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Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

Hollywood is here FOREVER! The stages and the names change, but one thing for sure is that Tinsel Town will always be looking for talented and fresh faces. When that face also happens to be tall, dark, and handsome, the look is all the more exciting and tantalizing. Meet Toby Onwumere, a rising star that just so happens to meet the criteria of “tall, dark, and handsome,” and most of all talented!

toby onwumere kai empire

Toby is taking hearts and Fox’s Empire by storm as “Kai,” Jamal Lyon’s (Jussie Smollett) love interest and now fiancé! As Kai, Toby is doing groundbreaking work, as he showcases the life and love of a Black, gay, and HIV positive man against the backdrop of family drama, corporate sabotage, and ignorance. “I feel honored to play him [Kai] and bring his story to the forefront…It’s time to really inform people and push forward with representation and inclusivity, all while delivering a really unforgettable story.”

Toby is a first generation Nigerian-American, hailing from Dayton, Ohio and has always dreamt of being an actor. He counts his parents, Fidelis and Prisca, as being the driving force behind his pursuit of the arts as they allowed and encouraged him to do what he loves. “My parents were traditional, but not in the sense of what they expected me to be…usually when you’re Nigerian you the career paths your parents want for you are pretty narrow, you have to be like a doctor or lawyer, for them to do that is really amazing.” Toby admits he is stoked to be on Empire, revealing he has been a fan of the show since its inception. “Man I love it [Empire] I would be in class and thinking to myself I’m gonna be on that show one day, and here we are [he laughs].”

jussie smollett and toby onwumere empire kai jamal

Empire continues to be a ratings giant with no sign of slowing down in its fifth season. However, in an interesting plot twist the series has flashed forwarded two years into the future and we find that The Lyons are mostly in shambles. Lucious and Cookie continue to fight to win Empire back, Andre is incarcerated for Anika’s death, and Hakeem is unable to perform after a grave injury. Jamal, however, has flourished in his self-imposed exile to London, finding new label and love with Kai. Their relationship stands to be the strongest one we have seen for Jamal as Kai is empathetic, intelligent, and compassionate. Toby admits he and Kai are very similar in those aspects, but fundamentally different in others. “Well for one I’m straight [he laughs] and then I’m way too silly! Kai is more straight-laced and serious. I like to laugh and joke and be goofy.” Kai’s storyline is definitely a serious one as no shows have really shown a relationship like he and Jamal’s. Although the Kai’s HIV status has been a topic on the show, the larger phenomenon of him being with a partner who is negative and on PREP (via whatisprep.org, PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection.”) “The storyline was meant to be more informative than anything else. People still have these notions about HIV/AIDS from the eighties and so many advancements have been made since then…the love between the two of them [Jamal and Kai] shows that everyone deserves love and can be loved. Kai just so happens to be HIV positive, but he really loves Jamal and he’s a great person. That’s what counts here love…The scene when they proposed to each other was really just magical and powerful.  It’s why I’m honored to play this character…this is really encouraging dialogue and I think people just need to be more open minded and educated.”

toby onwumere kai empire

Toby continues to look forward to the rest of this season of Empire and hints he has some pretty amazing projects in the works that he is not ready to share. However, he did reveal his holiday season will be international as he travels to Europe to bring in Christmas and the New Year. If 2019 is any bigger than 2018 was for him then we know he is about to be a household name! He advises aspiring actors to “Really study the craft. Take the classes and remain diligent. If this is what you want stick with it and never give up!” Catch Toby every Wednesday night at 8 PM EST on Fox’s Empire!

Celebrity Interviews

Love & Work! Meet Jennia Fredrique Aponte & Sol Aponte!

Where is the love? Not far. In fact it is right between two amazing content creators who just so happen to be just an equally amazing power couple! Meet Jennia Fredrique Aponte and Sol Aponte, two people whose love and creativity are changing the world.

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jennia fredrique and sol aponte

Where is the love? Not far. In fact it is right between two amazing content creators who just so happen to be just an equally amazing power couple! Meet Jennia Fredrique Aponte and Sol Aponte, two people whose love and creativity are changing the world.

Jennia and Sol have partnered together in life and professionally, creating a production company, “Full Frequency Media,” and a wildly popular series, Anatomy of Black Love. “We know what it means to be Black in America and to want to see powerful, accurate, and diverse representation…that’s where content creators who look like you come into place…with everything that’s going on in the world it’s more critical than ever to have that…”

jennia fredrique aponte and sol aponte

Jennia and Sol have committed their time and energy towards creating meaningful and quality content using their growing platforms. Both have been in the industry for decades.  We have followed Jennia’s career for years seeing her in various movie and television roles including Half & Half, Who Made The Potato Salad?, Passions, One on One, and Girlfriends. Her most memorable role, however, to us, was as “Brandy” in Patrik-Ian Polk’s Noah’s ARC. “That was a role I really enjoyed. People are always talking about her, she was a joy to play and you know I really enjoyed working with the guys.” Sol is noted television producer with work on hit series like mixed-ish, The Young & The Restless, MADTv, and In The Cut. “Working on so many different projects, you definitely learn a lot about life, people, and how to perfect your own projects…the skills to make great content people can relate to really happens just as much behind the cameras as it does out front…”

Jennia and Sol have united their skills, partnering with Diddy’s independent music cable network, Revolt TV. The network’s mission is to provide great content created by the voices of the current generation. There, their popular and aforementioned series, Anatomy of Black Love, gives audiences a modern take on Black Love through frank, intimate, and confirming interviews with Black celebrities including  Gillian and Michael Jai White, La’Myia Good-Bellinger and Eric Bellinger, Malinda Williams and Tariq Walker, and more.

“Black Love is so amazing and real and it’s not always presented well on screen. It’s important for us to see people who look like us in love, being loved, and living fulfilling lives together…” Jennia adds. “You know love is work and people need to see that. The course of true love never did run smooth but when it does it is the greatest experience of your life…” Sol goes on to discuss the relatability of the series, “…even if you aren’t in a relationship you can relate to this because love is universal and you can even find aspects of self-love in these interviews. They’re very affirming…”

jennia fredrique aponte and sol aponte

We have watched every episode of Anatomy of Black Love and we have to say the series is virtually a spiritual experience, restoring our own faith in love. Positive representation of Black people is so needed in these trying times of police shootings and violence, and the onslaught of systemic racism. “The best way to combat this war of hate on us is through love–love of self, and love of one another…” Be sure to check out the series exclusively on Revolt TV.

Besides their aforementioned series you can also see their short films, 90 Days, Sacred Heart, and their celebrity interview series, Beyond The Talent, and other projects on their website, www.fullfrequencymedia.com.

Jennia Fredrique Aponte and Sol Aponte are true influencers, outstanding content creators, and truly in love. Separately they are a force to be reckoned with, combined, they are nothing short of a force of nature. Keep at it guys, we need you.

Where is the love? Not far. In fact it is right between two amazing content creators who just so happen to be just an equally amazing power couple! Meet Jennia Fredrique Aponte and Sol Aponte, two people whose love and creativity are changing the world.

Jennia and Sol have partnered together in life and professionally, creating a production company, “Full Frequency Media,” and a wildly popular series, Anatomy of Black Love. “We know what it means to be Black in America and to want to see powerful, accurate, and diverse representation…that’s where content creators who look like you come into place…with everything that’s going on in the world it’s more critical than ever to have that…”

jennia fredrique aponte and sol aponte

Jennia and Sol have committed their time and energy towards creating meaningful and quality content using their growing platforms. Both have been in the industry for decades.  We have followed Jennia’s career for years seeing her in various movie and television roles including Half & Half, Who Made The Potato Salad?, Passions, One on One, and Girlfriends. Her most memorable role, however, to us, was as “Brandy” in Patrik-Ian Polk’s Noah’s ARC. “That was a role I really enjoyed. People are always talking about her, she was a joy to play and you know I really enjoyed working with the guys.” Sol is noted television producer with work on hit series like mixed-ish, The Young & The Restless, MADTv, and In The Cut. “Working on so many different projects, you definitely learn a lot about life, people, and how to perfect your own projects…the skills to make great content people can relate to really happens just as much behind the cameras as it does out front…”

Jennia and Sol have united their skills, partnering with Diddy’s independent music cable network, Revolt TV. The network’s mission is to provide great content created by the voices of the current generation. There, their popular and aforementioned series, Anatomy of Black Love, gives audiences a modern take on Black Love through frank, intimate, and confirming interviews with Black celebrities including  Gillian and Michael Jai White, La’Myia Good-Bellinger and Eric Bellinger, Malinda Williams and Tariq Walker, and more.

“Black Love is so amazing and real and it’s not always presented well on screen. It’s important for us to see people who look like us in love, being loved, and living fulfilling lives together…” Jennia adds. “You know love is work and people need to see that. The course of true love never did run smooth but when it does it is the greatest experience of your life…” Sol goes on to discuss the relatability of the series, “…even if you aren’t in a relationship you can relate to this because love is universal and you can even find aspects of self-love in these interviews. They’re very affirming…”

jennia fredrique aponte and sol aponte

We have watched every episode of Anatomy of Black Love and we have to say the series is virtually a spiritual experience, restoring our own faith in love. Positive representation of Black people is so needed in these trying times of police shootings and violence, and the onslaught of systemic racism. “The best way to combat this war of hate on us is through love–love of self, and love of one another…” Be sure to check out the series exclusively on Revolt TV.

Besides their aforementioned series you can also see their short films, 90 Days, Sacred Heart, and their celebrity interview series, Beyond The Talent, and other projects on their website, www.fullfrequencymedia.com.

Jennia Fredrique Aponte and Sol Aponte are true influencers, outstanding content creators, and truly in love. Separately they are a force to be reckoned with, combined, they are nothing short of a force of nature. Keep at it guys, we need you.

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Celebrity Interviews

Saweetie Talks Music & Black Lives Matter on Quibi’s Musicology w/ Tim Kash

‘Tap In’ and ‘My Type’ Rapper, Saweetie, sits down with Tim Kash and discusses her upcoming album, as well as the current headlines surrounding the speculation of lynchings and how she is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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saweetie

‘Tap In’ and ‘My Type’ Rapper, Saweetie, sits down with Tim Kash and discusses her upcoming album, as well as the current headlines surrounding the speculation of lynchings and how she is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

tim kash saweetie interview

We are really glad to hear Saweetie’s forthcoming album is nearly here. She has been in the spotlight for a minute now and her fans (we are fans) deserve to hear a full body of work from her.

saweetie

More importantly, however, we love to hear she is doing her part in the Black Lives Matter movement. Someone with a platform as large as Saweetie’s is definitely needed in this good fight! These recent lynchings of Black men in various parts of the country being labeled as suicides is nothing short of nonsense and murder at the hands of white supremacists. Thanks Saweetie for speaking out!

You can catch Saweetie’s interview with Tim Kash below! Happy viewing!

 

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Celebrity Interviews

WATCH NOW: OWN’s Exclusive Press Roundtable w/ The Cast of “Greenleaf!”

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Greenleaf season 5

It Is hard to believe that after five seasons the upcoming season of OWN’s hit series, “Greenleaf,” will be its last. For years now we have watched this family and their megachurch grow, fall, change, and fight all in the name of family, dignity, and God.

Now, it is time to say goodbye, but before the season premiere airs tomorrow we were privileged to be able to chat with a few cast members of the Greenleaf during a Vimeo roundtable press conference! Yep Merle Dandridge (Grace Greenleaf), Keith Davidson (Bishop James Greenleaf), Lynn Whitfield (Pastor Mae Greenleaf), Lamman Rucker (Jacob Greenleaf), and Deborah Joy Winans (Charity Greenleaf), and the series’ creator/director, Craig Wright were all there and we got the details for this amazing final season!

Greenleaf season 5

Before the press conference we were allowed to screen the first two episodes of the upcoming season and needless to say they are riveting! You will find the Greenleaf Family collectively faces the end of an era with power and ownership of Calvary shifting to Harmony & Hope (H&H). Individually, Grace faces a tragic setback in her relationship with her estranged son, AJ, Kerissa and Jacob play chess as they move towards an impending divorce, Mae and The Bishop move forward with their wedding plans and the next chapter of their lives, and Charity has become the black sheep of her family, viewed as a traitor by her mother and sister while raging against Phillip Demars for spurning her and choosing Judy Whitmore. Whether the Greenleafs can pull it together to somehow save Calvary–and see their family through harrowing times–remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, they won’t go down without a fight!

Greenleaf season 5

The cast was asked questions by various publications sand touched on how the show has helped humanize church leadership, which storylines besides their own are the most invested in, and even behind the scenes hijinks we never knew anything about.

You can catch the full interview by clicking this link https://vimeo.com/428978269 and using the following password: PressEvent4Greenleaf.

Greenleaf season 5

We hate to see Greenleaf ending, but the news of a spinoff has us glowing. We are sure this is not the last we have seen of this family. You all be sure to tune into season premiere of Greenleaf, tomorrow night, Tuesday at 9/8 PM EST/CTR!

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