Africa at the Fringe

Every August, Edinburgh, Scotland is taken over by 100s (maybe 1000s) of arts and cultural events courtesy of various festivals. These include the Edinburgh International Festival and more famously, the incredibly diverse Edinburgh Festival Fringe – claiming to be "the largest, and greatest, arts festival in the world". There's just one week of this year's programme left but I thought I'd round up some of the Africa-related events to whet your appetite for the possibilities next year. 



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How does Africa inspire you? My 10 favourite interview responses to date

Over the last year, I've had the privilege to interview 21 passionate, talented and inspiring people whose vision and work embodies the Afri-love spirit. All of them reminded me of the value in doing what you love. I hope that they've given you encouragement, opened your eyes to new possibilities and that you've discovered new music, art and ideas in the process. My favourite question to ask is, "how does Africa inspire you?" It was a difficult decision but here are 10 of my favourite responses.


"Africa is who I am and it's Africa that raised me – the rest of the world just barely touched me. So everything that flows out of me is Africa – whether its basic components look or do not look overtly or stereotypically African." 

— The Design Director of Ihsani Culture, Kenya-based

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TGIF! You make the music: fund and follow the new African sound with Africa Unsigned

Africa Unsigned logo

Africa Unsigned is a platform that allows African musicians to record music funded by fans. Next Monday, the UK arm of Africa Unsigned launches and which means that UK based African artists can now be considered for "crowd funding" by their fans.

Rina Mushonga All my ships

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Top picks for the Women of the World (WOW) Festival, Southbank Centre, London


The Southbank Centre annual Women of the World (WOW) Festival starts tomorrow and it's set to be a really great experience. Celebrating the formidable strength and inventiveness of women, it will feature music performances, films, comedy, theatre, poetry, as well as a three-day conference dealing with debates, talks, workshops, networking and mentoring opportunities.

Afri-love Highlights:

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TGIF! End-of-year special

The year summed up in African music! Songs that will remind me of 2010.


The year of the first FIFA World Cup held on African soil. Shakira's "Waka Waka" may forever be associated with the historic event but those who know know that, this right here is the original …


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Week in review



Rafiya CD Amazing



I hope you've all had a fantastic week. Mine's been hectic and it's great to exhale a little, take stock and get revved up for the week ahead. It was busy on the blog too with multi-media inspiration! The week ended on a high note with a taste of the continuing influence of Fela Kuti's spirit.

Here's a round-up in case you missed anything:

 A huge thanks to you for taking the time to read and share comments, facebook appreciation and tweet love. Remember, you can also get updates via facebook, twitter and by subscribing to the Afri-love feed.

Feedback is incredibly useful to me so, please drop me a line with any comments, suggestions, ideas etc.

This coming week, look out for:

  • Quote of the week
  • Moving beyond defiance through design and investigating design for good
  • An interview with an incredibly funky and Afri-fabulous London-based designer
  • Inspiration from a handful of my role models 
  • TGIF! a look at African music's new classics
  • A celebration for Zambia's Independence Day 

Have a fantastic week! Be proud and be inspired.


Images above: 2nd from top – Fela-inspired art (see Fela post for details); 3rd from top – songstress Rafiya's CD, Amazing; graphic defiance from Chaz Maviyane-Davies (see post for details); bottom – jewelry from Rachel Stewart.

Defiance by Design: Chaz Maviyane-Davies


As a student, it was difficult to learn about African graphic designers, let alone ones concerned with channelling the power of design for good. I remember the excitement I experienced when I finally discovered Chaz Maviyane-Davies.

Here was somebody creating striking, clever and provocative work. Challenging several perceptions at the same time:

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African cinema at the BFI’s London Film Festival, 13th-28th October, UK


This week, London's BFI hosts 2 screenings of New African Cinema – a collection of 3 short films created as part of the Africa First mentoring scheme. The films include The Tunnel, from South Africa's Jenna Bass, Pumzi from Kenya's Wanuri Kahiu and Saint Louis Blues from Senegal's Dyana Gaye. Find more information about these films and screenings here.

Also on show during the festival:

Exciting stuff for you lucky Londoners!

Pumzi stills from the BFI website.

TGIF! Classic African tunes – Southern African edition

I asked Afri-love's Twitter followers and Facebook fans what classic songs they love from back in the day. Here is a curated Southern African selection …




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