Buy African: New Khanga-Inspired Fashion from Chichia London

Modern-African-Fashion-Tanzania-Chichia-London-Forodhani-Patchwork-Tee-Dress

I'm loving these new vibrant prints and zany combinations from Chichia London, the fashion label of Tanzanian-born, London-based Christine Mhando.

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TGIF! with Bi Kidude

Bi Kidude Photo by Andy Jones

The legendary singer and maverick (look at that photo!), Bi Kidude, passed away yesterday at over 100 years of age. Born in Zanzibar as Fatma Bint Baraka, she is considered the undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago music. 

A grassroots advocate for women's rights, Bi Kidude participated in the Unyago movement which involves educating young girls against the dangers of sexual abuse and oppression. She herself escaped her forced marriage at age 13 which, was no doubt quite a feat, especially in 1920s Zanzibar.

Bi Kidude received the prestigious WOMEX award in 2005 for her contribution to music and culture in Zanzibar and a 'Sports and Arts Award' from Tanzania's President in 2012.

Today, a celebration in remembrance of the feisty Bi Kidude.

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Inspired: Nyumbani Design Accessories

Nyumbani-Designs-Wooden-Jewellery

Nyumbani Design jewellery is inspired by the beauty and colours of the Swahili coast. Handcrafted by skilled artisans in Tanzania, using locally-sourced wood from indigenous trees, no two of the playful pieces are the same. For every wooden piece you buy, a tree will be planted in Tanzania to restore and support the plantation of trees in rural communities.

You can purchase the items shown here from Darkroom.

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Chile to Kili: Driving Change from the Seat of a Bicycle

Chile to Kile Bike Ride US leg

Chile to Kili is an around the world bike ride to raise money to send 10 Tanzanian students to college to study wildlife conservation and/or natural resource management. The cyclist: Elvis, a 25-year old Tanzanian man who set out to travel from South America all the way around to Mount Kilimanjaro, locating and carrying his own food, shelter and resources throughout the trip.

The distance of this trip is  about 80 000kms or 50 000m, traversing over 41 countries. Starting in Santiago, Chile then through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama,  Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, USA, Canada, Alaska, across the  Bearing Sea (by any Means) into Russia, Mongolia, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, across the Caspian Sea into Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Congo , Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, ending at the foot of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

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Politics and the Power of Design

1-Political-campaign-design-South-Africa

While in Nairobi earlier this month, my brother and I were discussing the plethora of campaign posters covering pretty much every available surface in the city. 

This March, for the first time, Kenyans will be voting for 6 different seats – President, Governor, Senator, MP, County Representative and Women's Representative. The presidential candidates are well-known but the feeling I got from most people I spoke to is that, they don't know the people running for some of these other offices, let alone what they are proposing to do for us.

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Dispatches from Africa Utopia: It’s Complicated

Africa-Utopia-Southbank-Centre-London-2012-Festival-of-the-World

"Africa is all too often written off as an intractable "problem" for the world to solve. I hope this festival will reveal just some of what Africa has to offer the rest of the world: the energy of our youth and their desire to engage with the world; the transformative potential of culture and, perhaps most potently, the power of community to bind people together."

 – Africa Utopia Co-curator, Baaba Maal

Indeed the festival's main question was, in what ways can the continent lead the way in thinking about culture, community, sustainability and ethical wealth creation? In short, what can the rest of the world learn from Africa?

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Be Part of the Story: Kickstart ‘My Africa Is’

My-Africa-Is-Kickstarter-Campaign

Stories about our continent and our experience are often distorted (if not totally untold) – and it's to be expected when the agents telling the tales are far removed. My Africa Is is a documentary series that aims to show a more complete narrative. Starting this autumn, the crew will embark on a 13 city, 10 country tour of our continent, spending time with young people who want to share the exciting things they're doing to improve their communities. 

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Dispatches from WOW 2012: Digital Tapestries

I was asked to participate in a WOW Bites session during the Southbank Centre's 2012 Women of the World Festival. Bites are short talks, inspiring ideas, achievements, obsessions, stories, performances, manifestos and more. I thought I'd share the essence of my bite with you.

Women-of-the-World-Digital-Tapestries-Pinterest

 

One of the most satisfying outcomes of spending so much time online is discovering interesting people doing exciting and amazing things. In my time internetting, I have discovered several women, around the world, using the digital space to tell their stories and through this: creating relationships that transcend barriers such as geographical distance and class; building supportive and collaborative networks and communities; and making things happen for themselves, for others and ultimately, for us all.

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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.

The-best-of-2011-interior-furniture-and-home-design-Afri-love

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