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YFM launches prize-packed Brain Bank quiz show

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The Latin aphorism “scientia potentia est” meaning “knowledge is power” stands true when it comes to ‘Brain Bank’ a new programme introduced by the ever innovative urban radio brand YFM.

 

The ‘Brain Bank’ is a seamless merger between entertainment and knowledge that seeks to test the prowess of listeners of YFM when it comes to general knowledge.

 

The ‘Brain Bank’ is a radio quiz on the Golden Triangle {Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi}. The quiz which will promote literacy amongst the youth in Ghana, will take place over three-month period on the YCE Show.

 

Osei Kuffour who is the Project lead responsible for the Y Triangle said, the ‘Brain Bank’ is an ideal addition to the exciting plethora shows and activations on the Y Triangle.

 

‘’We are the number one youth station, and we factor the needs of our audience into our programming. We expect the quiz to reach hundreds of thousands of people and engage with students in the tertiary institutions and young working adults.  A contestant of the ‘Brain Bank’ quiz must be 18years and above’’ he said.

 

Osei Kuffour also mentioned the mouth-watering cash prizes available for grabs.

 

‘’The ultimate winner would walk away with GHc 10,000 cash prize, the 1st Runner up gets a cash prize of GHc 5,000 and the 2nd Runner up walks away with GHc 3,000. There will also be consolation prizes and packages from sponsors up for grabs. There will also be media interviews on associated platforms’’ he revealed.

 

In terms of the roadmap or stages of the Roadmap, Osei said: ‘’

 

After a successful registration, there will be a first round of competition, contestants will answer 10 questions within 60seconds across a 3-wee window on our online platforms. After the initial contest, competitors will now progress to the group stage of the competition where 27 highest scorers will be into 9 groups with each group having 3 members who will compete for 9 winners to be selected.

 

The 9 winners from the group stage will now move to the quarter final stage and then placed in groups of 3 to compete for the 3 final slots. These will happen on the Triangle, after the quarter finals, three contestants will now battle it out at the regional level, to represent their respective regions of Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi. For the grand finale, 3 winners, one each from the Triangle will battle it out to determine who wins the ultimate cash prize of GHc 10, 000.

 

‘Brain Bank’ is sponsored by Telefonika, Kasapreko 10/10, Sweet Home Kitchen and Nurevas

 

 

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Catch Lupita Nyong’o in The 355, Mumbi Maina in The Matrix Resurrections plus more international movies to stream on Showmax now, from The Batman to Smile

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The Batman. Smile. Top Gun: Maverick. Bullet Train. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
THE BATMAN | Stream now
People’s Choice winner Robert Pattinson (TenetThe Twilight Saga) stars in IMDb’s Top Movie of 2022, The Batman. When a sadistic serial killer starts murdering key political figures in Gotham, the iconic comic book hero is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption – and question his family’s involvement.
The Batman was the most nominated overall going into last week’s Critics Choice Super Awards, where it won Best Superhero Movie, with Colin Farrell beating Pattinson and co-star Paul Dano to Best Actor in the genre. Dano was also up for Best Villain, while Zoë Kravitz was up for Best Actress in a Superhero Movie.
Nominated for three Oscars, three Critics Choice Awards, four BAFTAs and a Grammy this year already, the box office hit was also named Best Comic Book Movie at Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomato Awards, which recognise the best reviewed films of the last year.
Look out for Jeffrey Wright, who was up for Outstanding Supporting Actor at the 2023 Black Reel Awards, and South African stuntman Scott Kirkbride (who’s worked on Fast & Furious 9Maze Runner: The Death Cure and Tomb Raider), who was one of Pattinson’s stunt doubles.
On Showmax, you can also watch Christopher Nolan’s classic Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale: Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, as well as Zack Snyder’s Justice League, starring Ben Affleck as Batman. The Dark Knight is IMDb’s third highest-rated movie of all time.
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SMILE | Stream from Thursday, 23 March 2023
Nominated for Best Horror at the 2023 Critics Choice Super Awards, Smile centres on Dr Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon from Mare of Easttown), a therapist who’s traumatised by the bizarre death of a patient. As terrifying occurrences begin taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
The psychological horror’s cast includes Jessie T Usher (A-Train in The Boys), Teen Choice nominee Kal Penn (Kumar in Harold & Kumar), Black Reel winner Rob Morgan (Chief Powell in Stranger Things), and Emmy nominee Robin Weigert (Calamity Jane in Deadwood).
The 20th biggest box office hit globally last year, Smile has an 80% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with both Bacon and debut feature director Parker Finn drawing widespread praise from the critics.
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TOP GUN: MAVERICK | Stream now
Top Gun: Maverick was named Best Action Movie at the 2023 Critics Choice Super Awards, where Tom Cruise won Best Actor in the genre and Jennifer Connelly was also up for Best Actress. This follows its 2023 Oscar for Best Sound, its 2023 Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Outstanding Action Performance by A Stunt Ensemble, and over 80 other awards, including being named Best Movie at Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomato Awards.
After more than 30 years of service as one of the navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Oscar nominee Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Sundance winner Miles Teller), call sign “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.” Rooster’s father trusted Maverick; he isn’t about to make the same mistake. Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears.
The biggest box office hit in South Africa last year, and the second biggest globally, Top Gun: Maverick is one of the 100 top-rated movies of all time on IMDb. As Rotten Tomatoes says, “Top Gun: Maverick is why we love the blockbuster experience: exhilarating action with big emotional stakes and an on-your-feet sunset ending.”
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BULLET TRAIN | Stream now
The end of the line is only the beginning in the action comedy Bullet Train, starring Oscar winner Brad Pitt (BabylonFight Club) as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, has other plans, as Ladybug’s latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries on the world’s fastest train.
Bullet Train was nominated for Best Action Movie at the 2023 Critics Choice Super Awards, where Pitt was up for Best Actor and Emmy nominee Joey King (The Kissing BoothThe Act) was up for Best Actress in the genre and Best Villain. The #18 biggest movie of 2022, Bullet Train was also up for two People’s Choice Awards: The Movie of 2022, and The Female Movie Star of 2022 for King. Vox calls the film “pure escapism at its finest”.
Helmed by award-winning director-producer David Leitch (Deadpool 2John Wick), the film’s all-star cast also includes Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (Ocean’s EightSpeed), Oscar nominees Brian Tyree Henry (CausewayAtlanta) and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal AnimalsElvis & Nixon), BAFTA nominee Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-AssNocturnal Animals), and Grammy Award-winning rapper Benito A Martínez Ocasio (aka Bad Bunny).
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FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE | Stream from Monday, 27 March 2023
Co-written by JK Rowling and directed by David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was the 12th biggest box office hit of 2022.
The third instalment in the Harry Potter prequel series, the film is set several years after the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald and follows Newt Scamander and his partners, who are tasked by Professor Albus Dumbledore with a mission that takes them into the heart of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald’s army.
The film stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Trial of the Chicago 7The Theory of Everything) as Newt Scamander and Oscar nominee Jude Law (Captain MarvelSherlock Holmes) as Professor Albus Dumbledore, with the role of Grindelwald now played by BAFTA nominee Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal).
The New York Times calls The Secrets of Dumbledore “the most absorbing and well-paced film in the trilogy to date.” It’s been nominated for two 2023 Visual Effects Society Awards, among other honours.
On Showmax, you can also binge all eight Harry Potter films as well as Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them.
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS | Stream now
The long-awaited fourth instalment in the iconic Oscar-winning The Matrix film franchise, The Matrix Resurrections picks up 60 years after the events of The Matrix Revolutions. Neo is living as a video game developer when a group of rebels seeks him out to face a new version of the Matrix and fight a new enemy that holds Trinity captive.
People’s Choice nominees Keanu Reeves and Jada Pinkett Smith and Teen Choice nominee Carrie-Anne Moss return as Neo, Niobe and Trinity respectively, with Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen) replacing Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, and Emmy nominee Jonathan Groff (MindhunterHamilton and the voices of both Kristoff and Sven in Frozen) taking over as Agent Smith.
Directed by original franchise co-director Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote the screenplay with acclaimed authors David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project), The Matrix Resurrections also features the likes of People’s Choice winner and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Quantico), five-time Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), BAFTA nominee Jessica Henwick (Glass Onion), Emmy nominee Christina Ricci (Yellowjackets), Nigerian-American actor Toby Onwumere (EmpireSense8) and Kalasha-winning Kenyan actor Mumbi Maina (Sense8).
The Matrix Resurrections was nominated for a Critics Choice Award and a BAFTA for its visual effects, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble. “It is a Matrix movie that could only have come with twenty-plus years of hindsight – and insight,” says Rolling Stone, adding, “I was moved, impressed – far more than I expected to be. The emotional engineering of The Matrix Resurrections is exacting and rapturous.”
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THE LOST DAUGHTER | Stream now
The Lost Daughter centres on Leda, a woman alone on a seaside vacation. Leda becomes consumed with a young mother and daughter as their compelling relationship unlocks memories of the terror, confusion and intensity of early motherhood, and the consequences of her own unconventional choices as a young mother.
Winner of 38 international awards, The Lost Daughter was nominated for three 2022 Oscars – Best Lead Actress for Olivia Colman, Best Supporting Actress for Jessie Buckley, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Maggie Gyllenhaal, in her feature film directorial debut.
The Lost Daughter is adapted from the novel by Elena Ferrante, who penned the bestselling Neapolitan Novels, on which the acclaimed HBO series My Brilliant Friend is based. The film has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Wrap saying it’s “a masterwork. Olivia Colman is absolutely fantastic,” and The Playlist saying the movie “leaves you haunted like only the best films can.”
SPENCER | Stream now
Kristen Stewart (Twilight) was nominated for a 2022 Oscar for Spencer, set during the royal family’s 1991 Christmas holiday at Sandringham House, as her character Princess Diana contemplates leaving the then-Prince Charles.
Directed by multi-award-winning Pablo Larrain (Jackie), Spencer also stars Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall (Secrets & Lies), with Jack Farthing (Poldark) as Prince Charles.
Spencer has an 83% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Time Out says, “Showing how the dream of being a rich and beautiful princess curdled into a nightmare might sound like a hard sell, but Spencer pulls it off in heightened, claustrophobic and truly decadent fashion.”
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THE LOST CITY  | Stream now
Oscar winner Sandra Bullock was nominated as Best Actress in An Action Movie at the 2023 Critics Choice Super Awards for The Lost City, the 24th biggest box office hit of 2022.
Bullock plays brilliant but reclusive author Loretta Sage, who has spent her career writing popular romance-adventure novels about exotic places. Her books’ handsome cover model Alan (People’s Choice winner Channing Tatum) has dedicated his life to embodying the hero character, Dash. While on tour promoting her new book, Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (People’s Choice winner Daniel Radcliffe), who hopes that she can lead him to the treasure of an ancient lost city from her latest story. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the ancient treasure before it’s lost forever.
Radcliffe won Best Villain at the 2022 MTV Movie + TV Awards, where Bullock was up for Best Performance and Best Team, with Tatum and two-time Oscar winner Brad Pitt.
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MORBIUS | Stream now
Oscar winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers ClubHouse of Gucci, and The Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League) plays the enigmatic antihero in the 29th biggest film of 2022, Morbius.
Dr. Michael Morbius is dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder. Determined to save others suffering the same fate, Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
Look out for Emmy nominee Matt Smith (House of the DragonDoctor Who), Adria Arjona (Andor’s Bix Caleen, and Anathema Device in Good Omens), BAFTA winner Jared Harris (ChernobylThe Crown), and Grammy and Black Reel Award nominee Tyrese Gibson (Roman in the Fast & Furious films).
TED K | Stream now
Based on the true story behind the biggest manhunt in US history, Ted K stars South African Teen Choice and MTV Movie Award nominee Sharlto Copley (District 9Beast) as the notorious Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.
Kaczynski lived deep in the Rocky Mountains, where he sought refuge from modern society. As the outside world encroached on his mountain sanctuary, he slowly became radicalised with rage, escalating from small acts of sabotage to deadly bomb attacks.
Ted K has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Copley receiving widespread critical acclaim for the role. The Hollywood Reporter calls the film “unsettlingly intimate” and “a haunting vision of vengeful obsession.”
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BLACKLIGHT | Stream now
Blacklight stars Oscar nominee Liam Neeson (Taken) as Travis Block, a government operative coming to terms with his shadowy past. When he discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens, Block finds himself in the crosshairs of the FBI director he once helped protect.
Emmy nominee Aidan Quinn (ElementaryMichael Collins), Emmy Raver-Lampman (The Umbrella AcademyDog), and Taylor John Smith (Shadow in the CloudSharp Objects) co-star.
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MARK, MARY AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE | First on Showmax | Stream now
Winner of Best Screenplay at Tribeca, Mark, Mary and Some Other People follows newlyweds who tentatively decide to give ethical non-monogamy a try.
Screen Actors Guild nominee Ben Rosenfield (Boardwalk Empire) and Hayley Law (RiverdaleAltered Carbon) co-star.
THE 355 | Stream now
The 355 stars Oscar winner Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark ThirtyInterstellar) as a wild-card C.I.A. operative who has to join forces with three international agents to retrieve a top-secret weapon that’s fallen into mercenary hands, all while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.
Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz co-star alongside the likes of Teen Choice nominee Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds), Asian Film Awards winner Bingbing Fan (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Emmy nominee Sebastian Stan (Pam & TommyCaptain America’s Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes) and Critics Choice nominee Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).
EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN MARCH 2023
To see everything on Showmax in March 2023, including the hit Showmax Originals Adulting and Stella Murders, and the Emmy-winning HBO drama Succession, click here.
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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio Pays Tribute to Costa Titch

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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio Pays Tribute to Costa Titch

This Week’s Episode Features a Special Tribute to Costa Titch, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Dadaboy Ehiz’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Dadaboy Ehiz this Friday, March 24th at 8a London / 9a Lagos/Paris / 10a Johannesburg / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm.

A Tribute to Costa Titch
This week, Dadaboy Ehiz hosts a special tribute to South African hip-hop and amapiano star, Costantino “Costa Titch” Tsobanoglou, who tragically passed away this month. To celebrate his life and legacy, Capetonian rapper YoungstaCPT—one of Costa Titch’s most frequent collaborators—reflects on Costa Titch’s impact on South Africa’s music and cultural scenes.

Read Also: Costa Titch Tragically Dies After Collapsing While Performing At Ultra Music Festival

“As an artist, Costa really upped the level of stage presence and performance value,” YoungstaCPT tells Apple Music 1. “With [his] dancing, he understood how to let music connect with the body. So I think he had advantage on most of us because he was able to create music that was guaranteed to make people move. He always made us want to perform better. And you saw how particular [he] was—every line, every snare, every bass drop. Somebody that kind of studied the game, and then found a way to fit into it and become successful. And it’ll be difficult for us to come to terms with this loss and even find someone to fill that void. May his soul rest in peace and fly with the angels.”

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from K.O feat. Young Stunna, Diamond Platnumz & Oxlade, Karyendasoul & Msaki, Victony, Rema & Tempoe feat. Don Toliver, Nonso Amadi feat. Zinoleesky, and Odumodublvck.

Africa Rising 
South African R&B singer-songwriter Vuyina is the latest artist featured from Apple Music’s Africa Rising playlist, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features her singles, “Isimilo” and “Andisoze.” ListenHERE.

Dadaboy’s Song of the Week
Each week, Dadaboy Ehiz chooses his favourite track from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week, he spotlights Nigerian street-pop star Bella Shmurda’s collab with South African rapper Nasty C, “Philo (Remix)”, from Apple Music’s Naija Hits playlist. Listen HERE (and find a roundup of all Dadaboy’s selections on Apple Music’s Dadaboy’s Playlist, HERE).

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday, March 24th at 8a London / 9a Lagos/Paris / 10a Johannesburg / 1a LA / 4a NYC  on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow and broadcast on YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm.

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How Kingsley Yamoah filmed The Billionaire’s Wife while grieving his younger sister

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How Kingsley Yamoah filmed The Billionaire’s Wife while grieving his younger sister
On the day of his audition for his role in the new Ghanaian Showmax Original The Billionaire’s Wife, Kingsley Yamoah received the tragic news of his younger sister’s passing in an accident. “I was broken and shattered beyond words. I started to wonder if I could do the job,” he says.
Kingsley plays the no-nonsense billionaire Bill Gyimah, who is described as a “brute, firm and stern man who’s gone through the mill to become rich.”
Currently streaming exclusively on Showmax, with new episodes releasing every Thursday, The Billionaire’s Wife tells the story of Adepa, a 19-year-old from the slums of Ashaiman who marries an old billionaire with the aim of turning her fortunes around, only to find out that being a billionaire’s wife is the toughest thing she’s ever done.
In the interview below, Kingsley tells us more about his character Bill, what attracted him to the role, overcoming his grief to get into character and more.
 
How did this role come about?
I got a message from the show’s line producer, Dzifa Abla, just a few days before New Year’s Eve. I’ve always wanted to work with Ad-Visors so I showed up for the meeting. After a 7-hour process of auditions and read throughs, I finally signed the contract. The year had started right, and filming was set to commence in four days. On my way back home, I got a call from my younger brother that the last of our siblings had been in an accident and died on the spot. I was broken, and I started to wonder if I could do the job. While pondering over the possibility of going through with the shoot and grieving, I received a heartfelt condolence message from production. That’s when I broke down and wept. After that I made the decision to carry on with the project.
What was it about this story, and your character Bill that made you want to be part of the project?
When I received information about the character, I got hooked. It said: “Bill is brute, firm and stern; he’s gone through the mill to become rich.” And I told myself, this is the character I can play with great joy. He has money, connections, influence and the corridors of power are his playground. He’s in this chaotic and unpredictable world of the rich and powerful, with all the possible scandals that the character is surrounded by, and yet he breezes through. It was mouthwatering. I was in a hurry to kill the role and I wouldn’t let this slip through my hands.
How does it feel to play a man like Bill – a billionaire who controls everything and gets the world to bend to his will?
I lived through the six weeks of filming on cloud 9. There were times I had to pinch myself and say, “Dude, it’s a script. Wake up.” The costumes, homes and cars – everything was made to look great and I had no other choice than to live in the moment.
 
Bill is a 55-year-old billionaire who’s just married a 19-year-old girl (Adepa). Did you ever find yourself wrestling with who he is?
When I met Andriana, who plays Adepa, I looked at her stature and age and thought of what I had to do to her during the shoot, and I cringed. Before our first scene, I had to sit with her to tell her about myself, and that my first born is six years older than her – just to let her know that I had no bad intentions. I was going to leave no stones unturned in doing what I had to do for the role; that was it.
Take us through your preparation process and how you got into character for this role.
I shut the outside world out for the six weeks we filmed the project. I had just lost my sister, and sympathies from the outside world weren’t going to help. I spent a lot of time with the acting coach Mawuli Akpabi. I singled out each character I had to deal with and how my countenance with them was going to be like, and also how I’d carry myself when two or three of them were with me at the same time. I spent a lot of time alone at the rooftop of the hotel we were staying in, just to get to feel like Bill. I was really alone. Everyone around me was there for a piece of the pie. I would pick a character and brood over all their schemes and work myself up over their schemes. There was a lot of work on the mindset.
What has been your highlight of working on this project?
Actually, it’s the aftermath. Everywhere I go on social media, The Billionaire’s Wife is in my face. The number of comments I get on people’s impression of the job and the questions that keep coming up about upcoming episodes makes me feel good and very grateful.
Looking at your acting career in the Ghanaian film/TV industry, what would you say has been your favourite role to play to date?
This is a tough one. All in all, it’s been the ” brute, firm, stern” roles. I’ve played some really comic roles as well, and I’m sure that will surprise many when they see me playing Bill in The Billionaire’s Wife.
This is the third Showmax Original title in Ghana, how does it feel to be part of this project?
I called the top hierarchy of Ad-Visors and told them I am really grateful that they “put my face on the map.” That really is how I feel. The experience of being a part of the third Showmax Original title in Ghana, for me, has been out of this world. I left the set with fresh weapons in my acting arsenal. I’m still trying to take in everything that is happening around me in connection to being a part of this project. I am still floating, imagining the endless opportunities this offers.
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African Folktales, Reimagined short films by Netflix and UNESCO to Launch Globally on 29 March

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Tales as old as time from across the African continent, reimagined and retold by a new generation of six storytellers come together, the African Folktales, Reimagined short films in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will launch on Netflix on 29 March 2023 .

The anthology of six short films was launched as part of Netflix’s partnership with UNESCO to support the next generation of storytellers who were provided with resources including a $90 000 budget and creative guidance by established filmmakers as mentors to bring their stories to life. The emerging filmmakers were selected in 2021 following a call for submission that resulted in over 2000 applications from 13 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region. The 6 emerging storytellers from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will see their respective short films, make their debut on Netflix, globally.

The African Folktales, Reimagined short film collection features a variety of African on-screen talent in stories by emerging African storytellers such as Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania with Enmity Djinn; Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania with Katope; Korede Azeez from Nigeria with Zabin Halima (Halima’s Choice); Voline Ogutu from Kenya with Anyango and the Ogre; Loukman Ali from Uganda with Katera of the Punishment Island and Gcobisa Yako from South Africa with MaMlambo.

Synopsis / Key Cast & Crew

  • Zabin Halima (Halima’s Choice) – by Korede Azeez – Nigeria

With 99% of the world population uploaded into virtual worlds, a young girl from a secluded Fulani village inadvertently elopes with an AI to escape an arranged marriage. Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy; Language: Hausa; Director: Korede Azeez; Producer: Kenneth Gyang; Cast: Habiba Ummi Mohammed; Adam Garba, Produced by Cinema Kpatakpata.

  • Anyango and the Ogre – by Voline Ogutu – Kenya

With the backdrop of a childhood folktale, 13-year-old Otis struggles to protect his younger siblings from a monster that lives inside their home.  Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and English; Director: Voline Ogutu; Producer: Sarah Hassan; Cast: Trevor Jones Kamau; Sarah Hassan, Produced by Alfajiri Productions.

  • Katera of the Punishment Island – by Loukman Ali – Uganda

Abandoned on an island, a woman grieving the loss of her baby exacts revenge on the powerful man who put her there. Genre: Thriller; Language: Runyankole and English; Director & Producer: Loukman Ali; Cast: Karababiito Tracy; Michael Wawuyo JR; Production company: Loukout Films.

  • Katope – by Walt Mzengi Corey – Tanzania

A young child with magical origins sets out on a journey to help end the drought that is devastating the community – even if it means risking their own life. Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and ciGogo; Director: Walt Mzengi Corey; Producer: Petrus Van Staden; Rebecca Mzengi Corey Cast: Jene Mahenyela Mwalimu; Rahele Matete;  Production company:  Solela Art and Film

  • Enmity Djinn – by Mohamed Echkouna – Mauritania

Three generations after he was last summoned, an ancient Enmity Djinn finds himself in an unfamiliar city confronted by a familiar foe. Genre: Fantasy/Drama; Language: Hassaniya Arabic and French; Director & Producer: Mohamed Echkouna; Cast: Zainabou Ahmed Mohamed; Mamadou Mokhtar N’diaye Gueye.

  • MaMlambo – by Gcobisa Yako – South Africa

The mystical river being, MaMlambo, watches over the sacred waters of discarded bodies. Genre: Drama; Language: isiXhosa; Director: Gcobisa Yako; Producer: Pakiso Albertus; Cast: Simphiwe Dana; Zikhona Bali

Each storyteller was partnered with a local production company and under the guidance of Netflix-appointed supervising producer, Steven Markovitz from Big World Cinema and industry mentors: Bongiwe Selane (mentor to Gcobisa); Jenna Bass (mentor to Korede); Pape Boye (mentor to Loukman); Femi Odugbemi (mentor to Mohamed); Leila Afua Djansi (mentor to Voline) and Tosh Gitonga (mentor to Walt) who provided guidance and nurtured the filmmakers on their journey to bring their stories to life.

UNESCO is proud to present the tales of Africa, reimagined by its emerging, homegrown talents. At the crossroads of tradition, innovation, heritage and creativity, African expressions in the 21st century are as diverse and dynamic as its people. The UNESCO-Netflix partnership represents our shared commitment to the audiovisual industries of Africa, which have the potential to generate US$20 billion in revenues annually. African creativity is a force for sustainable development, and we cannot wait for the audiences around the world to feel its unstoppable energy,” says Ernesto Ottone R., the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.

“We are excited to finally bring this anthology of short films created by the next generation of African storytellers to Netflix members around the world,” says Tendeka Matatu, Netflix’s Director of Film in Africa.This initiative is a testament to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the pipeline of African storytelling and to include voices from underrepresented communities. We’re grateful to our partners at UNESCO who walked this journey with us to provide an opportunity for the six emerging African filmmakers to create and showcase their reimagined folktales to the world, in their own languages, so that more people can see their lives reflected on screen.”

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It’s 1000 shows for Bliss and Jackie!

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Bliss Kingg and Jacquline Acquaye commemorated 1000 television episodes together as an on-screen duo, making a strong case as Ghana’s longest running television couple of this generation. Their on-screen chemistry is unmatched and their dedication and consistency to their craft has commanded respect from the Ghanaian media fraternity and the massive audience they have won over for the 1000 mornings they came together on TV.

The TV couple began their television journey on September 17, 2018 when they pioneered a lifestyle morning show which gradually gained popularity and unveiled a niche TV market in Ghana.

The debate will continue on first half of Oscar wilde’s infamous quote; ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. If there is any truth to this, then Bliss Kingg and Jacquline Acquaye must be flattered by the proliferation of tv shows that have adopted this format and the many new school presenters who have clearly taken a page from their book; a proof of their dominance and consistency in Ghana’s television viewing culture.

Bliss and Jackie who were nicknamed ‘The rich kids’ by renowned media personality Dr. Randy Abbey during their first stint, gained recognition as the hosts of GMG+, the lifestyle morning program that was built to support ‘Good Morning Ghana’ and to boost MetroTV’s rebuilding process.

GMG+ became a sensation, delivering a new audience to the station, but after 23 months and 425 episodes, the duo shocked the public with their double resignation and said goodbye to their first ever home.

In what was considered by many as a blockbuster transfer, the power TV couple announced a big move and the first live episode of their current morning program ‘Xpressive’ aired on GHONEtv. Produced by Platinum Life Media, ‘Xpressive ‘ hit the ground running on September 7, 2020, going on to deliver some of the most viewed shows and interviews in recent times.

Continuing to deal with the rumors of their romantic connection, Bliss kingg and Jacquline Acquaye mostly look unperturbed and have truly demonstrated focus, consistency and team work.

Celebrating the milestone on their TV show last Friday; surprise guest Dr. Lawrence Tetteh acknowledged the duo for their persistence and commitment to excellence.

It was very happy moments as the champagne was flowing and they had a morning full of surprises as Imexco Ghana, Chezzy pizza, Turf and others came to the show to share a moment with them.

Wrapping up on their 1000th run, the television duo thanked Bola Ray and Nana Aba Anamoah for their support and promised their audience to get a 1000 shows more together.

Congratulations to Ghana’s longest running television couple, Bliss Kingg and Jacquline Acquaye.

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New BBC Africa Eye investigation shines a light on Seychelles’ heroin epidemic

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credit BBC Africa Eye.
credit BBC Africa Eye.

Known for its coral reefs and beautiful beaches, Seychelles, a tropical paradise located off the coast of east Africa, is visited by thousands of tourists. Yet, beyond the country’s multi-million dollar tourist industry, BBC Africa Eye shines a light on its heroin epidemic.

In a new investigation by BBC Africa Eye, Seychelles, Heroin and Me pieces together a complex picture of how political and socio-economic factors including poverty and a lack of rehabilitation centres, are contributing to what is now a drug epidemic.

According to Seychelles’ Government, based on population, Seychelles – which is made up of 115 islands – has the biggest heroin problem in the world, with around 10% of Seychellois dependent on the drug.

Presented by Joseph Fady Banane, the Seychellois support worker was one of the 10%. Now free of heroin, he uses his experience and role as a support worker to show viewers the true extent of the drug epidemic, whilst confronting his own painful past and reconnecting with the people he loves.

Meeting drug users, dealers, government officials and the communities caught in the middle, the film captures Fady’s journey as he gains first-hand access to their stories.

He told BBC Africa Eye how he was introduced to drugs: “I was 27 when I first took heroin. Business was not picking up, sitting outside Idecided to try my first couple of smokes, and that was it for five years. I still don’t know why I started smoking heroin, but part of it was just because I could – drugs were everywhere.” He added: “I became a stranger to my own mum, and my son was taken away.”

Throughout the film, individuals share details on the gruelling ripple effect of drugs in their communities and families.

Ravinia Jean, a mother, shares the impact of her son’s death Tony, who was heroin-dependent and a friend of Fady’s. “It is hard…it’s very painful.” She revealed her second son, Jude, is also using heroin and has been in and out of prison, where he is still able to buy the drug on credit. She said: “Parents have to pay for it because they will send people to collect the money…Of course you’re scared, they threaten you, they said they will kill him.”

However, there is still hope for drug-users like Jude. The documentary follows Jude’s journey towards recovery as he finally visits a councillor with hopes to recover from heroin-dependency.

The documentary also captures the common reality of drug-dependency passed from parents to children. Two brothers, Stefan and Roy (not their real names) are heroin-dependent – so was their mother. Stefan’s drug usage started from around the age of 12. He said: “I was looking after the drugs for somebody else… we said we were going to try it just for one day. We continued taking it until we ran out of drugs and that’s when I started getting sick. It was the drug withdrawal making me sick.”

Many people told the programme that drugs are used to escape the trauma of poverty. 25% of residents live below the poverty line, and in the last few years, use of crack cocaine in Seychelles has also increased. Latest figures show police seizures of cocaine have increased by almost 3,000% since 2018.1

Despite the scale of the problem, there is lack of support for heroin users due to the closures of all of the country’s residential rehabilitation centres which is contributing to the problem.

Revisiting the rehabilitation centre in Les Canelé that saved his life, which is no longer open to heroin users, Fady reflects on the consequences of the closures. “Back then, these rehab centres were helping hundreds of people. Rehab saved me from heroin, but with these programmes now closed – there’s not much help for anyone else, and many users have to fight their dependency alone.”

The only consistent support left for many users is a free methadone programme, a heroin substitute which can be used to detox.

The BBC Africa Eye investigation also revealed many women are resorting to sex work to aid their heroin-dependency. One woman told BBC Africa Eye: “No one will give you anything for free, so you have to do something.”

It is estimated two tonnes of heroin comes into Seychelles every year, which are mainly smuggled from Afghanistan via Iran through the Indian Ocean.2 In response, the government has resorted to a “war on drugs” approach, and the documentary explores whether this approach risks further alienating the drug-using community.

BBC Africa Eye obtained an exclusive interview with Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalalwan to understand the “war on drugs” approach. He said:  “Communities, villages cannot be controlled by the drug lords, by drug addicts. This is why we have we have taken the approach that we need to disrupt those activities. It’s an all-out war on drugs in order for me to save our people.”

On what was being done to address the lack of rehabilitation centres, he revealed: “We have received a grant from the UAE to build a proper rehabilitation centre. And, and so we are going in that direction.”

BBC Africa: Seychelles, Heroin and Me is available on the BBC Africa YouTube channel on Monday 6 March 2023, here.

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