Africa- and Diaspora-related events this March

Africa- and Diaspora-related events spanning Kenya, the UK and Switzerland. What's happening where you are this month?

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THURSDAY 1st

Kultura Film Club – Nights of Ethnographic Films
City: London, UK
Venue: Passing Clouds
Time: 7:00pm 

This week's installment of the Film Club features two short films about rhythm, negotiating identities, dance and belonging, including Temporary Sanity by Dan Brunn. The film tells about Jamaica’s dance music culture in New York and especially about the versatile disc jockey Skerrit Bwoy. Originally from St. Johns, Antigua, the youngster migrated to Bronx, New York in the mid 1990’s. Clubbing at a very young age, and hanging out on Creston Avenue, it did not take him long to fit into the fast pace life of the city. Skerrit Bwoy burst on the international dancehall scene this year, with his sound system Ghetto Life that he has molded into becoming an award winning sound that was crowned as 2005 – 2006 “Bronx Sound of The Year.” 

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FRIDAY 2nd 

Vibes and Pressure Shubeen featuring Natty, Tinashe and The Skints

Tinashe

Continue reading “Africa- and Diaspora-related events this March”

TGIF! with Diaspora: A Global Mixtape Movement

Diaspora-Global-Mixtape-Movement-artists

Continue reading “TGIF! with Diaspora: A Global Mixtape Movement”

Week in review and a time for action

Whu25s

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

 

 

 

Tunisia Independence Day: Celebrating beauty and design

Menchari house

Yesterday, Tunisia celebrated 55 years of Independence from France, no doubt made sweeter by the recent triumph in toppling authoritarian president, Ben Ali, after 23 years in power. Rather than spend this post further commemorating this revolution (I'm sure several others have done this well so I would like to share something different), I would like to draw your attention to beauty and design.

Continue reading “Tunisia Independence Day: Celebrating beauty and design”

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

Picture 12

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

Quote of the week & talk of love

Quote-love

To jump on the Valentine's Day bandwagon somewhat, I chose a quote that talks of love. Then again, ultimately, everything on this blog talks of love. Particularly, self-love. It is with that focus that I share with you this week's quote:

"When we can meet ourselves where we are and treat ourselves with compassion, then we are able to meet others where they are and to engage with the world with compassion.
… We are all capable of great things when we find our own authentic and unique place in the world."

Marianne Elliot, Zen Peace-keeper and change-maker (definitely check her out)

Reflecting in my morning pages earlier, I came up with a new mantra for myself that is quite appropriate here. The context was largely work-related, being that my services are charged according to time spent. People who are not used to thinking of their time in terms of money, sometimes don't appreciate that mine is literally worth money. One related consequence is being shortchanged and another is that it's often challenging to find enough time for myself. So, by heaping and asserting all this value around my time, I can hopefully get across just how valuable it is. Long story short, this is the mantra and I think it applies to several other contexts as well: "By valuing myself, I confirm that I am valuable." 

Indeed, by valuing ourselves, we confirm, assert even, that we are valuable. As our comrades in Tunisia and Egypt have recently shown!

Week in review and people power

I hope you've all had a good week. It's been quite a momentous one for Tunisia with the ousting of dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after  more than two decades in power. Powered by the people, the revolt that led to this result is a reminder that we, the people, can stand up and be heard. That we, African people, do not have to endure our so-called leaders disregard of our humanity. The questions that remain though are to do with the how. How do we best and most effectively campaign for what we deserve? Can we avoid violence?

I read a great article by Kate Bomz this week that I recommend to all: "Isle of Peace into Peaces: A Call to Disarm." Two of our continents most peaceful nations, Tunisia and Tanzania, have been sites of unprecedented violence this year (as "new" as it is). Bomz investigates the meaning of patriotism, apathy and challenges us to get up off our fences.

Interesting also, are discussions around how media was instrumental in the cause of the Tunisian people, including social media such as Twitter, and how US media networks were AWOL in covering such an important event.

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On the lookout
Speaking of campaigning for the change we desire, I came across this children's book, again in Essence magazine:

  Mama Miti

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by  Donna Jo Napoli, with illustration by Kadir Nelsontells the tale of Kenyan, Nobel Prize-winning, environmental and political activist, Wangari Maathai.

I don't remember reading children's book much as a child so it's going to be a whole new experience when I have kids of my own. It will be interesting seeking out books that show characters that look like them and heroic, inspiring ones at that. I do remember my parents telling me bedtime stories (rather than reading books to me). What particularly stands out in my memory is my Dad's re-telling of the adventures of the heroic Abunuwasi.

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Afri-love on Tumblr
Following last week's foray into the wider world of online social network with the set up of an Afri-love YouTube channel, this week I set up an Afri-love Tumblr site (yes I do make a lot of time for internetting!). I thought it was about time to see what all this Tumblr hype is about. 

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Last week on the blog
Here is a quick recap, in case you missed anything:

Galactic

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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 above: collage by Jasmine Rose