Today in #TheLagosReview

International bursary applications open for postgraduate art students

The National Arts Council is looking for applicants interested in a postgraduate qualification in the art sector.

Are you a student interested in a postgraduate qualification in the field of art, looking for funding and interested in studying abroad? Well, look no further as the National Arts Council (NAC) has called for international bursary applications for the 2020–21 academic year.

Rosemary Mangope, CEO at the National Arts Council said, “Particular attention will be paid to applications for postgraduate qualifications that address rare skills required in the South African arts sector in support of the following five NAC funding programmes; social cohesion and nation-building, innovation, design and creation, art platforms, strategic initiatives and capacity building.”

The council made the announcement on January 9.

The National Arts Council is pleased to announce the call for international bursary applications for the 2020/2021 academic year.

The candidates should be interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in the arts at an international institution during the 2020/21 academic year. Their average mark should be at least 65 per cent auld n
ionalot be offered in South Africa.

Mangope says the applicable postgraduate qualifications include honours and master’s degrees, doctorates, master classes and residency programmes. The candidates who are successful in their application should be aware that the grant will not exceed R250 000 per individual.

Closing date for application is 31 January 2020 at 5pm and notification of the outcome of the application will be known on 30 April 2020.

MTN Bushfire presents Short Film Festival 2020

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As one of Africa’s largest and most inclusive music and arts events, MTN Bushfire has earned its global reputation as a distinctly African, yet globally-infused world-class festival experience.

This distinctly African, yet globally-infused festival consciously celebrates inclusivity and magnifies diversity through creative activism and artistic expression in the scenic and peaceful Malkerns Valley of Eswatini from Friday, 29 May – Sunday, 31 May 2020.

The MTN Bushfire Short Film Celebration will take place at The Barn on the mornings of 30 and 31 May 2020 and applications for film submissions are now open via Film Freeway

The screenings will be of short films that focus on African music, musicians or similar topics while the Sunday screenings will focus on short films that reflect the values of MTN Bushfire’s social mandate; diversity, inclusion and tolerance. These films will highlight uplifting and impactful stories from across Africa in the areas of gender rights (LGBTQ), environmentalism and sustainability, social development and justice.

These engaging African films will be the ideal accompaniment to the diverse and exciting live performances that take place across the various MTN Bushfire stages throughout the 3 day festival.

The MTN Bushfire Short Film Celebration is being curated by Lara Utian-Preston and Edima Otuokon, both of whom have extensive film festival and industry experience. Lara and Edima were both involved over many years with the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Additionally, through their work with the Ladima Foundation, a pan-African not for profit organisation that supports women in film, they work closely with a host of film festivals, filmmakers, and film related events across Africa.

Lara Utian-Preston describes the aims of the mini-festival, “We are so excited to bring the film medium into the MTN Bushfire space in 2020. The film festival categories focused on music and social justice have been designed to complement the vision and mission of MTN Bushfire. While this year the festival will take place over just two morning sessions, we hope to grow it in scope and impact in order to promote African filmmakers, social justice advocates and musicians alike.”

MTN Bushfire festival director Jiggs Thorne explains the rationale for adding in the new and exciting component to the festival: “At MTN Bushfire we are always looking for new ways to activate our themes and social mandate as expressed through Bring Your Fire. In the last few years we have added a visual arts zone and included live theatre and dance within the festival. It makes absolute sense for us to also start supporting and promoting the burgeoning African film industry. We are excited to host our first film festival and expect the event to grow over time.”

Please note the following submission criteria:

Films must have been made after 2016
Only short films under 30 minutes will be accepted
At least 50% of the core film team (director, producer) must be from Africa
Films must focus on category themes
Films should have a message that upholds the values of MTN Bushfire: inclusion, diversity and tolerance.
Film submissions are now open until 31 March 2020.


South African Music Awards get new categories

The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) recently introduced new categories ahead of the 2020 edition of the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) this June.

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi.
In a statement, RiSA said: “The Best Kwaito Album category is back, to replace Best Kwaito/Gqom/Amapiano.”

RiSA said the category will encompass gqom and amapiano as sub-genres under kwaito.

“The Music Video of the Year Award has become a public voted category like the Record of the Year Award,” it said.

“This will afford fans a chance to make their voices heard when it comes to the music video that got them entertained in the last year. The award will be for the artist.”

RiSA also introduced the Best Produced Music Video category.

“The category honours directors and producers of music videos. Music videos are storytelling tools and are aligned to the message of the song.

“Directors and producers put much effort in ensuring that a brilliant quality music video that captures the desired outcome from the audience is made.”

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi said: “The reconfiguration of these awards is a part of a continuing exercise to keep the SAMAs relevant and a proper reflection of the trends and direction our music is taking.

“We still urge musicians to submit their entries for SAMA26 consideration. There is no bigger platform to honour and recognise local music talent across the spectrum than the SAMAs.”

Entries for the 2020 SAMAs will be open until 31 January.

Projecting Africa through Creativity

Over the past decade, African creativity, art and entertainment has witnessed significant growth and expansion, writes Oluchi Chibuzor

According to a PwC report, “Global Entertainment and Media outlook, the music and entertainment industry in African countries like Nigeria is expected to continue to expand by 2022 with a projected 21.5 per cent growth rate (CAGR), with revenue reaching $9.9 billion.

The African entertainment industry has not only attracted the attention of the world to Africa but has helped to project some of Africa’s great talents to the world. Gone are the days when Africans rely on foreign artists, designers and film makers for quality and captivating creative art, music, fashion and films.

Globally, financial institutions are constantly adjusting to appeal to the needs of the millennial generation and banks in Nigeria have also adopted this strategy.

Today, financial institutions are gradually changing their banking model to attract and retain the country’s rising youth population, by creating an atmosphere that blends lifestyle, music, art, fashion, commerce, with banking.

Precisely, last month, a lot of banks in the country put together different lifestyle events to bond with their customers.

According to report by Accenture, banks are moving in the direction of identifying new micro-segments based on lifestyle, values, aspirations, and needs, and targeting them with dedicated propositions.

Today, we can say for a fact that Africa is self-sufficient in terms of entertainment and creativity. This was clearly exemplified and illustrated at the just concluded second edition of the Born in Africa Festival (BAFEST) powered by Access Bank Plc.

The Born in Africa festival is a celebration of the unparalleled dynamism of the true African spirit and creativity. This entertaining fusion of music, art, film and fashion is designed to tell a positive African story globally and better connect the world to the African continent.

Therefore, the Born in Africa Festival is birthed from a need to tell the true African story in all its glory. The second edition of the festival, themed, “More for The Culture,” held in Lagos, last month, and saw over 35,000 attendees trooping in from across Nigeria and beyond.

Africa has several entertainment festivals created with the aim of projecting the continent, festivals such as Bushfire festival in Swaziland, Sauti Za Busara in Tanzania, Festival au Désert in Mali, Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival and the likes, but until the introduction of BAFEST, there was not one festival that brings all the elements of art (Music, film, creative art and fashion) under one umbrella with the sole aim of projecting Africa in good light.

The 2019 Born in Africa Festival was truly a celebration and projection of Africa and African talents, this was evident in the caliber of music artists, fashion designers, creative art and films featured.

The festival had the likes of Burna Boy, who is a true depiction of Africa’s talent, he started from the grass roots in Nigeria, but is currently enjoying global fame and acceptance.

Also present was Naira Marley who is also currently enjoying music success and gaining massive following of young Africans. Other musicians present were Niniola, Seyi Shey, Becca from Ghana, Patoranking, Teni, Joeboy, Flavour, 9ice and Mr. Real.

Read more here:


Book Review: ‘Black American History, from plantations to rap culture’ by Pascal Archimede

Pascal Archimede’s book “Black American History, from plantations to rap culture” (Nofi Group, 2018) is a quick tour through African …
“Black American History, from plantations to rap culture”
Pascal Archimede’s book “Black American History, from plantations to rap culture” (Nofi Group, 2018) is a quick tour through African American history. The book traverses a 300 yearlong trajectory of African American events and the people who made lasting impacts upon them. Ultimately, it ends with an examination of the culture of rap.

Written by a journalist/translator who was born in Guadeloupe, the book argues that rap music is one of the many strengths African Americans have created to sustain themselves in this country. Archimede said that because he has always been interested in music, he wanted to survey how African Americans have utilized music throughout their history.

“I’ve been living in Hollywood, Florida for almost two years,” Archimede explained in an interview. “I’m from Guadeloupe, a French speaking island located in the Caribbean. As a Guadeloupean, I’m aware that our fate is linked to the African Americans’ one. Why? Because our common ancestors––who were brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, relatives––were massively deported from Africa and were dispatched on various lands. We then all got isolated geographically, culturally, spiritually and of course linguistically. Our ancestors suffered from the same types of frustration and oppression before reaching a certain level of ‘emancipation.’ Just as an example, physical slavery got abolished in 1848 in Guadeloupe and in 1865 in the U.S.

“Today, a lot of French-speaking Black people, just like many African Americans, are treated and considered as second class citizens. Consequently, they have to fight to keep their heads above water, in a society in which nothing is made and designed for them. For all these reasons, we are interested in the evolution of our African American brothers and sisters, because––on the whole––we’ve been facing similar issues for a while!”

Archimede says he wrote “Black American History, from plantations to rap culture” for a general audience: it’s for readers aged 10 and up who want to understand Black history and Black music. The writing style tends toward the explanatory: you are made aware that the writer is looking from the outside in at the lives of African Americans:

“In the United States, everyone tries to reach that [American] dream,” Archimede writes: “As a result, many strategies are used to succeed. As far as the African American community is concerned, one of their visions of this Dream is visible through rap music.

“Escaping economic and material deprivation is a prevailing desire in that musical form. Rap lyrics often refer to money and its importance to survive in the United States. The piece “Money, Power, Respect” sung by Li’l Kim, DMX and The Lox, is symbolic because it gathers the three indissociable elements that form the young African-Americans’ dream. The pursuit of material wealth is also reflected in the metaphors of abundant living that dominate the lexicon of rap music.” (p.108)

Music has remained a major theme in the two books Archimede has written, “Music in professional language training” and “Black American History, from plantations to rap culture.” He published his second book with NOFI Group (, a Paris, France-based Black owned media company. “NOFI is the contraction of ‘Noir et Fier’ which means ‘Black and Proud,’” Archimede noted: “NOFI aims for Black excellence by promoting Black culture worldwide. I’m working hand in hand with its founder, Christian Dzellat. Our target is to raise our people’s consciousness and to build bridges with all Black communities around the world, because we are aware that united we stand.”

Both of Pascal Archimede’s books are available on Amazon:

Music in professional language training:


Black American History, from

plantations to rap culture:


Without warning, Eminem drops new album ‘Music to be Murdered by’

It’s “Music to be Murdered by,” and no one saw it coming.

Eminem surprised fans Thursday night by tweeting news of the release of his 11th album.

“It’s your funeral…” the rapper wrote.

The album’s cover art is modeled after an Alfred Hitchcock album of the same name. One of the tracks, called Alfred, is a 30-second clip of the famed filmmaker speaking.

“How do you do? Ladies and gentlemen/My name is Alfred Hitchcock and this is Music To Be Murdered By/It is mood music in a jugular vein/So why don’t you relax? Lean back and enjoy yourself/Until the coroner comes,” Hitchcock says in the clip.

The album features collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Royce Da 5’9″, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Denaun, White Gold, Young M.A, KXNG Crooked, Joell Ortiz, Don Toliver, Anderson .Paak and Juice WRLD.

Rapper and singer Juice WRLD died in December after suffering a medical emergency.

Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, released his last album — 2018’s “Kamikaze” — in similar fashion. That one had a political element, with multiple references to President Donald Trump.

“Music to be Murdered by” quickly became controversial after its release because of lyrics in the song “Unaccommodating” that reference the bombing of Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert.

“But I’m contemplating yelling ‘Bombs away’ on the game like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting,” Eminem raps on the song.

A suicide bomber killed 22 people outside the singer’s concert in the English city in 2017.

Some users called the lyrics “disgusting.”


‘A Fall From Grace’ Review: A Trope-Filled Thriller From Tyler Perry

Even with Netflix’s backing and a supposedly suspenseful premise, his latest movie is, once again, about a sad, downtrodden woman.

It’s odd that it’s 2020 and the writer-director Tyler Perry, someone who considers himself a progressive filmmaker, still makes movies that resemble the histrionic, “Lifetime: Television for Women” format of the ‘90s. While Perry has made fans primarily of black women and churchgoers, his persistent reliance on downtrodden female protagonists to point out issues of misogyny and infidelity undercuts the audience he aims to celebrate.

Even with the backing of Netflix and his own groundbreaking new production studio, the filmmaker’s latest, “Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace,” still doesn’t rise above that formula. Though the movie, which for all intents and purposes is a thriller, boasts unexpected character twists that turn some into villains, at its core is a black woman named Grace (Crystal Fox), who has routinely been emotionally used and abused by men. What’s worse, she’s resigned herself to that fate.

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