5 Things I Learned at The MTV MAMAs 2015

2015 marks ten years since MTV Base Africa’s first ever broadcast, and the first MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) staged in Abuja in 2005. For the occasion the stops were pulled out and it showed in the production – a suave, sparkly affair held on Saturday July 18th at Durban’s ICC. Ring side at the awards this weekend I picked up on a few things, but these five struck me […]


Album Review: Red Hot + Fela

My mind back-tracked to one afternoon in the mid-2000s during a radio programme on BBC World. I recalled running around the house looking for a spare tape onto which to record that moment. Tony Allen was being interviewed, a man of whom great things were spoken. It was Allen’s loose groove which drove many of Fela Kuti’s seminal releases, including Expensive shit, a personal favourite. My memory of the nineties […]


Five Things I Learned Watching The MTV All Stars Kwazulu-Natal Show With Snoop Lion

All photos ©Al Nicoll The premise for this gig was highly ambitious: Line up 9 urban music acts – some South African and others from East and West Africa – in a stadium-sized arena with one high profile American headliner in Durban. Up until now the more obvious host city would have been Johannesburg (if anywhere in South Africa) or elsewhere on the continent, where any and all of these […]


Film: Fanie Fourie’s Lobola - A love Match made in Mzansi

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is an authentic South African love story about two people from different cultural backgrounds. The film is a raw depiction of the issues that arise in the country’s multicultural society when love happens across canadian pharmacy lines of colour and tradition. Audiences are raving about it: Lobola has already won the Film Festival Audience Award at this year’s Jozi Film Festival as well as the Audience Award […]


Vincent Michea: Before The Bigger Splash (Review)

In two of the paintings on show at Vincent Michea’s first UK exhibition the artist is present, front and centre but obscured. His back is to the audience and he is primarily made up of dots, painted into being point by point. In Before The Big Spalsh this invisible visible self is looking over and out onto a busy swimming pool. Then in Ma Pincée de Tuiles from somewhere up […]


Film Africa Series: 'Black British Film Maker's Guide' Review

Nadia Denton decided to pool together the knowledge amassed from her association with film festivals both in the UK and abroad. She wrote this guide as an aid to filmmakers through the entire filmmaking process from the initial financing to the marketing and distribution.


Review: 'Avenue Patrice Lumumba' by South African Photographer Guy Tillim at the Tate Modern

When you are a child of West African parents and of a first generation raised in the West understanding Africa is about reconciling all the Africas you know. Guy Tillim’s photos can help you do this, they invoke feelings of being in flux, up and down and in the middle, of definitions in transition. Read our review of this riveting exhibition.


6 things we're talking about right now...

Chiwele Ejiofor’s stellar TV debut, Paul Kagame proves again why he is the world’s most down-ass president, Sly Johnson goes all soulful, and Olivier Rousteing’s new fashion posting: Just some of the 6 things we’re talking about right now. Read more…


BBC Documentary: The Real Winnie Mandela

BBC Four has run a series on the life of the controversial political icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Pop the hood for an excerpt of Part 3.


AfriPOP! review: MTV Africa Music Awards 2010, Lagos

At first I couldn’t work out why MTV Base Africa would want to return to Nigeria to host their annual awards show so soon after their first ever event in 2008 was held in Abuja. But on second thought it wasn’t that much of a stretch. Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence, as much a point of contention for some, as a cause for celebration for others (like us) means that Naija has been hella topical in 2010. So the context was there. Also, a glance at the MAMA 2010 nominations confirms the choke-hold that Naija pop has on African’s urban music scene


Tumi: Whole Worlds album review + exclusive track 'Villages & Malls'

What exactly is the use of a hidden track? Especially nowadays when no one’s willing to wait, and there’s every chance you’ll miss it. Which would be a shame in the case of Tumi’s second solo album.  Usain Bolt, tucked away 5 minutes of silence after the brief,  mournful title song featuring Canadian MC Ian Kamau, is possibly this album’s best cut. It’s what Johannesburg’s Hip-hop industry looks like through […]


Sade: Soldier of Love album review

This Bitch sings when she wants to, some NYC graffiti accurately surmised the frustration and respect awarded to Ms Adu and company’s infrequent output. The songstress herself prefers to state they only produce music when she has something to say. Soldier of Love could be seen as faint political commentary on the nature of war or meditations on the tyranny of love but it sounds just as much like a […]


Soul Power Now Available on DVD

Available now on DVD is Soul Power, a documentary about the legendary Zaire ’74 festival which brought North American stars like Celia Cruz, James Brown, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba and B.B. King to the stage during the famed “Rumble in the Jungle” match between Muhammad Ali and George Forman in 1974.


Event Review: Nas, Damian Marley and more at Nat Geo Headquarters

Nas and Damian “Jr Gong” Marley have teamed up to record Distant Relatives, a cross-cultural opus that brandishes both lyricists skills and bridges the gap between hip-hop and reggae. The project is expected to drop in March 2010 and the duo is taking an unorthodox approach to promotion by helming a panel on December 12th that featured hip hop greats, reggae legends and music intelligentsia.


Film review: Invictus

The trouble with telling a story about Nelson Mandela is that it’s a story about a nation. It’s about freedom, democracy, white guilt, equality, love. Humanity even. Never about just one man. To try and whittle it all down to a man’s political ambitions realised through a sport and to try and sell this tale to everyone outside the Boerewors Curtain is an exercise in futility. But who are we […]