Kenyan film Rafiki seems to be getting more international attention. Just months after it was banned in the country, and a few weeks after premiering at the Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival) in France, its director and producer, Wanuri Kahiu, has been picked to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy is known for its Academy Awards, officially known as The Oscars.
Wanuri now joins other top Hollywood personalities as one of the members. She had impressed masses with her speech during the 71st Cannes Film Festival back in May at her movie’s premiere. She took to her Twitter handle to share the big news, tweeting, “I am now a new member of The Academy!!! Yaaaaass!!! So proud! So happy!”
Rafiki was banned after scenes not in the script originally submitted for approval were sneaked in. A statement issued by the Kenya Film Classification Board then indicated that the director Wanuri Kahiu was called when the movie was finally submitted and asked to remove them but she refused.
This year, in its effort to counter criticism of its mostly white and male membership, the Academy went out to invite 928 new members from 59 countries, Wanuri being one of them.
Among top celebrities invited include Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish, The Big Sick co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, comedian and actor Dave Chappelle among others.
If all those invited accept the invitation, female membership would rise to 31 per cent from the current 28. People of colour (non-whites), who have majorly criticised the Awards, will increase to 16 per cent from 13.
Lupita to be on Walk of Fame
Celebrated Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o has been named among Hollywood Walk of Fame 2019 honourees. Lupita is among the list of 28 honourees that only has three black actors. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced the Walk of Fame Class of 2019 on Monday and the Black Panther star was among those selected in the film category.
Lupita, who bagged an Oscar in her debut year for Best Supporting Actress for the movie 12 Years A Slave is listed alongside Alan Arkin, Kristen Bell, Daniel Craig, Robert De Niro, Guillermo del Toro, Anne Hathaway, Tyler Perry and Gena Rowlands.
In the television category Alvin and the Chipmunks, Candice Bergen, Guy Fieri, Terrence Howard, Stacy Keach, Sid and Marty Krofft, Lucy Liu, Mandy Moore, Dianne Wiest, and Julia Child (posthumously) will receive stars along Hollywood Boulevard.
Some have expressed that it was too soon for her to receive a walk of fame star, considering that other actresses, having been in the industry longer than she has, are yet to be honoured.
However, during the release of the list, Chairman of the Walk of Fame Selection Committee, Vin Di Bona, said, “The Committee always tries to select a group of talented honourees that appeal in various genres of the entertainment world.”
“I feel the Committee has outdone themselves and I know the fans, tourists and the Hollywood community will be pleased with our selections. We are excited to see each and every honouree’s face as they unveil that majestic star on Hollywood’s most famous walkway.”
Dates for the star ceremonies are yet to be confirmed.
Joe died two days after anniversary
The man credited for the success of the late legendary pop star Michael Jackson – his musical manager father, Joe Jackson – has passed on just two days after Michael’s ninth death anniversary. The family patriarch, who played a major role in the career of his children’s musical journey as their music manager, including Janet, died last week at the age ripe age of 89.
The news of his demise was confirmed by family members, including his daughter La Toya Jackson and grandsons Taj and Randy Jackson. Taking to her Twitter account, 62-year-old La Toya Jackson posted, “I Will always love you. You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world. I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared. R.I.P Joe Jackson.”
According to media reports in USA, he had been in a Las Vegas hospital for a terminal, pancreatic cancer treatment when he died.
It is said that Joe was in the final stage of the killer disease and had previously suffered a stroke in São Paulo, in 2015, and a number of heart attacks. His fourth child Jermanine said his father had attempted to prevent his family from visiting him in the hospital by withholding information about his location and diagnosis.
Joe’s legacy lives in the shaping and promotion of his sons’ band, Jackson 5, that comprised of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael, and Randy. The young musical family then went on to became a phenomenon in the late 1960s and 70s, with their first four singles, “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There” topping the US Billboard charts.
In a 2003 ITV documentary ‘Living With Michael Jackson’, six years before his death, Michael Jackson told the interviewer Martin Bashir that his father would oversee the Jackson 5’s intense rehearsals with a belt in his hand and would “tear up” any of the brothers who missed a step.
Fally Ipupa’s ‘Tokoos’ album tour in Nairobi
BET Award 2018 nominee, Congolese singer and songwriter, Fally Ipupa, is set to land in Kenya for his album tour “Tokoos Tour” next month. It starts on August 4. The 40-year-old, who started his musical career as a band member of the legendary Koffi Olomide before going solo, will have a series of live performances of his fourth, and newest, album “Tokoos” in Nairobi with a major event to be held at Uhuru Gardens.
Fally, also a talented dancer, started his career in 1999 as a member of Quartier Latin International Band. However, in 2006 he parted ways with them after an alleged disagreement between him and Koffi to start his solo career, and has been very successful.
Over the years, Fally has attained more international success than any artiste of his generation from his native country, and in last week’s BET Awards 2018 he was nominated in the Best International Act Category won by Nigerian superstar Davido.
We were broke last year
Talented duo of Amos and Josh who burst to fame after finishing runners up in Tusker Project Fame 6 have revealed that going broke is the reason why they have been missing in the music scene.
According to the duo, since they started doing music, last year was the toughest of them all because it got them to a point where they considered quitting music for good, as they were too broke to carry on.
“2017 was a crazy year for us, musically and on a personal level, it was very dark in every aspect: financially, mentally, spiritually. We had problems with our production deal that we didn’t go to studio for months, maybe like half the year. At the same time, no shows were coming through and we were so broke that we were missing meals, lacking rent and other basics. At that point we were questioning whether we are really doing what we were meant to do. We disagreed amongst ourselves and everyone wanted to go their own way,” the duo said.
However, having recently dropped their latest single “Niko Juu”, they say their struggle only made them stronger and are now back in full force. Amos’ and Josh’ confession comes just months after rapper Gkon, who has been missing in the music scene, also confirmed that he is too broke to keep doing music as he used to because he has a young family to look after.