The best of 2011: Afri-love interviews

The motivation behind the Afri-love interview series is to demonstrate the possibilities that come with pursuing your passion. The interviews acknowledge that the path is challenging and they show how its travellers have persisted through adversity with wonderful results. As with the blog in general, there is a strong creative thread – poets, painters, musicians, designers, artists, writers and people creating change through activism.

Here’s a round-up of some popular interviews from a diverse group of inspiring people:

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-1

Interview with author and black film aficionado, Nadia Denton (left), and accessories designer Adele Dejak.

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-2

Interview with poet, sports writer and musician, Musa Okwonga.

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-3

Interview with feminist activist Amina Doherty aka sheroxlox (left) and multi-dimensional creative, Ann aka afrolicious.

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-4

Interview with singer-songwriter, Amira Kheir.

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-5

Interview with artist and photographer, Mutua Matheka.

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-6

Interview with artist and creative consultant, Kesha Bruce (left) and artist, photographer and writer, Kameelah Rasheed.

The-best-of-2011-Afri-love-interviews-7

Interview with blogger, writer and commentator, Minna Salami, aka MsAfropolitan (left) and developer, author and entrepreneur, Andrew Mugoya.

What was your favourite interview?

————————————————————————————

If you missed yesterday’s best of 2011 installment, “African and Africa-inspired fashion, interior and furniture design,” here it is.

Tune in for the rest of week for:

  • Thursday – Popular commentary posts (from technology to natural hair, from life lessons to identity)
  • Friday – Top music finds of 2011

Get almost-daily Afri-love direct via RSS or straight to your email inbox. Want it less often? Subscribe for juicy extra content (2-4 emails per month). 

How does Africa inspire you? My 10 favourite interview responses to date

Over the last year, I've had the privilege to interview 21 passionate, talented and inspiring people whose vision and work embodies the Afri-love spirit. All of them reminded me of the value in doing what you love. I hope that they've given you encouragement, opened your eyes to new possibilities and that you've discovered new music, art and ideas in the process. My favourite question to ask is, "how does Africa inspire you?" It was a difficult decision but here are 10 of my favourite responses.

Ihsani-Culture-models

"Africa is who I am and it's Africa that raised me – the rest of the world just barely touched me. So everything that flows out of me is Africa – whether its basic components look or do not look overtly or stereotypically African." 

— The Design Director of Ihsani Culture, Kenya-based

Continue reading “How does Africa inspire you? My 10 favourite interview responses to date”

Week in review

Hope you've all had a fab week! Today, just a quick round-up of last week's posts … 

———————————————————————————

Last week on the blog

M3NSA-No.-1-Mango-Street

Here is a quick recap, in case you missed anything:

———————————————————————————

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

———————————————————————————

Image above: M3NSA's album cover for No. 1 Mango Street

 

Interview with Minna Salami aka MsAfropolitan

Minna Salami MsAfropolitan 2

It's time to showcase the bloggers! Today I'm happy to share with you an interview with the beautiful Minna Salami, also known as MsAfropolitan. Vocal and passionate, she shares commentary on lifestyle and culture, from the perspective of being a cosmopolitan African woman. What I love about Minna's blog is that she often tackles challenging and controversial issues, and with such honesty (e.g. Mixed Race Girls have Issues, Smart Women should Watch Porn and Too Afrocentric for you?)! Read on to find out more about what this Finnish, feminist, Nigerian, pan-Africanist has to say.

———————————————————————————

What's your passion?
I'm passionate about many causes and particularly, gender imbalance and African development. I'm doing an MA in Gender studies at SOAS at the moment, focusing on African women's studies. I'm also crazy about the written word. Blogging. Samba. Yoga. But my number one, ongoing, everlasting passion is with spirituality and humanity. 

MsAfropolitan

What inspired you to create MsAfropolitan?
All the above passions actually. 

What has been your greatest obstacle/challenge?
The greatest challenge to creativity has been the fallacy of perfectionism. As humans, it is inevitable that what we feel is important today might change tomorrow. It's been a challenge to learn to express myself freely without worrying that it might not represent who I am in future, but I have come to understand that nothing stifles creativity more than the need to create perfectly.

How have you dealt with/overcome it?
I've dealt with it by striving to create honestly. So for example, if I look back at something I wrote years ago and it makes me cringe, I remind myself that it might not have been perfect, but it was honest. And that's what creativity should be about – staying true to your present self. 

Minna-Salami-MsAfropolitan

 What has your greatest achievement been?
I'm grateful to be where I am in life, in a position where I can reach out to people and they can reach out to me and we can learn from each other. That makes me smile every day and means more to me than anything else. 

Where will you be in 10 years?
In the same place multiplied. Learning and teaching more.  

How does Africa inspire you?
Africa doesn't inspire me in or by itself. It is part of my evolution and I am part of its evolution and it's that evolving process that I draw inspiration from. From trying to understand its strengths and its weaknesses in order to try and grasp the wholeness. 

Anything else you'd like to share?
The MsAfropolitan boutique! I've created a platform to sell and showcase some of the creative labour of African Diaspora women and would like to share that, especially as I'm always on the lookout for new female entrepreneurs. 

MsAfropolitan-boutique

Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
New brands in the shop and more write ups on my blog and elsewhere!

———————————————————————————

Photographs of Minna by Muyiwa Oguntoye