Zadie Smith, Phuzekhemisi and ‘Dear White People’ — on our Lists this week


Dear White People. Two years ago, the film was shown in movie houses but got tossed into the abyss of screenplays that were too early for their time. The makers of the brilliant political comedy didn’t give up. Netflix recently released the series version, which deals with race issues at a fictional Ivy League school in the United States. It’s a razor-sharp script delivered by a brilliant cast of newcomers and perfectly timed to thrive in Donald Trump’s America. (MB)

Imbizo. Phuzekhemisi No Khethani’s debut album is masterful in its riposte of playing the ball and not the man. The singer, accompanied by his younger brother, rallies against the quasi-feudal system in KwaZulu-Natal and extols the virtues of good neighbourliness, but warns you to watch your words when you step towards him. Although Phuzekhemisi would lose his brother soon after the album was made, he went on to achieve sustained success. (KS)

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives. My introduction to hip-hop in 1990 coincided, more or less, with the genesis of the duo’s legendary show on New York’s WKCR, which they would hang on to for eight years. To an extent, it was a testosterone fest, as can be seen by their initial scepticism in allowing The Fugees a spot on their show. As for the documentary, it is as zany as they were on air, self-produced and therefore a little thin on criticism. (KS)


I recently celebrated a birthday and one of my presents were backdated issues of The Gentlewoman, my favourite magazine. One of them is last year’s award-winning issue number 14, with Zadie Smith on the cover. The other is issue number 11, featuring “spectacular sonic genius’’ Björk. The first look at the magazine is usually for the design of each and every page. The second time around it’s for the articles and the third for the writing. (MB)

The Lists are compiled by Friday editor Milisuthando Bongela and arts writer Kwanele Sosibo

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