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Rise of Afro-Futurism: African Story from Different Perspective through Technology

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Jonathan Dotse - Ghanaian Afrofuturist and Science Fiction Writer

Fresh off the critical acclaim and success of Black Panther, Afrofuturism is experiencing a resurgence with the thirst for new perspectives on African stories in relation to technology to grab the attention of a wider audience.

 

Speaking on the focus on ‘Afrofuturism’, Jonathan Dotse – Ghanaian Afrofuturist and Science Fiction Writer presented his insights on the concept of Afrofuturism and its impact on Africa’s creative industries at the 5th edition of the Digital Dialogue, a thought-leadership platform established in 2012 and facilitated by MultiChoice to address various issues facing the video entertainment industry on the continent and share industry best-practice.

 

Dotse spoke about his influences behind his various works saying, “Back in 2009, I attempted to write science-fiction however, I was trying to write it from an Africa perspective but found it difficult to find a believable foundation to build my content. My ideas were based on a Western perspective so I began to think more about Africa and science-fiction in a constructive and realistic way while creating awareness for the lack of Afrocentric narratives in the genre.” Defining Futurism as “any mindset that predisposed society to express their belief in terms if something far larger than present and past,” Dotse explained further saying Afrofuturism is an ancient African cultural practice undertaken as ‘resistance to cultural hegemony and loss of identity’.

 

According to Dotse, the African-American diaspora has played a critical role in the recent resurgence of Afrofuturism, looking at various creative works including the Woyaya album by Ghanaian Afro-pop band Osibisa; American fiction writer Octavia Butler; American jazz composer Sun Ra; US music artist Janelle Monae as well as films like Les Saignantes by Jean-Pierre Bekolo; Pumzi by Wanuri Kahui from Kenya; Robots of Brixton by Kibwe Tavares; Kajola by Niyi Akinmolayan in Nigeria and District 9 by Neill Blomkamp from South Africa. “Expressions of Afrofuturism are present in all facets of African and African-Diaspora creativity. The African Diaspora has played a significant role in advancing defining Afrofuturism while various independence movements spurred much of the creative energy,” says Dotse.

 

Dotse also shared his belief that Afrofuturism has lead to a re-awakening of self-identity among African youth and its potential to grow the strength of ‘socio-political movements seeking to boost African representation in media’.

 

Dotse also expressed his belief that Afrofuturism will ignite and grow engagement of youth in science and technology and increasing accessibility to the tools of digital media creation and dissemination. He concluded his presentation by exploring the future prospects of Afrofuturism which include reconnecting traditional African culture with modern concepts of development and reconstructing the missing pieces of Africa’s lost history in technology to drive youth engagement in STEM and futurist thinking.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Channels TV Reporter Dies in Yobe

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Jonathan Gopep, Channels TV reporter in Yobe state, is dead. He died after a brief illness at Yobe State Specialist Hospital, Damaturu on Thursday.

 

Aged 47 years, the late Gopep was a graduate of Mass Communication from University of Maiduguri.

 

Late Gopep who was a reporter of Yobe State Television (YTV) joined Channels Television out of passion, at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency.

 

He was described by his colleagues as an excellent reporter and a perfect gentleman.

 

Our correspondent also gathered that he was managing himself for two weeks after being diagnosed with liver infection.

 

“Two days ago, his health condition continued deteriorating. He was rushed to the hospital this afternoon where he died few hours later,” his neighbour, Musa M Buba disclosed.

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Omoge Campus, Nollywood Actress Dies in Canada

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Aisha Abimbola, Nollywood actress

Aisha Abimbola, Nollywood actress, popular for her role in Omoge Campus, is dead, after reportedly battling with cancer.

 

QED which broke the news said that the 46-year-old died in Canada on Tuesday and that the death was confirmed by fellow actress, Bisola Badmus, on Instagram on Wednesday.

 

“Gone so soon RIP omogecampus,” Bisola wrote.

 

Abimbola shot into limelight with her role in the Bola Igida’s Omoge Campus.

 

Before then, she had featured in Eje Adegbenro, a film produced by Jide Kosoko.

 

She was also popular for her roles in TV series such as Papa Ajasco and Company, Super Story and Awerijaiye.

 

Aisha was a recipient of the City People Entertainment Award for Yoruba Movie Personality of the Year.

 

Her death comes almost two years after the death of fellow actress, Moji Olaiya, who also died in Canada on May 17, 2017.

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StarTimes, SOS Children’s Villages Join Forces to Empower African Youth

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Digital Television Company StarTimes Media and SOS Children’s Villages International have signed in Nairobi (Kenya) a Memorandum of Understanding (‘MOU’) that will see the two organizations partner towards supporting vulnerable families and children, with an emphasis on empowering youth in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’).

The MOU will see StarTimes support SOS Children’s Villages programmes in over ten African countries specifically in broadening local learning opportunities and extending diverse experiences to young people from SOS Children’s Villages programmes.

This will include technical and vocational skills training and mentorship, alongside driving access to digital television in SOS Children’s Villages programmes and benefitting from media exposure on the StarTimes platform.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. William Masy, StarTimes Group Overseas Public Relations Director, noted that the brand made a commitment to empowering youth during the YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Rwanda in 2017.

The SOS Children’s Villages partnership represents a step forward towards facilitating the entry of youth into the job market and giving them the means to create a sustainable future for themselves and society.

“StarTimes Group is committed towards empowering youth and facilitating their entry, growth and development through availing themselves of mentorship and training opportunities. This partnership with SOS Children’s Villages is therefore very strategic, as we look forward towards imparting knowledge and skills to the next generation of our leaders,” noted Mr. Masy.

In this context, SOS Children’s Villages will share resources, skills and knowledge as far as youth employability and capacity building is concerned towards the implementation of the MOU.

For young people in alternative care, their first job is not only the first step towards independence. For them, their first job is a matter of survival – the difference between an independent life lived with dignity and a life plagued with further difficulty.

In Africa, 200 million people are aged between 15 and 24 years, comprising more than 20% of the total population. Demographic rates are growing fast, which will increase the pressure countries face in terms of job creation. Of this, youth make up 37% of the working-age population, but 60% of the total number of unemployed.

Ms. Shubha Murthi, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of SOS Children’s Villages International, commented: “Partnerships make our work possible. We can only accomplish what we do for children, young people and families thanks to the generosity, commitment and amplification of our message by corporate partners such as StarTimes.

In East and Southern Africa, SOS Children’s Villages works closely with a wide range of companies and partners who have a vested interest in improving the lives of the communities they are working in. As a result, the impact of our work is stronger and more sustainable.”

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