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The Racism Fighter, Maïga3 minutes read

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Racism has been a long age issue, an issue that has affected negatively the peaceful cohabitation of humans as a result of skin colour. The recent force in constant rise of this long lived problem has caused many to rise up and speak against it. Many have become racial discrimination advocates. Meet one of them:

Aïssa Maïga is a Senegal-born French actress, director, writer, producer, and activist. Maïga has worked with major auteurs like Michael Haneke, Abderrahmane Sissako and Michel Gondry, and recently starred in Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut.

Maïga is an advocate for inclusion and has been vocal about racial discrimination in the film industry throughout her career. Maïga was inspired to speak out and create the DiasporAct collective after realising she was often the sole performer of colour to receive top billing and awards season attention—despite the abundance of diverse talent around her.
Maïga landed a role alongside Yvan Attal in Denis Amart’s Saraka Bô in 1996, her acting was well received and she went on to play a rebellious young girl in Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown in 2000 and his later film Caché in 2005. Her work in Cédric Klapisch’s Russian Dolls in 2005 cemented her role as a notable performer in French cinema.

Maïga was nominated for a César Award for Most Promising Actress for her role in Abderrahmane Sissako’s Malian drama Bamako (2006) and became the first French actress of African descent to ever receive a nomination, thereby becoming the most visible black actress working in France. That same year, an anthology film called Paris, je t’aime (2006) was also premiered at Cannes and Maïga was the female lead in the short film directed by South African filmmaker Oliver Schmitz. Maïga was joined on the Cannes red carpet by Oliver Schmitz and producer Danny Glover.

Bianco e nero (2008) starring Maïga and Favio Volo was the first successful and mainstream Italian film to tackle interracial romance. In 2009, Maïga won Best Actress for Bianco e nero (2008) at the Festival du Cinema Italien de Bastia.

Maïga co-starred with Chiwetel Ejiofor in his joint film with Netflix set during the Malawian food crisis in the 2000s, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019). She was the lead female character—Agnes Kamkwamba—and the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was added to Netflix on March 1st, 2019

Maïga and the DiasporAct collective held a peaceful anti-racism protest as they went into the premiere of Lee Chang-dong’s FIPRESCI Prize–winning film, Burning at the 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The group of women stood at the top of the red carpet steps at the festival and raised their fists while dancing joyously to the Rihanna song Diamonds to protest the racial bias and discrimination that is rampant within the French film industry. During a press conference that featured the group, Maïga told Agence France-Presse that setting up a racial quota in the French film industry is a potential option for combating the lack of onscreen diversity, and acknowledged that this could spark strong opposition in France. All members of the group wore matching black and white ensembles created by Balmain’s mixed-race designer Olivier Rousteing who told Vogue:

“I think we are really at a huge turning point in every industry, whether film, or fashion, or music. We are living in a world where we are trying to break from the past and define what we want from the future. I believe in the power of women, I have since I was a little boy, and this moment means a lot to me.”

The clear message of the protest, combined with the recently released book to back it up, was met positively—the consequent media reports talked of their beauty, style and courage and the group hope that the industry will continue to evolve to be more inclusive.

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The Afrobeat Legend

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Without much words, meet the pioneer of Afrobeat and the one who paved the way for the success and prominence of the African music and it’s industry. The great Pan-African.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti was born 15th October, 1938. He was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and Pan-Africanist. At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers”.
Kuti is remembered as an influential icon who was brave enough to boldly voice his opinions on matters that affected the nation through his music. An annual festival “Felabration” held each year to celebrate the life of this music legend and his birthday.

Since his death in 1997, there has been a revival of his influence in music and popular culture, culminating in another re-release of his catalog controlled by Universal Music, Broadway and off-Broadway biographically based shows, and new bands, such as Antibalas, who carry the Afrobeat banner to a new generation of listeners.

Fela was born in Abeokuta, the modern-day capital of Ogun State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, then a city in the British Colony of Nigeria, into an upper-middle-class family. His mother, Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement; his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, an Anglican minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers. His brothers Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, were well known in Nigeria. Fela is a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first black African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Fela attended Abeokuta Grammar School. Later he was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine, but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music, the trumpet being his preferred instrument. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife.
The musical style of Fela is called Afrobeat, a style he largely created, which is a complex fusion of jazz, funk, Ghanaian highlife, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker pan”. Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer of twenty years) was instrumental in the creation of Afrobeat. Fela once stated that “there would be no Afrobeat, without Tony Allen”.

Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based “endless groove” is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.

Fela’s band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones, whereas most groups were using only one of this instrument. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles and can be seen in funk and hip hop. His bands at times even performed with two bassists at the same time both playing interlocking melodies and rhythms. There were always two or more guitarists. The electric West African style guitar in Afrobeat bands are paramount, but are used to give basic structure, playing a repeating chordal/melodic statement, riff or groove.

Fela’s songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language. His main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards, but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo. Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa.

As Fela’s musical career developed, so too did his political influence throughout the world. In turn, the religious aspect of his musical approach grew. Fela was a part of an Afro-Centric consciousness movement that was founded on and delivered through his music. In an interview found in the Hank Bordowitz analysis Noise of the World, Fela stated: “Music is supposed to have an effect. If you’re playing music and people don’t feel something, you’re not doing shit. That’s what African music is about. When you hear something, you must move. I want to move people to dance, but also to think. Music wants to dictate a better life, against a bad life. When you’re listening to something that depicts having a better life, and you’re not having a better life, it must have an effect on you.”

Kuti was a political giant in Africa from the 1970s until his death. He criticized the corruption of Nigerian government officials and the mistreatment of Nigerian citizens. He spoke of colonialism as the root of the socio-economic and political problems that plagued the African people. Corruption was one of the worst political problems facing Africa in the 70s, if not the worst; and Nigeria was among the most corrupt countries of the time. Its government was responsible for election rigging and coups that ultimately worsened poverty, economic inequality, unemployment, and political instability, which further promoted corruption and thuggery. Fela’s protest songs covered themes inspired by the realities of corruption and socio-economic inequality in Africa. Fela Kuti’s political statements could be heard throughout Africa.

Kuti was outspoken; his songs spoke his inner thoughts. His rise in popularity throughout the 1970s signaled a change in the relation between music as an art form and Nigerian socio-political discourse. In 1984, he harshly criticized and insulted the then authoritarian president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. One of his popular songs, “Beast Of No Nation”, refers to Buhari as an animal in a madman’s body; in Nigerian Pidgin: “No be outside Buhari dey ee, na krase man be dat, animal in krase man skin ii”. Kuti strongly believed in Africa and always preached peace among Africans.
A legend!
Rest on!

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The Egyptian King of the Generation

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Egypt has produced many great singers who are thriving beautifully in the world of music.

Meet one of them.

Tamer Hosny
Tamer Hosny Sherif Abbas Farghaly was born 16th August, 1977 and is known by his artistic name Tamer Hosny. He is an Egyptian singer, actor, composer, director and songwriter. He first came to public attention when he appeared on mix tapes with other Egyptian artists. Hosny launched his solo career with his 2004 album Hob, becoming a successful singer of romantic music and was given the nickname “King of the Generation” by his fans. In December 2019, Hosny broke the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a bulletin board.

Tamer Hosny was born in Cairo Unlike his father, Hosny Sherif Abbas, Tamer Hosny grew up with an interest in football and played the sport for five years.Tamer Hosny had his first directorial experience in 2010 when directing his music video “Sa7eet 3la Sotha”. Tamer had a long-held ambition to become a director and to make his own music video. Hosny starred in the 2003 Egyptian film Halet Hob (A State of Love). In 2006, he was arrested for forging military papers to avoid serving in the army. He received a one-year prison sentence, yet he only stayed in jail for six months.

In 2012 he released “Omar & Salma 3”, the third sequel to the Omar & Salma films. Hosny has frequently stated that he was not satisfied with the film. In a recent interview on the Set El Hosn program, he admitted that “I’m not happy with how the movie turned out, although many people love it and it was a box office success. I don’t blame anyone else for that, I take responsibility for it. We had to make major plot changes due to financial reasons.”

After three years away from the movie industry, he released Ahwak alongside Ghada Adel and Ahmed Malek. It is a romantic comedy about a young plastic surgeon who falls in love with a divorced woman. The film was a success at the box office, with total revenue of 22 million Egyptian pounds.

In 2017, Hosny released Tesbah ala kher (Good Night), a comedy drama about a wealthy entrepreneur who suffers from depression and hallucinations. Falcon films – the company responsible for distributing the movie in the Arab world – released an official statement saying that the movie has topped the box office in the Arab world.

Tamer sang Bokra “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)” a charity single that was released on 11 November 2011 at 11:11 pm, along with Rim Banna, Akon, Diana Karazon, Marwan Khoury, Latifa, Souad Massi, Hani Mitwasi, Saber Rebaï, Kathem Al-Saher, Waed, Sherine and other Arab Artists. The single will distribute the proceeds of its donations to various organisations, institutions and charities with arts and culture programs. The eight-minute song was written by Majida El Roumi, and produced by Quincy Jones and RedOne.

Tamer Hosny has recorded a new duet song with Shaggy, named “Smile”. The song, written and composed by Tamer Hosny, wasdistributed all over the world. The music video was released at the beginning of 2012; the music video was shot in New York City, and it has achieved huge success; it achieved more than one million views in only 3 days on YouTube, and for this exceptional growth rate, YouTube awarded the music video a trending medal.

Tamer decided to make his Egyptian/Arab identity present in these collaborations, So he made Snoop Dogg appear in their music video wearing Egyptian traditional cloths known as Jellabiya and also wrote Snoop’s name in Arabic on the car appearing in the video.
Tamer performed “Right Where I’m Supposed to Be” as the Official Song of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in collaboration with Ryan Tedder, Avril Lavigne, Luis Fonsi, Hussain Al Jassmi and Assala Nasri openly presented by Public figure Hilal Al- Battashi.

Because of Tamer’s famous charismatic stage presence and creativity, his fans now call him “King of the stage”. In an interview with Sherihan Abu Al Hassan on her program Set El Hosn, Tamer said that he doesn’t pay much attention to the titles given to him by the fans like “King of generation” although he does appreciate the “King of the stage” title due to his efforts to improve the stage appearance in Egypt. “I’m no king, I’m not a fan of titles at all, I only appreciate the fact that my efforts to improve Egypt’s stage appearance are acknowledged by the fans ” he said, “My favorite title is just being called an Egyptian Arab artist when performing abroad.”

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Nomcebo shoots herself in the foot.

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Reports have it that Jerusalema star Nomcebo Zikode has landed herself in trouble after she allegedly ignored Covid-19 lockdown regulations and performed at a packed venue.
Ironically, the musician is the one who snitched on herself when she posted a video of her performance on social media.

In the video posted by the musician, she can be seen leading a sing-along and encouraging audience members to sing into her microphone. Nomcebo was also flanked by dancers who pressed up against her while she was performing. The crowd of excited fans could be seen huddled together with no social distancing and no wearing of masks.
Posting the video on Twitter, Nomcebo wrote; “Thanks a lot, Thavhani Mall News Cafe, Thohoyandou, Venda,”

Nomcebo later realized the folly of her actions and deleted the video. By then, however, it was too late. She had already snitched on herself. One of her fans had already downloaded the video and uploaded it onto Youtube.

When questioned about the faux pas, Nomcebo’s management denied any responsibility for the events which occurred saying that it was the venue’s responsibility to ensure adequate health and safety protocols were kept. In an interview with TshisaLive, Bongani Dube said;
“If we are called for performance, whenever, wherever, it is the owner or management of the venue who are supposed to ensure requirements for Covid-19. As a performer, Nomcebo does not have the power to do all those things. Where were the police if the venue was overcrowded? I don’t like that people are saying she participated in it. She is a performer. It was at night. We did one song. We did our show and we left. We did not stay there,”

News Cafe brand manager Varina Singh said the company had since launched an investigation into the matter.
“We have been made aware of the concerns regarding an event hosted at News Cafe Thohoyandou over the weekend, and as the franchisor, we have launched an investigation.
“As a brand, we take non-compliance very seriously, especially since we have taken the necessary steps to minimise Covid-19 risks and exposure at all our stores with strict adherence. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the required action will be taken”.
Nomcebo Zikode is popularly known by her mononym Nomcebo, is a South African singer and songwriter. She is known for her collaboration with DJ Ganyani on their hit single “Emazulwini” and globally for her and Master KG’s hit gospel single “Jerusalema”.

She worked mostly as a back-up singer for other South African artistes like Deborah Fraser, Zahara, Lundi Tyamara and Nhlanhla Nciza for more than 15 years. She was also signed under Ganyani Entertainment, where she provided vocals for songs like “Emazulwini”, which received a nomination for the Record of the Year at the South African Music Awards, “NTO” and “Jabulile”, but as she did not own the songs, she was not allowed to perform them without the consent of the label. Her style of music is Gospel-house.
She gained worldwide popularity after working with DJ Master KG on his 2020 hit single “Jerusalema” for which she provided vocals. She had met Master KG after falling out with Ganyani Entertainemnt. After the success of “Jerusalema”, she released her debut album, Xola Moya Wam. On the album, she features Master KG on the title track, Bongo Beats on two tracks and Makhadzi on another track.

She has released an album titled Xola Moya Wam. She made a collaboration with Master KG and Makhadzi in some of her songs. “Xola Moya Wam”, the title track, is getting much air play and has reached the gold status on Risa. Another popular song on the album is “Siyafana”.

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