The best of 2011: African and Africa-inspired fashion, interior and furniture design

Hope you've had a great holiday season so far. I thought I'd take these few days before 2012, to put together a recap of some favourite Afri-love posts (yours and mine) from the past year. Today – it's all about design.

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TGIF! Bongo flava celebration for Tanzania’s Independence Day

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Today is Tanzania's Independence Day and here's some bongo flava to celebrate the occasion. Happy Friday to my Tanzanian fam and to everybody!

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Part I of the Independence Day round-up: July

During this blog’s first year, I endeavored to celebrate the independence days of African countries through creating a dedicated post (you can browse them via this link). I’m not doing that this year but, as several of those celebrations take place in July and August, I thought I’d do a round-up of highlights. I hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned for part 2 – August celebrations – next week.

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Ghana – 1st July

Something for the pundits and technology geeks, something for the music-lovers and something for the fashionistas:
5 Reasons why Ghana is the next African App Powerhouse
Interview with lyrical genius M3NSA
Interview with Fashion Designer Naana B

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Eritrea Independence Day with Elem magazine, Eat Alicha and eyo

EYo All About Timing

Today, Eritrea celebrates independence. A triple dose of inspiration lies below with Elem magazine, culinary treats from Eat Alicha and the musical stylings of eYo. I have to ask: are all these "E"s coincidental?

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Week in review: back in business

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I hope you've all had a wonderful week. 

It's now just over a week since I returned to the UK from a fantastic trip home to Kenya. Though of course I'm already homesick, the positive vibes just keep on mounting. The sun has been shining continuously (which is really saying something, here in the UK) and I've just returned from one of the most enjoyable weddings I've ever attended – the bride being one of my oldest friends. Her and her groom's love of dancing influenced the theme of the event and as a result, two days later, my legs are still aching!

Let the good energy continue for us all. 

Here's a recap of posts from last week:

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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: Stoned Cherrie. See post for more details.

Sierra Leone Independence Day: album art from musician Ahmadu Jarr/Jah and a polite cameo from Idris Elba

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Sierra Leone also celebrates their Independence Day today and it's the big 5-0! I learned an interesting fact on this occasion – Sierra Leone is Portuguese for "lion mountains."

To celebrate the day, here is some album art from Sierra Leone's son, musician Ahmadu Jarr/Jah. A founding member of the group EGBA, he later left to focus on creating traditional African music, creating The Highlife Orchestra. Another bit of trivia: Jarr is singer Neneh Cherry's father as well as father to singer Titiyo Jah. Jarr's mother was apparently a great singer too – it clearly runs in the family!

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Togo Independence Day with artist Paul Ahyi

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Togo celebrates 51 years of independence today. What better way to celebrate than to share the work of the man who designed the Togolese flag! Renowned artist, the late Paul Ahyi, worked in a variety of mediums including sculpture, ceramics, pastels, eaux-fortes and Zota – drawing with fire (not to be confused with pyro-engraving). A true renaissance man, Ahyi also wrote poetry and published several articles. Here are a few images of Ahyi's work (please take a look at his site for many more)

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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

 

 

 

Namibia Independence Day: Celebrating Social Design

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21 years ago on this 21st day of March (I couldn't resist), Namibia gained independence from South Africa.

Interesting facts: Namibia is the world's thirty-fourth largest country as well as being, after Mongolia, the least densely populated country in the world. Home to the Namib, Kalahari and Coastal Deserts, it's no wonder why.

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