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D’Banj Makes Acting Debut in Kanye West’s ‘Cruel Summer’ at World’s Most Prestigious Cannes Film Festival


It is as if D’Banj answered my question yesterday on which Nigerian label, executive(s) et al. was in the running to take Nigerian music globally. He has basically decided to close out this week by unveiling some of his solid music business moves; including his ongoing business flirtations with Kanye West, thanks to his Kanye West G.O.O.D. Music/Island Def Jam deal.

Exhibit III of D’Banj’s many moves this week:

On May 24th, 2012, the increasingly popular Nigerian artist made his acting debut on a global scale at the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival in Kanye West’ s new short film ‘Cruel Summer.’

“The Cannes International Film Festival (French: Le Festival International du Film de Cannes or just Festival de Cannes), is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is the world’s most prestigious and publicized film festival.[1][2][3] The invitation-only festival is held annually (usually in May) at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.The 2012 Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 16 to May 27, 2012.” – Wikipedia

While D’Banj’s part is not necessarily big, for Africa (including its film industries) it is a big deal and frankly, D’Banj’s star power continues to line up toe to toe with that of his boss, Kanye West. The buzz is on Kanye West but it is also on D’Banj. Everyone else has been treated by the media as supporting cast. It really is helpful to have the power of “800million” people across Africa backing you if you are D’Banj, as he says often.

Also, with the rate D’Banj is going, I won’t be surprised if USA Magazines begin counting him as one of the “sexiest bachelors,” “sexy hunk” or some derivative.  Just his style sense alone is sure to make “Oyinbo” babes swoon over the self proclaimed African Michael Jackson.

Good look. Keep it coming “Daniel Banjo.” 🙂

Check out what Guardian UK had to say about Kanye’s ‘Cruel Summer.’

“Kanye West can say that his directorial debut played at Cannes. In a tent, in a car park, 40 minutes walk from the Palais, but it played here. The red carpet at the premiere for Cruel Summer – a 30-minute short presented across seven 20ft square screens – ran directly past a cluster of photographers before stretching towards the sea on its way to the screening room. West (and guests including Kim Kardashian and Jay-Z) walked the important part. The cameras clicked and registered the moment. Kanye cut across the bays to his seat.

Made in association with the Doha Film Institute, Cruel Summer stars West’s GOOD Music protege Kid Cudi as a bloke of bad stock. Dad was a car thief – Kid’s desperate not to follow in his footsteps, so instead he walks through a sparkly purple door into the middle of the desert. Men on horseback arrest him. He’s taken to a palace full of fruit. A blind girl plucks a giant guitar string. Cudi’s wrapped in bandages. A hawk flies. In, ultra, slow, motion. Cudi resolves to cure his love of her blindness. The cure for blindness is a remix of a song by Coldplay.

It’s as much a short film as a long music video can be. Big, loud and expensive. A wobbly, wandering showcase of West’s taste for the grandiose that flirts with the potential of the five across, one up, one down screen setup, but never really commit . . .”


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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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