OkayAfrica’s guide to must-see events during South Africa’s festive season.
South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it’s an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it’s about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you’re looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.
Anthony Joshua wins rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia ‘Clash on the Dunes’
Anthony Joshua punches Andy Ruiz Jr. during their title fight in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
(CNN)Anthony Joshua reclaimed the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles from Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia’s “Clash on the Dunes” on Saturday night.
Britain’s Joshua won a unanimous decision from the judges in Diriyah, near Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
He avoided trading big blows with Ruiz the entire fight, instead dancing around the ring and landing jabs and hooks when he found the opportunity.
But with the venue for the promotion heavily criticized by human rights groups, Joshua sported further controversy with remarks he made post-fight, using the term “decapitate” in an interview with American broadcaster DAZN.
“I know that my fans like to see me knock people out and I can do that but sometimes with certain fighters you have to box smarter,” said Joshua.
“I understand what Andy brought to the table so I had to decapitate him in a different way.”
Unlocking African design excellence with ‘The Discoveries from Africa’ exhibition
Namibian-born, Amsterdam-based photographer Kyle Weeks, a winner in the Fine Art category of the 2016 Magnum Photography Awards, will display his work at the Discoveries from Africa exhibition in Plettenberg Bay
A curated collection of intricately handcrafted basketware, jewellery, handbags, photography, ceramics, furniture and other examples of contemporary African design will be showcased and for sale in Plettenberg Bay this summer.
The Discoveries from Africa exhibition is the brainchild of Design Afrika founder Binky Newman, whose passion for exquisite baskets has taken her from her Cape Town base to remote parts of the continent; and Suzie Ovenstone, owner of The Old House Shop in Plettenberg Bay, known for its beautiful homeware, accessories and clothing.
Otiono set to offer biocritical reflections on dispossessed
On Saturday, December 14, 2019, Awka, the capital of Anambra State will see literary fireworks as some of Africa’s finest writers and scholars gather to welcome Dispossessed, a collection of poems by James Eze.
The Graduate Programme Coordinator at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, Prof. Nduka Otiono has confirmed that he would be on hand to provide what he called, Biocritical Reflections on Dispossessed.
Otiono’s intervention at the launch is expected to further distill the intense imageries trapped in the pages of dispossessed for a deeper appreciation by audiences not usually enthused by poetry.
His writing career is laden with fruits. The author and co-editor of six books, Otiono won ANA/Spectrum Prize for Fiction with his debut collection of short stories titled, The Night Hides with a Knife, and quickly followed it up with a poetry collection titled, Voices in the Rainbow which earned Honorable Mention for the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize. His second collection of poems, Love in a Time of Nightmares, won him the James Patrick Folinsbee Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing.
Happily, the faculty and students of the Department of English and Literature Studies of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State, shall be beneficiaries of Otiono’s acclaimed knowledge during his visit for the presentation of Dispossessed. The twice-winner of a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship shall be teaching a Master Class in Creative Writing at the university to wrap up activities marking the formal introduction of dispossessed to the public.
To Helon Habila, winner of both the Caine Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize who also teaches creative writing at George Mason University, USA, dispossessed is “a promise fulfilled…what we all want from great poetry: lyricism, captivating imagery, storytelling but above all, the ability to rouse the emotions to that sublime plane only great poetry knows how to do.”
To Olu Oguibe, renowned artist, poet, and recipient of the Governor of the State of Connecticut’s Award for excellence and lifetime achievement, “of all the joys that one must take from Eze’s poetry, the most obvious, perhaps, is his easy command of imagery. There are many images in these poems.”
And then to Okey Ndibe, former professor at Bard College and Brown University, all in the US, who is also a celebrated novelist, essayist and journalist, dispossessed is “an act of restoration, reminding us that art – and poetry, specifically – challenges us to dream and achieve our best humanity.”
Arab & African Filmmakers Focus on Genre Films & Series
2019 has been an excellent year for films from Africa and the Middle East, with a higher presence in A-list festivals, and kudos for films such as Mati Diop’s “Atlantics,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes.
The “new wave” of Arab and African cinema includes a small group of films that explore links with genre cinema – including fantasy, sci-fi and horror – which is related to a broader trend in literature and the contemporary arts in the Arab world that is exploring dystopias and fantasy settings.
Lamia Chraibi, a leading producer of daring films from the Middle East and North Africa region, is developing a pan-Arab genre series, “Meskoun,” with Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Lasri (“Jahilya”) as showrunner, in coproduction with Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic (Egypt), Georges Schoucair’s Abbout Productions (Lebanon) and Habib Attia’s Cinetelefilms (Tunisia).
Read more here
Quramo Festival of Words Kicks off this Weekend
This weekend, literary heads will gather at the Quramo Festival of Words, in a 3 day literary experience to include book panel sessions, masterclasses and everything in-between. The event which will climax with the prestigious Quramo Writers Prize will crown one winner with a prize of one million naira and bragging rights as the best entry for this year.
The event will kick off from the 13th to the 15th of December 2019 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.
Zac Davis voices skepticism about success of #OscarsSoWhite
Viola Davis has voiced her scepticism about the success of the “Oscars So White”
The actor, who won a BAFTA for best-supporting actress for her role in Fences, said while this had been a strong year for African-American actors it could easily be an anomaly. Fences, Hidden Figures and Moonlight have all done well out of awards season.
“I believe what still is a deficiency is that we have one year a plethora of African American movies and then the next year nothing,” the 51-year-old said at a press conference after her BAFTA win.
Davis said forecasts for next year’s award season had already been floated and there was a dearth of African-American names in the mix.
She used the address to warn that the future of her six-year-old daughter Genesis might be more difficult than her own.
Girls Dominate 2019 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition as Jolaosho Oluwatoroti Otokini is declared the winner .
It was an all-female top three affair, as 14 year-old Jolaosho Oluwatoroti Otokini of Louisville Girls High School, Ogun State, emerged the overall winner of the 2019 edition of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, winning the grand prize of an educational grant of N2,000,000.00 to study in any African university of her choice.
Oluwatoroti clinched the first position at the Grand Finale of the Competition which was held on Monday December 9th, 2019 at the UBA Head Office, Marina Lagos. Her essay was declared the best out of over 5000 entries received by the UBA Foundation from students of senior secondary schools across Nigeria.
This year’s NEC had12 finalists made up of eight girls and four boys with over 500 per cent increase in participation from pupils across every single state of the federation.
Oluwatoroti who was visibly elated expressed her profound excitement as the winner of the competition, adding that the experience has given her more confidence with which she can face great challenges in the years ahead. She noted that the grant will help in the pursuit of her dream towards becoming a pediatrician.
“This is something I worked very hard to achieve. I read and studied very hard for this competition, and I am very happy that my hard work paid off in the end. I am indeed very grateful to UBA and the UBA Foundation for this huge opportunity and for making me believe in myself, and I would like to encourage other students not to stop trying,” Otokini said.
Her mother, Mrs Jaiyeola Jolaosho, said, “This grant will go a long way to support my bid for quality education for Oluwatoroti. Now our dream to give her an education at the African Leadership Academy will be fulfilled with this grant. I am so happy about this, because I noticed that she has a penchant for writing, and we are so elated that she won. I will encourage all her siblings to apply for for this competition going forward.”
The second prize was bagged by Precious Ifeoma Okey, aged 15, of Oladipo Alayande School of Science, Oyo State, who won a N1,500,000 educational grant, whilst the third prize of N1,000,000 went to Aimeé Okoko, 18 years old. Aimeé attends Beautiful Beginning Academy, FCT Abuja. All 12 finalists received brand new laptops from the UBA Foundation.
This year, the Foundation introduced a prize for the school with the highest number of essay entries and the Livingstone College, Lagos came tops. They will be receiving gifts worth over N1m from the UBA Foundation for their participation in the competition.
Congratulating the winners at the event, the MD/CEO of UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, commended them for their exceptional brilliance. “Every student who sent in an entry is a winner. To be confident about your writing skills and ambitious enough to enter a competition to further enhance your educational path is laudable. For those that did not win, I would say do not be discouraged. Take it as a challenge to perfect your writing skills and enter for the competition again in 2020” she said.
According to Atta, UBA Foundation, being the CSR arm of UBA Plc, makes it a point of duty to give back to communities where UBA operates. Education in any capacity, Atta noted, remains the Foundation’s focus area as it is the bedrock of any nation.
In his remarks the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Plc Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said UBA was very happy to be touching lives and making a solid impact through its Foundation’s National Essay Competition and the grant it gives out annually to those who emerge winners. He specifically commended the fact that more females emerged winners this year, adding that it is in line with the bank’s commitment to women empowerment.
Uzoka who is also the Chairman, UBA Foundation said, “What we are doing today in unique in Africa, we are doing this to continue to encourage our young ones to study hard because we noticed that overtime, the level of education has been going Southward. For 9 years now, we have been supporting students with grants to further their educational pursuits’.
Uzoka informed the gathering made up of parents, students and the media, that the essay competition has produced well over 100 winners, since its inception in 2011 in Nigeria – many have already graduated, and a few are studying varied courses at Universities in Nigeria and across the African continent.
He encouraged the winners to be of good character, and ensure that apart from striving for academic excellence, to avoid any negative action that might dent the foundation’s image and that of their families as they are now UBA ambassadors.
The judges, led by Professor of English (Gender Studies) and Director of Pre-degree Studies, University of Uyo, Mrs. Ini Uko, stated that they were impressed with the participants who showed great promise, noting that most of the students wrote intelligently and their ideas were well articulated, new and refreshing. She added that the judges were also encouraged by the fact that entries came in from students from all parts of the country.
The UBA Foundation’s National Essay Competition initiative has been operational in other countries in Africa including Ghana and Senegal whilst Mozambique and Kenya are expected to kick off in 2020. The initiative .is mapped out to spread to more African countries in the very near future.
UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries. It also has presence in the global financial centres, London, New York and Paris. UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels.
Netflix Dominates Golden Globe Nominations With ‘Marriage Story,’ ‘Unbelievable,’ ‘The Crown’
Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” a searing look at the end of a relationship, capped a big morning for Netflix, nabbing a leading six Golden Globe nominations. The streaming giant, which has invested billions of dollars in original content in recent years, also led the field on the television front, scoring four nominations apiece for “The Crown” and “Unbelievable.” In total, Netflix nabbed 34 Golden Globe nominations across television and film, dominating the competition and outpacing any other entertainment company.
Another Netflix release, Martin Scorsese’s gangland epic “The Irishman,” picked up five Globe nominations, tying with Quentin Tarantino’s ode to the golden age of movies “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” for the second-most nods. HBO’s “Chernobyl,” the story of a nuclear disaster that became an unlikely water-cooler hit, tied with “Unbelievable” and “The Crown,” picking up four nominations.
Monday’s nominations are a sign of a new world order in Hollywood, one that is increasingly dominated by streaming services. Along with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime had big mornings, scoring nominations for the likes of “Catch-22” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” while Apple’s newly launched subscription platform picked up three nods for “The Morning Show.” That competition for digital is only intensifying. Disney launched its own streaming service, Disney Plus, in November, and Comcast and WarnerMedia are preparing their own Netflix challengers, Peacock and HBO Max.
In the best comedy series race, last year’s victor “The Kominsky Method,” another Netflix series, will do battle with HBO’s “Barry,” Amazon’s “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Netflix’s own “The Politician.” Last year’s best drama series winner “The Americans” wasn’t eligible, having ended its run. That leaves HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and “Succession,” BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” Apple’s “The Morning Show” and Netflix’s “The Crown.”
Read more here
‘Parasite’ Named Best Film of 2019 by L.A. Film Critics Association
Hollywood’s hometown critics clearly aren’t afraid of subtitles.
Members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. met Sunday to vote on the year’s best cinema accomplishments. South Korean thriller “Parasite” fared the best, taking not only best picture, but also the group’s director prize for Bong Joon Ho and supporting actor for Song Kang Ho.
Unlike most voting groups, LAFCA makes public the runner-up for each of its awards. “Parasite” was a clear favorite with the critics organization, placing second in two other categories: screenplay and production design.
The west coast critics’ love for “Parasite” should not be so surprising: LAFCA has a track record of honoring international cinema, having previously given its top prize to “Roma,” “Amour” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — all three of which went on to earn Oscar nominations for best picture.
Read more here
Golden Globes 2020: The Complete Nominations List
Netflix ruled nominations for the 77th Golden Globes, scoring nods for “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman” on the film front and “The Crown” and “Unbelievable” for television.
Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” landed a leading six nominations for film, followed by Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” with five each.
HBO’s “Chernobyl,” Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Unbelievable” swept TV nominations with four a piece. HBO’s “Barry,” “Succession” and “Big Little Lies,” Amazon’s “Fleabag,” FX’s “Fosse/ Verdon,” Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” and Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” each secured three.
Tim Allen, Dakota Fanning and Susan Kelechi Watson were on hand Monday morning to announce nominees for the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual celebration to recognize the year’s best in both TV and film. Ricky Gervais will host the 2020 ceremony on Jan. 5 live from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
Check out the full nominations here
Forbes Reveals Top 20 Earning Musicians Of 2019
Forbes has revealed its annual list of the year’s highest-earning musicians, which includes Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Drake, and Yeezus.
The Jesus Is King rapper lands at No. 2 on the list behind Taylor Swift with $150 million, thanks in large part to his Yeezy empire. His Adidas partnership is expected to top $1.5 billion in sales this year.
“I am a product guy at my core,” Ye told the magazine. “To make products that make people feel an immense amount of joy and solve issues and problems in their life, that’s the problem-solving that I love to do.”
Music’s royal couple, JAY-Z and Beyoncé, tied at No. 6 with $81 million apiece. Drake ranks at No. 8 with $75 million, followed by Sean “Diddy” Combs with $70 million. Rihanna, who launched her Fenty fashion brand with LVMH this year, lands just outside the top 10 at No. 11 with $62 million in earnings.
The top 40 earners also include Travis Scott (No. 12, $58 million), Ariana Grande (No. 22, $48 million), The Weeknd (No. 29, $40 million), Kendrick Lamar (No. 34, $38.5 million), and Migos (No. 40, $36 million).