Congratulations to all the Grammy winners! The 63rd edition of the yearly internationally recognized music festival dubbed, Grammy Awards was spectacular.

The monumental music event hosted by South African comedian Trevor Noah was held in Los Angeles Conversion Centre in Los Angeles on Sunday March 14, 2021 with no audience.

63rd Annual Grammy Awards – Photo Credit Trevor Noah

Despite the absence of the usual most notable moments in the previous years, which saw huge number of music lovers and entertainers gracing the occasion and with red carpet sessions to reflect on various fashion sense and performances to audience, the night of music celebration was historic even in the era of the deadly pandemic, Covid 19.

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It was also a night of celebration for Africans because, some African afrobeat artists Like Burna Boy and Wizkid hailing from Nigeria were able to put smiles on the faces of Africans as they bagged home awards from a tight and impressive category.

 

Burna Boy, who goes by the real name Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu Rex won the award for the Best Global Music Album category with his “Twice as Tall” album.

Twice as Tall was released in August 2020 and it features other amazing African talents like, Stormzy, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Youssou N’Dour, Naughty by Nature, and Sauti Sol. Last year, for the same award category, burna boy lost to Angélique Kijo.

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Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, also won the award category for Best Music Video alongside with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy for Beyoncé’s Brown Skin Girl, from Lion King: The Gift album.

Photo credit Wizkid

These awards were grabbed in the early hours on Sunday at the premier ceremony before the main event on Sunday night.

African Celebrity Man Of The DAY Is David Kibuuka – Writer On The Daily show

David Kibuuka was born in Uganda on 22 August 1980. He relocated to Krugersdorp, South Africa with his family at a young age to escape the dictatorship of Idi Amin in Uganda.

He attended the University of Witwatersrand and graduated with an Honours degree in finance. However, he always had a particular interest in improvised comedy and acting.

After graduation, he joined a contest held by 5FM called Freshest Five that was searching for the new comedy talents.

As the winner of the contest, he earned the right to work with local comedians such as Kagiso Lediga, John Vlismas and David Kau.

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His appearance in the King – Size Comedy Festival attracted the attention of comedians like Barry Hilton and John Vlismas, who invited him on their upcoming tours.

Consequently, he started to appear as the opening comedian for their shows such as the Blacks Only Comedy Show hosted at Sandton Convention Centre.

His TV debut was in 2004 with the SABC 1 comedy show called Pure Monate Show. He was one of the lead actors during the first two seasons. His acting skills were praised and he quickly became one of the favourite performers of the show.

He started attracting more attention world-wide starting in 2006. His first international appearance was in 2006 when he performed on stage during the Heavyweight Comedy Jam in London.

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In 2008, he appeared on stage with his opening show when the famous Australian comedian Carl Barron visited South Africa during his world tour.

This was Kibuuka’s first opening alongside a world-famous comedian.

Thanks to his early accomplishments in the 2000s, he was much more active during the 2010s.

Having established a reputation in South Africa, he got various offers to be a regular performer in Johannesburg, and performed regularly at venues like Parkers, Comedy Underground and Tanz Café.

In the meantime, he shared the stage with Trevor Noah, which enhanced his reputation further.

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In the early 2010s, he wrote, directed and played in two commercials.

The first one was for Cell-C’s campaign for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, while the other one was a parody of the Die Antwoord song Fatty Boom Boom that he co-wrote along with Kagiso Legida.

He organized his very first one man show called “David Wasn’t Built In A Day” in 2011.

The content and Kibuuka’s performance received critical acclaim and earned Kibuuka the Standard Bank Ovation Award during the National Arts Festival held in Grahamstown.

Following the success of his solo show, he toured in Africa and gave several performances in 2013. That same year, he hosted Stand Up in Africa.

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His acting skills extended beyond stand-up shows, as he wrote scripts for many comedy shows. The most famous one was the movie “Bunny Chow”, in which he also played as the lead actor.

The movie became a commercial box-office success and received awards at international film festivals in Los Angeles, Toronto, Melbourne and Cape Town.

In 2015, it was reported that he joined the Daily Show as a staff writer alongside Trevor Noah.

Kibuuka’s unique sense of humour has always received positive response from authorities.

As the saying goes ‘laughter is the best medicine’ Thanks to David Kibuuka and his team millions of people around the world are healed through laughter!

 

Photo Credit: David Kibuuka

Inspirational Stories: Inspiring & Exciting African Celebrities to watch in 2019!

Africa is known for being a vibrant and eccentric continent, rich in culture and full of diversity. While Africa is home to magnificent nature and animals it has also been blessed with young change makers who are inspiring the youth to pursue their dreams.

These celebrities have redefined what success means for the next generation and all while making a change in their societies, we have followed their journeys from the beginning, and we are excited to see what’s in store for them.

Here’s a list of 10 Inspiring and Exciting African Celebrities to watch in 2019 in no particular order:

  •       Nomzamo Mbatha

This young South African first burst onto our screens when she entered MTV’s VJ Search in 2012, however she didn’t win the contest and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Nomzamo Mbatha landed her first role as an actress in the hit TV soapy ISIBAYA then she went on to Star in hit Movie Tell Me Sweet Something.

She was born in a small township (KwaMashu) in Durban South Africa and had a challenging childhood as she lost her Father at a young age.

Photo Credit: Nomzamo Mbatha

The story of Nomzamo Mbatha is inspiring as it is one of a young girl overcoming adversity to become successful. She has gone on to represent Brands Like Audi, Neutrogena, Puma and was recently named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

This young woman is one to watch in 2019.

  •     Maria Borges

Angolan-born Model made history as the first woman of colour to walk the runway with her Afro in 2013 and this has inspired other African models to confidently wear their natural hair on the runway.

 

Photo Credit: Maria Borges

Maria was born in the Angolan Civil War and lost her parents at the age of 11. To make a living, she entered the “Elite Model Look Angola” contest where she was scouted by an international agent and this launched her career.

She has walked the runway for Tom Ford, Balmain and has become the Global Ambassador for L’Oréal.

  •       Danai Gurira

An American Actress of Zimbabwean descent who was born in Iowa to Parents who later moved back to Zimbabwe when she was five. She is best known for her roles in the hit show Walking Dead and as a fierce warrior in Black Panther.

Photo Credit: Danai Gurira

Danai started acting when she attended a children’s performing arts workshop at 13 and has never looked back.

She moved back to the States to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree where she also uncovered her passion for writing.

Gurira said she began writing plays to tell stories that convey ideas about strong women she identifies with.

She has received numerous awards for her plays including the NAACP Theatre award for best playwright. We can’t wait to see what she gets up to in 2019.

  •      King SMADE (Adesegun Adeosun Jr)

King SMADE is one of the African Celebrities putting Africa on the map through Music/Events/Festivals and more.

He’s the only event organiser in the U.K who has been able to bring all the top African Stars to Europe for sold out concerts, the likes of Davido, Diamond, Platniumz, Tiwa Savage and more.

Photo credit: King SMADE (Smadeevents)

Just like the saying no hard work goes unnoticed, King SMADE was at the House of Commons UK to pick up an award for his contributions and promotion of African Culture & Music.

King SMADE took to his social media handles with the photo below and caption

”such as musSecond time at the House of The Lords this year being a recipient of another award. Thank You #EuroKnowledge #DrAlexItkin.

Thanks to everyone promoting the African Culture & Music. Special Thanks to my Team of soldiers at #TeamSMADE & the amazing Talents & Superstars making us proud.”

     

  •  Toke Makinwa

 

This radio personality has successfully built a loyal audience in Nigeria through her radio show The Morning Drive on 93.7 FM. She made her major debut when she appeared on the morning drive which led to more television opportunities.

Photo Credit: Toke Makinwa Shot By Shotbyernest

Toke lost her parents at the tender age of 8 years which she talks about in her book “On Becoming”. Regardless of her struggles, she is one of the most sought-after Nigerian media personalities and that’s why she is the one to watch.

  •    Trevor Noah

The “Born a Crime” author is known for turning life’s struggles into humorous comedy. Born into the Apartheid era to a black Xhosa Mother and a white Swiss-German Father where interracial relationships were illegal.

Trevor’s parents managed to keep their relationship and their child a secret.

Some of his experiences growing up would become the subject of Noah’s comedic work.

Having appeared on a popular soap when he was 18, Noah began to host a show Noah’s Ark on a popular radio station which he later dropped to pursue comedy.

Photo Credit: Trevor Noah

His career in comedy blossomed, and in 2009, he hosted one man show Daywalker which led him to touring the United States.

International Television shows soon caught up with Trevor Noah and in 2015 he was named the host of the Daily show succeeding Jon Stewart.

Trevor Noah’s journey is one of overcoming life situations regardless of your background.

         

  •             Alek Wek

A fashion model who is known for being one of the first dark skinned models to appear on fashion covers in the 90s.

She was born into the South Sudanese Dinka Tribe in 1977 and was discovered at an outdoor market in Crystal Place at the age of eighteen.

She has been in fashion and advertising campaigns for big brands which include Vogue, Clinique, Victoria Secret just to mention a few. Life wasn’t always easy for her.

She had a rough upbringing as her life was turned upside down by the outbreak of the civil war in 1982 which destroyed their homes.

Photo Credit: Alek Wek

Wek lost her father and was separated from her family for over four years. She has since gone back home to Sudan to establish a foundation.

She also  launched and expanded education, healthcare and agriculture projects where she is impacting the lives of over 700,000 individuals.

  •       Trevor Stuurman

A South African fashion photographer with a growing Global footprint. His career blossomed when he was named ELLE Magazine’s first ever style reporter in 2012.

Photo Credit: Trevor Stuurman

Born and raised in Kimberly, this vibrant Artiste has always had an eye for fashion and story telling.

He has and has had various mediums to portray his stories including big Magazines like Elle and Glamour.

  •          Kemiyondo Coutinho

She is one of the Forbes 30 under 30 2018 recipients and was recognized as a writer and actress. Coutinho was born in Kampala, Uganda and has had a passion for writing since she was 17.

Photo Credit: Kemiyondo Coutinho

She writes shows that tackle issues to do with gender equality and in 2012 she wrote Kawuna..You’re It addressing inequality with regard to HIV/AIDS.

Recently, she was selected as one of Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Filmmaking Fellowship for her script immigration in Africa.

She is one young woman determined to change the narrative for women in Africa and the world.

  •     Lupita Nyong’o

She is an international filmmaker and actress who made her debut Award Winning performance in 12 years a slave as Patsey. Born in Mexico to Kenyan Parents. 

Lupita started acting as a teenager in Kenya and went on to work behind the scenes of the film the constant gardener.

Went on to produce a documentary In My Genes which followed stories of several Kenyans living with Albinism.

Photo Credit: Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita is a symbol of strength and confidence to a lot of young women who are ashamed of their dark skin…but she has come to own her beautiful skin.

She starred as a female lead in Block Buster Movie Black Panther and is one African woman making waves in Hollywood.

  •     Bonang Matheba

“Queen B,” as she is popularly known is a South African TV presenter, entrepreneur, radio personality and philanthropist.

She was born in Mahikeng and got her first breakthrough at the age of 15 on a television show.

She then went to school to pursue a degree in Marketing but was unable to finish because of financial difficulties but she was not deterred.

Photo Credit: Bonang Matheba

 

Her first media job came with her show Live, aired in 2007 which quickly gained popularity and became the most watched show in South Africa.

She went on to host a show called the B-Hive after being rejected for two years. In 2017, she launched the Bonang Matheba Bursary which helps young girls from under privileged backgrounds to access college education.

She also launched her reality show Being Bonang in 2017 and it has been renewed for Season 3, as well as a documentary, Public Figure aired at Cannes Film Festival, which seeks to educate the youth on the use of social media.

We have witnessed her journey from the very beginning, and we are sexcited to see what 2019 brings for her…

 

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African Celebrities who give back

We may not be aware, but quite a lot of celebrities were born in Africa. Some of them moved to Europe or the US with their families while some of them still reside in their home country.

Nevertheless, all of them had significant impacts on the society both with their brilliant works and their volunteering activities that raised awareness among millions.

Trevor Noah was born in 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa to a Swiss-German father and a Xhosan mother. Interracial marriages were forbidden under the apartheid regime, so his mother had to face charges. He was raised in the township of Soweto until 2002.

His early work began in 2002 when he started hosting a radio show called Noah’s Ark on Gauteng’s YFM. He then started focusing on comedy and performed on stage with many local and international comedians while also hosting various other TV programs on SABC 1 and SABC 2.

He moved to the United States in 2011 and appeared on the Tonight Show and the Late Show with David Letterman as the first South African stand-up comedian.

He also continued his on-stage performance with one-man comedies such as Trevor Noah: The Racist. Since 2015, he has been hosting the Daily Show as the successor of Jon Stewart. His debut was so successful that the Comedy Central extended his contract until 2022.

Besides his TV career, he also wrote an autobiography about his childhood years and the apartheid regime. The book “Born a Crime” was published in 2016.

Happy Birthday Trevor Noah

Congratulations! South African writer, producer, DJ, television host Trevor Noah has been named to replace Jon Stewart as ‘The Daily Show’ Host

Noah 31,  first  joined the show back in December and he has now been confirmed to take over as its host after only three appearances on the program, according to The New York Times. It is believed that no specific date has been given yet or the departure of  Jon Stewart even though he announced that he will be leaving the show in February.

Jon Stewart gave his seal of approval by saying  “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,”….”He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” he also  added that he  “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”

Noah joked that   “You don’t believe it for the first few hours,”

We can’t wait for his first official appearance! Well done!