Wednesday 21 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has put on display the "Screaming Mummy" of the son of a pharaoh who may have been hanged for plotting his father's murder. Dubbed "the unknown man E", the mummy which is not usually exhibited appears to be of a man who died an agonising death. Egypt's antiquities ministry has said DNA analysis confirmed the mummy was a son of Ramses III, who ruled between 1186 BC and 1155 BC. It showed signs that the man had been hanged and shrouded in sheepskin, which the ancient Egyptians considered impure. Pentawere, the son of Ramses III, was sentenced to hang for his role in the plot, according to an ancient papyrus...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Burkinabe filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo, a towering figure in African cinema, died Sunday at the age of 64, the national film makers guild announced in a statement. Ouedraogo produced or directed some 40 films from the 1980s to the 2000s, set in Africa and often exploring the strains between modern urban and traditional rural lifestyles. In 1990, he won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival for "Tilai", an African version of a Greek tragedy about family dishonour, which is set in a village and is probably his best-known work internationally. "Burkina Faso has lost a filmmaker of immense talent," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement. Ouedraogo "worked hard to raise the profile of Burkinabe and...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The release this week of Marvel Studios' latest superhero outing, "Black Panther", has triggered the enthusiasm of African movie fans and a sense of pride that Hollywood has finally plugged a gap. With an almost entirely black cast and a young African-American director, Ryan Coogler, the film has already won rave reviews for its stereotype-busting portrayal of Africa. After all the hype, select audiences in African countries have got a sneak preview of the new blockbuster -- and many agree...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
South Africa's film censorship authorities on Wednesday elevated the age restriction imposed on a controversial Oscar-shortlisted coming-of-age film, effectively banning it from being screened at public cinemas. The film came under fire for lifting the veil on secret initiation rites practised by one of the country's largest ethnic groups and exposing taboos around gay love and sex. In a statement the film and publication board tribunal said it has re-classified the age rating of the movie "Inxeba – The Wound",...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
"I think of it as the African Mona Lisa," said award-winning novelist Ben Okri, gazing at the long-lost portrait of a Nigerian princess which recently turned up in a London flat. Ben Enwonwu's 1974 painting of Adetutu "Tutu" Ademiluyi, daughter of a Yoruba king, has taken on almost mythical status in the painter's native Nigeria. It was last seen in 1975 but is now up for sale after its surprise rediscovery. "It has been a legendary painting for 40 years,...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Egyptian archaeologists on Saturday unveiled the tomb of an Old Kingdom priestess adorned with well-preserved and rare wall paintings. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told reporters that the tomb on the Giza plateau near Cairo was built for Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth. The tomb was found during excavation work in Giza's western cemetery by a team of Egyptian archaeologists led by Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
"Are there bookshops in Nigeria?" The question posed by a French journalist last week incensed acclaimed Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. At an event held in a ritzy Paris government building under crystal chandeliers, Adichie launched a blistering assault on perceived French arrogance. "I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question," said Adichie. "My books are read in Nigeria. They are studied in schools. Not just Nigeria, across the continent in...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
Like most youngsters in Nairobi's largest slum, Henry Ohanga grew up believing he would never amount to anything. Making it big, even leaving Kibera: these weren't things that happened to an orphan who once robbed people to buy food. Now 29, he is Octopizzo, one of East Africa's most recognised hip-hop stars, and is using his success to break down stigma around the slum and inspire kids in a world devoid of successful role models. Clad in a black Adidas...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Egypt on Thursday shifted a colossal statue of legendary Pharoah Ramses II into place at the entrance to a new museum in Cairo that officials hope can help win back tourists. The iconic 3,200-year-old monument will begin welcoming visitors to the Grand Egyptian Museum by the Giza pyramids when it is scheduled to open partially within the next 12 months, after years of delays. A military band played as the 83-tonne statue was slowly driven some 400 metres (yards) into...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela died on Tuesday aged 78, his family announced, triggering an outpouring of tributes to his music, his long career and his anti-apartheid activism. "After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg," Masekela's family said in a statement. It hailed his "activist contribution" to music, which it said "was contained in the minds and memory of millions." South African President Jacob Zuma praised Masekela as a "jazz artist, legendary trumpeter, cultural activist and liberation struggle veteran." "He kept the torch of freedom alive globally fighting apartheid through his music and mobilising international support," Zuma said.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/23/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela, known as the “father of South African jazz” who used his music in the fight against apartheid, has died from prostate cancer, his family said on Tuesday. He was 78. In a career spanning more than five decades, Masekela gained international recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as “Soweto Blues”, which served as one of the soundtracks to the anti-apartheid movement. Following the end of white-minority rule, he opened...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The first ever film festival celebrating the LGBT community is underway in Tunisia, a Muslim country where homosexuals can face up to three years in prison. Twelve short and medium-length films produced in Tunisia and across the Middle East and North Africa are being shown at the "Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival" that opened Monday. The four-day event is organised by Mawjoudin, Arabic for "We Exist", a Tunisian non-governmental association which defends the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is the first event of its kind in Tunisia and the organisers say the "festival conceives of itself as audacious".
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
Mention Nigerian literature and the first names likely to spring to mind are Chinua Achebe, the author of "Things Fall Apart", or the venerable Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. But Africa's most populous nation has a new crop of writers whose work is a far cry from the post-colonial era of their esteemed predecessors. Olumide Popoola's novel "When We Speak Of Nothing", for example, tells the story of a gay teenager seeking the father he never knew in the southern oil...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
A coming-of-age film which explores the taboos around gay love and sex has won plaudits and awards abroad, and is now in the running for an Oscar. But back home in South Africa, the movie is under fire for lifting the veil on secret initiation rites practised by one of the country's largest ethnic groups. The trailer alone led to its stars receiving death threats, and opponents have fought to stop it from being screened in local cinemas. "The Wound"...
(Jeune Afrique 12/13/17)
Un tribunal du Caire a condamné mardi une jeune chanteuse égyptienne à deux ans de prison pour "incitation à la débauche", après son apparition dans un clip particulièrement suggestif. L’histoire a commencé par un simple clip musical. Shyma, chanteuse de 21 ans, apparaît dans le clip de sa chanson « Andy Zoroof » (« J’ai des problèmes »), en multipliant les postures lascives dans ce qui semble être une salle de classe. Elle est ensuite arrêtée le 18 novembre après...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang has had his custody extended by 48 hours by the authorities, his lawyer said Tuesday, nearly a week after his arrest for publishing an article critical of the country's president. "His detention was extended (Monday) for 48 hours by the state prosecutor," lawyer Emmanuel Simh told AFP, adding that Nganang would "in principle" appear before the prosecutor after its expiry. Simh said the detention was "illegal" because Nganang was not initially notified he was being placed...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
A court in Cairo on Tuesday sentenced an Egyptian pop singer to two years in prison for "inciting debauchery" over a racy music video clip, a judicial source said. Shyma, a little-known 21-year-old singer, was also fined 10,000 pounds ($560). The director of the clip, Mohamed Gamal, received the same sentence. Both can appeal the ruling. Shyma was arrested on November 18, police said, following complaints about the video for her song "I Have Issues". In the video, she appears...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
A live performance of an aria from an Italian opera, sung by a professional soprano, isn't a common sound in Nigeria's bustling commercial and entertainment capital, Lagos. But it's not the most surprising thing for the performer, Omo Bello. News of her appearance at the MUSON School of Music has attracted a crowd, even when it's only for a short rehearsal. "I didn't realise to what extent I was recognised in Nigeria," the 33-year-old admitted after singing "O mio babbino...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a mummy in one of two previously unexplored tombs across the Nile from the southern city of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said Saturday. The tombs were found in the 1990s by German archaeologist Frederica Kampp, though she had only reached the entrance gate "but never entered", the ministry said. It said that both tombs, which were given numbers by Kampp, were likely to date back to dynasties of the New Kingdom, which lasted several centuries until...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron made a surprise announcement during his recent African tour, saying in Burkina Faso's capital that one of his priorities was to restore African cultural treasures. African cultural heritage "should be highlighted in Paris, but also in Dakar, Lagos, Cotonou", Macron told a crowd of students at a university in Ouagadougou. "This will be one of my priorities. In five years, I want the conditions to be met to return African heritage to Africa." Delivered at the end of his speech, this sentence resonated especially in Benin, which in July last year called for France to return treasures taken during French...

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