Be Part of the Story: Kickstart ‘My Africa Is’

My-Africa-Is-Kickstarter-Campaign

Stories about our continent and our experience are often distorted (if not totally untold) – and it's to be expected when the agents telling the tales are far removed. My Africa Is is a documentary series that aims to show a more complete narrative. Starting this autumn, the crew will embark on a 13 city, 10 country tour of our continent, spending time with young people who want to share the exciting things they're doing to improve their communities. 

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Africa- and Diaspora-related events this November

November's already here. A reminder that the year is almost through but, before we get ready to welcome in 2012, there are TONS of exciting events to attend. Here are just a few. They're very London-centric so I'd love to hear about all the interesting things going on in your corner of the globe – please share.

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TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER

Launch of Afriapps book: African Apps in a Global Marketplace
Everywhere

You might remember Andrew Mugoya's guest posts about African apps ("5 Reasons why Ghana is the next African app powerhouse", "Learning from the Success of Nollywood"). Today, Andrew launches an ebook on the subject that is free to download for a limited period. Get it while it's hot!

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THURSDAY 3 OCTOBER

Film-Africa-2011

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With design like this, who wouldn’t go?: Pen and Mic II, Tanzania

Pen and Mic Tanzania

I love this flyer for Pen & Mic II, taking place next Wednesday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. An evening of music, poetry and prose. For all you lucky "kool kats" in Dar, here are the details.

And for the first Pen & Mic which was a full-house success:

Pen and Mic I

(National icon and poet Shaaban Robert has never looked so cool!)

Week in review and a time for action

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What about us?
This past Friday, young Nigerians around the world demanded of their presidential candidates, "what about us?"

Forming the majority of the population and over half of registered voters in the upcoming elections, Nigerian youth recognised and asserted their need to be heard and addressed. The What about us? campaign called for the first ever youth-focused Presidential Debate. Organised by Nigerian Youth empowerment groups in Nigeria and the Diaspora, though diverse, they share a common belief that the time for change in Nigeria is now. And that young people have the power to make it happen.

I missed the live streaming of the debate but I witnessed the momentum in advance of the event via social networks. Did you catch it? What were your thoughts?

Columbia University African Economic Forum
I also caught some snippets from the 8th annual Columbia University African Economic Forum, via Twitter. Below are a few from twitterer, Karen Attiah:

"We cannot just wait around for good leaders to emerge. We've got to start doing things today. Lets empower people – Deverajan"

"Audience comment: If Africans abroad stopped looking at ourselves as insignificant compared to our governments, we could make a difference"

"Financially, borrowing money maybe looks cheap, but the stigma of begging at the World Bank every year is more expensive – Moyo"

"Fundamental problem with aid is that it severs the social contract between people and the govts who are to provide public goods -Moyo"

 "What are we as educated Africans, and the intl community who cares about Africa, going to DO? -Moyo"

"This PR strategy of convincing us as Africans that we cannot contribute to global development -Moyo"

It's interesting to see how Africans (and especially the youth) are campaigning for change in different ways – and how technology is helping to engage Africans in the Diaspora and involve them more directly in what is going on at home. I for one, am very grateful for this!

So, what are we going to do in the way that we each can contribute to change?

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Last week on the blog

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Here is a recap, in case you missed anything:

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Thanks as always for taking the time to read and to share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get blog updates as well as extra links, ideas, news and info via facebook (afriloveblog) and twitter (@afrilove).

Have a great week everybody, be proud and be inspired!

Lulu x

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Image copyright Sarah Markes

 

 

 

Interview with Sarah Markes, the artist behind Street Level Dar

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My mother comes from Tanzania and with a lot of family living in Dar es Salaam, it's a city that I have spent some time in over the years. I always love visiting Dar. Having grown up in Nairobi, I am always struck by the contrast I see in Dar in terms of the more communal nature of life. I am always delighted by how Dar neighbourhoods come alive, especially at night, with people sitting outside, catching up and interacting. 

Today, I am happy to share with you an interview with an artist who is celebrating this vibrant spirit of Dar es Salaam and specifically, its street life. After leading a nomadic lifestyle travelling in Asia and South America, Sarah Markes decided to apply her creative skills in the international development context. This led her to voluntary work in Malawi and years later, to a job in Dar. There, she fell in love with the city and has been putting her artistic talents to use  in documenting its culture and heritage, in a project called Street Level Dar.

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Tanzania Independence Day

Dar-es-Salaam

Tanzania celebrates Independence Day today.

My mother is from Tanzania and as a result, I have spent a bit of time there, particularly when I was younger. I will never forget Decembers when myself and my many cousins were "shipped off" to our grandparents house for the entire holiday season. Waking up to Mount Kilimanjaro right outside the window. Spending days creating missions in the outdoors such as: how to get mangos down from the tree and; exploring the mystery land beyond the stream at the bottom of  the farm. What a stream! So refreshing in that harsh December heat that we played in it daily (against the adults' wishes) and absolutely clear – you could see every little movement in the water below. Yes, I reminisce… 

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