My Women Change Africa Interview

I’m honoured to join the family of ‘Bosschiques’ over on Women Change Africa – a blog and brand founded on the theory that if women are celebrated, connected and cultivated, change will occur in our communities.

Women Change Africa founder, Moiyattu Banya had some great questions for me, providing an always welcome opportunity to pause, reflect and appreciate.

Read the interview over on Women Change Africa. I love the last question and would love to hear how you’d answer it. Let me know in the comments below.

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Interview with Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneur, Annegret Affolderbach of Choolips

Last week I had the pleasure of finally meeting Annegret Affolderbach, the founder of London-based womenswear label, Choolips, in person.

Having featured Choolips designs on the blog before, it was great to meet the amazing woman behind the brand. Annegret’s passion for what she’s doing – championing high quality craftsmanship; reviving ancient textile traditions; empowering the local artisans and entrepreneurs behind them; operating with small water and carbon footprints – is infectious. She is a rebel, in the best sense of the word, on a mission to make the world a better place. With exquisite style and beautiful stories. Yes, we can have all this!

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Interview with Dayo Forster, Co-Founder of Homeware Brand, Toghal (+ Give-away Every Friday in February!)

I’m delighted to share this interview with Dayo Forster, Co-Founder of Toghal, a new textile-based homeware brand. Inspired by an appreciation of the legacy of Africa’s textile heritage in the world and a love of technology, Toghal is about reimagining traditional textiles to create something iconic and fresh.

The Asilia team and I have had the great pleasure of working with Dayo to bring the brand to life. It’s been a fantastic project and the kind of challenge that we thrive on: how to create a brand that is contemporary and global, while at the same time, rooted in or inspired by a particular culture. I am also pleased to welcome Dayo as a sponsor of Afri-love!

Dayo’s story indeed exemplifies the beauty of collaboration and also, the crucial importance of preparation – research, learning, planning, and partnership. It’s a great example of how, by setting off to solve a problem you’ve experienced in your own life, you can create an enterprise that serves others.

Enjoy and make sure to check out the ‘Free Bag Friday’ give-away details, below the interview.

 

Toghal African Traditional Textiles Reimagined Flyer Design by Asilia

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Interview with My Father (My Hero!), Entrepreneur and Author, Paul Kitololo

My father, Paul Kitololo, has been an entrepreneur for all of my life. At the height of a successful career in the corporate world, he gave up the regular paycheck, the company car and, in many people’s opinion – his sanity – in order to start his own tour company. Over the next 3 decades, Private Safaris grew to be one of the most prestigious tour companies in Kenya and East Africa. I remember spending my Saturday mornings at his office as a child, busying myself on his secretaries typewriter (creating my ‘zine). I am still in awe at how my father successfully run the company while also: participating in or chairing several associations and boards; managing the Kenya Special Olympics team; writing a novel, Shortcut to Hell (published in 1983); making it to every single one of my parent-teacher evenings, as well as sports days and plays and; generally being so involved in my life.

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Interview with Animator, Editor and Director, Ng’endo Mukii

I’ve known animator, editor, director – and ultimately, artist – Ng’endo Mukii since our high school days, over a decade ago. I’m so proud and inspired, witnessing her achievements and the path that she is paving for other young, female, animators, filmmakers and artists, who are finding interesting ways to tell important stories.

Ng’endo’s animation portfolio spans advertising campaigns, music videos, children’s animated stories and experimental work. However, it is her short film, Yellow Fever, that has really prompted the world to stand up and take notice of her unique expression. Along with screenings around the world and several nominations, Yellow Fever has won awards at the Kenya International Film Festival, Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards and the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival. In the remaining months of 2013 alone, there are screenings lined up in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the US and France.

In this interview Ng’endo talks about how she settled on her current medium of choice; social responsibility as an artist; the importance of having a caring network to provide you with productive critique and; surrendering to (and preparing for) the path that fate has set out for you.

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Interview with Food Blogger Sanura Weathers

I virtually met Sanura Weathers around a year ago, thanks to the power of social media. We crossed paths through some common interest, most likely glorious food. I only recently discovered that Sanura and I are in the same profession when it comes to our day jobs – graphic design. It’s phenomenal that Sanura has managed to create and successfully maintain not one, but two juicy food blogs, on the side: My Life Runs on Food and Kwanzaa Culinarians. What’s more, she’s also prepared a lot of the wonderful meals that she shares on them!

My Life Runs on Food has earned Sanura accolades such as PBS’s Top Food Blogs of 2012 and a Black Weblog award for Best Food Blog. Her story goes to show that making time to nurture your passion pays! Even if you can’t devote your regular working hours to it, there is scope for it to develop into a satisfying side hustle that can change your world (and that of so many others!).

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Art Propelled: An Interview with Artist, Robyn Gordon

Today I’m happy to share this interview with artist, Robyn Gordon, whose work I’ve been admiring for a while. I first came across Robyn via Pinterest as the contents of her wonderfully curated boards resonated so much with what I like. I then discovered that Robyn was an artist herself, living and working in KwaZulu Natal. Inspired by the touch and feel of nature, Robyn creates wooden totems, panels and even quilts, using wire, beads and found objects. These pieces weave a narrative of her life in South Africa – the land, symbols of Africa and her British ancestry. Robyn shares this quote on her website:

“I have tried to study African Art in order to assimilate it into my being, not to copy, but to seek the essence of it, it’s spirit and quality of art.”  

— Hale Woodruff

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The Barriers of Perception and Small Successes

Creative-Business-Cup

Last month on the blog, I started to tackle that contentious question of what constitutes ‘African’. There was no definitive conclusion of course but, instead, several other questions on the path to addressing the one. Recent events have brought me back to reflecting upon one of the points of discussion – the issue of limiting labels.

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Interview with Musician Ntjam Rosie

I’m very pleased to bring you this interview with musician Ntjam Rosie, whose beautiful music (and fabulous style) has graced the blog before. Ntjam has an impressive 4 albums under her belt: Atouba, the fantastic Elle, Live at Grounds and her latest release from this year – At the Back of Beyond.

Ntjam talks about the importance of being grounded, of taking the time to hone your craft and of persistence. I can’t agree with her more that nothing (worth having) comes easy!

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Interview with Musician Fatoumata Diawara

It’s a great honour to present this interview with musician, actress and activist, Fatoumata Diawara. Born in Côte d’Ivoire to Malian parents, Fatoumata moved to France to pursue acting – she appeared in the films La Genèse and Sia, le Rêve du Python and played a leading role in the musical Kirikou et Karaba. She later began composing her own music, blending Southern Mali traditions and international influences.

Under Fatoumata’s belt is her debut album, Fatou, and her EP, Kanou. She has performed around the world and recorded with acclaimed artists including Oumou Sangaré and Dee Dee Bridgewater and recently participated in the “30 Songs / 30 Days” campaign to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women.

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