6 new DStv BoxOffice Blockbusters to binge-watch this holiday season
If you’re anything like us, this past year has been a whirlwind of work deadlines, social engagements and task juggling. We’ve barely had time to go to the gym, let alone the cinema to catch the latest releases. That’s the beauty of DStv’s BoxOffice feature – you can enjoy all the Hollywood movies and local content you didn’t get a chance to watch from the comfort of your couch.
Plus, it’s a whole lot cheaper than a family trip to the cinema, and there are two ultra-convenient ways to access BoxOffice to rent and watch movies instantly.
BoxOffice on the PVR is available to all DStv customers. The catalogue of up to 15 pre-loaded new releases is regularly updated, with some movies made available the same day as they go to DVD.
BoxOffice Online, the online version of the movie rental service is available to anyone with a DStv Connect ID and a BoxOffice Account. You can sign up at www.dstv.com/boxoffice or www.boxoffice.dstv.com. Here, you’ll have instant access to a larger catalogue of movies, including new releases and classics.
All set? Great. Here’s a list of exciting, binge-worthy content to sink your teeth into this festive!
The Lion King
The amazing live-action remake of the Walt Disney classic needs no introduction, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, Beyoncé and Donald Glover star as Nala and Simba in this photorealistic computer-animated film. Young prince Simba returns to Pride Rock after the murder of his father to take back his rightful place on the throne as King of the Jungle. A must-watch for the whole family.
Available Online until 20 February 2020 or on PVR until 9 January 2020.
This American disaster horror film is perfect for those who like to snuggle up under a blanket and enjoy the thrill of a scare or two. During a category-5 hurricane in Florida, Haley ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father. She finds him, gravely injured, in their flooding family home, along with blood-thirsty alligators.
Available Online until 3 March 2020 or on PVR until 13 December 2019.
Rambo: Last Blood
Fans of the Rambo franchise will be pleased to see Sylvester Stallone back in action in the latest instalment of the series. On one final mission, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless, revenge-seeking combat skills.
Available Online until 26 March 2020 or on PVR until 4 January 2020.
Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans
Kids will adore this animated superhero film, which crosses over between the TV series Teen Titans Go! and Teen Titans, both of which are adaptations from DC Comics. Expect jam-packed action and an epic battle to prove which team is superior.
Available Online until 8 April.
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Another superhero flick to keep those kiddies entertained – this time from Marvel Comics. Tom Holland returns as the beloved Spidey, following the disastrous events of Avengers: Endgame. In a world that has changed forever, Spider-Man must take on new threats as four massive elemental creatures – representing earth, air, water and fire – emerge from the gigantic gap in the universe.
Available Online until 12 February 2020 or on PVR until 22 December 2019.
Kings of Mulberry Street
Last, but certainly not least, this South African Indian comedy-drama is another favourite for the whole family to treasure. An appropriately named nine-year-old misfit, Feisty, dreams of being an unbeatable Bollywood hero to defeat the bullying local crime lord threatening his family.
Available Online until 28 February 2020 or on PVR until 10 December.
And there you have it, folks – some of our top picks to catch up on during your well-deserved downtime. Visit www.boxoffice.dstv.com/how-it-works/all to discover how to effortlessly rent the hottest movies at home or on the move, for enhanced viewing pleasure.
Just one of the many ways DStv continues to bring world-class content to local screens.
Season 6 of MTV Shuga Naija has been serving our boy, Tobi, Gbas Gbos, left, right and centre. And it’s even worse than the legendary punch to the face he received from Leila’s uncle last season.
First, he fell in love with a “runz babe”, and well, that ended in tears. Then his reunion with his sister MJ isn’t exactly the happy family reunion anyone would hope for. And even though he finally grew enough balls to do the right thing by testifying against Bada, his friendship with both Faa and Khalil doesn’t look like it’s ever going to get back on track again. And then to top it all off, his days of reckless sexual activities may have finally caught up with him.
And he isn’t the only one. Diana seems to have gotten herself into a big mess too and she can’t jump her way out of this one.
The episode also sees Faa trying to shake off Angel who has gone from a helper to a full-blown stalker, as she continues on her hustle to create a better life for herself and her family.
Ebisinde and Cynthia’s love story is in full bloom and not even Wasiu or Diana’s taunting can stop them.
Frances is gradually opening up to her friends and becoming receptive of their warmth and support, thanks to therapy.
Rema, Eilish, Lil Nas X, Others Make Rollingstone Top 50 Songs of 2019
From “Old Town Road” to “Ieon Man” and beyond, these are the tracks that defined the year
The artists behind the year’s best songs were teenage pop superstars who came out of nowhere (Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X), established names looking at life and music from the cusp of their thirties (Vampire Weekend, Taylor Swift), and fan favorites making major career and personal breakthroughs (Lizzo, Ariana Grande). Meanwhile, Latin pop, indie rock, country, and hip-hop kept evolving like crazy and producing exciting new voices, from rising Atlanta titan Da Baby to Aussie truth-sayer Stella Donnelly. These are the tracks that defined 2019
Rema, “Iron Man
At a time when tens of thousands of new songs appear on streaming platforms every day, a memorable first impression is more important than ever. The Nigerian singer Rema nailed it with “Iron Man,” the lead track on his first official EP. The key here is the vocal delivery: Rema slathers his voice in Auto-Tune and drips come-ons — including the distinctive request to “be your Iron Man” — like warm honey over a plinking, pleasantly syncopated beat. Rema’s vocals bring to mind both classic T-Pain and pop from India; he’s almost smearing rather than singing. But when paired with the precise rhythms of Afrobeat, this becomes impressionism you can dance to.
Want 2019 Qfest Tickets? Here’s your chance
Hey! Do u want to attend QFest? Well Santa Claus is giving out 100 free tickets. All u have to do is register between today & 10pm tomorrow. Hurry. it’ll be fun. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Museum of African American Music Seeks Submissions of Creative Artwork from Visual Artists
When the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) opens its doors to the public in the summer of 2020, the first-of-its-kind institution located in the heart of downtown Nashville will be home to more than 1,500 historical artifacts that reflects the development, influence, and impact of African Americans on more than 50 genres and sub-genres including country, jazz, blues, gospel, R&B and hip hop. With construction of the museum currently underway and the layouts of the five primary galleries completed, the NMAAM curatorial team is now looking at ways to fill some of the additional open spaces in the museum with relevant and engaging original public artwork.
Starting today, NMAAM is issuing a call for submissions to all visual artists to submit original artwork for consideration as permanent installations within the museum. The goal of this request is to include artwork within the 56,000 square-foot facility that will enhance the appearance of three distinct areas within the building that are not occupied by other artifacts. The addition of original artwork will create a visual experience that aligns with the museum’s content and blends well with the overall aesthetic of the accompanying galleries. Submitted artwork will be juried by an internal art selection committee with three selected artists being awarded between $50,000 – $70,000 for the creation and installation of their work.
“The [NMAAM] curatorial team is very excited about the opportunity to review art submissions from all around the world and we encourage artists to send us their best music-inspired work for consideration,” said Dr. Dina Bennett, Curatorial Director at NMAAM.
Read more here
Africa’s Nobel Prize winners: A list
A look at the continent’s Nobel laureates honoured for efforts in peace, chemistry, literature, medicine and physics.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday will receive the 2019 Nobel Prize for Peace for his “decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.
In winning the award, the 43-year-old joins a prestigious club of African Nobel laureates, including Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai and Wole Soyinka.
The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901. Since then, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded 597 times to 950 people and organisations.
Here, Al Jazeera presents all African and African-born Nobel laureates, honoured over the decades for their contributions in peace, chemistry, literature, physiology or medicine and physics.
Penn Libraries hosts author and storyteller Ashley Bryan to celebrate his new memoir
Ashley Bryan discussed illustrations and pieces of writing he produced during his time in the segregated United States Army.
Students and faculty gathered at Van Pelt Library Thursday Night to celebrate the release of artist and storyteller Ashley Bryan’s World War II picture book memoir “Infinite Hope” and Penn Libraries’ acquisition of his archives.
Bryan is a renowned author who has published more than 50 children’s books focused on African culture and black American experiences. At the event, he shared illustrations and pieces of writing he produced during his time in the segregated United States Army, following the timeline presented in “Infinite Hope.” Many of the original sketches and correspondence used in the memoir are now part of the Ashley Bryan archive at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, along with manuscripts and illustrations from his previous children’s books and various other works.
Bryan said he created the picture book memoir to visually communicate the realities of war to readers of all ages.
“It was important to me that the smallest child would get something for him or herself of what war means through the book,” Bryan said.
The exhibit showcased Bryan’s original works used to create “Infinite Hope.”
Bryan also talked about the discrimination he faced in his segregated unit in World War II, which he said was treated as inferior within the U.S. Army.
“When we got on a bus, we always had to go to the back of the bus, but the German prisoners were sitting up front and they would laugh as we walked by them,” Bryan said.
The acquisition of the collection comes as part of a larger Penn Libraries initiative to diversify collections and expand research opportunities, Kislak Center Senior Curator Lynne Farrington said.
“Collections like this can speak to a lot of communities at Penn and will provide research possibilities, exhibit possibilities so that all students feel there’s something that speaks to them, something that they can investigate in their own research,” Farrington said.
Created in 2013, the Ashley Bryan Center works to preserve and share Bryan’s work and promote opportunities for people to celebrate visual artworks and literature. Dan Lief, one of the directors of the Ashley Bryan Center, said they visited universities, libraries, and museums on the East Coast, but the decision to send the collection to Penn was unanimous.
“I’m so happy that [the collection] could come here and be referenced later through the years, because it’s such a carefully kept archive,” Bryan said.
“We are very proud to see an exhibit of Ashley’s right next door to Benjamin Franklin’s desk,” Lief said.
As an author of children books, Farrington said the Bryan collection brings greater genre diversity to Penn’s special collections.
“Children’s literature speaks to us not just as children, but as adults as well, so collecting this material for research allows us to better understand the importance of children’s literature,” Farrington said.
First-year Education master’s student Jen Cautilli said she especially appreciated learning about the publication process of the memoir.
“I think especially for people that are interested in art or writing or children’s literature, just seeing the process that goes into [publication] will be beneficial,” said Cautilli, who attended the event as part of a class on children’s literature.
In February, a small exhibit featuring Bryan’s works will open on the sixth floor on Van Pelt entitled “Remarkable Figures: Women and the Art of Ashley Bryan,” to coincide with Black History Month and Women’s History Month. Farrington said the Kislak Center hopes to expand the exhibit in the near future.
“I’m so happy that [the collection] could come here and be referenced later through the years, because it’s such a carefully kept archive,” Bryan said.
Authors Celeste Watkins-Hayes & Victoria Noe are fighting to keep AIDS in the dialogue
Authors Celeste Watkins-Hayes and Victoria Noe are fighting to keep the AIDS epidemic in the national dialogue.
Authors Celeste Watkins-Hayes and Victoria Noe are fighting to keep the AIDS epidemic in the national dialogue. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Celeste Watkins-Hayes and Victoria Noe were strangers to one another, each hundreds of miles from home, when they found themselves at neighboring booths at September’s U.S. Conference on AIDS in Washington, D.C.
“Here we are in this mix of activists and advocates and policymakers and people from the private sector,” Watkins-Hayes said. “Out of thousands of people we managed to be in adjacent booths, both from the city of Chicago. I just think it was kismet that we were brought together.”
Both women were at the conference signing their new books. Watkins-Hayes, a professor of sociology and African American studies at Northwestern University, is the author of “Remaking A Life: How Women Living With HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality.” Noe, a longtime activist and author, wrote “Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community.” Both books focus on the lives of women within the AIDS movement — as activists, fundraisers, healers and those living with HIV.
At a time when AIDS has fallen off many people’s radar, Noe and Watkins-Hayes are fighting to keep the epidemic in the national dialogue. Their books arrive shortly after Chicagoan Rebecca Makkai’s “The Great Believers,” a 2018 novel about AIDS in 1980s Chicago.
“Chicago is really becoming a hub of writers on the HIV epidemic,” Watkins-Hayes said.
“Remaking a Life” is based on interviews with more than 100 Chicago women living with HIV from 2005 to 2015 and explores the ways racial and class inequities are intertwined with the disease. Among all U.S. women with HIV diagnoses in 2015, Watkins-Hayes writes, 61% were African American.
“To be clear,” Watkins-Hayes writes, “racism has been a pernicious catalyst in the AIDS epidemic. From a policy standpoint, the weak public health response to the needs of black and brown communities undermined the capacity to build a strong HIV prevention and treatment infrastructure from the early years of the epidemic.”
Her reporting, she said, showed her how inequality shaped women’s ability to protect themselves from HIV transmission. Over and over, she met women who had limited access to health care, women who were grappling with poverty, women who were suffering the aftermath of childhood sexual trauma.
Noe’s book focuses on the role of straight women — including herself — who entered the HIV community in the ’80s as staff or volunteers. The women she profiles, she said, represent thousands more whose stories have gone largely untold.
“Of course, not every straight woman hurried to the side of a person who had just been diagnosed,” Noe writes. “Some women initially rejected the infected. Only after facing down their own fears would they come around. Some never did. To imply that all straight women rushed in with nonjudgmental support is to ignore the damage done by women like First Lady Nancy Reagan.”
But the stories of those who were there, Noe said, help complete a portrait of the early days of the HIV/AIDS landscape that is often told by, and about, men.
“In the HIV community, a lot of reflection is going on right now,” Noe said. “People are looking for meaning in what they went through and what they witnessed, whether they’re HIV positive or HIV negative.”
An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including about 162,500 people who are unaware of their status. Young people ages 13 to 24 made up 21% of new HIV diagnoses in 2017, according to the CDC, but research indicates the risks and realities remain far from young people’s minds.
“It’s not even on young people’s radar,” Carlos Malvestutto, medical director of the Family AIDS Clinic and Education Services (FACES) program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told Pediatrics Nationwide. “They didn’t live through the 1980s and 1990s. They haven’t lost anyone to AIDS. And no one is talking about it.”
That’s not limited to young people.
Noe said she attended an author fair at a public library in Princeton, Ill., when a man who appeared to be in his 50s approached her table.
“He said, ‘So, whatever happened to AIDS?’” Noe recalled.
Since their chance encounter in Washington, D.C., Noe and Watkins-Hayes have been teaming up to help promote each other’s books and share each other’s communities. They’re planning a joint appearance in March, Women’s History Month, where they hope to bring together a broad spectrum of Chicagoans for a moderated discussion on HIV and AIDS, followed by a book signing.
“What I didn’t expect to find in my research,” Watkins-Hayes said, “was the way women talk about the significance of the HIV community in helping them move from what I call ‘dying from’ to ‘living with’ to ‘thriving despite.’ Viki’s book really communicates where that safety net comes from and how women have helped develop that strong social support network.”
“We need books like Celeste’s because you don’t just get facts, you get stories,” Noe said. “You meet these women, and that’s how lives and minds change.”
Watkins-Hayes closes her book with a plea.
“In order for us to continue to make the gains that will eradicate this devastating and costly epidemic,” she writes, “we must stay vigilant in the fight.”
Multicultural toys wanted for holiday toy drive at St. Petersburg’s Woodson African-American Museum
Museum has a collection of Black Santas
— When Terri Lipsey Scott was a little girl, she had a doll named Sindy.
Terri loved Sindy.
But Terri didn’t look like Sindy.
“I still love Sindy!” says the executive director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum in St. Petersburg. “But she was not a representation of me and my culture.”
That is why Terri is hosting a toy drive at the museum. She is asking the community for dolls of color and multicultural books and toys.
“Little black girls don’t always have that opportunity to love on something that looks like them,” Terri says.
The museum will host two open houses this week for the toy-drive dropoff:
Wednesday, December 11 from 5:30 -7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Terri is asking for new unwrapped dolls, toys, books, bikes and more.
While you are at the museum, make sure to check out its extensive collection of Black Santas.
Woman opens shop selling black dolls as a way to cope with grief
Sandra Monero with the dolls she created after being inspired by the women in her life
Sanda Monero started making dolls as a form of therapy, during a time she was struggling. After being inspired by the woman in her life, Sandra made black dolls with different shades and hairstyles. What started as a hobby grew and grew and last year Sandra, from Stoke Newington, decided to open her own store called Monero Kids Boutique in Balls Pond Road. As well as her ‘gratitude dolls’, Sandra, who has also worked in social care, also sells eco-friendly children’s clothing and educational books. Sandra takes inspiration from her St Lucian heritage and upbringing in London and uses Caribbean and African fabrics such as Kente cloth in her work. Currently, she has a range of dolls clothing in production with one for every Caribbean island. Of course, there are thousands of islands, which would take forever to create so Sandra is sticking to approximately 26 dolls.
Her idea started when she lost her parents and her brother – something she still finds difficult to talk about – but she says that having the focus of creating doll clothes has helped to bring her happiness back. She hopes to introduce two male dolls – one to represent her father and one for her older brother. ‘It is very important as [these dolls] represents little girls and boys’ Sandra told Metro.co.uk.
Sandra uses Caribbean and African materials for the dolls (Picture: Sandra Monero) ‘Growing up, I only knew about Barbie and Sindy and of course, I wanted to be like them. ‘But being a black child it was impossible as it did not represent me at all. I am so lucky, now, I am in a position to be able to share and showcase dolls for boys and girls that represent their colour tone.’ Sandra is hoping to make two male dolls to honour her late father and brother.
There are three main dolls in the Monero Doll collection – Honey, Ellie and Harley D. MORE: BARBIE Texas woman creates hyper realistic Down Syndrome baby dolls One of the dolls, Ellie, is named after Sandra’s mum who she describes as a ‘beautiful, graceful woman’. She adds: ‘Honey, is named after a friend of mine called Yinka who has supported and helped me through my challenges. There are three main dolls: Honey, Ellie and Harley D (Picture: Sandra Monero) ‘Harley D is named after the Harley Davidson motorcycle as I have a passion for bikes.
In addition, her character is partly built around myself and the daughter I would have had.’ She recalls one of her favourite memories in at the Boutique when a little white girl called Hannah came in.
‘She came in and bought the darkest doll,’ said Sandra. ‘When asked why she had chosen that one she said: “Mummy, she looks like my best friend Yemi”.’ If you want to visit Sandra’s store, you can find it in Dalston Junction at 26a Balls Pond Road, London N1 4AU.
New chapter for MultiChoice’s video entertainment skills development initiative
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MultiChoice Group (MCG) is committed to developing the skills of young, talented and ambitious African storytellers. The company recently announced exciting changes to its filmmakers academy programme. The M-Net Magic in Motion (MIM) programme will now be known as the MultiChoice Talent Factory South Africa (MTF ZA) in line with MCG’s broader MTF programme across Africa.
This new chapter will carry the same passion for film and movie making, the same devotion for excellence and will continue with the promise of enriching lives.
The naming convention allows the business to consolidate all initiatives that are critical in developing a sustainable talent pipeline for the video and entertainment industry.
The MiM Academy was established in 2014 and focuses on transforming the South African film and TV industry by upskilling students and empowering them with substantial knowledge and experience in just 12 months. MTF, which was launched in 2018 by MultiChoice Africa, does the same by upskilling the next generation of passionate young film creatives.
To date, 58 students trained through MIM are making their mark in the video entertainment industry. About 16 Mzansi Magic movies have been produced by participants of this programme and nine graduates have started their own production companies, namely A Tribe Called Story, Eccentric Circus and Beyond Black.
SA film industry still not getting the big picture
In a bid to reignite the interest of foreign film-makers in shooting their films in South Africa, the Department of Trade and Industry revised its incentives in 2018, but it is still capped at R50-million, says the writer.
There are already an estimated 25,000 people working in the SA film and video industry and more content is consumed in the country than anywhere else in Africa. South Africa is also the leader in film production, satellite distribution and interactive content. So what lies beyond South Africa’s seeming inability to take its capability and content and distribute it more widely?
Foreign filmmakers have been taking advantage of South Africa’s diverse, unique locations — as well as lower production costs compared with the US and Europe — for years.
The country also has a reputation for having quality film production crews, which have been involved in a string of successful big-budget showcases such as Fury Road, the fourth Mad Max film; Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio and The Lord of War, the 2005 movie starring Nicholas Cage, as well as the Marvel — Avengers.
For foreign filmmakers, the benefits of such co-productions are evident, and the upside obvious for the country in the direct investment of millions of rand into the economy.