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South African Actor, Thandeka Mdeliswa, Shot Dead In An Incident Of Violence Against Women



The family of actor Thandeka Mdeliswa have confirmed in a statement issued over the weekend that her murder was an act of gender-based violence.

News of the 27-year-old’s death was confirmed on Saturday and according to the statement, she died at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria where she had been transferred after being moved from hospital to hospital.

“It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of our dearest daughter. She was shot in Evander, Mpumalanga on Thursday, 3 September 2020. She was immediately rushed to Evander hospital, stabilised then airlifted to Witbank after which she was transferred to Steve Biko Academic Hospital (Pretoria) as her condition was critical but stable. She passed on in the morning of the 5th September 2020 (Saturday).”

The family further confirmed that her murder was “another incident of violence against women” and added that the circumstances surrounding her death were still under investigation by police in Evander.

“The brutality which was inflicted on our daughter has left us deeply hurt. This is another incident of violence against women (gender-based violence) which our country has to fight against. We believe justice will be served.”

The statement concluded by indicating that this is currently the only information that the family are able to give and asked for their privacy to be respected at this time. Funeral arrangements for Thandeka Mdeliswa’s burial will be announced in due course.

According to South African entertainment blog, TVSA, Mdeliswa was best known for her starring role as Khanya in the SABC1 drama series iKani. Khanya is a young artist who finds out that she is from an isiNdebele family despite being brought up by her aunt as a Zulu.

However, her first television role came back in 2013 when she starred in an episode of the drama anthology series eKasi: Our Stories.

She has since snagged roles on various television shows and movies, including the ever-popular Generations: The Legacy.

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

In Theatres

ENSLAVED: A Samuel Jackson Docuseries Shedding New Light On 400 Years Of Human Trafficking From Africa Premiered



Samuel L. Jackson’s latest project, a docuseries which is looking to shed new light on 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World, has been premiered. In this six-partere, the series uses a DNA test to identify Jackson’s ancestral tribe and trace his personal journey from the U.S. to Gabon for his induction into the Benga tribe. It was originally slated to debut this summer.

Each episode follows three stories: Jackson’s personal journey; the search for a sunken slave ship; and an “historical investigation” by “investigative archaeologist” Simcha Jacobovici and British writer/TV commentator Afua Hirsch. The first episode opens with Jackson’s trip to the vast country of Gabon, on the west coast of central Africa.

The show has used new diving technology to locate and examine sunken slave ships in the UK, the Caribbean and Florida, retrieving information and underwater artifacts that help reveal more about the transatlantic slave trade.

Fremantle has sold the show to 130 territories, including HISTOIRE TV (France), HISTORY (Germany), Movistar+ and RTVE (Spain), HBO Portugal (Portugal), BBC Earth (Poland), Discovery Film and Spektrum (Eastern Europe), Cosmote (Greece), BBC Persian (MENA), National Geographic (Latin America), M-Net (Africa, South Africa) and Cable & Wireless (Caribbean). The deals follows BBC Two picking up UK rights last month.

“Enslaved” is a Canada/U.K. co-production between Toronto-based Associated Producers and London-based Cornelia Street Productions. It is produced in association with Anonymous Content, along with UppiTV, Samuel and LaTanya Jackson’s production company. Fremantle holds the global distribution rights. “Enslaved” was produced with the participation of Rogers Cable Network Fund and Canada Media Fund, with the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.

The series is directed by Simcha Jacobovici. It is executive produced by Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici, Ric Esther Bienstock, Sarah Sapper and Yaron Niski. Producers are Ric Esther Bienstock, Sarah Sapper and Felix Golubev.

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In Theatres

“Poacher” Becomes The First Kenyan Movie To Stream On Netflix [WATCH TRAILER]



The ‘Poacher’; a movie which seeks to highlight the significant international issue of illegal ivory trade by addressing the plight of Africa’s endangered elephant population is set to premiere on global american movie streaming service – Netflix on September 30. The Kenyan/British short film tells the story of a desperate farmer who runs into trouble after stealing a stash of illicit blood ivory from a gang of international terrorists.

It was filmed over six days in the Tsavo West National Park to the South East of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The production involved over 30 cast and crew members. Director Tom Whitworth teased the first official still of the film on April 10 2018,announcing that cinematography was by Nathan Prior and Ishmael Azeli. It seems the short film was originally envisioned as a TV drama.

Poacher was released in August 2018, having been screened at the Short To The Point (STTP) Festival, and been selected for a Best Editing Award. The film premiered in Kenya at the ANGA IMAX Theatre on 10 November 2018 at the Kalasha International Film Awards in Nairobi. The film has also screened at the 2018 Moscow Shorts International Short Film Festival in September 2018 in Moscow.

It won the award for Best Short Film at the 8th Kalasha TV & Film Awards held in Nairobi on November 24, 2018, and bagged nominations for the Best Director, Best Director of Photography, Best Supporting Actor in a Film and Best Actor in a Film.

Ivory trade, which is the film’s premise, is fuelling catastrophic declines in the elephant and rhino populations in Kenya, Tanzania and throughout Africa. According to a UN report, weak governance and corruption have exacerbated the poaching crisis. At the same time, poverty has helped organised criminal elements recruit, bribe, and threaten locals, underpaid police, military personnel, and wildlife rangers to participate in wildlife crime.

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A Feature Film Centering On The “Jerusalema” Dance Craze Is Set To Premiere



Shot over two days on a custom-built set at Cape Town Film Studios, hundreds of South African actors and crew members will, on Thursday, unite to make a two-element; a scripted narrative and a mass dance sequence feature film centering on the “Jerusalema” dance craze that has swept the world, according to reports by Variety.

The film, directed by Calvin Hayward alongside Abongwe L.Booi, and produced by Cheryl Eatock and James Muringani, coincides with Heritage Day, which celebrates the Rainbow Nation’s multiple cultures. In the mass dance sequence, performers will dance to “Jerusalema,” the upbeat gospel-inspired song, which features the voice of singer Nomcebo Zikode and was produced by Master KG.

The project has received product and facilities sponsorship from Cape Town Film Studios, Media Film Service, The Refinery, Panavision, Film Afrika Fresh Unit Logistics, Steers, Debonairs Pizza, Fleet Star, Sterling Logistics, Bluewater, and CCPP Equipment Rental, as well as the support of local government in Cape Town and regional org Wesgro.

The official video of “Jerusalema” has pulled in more than 160 million views on social media since its premiere on YouTube in December. It has sparked a global viral dance challenge that started in Angola when a group of friends recorded a video of the dance choreography. Enthusiasts around the world – from frontline health workers in a Sweden hospital to priests in Italy – have shared posts of their versions of the dance. Early this month, “Jerusalema” became the world’s most Shazamed song.

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, gave the dance challenge his backing during a televised COVID-19 update last week. He encouraged all South Africans to perform the dance challenge on Heritage Day.

He said “Jerusalema” was “a song I love so much,” adding: “I urge you to take up this challenge and show the world what we are capable of.” He said it symbolized what South Africa had managed to achieve combating the pandemic.

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Burna Boy To Perform At The Premiere of “Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times” Film By The UN



An intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations; The United Nations is set to premier a 30-minute film entitled “Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times” promoting actions to tackle the world’s biggest issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to poverty and inequality.

According to the UN, the film, which is set for broadcast globally, and will premiere on the UN YouTube channel on Sept. 19 at 09:00 EDT (13:00 GMT), sets out the actions needed to build a better world as the coronavirus pandemic threatens global progress to end extreme poverty, achieve gender equality, promote human rights, tackle injustice and address climate change.

Created by the United Nations on its 75th Anniversary and to mark five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, and produced by 72 Films and writer and director Richard Curtis, the film will take audiences on a dynamic exploration of these hard times, the multiple tipping points the planet earth faces, and the interventions that could transform the world over the next 10 years.

It features a performance from Grammy-nominated singer Burna Boy, and a new version of a previous U.N. performance by Beyoncé as well as appearances by education campaigner and U.N. Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai, U.N. goodwill ambassadors Cheadle and actress Michelle Yeoh, and UNESCO special peace envoy Forest Whitaker.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed also appear in the film. And the U.N. said Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts will host a radio broadcast and podcast version of the show.

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