I’m feeling over excited today, primarily because it’s Friday, further fuelled by the fact I have African dance class later!
I’ve been meaning to share Anbuley with you! She’s like my African Kelis, love her. Anbuley is born of Ghanaian and Austrian herigage and raised in Vienna, having grown up in Europe, her submergence into the Pan-African music scene music became her refuge of home.
This is a book that I don’t need, but I absolutely want! Haircuts of Hackney, illustrated by Daniel Frost is a playful encyclopaedia of Hipster Hairdos you will find in North East London and Hillsong Church.
This quirky and colourful book folds out to show 35 paintings of the backs of Hackney heads. From the all-too-common Man Bun and Moptop to the less-sighted Well Street Waterfall and Queensbridge Quiff.
Last Friday I partook in an African dance class, primarily as a source of exercise, but most importantly just for fun. As the 20 or so of us gyrated and stomped ourselves across the studio floor, it occurred to me deep and wide global audiences have adopted African rhythms and so much of Africa’s contemporary art forms into our everyday life.
My African dance class, is part of a series of activities offered by my local gym, alongside Pilates, Spinning and Legs Bums and Tums; and despite being Ugandan, with hips that don’t lie, my plans to be the fourth member of the CEO Dancers have officially been debunked!
With an increasing number of black women choosing to stay away from chemical hair processors, the Afro hair industry has seen a significant revival, particularly in the last five years. I vividly remember in the early years of blogging and exploration into the natural hair scene, such words as ‘Natural Nazis’ and ‘Naturalistas’ being thrown around. All encapsulating the different levels of self-identification that came with having natural hair.
A few more years down the line, the more politically inclined natural hair movement has matured into an appreciation of the variety of afro hair textures and what can be done with it. It’s a healthy place to be in, where natural or not, nothing is added or taken away from your sense of self.
Inspired by her West African roots, Bespoke Binny founder Natalie Yaa Obenewa Thompson, has designed a line of home furnishings that are reminiscent of a colourful African marketplace using a mixture of vibrant wax prints and cotton twills tailoring cushions, kitchen & dining ware and lampshades.
There’s no place like home. So for anyone looking to update their interiors and lift their spirits, Bespoke Binny provides the perfect answer…
Photography by Moustafa Cheaiteli
There is something sinuous about culture.
Sometimes it wraps around you reassuringly, grounding you, letting you know who you are and your place in the world. Other times, it binds and constricts, arresting, correcting, and constricting every movement.
This stunning image (left) has been floating around on Tumblr and Instagram, and I’ve been meaning to give light to the entire collection, and its creator. The photographs themselves were shot by New York photographer Dexter Ryan Jones, for Nnenna Stella, owner of the online store The Wrap Life.
the future of Africa…
“Golden Youth” by Oliver Kruger.
Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic
Through his ongoing series Golden Youth, Kruger documents new currents in Johannesburg’s youth culture. Artist Oliver Kruger finds his subjects in the urban metropolises of Johannesburg and uses portraiture to expand on the aesthetics and tradition of African studio photography.
I’m a big Sampha fan. You know you have that artist no one knew and now everybody knows, that was Sampha for me.
I first heard him on SBTRKT’s first studio album back in 2010, and I said in these exact words “whose that guy on this track”. If it were back in the 90s I would have opened up the album sleeve to look at who he was, but I have Google so…yeah.
Something about his voice just moves me. I’m so pleased to see his career go from strength to strength.
I’m so excited to share Letters from Africa, a brilliant concept for anyone who loves African literature and digital media. Letters from Africa is about life as it is really lived in Africa’s thriving metropolises, piercing the often hysterical headlines from western commentators.
Right now, I’m reading Lagos in 10 links, by Tolu Ogunlesi who offers ten different ways in to the megacity that is Lagos. It’s so good!
Multimedia extra content will include photo diaries, Q&A videos, guest posts on tech industry and must-read literature, and a round-up of the best music from around the continent.
This week is South Africa’s Menswear Fashion Week #SAMW, a collaboration between city of Cape Town and Cape Town Fashion Council, showcasing 24 of Africa’s leading designers for the country’s first ever Fashion Week dedicated exclusively to menswear.
The goal of #SAMW is to be the leading platform for innovation, trends, production whilst building credibility for the platform that will enable designers to grow their businesses.
SAMW is clearly modelled heavily on the world’s leading platform, London Collections: Men, #SAMW will aim to eventually see leading SA designers showcase in London, both as a drive to build exports and bring awareness of these brands in South Africa.
A piece of advise I gave you after my latest road trip through Uganda last year was to eat a Rolex! I quote:
* Eat a Rolex. A Rolex is an filled burrito looking snack, usually filled with egg. Obviously tastier than the timepiece.
Post: Latest from Uganda: “On the road”- Part One- April/14
Awesome to see lifestyle photographer Namuganyi Photographer capture a local food stall in Kampala town getting his Rolex on.
Extremely thrilled to see NYC based natural hair and style bloggers Cipriana and TK Quan of Urban Bush Babes in a two-page spread in US Vogue!
You will find me living in duster coats of various forms until April, or at least until I start to see daffodils again. It’s not just something I wear, it’s somewhere I go. Deep into my dark, comfy and baggy abode, finding refuge away from figure hugging anything.
Is she a tramp or a trendy setter, who knows? Depends on the shoes she’s wearing…
I was going to write a post about new year’s resolutions, possibly how it’s going and possibly share mine with you. However, I think there are enough new year’s resolutions floating around that I needn’t bother.
Plus, looking at how packed my gym has been since the beginning of the year, I see so many of you have enough your plate! So with that in mind, here’s a few ‘non-resolutions’, but overall positive decisions I’m stepping into:
- [Spoiler alert] One of which is to try reading the bible in a year, however, as you’ll see below, I did this, but I started in July last year. So the fact it’s January means NOTHING! It’s about making positive steps in your life, whatever the month that means EVERYTHING.
“Generally speaking, I think we live in world that enjoys black culture, and dislikes black people” Cecile Emeke.
Nykhor Paul shot with the power duo, Dannijo jewelry and P&P flowers
“It’s everywhere and we can’t escape it, beauty is part of our lives. Regardless of being a model since the age of fifteen, I have always grappled with beauty.
I have struggled with the contradictions that beauty has exposed me to. ‘Be yourself, be gorgeous and confident, be classic yet trendy, be sexy but not too trashy and be yourself, but be someone else at the same time.’
No more trekking all the way to Harslesden and/or Brixton to buy Jamaican Black Castor Oil!
Antidote Street is a brand new online destination for black hair and skin care products. Born out of a desire to revolutionise access to these products in the UK, Antidote Street offers a curated selection of products to meet the beauty needs of the woman or man of colour.
Self-proclaimed coffee fiend. That’s me, and as soon as Pret A Manger start opening outlets in Kampala I’ll move back home!
But in all seriousness, I know it’s no surprise that Uganda has a growing coffee culture with the popularity and global endorsement of ‘Good African Coffee’, but I’m beginning to see cosy coffee houses gaining traction in West Africa too. One West African coffee chain who were quick to ride this wave is Café Neo, owned by Ngozi Dozie and his brother Chijoke. Café Neo is chain of coffee houses created with returning Nigerians in mind in the full knowledge that years spent abroad came back with Espresso and Frappe additions, just like me.
“So, it’s a new way… a new approach to coffee, a new approach where we, as Africans, drink the coffee that we produce, that’s been a gift for us, as opposed to exporting it and importing sub-grade coffee.” Ngozi Dozie
Ackee and Saltfish (2014) dir. Cecile Emeke
I say this with the up most honesty. I cannot remember the last time I saw young women, like me, on TV.
To say that I like or love the work of Cecile Emeke, would be true, but it wouldn’t begin to explain the extent to which I see her as a light in a world of darkness, smoke and mirrors when it comes to the representation of the Black British women on screen. The work she’s done, doing and yet to do excites me so much.
This is the trailer for Ackee & Saltfish, a short film by Cecile, which is on its way to being a web series following the friendship of two friends Olivia and Rachel, acted out by Michelle Tiwo (Olivia) and Vanessa Babirye (Rachel).
Easy to wear A/W African print collection Nigerian brand Asiyami Gold.
Sadly for me the yellow print crepe duster style jacket is sold out, but the rest of the collection is to tie for. Some much needed colour and vibrancy into Autumn/Winter, which in my opinion as over played on melancholic deep reds and blues. Give us some light, bring on the life!
Hopeless romantic Siji dropped this in my inbox, and I loved it. Simply soulful. ‘This must be love’ is taken on the Sunchild (EP).
Having left Lagos, for London 25 years ago, and then moving on to the States, Siji expresses his journey as he takes tentative steps to revisit his childhood and realign himself with his past through his music. Sunchild (EP) forms part of an entire album of material he wrote and recorded over the course of his repeated trips back to Lagos. In a form of catharsis, he relived the many highs and lows of my journey in song.
What I appreciate most about Siji and this EP in particular is that he’s harnessed the most important thing for anyone, and certainly in the case of Afropeans everywhere which is that, ‘home lies within oneself.’