1Beyonce’s Lion King Soundtrack is About to Cement Afrobeats in the Global Mainsteam
For the new soundtrack for the Lion King, Beyonce has assembled a who’s who of African musical talent for what she’s called her ‘love letter to Africa. The tracklist for the ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ is a 14-song album and features original Beyoncé tracks and collaborations with other artists. It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop, and Afro Beat. Nigerian pop stars Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi perform the song Keys to the Kingdom, with the latter also appearing alongside fellow Nigerians Tekno and Yemi Alade on Don’t Jealous Me. Nigeria’s Burna Boy has a solo track, Ja Ara E, while Cameroonian artist Salatiel appears alongside Beyoncé and Pharrell on Water. Other African artists include Nigeria’s Wizkid, Ghana’s Shatta Wale, and South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly.
SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA
26 African Country Musicians You Should Check Out
African country music may seem like an unexpected genre, but it’s a growing one thanks in part to recent fusions with trap music. Country music has a strong appeal across the African continent for several reasons: the similarity with many African instruments and the recurring lyrics and themes about love, heartbreak and “the land.” Country music is played regularly on the radio in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi but yet, the artists featured are overwhelmingly white and American. African country singers do not get the respect they deserve or are seen as anomalies. These African artists are at the top of their game. From Kenya Sir Elvis and Christian country singer Esther Konkara; Nigeria boasts Ogak Jay Oke, Poor Charley Okaa and Emma Ogosi; finally Ivory Coast duo Jess Sah Bi & Peter One round off the list.
3The National Museum of African Art Has Doubled Its Holdings of Art by Women
Over the past five years, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art has worked to increase its holdings of works by women, and its newest exhibit ‘I Am…Contemporary Women Artists of Africa’ shows the results of these efforts. Featuring modern and contemporary work by 27 artists, including some who are internationally recognized, such as Ghada Amer, Zanele Muholi and Wangechi Mutu, and others whose names will probably be unfamiliar to most visitors. About two-thirds of the pieces were acquired since 2014 and most have not previously been shown in Washington. Almost two-thirds of the artists (all but three of whom are living) hail from or are based in Nigeria or South Africa, and another five are Kenyan or Ethiopian. This isn’t surprising given that those countries are the economic and cultural powerhouses of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as some of its most populous nations. But the scant representation of artists from the continent’s 20-some francophone countries seems an unfortunate oversight.
SOURCES: THE WASHINGTON POST
4Triggerfish Launches Free Online Platform for Animators
As animation powerhouse, Triggerfish, continues to earn awards and expand the industry in South Africa, it is working to create a pathway for others interested in the field of animation. In partnership with Goethe-Institut and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the studio has launched Triggerfish Academy, a free digital learning platform for anyone wanting to understand more about the career opportunities and how to get started in the field of animation. The website features 25 free video tutorials, quizzes and animation exercises introducing animation as a career and the principles of storytelling, storyboarding and animation, as well as several additional resources to help guide aspiring animators into a career in animation.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
5Bloomingdale’s Taps African Fashion Brands for Its ‘Lion King’ Themed Pop-Up Shop
In connection with the release of Disney’s ‘Lion King,’ Bloomingdale’s is launching a pop-up shop of African fashions, curated by one of the film’s stars. Guest curator Florence Kasumba, the German-Ugandan actress who plays Shenzi the hyena, tapped into her knowledge of the film and her love of African fashion to identify select items that capture the spirit of the savanna. The selection includes AAKS raffia color blocked bags, Birkenstock sandals, Gigi Burris raffia hats, bathing suits by Beach Riot, colorful Bauble Bar earrings, and dresses by Sandro and Whistles. Pieces by Brooklyn-based womenswear designer Fe Noel are also included in the selection.
SOURCES: REFINERY 29
6Another Side To Zanzibar – More Than Just White, Sandy Beaches
If Zanzibar is not on your travel bucket list, it should be! With its year-round warm, tropical climate, plenty to see and do, affordability and an array of resorts to stay at, you would be remiss to miss out on this beautiful destination. General Manager Sunny Haroon, from Hotel Verde Zanzibar – Azam Luxury Resort & Spa, Zanzibar’s greenest hotel, shares his favourite things to do in the area, adding, “Zanzibar is more than just a beach holiday destination; it is also green and verdant and full of nature’s wonders.” One such experience he suggests is not to be missed is a tour through Jozani Forest – best done in the morning when nature is at its most lively.
7Make the Most of Your Layover in Addis Ababa
Passengers with six to eight hour layover in Addis Ababa, are eligible to enjoy the free city tour organised by Ethiopian Holidays, the tour operator wing of Ethiopian Airlines Group. The complimentary sightseeing tour takes transit passengers to the National Museum, which exhibits the country’s historical, cultural and archaeological findings, accompanied by a taste of Ethiopian coffee and souvenir shopping. Transit passengers are required to make arrangements with the airline before their flight departs from its destination of origin. You should also account for the possibility that you might fall in love with the capital of Ethiopia and want to delay your travel plans and stay a bit longer. If that is the case, tourist attractions worth checking out includes Mount Entoto, the Holy Trinity Cathedral and Addis Mercato Market.
SOURCES: IOL TRAVEL
8TripAdvisor’s ‘Top Ten Experiences in Africa’ for 2019
Cape Town is undisputedly a prize-winning destination, with four experiences making the list. The number one spot for 2019 is held by Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains and 4 Valleys trip, with the Cape Canopy Tour (in the Hottentots Holland mountains) coming in second, and a full day Cape Point and Peninsula trip the third most popular. Zambezi River rafting, hot air ballooning in Morocco and safaris in Arusha, Tanzania as well as a tour of Kigali, Rwanda are also highly rated.
SOURCES: GETAWAY MAGAZINE
9The Best Way to Traverse Southern Africa’s Outback
Twice the size of California but with only two million inhabitants, Namibia is the domain of the ancient Khoi/San nomads who once followed herds of wild animals between watering holes and etched petroglyphs into sun-bleached rocks. It was here that filmmaker George Miller realized his post-apocalyptic fantasies in his bigger, badder reboot of the Mad Max film franchise. Today, Namibia adeptly blends both the past and future, honoring the cultures of long ago while fostering pockets of urbanity. A five-day road trip—your very own Fury Road—offers a glimpse at how life (humans, animals, and even plants) has adapted to the harsh conditions of the world’s oldest desert.
SOURCES: CONDE NAST TRAVELER
10[WATCH] One of the Most Beautiful Natural Areas in Africa
Due to its spectacular and imposing ensemble, “The Baobab Alley”, is a group of baobabs that line the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i in the Menabe region of western Madagascar, a protected area, since 2007. This tourist attraction disappeared, but now an NGO is working to preserve the site and train locals so they can benefit from the resources generated from tourism.
SOURCES: AFRICA NEWS