Chile to Kili is an around the world bike ride to raise money to send 10 Tanzanian students to college to study wildlife conservation and/or natural resource management. The cyclist: Elvis, a 25-year old Tanzanian man who set out to travel from South America all the way around to Mount Kilimanjaro, locating and carrying his own food, shelter and resources throughout the trip.
The distance of this trip is about 80 000kms or 50 000m, traversing over 41 countries. Starting in Santiago, Chile then through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, USA, Canada, Alaska, across the Bearing Sea (by any Means) into Russia, Mongolia, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, across the Caspian Sea into Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Congo , Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, ending at the foot of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
The last batch of my top picks for this year's Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre covers events to do with culture, activism and social issues and debates. I don't know about you but, between this list; the business, entrepreneurship and career development one I shared last week and; the music, poetry and spoken word events, it's going to be tough deciding what to actually attend! It's the kind of tough decision that's a joy to make. To those planning to attend the Festival, I hope you have a wonderful time and perhaps I'll bump into you. To everybody else, I look forward to reporting back.
Alice Walker WHAT: A world exclusive premiere of ‘Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth’, a feature documentary film by Pratibha Parmar, about the life and art of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Color Purple’. The 6:30pm screening will be followed by a conversation with Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar. The 9.30pm screening is introduced by Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar. WHEN: Sunday, 6:30pm and 9:30pm
What's new in African Feminisms WHAT: Looking at what is fresh in African feminist thought and action. African women are gaining force in music, writing and film, offering powerful and subversive views on gender, power and the future. WHEN: Sunday, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Oftentimes the desire to support African design – and production in general – is there but, the products aren't always very accessible. In this "Buy African" series, I'll be highlighting various outlets to help you turn your intentions into action.
Yesterday I had the honour of celebrating the first every International Day of the Girl with hundreds of amazing women and girls at London's Southbank Centre. I was one of a group of around 180 mentors including physicists, authors, fashion designers, airline pilots, radio presenters, Team GB olympians, entrepreneurs, reverends, activists, bloggers and more – a very diverse and interesting group of women! We mentored 11-18 year olds while on the London Eye. Elsewhere in the world, nations showed their solidarity with girls by turning their landmarks pink (including the pyramids in Egypt).
For the occassion, I thought I'd share some other girl-dedicated initiatives:
The Girl Effect
The Girl Effect is a MOVEMENT. It's about about ending poverty. And it's about doing so by investing in girls: "The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and towns and countries"
Here's a girl (a woman actually) I know who's on a mission to inspire girls and young women in Kenya that they can pursue their dream careers with confidence. Afri-girl aims to open girls up to the opportunities available to them by sharing the stories of those who have gone for it already.
I had a few interesting discussions yesterday, about feminism, activism and an observed apathy towards pushing for change. It's been the theme of my week actually. We get frustrated about things and sometimes we ignore the things we wish were different, sometimes we just complain but, why don't we get up and DO? Why don't we act on creating the change we want? I've been reflecting about how I can be more active in the interest of the things that I stand for.
The show's co-curator and RCA graduate herself, Ekua McMorris, addresses the question that will be on many people's minds – what is black art? "Black art can be anything." she says in this Hannah Pool/Guardian article. "It can be a landscape without any reference to colour or culture." A friend of mine – artist, RCA grad, tutor and RCA Black exhibitor – Catherine Anyango shares some of her views on the topic in the same article, that's worth some reflection.
On one hand, can the colour of your skin determine the kind of work you produce? On the other hand, can your work be totally removed from your experience and how the colour of your skin shapes that experience? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Debates aside, it is momentous that the highly influential (and predominantly white) RCA is putting together this showcase of exemplary work that spans 60 years. Perhaps it will help to inspire at least one young person of colour into following their heart and taking a path so little travelled by members of our communities.
The show runs until the 6th of september. More details here.
I discovered shrine to all things brown and beautiful, Afrolicious, about 2 years ago and I've been crossing paths with the woman behind the screen name, Ann Daramola, ever since! We've collaborated across continents and oceans – working with Epic Change to create To Mama with Love and most recently, Asilia worked with Ann to design the logo for her accessory line, Ankara & Lace. One thing I absolutely love about following Ann on Twitter is the boundless energy, passion and positivity she exudes. This is one lady you need to follow/exchange with/know.
Bino and Fino is an African educational cartoon for kids. The protagonists, Bino and Fino, are a brother and sister who live with their grandparents in a modern day city in Africa. Along with a magic butterfly, Zeena, the siblings' adventures help them to learn about African history, culture and languages; general black history as well as; life skills, grammar and arithmetic.
The cartoon was created in Nigeria, to give children of black African heritage a reflection of themselves, whether they live in Africa or in the diaspora.