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New Era Newspaper Friday December 8, 2017

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Friday, December 08, 2017 | NEW ERA 32 entertainment ARTS Sara Holdren From School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play. Photo: Joan Marcus Earlier this year, I had a conversation with an artist of colour who was fed up with being compared, even in the most complimentary fashion, to white niche. I’m paraphrasing here, but her point was: Stop using language that implies that a white person for artists of colour to be their own trailblazers, not an exotic version of someone else. Basically, don’t he describes Lisa Bonet’s character Marie De Salle as “Sheryl Crow– ish crossed with a post–Partridge Family, pre–L.A. Law Susan Dey now at MCC in her funny and fastpaced School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play — starting with the show’s very title. There’s a wry George & Co. are coming. If I get them out of the way for you, can canny move, especially because the business of School Girls revolves around the agonies of comparison. It’s about teenage girls, after all. These teenage girls are students at the Aburi Girls Boarding School, a prestigious secondary institution in the mountains of central Ghana that Bioh’s mother attended as a young woman. Their undisputed Queen Bee is Paulina Sarpong (the tart, tightly coiled Maameyaa Boafo): pretty, popular, pitiless, and the clear choice for the school’s nomination for the Miss recruiter is coming tomorrow, and if one of them is chosen, that girl might become Miss Ghana 1986, which means a chance at becoming (insert gasps and sighs here) Miss Universe. In writing School Girls, Bioh was inspired by the true story of born biracial woman of Ghanaian heritage who was named Miss Ghana in 2011. The pageant winner on their hands, brazenly rule that contestants must be born in the countries they represent. famous Ghanaian models for the answer from School Girls, then it’s a sour and sadly unsurprising one: Even in West Africa, whiteness, or at least lightness, is next to godliness. As the pageant recruiter Eloise Amponsah — herself a former Miss Ghana and, before that, a reigning Aburi mean girl — puts it crisply, “It has become clear that the judges are fond of girls As Eloise, Zainab Jah gives a restrained, disquieting performance. whirlwinds of ferocious desire and ricocheting energy — she’s all cool, arch condescension. She Aburi’s Queen Bee — indeed, she can’t help reverting to her snide, popular-girl habits with her former classmate-turned-headmistress, Francis (Myra Lucretia Taylor as the play’s long-suffering voice of reason). But life after high school hasn’t been all photo shoots and fashion shows. Eloise’s thwarted ambition has hardened into something cruel and self-loathing: she’s the bitter embodiment of the old adage, If you can’t beat ’em, Miss Ghana pageant, she’s helping to perpetuate a world that equates beauty with whiteness, playing women and even driving some to it, but we discover that Paulina has been hospitalised more than once, her face blistered and burnt from So when a new student — School selections are made for the pageant, well, shit’s about to go down. The Be in a bright, affable performance with a hidden edge) is everything (biracial, actually), long-haired, American-raised but with a wealthy everything Paulina’s friends are fascinated by. She’s just moved to Ghana from Ohio and she’s got an American accent, American American dresses! Especially duo, Mercy and Gifty — played with excellent comic chemistry by Mirirai Sithole and Paige Gilbert — are immediately star- she can teach them the correct them of the notion that White Castle represents the classiest of American School Girls rolls swiftly through long for the pins to start falling. Girls is formulaic without being unsatisfying. Familiar structures, especially when full of fresh faces and sharp humour, can be deeply millions off this principle, and School Girls would be right at home there: The play often feels TV show, collapsed into a pilot episode. Which means that its emotional and narrative leaps are fast, even a little too fast — especially the lightning speed with which the girls abandon Paulina’s rule, but still, in high school even toxic loyalties die hard. Several times I found myself longing for the whole bingewatchable run of School Girls: more time to meet each girl, a subplot or two, a longer build to two more lovely performances by Ama, and Abena Mensah-Bonsu — does anyone else go to this Bioh, who’s also an actor (she recently gave a wonderful performance in Signature’s how to craft bouncy, juicy dialogue that performers can have there’s a sting inside all this fun. After all, Bioh has set her play in 1986, whereas it was only six so carefully chosen to appeal to Western standards of beauty, was ultimately passed over entirely at the Miss Universe Pageant. turns to her girls in a moment of disappointment and encourages the consolation feels hollow. It’s been more than 30 years, and still we live in a world bedevilled by constant, odious comparisons. - MUSIC Determined... Tuulikki Abraham Luderitz waves. so far released two singles, Tamu album by next June. “There have been a lot of challenges in the industry, especially when you are an upcoming musician, but I was producer and had no one to support for me to record. I was fortunate enough to have met Kalloon the Beat, who helped me record my now signed by Kallux of Superstar studio any time. Born in Tsandi in the Omusati come true. A diesel mechanic by profession, DJ Fox started dancing at the age of 17 in 2011 until he relocated to Opuwo, were he met LG, Doc Lee, and Prince- Jay. There they formed a singing before he decided to go solo as a deejay and artist. music and now focuses more on Afro house and Afro pop. The message in most of his songs is for the youth, as he wants them to focus on their studies for them to become productive citizens and not school drop-outs. DJ Fox encourages upcoming about their songs from listeners, real friends and everyone who “In your next project, try hard always try to connect with people ahead of you in the game via is a dream that he is not prepared musicians, especially upcoming ones, to never give up on their “Constructive criticism is a

Friday, December 08, 2017 | NEW ERA entertainment 33 29 Vacation preparation Going on a vacation is one of the most anticipated occasions in December. Here are some useful tips to help you plan ahead and ensure that you have an enjoyable holiday. Home responsibility Make arrangements regarding the safety of your home and belongings, for example, you might require someone to watch over your place when you go on vacation. Prior to departing, allow your home-sitter to get acquainted with your chores by MUSIC writing a to-do list or schedule, also negotiate any compensation for their service. Get a copy of your house keys for your homesitter and remind them to water your plants and feed your pets while you are away. If your home will be vacant during the holiday, an alarm system is a good safety measure as well as updating your worn-out locks. Use common sense when informing people about your travel plans and avoid revealing your whereabouts on social media because burglars are vigilant during the festive season. Good neighbours look out for one another’s property, so if yours are staying home during the festive season, kindly ask them to keep a watchful eye over your home. Staycation options A staycation is basically a vacation in one’s own hometown or country. Namibia is a beautiful place to live, it is rich in natural resources and cultural diversity. Tourists get to enjoy all the splendour offered by the Land of the Brave but locals rarely do the same. If you are planning on staying in Namibia during the holiday, you might want to do something different from your usual festive season routine. For nature fanatics, the Etosha National Park is the perfect destination to see numerous wild animals. Explore the Skeleton Coast with its array of shipwrecked vessels scattered across the coastline. For the adventurous type, go see the Fish River Canyon, it is in fact the world’s second largest canyon. Remember to be a responsible road user, make sure that your vehicle is roadworthy, adhere to drive sober. Let us all do our utmost best to prevent road accidents. Travelling abroad Spending your vacation in a foreign country is a marvellous way to broaden your horizons and experience a different lifestyle. Obtain a passport and be aware of the expiry date, be familiar with monetary conversion and the currency of your destination. It is important to enquire if your medical insurance policy applies, in case of emergencies. Compare the prices of various forms of transport such as bus, train or airplane, it is a smart idea to buy your ticket in advance. Check the weather forecast and pack for your trip accordingly, weigh your luggage beforehand to make sure that it does not exceed restrictions. A simple method that helps to create more space in your suitcase is to roll up your clothes instead of folding them. Keep valuables and expensive items such as your camera and credit cards in your handbag. Research where the Namibian embassy is situated when travelling overseas, if unforeseen problems arise, you may need assistance. Tate Buti album launch lures 300 plus fans Joining forces…Tate Buti performing alongside South African House singer, DJ Style, at the launch of his Opena album at the Ramatex in the Otjomuise residential area in Windhoek last Friday. Pinehas Nakaziko Windhoek Local kwiku singer, and one of the long-time artists on the local music scene, Tate Buti, has successfully launched his 14 th album titled Opena. The launch event, which started three hours late than scheduled, was attendant by more than 300 people. Lasting until the wee hours of Saturday morning, the show saw artists deliver dazzling performances to the delight of fans and revellers. Gazza, The Dogg, PDK and international DJ Style all left fans craving for more. The event also saw upcoming young female artist, Top Cheri, debuting on the big stage, with her favourite song ‘Victoria’, which she performed along Deon from PDK. Gazza performed his best songs, including his hit song ‘Swagger’, which had the entire crowd in ecstasy. The Dogg was also among the best performers rendering his old songs. Tate Buti wound up the event with his new songs, including ‘Koshushu’, ‘MekeMeke’ and ‘No Beers’. The night reached a crescendo when the artists pulled off his T-shirt revealing his pot belly, a favourite antic of his. One highlight of the night was South African singer, DJ Style, performing together with Tate Buti. NSK Industry Loop Who is the biggest gospel rapper in Namibia? #Crickets. And D-Naff does not qualify...I’m talking names of artists who do gospel rap in Namibia? Can you positively say someone in Omdel, Seapoint and Okolongo is vibing to their music or at least heard Effy, one the most recognisable gospel hip hop artists in the country told Paul Da Prince on NBC’s “Whatagwan” that he is uncomfortable with being termed a “gospel rapper”. He believes that you certain crowd. I understand where Effy is coming from with that insight. With two million people in Namibia, you market. Not everyone is born again. Majority born again Christians don’t even like gospel hip hop. They would rather sing along and worship to a V-lo, V.M or Lentina performance as opposed to your gospel raps. gospel raps in the country. No way. Fire 16 is quality. Have you seen the visuals to ‘Tell It Like It Is’ and ‘Tryna Eat’? Ok the raps are kind of suspect but the visuals are mind-blowing. ‘Tell It Like It Is’ only has 866 views; 866 views fam. I rebuke any argument that suggests that Harry MC is not quality. But have you heard anybody talk about his music? Have you heard Harry’s music on radio? Do you see Harry MC getting booked for big concerts around the country? Nah fam. Greg saw it coming and changed his brand. He used to be “Saint Greg”. Greg got a NAMAs nomination the minute he expanded his brand to non-born again Christians. This is not America where gospel raps can go viral. Or numbers are simply not enough to push gospel raps. Franklin has opened the doors to secular rappers on his show on NBC Radio because he knows the show will not survive with gospel rappers alone. I’m not saying you must abandon your beliefs and get all Kwame Sankara on these ninjas. I’m simply saying drop the “gospel” tag and just do music. The people who will propel your music don’t want to be lectured with Bible verses gute. You can still use what Christianity stands for and still make a hit. The minute you mention Bible verses and HIS name… we shut off. You can look at it whichever way you want, be stubborn about it but you know deep down in your saved heart that I am telling you the truth. Gospel raps will not work in Namibia unless something revolutionary happens with the sound or the approach. Christianity is the biggest faith in Namibia yet gospel raps don’t have a category with the national awards. What does that tell you? That your own fellow believers don’t believe in your gospel raps! Expand your brand omes. Dasi aner way nie. Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”! Oldie of the week: Roston & Al-Ci: Wonderful Dreams NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email @naobebsekind (twitter)

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167