Welcome to the #Trending awards, one of our most popular editions, in which we round up the year’s cultural highs and lows.
Although we have always been proud of our African roots, the rest of the world has finally caught up and Afrocentrism has certainly been the theme of the year. Whether in fashion, design, food, music or art, the world’s attention has turned to our continent and what we have to bring. Now it’s up to us to remain authentic storytellers of our communities.
South African films thrived this year with enticing and hard-hitting films, such as Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story, Five Fingers for Marseilles and High Fantasy – all of which have done exceptionally well on the film festival circuit.
Local rapper Cassper Nyovest had a big year, filling up the Moses Mabhida Stadium and putting on a spectacular performance at the Global Citizen Festival. With his new album already platinum, we decided to recognise him on our cover for his consistency in showing that our artists are capable and audiences willing.
In terms of music it has been a while and seemed to be a good year for white rappers. Post Malone dominated charts and Machine Gun Kelly’s rap battle with Eminem was one of our rap highlights this year. Comebacks were big, with Eminem, Bongo Maffin and Skwatta Kamp releasing new music.
Marijuana was legalised for private use and cultivation this year, a huge step in terms of legislature. The host of Africa’s first Cannabis Expo, we’re sure weed will continue being prolific in pop culture.
In royal news Meghan Markle got hitched to Prince Harry and the intersectionality of the story made it one of the most reported events of the year.
Unfortunately, the arts and culture space was not immune to sexual assault scandals. Celebrated artist Mohau Modisakeng was seen assaulting his fiancée at an airport and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa executive director and chief curator Mark Coetzee was suspended after alleged racist and sexual remarks to staff.
City Press led the pack in unveiling sexual assault in the film industry, primarily that of film maker Khalo Matabane.
The NGO sector had its own #MeToo, with allegations of sexual impropriety at Equal Education.