Oumou Sangare: Hypnotic sounds + A fun night

On Saturday, Kai and I attended a live performance of one of my favorite artistes on earth, Oumou Sangare [that’s a pic I snapped of her. Isn’t she gorg?! *swoons*]. She possesses vocals which hypnotize, and transport one back to the glory days of Africa before it was colonized- virgin Africa, if you will. Let’s just say, she has one heck of a bewitching voice that touches the soul and moves the body into effortless rhythmic dancing. My love affair with Oumou goes way back to 2007. A friend of mine of Malian descent played what has now become my all time favorite songs of hers, Seya.  All I remember was asking, who the heck  she was and what she was saying. Since then, I have not looked back and I’m happy to announce that I have a woman crush on her! Yes.  Continue reading

Mr. Fix Nigeria: Push It To The Limit

Twitter has  been a great platform for connecting like minded people and businesses together, but for us as Africans, it has been a great tool for amplifying  our issues, both good and bad, in real time.  This resourcefulness is what led me to find this young man on twitter, during the Olympic season.  

Ohimai Godwin Amaize, better known by his twitter handle, @MrFixNigeria is a young man from Nigeria actively involved in bettering the future of Nigeria, through active involvement in social advocacy programs and initiatives-passionately so, I might add.

My timeline was ablaze with questions pending Nigeria’s dismal performance at the Olympics. Folks wanted answers to the 2billionN spent on the team, and not one medal to talk of.  It seemed all the questions were being fielded to and handled by a Mr.Fix Nigeria. Mindlessly, I clicked on his handle-thinking it was your usual government representative downplaying the situation. Surprise, surprise, it was a twenty something year old, with an impressive resume to boot, who was holding his  own, honestly amidst the pressure! He became the world’s youngest presidential campaign manager at 26.

Curiosity killed the cat, but best believe this cat, yours truly, lived to have nine lives. Intrigued, I silently monitored his responses for an entire week, as he calmly addressed the people’s queries and at times challenged them with questions, which required solutions. That is how he landed an exclusive interview on these pages! He definitely is pushing it to the limit [ cues Rick Ross grunt] Continue reading

Mokoomba: Freshly Ground

Mookomba is a freshly ground music group from Zimbabwe, currently touring Europe promoting their latest effort, Rising Tide.This group  of six energetic young men, is quickly becoming a force to reckon with on the international music scene, having already made waves in their homeland.

Banning Eyre from Afripop Woldwide reviewed their album, stating: “Mokoomba is quite simply the most impressive band Zimbabwe has produced in recent memory…”! Songline Magazine  a U.K publication is hailing them as the ‘New hotshots of funkiness’.This album has been well received, judging from the out-pour of glowing reviews from different quarters. 

They are part of ‘The New African Sound’ aptly described by African Unsigned -a young generation of African artistes with authentic sounds.Their tonga rhythms are highly intoxicating,  captivating, and  reminiscent of an era when they did this, to say the least. Their track Messe Messe is what caught my attention. One word, enthralling. You should see their  live performances,  ai ai ai!! 

What are you waiting for? Click on for more  juice with an exclusive from  the bass guitarist, Abundance Mutori.

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African Unsigned: The New African Sound

I was casually browsing twitter, when I came across an interesting profile name that piqued my interest, Africa Unsigned. Upon clicking their website link, I was thoroughly delighted but oh so confused by the sheer amount of talent on display. It was completely mind blowing, especially the sounds of one artist Sage. That sista got soul! Her song, I don’t really want to is on repeat. Confusion beset me, as it was not immediately apparent  what the organization was about. 

Africa Unsigned is a platform in which as the name suggests, African artistes get the opportunity to record their albums courtesy of crowd funding. This simply means that they receive monetary support, with as little as a $1 contribution going towards their endeavors.  It is a movement borne of an unbridled love for authentic African sounds. It mainly focuses on the diverse sounds created by the younger generation, a market that remains largely untapped. The New African Sound is what you can expect to hear from movement’s array of artistes, hailing from Kenya, South Africa to Senegal.

Find out more about Africa Unsigned, in our  exclusive interview with Thomas v/d Zouwe.

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Kassi: Ivorian Painter

Augustine Kassi is a super talented Ivorian painter, whose  artwork pays homage to the African woman’s curves.  He uses very loud, brash colors such as reds and yellows, with interesting backgrounds, some which I’ve noted, are your typical, everyday monolithic images portrayed by the media. To me, this reads like some sort of sarcastic acknowledgment of the media’s one  track mind.

In an interview with BBC News earlier this year, Kassi stated that his inspiration stems from an incident he witnessed on the bus. A  woman boarded the gbaka (local minibus in Abidjan), and the conductor told her to purchase tickets for two, due to her large frame. An argument ensued, and right there and then, his inspiration was born and muse developed!

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Aside

The digits, 4664 (four, double six, six four) hold a significant meaning, and define a part of Africa’s history, particularly South Africa’s. These are the combination of prison numbers (466) and date of incarceration (64), for one of African’s greatest living icon, Nelson Mandela. He was imprisoned for 27 years in Robben Island, off Cape Town in South Africa, for his political activism during the apartheid era. Continue reading

4664:Mandela International Day

A man on a mission

Wale Tinubu is an oil magnate from Nigeria and currently, the Managing Director of Oando PLC, a multi-national energy corporation based in Lagos. Oando is a public company listed in both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Johanessburg Stock Exchange (JSE), with a market capitalization of approximately $183 million dollars.

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Nina Ogot: Genre Uncaged

Afro-fusion artists have been on the rise on the Kenyan music scene. I remember a time when this genre of music was not  appreciated and mass marketed as other Westerly music imports. Things have changed for the better, and now more than ever, the likes of Nina Ogot are getting mainstream play and the youth are starting to sing and dance to a different tune.

Locally, Blankets and Wine Music Festival has been forefront in pushing and giving Afro-fusion artists a voice and stage in which to perform.  

Nina Ogot is one such artist, who refuses to solely classify her genre of music as Afro-fusion owing to the fact that her music goes beyond the genre’s descriptive. She sings and writes music well beyond her years, with gems of wisdom that would make one think she is in her sixties, when she’s merely a young twenty-something year old lady. Without further ado, click on for more and get acquainted with your next big ‘starra’ from Africa. 

A-la Drake, Thank me Later for introducing you to quality music. Modesty is not always necessary!

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Africa’s Daughters

Africa’s Daughters | Watch the Documentary Film Free Online | SnagFilms.

Educating a girl child in Africa is the equivalent of educating a whole nation. Women are the backbone of our continent and are usually seen as the lesser of the two genders.This short film shot in Uganda tells the stories of three young girls struggling to get an education, in a culture wrought in paternalism. Bear in mind that over the years there has been a mental shift in regards to the value of the girl-child and opportunities afforded.

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Rosemary Kokuhilwa: Fashionably Tanzanian

Did somebody just say, damn! That would be the expected reaction to a lady dressed to the nines on a casual summers day. She is taking it way back to the fashionable glory days of the 70s with those blue pants and turban wrap, not to mention the don’t mess with me wedges. Pow! Take that, take that ( Diddy voice)

Meet Rosemary Kokuhilwa, a fashion connoisseur straight from the motherland living her life in the concrete jungles of the city that never sleeps, NYC. She is the founder of fashionjunkii.com, a freelance fashion stylist, blogger and much more. Click on for more on her! Continue reading