Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.

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The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced.

Yesterday, Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to be awarded this title, announced the shortlist for this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing during the opening ceremony of UNESCO's Port Harcourt World Book Capital festival in Nigeria.

The winner of the prestigious and highly coveted award with a £10,000 prize will be announced at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 14 July.

To commemorate fifteen years of the Caine Prize this year, £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer.

Kenya leads the pack this year with two out of five shortlisted authors. Last year’s award was won by Nigerian-American writer Tope Folarin, and in 2012 it was won by fellow Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde. Previous winners also include Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo (2011) and Kenya’s Binyavanga Wainaina (2002).

Here are this year’s nominees:

Phosphorescence by Diane Awerbuck (South Africa), published in Cabin Fever (Umuzi, Cape Town, 2011)

Chicken by Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia), published in Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa, 2013)

The Intervention by Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe), published in Open Road Review, issue 7 (New Delhi, 2013)

The Gorilla’s Apprentice by Billy Kahora (Kenya), published in Granta (London, 2010)

My Father’s Head by Okwiri Oduor (Kenya), published in Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa, 2013).

Read a short biography of the five shortlisted writers here.

Going to take the time to congratulate a girl I went to high school with who’s a fantastic writer and all-round hilarious and witty person - congrats Efemia! Your struggles are all worth it and now you’ll probably have your own Wikipedia page.

Adama Paris Fall 2014 Lookbook.

Tartan patterns inspired by the infamous “Ghana-Must-Go” bags takes center stage in Senegalese designer Adama Amanda Ndiaye’s lookbook for her Fall 2014 collection.

People Magazine’s #MostBeautiful Woman of the Year, Lupita Nyong’o sits down with another beauty icon, Alek Wek.

Watch as two beautiful and incredibly inspiring East African women sit down and talk about the importance of representation, unapologetically being yourself, and not forgetting that no matter how different one is perceived in the world, one can always be beautiful.

One of the phrases that truly sticks with me, said by Alek Wek, is when she states, “I’m so normal”. I’ve often heard people refer to her beauty as ‘alien’ and out-of-the-ordinary, but what many who do this often forget is that Alek Wek sees herself as none of that. She comes from a whole host of people who carry the same features that, according to white and Western standards of beauty, seem rare or unconventional.

Using any word that seeks to strip her appearance of any normalcy, casting her in ‘shoots and editorials that enhance and contrast her differences - especially when racially motivated, as I’ve often seen done - are both acts of othering and of enabling white supremacy.

NEW MUSIC: Burna Boy ft D’Banj - ‘Won Da Mo.

New kid on the block Burna Boy teams up with slightly old school heavyweight artist D’Banj for a Yoruba-versed track about the lifestyles they lead.

#Nigeria? #SouthAfrica? Who rules the roost in the African Music scene? #MusicAfrica.

Following the announcement of this year’s MTV Base's music awards, we've noticed a recurring trend: the dominance of #Nigeria and #SouthAfrica in the list of nominees. We’ll therefore be discussing what exactly leads to this outcome and where it leaves the rest of Africa.

Join us at @DynamicAfrica on Facebook and Twitter!

Date and time: Thursday April 24th at 12pm CAT.
Hashtag: #MusicAfrica



Philip Kwame Apagya was born in Sekondi in Western Ghana in 1958, after a period of apprenticeship in his father’s photo studio (a former crime-scene photographer), he worked as a travelling photographer for a while in Ivory Coast following the colour revolution in the late 1980s. After his photojournalism studies at the Ghana institute of journalism, he opened his own studio in Shama in the Western region of Ghana in 1982.

Philip Kwame Apagya is known worldwide, because of his participation in many personal and collective exhibitions. among others:

'Snap Me One!' studio photographers in africa ,special emphasis was put on the studio decorations. the items shown include 150 photographs,
10 original backdrops from ghana as well as other materials.
visitors had the opportunity to be ‘snapped’ in front of a backdrop
of their choice. the photos were taken by Philip Kwame Apagya.

A DesignBoom review of Philip’s works states

In africa, a photo studio is the place where dreams come true. for a few pence, ordinary mortals can strike a pose and achieve immortality, have things they haven’t got and may never have, be people they are not and may never be, have access to the inaccessible. People start asking for personal portraits that go beyond the image usually present on identity papers, often the only ‘popular portrait’ available. this open new roads to the art of photographic portrait, with possibility for the artist to catch
special moments in people’s existence: people ask for a picture for several reasons, but with the common desire to have a ‘funny picture’. In this process, new forms of self-representation become part of a new social identity: this is the framework in which we might consider the work of Philip Kwame Apagya.

Philip Kwame Apagya’s formal portraits in front of commissioned painted backgrounds seem to be suspended between realism and a sort of naïvité,
They are both unreal and hyperealistic: the dreams of african people are put on stage - against scenery which praises consumer society.

The subject stands in front of a painted backdrop that portrays everything people dream of having: fake new england country houses
showing off some porcelain, VCRs and TVs in bar closets,
modern kitchens with well-stocked refrigerators with coke and cheetos…
portraits with with a quarter / half / full smile, because nobody in africa is really deceived by make-believe… but for one glorious moment they can have it all.

These portraits are highly amusing for us, ‘western people’,
but are also unintentionally disturbing because of the insight they
offer into a growing cultural vacuum. This is the dream, and it is empty and materialistic”

Philip’s works has toured the world and exhibited in some of the best galleries.

stadtmuseum, munich;
city museum abteiberg, mönchengladbach;
iwalewa-house, university of bayreuth;
smithsonianiInstitute, washington
royal tropical institute, amsterdam

a catalogue with the same title is available.
‘snap me one!’
studio photographers in africa
prestel-verlag, 1998

‘africa by africa’ / ’ l’afrique par elle-même’ / ‘portrait afrika’
a photographic view
maison européenne de la photographie, paris;
barbican art gallery, london;
south african national gallery, cape town;

third rencontres de la photographie africaine, bamako, mali;
haus der kulturen der welt, berlin;

'africa inside'
noorderlicht 2000 photography festival, fries museum, groningen;
‘collezione etro uomo spring/summer 2000’, galleria luisa delle piane, milan


Model: Kohcoa
Mua: Tenelle Viera
Stylist/Designer: Gary Cruchar of Soft Lines
© island boi photography 2014

(via africafashionweek)


Mazel John is launching on May 5th.

Love this lookbook!

(via africafashionweek)

Thank you for your last comment. I JUMPED when reading it. Yes there ARE some of us who have a very different diaspora story. We come to the west poor, stay poor but struggle HARD working back-breaking jobs to take care of family back home whilst trying to pursue our seemingly unattainable dreams. We are mocked by our people, disregarded by Americans and rarely complain. No one cares anyway :-(
dynamicafrica dynamicafrica Said:
Asker Anonymous Asks:
Hahaa I got you. An african city is kind of like a copy of Sex In the city But unlike you I could go through all the episodes because I like to think that maybe they will change it up and take in consideration the critics. I like that they're showing natural hair,african prints and all of that but it's also quite unrealistic like they're all from ivy league schools and have rich parents and some of the complaining about Africa annoys me I cant help it.
dynamicafrica dynamicafrica Said:

The last part of your message is pretty much why I didn’t want to go on wasting my time. I’m tired of that being the single story of diaspora returnees. They always look good, they went to great schools, have citizenship from western countries, parents who help in just about every way, complain, complain, complain, despite their privileged lives. Eish, nah. Not a reality for me and after reading Americanah (I feel like a traitor for saying I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to have), I’m ready for something new. But hey, I’m glad the show looks like it has an audience though.

Asker ntwalike Asks:
Hi? I'm a big fan of your blog. I just wanted to encourage you to keep the great work coming... And I noticed you like Seinabo Sey's - Younger and thought you might also like its remix by Kygo. Love your blog..
dynamicafrica dynamicafrica Said:

Hey there ntwalike! Thanks soo much for these encouraging words. Sometimes I’m not sure people realize how much they mean to me. Especially at times when I’m as unmotivated as I have been lately. Thanks so much!

And yes, the remix is great :)

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#EarthDay: Black and white minimal waterscape photography by Kenyan photographer Zia Manji.

Zia was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1971 and became interested in photography in high school. He was for many years a passionate amateur analogue photographer with his own darkroom at home. His previous subject was street portraiture mostly of children.

In 2010, Zia transitioned to digital photography and that coincided with a shift towards sea or waterscape photography. Being based by the Indian Ocean and within easy reach of the lakes along the Great Rift Valley makes Nairobi an ideal location for Zia to develop his own distinctive style.

Professionally, Zia is an executive coach and headhunter having been a director of an HR consulting firm for the past nine years.



This is the Makoko community, built on stilts in the Lagos Lagoon off the coast of Nigeria. It’s one of many communities photographed by Iwan Baan to show how people build homes in unlikely places and thrive despite tough conditions. 

Watch the full talk for many more pictures »

(via accrawalkintours)

#EarthDay: Undeniably the most iconic symbol of South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, Table Mountain is a flat topped mountain that overlooks the second most populous city in South Africa - Cape Town.

A Sandstone mountain with a mixture of Silurian and Ordovician rock, Table Mountain is flanked by Devil’s Peak on the left and Lion’s Head on the right and has an elevation of 1,084.6m (3,558 ft).

The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain’s slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called “table cloth” of cloud.