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:

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

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

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

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Interview with singer-songwriter, Amira Kheir.

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Interview with artist and photographer, Mutua Matheka.

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

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

What was your favourite interview?

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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

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An interview with poet, writer and musician, Musa Okwonga

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An emerging trend with the inspiring people I've interviewed is that many are masters of several trades. Today's interviewee, Musa Okwonga, is no exception. Musa is a poet, writer, musician, City lawyer by training, member of poetry collective A Poem in between People (PiP), a blogger for The New York Times and The Independent and a twice-published author. His first (and award-winning) football book is titled A Cultured Left Foot and his second  is titled, Will You Manage?

Continue reading “An interview with poet, writer and musician, Musa Okwonga”

Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design

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You have just a few more days to rush over to the Design Museum for Interpretations of Africa: Football Art and Design.

10 African artists from PUMA.Creative's Creative Africa Network were commissioned to design their national football team's kit. Countries represented include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa and Togo.

Read more about the exercise and the artists' inspiration over on Design Week. I was particularly amused by the apparent fact that initial designs were toned down due to FIFA regulations that "decorative elements are not allowed to dominate playing equipment."

Exhibition ends 30th November.

Images: Senegal shirt (left) and Namibia shirt, via Design Week (see more here).

Rugby & revelling in the comfort of belonging

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(And on the note of belonging, this is my attempt to claim my blog via Technorati: AXDCAV7JDRGA)

This weekend, I was down in London at the Emirates Rugby Sevens. I'm nowhere near an avid sports fan, let alone a rugby fanatic but, this is one annual event that I rarely miss. Why? 

It's a slice of home. The Kenya national rugby team has participated in the tournament for around a decade and hundreds of Kenyans (no exaggeration), from all over the UK, routinely gather in Twickenham for the occasion. The positive energy that vibrates, as we colourfully cheer our team on, makes even the non-Kenyan spectators want to infiltrate the sea of red, black and green. It's for this reason that I go – to be amongst my country-folk and to revel in the comfort of belonging. It's a joy to join in on the chants that are so idiosyncratically Kenyan. I mean, singing "Olé Olé" to cheer on your national team – that's an especially Kenyan identity dilemma. Complex issues aside, and regardless of weather conditions on the day, for a few hours you're transported home. I have no qualms in admitting that I go more for the socialising than for the sport. I know I'm not the only one!

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Photo by Nikhil Jackson