Multichoice Africa sure knows how to throw a hedonistic party if anything to assert itself as the numero uno conduit for the globe’s top three content producers. Tuesday’s opening night of the second edition of its aptly titled #OnlyTheBest Content Showcase Extravaganza in Mauritius took the form of a cabaret-styled Broadway-themed show. Guests had their names plastered on the walkway in the form of Hollywood stars. They included Nollywood star Genevieve Nnaji alongside Rita Dominic, Desmond Elliot and Ramsey Nuoah. Music guests Flavour, Stonebwoy and The Mavins provided the soundtrack guests tapped their feet to.
MultiChoice Africa’s CEO Tim Jacobs took time to make some bold promises.
“We believe television is an extremely powerful tool that can educate, entertain and inform. The evolution of this medium has become fast and furious and as a business we are constantly evolving to stay ahead. MultiChoice’s business is built around three key pillars: people; content – in the form of great entertainment, news and sport – and the latest cutting-edge technology. Our mission is to ensure that our subscribers do not miss out on any of the stories, events or moments that are shaping our future.” Some of the channels previewing their content at the Mauritius showcase include Sony, SuperSport, Zee TV, A+E, Disney, MTV Base, BET, Comedy Central, BBC and M-Net.
Perhaps Ugandan content producers will now rise to the challenge and craft content for DStv’s reconstituted Maisha Magic East channel 158 now available across all bouquets. The channel comes on the heels of the closure of the more upper-palate Maisha Magic (channel 161) that was retired on May 31, 2015. The new channel 158 is a re-formatting of Maisha Magic Swahili and now constitutes content from the diverse East African indigenous languages. Apart from Swahili, it now has a sprinkling of Kikuyu, Sheng, Luziba and our own Luganda. The bulk of the programming is from the East African country trio of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Nollywood is making bold strides in asserting itself if this week’s premiere of Thy Will Be Done at London’s BFI IMAX Cinema is anything to go by. The movie house boasts having the largest screen in the UK and this is the first time a Nollywood film is premiering in IMAX. The film has Obi Emelonye of Mirror Boy and Last Flight To Abuja fame as its Director and stars Ramsey Noah, Mercy Johnson Okojie and Mary Njoku as its leading screen personalities.
It mattered little to me that two avowed misogamists were going back on their word and tying the knot. From my vantage point at the Speke Resort Munyonyo Marina, all that was going through my mind were the artsy possibilities that would come out of the Fabian Adeoye Lojede and Seanice Kacungira marital union as the newly weds made merry.
When asked why the genocide continues to feature prominently in contemporary Rwandan cinema, renowned filmmaker Eric Kabera explains that in much the same way holocaust stories continue to be told, so will genocide stories.
The protagonist in “Akaliza Keza”
Sunday had two poignant short films that tell the genocide story in a profound way. The protagonist in young Director Philbert Aime Mbabazi’s Akaliza Keza plummets into self-destruction when she learns that her fiancé concealed his Hutu identity from her. This during a visit to her prospective in-laws in which she discovers that her future father-in-law was the man that inflicted on her younger brother a cranial blow that left him mentally deranged. Now adult, he has the mind of a toddler playing with Lego toys and creating mud sculptures. In third trimester of pregnancy, Akaliza tries to abort her baby by imbibing a concoction of detergent and potent brew because she refuses to bring another Hutu into the world. y imbibing a concoction of detergent coupled with an alcoholic binge. Thankfully, the baby survives. But what stands out in Mbabazi’s short is his imaginative cinematic style that pays great attention to aesthetics. You rarely get such fine camera work in these parts especially with such a sobering subject.
RFF Day 1; post-genocide doccie “Intore” opens Rwanda Film Fest
Opening with an indigenous film at the 2014 Rwanda Film Festival was quite telling in itself. Regional festivals do not have half as much belief in films from their own backyard enough to give them such a ringing endorsement. Eric Kabera’s film Intore flagged off a weeklong celebration of global cinema in a country anxious to use cinema as soft power. That he is the de facto patriarch of Rwandan cinema may have had something to do with it. His other works include 100 Days on of the first genocide films by a local long before the likes of Sometimes in April and Hotel Rwanda.
You have to hand it to South Africa for the hearty animation Khumba. The production values in this morality tale are way up there in the league of Rio and Ice Age. But it’s the story that towers over the other two, the fact that even for a zebra, life is not black and white. Khumba is this zebra with definite stripe issues. His were half done, not just leaving him as the butt of the animal kingdom’s jokes. As the odd one, it is easy for his herd to blame him for bringing drought to the land. His dead mother’s folkloric tales see him team up with a sassy wildebeest and a flamboyant ostrich to find the legendary waterhole where the first zebras got their stripes. It will not be an easy journey. He has to come face to face with a tyrannical leopard in the epic battle to earn the other half of his stripes. Anyone that has been on the receiving end of being picked on for being different will love this animated feature. The rib-crackers come by the bucketful although using Hollywood actor voices was sucking up way too much. If you have little ones, get them the DVD! They’ll cherish the life lessons even if they fail to get the Springbok jokes.