01 Jun 2021

5 celebrities that Promote African Fashion- Shammah When it comes to pushing boundaries in African fashion, these celebrities have their Afrocentric statement pieces on lockdown. Firstly we have Yemi Alade. This Nigerian musician known as Mama Africa rocks African wears especially Ankara. Sauti Sol is one boy band that doesn’t wear the same style and loves to creates several African design inspirations when they step out. Lupita Nyong’o loves to flaunt African headwraps on the red carpet seen especially during the Queen of Katwe movie promotions. Chimamanda Adiche is a universal speaker who is always spotted wearing African attire at her awards and TV appearances. Finally we have Jidenna who loves to wear a variety of Ankara prints especially since his music video “Classic Man”.
When it comes to pushing boundaries in African fashion design and arts, these celebrities undeniably have their Afrocentric statement pieces on lockdown. Regardless of their field and nature of work, these superstars have a longstanding, unshakeable presence that tells you they are black and proud, any time and any day. From a first glance, it seems that in this life and in their next life, they would choose to be black.  Below, is our best pick for the top five celebrities that steadily promote African fashion; Yemi Alade: Yemi, also known as ‘Mama Africa’ is celebrated for her beautiful voice but more often, for her colorful display of African fashion. In 2016, she became both brand ambassadors for Africa Fashion Week Nigeria and Africa Fashion Week London. From her entrance into the music industry, she rocks African wear especially Ankara. There is no better place to get inspiration from than her styles on the internet. She made a glam entrance on the 2016 BET Awards red carpet where she wore a Zuhair Murad’s piece from the 2016 Resort collection. It was reported to cost her about $6,900. She currently has a fashion label “ House of Tangerine’. In her latest 2020 music video, Shekere, she draws inspiration from different African tribes to piece the outfits she wore. The outfit is formerly from the Maasai tribe, an ethnic group in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania.   Sauti Sol: Their style is one that speaks for itself. The boy band does not collectively decide on what to wear on any occasion however, this creates a variety of trends, design, and styling inspirations for their fans and viewers. will walk into a room and you will know who they are Their fellow Kenyans may not be as open-minded to their style but the band doesn’t care so far as they are able to express themselves. Amongst all their bold statement pieces, the boys wore an exceptional African casual fit for the 2015 Coke Studio Africa performance with Yemi Alade. The pictures made it to an exhibition in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, UK. They often use their Instagram as an art museum to showcase their outfit, rebutting controversies from haters and rubbing it in their faces.   Lupita Nyog’o: The Kenyan-born actress, Lupita Nyong’o may be popular for her acting dexterity, but her fashion sense is something to behold. She has been flaunting African fashion and headwraps on the red carpet especially during her promotion of Queen of Katwe, in which she featured. In various fashion magazines, her wardrobe is rated among the best in Hollywood. The African fashion queen is a 2014 Oscar award winner and is prevalent in incorporating styles and designs that celebrate her Kenyan roots. Lupita, in a beautiful picture with some local Ghanaian ladies, rocked the African Rastafarian dreads hairstyle when she toured Ghana. The picture, of course, stole the heart of many and circulated online.   Chimamanda Adiche: Almost every time, the universal speaker is spotted wearing African attire; from delivering a speech, to taking an award or just casually sitting at home. The famous writer of African feminism books supports a purposeful dressing intonation to promote Nigerian fashion products in the belief that it would increase the value of the currency when seen on us Africans. On Financial Times, she has shared her story of style titled “My Fashion Nationalism”. She launched her 2017 ‘Wear Nigerian Project’ on Instagram with the intention to support the fashion industry, from the tailors to manufacturers, retailers, and African fashion brands. Chimamanda wears attires and accessories made from local print fabrics, to sustain talented designers and small businesses. She is all about telling a story about fashion and empowering the African economy. When she posts on the gram wearing African, she tags the African designer and draws traffic with catchy hashtags like #madeinSouthAfrica or #wearAfrican. Jidenna: Since his music video “Classic Man”, where he wore breathtaking West African Ankara prints, Jidenna is known to be an African prince promoting a Nigerian rebirth and supporting black culture. He once said that his prayer is for every black celebrity on the red carpet to wear only black designers. During the 2019 New York Fashion Week, his creative director and stylist dressed him with outfits from an African American designer, Kenneth Nicholson. He has had collaborations with Laduma Ngxokolo, a renowned South African designer, creator of Maxhosa Africa knitwear. Although Jidenna claims to not know a lot about fashion, he is graced to have the best stylist and designer. Not to mention his handsome body structure that fits every outfit, Jidenna is perfect in African pieces.  


Haunted Places in South Africa

Haunted Places in South Africa Do strange things ever happen to you at night or even during the day? Ever thought about ghosts and all they do? When the word haunted is said, all one thinks about is movies. Thinking that being haunted or haunted places only ends in movies is not true. Are you one who loves thrills and scary goosebumps creeping all over you? Or are you searching for a place that will get your adrenaline pump up? Then these haunted places in South Africa should be your next stop. From ghost stories to haunted houses where you hear screams even during the day to hotels, castles, hospitals, and museums are experiences you will never forget in a hurry when you visit any of these places. The CAPE OF GOOD HOPE is said to be one of the most haunted places in South Africa and the most talked about ghost stories. Oral legend has it that sometime in 1941 a Dutch ship called “The Flying Dutchman” used for trading capsized off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope after surrendering to the storm. According to the legend, The Flying Dutchman is doomed to keep sailing the stormy seas forever and it is said to be a very terrible omen to see The Flying Dutchman while at sea. The ghost nurse at the Somerset Hospital is on to look out for whenever one visits Cape Town. This nurse is said to mysterious with her white eyes and loves assisting patients and then disappear afterward. If you like a ghost pulling your toes while you sleep, if you love that kind of thrill then the Nottingham Road Hotel is for you. The ghost of the hotel is called Charlotte and she is said to be fond of tidying and rearranging flowers and objects in your room. So, whenever you visit this South African hotel and pay for a room, have it at the back of your mind that you automatically signed up to have a roommate that does the cleaning. Interestingly scary right? Residents in Erasmuskloof, Pretoria reports having heard strange noises and often seen ghosts in and around the Erasmus castle. Out of the normal things like moaning at night and lit windows in the abandoned mansion has always been reported too. Shoulder tapping is a thing when you visit Rust en Vreugd (an Iziko Museum) in Cape Town. The shoulder-tapping ghost is said to dwell in the museum.

28 Apr 2021

Rwanda, so Interesting

Interesting Places to Visit in Rwanda When we think Rwanda, most times the first word to come to mind is a dark period in the country’s history. However, there’s more to see in this city than its dark history. Let’s take a look at some interesting places you should visit in Rwanda and why this East African city should be on your travel list. 1.VOLCANOS NATIONAL PARK This location is a top favorite among tourists. It is a conservation area located in North-western Rwanda. Fun things you can do at this park include Gorilla trekking or gorilla safaris. This conservation houses a large number of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, a variety of birds, elephants, bushbucks, reptiles etc. It is a complete safari experience and has absolutely breath-taking scenery with hills and lush grass adding to the distinct bright natural colors in its surroundings. 2.LAKE KIVU Lake Kivu is also known as the exploding lake and is located at the Congo-Rwandan border. It is described as one of the strangest lakes in Africa. Beneath lake kivu are hot springs that feed hot water, carbon dioxide and methane into the bottom of the lake. Scientists have dubbed it a disaster waiting to happen if for any reason the gas beneath the water is ignited. However, it is believed that if the gas is harnessed, it would be a great source of energy. Away from science, lake kivu is beautiful! It is 722 feet deep and contains numerous islands.   3. KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL This memorial was built to honor the about 250,000 people buried there in mass graves after being butchered by the Interhamwe army during the Rwandan genocide which lasted for 100days. Walking through the premises you are led on a journey to understand the events of that war and how the world watched as the genocide unfolded. It is a powerful and emotional experience as you are exposed to personal details of the individuals and children who were killed and the manner they died. The memorial is located in the northern Kisozi district of the capital. 4.KING’S PALACE MUSEUM Also known as the Royal palace of Nyanza, this museum takes you on a journey to understand the lifestyle of the Rwandan people and Rwandan royalty before the Rwandan kingdom was colonized. Set in a thatched dome replica of a king’s palace in the 15th century, the museum houses relics of the nation’s kings. The star attraction is the sacred cows known as inyambo. These cows have very large horns and are quite massive. All day, the traditional singers sing softly to the cows in amazing poetry which lulls the cows into a mellow state. This is a unique ritual of the Rwanda people. AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK If you would like to catch a glimpse of zebras, hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants and giraffes, the Akagera national park is your best spot in Rwanda. You can have a drive through the beautiful landscape and spot the animals roaming in their natural habitat. If you are lucky, you may see a Lion or a Rhino.

28 Apr 2021

African Dance STyles

The Evolution of African Dance Styles Since time immemorial, Africans have used various dance styles to express emotions, ritual rites, communication, entertainment, and freedom. In 1500, dance styles were unique to every tribe and connoted deep spirituality. Many African tribes had a dance teacher to pass the traditional dance style to younger generations. It was the dance teacher’s duty to ensure that every group in the community knew their movements naturally. Due to the meanings and expressions behind the styles, it was inherent that no step was missed. A little insight into the dance style of the Ijaw people of Nigeria, West Africa. They had both dry land and wet swampy lands which affected their dance styles. The farmers on the dry savanna placed their feet firmly on the grounds, following their dance leader in a circular motion, swaying their bodies steadily in rhythm. In the mangrove swamps were fishermen whose dance style is called ‘waist dance’. When they danced, their backs leaned forward from their hips, their torsos positioned like they had a dog’s posture except they were not kneeling. They moved lightly, moving their body weight from foot to foot in rhythm to songs they sang as they fish by the swamps.  It is impossible to talk about African dance without mentioning drums. It was very essential for dance because of its rhythm and tune to emotions and spirituality. Drums were known as the tribe’s heartbeat. Drums had the power of staging the mood and connecting positive energies and uniting the people. Another essential accessory for dance was clapping hands and stomping feet in collective rhythm to the drum, singing, and body movements while dancing. With time, dance got complicated as it widely developed. Many dances had what we called isolated and polycentric movements. With this style, each body part moved differently from the other. Bear in mind that these times, Africans were being sold into slavery to Europeans, Caribbean's, and South and North Americans. The slave masters gave them the freedom to practice their traditions which included dance. It was with these dance styles Africans had a passage to be free in their minds. Yet, in North America, slaves were subjected to harsh laws that prohibited them from dancing but Africans devised ways to continue dancing despite the conditions. Due to the dispersion and separation of ethnic groups and tribes, dance styles began to merge and evolve into a broad new African dance style. The Caribbean island was a major influence on this evolution. Inspirations also came from Spain, France, Dutch, and Britain. The African dances we know today were all rooted in the 1500 dance styles. The lasting African dance styles are; Agahu, Agbekor, Adamu, Yankadi, Munchongoyo, Kpanlogo, and Mohobelo.  Even in new lands, these dance styles stayed with Africans and are now popular dance styles in modern-day such as; tap Dancing, Twist, Charleston, Jazz dance, lindy hop, twerking, hip hop, zouk, Capoeira, the jitterbug, etc.

02 May 2021

Africa Mathematical Games

AFRICAN MATHEMATICAL GAMES Thousands of years ago, Africans were using numbers, algebra, and geometry in daily life activities; such as identifying dates and time for harvesting or reckoning a women’s menstrual cycle. This mechanism influenced the world and has evolved to what is known as Mathematics. The principles of mathematics were introduced into African mathematical games and have been used even before colonization, thousands of years ago. Yes, that's right, for thousands of years! Most African games are either physically drawn on the muddy ground in square board dimensions and multiple squares or “houses” as some would call it. They have a rotational pattern of counting and multiplying with a clap of hand or a jump from one square to another. The games are coupled up with singing from both opponents or cheering from others waiting to participate. Incorporating the style used to play these games on a square board they created actual wooden board games with more complex rules and slightly intense competitions. To get the picture, below is a list of seven mathematical games from Africa and how they originated. SENET This is one of the oldest board games in the world. In the tomb of Nefertari, an Egyptian Queen there is a beautiful painting of her playing Senet in 1295 BC. The original rules were passed along verbally because no written form has been found. The Senet game board is a thirty-square grid, arranged in three rows of ten. The grids are colored in black and white or blue and green. Each player has a set of 5 pawns the chess-shaped dice are moved in 6 paces, one after the other. You can buy Senet on Amazon or download it to your iPhone. BUTTERFLY Butterfly is a skilled board game played in Mozambique. It is similar to checkers but shaped in two triangles that join in the shape of a butterfly. Each player has nine pieces of cubes on each side. You win when you hop over your opponent’s cube, using the 19 intersection points to hop into available empty spaces. FELLI Felli from Morocco is played on a smaller 6x6 board. Games from Everywhere has a lovely board for sale, or you can simply draw the board on a piece of paper and use buttons or coins as pieces. MANCALA Mancala, the “count and capture” game is one of the oldest games in the world. It was improvised in those days by digging up pit holes and picking up pebble stones for the game. There are more than 200 versions in Africa. Ethiopia plays with 3 rows while East and Southern Africa play with four rows. Some games have "stores" at the end of each board, others do not. Currently, you can either make your board, play online, or buy mancala on Amazon. FANARONA Fanarona is a very popular board game in Madagascar. Legends say that in the 1500s, a king's son was so busy playing the game that he missed his chance to inherit land from his father. The board has a 9x5 grid pattern with cube pieces moving both forward and backward. Each player has 22 pieces and the object of the game is to capture all your opponent's pieces. DOKI Doki or Derrah (meaning horse) is an intellectual strategy board game initiated from Hausa, Nigeria in the 19th century. It was also conversant in other African countries like Niger and Burkina Faso. It is very similar to Wali and Dama Tuareg. It is a two-player alignment game related to tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses) but more complex. On a 5x6 grid square board (sometimes 6x7 grid), each player has 12 stones which they drop into the squares consecutively. A player wins when their opponent cannot form three square stones in a row. SEEGA Seega is played in parts of North and West Africa. It's originated in Egypt in the 1800s but could be much older. The board game is easy to make yourself using pennies and paper. It is for a game designed for two players on a 5x5 board.  Each player has 12 pieces of stones or marbles placed on the board two at a time, consecutively. The capturing begins by "sandwiching" an opponent’s marble. In some African regions, the central square on the board is a safety zone. The African Mathematical games are built to be strategic, pacing the minds of African children, young adults, and the old. It is thrilling and exciting to the extent that many other countries across the globe have introduced these games to their regions and amended them to their taste and trivia!

02 May 2021