of two children in Burkina Faso who make friends with an old woman who has been outcast as a witch by her village. At Cannes in 1989, Yaaba shared the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize with Steven Soderbergh’s  Sex, Lies and Videotape and also took a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2swWIqEA3s

 

 

  • Ousmane Sembène’s debut 1966 film, La Noire De… / Black Girl, the story of a young Senegalese woman who is employed as a governess for a French family in Dakar and moves with them to the Riviera, where her comfortable duties as a nanny in a wealthy household are replaced by the drudgery and indignities of a maid. Black Girl won the Tanit d’Or at Carthage in 1966, among other prizes; was ranked joint fourth on the Tarifa-Tangiers African Film Festival’s list of the 10 best African films of all time; and was hailed by Oscar winner Martin Scorcese (The Irishman) as “an astonishing movie.” Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPx68M_T4u8

 

 

 

  • Ousmane Sembène’s Camp De Thiaroye, about the treatment of the French West African Armed Forces after they fought to defend France in World War II.  Camp De Thiaroye won six awards at Venice in 1988, including the Grand Special Jury Prize.

 

  • Youssef Chahine’s Alexandria Why?, about an Egyptian teen who escapes his country’s tense political climate during World War II through his love of American film. Alexandria Why? took home the Special Jury Prize and the C.I.D.A.L.C. Diploma at Berlin in 1979. Chahine went on to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cannes in 1997.

 

 

 

  • Mbithi Masya’s Kati Kati, about a young amnesiac who wakes up in the middle of the wilderness with no idea how she got there. The Kenyan film won the the FIPRESCI Critics Prize at Toronto in 2016; was named Best East African Film at the 2017 Africa Movie Viewers Choice Awards; and won the New Voices/New Visions Award Special Mention at the Palm Springs International Festival, among other accolades. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORXo9AtKqEk.

 

 

 

  • The Nest Collective’s Stories of Our Lives, an anthology of five short films about the queer experience in Kenya. Stories of Our Lives won seven awards, including the Teddy Jury Award at Berlin in 2015, where the jury hailed its “brave and beautiful filmmaking, based on true stories that cannot fail to touch each one of us.” Trailer: https://youtu.be/KxDr1ue-lHc
    • Moussa Sene Absa’s Madame Brouette, about a single mother in Senegal who sells goods from a wheelbarrow but dreams of opening a canteen. Madame Brouette won four international awards, including Best Music at Berlin.  Trailer: https://youtu.be/5h2b7bOyX0U

 

  • Flora Gomes’ Po Di Sangui / Tree of Blood, set in a Guinea-Bissau village where the trees planted upon the birth of each child begin falling rapidly and mysteriously. Tree of Blood competed for the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 1996 and won a Silver Tanit at Carthage, among other honours. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTdKO6cl1lU
    • Raoul Peck’s Lumumba: Death Of A Prophet, about the assasination of the first prime minister of the post-colonial Democratic Republic of Congo. Lumumba won the Procirep Award at Cinema du Reel in 1992, among other international accolades, while Peck went on to earn an Oscar nomination for I Am Not Your Negro in 2017.
  • Dyana Gaye’s Deweneti, which follows Ousmane, a seven-year-old beggar in Senegal, who decides to write a letter to Santa Claus. Deweneti won six awards, including  the Special Jury Award at Clermont-Ferrand, arguably the top short film festival in the world.
    • Njue Kevin’s 18 Hours, based on the true story of a rookie paramedic and his driver who spent 18 hours fighting to save the life of a road accident victim who was denied admission at multiple hospitals in Nairobi. In 2018, 18 Hours became the first Kenyan film to win Best Movie Overall at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. Trailer: https://youtu.be/DqTAsS-wwFs
    • Also look out for FESPACO Grand Prize winners like Mweze Ngangura’s Identity Pieces | 

 

 

Pièces d’identités (DRC, 1999), Gaston Kabore’s Buud Yam (Burkina Faso, 1997), Roger Gnoan M’Bala’s Au Nom Du Christ (Cote d’Ivoire, 1993) and Kwah Ansah’s Heritage Africa (Ghana, 1989), as well as Wanuri Kahiu’s Africa Movie Academy Awards Best Film winner From A Whisper (Kenya, 2009).

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