How to: Create a Great Web Presence + Other Top WOW Festival Picks


It's that time again – the annual Southbank Centre Women of the World Festival takes place this week, in London.

A couple of years ago, I presented on Digital Tapestries and, taking that theme to another level, this year I will be running a workshop entitled 'How to: Create a Great Web Presence'.

Most of us want to spend most of our time honing our craft – doing what we love most. However, for most of us to continue doing this, somebody's got to buy.

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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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Afri-love Picks: Culture, Activism and Social Debate Events at WOW 2013

Alice Walker Women of the World Festival 2013 London

The last batch of my top picks for this year's Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre covers events to do with culture, activism and social issues and debates. I don't know about you but, between this list; the business, entrepreneurship and career development one I shared last week and; the music, poetry and spoken word events, it's going to be tough deciding what to actually attend! It's the kind of tough decision that's a joy to make. To those planning to attend the Festival, I hope you have a wonderful time and perhaps I'll bump into you. To everybody else, I look forward to reporting back.


Alice Walker
WHAT: A world exclusive premiere of ‘Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth’, a feature documentary film by Pratibha Parmar, about the life and art of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Color Purple’.
The 6:30pm screening will be followed by a conversation with Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar. The 9.30pm screening is introduced by Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar.
WHEN: Sunday, 6:30pm and 9:30pm

What's new in African Feminisms
WHAT: Looking at what is fresh in African feminist thought and action. African women are gaining force in music, writing and film, offering powerful and subversive views on gender, power and the future.
WHEN: Sunday, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

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Buy African: Sseko Designs – Accessories and Education

Oftentimes the desire to support African design – and production in general – is there but, the products aren't always very accessible. In this "Buy African" series, I'll be highlighting various outlets to help you turn your intentions into action. 


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The First Ever International Day of the Girl & Other Good Stuff for Girls

International Day of the Girl October 11 2012 Egypt Pyramids Pink

Yesterday I had the honour of celebrating the first every International Day of the Girl with hundreds of amazing women and girls at London's Southbank Centre. I was one of a group of around 180 mentors including physicists, authors, fashion designers, airline pilots, radio presenters, Team GB olympians, entrepreneurs, reverends, activists, bloggers and more – a very diverse and interesting group of women! We mentored 11-18 year olds while on the London Eye. Elsewhere in the world, nations showed their solidarity with girls by turning their landmarks pink (including the pyramids in Egypt).


Because I am a Girl

The event was related to the Women of the World (WOW) festival which you'll have read me go on about earlier this year. It was driven by charity Plan UK who are campaigning for the education of girls to be a top development priority (you can find out more about Because I am a Girl and sign their petition).

For the occassion, I thought I'd share some other girl-dedicated initiatives:


The Girl Effect

The Girl Effect is a MOVEMENT. It's about about ending poverty. And it's about doing so by investing in girls: "The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and towns and countries"


 View more great Girl Effect videos.



Here's a girl (a woman actually) I know who's on a mission to inspire girls and young women in Kenya that they can pursue their dream careers with confidence. Afri-girl aims to open girls up to the opportunities available to them by sharing the stories of those who have gone for it already.

Watch this space for more.


Parting words

I had a few interesting discussions yesterday, about feminism, activism and an observed apathy towards pushing for change. It's been the theme of my week actually. We get frustrated about things and sometimes we ignore the things we wish were different, sometimes we just complain but, why don't we get up and DO? Why don't we act on creating the change we want? I've been reflecting about how I can be more active in the interest of the things that I stand for.

What's been frustrating you lately?

Pyramids photo 


Related reading:

Don't miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or on Google+.

The RCA Black show begins: Uncomfortable colour thing? Opportunity to inspire?


Today marks the launch of RCA Black, an exhibition celebrating art and design by African and African Caribbean Royal College of Art (RCA) graduates. Brought to you in collaboration with the African and African Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD), the exhibition will include work by 23 artists working in several disciplines including fine art, photography, product design, jewellery and more.

The show's co-curator and RCA graduate herself, Ekua McMorris, addresses the question that will be on many people's minds – what is black art? "Black art can be anything." she says in this Hannah Pool/Guardian article. "It can be a landscape without any reference to colour or culture." A friend of mine – artist, RCA grad, tutor and RCA Black exhibitor – Catherine Anyango shares some of her views on the topic in the same article, that's worth some reflection.

On one hand, can the colour of your skin determine the kind of work you produce? On the other hand, can your work be totally removed from your experience and how the colour of your skin shapes that experience? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Debates aside, it is momentous that the highly influential (and predominantly white) RCA is putting together this showcase of  exemplary work that spans 60 years. Perhaps it will help to inspire at least one young person of colour into following their heart and taking a path so little travelled by members of our communities. 

The show runs until the 6th of september. More details here.

Related reading:


Art school confidential on the Kesha Bruce studio blog


Artist and creative consultant Kesha Bruce (who made an appearance on Afri-love not too long ago) asked me to share my thoughts on and experiences of art school with her, in Art School Confidential

Did you go to art school? What was your experience like? Are you considering going to art school? What are you hoping to get out of the experience? Share your responses over at Kesha's.

Interview with multi-dimensional creative and champion of the “other” story, Afrolicious


I discovered shrine to all things brown and beautiful, Afrolicious, about 2 years ago and I've been crossing paths with the woman behind the screen name, Ann Daramola, ever since! We've collaborated across continents and oceans – working with Epic Change to create To Mama with Love and most recently, Asilia worked with Ann to design the logo for her accessory line, Ankara & Lace. One thing I absolutely love about following Ann on Twitter is the boundless energy, passion and positivity she exudes. This is one lady you need to follow/exchange with/know.

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Bino and Fino



Bino and Fino is an African educational cartoon for kids. The protagonists, Bino and Fino, are a brother and sister who live with their grandparents in a modern day city in Africa. Along with a magic butterfly, Zeena, the siblings' adventures help them to learn about African history, culture and languages; general black history as well as; life skills, grammar and arithmetic.

The cartoon was created in Nigeria, to give children of black African heritage a reflection of themselves, whether they live in Africa or in the diaspora.

Check out the pilot episode here. For updates on the DVD launch, follow @BinoandFino on twitter or stay tuned via the Bino and Fino blog.