Beyonce by far is the greatest international artist champion of African culture, heritage and pride. Throughout Beyonce’s musical career, she has brought elements of African heritage to her story telling. But in the last few years, we have seen her unashamed pride in African culture and story blown up in all her visuals and artistry. Moreso is her work with The Lion King album where we saw a great number of African artists given such a huge platform .
Not just her visuals, we have also witnessed a great shift in the sound and style of Queen B’s music too.
My greatest joy however comes in this proud showcase of these talents in the latest work – Black is King. Which is a great tribute to African artists regardless of how far they have come – known or unknown. Beyonce has done a great work to shame the world where real talents are pushed to the back.
From Ghana’s Afrobeat King, Shatta Wale to Nigeria’s songstress and dancing queen, Yemi Alade, Queen B didn’t come to mince her words with her showcase of true talent – what the world is missing by not allowing Africa to participate and share in the global creative storyboard.
Yemi Alade: Nigerian songstress Yemi Alade was featured on two songs on the Lion King, The Gift. The Johnny Moo singer is such a pleasure to see on the video showing us all her untamed dance moves in Black is King.
Shatta Wale From the streets of Ghana to the world. Shatta Wale is not necessarily one of the top 10 of Ghanaian music.
Having stepped away from music for over 10 years, Shatta Wale made a come back to accomplish so much, building his credibility from the street, he is one of the legends of Ghanaian Afrobeats Dancehall genre. The singer-songwriter recently made history with his Reign Concert to become the only Ghanaian artiste to pull the most packed concert in the history of Ghana music.
Among many accolades, he was named on at 27th in the 2017 C. Hub Magazine 100 most influential creatives of the year.
Working with Beyonce, Shatta starred in The Gift‘s ‘Already’. However, the African Dancehall Star’s presence in ‘Black is King‘ is undeniably huge.
Folajomi Akinmurele– The 7-year-old made his acting debut in the recent Lion King where he played Simba. Surprisingly, Folajomi’s other acting credit is also with Beyonce in the “Spirit” video for the Lion King.
Nyaniso Dzedze – is an actor and dancer. He plays grown Simba in the Lion King and is best known for playing the lead role in South Africa’s first dance feature film Hear Me Move and playing Tsietsi Namane on South Africa telenovela, Ashes To Ashes.
Aweng Ade-Chuol – The South Sudanese beauty who was discovered while working at McDonald’s in Australia and has since walked on shows for Rihanna‘s Savage, Fenty label and other big names, is also a law student at the University of New England.
Stephen Ojo is a talented dancer and rising Afrobeats star, who has danced for artists such as Rihanna, Chris Brown, Janet Jackson, Teyana Taylor and Travis Scott. He was also a part of the Spirit music video for the Lion King soundtrack.
Nandi Madida is definitely one to watch. The pink-haired was recently nominated for two South African AMA. The South African actress and musician played the role of Nala in the film.
Connie Chiume is a South African actress best known for her role in Black Panther as an elder—portrays Simba’s mother Sarabi in the visual album.
Mary Twala who played Rafiki passed on in July 2020 after an illustrious 60-year career in South African film. Black is King was her last production before her death.
Scar, the lion King villain is played by South African actor Warren Masemola, best known for his role as Lentswe Mokethi on Scandal.