Home Around the World: Momo’s, London, UK

Momo-Restaurant-Outdoor-Terrace-London
Momo-Restaurant-North-African-Food-London

The Momo's experience in London, UK, involves North African cuisine, an eclectic African and diaspora music programme (that pulls in major stars and up-and-coming artists alike), beautiful decor and a relaxed boho-luxe ambiance. The restaurant/café/outdoor terrace/basement bar/disco was opened in the late 1990s by Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz.

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Week in review and putting in the work

Back in business indeed! It's been a great week. I've been working 12 hour days and I can still say that because, I changed my attitude. Ultimately, I love what I do and, from that perspective, all the time I put into it is enjoyment rather than chore. Sure I don't think 12 hour days are sustainable (nor desirable) in the long-run but, sometimes you have to put in that extra effort/time/energy/sweat/sacrifice to get to where you want. That's what thousands of people across our continent (and further afield) are demonstrating by actively demanding change.

It's not even March and we've seen results such as many never expected. Two dictatorial regimes toppled in Tunisia and Egypt and, Libyans and Algerians standing up to their governments too. You can't help but wonder where this revolutionary momentum will blow to next. Some Sub-Saharan governments, in what cannot be considered anything but an admission of tyranny, are rushing to censor information* about the aforementioned protests up North. What in their minds must seem like prevention, will surely further fuel the fire within the hearts of dissatisfied citizens. 

I've found it to be true that, once you start doing something, you generate the awareness, insight and energy to do so much more. Idleness begets idleness and action becomes exponential. It is with this attitude, that I plan to approach the rest of 2011 and I hope you will too! Let's go create the lives we want.

(* Thanks for the link @Mwistar)

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On the lookout: Afriapps

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Afriapps is a new Asilia initiative to showcase apps from and for Africa. We are  looking forward to further developing this platform for exposure, for both developers and users alike. The work will involve helping to establish industry standards, with the aim of increasing the quality (and competitiveness) of apps from and for Africa. My business partner, Andrew Mugoya, talks more about it here and discusses it with Afrinnovator here.

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Last week on the blog

SILHOUETTE

A full week it was. 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 Mutua Matheka

Home around the world: Madiba, Brooklyn, USA

Madiba-Brooklyn-New-York 
A debut post in a new series, "home around the world." Having lived outside the continent for almost 11 years now, there is nothing more uplifting than finding a spot where I can experience a little bit of home. This series is dedicated to showcasing some of those places and sharing the details, in case you ever need a dose. I'd love to hear about any gems you've found. To share your story, get in touch.

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A funky lounge-cum-restaurant-cum-bar grows in Brooklyn. A cornerstone in my 10+ year love-affair with Fort Greene.

Inside, a large painting of Madiba himself; a chandelier made from glass coca cola bottles and; the kind of metal trunk (painted blue) that you may have carried to boarding school, form part of the eclectic decor. Jam jars for glasses and a kiosk-type wall with foodstuffs from home on sale. This is Madiba, a South African Experience, south of the Manhattan bridge.

Madiba-coke-chandelier

About 10 years ago (I wince smile as I realise how old wise I'm getting), before New York's notorious Cabaret License was introduced, many a great night of dancing was had at the corner of Carlton and Dekalb. After the kitchen closed, dining tables would be moved aside, creating an intimate dancefloor. I think that's probably the best word to describe the atmosphere at Madiba. Visiting last summer, for the first time in years, I was delighted to run into familiar faces including DJ Stone* who's still doing his thing on their decks. There might not be the same dancefloor destruction to the freshest house and kwaito as in days gone by but, that warm afri-love vibe is definitely still in the air.


[*link to an interesting short video where Stone is interviewed by Africa is a Country blogger, Sean Jacobs]
Images from the Madiba website