Buy African: Shoes and Bags from South of Africa

South-of-Africa-Wax-Print-Hand-Painted-Wedge-Stiletto-Sandal-Shoes

Fun with colour, texture and wax print patterns on these shoes and bags from accessories brand, South of Africa, made by Zimbabwe-native, Fikile Dube. Take a look at more designs and buy South of Africa accessories, on Etsy.

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Great Girls in African Literature that Your Daughter Should Know

Great-Girls-in-African-Literature

This post was inspired by a one entitled "Great Girls Your Daughter Should Know (Before She Reads Twilight)" by Molly of the blog, Molly Makes Do, recommending strong, relatable female characters. While Molly's list does indeed include some inspiring heroines that I recall from reading lists in my youth, it's missing the diversity that girls from world literature can offer us. My contribution to filling that gap is the following list of great girls and young women, from African literature, that all girls, young and old, should get to know. 

 

In alphabetical order:

  1. Beatrice from Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe
  2. Dikeledi from The Collector of Treasures by Bessie Head
  3. Kainene from Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. Mhudi from Mhudi by Sol T. Plaatje
  5. Nyasha and Tambu from Nervous Conditions (and Tambu again in The Book of Not) by Tsitsi Dangaremba
  6. Phephelaphi from Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera
  7. Sissie from Our Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo
  8. Efuru from Efuru by Flora Nwapa (thanks for sharing Belinda!)

 

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TGIF! with Vusa Mkhaya: the Voice as Instrument, Homecomings and the Harmony of Ubuntu

Zimbabwe Musician Vusa Mkhaya Vocalism
I'm so happy to bring you this beautiful music from Vusa Mkhaya today. The founding member of award-winning vocal trio Insingizi last month released his first international solo release, Vocalism. A celebration of his favourite instrument, Vusa says, "Voices are, for me, the best and the first instrument. When I think of music I think voice."

 

All sorts of homecomings

Fusing elements of Zimbabwean and European tradition, the album at some point draws upon yodelling and Hungarian folk music and Vusa collaborates in part with local musicians in Bulawayo, where his career began. 

"In Zimbabwe we have a saying, 'a child belongs to everyone in the village'. This is how I felt working on Vocalism in Bulawayo. When friends came in and contributed some ideas, they did not see the album as Vusa's ‘child’, but as theirs too. My success is their success and my struggle is their struggle." 

Ubuntu at work! And a real homecoming:

"Bulawayo has all these great voices which have not been heard outside the city. I hope that the people that sing on the album will now be heard beyond the city of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe. I am really happy doing this here, and I will always [come back to] Bulawayo because this is the city that I love the most; I’ve been to so many cities around the world and, no offense to the other great cities that I’ve been to, but Bulawayo ‘does it’ for me, and I’m happy that, finally, we’ve come home."

Listen/watch to what he's talking about (click here if reading via RSS):

 

Ubuntu (click here if reading via RSS):

 

Watch the making of Vocalism (click here if reading via RSS):

 

Buy Vocalism on Amazon and iTunes, among other outlets. It's on my list for sure! Have a great weekend everybody.

Image via BBC News Africa (where you listen to Vusa talking about the joys of singing)

 

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The 10th London African Music Festival is still underway

The 10th London African Music Festival began on Friday 14th September and if you haven't yet had a chance to check out any of the performances, you still have time. The following shows are taking place between now and the festival close on Saturday 29th September:

TONIGHT: SATURDAY 22 SEPTEMBER | 7.30pm 
 

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Africa- and Diaspora-related events in the UK this Summer

It's not all about the Olympics this Summer in the UK. There are a multitude of arts, culture and entertainment events going on throughout the country over the next few months, including some exciting Africa- and Diaspora-related ones that you may want to check out.

I'll be updating this post weekly as I discover suitable additions to the list. If you know of any I haven't yet included, please do drop me a line.

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2 JUNE – 16 SEPTEMBER

We-Face-Forward-Manchester-2012

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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

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Africa- and Diaspora-related events this November

November's already here. A reminder that the year is almost through but, before we get ready to welcome in 2012, there are TONS of exciting events to attend. Here are just a few. They're very London-centric so I'd love to hear about all the interesting things going on in your corner of the globe – please share.

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TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER

Launch of Afriapps book: African Apps in a Global Marketplace
Everywhere

You might remember Andrew Mugoya's guest posts about African apps ("5 Reasons why Ghana is the next African app powerhouse", "Learning from the Success of Nollywood"). Today, Andrew launches an ebook on the subject that is free to download for a limited period. Get it while it's hot!

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THURSDAY 3 OCTOBER

Film-Africa-2011

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TGIF! with Diaspora: A Global Mixtape Movement

Diaspora-Global-Mixtape-Movement-artists

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Africa and Diaspora events this October

As September draws to a close, I'm getting geared up for a bunch of exciting events in October. I'm one of those people who plans her social calendar waaaay in advance and diligently researches to find Afri-love-inspiring events. Not always easy but definitely worth it! I thought that I'd spare you some of the time and effort and compile all the Africa and Diaspora related events that I find each month. I also hope to tap into the power of crowd-sourcing to create an even richer listing for all of us. I invite you to share the great discoveries that you make in your "yard" (see the bottom of this post for details). Enjoy!

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MONTH-LONG EVENTS

Black History Month (UK) events in Islington
London
Islington Council is organising a variety of free and low cost film screenings, exhibitions, talks, readings, poetry and performances inspiring and connecting communities to historical legacies and Black experience today
Download Islington Black History Month 2011- Arts and Culture events
Download Islington Black History Month 2011 – Business and Enterprise events
Download Islington Black History Month 2011 – Schools activities 

Afrika-Eye-Film-Festival

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