Blog archives for February, 2018

Archive for February, 2018

Feb 22 2018

Zulu Love Letter

Published by

The movie Zulu Love Letter by the filmmaker Ramadan Suleman. The movie takes place in post-apartheid South Africa, focusing on a journalist named Thandeka. Thandeka’s life is greatly affected by memories of her active political involvement during apartheid, particularly her article concerning the police murder of a young girl, Dineo, which she was a witness to. When Dineo’s mother asks for Thandeka’s help in reconciling her daughter’s death, Thandeka’s life becomes much more complicated than before. Along with the issues Thandeka faces in her fight with society, she also faces a fight at home. These culminate in Thandeka trying to understand her daughter Mangi, who was born deaf, as well as trying to reconcile with her estranged husband, Moola.

A Zulu Love Letter, the title of the film, is art in the form of beadwork. The elaborate bead designs are messages meant to symbolize love and affection. Historically, the colors used in the beadwork have different meanings. For example, blue represents faithfulness. In the film, Mangi, Thandeka’s daughter, creates her own Zulu love letter to show her love for her family.The filmmaker, Ramadan Suleman, was born in South Africa in 1955. He studied film in London and Paris before he studied under two of Africa’s own infamous filmmakers, Med Hondo who he helped with the film Lumière Noire, and Souleymane Cisse on Yeelen. Suleman’s first solo film was a short film called The Devil’s Children (1989). Since then he has gone on to produce several films including Zulu Love Letter, all of which have won awards ranging from the Chicago Film Festival to Chavellier des arts et Lettres by France.The issue addressed in Suleman’s film is that of not only apartheid but post-apartheid issues in South Africa. Apartheid was a policy implemented in South Africa in 1948 which continued from then until 1994. Apartheid was similar to segregation in the United States separating native Africans and other races from European settlers. The major difference between segregation in America and apartheid in South Africa was the legality of the separation of races. The result was severe housing separation between European settlers and Native Africans as well as land redistribution of the most fertile land to Europeans. Native Africans were not only given land that was labelled as bad for farming, they were also only given enough land for subsistence farms. This system ensured that Native Africans were forced to work on European farms to make a living wage.Even after 1994, when apartheid had legally been abolished, the effects still stand. Today this is visible by the difference in housing structures available. While there is a newly forming black African middle class, the majority of Native Africans still inhabit shacks or closely constructed concrete houses. The picture above shows the vast differences in housing. While you can assume the picture was taken early in the apartheid era or even right at the end, maybe around 1994, the article by Daily Mail says that the picture was taken in 2016, only 2 years ago. Along the same lines, while the government intervened to try to undo the negative effects of land redistribution, Native Africans still hold less land than European settlers.

Feb 22 2018

It’s Ya Boy Eazi, Zagadat!

Published by

Written By: Christopher Luciani

Early Life

Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade, better known as Mr Eazi, is a 26 year old musician from Nigeria. Born in Port Harcourt, the largest city and capital of Rivers State, Nigeria, his parents encouraged him to pursue an education at a university in Ghana. Mr Eazi relocated to Kumasi and studied mechanical engineering at the world class Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). This is where his passion for music began as he started recording music in his final year.

One of the interesting things about Mr Eazi is his national identity. He describes himself as Nigerian by birth, but Ghanaian by heart. That is all he is usually willing to say in interviews and tries not to talk about it any further because he believes that a distinction of where he is from does not determine his style of music. Mr Eazi is taking over the music industry by storm in not only Ghana and Nigeria, but in the entire world, with his YouTube channel having a combined 76 million views in the last 5 years.

Mr Eazi’s Style

Mr Eazi was introduced to me in 2016 through a family member who worked for a music company at the time. Ajibade’s music style is unique when compared to other musicians in the region. Mr Eazi pioneered “Banku Music” (named after the popular local Ghanaian meal), which is described by him in an article by Evatese Blog as a fusion between “Ghanaian bounces, Ghanaian highlife, Nigerian chord progressions, and Nigerian patterns. The essence of Banku music is a mixture of Nigeria and Ghana.”


Long Island, NY Elon University '21

More Posts