DYNAMIC AFRICA

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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Posts tagged "african women"

NEW MUSIC: Waje ft Tiwa Savage - Onye.

Anyone who knows me knows just how much, and how hard, I stan for Nigerian women in the music industry. Not only do many of them continuously put out fresh content, but when it comes to creativity, they rarely seem to lack in that department.

In the latest collaboration between Waje and recent MTV MAMA Award winner Tiwa Savage, they take their cues from both Western and traditional Nigerian influences putting a modern spin on the 1950s housewife trope and adding some flavour to something I’m referring to as the ‘pounded yam maiden’.

The result? Lots of humour, cuteness and pretty damn good acting.

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NEW MUSIC: Yemi Alade ft Selebobo - Tangerine.

Nigerian music divas are some of my biggest inspirations. After the release of her superb video for Johnny that just about everyone loved, Yemi Alade’s follow up Tangerine is just as catchy, just as vibrant, and just as visually delicious. I can only wonder how amazing her live performances must be.

"Iron Maiden" - Herieth Paul for Du Jour Magazine.

Tanzanian model Herieth Paul makes lame and sequins look badass in this shoot for Du Jour.

Photographed by Bjarne Jonasson, the Tina Chai-styled editorial has Paul looking like a chic tomboy femme with a sporty and slightly androgynous edge.

Herieth wears the likes of Lanvin, Dior, DKNY and Armani.

OPPORTUNITY: She Leads Africa Entrepreneurial Grant.

She Leads Africa’s Entrepreneur Showcase is a platform that introduces the continent’s most promising female entrepreneurs to investors, accelerators, and mentors looking to invest in the next generation of African talent.We are looking for early stage startups that want to meet investors, gain access to new mentors, and grow across Africa.

Our top 10 applicants will be invited to  pitch their business ideas in front of a panel of  notable business personalities for the chance to win a cash prize of $10, 000 as well as other non-financial prizes (see details below):

Application Criteria:

 Entrepreneur:

  • Have a woman on the founding team who will present at the pitch day
  • Female founder between 18-35 years old
  • Be based in an ECOWAS country and focused on the African market (Diaspora entrepreneurs are welcome)

Company:

  • Received less than $50K USD in funding
  • Been in operation for less than 3 years
  • Have a live product in the market

Prizes:

  • Cash prize of 10,000 USD for first place, 5,000 USD for second place
  • Access to prominent venture capitalists, angel investors and other leading professionals to act as mentors and sponsors
  • Consultation on brand development with Etisalat in-house marketing team
  • Free business line for one year (including voice and data)
  • SME accounting software from SmartStart Ghana
  • 2 meetings with legal advisor from top law firm to discuss incorporation, corporate structures and copyrights
  • Meeting with 2 executive directors of a leading merchant bank to discuss business plans and fund raising
  • Interviews with major media outlets

On September 27th the finalists will pitch their businesses in front of a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and financiers who understand what it takes to build a successful business in Africa.

(more details)

redreznikv:

Uzo Aduba accepts the Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series award for ‘Orange is the New Black’ onstage during the 4th Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards on June 19, 2014

(via redformans)

We the ones who long for other seas
We the ones who dream of other forests
We the ones who sense other gods
We are others here
We are others there
We are others.

We who see other seas
We who worship other gods
We who live in other forests
We are alone here
We are alone there
We are loneliness.

We who breathe other airs
We who intone other songs
We who invoke other gods
We live dead here
We die alive there
We are dead.

Loneliness!
You are ambushed in death.
Life!
You are ambushed in loneliness.
Death!
You are ambushed in life.
We are ambushed.

Let’s cut down those forests
Let’s look for new seas
Let’s invent our gods
Let’s intone new songs
We are.

We”, a poem by Afro-Costa Rican writer Eulalia Bernard.

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Afro-Costa Rican writer Eulalia Bernard is one the most notable and central figures in Afro-Central American literature and education.
Born in 1935, Bernard is the daughter of Jamaicans who migrated from the country to Costa Rica in search of work at the beginning of the 20th century. Bernard grew up in Puerto Limon, the youngest of seven children born to Carolica Little Crosby, a teacher, and her father Cristopher Bernard Jackson, a tailor. She is fluent and writes in three different languages, Mecatelio (Mek-a-tell-yu, the Creole of Limon - a coastal province where large numbers of black migrants settled), English and Spanish. In 1972, Bernard earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Costa Rica, later going on to study at the University of Wales and the Centre de Recherche Pedagogique in Bordeaux, France.
An educator, diplomat and television producer by profession, Bernard has held several important posts. She served as Costa Rica’s cultural attache to Jamaica, director of educational television programs for the Ministry of Public Education, special delegate to the United Nations, and Professor of English at the University of Costa Rica where she introduced the first course in Black culture of the Americas.
With the publication of her first book in Ritmoheroe in 1982, Bernard became the first Costa Rican woman of African descent to publish a collection of poetry. Prior to its release, Bernard had written a collection of 27 poems in her 1976 work entitled Negritud (which would appear in print at a later stage). In addition to these works, Bernard published two other collections of poetry, My Black King and Cienga. 
Through her poetry, Bernard explores the complexities of her African origin, black consciousness, gender roles, and the relationship of black people with Latin American history and culture.
(sources: 1 & 2)
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All Africa, All the time.

Afro-Costa Rican writer Eulalia Bernard is one the most notable and central figures in Afro-Central American literature and education.

Born in 1935, Bernard is the daughter of Jamaicans who migrated from the country to Costa Rica in search of work at the beginning of the 20th century. Bernard grew up in Puerto Limon, the youngest of seven children born to Carolica Little Crosby, a teacher, and her father Cristopher Bernard Jackson, a tailor. She is fluent and writes in three different languages, Mecatelio (Mek-a-tell-yu, the Creole of Limon - a coastal province where large numbers of black migrants settled), English and Spanish. In 1972, Bernard earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Costa Rica, later going on to study at the University of Wales and the Centre de Recherche Pedagogique in Bordeaux, France.

An educator, diplomat and television producer by profession, Bernard has held several important posts. She served as Costa Rica’s cultural attache to Jamaica, director of educational television programs for the Ministry of Public Education, special delegate to the United Nations, and Professor of English at the University of Costa Rica where she introduced the first course in Black culture of the Americas.

With the publication of her first book in Ritmoheroe in 1982, Bernard became the first Costa Rican woman of African descent to publish a collection of poetry. Prior to its release, Bernard had written a collection of 27 poems in her 1976 work entitled Negritud (which would appear in print at a later stage). In addition to these works, Bernard published two other collections of poetry, My Black King and Cienga.

Through her poetry, Bernard explores the complexities of her African origin, black consciousness, gender roles, and the relationship of black people with Latin American history and culture.

(sources: 1 & 2)

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All Africa, All the time.

#TBT Dynamic Africa History Post: Who Was Huda Sha’arawi?

Considered to be one of the central figures in early 20th century feminism in Egypt, Huda Sha’arawi (pictured: center) was born into a wealthy family in Minya, Egypt, in 1879. She was the daughter of Muhammad Sultan, the first president of the Egyptian Representative Council.

Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Sha’awari was raised in a harem, largely secluded from the outside world. At the thirteen, she was married to her cousin Ali Pasha Sha`arawi who she eventually separated from for seven years after he refused to leave his concubine, as per their marriage arrangement. During her separation from him, Sha’awari extended her formal education. From a young age, she was tutored in a variety of subjects and spoke French, Turkish, and Arabic. 

A pioneer and activist, Sha’awari was involved in many philanthropic projects throughout her life beginning with the establishing of the first philanthropic society run by Egyptian women, in 1908, that offered services for poor women and children. She argued that women-run social service projects were important for two reasons. First, by engaging in such projects, women would widen their horizons, acquire practical knowledge and direct their focus outward. Second, informed largely by her harem upbringing, such projects would challenge the view that women existed solely for men’s pleasure and were constantly in need of protection and guardianship by men. However, despite holding this progressive view of women’s rights at the time, Shaarawi saw the problems of the poor as issues to be resolved through charitable activities of the rich, particularly through donations to education programs. Holding a somewhat romanticized view of poor women’s lives, she viewed them as passive recipients of social services, not to be consulted about priorities or goals. The rich, in turn, were the “guardians and protectors of the nation.”

As a young woman, Sha’awari displayed defiant acts of independence. Once such incident involved her entering a department store in Alexandria to buy her own clothes instead of having them brought to her abode in her harem. In 1909, she also helped to organize Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914, the year in which she traveled to Europe for the first time. Sha’awari helped lead the first women’s street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee.

In 1910, she opened a school for girls focused on academics, rather than teaching practical skills like midwifery which was common at the time. Four years later, she founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women. But it was her founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) in 1923 that Sha’awari is often most remembered for. The EFU consisted of upper and middle class Egyptian women, and at its height had about 250 members. The EFU focused on various issues, particularly women’s suffrage, increased education for women, and changes in the Personal Status laws. While the EFU accomplished few of its goals, it is widely credited with setting the stage for later feminist victories. She remained an active member of the EFU throughout her life and the organization remains active to this day.
Part of Shaarawi’s motivation for founding the EFU was her desire to send a delegation of Egyptian women to the 9th Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in Rome, in May 1923. In a speech at this conference, Shaarawi advanced her conception of Egyptian feminism. She argued, first, that women in ancient Egypt had equal status to men, and only under foreign domination had women lost those rights. Second, she argued that Islam also granted women equal rights to men, but that the Koran had been misinterpreted by those in power. Shaarawi and the EFU maintained their ties with the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance for several years. However, in the 1930s, increasingly influenced by the nationalist movement in Palestine, Shaarawi and her colleagues began to define nationalism in pan-Arab, rather than Egyptian, terms. In addition, they became increasingly suspicious of Western feminists, and began to cast their feminist struggle in pan-Arab terms as well. Eventually, they broke their ties to the Suffrage Alliance. In 1945, Shaarawi and the EFU played a major role in founding the All Arab Feminist Union.
Upon her return from the Rome conference in 1923, and following the death of her husband that same year, Sha’arawi performed an act that will forever be remembered as a major moment in her life: she removed her veil in public at a Cairo train station. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women and was influenced by French born Egyptian feminist, Eugénie Le Brun, but it contrasted with some feminist thinkers like Malak Hifni Nasif. In fact, some say that Sha’arawi’s removal her veil, although bold at the time, has become an exaggerated part of her life as removal of the veil was never on the EFU’s list of priorities.
Sha’arawi passed away in 1947. Much of her life was penned in her memoir The Harem Years.
(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

Adama Kouyaté (b. 1928)
Ségou #19
, 1954
Silver gelatin print, 2010, from original negative
11.5 x 11.5 inches (29.2 x 29.2 cm)
Courtesy of Galerie Jean Brolly, Paris

NEW MUSIC: Tiwa Savage - Wanted.

This just might be Tiwa Savage’s best song in quite some time. Savage is incredibly talented but songs like ‘Eminado' and 'Without My Heart’, where her voice has been the tragic victim of terrible autotuning, have made me wonder what direction her career was going in musically.

But now, all that is history thanks to her latest single ‘Wanted’. The newly married star channels her inner R&B diva to deliver a solid and sensual pop-infused song that’s a catchy display of Savage’s raw vocal talent.

However, judging by the responses on social media and YouTube comments and dislikes, her Moe Musa-directed video has left many people with a bad taste in their mouths. From complaints about her forced sex appeal to comments about Savage trying to be Beyonce or Rihanna (we don’t live in a bubble people, people are constantly influenced by each other), people have accused her of ‘trying to hard’ with this music video. Aside from the rather unfortunate styling, I see nothing wrong with the video.

Whether or not these are valid critiques or sexism at play, what matters most is that Savage is in complete control of her environment and the way she presents herself.

The London based brand House of Arike specialises in creating avant-garde, luxury, African print home décor. The company coalesce African heritage and Western culture to create statement interior pieces for the discerning client.

The Nigerian-born, London raised founder and creative director’s longstanding love for interior design fused with the vibrancy of African prints formed House of Arike. Arike is pronounced “Ah-Ri-Keh” and means “one who is blessed on sight”.

Read more at Haute Fashion Africa.

#TBTAfrica: Vintage photographs of women in Nigeria.

HASSAN HAJJAJ ‘KESH ANGELS’ SERIES - BARBIE DOLL EDITION.

Because Moroccan visual artist Hassan Hajjaj knows we can’t get enough of his dynamic ‘Kesh Angels' series, he revisited and re-made the project using Barbie dolls, along with other brands and icons of Western culture that are not only recognizable worldwide, but have also come to shape global popular culture.

The London-based artist does, however, extend this narrative on post-colonialism and the impacts of globalisation by retaining certain aesthetic elements of both Arab and Moroccan culture in the manner of dress he’s chosen for the dolls, and attitudes these women (albeit plastic ones) convey.

Five African Films that Highlight Mothers (and Mother Figures).

SARAFINA!

There are not one but two women in this film that are wonderful mother figures. The first, and most prominent in the film, is Whoopi Goldberg’s character. An inspiring woman from the moment we meet her, Mary Masombuka is not only a teacher, but a woman who’s vision of black liberation in apartheid South Africa propels her to defy racist and brutal authorities. Where Masombuka lacks the vigor of youth, Sarafina fills in and fulfills the dreams that cannot be contained to the four walls of their classroom. But let’s not forget Sarafina’s real mother played by the unforgettable Miriam Makeba. Although in this part of the film we see Sarafina almost mocking her mother’s complacency as a domestic worker, we know that Sarafina sees beyond their circumstances to understand the sacrificial nature of this relationship.

YESTERDAY

Dedicated wife, mother and friend, Yesterday (played by Leleti Khumalo) is a hard-working young woman living in the Zululand village of Rooihook whose life takes a sudden turn for the worst when she discovers that she’s infected with HIV/AIDS. As she confronts her husband, a migrant labourer working in the mines, his violent reaction and rejection of her and her young daughter, Beauty, shocks Yesterday but also makes her more dedicated to ensure that Beauty receives an education and is taken care of when Yesterday is no longer around.

MADAME BROUETTE

A single mother who divorced her abusive husband, Mati (Rokhaya Niang) toils daily by selling various goods at a nearby market, which she transports there via a large wheelbarrow — prompting local residents to dub her “Madame Brouette.”

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST

Perhaps one of the most cinematically beautiful films ever made, this diaspora film by directer Julie Dash is full of women of various generations who are more than inspiring in their own right.

FARAW, MOTHER OF THE DUNES

Dedicated to the mother of the film director, Faraw tells the story of Zamiatou - a woman who more than fulfills her role as a dutiful wife and mother for her Sahelian family. It’s a difficult and burdensome life for her and, tired of seeing her mother suffer, Zamiatou’s daughter Hareyrata offers to work as a maid for rich French tourists, but her mother refuses. However, it’s not long before Zamiatou has to find a job of her own to support her family.

Remembering Brenda Fassie Ten Years Later: Why I love ‘Weekend Special’ so much.

Swedish artist Robyn, one of my favourite performers, once said something to the effect of loving sad love songs that you could both dance to and lose yourself in. Weekend Special, one of the most iconic African pop songs of all time, is most certainly a high ranking tune in that category.

Listening to Brenda Fassie's groovy 80s breakout hit track, watching her get down in her glamourous gear, you'd hardly think this song was about a person painfully acknowledging their side-partner status in a relationship now void of any love. As a kid, I was certainly clueless as to the sentiments expressed in the song. But the one thing I could vouch for, both then and now, is the timlessness of Brenda's voice. During part of my upbringing in Nairobi, Kenya, I remember hearing Brenda's Weekend Special and Yvone Chaka Chaka’s Umqombothi and Thank You Mr. DJso often on the radio that I believed them to be released in the 90s and not the 80s.

Generations of people from all over the continent can identify with at least one of Brenda Fassie’s songs, or name a period in their lives where one of her tracks dominated the airwaves where they lived at the time.

Weekend Special was the start of Brenda Fassie’s fame, and what an amazing debut it was.

RIP Mabrr (3 November 1964 – 9 May 2004).