Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016

Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.

The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).

As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”

Project Stories: African Women’s Development Fund Logo and Website Revamp

AWDF World of African Women

Every now and again, a project comes along that speaks to my heart, mind and soul (I’m really grateful that, after almost 5 years in business, this is becoming the rule rather than an exception!).

Working with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) has been one of those projects. It’s merged the things I care about: 

Continue reading “Project Stories: African Women’s Development Fund Logo and Website Revamp”

How to: Create a Great Web Presence + Other Top WOW Festival Picks

WOW-Women-of-the-World-Festival-Southbank

It's that time again – the annual Southbank Centre Women of the World Festival takes place this week, in London.

A couple of years ago, I presented on Digital Tapestries and, taking that theme to another level, this year I will be running a workshop entitled 'How to: Create a Great Web Presence'.

Most of us want to spend most of our time honing our craft – doing what we love most. However, for most of us to continue doing this, somebody's got to buy.

Continue reading “How to: Create a Great Web Presence + Other Top WOW Festival Picks”

Afri-love Picks: Culture, Activism and Social Debate Events at WOW 2013

Alice Walker Women of the World Festival 2013 London


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

Continue reading “Afri-love Picks: Culture, Activism and Social Debate Events at WOW 2013”

Getting Down to Business at the 2013 Women of the World Festival (WOW 2013)


WOW bloomberg

Great things happen when women come together

In a little over a week, the 2013 Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre begins. Last year was my first experience of WOW and I listened to a myriad stimulating talksI spoke and shared ideas, learned that I'm funny and embraced my reticent inner fashionista! I'm incredibly excited about doing it all again and this year's line-up of events is even more enticing than before.

Continue reading “Getting Down to Business at the 2013 Women of the World Festival (WOW 2013)”

3 Years of Afri-love: Top Posts from the Last Year

I am embarassed to say that Afri-love's 3rd anniversary just slipped by me! On June 11th, I was on a train back from London after modelling in the Shape Custom Creations Afrika Milele show (one of the most exciting fashion shows I've experienced – the epitomé of good vibes!). In my exhaustion, I forgot what a great moment it was.

As they say, better late than never. It's quite timely actually because, after 2 months or so of travelling, returning, catching up and getting back to 'normal' routine, I'm finally back in the groove of things. You may have noticed that post frequency is starting to pick up again! It's fitting that we get things going with, first, some thanks – a HUGE THANK YOU for reading and interacting with me, here on the blog, by subscribing and via Twitter and Facebook too – it all makes this labour of love so much more satisfying and; second, a little reflection with a look at the top 5 posts from the past year. In reverse order:

Afri-love-Top-Posts-2011-2012-Interview-with-Furniture-Designer-Yinka-Ilori

5. Interview with furniture designer Yinka Ilori

A great story about pursuing your passion, no matter the naysayers!

Afri-love-Top-Posts-2011-2012-African-Inspiration-on-Pinterest-from-Artist-Robyn-Gordon

4. African inspiration on Pinterest from artist Robyn Gordon

Regular readers will know just how obsessed I am with Pinterest (see for yourself). Robyn Gordon is somebody you have to follow.

Afri-love-Top-Posts-2011-2012-Interview-with-Feminist-Activist-Amina-Doherty

3. Interview with feminist activist Amina Doherty

The passionate Amina, aka sheroxlox, is one of the lovliest people I've had the honour to meet in recent years. Find out what drives her. 

Afri-love-Top-Posts-2011-2012-Interview-with-Fashion-Accessories-Designer-Adele-Dejak

2. Interview with fashion designer Adele Dejak

I've been working with the East Africa-based designer for a little over a year now and I feel so lucky to be collaborating with somebody who creates beautiful things and has such a good spirit too. Today marks the launch of her new website and online shop, created by yours truly and the rest of the Asilia team.

Afri-love-Top-Posts-2011-2012-Dream-Homes-Swahili-Inspired-Architecture-and-Interior-Design-in-Lamu-Kenya

1. Dream Homes: Swahili-inspired architecture and interior design in Lamu, Kenya

One day I will finally visit Lamu in person (and hopefully before the new port is built as, I worry that it will change the nature of the town). Until then, I will lust over all the beautiful homes I've discovered, thanks to my best friend, the internet. More Lamu finds on the blog.

What posts did you enjoy most over the past 12 months?

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For the newbies – check out the top 3 most popular Afri-love posts of all time: 

  1. Interview with Fashion Stylist and Blogger, Nancie Mwai
  2. Natural Hair Journey: 10 Months after the Big Chop
  3. 5 Reasons why Ghana will be the next African App Powerhouse – a guest post from Afriapps founder and my Asilia co-conspirator, Andrew Mugoya

Dispatches from WOW 2012 (& TGIF!): Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sande

Emeli Sande Our Version of Events

Along with all the talking, there was music! On the Friday, Annie Lennox, Katy B, Jess Mills and Emelie Sandé got together for Equals Live – a night of music that steps up the call for equality. Here's a little bit of Emeli for your Friday afternoon.

Some interesting facts: Emeli was born in Scotland to a Zambian father and English mother. Speaking of passion and having faith to follow yours – Emeli left university just before completing her Medicine degree, in order to pursue her music career. 

 

Photo 

Dispatches from WOW 2012: On fashion and being who we want to be

Maggie-Semple-Folake-Kuye-Huntoon-StylePantry


It's easy to be distracted from the fact that fashion is about creative expression the joy of dressing up. The industry – as represented in glossy magazines and billboards – often intimidates rather than liberates women to be adventurous and have fun with their appearance. 

Fashion for all

Continue reading “Dispatches from WOW 2012: On fashion and being who we want to be”

Dispatches from WOW 2012: Digital Tapestries

I was asked to participate in a WOW Bites session during the Southbank Centre's 2012 Women of the World Festival. Bites are short talks, inspiring ideas, achievements, obsessions, stories, performances, manifestos and more. I thought I'd share the essence of my bite with you.

Women-of-the-World-Digital-Tapestries-Pinterest

 

One of the most satisfying outcomes of spending so much time online is discovering interesting people doing exciting and amazing things. In my time internetting, I have discovered several women, around the world, using the digital space to tell their stories and through this: creating relationships that transcend barriers such as geographical distance and class; building supportive and collaborative networks and communities; and making things happen for themselves, for others and ultimately, for us all.

Continue reading “Dispatches from WOW 2012: Digital Tapestries”

Dispatches from WOW 2012: Highlights from the 2012 Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre

Highlights-from-Women-of-the-World-Festival-2012-Southbank-Centre

I spent this past weekend at the Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre and enjoyed the most satisfying two days I've had all year. I left a little knackered and overwhelmed but also, and more importantly, inspired, rejuvenated, excited, blessed, grateful and generally feeling that I need to be spending more time around lots of women.

When I got home, I spent a couple of hours downloading all of this information to my partner and thought that breaking it down into chunks would be a better approach for the blog. Every day this week, I'll be sharing highlights from my time at the festival. You can look forward to:

  • Some great discoveries: organisations, artists, sites and people that you need to check out
  • Highlights from my WOW Bites presentation, Digital Tapestries
  • Celebrating fashion and why it's not frivolous
  • Female sexuality (from gender violence to being a lady, from racism to reclaiming the magazine stand!)
  • Food, identity and feminism

 

A funny anecdote antidote

One of the best moments I had at WOW was participating in a Funny Women workshop. Imagine a room full of 50 odd women, from different continents and varied backgrounds, probably ranging in age from 10 to 70. Funny Women founder, Lynne Parker, challenged us to drop our inhibitions for one hour, to be whoever we wanted to be and to look at ourselves through the eyes of the women who know us best. It was frightening, liberating and ultimately reaffirming. 

In one exercise, we had to impersonate our mothers, sisters or best friends and talk, in that character, about ourselves. To a complete stranger. It was amazing to find out that pretty much every woman in the room saw these mothers, sisters and friends as being proud of them. Enlightening how stepping outside yourself makes it so much easier to really see yourself. 

The candour and the vulnerability that was shared between this group of strangers shows just how much of a safe space a group of positive women can provide. A platform for you to jump forth, past doubt, fear and imagined barriers, through to making the life you want. As Lori Halford shares in things she learned this weekend, over on the official WOW blog:

"The best way to recover from the hardest times in your life is by finding support from those who truly understand what you’re going through."

 

Many narratives, one anthology

Throughout the weekend, it was interesting to see similar themes popping up at very diverse events. Themes like how our societies allow very narrow spaces in which we are 'allowed' to exist. Themes like the need for more awareness, especially when it comes to the subtle prejudices (to do with gender, race, religion, heritage and so much more) that so many of us (people, including women) can be complicit in propagating. It all reinforces that, as different as our backgrounds, experiences and lives may be, ultimately, we have a huge amount in common. And if that isn't a reason for solidarity … 

Stay tuned for more dispatches this week.

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