AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

It may be time to drop the ‘world music’ label (and The Brother Moves On has something to say about it)

Last week the second Cape Town World Music Festival (CTWMF) took place, and warmed up a very cold and wet “Mother City” weekend. The notoriously lax Cape Town audience (myself included) got out from under our duvets to check out some of the best bands in South Africa, as well as some international acts, such as

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Review: The Square by Jehane Noujaim

The 16th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival opened on Wednesday with The Square, Jehane Noujaim’s documentary about the Egyptian Revolution. The film (available in the US on Netflix) holds the title of being the first Egyptian...

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The music that changed my life

The Cape Town suburb of Observatory is known for being a small bohemian enclave, providing low cost housing for students, artists and ‘free spirits’ of all sorts. Walk down Lower Main Road past the quaint mini-Victorian houses...

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

So, an Israeli company made fun of a mentally ill person to promote its product

When Thamsanqa Jantjie first burst onto the international scene he caused a media frenzy. A fraudulent sign language interpreter who swindled his way into Mandela’s funeral and rubbed shoulders with world leaders in an event that was...

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Issa Rae: Internet Celebrity

The outside of the Sheraton Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica was bustling with activity. A thick Autumn mist obscured the sea and the sky was grey, but the mood was warm. People milled outside the hotel lobby...

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Facepalm…Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore go to “Africa”

Judging from the trailer, the upcoming Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore comedy Blended not only recycles their familiar on-screen partnership (this is the third romantic comedy they’ve done together) but also recycles dated Hollywood notions about “Africa.”...

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Cape Town hip-hop just got interesting again

It has often been said in hip-hop circles in Cape Town that the wildly successful Die Antwoord owe a lot of their success to the Cape Flats rappers that they hung out with just before dropping their...

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Mulatu Astatke is a legend

Mulatu Astatke has achieved what most musicians could only dream of: he invented an iconic genre. In the 1970s, Astatke pioneered a fusion of western jazz with the traditional sounds and instruments of Ethiopia to create Ethio-jazz....

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Cape Town goes Electronic

This weekend marks the 2nd year of the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival, an event that seeks to present the “multi facets of South Africa’s electronic music scene” with a weekend of performances and workshops. Judging from...

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Key and Peele Unchained

Sean has blogged here before about the American sketch comedy duo Key and Peele. Around the same time I also came to learn about them after a friend had introduced me to the show. Before giving it to me,...

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Winter List: Festivals in Southern Africa

While some in the virtual AIAC office have been putting together their summer lists, I thought I’d keep it real and put up a winter list. (Yes, it’s winter here in South Africa.) If you ever get...

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Tutu’s Board Games

Shameless self-promotion. “Board Games” is a short documentary video I did for my friend Kent Lingeveldt who runs the independent Alpha Longboards company. I just showed up at his workshop when he told me to, followed him...

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Shameless self-promotion. Jumu’a: The Gathering

If you’re in Cape Town or Johannesburg this week, come watch my film ‘Jumu’a: The Gathering’ at the Encounters International Documentary festival. The film is centered around a few characters in Cape Town’s Murabitun community — Muslims...

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Bom Boy

‘A thing had begun to grow like a tree in Leke’s throat.’ So begins Yewande Omotoso’s Bom Boy, a bright debut novel that sits comfortably in the realm of magic realism, somewhere between folklore, memoir and modern...

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Fighting Pop

Congolese/South African (via Belgium) musician Yannick Ilunga, AKA Iamwaves, has been rather busy lately. His group Popskarr, a new ‘electronic/Nu Disco/Misty Pop’ outfit, has just released a stylish single called Fighter; and as his alter ego Petite...

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

#Kony2012 is a Mixtape

It’s been interesting to see how Kony 2012 went from being a viral campaign (the biggest in history?) to an internet meme, to a self-fulfilling parody. And now it’s an experimental Afro-glitch album by someone only known...

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Cape Town African Swag

The first time I heard about rapper Youngsta (government name Riyadh Roberts) was during Public Enemy’s tour of Cape Town, in a club awkwardly named @mospheer. Chuck D and Flavor Flav rocked the crowd that night, with...

Monday, March 19th, 2012

‘South African History !X’

Fresh off a Japanese tour, Capetonian jazz musician Kyle Shepherd returns with a third album entitled ‘South African History !X,’ which, he explains in the video above, “pays homage to the languages of the first nation people” and...

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The Jazz of Samuel Yirga Mitiku

I was in Dubai recently, working on a documentary, and on the way back to Cape Town I visited Ethiopia to see some friends and experience some of the Ethio-jazz music I had fallen in love with...

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Shit (some) South Africans say

When the ubiquitous “Shit (People) Say” meme was still popular, and after seeing the genuinely funny Shit Nigerians Say video, I thought about making a video myself about shit South Africans say. Then I saw that someone...

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

How to make a movie about Muslims

All the talk in the South African film world is all about the comedy "Material" these days, starring Cape Town stand-up comedian Riaad Moosa and Vincent Ebrahim of the popular BBC show The Kumars at No. 42....

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Cape Town’s make-believe politics

Cape Town’s local politics seems to be getting more and more distressing. Last week the Rondebosch Common, a public plot of open land in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town showed a bit more activity...

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Music Break. Hamdan Al-Abri

I've been in Dubai for the past month working on an documentary on the life of late South African political activist and Mandela confidante Fatima Meer (we shot it in South Africa but the production company is...

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Tunisian Coke

The Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) kicked off on Saturday, and things are already getting pretty interesting. Tunisia have beaten Morocco 2-1 last night. With Morocco being one of the favorites in the tournament, the win was...

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Benetton Politics

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance, usually very slick and media savvy, have really outdone themselves with a new campaign by its youth wing. Fresh out of leader Helen Zille’s troublesome ‘AIDS Gestapo’ views and calling the ever disgruntled...

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Mixtapes and Megaupload

I was going to post the link to Das Racist's latest offering, a funny, irreverent and poignant mixtape by Heems AKA Himanshi Suri, unofficial leader of the NYC rap group, but the FBI has just...

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The Palm Wine Drinkard

Without a doubt, my favorite group of recent times has to be NYC outfit Das Racist. Dismissed by some as nothing more than stoner rap, to me they are a fresh new voice in hip hop. Two...

Monday, November 7th, 2011

South Africans ‘going into Africa’

My friend Chipo recently sent me this pilot of a documentary travel series entitled Going Native. Not only was I pleasantly surprised to find Chipo in the pilot as one of the characters, but also found the...

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Denzel Washington is a Cape Town cop

The trailer for the new Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds feature “Safe House,” just got released officially on the interwebs yesterday. The film centers around rogue CIA agent Tobin Frost (Washington in Training Day mode again) on the run...

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Viva Kinshasa

One of the most exciting films to come out of the continent recently is the Congolese gangster noir, ‘Viva Riva!’ Sean already blogged about it here when it just started to attract a lot of hype. I...

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