Do you remember when Burna Boy won his first Grammy award and told the world, “Africa is in the house?”. These five words - first spoken in 2020 - continued to ring true in 2023. It’s impossible to miss Africa’s influence, from pop culture and visual art, to innovation, entrepreneurship, and politics: Africa is the moment, and the world is taking notice by shifting the storytelling about the continent. As the New York
Times said in October, “By 2050, one in four people on the planet will be African, a seismic change that’s already starting to register. You can hear it in the music the world listens to. You can see it in movies, fashion, and politics.”
In short, it’s impossible to miss Africa’s influence. And we’re loving this better story of the continent; where one of the most anticipated holiday movies,The Color Purple,inspiredby Alice Walker’s seminal novel, has a Ghanaian director in Blitz Bazawule(also a visual artist, novelist and musician). African cinema had a good year. Ramata-Toulaye Sy became the second Black woman to be nominated for a Palme d’Or award for her directorial debut, Banel & Adama, and Disney and Netflix ventured into original African animation with Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire and Supa Team 4; both created by African storytellers.
There are many more examples of how Africa and Africans keep showing up on the global stage in ways that show that the continent is evolving past the single, stereotypical story that has long defined it. This changing story is timely and necessary: not only has Africa become much more than the stereotypes used to tell our story, but we are also influencing culture.
Here’s to a 2023 that reminded the world that Africa is
creative, innovative, and evolving. These are the stories we want to see more of in 2024.
From the Moky Makura and the ANF team.
That’s it. Remember to follow us on social media at @Africanofilter.
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