What do you get when you put Africa’s youngest cabinet minister, a coding protege, a pan-African tech entrepreneur, a digital media guru, a humanitarian, and one of the most influential choreographers in the world today in a room? The kind of leadership we advocate for.
This issue features everything we’re passionate about, from local pioneers with global impact, and arts, culture and media leaders whose ideas are changing what stories are told about Africa, and
how they are told.
You’ll also meet the next generation of narrative-changing storytellers.
We end off with the hottest opportunities for grants and funding for African artists and storytellers.
What's happening at Africa No Filter
It’s been a busy year for us but it's great to see so much of our efforts coming together.
• We are proud to announce that Carol Ndosi, Yasmin Kumi, Uche Pedro, Bogolo J. Kenewendo, Betelhem Dessie and Sherrie Silver have joined the Africa No Filter advisory board. They are some of the most brilliant minds in the world; and happen to be young African women. This is narrative change in action.
• A group of 30 African journalists are about to take their storytelling to podcasting platforms, thanks to the African Podcast Workshop. It’s a project of Africa No Filter partner, Children’s Radio Foundation, which empowers young people across Africa to their stories through radio and reporting skills.
• ANF #NarrativeChampion Adelle Onyango’s podcast Legally Clueless, is going the road in Kenya’s university towns as part of her mission to show and celebrate Africa’s diversity. Legally Clueless was launched in March 2019 and has published 112 episodes with over 1.2 million online streams. It’s also syndicated on Trace Radio Kenya.
The Kekere Storytellers Fund edition
We set up the Fund to nurture the next generation of creative talent in Africa by empowering emerging artists to tell unique stories about their communities through grants worth between $500 and $2000.
South African illustrator Sharp-Lee Mthimkhulu's grant will produce the second edition of By Way of Illustration, a coffee table book featuring contemporary African artists. It’s his way of archiving art history.
Kenyan writer Edith Ochieng’s is working on an illustrated print and digital book about women who shaped and continue to shape Africa. “I want to dismantle the idea that Africa's story is only driven through the male gaze,” she said.
Africa has more than 2000 languages and few works of literature published in local languages. Malawian artist Fumbani Phiri is publishing a digital book of five plays, all of them monologues written in five languages spoken in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Photographer Jante Juma is producing a photo book that showcases Nairobi’s contemporary art scene & some of the artists who make it vibrant.
From Madagascar, performance artist Tinnah Joma is producing a multi-disciplinary spoken word and dance project called I am an African.
Hind Bouqartacha’s photography challenges gender norms and stereotypes in Morocco. She’s working on a photo documentary that dispels the myth that women in her country lack agency.
The Critics Company sent us this email after getting their grant: “This is coming at a time where we're deliberately trying to take our art to the next level. This grant will allow us to secure the necessary resources needed to bring our little story to life as imagined.” The Critics Company is a group of Nigerian teen movie makers who shot to viral fame in 2020 after releasing this epic Star Wars-inspired short film.
Click here to meet all #KekereChampions. They're 18 content creators, wordsmiths, performance artists, visual artists and journalists from Morocco, Madagascar, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Guinea, Zambia, and Ghana. New grant callouts will go out in the next quarter. Keep your eyes on the ANF newsletter and social media for updates.
Our #NarrativeChampions embody what we mean by shifting the stereotypical narrative of Africa through nuanced, contextualised, and contemporary storytelling. We salute them.
• Claude Grunitzky launched TRUE Africa in 2015 to champion young African voices all over the world. Today, TRUE Africa works with over 200 journalists who report on issues that affect young Africans, from sport, culture and music to politics, activism, social issues and health. The platform is developing an editorial series celebrating young women in leadership.
• Sylvia Arthur founded the Accra-based Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora using 1300 of her books. Today, the library has more than 4,000 books by authors from around Africa and the Diaspora. The library’s programmes include a writing residency and a crowdsourced audio archive of African women stories read by African women called Women Reading Women.
• Liz Kilili is the chief mechanic and founder of Creatives Garage and its accompanying creativity and innovation festival, Sondeka. Her end goal is for all creatives to network, share ideas, collaborate, learn, gain market accessibility and push boundaries to contrive a sustainable creative economy that feeds into the GDP of Africa rather than one that saps from it.
• Observing the growth of literature globally within digital culture, Dr Ainehi Edoro founded brittlepaper.com in 2010 when she was a PhD student in Literature to create global connections among readers of African literature while giving visibility to trends and innovation in African literary culture.
• Tokini Peterside’s work is inspired by her belief that culture is a vehicle to influence perceptions. She founded West Africa’s first international art fair, Art X Lagos, in 2016. ART X Lagos has grown to host galleries and artists from over 30 countries.
- The Caldera Arts Artists in Residence Program supports artists, creatives, and cultural workers with grants worth between $1000 and $10000. Deadline: 25 June. More info.
The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film will award a US$5,000 grant to a single completed “Short-Short” documentary film project. More info.
StateoftheArt is looking for South Africa’s next prominent
artist. There’s a R40 000 cash price and opportunities to exhibit in top galleries. Deadline: 30 June. More info.
The Africa Museum has a 12-week residency for artists, journalists, and musicians whose work explores the ecology and cultural heritage. The residency takes place in Belgium. Deadline: 11 June. More info.
Filmmakers Without Borders supports projects around social justice, women’s voices, youth voices, identity, cultural exchange and climate change. More info.
What we're doing next
We're always looking out for more ways of amplifying our community and your work, whether it's through our grants, webinars and Hot Opportunities. So, starting in June, we'll be sending out a monthly Hot Opportunities newsletter with funding opportunities. We'll also be curating a newsletter for journalists and media professionals. Whether you are emerging or experienced, no matter the news platform you use. Sign up to join our creative and media communities here.
Content that Connects the Continent:
African Arguments doesn’t break the news; it breaks down the news by analysing issues facing the continent and investigating the stories that matter and amplifying a diversity of voices.
Yebo is an African video-on-demand platform that delivers shows, documentaries and features. Asif Sheikh is the founder and CEO of Africa 24 Media, powering Yebo.
Gembu Vlogsis a travel series set around the Mambilla Plateau region of Nigeria. It’s Abdulsalam Hamza’s way of showing a unique side of Nigeria that is largely unexplored.
Afromenpod podcast is just one platform that poet Onyango Otieno uses to explore mental health and masculinity.
That’s it for May. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin at @Africanofilter.