Anim-A-frica

AFRICA SET TO START ROLLING OUT ANIMATED MOVIES AFTER MAMA K’S TEAM 4 BAGS DEAL WITH NETFLIX

Source: The Source

Source: The Source

This is certainly an awesome feat Africa is fixing to attain. Truth be told, there isn’t any nook or cranny in Africa that didn’t have its children grow up on cartoons. Cartoons have always been an integral part of a child’s formative years. They spur the imagination, break boundaries, correct vocabulary, and open you to a whole new world of possibilities. Sadly, it seems like the cartoon culture in Africa is dying but a young group of female writers and designers have risen to save the day.

Netflix is set to join forces with Cape Town-based studios – Triggerfish Animation Studios and leading London based Kid’s entertainment specialist CAKE to produce an award-winning animation Mama K’s Team 4. Netflix, during the week, announced this partnership and the whole of Africa is currently waiting to download as soon as the production is available. I am particularly excited because it’s more like a dream come true – let me keep my inner child in check for a second so I don’t digress.

Source: Quartz

Source: Quartz

Mama K’s Team 4 tells the story of four-teen girls living in the neo-futuristic African city of Lusaka, Zambia who are recruited by a retired secret agent still committed to saving the world. The series joins Netflix’s growing slate of original animated programming designed for kids and families everywhere, brought to 190 countries by artists from around the world. Written by Zambian, Malenga Mulendema and designed by Cameroonian artist, Malcolm Wope, it draws visual inspiration from retro-’90s R&B and hip hop girl groups - Quartz. It is a beautiful story of 4 seemingly regular Zambian teenage girls who are committed to saving the world.

I TINK that this venture is timely as it is poised to save the cartoon culture among African children, spark up creativity among African writers, designers, and developers, and also inject a huge dose of entertainment to our screens.

This is certainly going to be the first of its kind as a lot more will come from the stables of Africa in the coming days. *fingers crossed*

Moving to the Movies

WE ARE YET TO SEE THE MOVIES 2019 PROMISED AND THE ANXIETY IS BUILDING.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

So January just ended like 2 days ago and February is beaming its light of love upon each one of us. However, 2019 is yet to start as far as I am concerned because it is yet to deliver on its entertainment promises. If you are movie lover you would immediately get where this is going.

In 2018 there was quite a buzz around movies to look forward, now this is 2019 and the anxiety is up to my gut and it’s about to jump out of my throat and I speak not for myself alone but for the love of Africans as we are still basking in the euphoria of the block buster movie – Black Panther.

There are so many movies to see this year and soon Africans would be moving to the movies. We would literally carry our blankets and water bottles to the cinemas as soon as these movies hit the screens.

These are the movies I remember and i’m looking forward to; so feel free to add the movie you are waiting for in the comment section below.

  1. Spiderman - Far From Home

2. Lion King

3. Game of Thrones - Season 8

4. Avengers 4 - End Game

5. Glass

6. Dumbo

7. Men in Black 4

8. Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw

9. Madeas Family Funeral

So are you with me on this one?

Tongues on Radio

ARE YOU A RADIO LOVER? THEN YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ONE.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

As a young chap, while growing up, my uncle used to listen to a lot of radio. He would go to bed listening to the radio, wake up still listening, have his bath while listening, and drive while listening. I never went to his office but I can bet my last Naira that he had a radio on his office desk. When mobile phones that had the capacity to carry a radio app, my uncle never took off his ear plugs but the thing is, back then I never believed you can be African and be on an African radio station, you had to have been born abroad, particularly America or London, or you must have the tongue of a thousand angels.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Now a new trend has blown over the African radio world and they have begun to embrace the mother tongue, the African accent, now people like me know that those behind the microphone live in my city. On air personalities have learnt the art of connecting to their audience by communicating with the day to day lingua. It has now become irritating and intolerable for an African presenter to come on air with a foreign accent.

People want to be able to identify and connect with the voices they have helped them get through the day, so no need to fake a personality, be yourself.

What’s Next With Dance?

HUMAN BEINGS ARE VERY CREATIVE; CONSTANTLY INVENTING NEW DANCE MOVES -IT CAN SOMETIMES BE OVERWHELMING.

Source: EneNaija

Source: EneNaija

Is it that someone sits somewhere and brainstorms on a new dance move or while enjoying good music a dance move pops into the mind? because it is just amazing the kind of moves that have hit the dance floors and we just want to know, what's coming next? 

When you think you’ve seen it all, something new will hit you like an ocean tide slapping itself against the shore. Surely, we thought there couldn’t be anything else after yahoozee but no, many more have rocked the dance floor. If you don't know some moves mentioned here, its ok, you will be fine, some of us are already old.

I remember when I was yet to perfect my Crip walk; after giving up on learning Galala, Swoor came along, and then azonto; West Africa surely did fall in love with azonto as it was showcased in practically every single music video.

Soon after, Nigerian artists brought Skelewu, Sekem, etighi, alkayida, and Shakiti bobo to the spotlight; shutting down events and parties while bursting out these moves. 
 

Then after came another dance move, shoki. If you didn’t know this move then you didn’t know anything about dance. Ladies always wanted to be around the best dancers but I couldn’t be bothered.

At the moment the shaku shaku and gwara gwara crase is seemingly unmatched by any other dance move that we've seen in the past or any other that currently lives along side them. And so we ask the question again, what’s next with dance?
I for one can’t wait to see what the next move will likely be, and as a result, I have started taking flexibility classes to unlock these stiff bones. I have to be ready to steal the show, oppress the boys and impress the girls.

So, other than giving you an interesting read and taking you on a jolly ride through time, this article is also designed to make you google every dance move mentioned and learn them.

Shining light on Surulere, the Silent Entertainment Hub in Nigeria

Lagos.jpg

Surulere, one of the major areas in Lagos, Nigeria sits 18.1Km away from the State’s Capital Ikeja. Surulere translates to “Patience is Virtue” in Yoruba language, one of major languages spoken in the country. Beyond the existence of a lifestyle reflecting patience, hard work as a lifestyle is evident in this region. Surulere as a residential and commercial Local Government Area stands as one of the most vibrant areas in the Lagos mainland, mostly known for being a boiling point for the city’s Sports and athletic affairs. The region houses two international sport venues and this spirit is evident in its resident’s energetic display. Sports accounts for one of the Nigerian major source of entertainment and this has Surulere boiling over constantly with activities surrounding Sports. It’s easy to see culture reflected in the lives of the region’s residents, as most inhabitants of the area and its surroundings are wake early to jog, cycle or run along the road close to and around the National Stadium. Rich and overflowing with businesses, Surulere has a large number of the most prominent Clothing stores, Interior Design boutiques, car dealer shops and sports shops popular on the mainland area. Asides staying bubbly all day, there is no sleep in Surulere too; numerous bars, lounges, clubs and pubs, gives enormous life to the area’s effervescent night life.

Considering these realities, it’s no surprise that region today is giving birth to an increasing number of bright stars, covering sports, music and movies. One of these stars is the very iconic Afropop star, Wizkid aka Starboy. Wizkid the young artiste who is redefining Afropop across the world has paid homage to his humble roots, Ojuelegba in Surulere in a track titled “Ojuelegba”. On the single, he sang and recounted the huge influence his birth place played in shaping and forming him into the star he is today “Ni ojuelegba - in Ojuelegba / they know my story / From Mo'Dogg studio/ I be hustle to work…” Wizkid today might be named as the most successful and most iconic Afropop artiste in Contemporary Nigerian Music scene. The 27 year old is going places many before and after him can only dream of. With numerous enviable awards, international features, international tours and a number of world billboard charts tops tied to his name, this young star is putting not just Nigeria but Africa on the global map with his artistry like no other African Artiste of his time. Among his numerous endorsements is one with the international beverage giant, Pepsi reportedly worth 350,000 U.S dollars! Time and time again Wizkid has named his Surulere root as one of his biggest influence.

An interesting element of influence to Wizkid’s success story is the late, legendry Music producer and artiste OJB Jezreel. OJB, another Surulere born and bred icon played a key role in laying Wizkid’s career foundation. OJB was a strong pillar in building the bubbling Music industry both as a Producer and as an artiste. He released unforgettable singles like ‘Searching’ and ‘Pretete’ amongst others.  At the peak of his career, he worked with 2face Idibia, single handedly producing 'Face 2 Face' album; the album which had the singles “African Queen” and “Ole”. African Queen brought home to Nigeria for the first time the MTV Best African Act award (2005) and was used as an original soundtrack for the film Phat Girlz, an applaud worthy feat at the time. Beyond 2face, OJB worked with Bennie Man, Faze, Iyanya, D'banj, Durella, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Jazzman Olofin, Weird MC, Paul Ik Dairo, Daddy Showkey, Sir Shina Peters, Olu Maintain to mention a few.

 

I can’t say for sure if it’s something in air or in the water at Surulere but another fast rising star has sprouted out from this same area and has mentioned her participation in Her local church Choir perhaps back in her Surulere place of birth as a strong foundation to the start of her career. Simi, the new Nigerian music sweetheart is stealing the heart of the country and the continent at a rate no one expected. In the highly competitive Nigerian Music industry, one notably ruthless to women, Simi stands out and has kept her success pace rising through the years. She’s set to release her second studio album titled after her, “Simisola”. Simi was born back in 1988 in Ojuelegba, Surulere just like Wizkid. Today she has a number of hit singles, features, quite a load of nominations and awards to her name in a rather short period of time.

 

The Surulere light shines beyond the music industry, into the local Movie industry so much so that it has been named by some the entertainment capital of Nigeria mostly for the role it played and still plays in producing fresh crop of Actors and Movie producers. Surulere has been recognised by many as the official birthplace of Nollywood. Though in recent times due to the high cost of production in Lagos, Film production has since moved to other cities down the South East, especially Asaba, an otherwise sleepy and calm town, Surulere still plays a role in housing many production houses and studios. Nollywood resonates across Africa into distant continents telling authentic Nigerian and African stories in the most Original ways. During the early stages of the industry back in Surulere, movies were popularized at first through video cassettes which traded locally and across Africa, today the industry has a number of channels on satellite and cable television channels, as well as on streaming services like iRokoTV. Though most Nollywood movies are delivered in English and local Nigerian languages, Francophone African countries now tune into the buzzing industry through, a satellite channel called Nollywood which offers viewers round-the-clock movies dubbed into French.

A number of active Nollywood actors like Ramsey Noah, Desmond Elliot, Damiola Adegbite, Linda Ejiofor amongst others have mentioned Surulere as their birthplace, root and center of influence into stardom.