African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.

Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.

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Watch the Trailer for the Upcoming Second Series of “My Africa Is” in Dakar, Senegal.

We’re a day away from the launch of the second phase of the My Africa Is chronicles. This time around, the project takes us to the streets of the Senegalese capital Dakar in a three-part series that documents the city’s emerging and established dance scenes, surfing culture and a satirical news program that broadcasts information using rap.

The episode goes live tomorrow, October 2nd, and we’ll have it posted for you here at Dynamic Africa when it does!

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All Africa, All the time.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

As the top African producer of coffee, and seventh in the world, Ethiopia has a long-standing relationship with the consumption and use of coffee. Ethiopia is home to coffee arabica, a species of coffee indigenous to the country. Considered to be one of the better tasting coffees, it is believed that coffee arabica was the first coffee plant to cultivated and grown in the southwest of the country. It is said that the first instance of the effects of coffee being noticed came about when Ethiopian shepherds in the 9th observed the reaction of their herds after eating the fruit.

Today, one of the ways that Ethiopians (and Eritreans) continue to demonstrate their love of coffee and their historical relationship with the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil, is through what is known to outsiders as a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony or Buna by Ethiopians. Often, this practice takes place in peoples homes and at Ethiopian restaurants which is where I first experienced a Buna, in Addis Ababa.

Conducted entirely by women, the Buna process involves the roasting, grinding and serving of coffee. Washed coffee beans are roasted in a pan, similar to the process of making popcorn. As the aroma of the coffee begins to fill the air, the preparer takes the roasting coffee and walks around letting the fresh scent of the coffee settle around the room.

Once roasted, the coffee is then put in what is called a Mukecha - a tool used for grinding. Another tool, called a zenezena, is used to crush the coffee in a pistil and mortar fashion. Some places will use modern coffee grinders to save time as it can be a slightly laborious and time-consuming task. After the coffee has been crushed, the fresh coffee powder is put into a jebena, a clay pot. Water is added and the mixture is boiled before being ready to be served in small usually white porcelain cups called cinis.

Each serving round of coffee has a name - the first being Abol, second is Huletegna and the third and final round is called Bereka.

Watch an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony take place.

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All Africa, All the time.

Young South African Entrepreneur Designs Innovative Eco-Friendly Schoolbags.

21-year-old South African innovator and entrepreneur Thato Kgatlhanye is the founder of Repurpose Schoolbags, an incredible initiative and business venture that combines community awareness, environmentalism and women’s empowerment.

Encouraged my a university assignment, Kgatlhanye first set up a company called Rethaka with two friends, at the age of 18. Rethaka was aimed at exploring societal problems, uncovering opportunities and seeking sustainable solutions for them.

Focusing primarily on low-income communities, and in particular women and children, Rethaka’s first project is the highly creative and ingeniously designed Repurpose Schoolbags operation. Made from 100% recycled plastic bags, each schoolbag is equipped with a mini solar panel that charges when exposed to sunlight (during school walks, etc) allowing students to study without electricity for up to 12 hours. Not only does this lift a significant burden and strain off the children who use these bags and their families, the bags are enveloped with retro-reflective material that makes children more visible when walking - be it early in the morning or during the darker hours of the evening, making them much safer as they travel. 

Kgatlhanye’s commitment to community development is echoed throughout her business which employs seven full-time staff and has a management team of three - all women, with the exception of one.

Repurpose aims to continue to grow through the help of giving partnerships and future expansions. It’ll be incredible to see what more comes from Kgatlhanye and her team.

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All Africa, All the time.

Idris Elba Has Made An Album Based On His Experience Playing Nelson Mandela.

From the looks of things, it seems that Idris Elba has taken his passion and admiration for Nelson Mandela very seriously.

Moving beyond his recent role in the Justin Chadwick biopic, Elba was so inspired by the research he did as part of the preparation for his role that he put together an concept album based on the music Mandela enjoyed.

Titled Mi Mandela, the experimental album was made over the course of three weeks and features 11 unique songs, some made with the help of local talent like producer Spoek Mathambo, Ndebele music legend Nothembi Mkhwebane and singing group the Mahotella Queens.

Whilst Elba, who DJs and releases music under the name ‘Driis’, is no stranger to producing songs and making mixes, he’s enlisted a wide range of artists including James Blake, Mumford & Sons, Mr Hudson and Cody ChesnuTT.

The album is due out November 24th but look out for the first single featuring Maverick Sabre a little sooner.

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All Africa, All the time.

Nigerian Writer Sefi Atta Talks Life, Literature and Leaving Nigeria in Interview with Elle South Africa.

Nigerian writer Sefi Atta was recently in Cape Town for the annual Open Book Festival. Elle Magazine South Africa interviewed Atta who was both refreshingly honest and inspiring.

As a Nigerian whose experiences of moving around and living in multiple countries mirrors hers, I love what she had to say about the ways in which being a global citizen has informed her passion for writing, "I feel that Nigeria gave me my stories, America gave me the opportunity to tell them, and England gave me my love for literature."

A recipient of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Atta has written plays for film, radio and stage, as well as several short stories and three novels. Her most recent book, A Bit Of Difference, is the first to not be centered on life in Nigeria, something Atta believes is a natural and logical progression of the relationship between her personal life and writing.

"The fact that I started writing stories based in Nigeria was just logical to me. People asked why I was writing about Nigeria when I’d been living in England for so long, but the earliest stories need to be told first: it seemed an orderly way to do it. When I got to writing a bit of difference, I was ready to talk about England. My next books will be set in the US. I’m an organized thinker and this makes sense to me."

Atta, who studied in England and has lived in America for two decades, is also brutally honest about the realities of why she, and many other young Nigerians, end up seeking a new life abroad saying:

"The reason I left Nigeria was that I had a degree, but it was hard to be independent. No matter how much you earned as a graduate, you couldn’t live on your own, and culturally it was very different…I went back to England because I knew that I’d be able to be independent.”

Beyond the obvious and glaring issues that plague everyday life in Nigeria, Atta’s reasons for leaving then still echo strongly for many young Africans living on the continent. There’s a certain unique struggle that many who wish to emigrate face - both young and old, but the hunger for independence and need to experience more of what the world has to offer makes it all the more difficult.

Ending the interview, Atta ends with her definition of feminism, "Feminism today to me: for me it’s being allowed to be who you are, and it’s that simple."

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All Africa, All the time.

NEW MUSIC: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 ft BLITZ the Ambassador - “African Smoke”.

What have we done to deserve another collaboration from two of the finest contemporary artists to have come out of the African continent? If you’re unaware of what I’m referring to, you may, but really shouldn’t, have missed out on their earlier partnership that was featured on Blitz’s must-have album Afropolitan Dreams.

The song, lifted of Seun’s recent album A Long Way to the Beginning, was inspired by a Keith Richards and features a beat and melody slightly similar to that of Fela’s Army Arrangement but still manages to stand solid from start to finish.

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NEW MUSIC: Cassper Nyovest - “Phumakim”.

Cassper Nyovest is hands down the single best thing to happen to South African hip-hop in the past couple of years.

With singles like Gusheshe, Doc Shebeleza and his recent double-video feature for Tsibip, which I’m still not over, it’s no surprise that his debut album Tsholofelo hit the number 1 spot on the iTunes South African albums chart (and stayed there for two months in a row). 

Now, the Maftwon-raised single Rapunzel braid sporting rapper has released visuals for his rags-to-riches anthem Phumakim - his most catchy-sounding sing along record yet.

Tour the Wonders of Ancient Egypt with Google Street View.

I don’t remember much from my trip to Egypt as a child in the mid-90s. I know that it included seeing the Pyramids of Giza, being too afraid to ride atop a camel, and rushing hurriedly from one place to another as it was part of a two-day layover with my family en route to the United States.

Although I can’t relive those experienes entirely out of poor memory (and a serious lack of photos, come on mum and dad, really?), Google Street View’s latest offering of a virtual multimedia tour of some of the world’s most historic sites is the next best thing.

Through it, Google takes us on an inspirational tour of the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Pyramid - the last standing wonder of the ancient world, the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, the Great Sphinx - the oldest and largest known monumental sculpture in the world, the world’s very first Pyramid designed by the great Egyptian Architect Imhotep in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, and so much more.

See it all here.

A place that was used as a slave yard during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. #Gambia #TheGambia #Africa #AfricanHistory #DynamicAfrica #InstaAfrica #vscocam

Fort Bullen was erected to ensure the ban on slavery was enforced. It’s location is in Barra. The canon faced the mouth of The River #Gambia as a symbol to show that this was a serious act against slavery. #Gambia #TheGambia #instaafrica #dynamicafrica #Africa

Statues created and erected to show the devastating effect slavery had on African families. #Gambia #TheGambia #Africa #instaafrica #dynamicafrica #vscocam

This statue stands as a symbol of freedom after the enslavement of African people. For centuries, we were victims of one of the worst crimes ever committed against humanity and our blood was shed across sea and land. “Never again”. Location: #Juffureh. #TheGambia #Gambia #Africa #instaafrica #dynamicafrica

Baobab & bird. #Gambia #TheGambia #dynamicafrica #instaafrica #Africa

The #Gambia River. #TheGambia #instaafrica #dynamicafrica #Africa #Juffureh

Fishermen in the distance. #Juffureh #TheGambia #Gambia #Africa #instaafrica #dynamicafrica