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Tanzanians file petition to disqualify Diamond Platnumz from 2021 BET Awards

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A section of Tanzanians on Twitter have launched an online petition to have singer, Diamond Platnumz disqualified from the 2021 BET Awards.

The Tanzanian music star was nominated in the best international act category alongside other African heavyweights.

The petitioners accused Diamond of ‘actively and publicly supporting deceased Magufuli’s regime’, but remaining silent when fellow Tanzanian artists were imprisoned and abducted in 2017-2018 over video clips deemed obscene by the authorities. Over 17,000 people have signed the petition.

It read;

This is a call to BET Awards hosted and produced by Black Entertainment Television (BET) to disqualify Diamond Platnumz

Diamond Platnumz is a world-renowned Tanzania music artist who used his popularity and his talent to whitewash and deodorize the brutal repression of the late dictator John Magufuli and his regime. Diamond is also a close friend and business ally of Paul Makonda the former Governor of Dar -es-Salaam who has openly persecuted and cracked down on LGBTI people. Makonda has also been designated in 2020 by the US State Department for gross violations of human rights including cracking down on freedom of expression and association.

Context:

Tanzania has suffered brutal repression and roll back of democracy since 2016 when (late) President Magufuli ascended into power. His regime curtailed democratic freedoms, basic human rights and Tanzanians witnessed never-before experienced atrocities like enforced disappearances, bodies bound and gagged washing ashore the Indian ocean, mass illegal detention of opposition politicians, critics and businessmen, crackdown on independent media, intimidation of creative people including musicians, actors and comedians. A particularly shocking event has been the brutal gunning down of opposition legislator Tundu Lissu in broad daylight. Lissu survived with 16 bullets in his body to tell his story. He is currently living in exile in Brussels, Belgium.

In 2020, Magufuli ran for re-election under his party Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) . Mr Lissu risked his life and returned to run against Magufuli under his party’s ticket – CHADEMA. The election was marred with irregularities, violence including killing of innocent civilians by forces acting for or on behalf of the regime. In the immediate aftermath of the election, Magufuli and his henchmen arrested the leaders of the opposition party and threatened them with treason charges. Some opposition leaders saw family members killed. Today several opposition leaders live in exile, while hundreds still languish in jail on trumped up charges.

Magufuli was also a rabid COVID19 denier whose repeated refusal to follow internationally accepted guidelines on prevention and treatment of COVID19 resulted in many deaths that remain undocumented to date due to the refusal of the government to publish any figures related to COVID19 since May 2020.

Diamond Platnumz’s role:

In 2016, Diamond made Paul Makonda the Patron of his music label and media company called Wasafi. Makonda has used the Wasafi Festival for publicity and to sanitize his image. Also throughout the increased level of repression when fellow artists were imprisoned and abducted Diamond remained silent. In 2017, he deliberately released a single called “Acha Nikae Kimya” (Let me remain quiet) as a response to the increasing demand from the public to speak up and condemn the crackdowns. Diamond to-date has not condemned or spoken up on any of the atrocities committed.

Diamond Platnumz is a self-avowed CCM party member and was the lead musician for the CCM campaign in 2015 and 2020. In 2020 despite a huge outcry locally and internationally against Magufuli and his regime, Diamond endorsed this brutal dictator, dedicated a song to him (“Magufuli Baba Lao”) and several times took to stage with him during campaign. In October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, Diamond tweeted solidarity with Nigeria but deliberately chose to remain quiet on the atrocities happening in Tanzania during the elections.

After the BET Awards 2021 nomination for best international act, Diamond took to the media and spoke disparagingly of activists, then paid a visit to his party’s headquarters CCM whereby his nomination was hailed as some sort of achievement for the party and the nation.

Why Diamond should be disqualified:

Diamond Platnumz has failed to show basic concern and publicly express any solidarity with his fellow artists like Roma Mkatoliki, Nay wa Mitego and Idris Sultan who suffered at the hand of the dictator Magufuli.
Diamond Platnumz chose to protect and expand his personal and business interest by praising and using his star power to soften the image of a brutal dictator and his collaborators.

BET awards have been always held in high esteem by many Africans for its recognition of talent of exemplary artists. The international act which was established in 2018 has consistently gone to artists who have been very conscientious and stood up for justice for African lives. Both Davido (2018) and Burna Boy (2019 and 2020) have been in the frontline at the #EndSARS protests using their star power and fame to shed light on injustice and even protect civilians from police brutality. Diamond Platnumz is a selfish, greedy opportunist and an apologist of a repressive regime who chose to deliberately turn a blind eye to atrocities and associate, praise and collaborate with renowned human rights violators like Paul Makonda and John Magufuli.
We believe that once BET independently verifies these facts, it will be clear that Diamond Platnumz does NOT deserve ANY recognition in these prestigious awards.

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Social media users go crazy as Moesha Bodoung makes first IG post in months

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Ghanaian actress, Moesha Bodoung has returned to social media after a long break.

In the second quarter of 2021, the actress found Christ, an encounter, that led to series of scandals.

Moesha was reported to have suffered some mental breakdown amidst other things.

She went off social media through the period and was missed dearly by her followers.

On Saturday night, Moesha announced her return with a post on Instagram.

“God is King,” she shared.

See screenshot of her post below;

Moesha post has since generated a lot of reactions as colleagues in the industry as well as her fans rejoiced at her return.

See screenshots of some reactions below;

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Chance The Rapper meets Nana Addo, hints at coming back to Ghana in July with a ‘big group’

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Although Chance The Rapper has returned to the USA, he already has plans to return to Ghana soon. (more…)

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‘I started cooking at the age of 10’ – Food vlogger Sweet Adjeley shares her journey

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One of Ghana’s most celebrated food vloggers watched and loved worldwide, Sweet Adjeley has disclosed how her passion for cooking started at an early age. (more…)

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African animation Seal Team makes a splash on Netflix Top 10 Films in 27 countries around the world

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Triggerfish’s third animated feature, Seal Team, is making a splash on Netflix’s global Top 10 films for the week ending 9 January 2022, with members watching over 10 million hours, making it the ninth most-watched film on Netflix in 27 countries!

Seal Team, which launched on New Year’s Eve, is the story of Quinn, a seal who spends his days relaxing in the sun, splashing in the beautiful waters off the coast of Cape Town, and swimming for his life from Great White Sharks. When he decides it’s time for the food chain to bite back, Quinn recruits a ragtag team of likeminded seals brave, stupid and crazy enough to try and teach those sharks a lesson.

 

Decider says, “Seal Team has laughs-a-plenty and a sense of good natured camaraderie in its heart,” not to mention “inspired voice casting” and “the kind of sight gags that look beyond cartoon kids’ fare.”

 

Common Sense Media recommends Seal Team for ages six and up, saying, “Though it doesn’t have the big-name studios behind it, this movie holds its own in the animation and voice acting categories… You can’t help but root for the seals.”

 

The all-star cast is far from wet behind the ears. Jessie T. Usher (A-Train in The Boys) stars as Quinn, opposite the likes of Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Omni-Man in Invincible), Emmy winner Matthew Rhys (Philip in The Americans), Emmy nominee Kristen Schaal (Mabel inGravity Falls, The Guide in What We Do In The Shadows) and four-time Annie Awards nominee Patrick Warburton (Joe Swanson in Family Guy), as well as South African stars Sharlto Copley (Wikus van der Merwe in District 9) and John Kani (Rafiki in The Lion King).

 

Grammy Award winner Seal plays a singing seal called Seal Seal and action legend Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables) portrays a dolphin called Dolph – two castings which tell you everything you need to know about both the film’s humour and how swimmingly everything fell into place for the production.

 

Seal Team is the feature film debut of South African writer-director Greig Cameron, working from a story by Wayne Thornley (Adventures in Zambezia) and Brian and Jason Cleveland.

 

“Believe it or not, our underwater military animal team is based on a real unit that trains seals and dolphins to disarm mines,” says Greig. “Admittedly, the real-life version probably isn’t armed with exploding sardines and octo-suits made out of octopi that can change colour…”

 

Of course, seals are the unlikeliest of action heroes, especially when on land. “They’re these weird, flubby, amorphous slabs of butter on land,” says Greig. “We went on a research trip diving with them. As we left the harbour in the boat, I was looking at these derpy seals just lying there on the jetty, and I was wondering, ‘Goodness gracious, how are we going to make an action movie with these guys?’ But then as soon as we got in the water, I was like, ‘Yes, this is going to work amazingly.’ When they get in the water, it’s not just that they’re faster: their whole bodies re-form into these darting bullets. They’re pretty much the physical manifestation of ‘squash-and-stretch’ animation.”

 

Greig leaned into the ridiculousness of the seals vs. sharks premise. “Cape fur seals forming a military SEAL team to fight sharks is something so silly and ridiculous, it makes me grin,” says Greig. “It makes everyone grin.”

But co-director Kane Croudace says for all its silliness, behind the madcap gags and rapid-fire punchlines, Seal Team is also an inspiring underdog story that everyone at Triggerfish related to.

 

“It’s about a hero who is brave, stupid and crazy enough to want to do the dangerously impossible,” says Kane. “That’s a theme that resonates throughout my working career. Right at the beginning of my time with Triggerfish, we wanted to make a feature film at the bottom of Africa with a totally inexperienced crew, which everyone said was impossible. We went and did it anyway. If anyone working at a ’proper’ studio had seen our workflows on Adventures In Zambezia, they would have given us 150/1 odds against us ever finishing it. But shielded by our stupidity and bravado, we managed to do it and we’ve got better with each subsequent project. So I think Quinn’s attitude to the task ahead is mirrored in our tenacity in getting these films made.”

 

Triggerfish’s first two films, Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba, sold nine million cinema tickets globally, placing them in the five biggest box office hits from Africa ever. Triggerfish then went on to animate the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes as well as four much-loved Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptations, including the 2021 Annie Award winner The Snail and the Whale and the 2020 International Emmy-winning Zog, all produced by Magic Light Pictures.

 

The 25-year-old studio is currently producing three Africa-focused TV series: Mama K’s Team 4 for Netflix; Kiya for eOne, Disney Junior and Disney+; and the anthology Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, for Disney+.

 

The 2021 Annecy International Animation Festival awarded Triggerfish the Mifa Animation Industry Award for “the pioneering role that the company has played in animation in South Africa, and Africa most widely,” according to Véronique Encrenaz, head of Mifa.

 

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It is special to be able to perform at the 02 Indigo- Kuami Eugene

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Lynx Entertainment Label mates, Kuami Eugene and KiDi are gearing up to headline a concert at the O2 Indigo in London on March, 6. (more…)

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I no longer sleep in the same room with my son- Akuapem Poloo

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After suffering  public criticism and going to jail for posing nude with her son on his birthday, Rosemond Brown, a.k.a Akuapem Poloo has learnt her lessons. (more…)

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