Tag: African culture

Watch out Hollywood, Nollywood is coming to town for a festival of African film

By Jeffery Fleishman

In the early days of Nigerian cinema, directors and actors wandered cities and tribal lands shooting movies straight to VHS tapes that were sold in kiosks and bartered in villages.

Those times of on-the-fly editing and pocket-change financing have since grown into one of the largest film industries in the world, a quicksilver business that is as attuned to juju priests as it is to the love affairs and nightclubs of the new rich.

The reach of what is known as Nollywood often strikes Kemi Adetiba, one of its most acclaimed directors, when she’s in Jamaica or New York. A taxi driver will invariably say, “Oh, God, I love Nigerian films” while waxing on about how those stories connect him to ancestors who centuries before had been uprooted from Africa by slavery and colonialism.

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7 Nigerians putting Nollywood on the world map

The movie industry in Nigeria (Nollywood) has come a long way from catering to just its local audience.
These days, Nigerian movies are gradually going global and being appreciated in various parts of the globe.

After spreading around Africa through the Africa Magic Channels of Multichoice, Nigerian movies are beginning to find their way to global platforms like Netflix.

The artists helping this global push are spotlighted in this report by Pulse.com

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Celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson, films in Houston with West African community

By Eric Sandler

Chef Marcus Samuelsson spent this past weekend in Houston filming for his PBS reality series No Passport Required. Slated to air later this year, the episode will focus on Houston’s West African community and its rapidly growing presence on Houston’s culinary scene.

Houston will be one of six cities featured in season two. The show will also cover Filipino food in Seattle, Italian food in Philadelphia, Armenian food in Los Angeles, Chinese food in Las Vegas, and Brazilian and Portugese food in Boston.

Samuelsson tells CultureMap that he visited a few spots in Houston to complete his tour, including Safari, the Nigerian restaurant that’s operated in southwest Houston for 30 years.

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The club of 8 Ghanaian stars to have entered Billboard Chart

By Nasiba Yakubu
Despite the gloomy commentary Ghanaian music receives, there are twinkle, twinkle little Ghanaian stars in the global music sky that must leave us with satisfaction that Ghana is doing something right to keep the global night bright.

Ghanaian artistes and their counterparts in the diaspora have made impressive strides with their unique talents over the years.

The constant growth witnessed in the industry has pushed Ghanaian music unto one of the world’s renowned music grading charts, The Billboard Charts.

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Okwui Enwezor, Curator Who Remapped Art World, Dies at 55

By Jason Farago

Okwui Enwezor, an influential Nigerian curator whose large-scale exhibitions displaced European and American art from its central position as he forged a new approach to art for a global age, died on Friday in Munich. He was 55.

The cause was cancer, said his partner, Louise Neri.

In ambitious, erudite, carefully argued exhibitions staged in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States, Mr. Enwezor (pronounced en-WEH-zore) presented contemporary art against a backdrop of world history and cultural exchange.

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New African Children’s Museum Set To Open In Baltimore, First In The Country

By Devin Bartolotta

A new children’s museum in the works for northwest Baltimore is hoping to shed light on a sometimes-forgotten chapter of black history.

“Mama Kiki” Armstrong, originally from Ghana, wants to feature music, drumming and dancing that have influenced American pop culture at the Sankofa Children’s Museum, and bridge the gap of missing history.

“This should help them appreciate the culture,” Armstrong said. “We’re not just talking about African-American kids. We’re talking about all the kids in the community.”

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Tiffany Haddish, Nomzamo Mbatha, V. Bozeman spotted at Koshie Mills’ “The Diaspora Dialogues”

Eritrian-Americans Tiffany Haddish was the star of the black carpet at the Koshie Mills presents “The Diaspora Dialogues” on Saturday afternoon (March 9) at the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey, Calif.

The 39-year-old Girls Trip actress looked pretty in a burgundy, velvet jumpsuit as she stepped out for the event.

The Diaspora Dialogues is a platform and a movement created by Koshie Mills designed to break down barriers, bridge the gap between Africans from Africa and the descendants outside of the continent in the Diaspora.

This year’s International Women Of Power event had a myriad of powerful influential women from Africa, West Indies, UK and America.

Continue reading “Tiffany Haddish, Nomzamo Mbatha, V. Bozeman spotted at Koshie Mills’ “The Diaspora Dialogues””

Netflix increases production of African films

When Godwin Jabangwe stood in front of a room full of Hollywood movie executives to pitch his first feature film last November, he knew his idea wasn’t exactly the stuff of a conventional blockbuster.

He wanted to make an animated movie called “Tunga,” he explained, about a young girl who travels to a mythical lost city on a quest to save her village from drought. It would be set in Zimbabwe. Oh right, and it would be a musical.

“Five years ago, with an idea like that, you would have been laughed out of the room,” Mr. Jabangwe says. But his idea immediately caught the ear of a big production company, and last month, after a scrappy bidding war, Jabangwe signed a deal with them. “Tunga” is going to be a Netflix original.

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University of Maryland highlights diversity of African diaspora at Black Culture Expo

By Joy Saha

University of Maryland students hailing from as close as Baltimore and Washington D.C., and as far as Nigeria and Ghana, gathered in Stamp on Friday to acknowledge the contributions of various cultures of the black diaspora from Africa.

To celebrate Black History Month, the African Students’ Progressive Action Committee hosted the Black Cultural Expo to appreciate “the many different people that have connections to the African continent,” said the committee’s president Clydelle Agyei, a junior public health science major

“Our organization mainly focuses on African communities, but this time we wanted to broaden the spectrum,” said ASPAC co-vice president Karsten Dankyi, a junior neurobiology and physiology major.

“We wanted to do Africans, African Americans, Afro-Latinos. Just something that everyone could come and share and learn something in the process.The first half of the Expo featured five students showcasing their photography, painting, a cosmetic line and a clothing brand.

Isha Kamara, a junior theater major, displayed Iced Out Cosmetics, her personal cosmetic line that featured brightly colored lipsticks, collections of false eyelashes and a variety of bold facial glitters. For Kamara, her business is more than just makeup. It’s also meant to empower and represent both the black community and the queer community. Continue reading “University of Maryland highlights diversity of African diaspora at Black Culture Expo”

US organisation to embark on humanitarian clitoral restorative surgical mission in Kenya

The U.S. based humanitarian organization, Clitoraid, is launching its 2nd clitoral restorative surgical mission in Nairobi, Kenya, March 4 – 14, 2019 to help the victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) regain their dignity and sexual pleasure, thanks to a technique developed by a French urologist.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25% of the Kenyan female population has endured the horrific tradition of genital cutting though the practice is now illegal in Kenya,” explained Nadine Gary, Clitoraid Director of Operations.

The WHO estimates that 125 million women worldwide have had their genitals forcibly mutilated as babies or when they were toddlers or possibly as teenagers. This practice grossly violates the UNICEF Convention on the Right of the Child.

Clitoraid volunteer head-surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers of San Francisco, USA, will co-lead the clitoral restorative medical procedure in partnership with Kenyan Dr. Adan Abdullahi affiliated with the Kenyan NGO, Garana.

“They will be assisted by local Kenyan doctors as well as MDs from the US, Canada and Australia,” said Gary.

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Washington-based Adinkra Group set to kick off The 2019 Back2Africa Festival & Tour in Accra

The Adinkra Group, an African Cultural Edutainment Resource and Consulting company based in Washington, DC, is set to launch the second annual Back2Africa Festival and Tour in partnership with The Ghana Tourism Authority and the Year of Return, from 26th of February to the 8th of March 2019 with a line-up of events that focuses on arts, performances, education and service projects in Ghana’s most historic venues in Kumasi, Cape Coast and Accra.

The Back2Africa Festival’s mission is to connect people of African descent with the culture and traditions of Africa and will feature performances from artists traveling from the US including The CrossRhodes, a duo comprised of R&B/Soul Sensation Raheem Devaughn and hip hop emcee Wes Felton and Farafina Kan: The Sound Africa – an intergenerational West African Drum and dance company.

The Back2Africa Festival’s mission is to connect people of African descent with the culture and traditions of Africa and will feature performances from artists traveling from the US including The CrossRhodes, a duo comprised of R&B/Soul Sensation Raheem Devaughn and hip hop emcee Wes Felton and Farafina Kan: The Sound Africa – an intergenerational West African Drum and dance company.

“The Back2Africa Festival and Tour is important particularly as it truly represents the spirit of the Year of Return. We are a family and community on a birthright journey returning to make connections. It’s the first time to Ghana and the African continent for the majority of our group of nearly 100 travellers aged between 6 – 65 years old who are coming to enjoy Ghana but also to learn, share and exchange their talents, perspectives and energy with Ghanaian people,” shares Diallo “Daheart” Sumbry, Founder of The Adinkra Group and a life-long educator who has been travelling to Africa for over 20 years.

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The American Choral Music Association invites Kenya’s Nairobi Chamber Chorus to perform in Kansas City.

The American Choral Music Association (ACDA) has invited the Nairobi Chamber Chorus, a Kenyan choir group, to perform in the associations’ 60th jubilee conference in Kansas City.

It is the largest choral music event in America bringing in the very best from across the globe for the annual extravaganza.

“Congratulations to you and your singers on your exemplary achievement,” read an excerpt of their invitation letter from Sara Lynn Baird, the Performing Choir Chair.

Nairobi Chamber Chorus director, Ken Wakia, guided them on their way to becoming the first ever Kenyan group to perform on Broadway at the famed Lincoln Center back in 2018.

Broadway at the famed Lincoln Center back in 2018.

Along with London’s West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

The Kenyan choir didn’t disappoint and went on to belt out such polished melodies and tamed voices, engulfing the hall packed with nearly 400 black tie executives drawn for the US, Germany and the rest of the World.

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After 20 year sojourn in America, kenyan band, Jabali Afrika, returns home

Nimetembea sijamuona msichana kama Aoko…

imetembea sijamuona msichana kama Aoko…

This is one of the most famous lines in arguably Jabali Afrika’s greatest song of all time, Aoko.

Teenage Kenyan music fans — and most certainly those in their early 20s — may not resonate with songs by one of the continent’s most iconic Afro-rock jam bands, but the journey by the legendary ensemble reads like a fairytale.

Teenage Kenyan music fans — and most certainly those in their early 20s — may not resonate with songs by one of the continent’s most iconic Afro-rock jam bands, but the journey by the legendary ensemble reads like a fairytale.

After bolting out due to unresolvable differences, former members of Kenya National Theatre (KNT) Dance Troupe formed Jabali Afrika on February 12, 1993.

Justo Asikoye, Peter Mutua, Josek Asikoye, Evans Chagala, Victor Savana Elolo and Robert Owino threw in the towel to chart their own way, but one would wonder why this powerful troupe split even after making a serious musical impact in the country and beyond.

Justo Asikoye, Peter Mutua, Josek Asikoye, Evans Chagala, Victor Savana Elolo and Robert Owino threw in the towel to chart their own way, but one would wonder why this powerful troupe split even after making a serious musical impact in the country and beyond.

“We wanted independence, freedom and space to express our creativity in a more profound manner. Our decision to break away wasn’t that easy because we had already established ourselves at KNT, but we had to make a decision anyway,” says Justo Asikoye, 48, one of the most recognisable faces of Jabali Afrika.

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PhilAesthetic: AAMP celebrates the African Diaspora in Philadelphia

Three new exhibitions and over a dozen programs will take place from February through May

PhilAesthetic returns to the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) to celebrate the African Diaspora.

Funded through The PNC Foundation through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, and curated by AAMP, PhilAesthetic shines a light on the vastness, depth and impact of diasporic arts and culture here in Philadelphia, and worldwide.

This year marks the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of Africans to British colonies of 1619. These individuals brought with them a rich cultural tapestry that would shape the foundations of our country, and go on to influence creative expression around the globe.

Honoring the cultural contributions of diasporic communities past and present, this year’s PhilAesthetic celebration includes three new exhibitions at AAMP, including “AAMP on Paper: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” along with “Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion” and “Resistance and The Sacred Star of Isis and Other Stories,” which include photographs by MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora founders Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Adama and Delphine Fawundu. In addition to these exhibitions, PhilAesthetic includes more than a dozen programs held both at the museum and with partnering institutions around Philadelphia through May.

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Pan African Festival Connects African Diaspora Through the Arts

More than 100 artisans and 170 films from around the world are being showcased at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

The multiday event in the largely African American neighborhood of Baldwin Hills aims to connect Africans to people of African descent from around the world.

“As a result of the slave trade and colonization, African people are spread all over the planet, so we get a chance through this festival, get a chance to know each other,” said the festival’s executive director, Ayuko Babu.

Film, fine art, fashion and jewelry with Africa as inspiration are all featured at the festival.

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