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 "afrique"

NEW MUSIC: Ace - Jeje.

Following up from his 2013 single Dominate, Nigerian artist Ace delivers the track of the summer with his Fela-quoting Afrobeat-inspired jam song ‘Jeje’.

Combining the old and the new, musically and visually speaking, the video for ‘Jeje’ takes us through re-imagined hip and colourful party scenes of previous decades.

Definitely the best we’ve heard from Ace.

The Year Algeria Made Football & World Cup History.

It’s been 32 years since the Algerian national football team caused what some have named one of the ‘biggest upsets' in World Cup history by defeating then European champions West Germany. It's also been 32 years since Algeria was sabotaged in what The Guardian calls “one of sport’s most blatant cases of match-fixing.”

Qualifying for the first time ever, Algeria’s presence at the World Cup hosted in Spain that year was already an historic feat. The African team had been placed in a group that included Austria, Chile, and West Germany who they were scheduled to play against first.

On that June day in 1982, the North African novices faced reigning European champions West Germany. Many predicted a thrashing by the Germans who in turn didn’t shy away from making boastful statements about the game that lay ahead. One German player boldly declared before the match, “we will dedicate our seventh goal to our wives, and the eighth to our dogs”, openly mocking their Algerian opponents. Even the then West German manager, Jupp Derwall, reportedly said that if the Algerians won, he would “jump on the first train back to Munich.” Algeria defender Chaabane Merzekane recalled that one of the West German players said that he would play the match with a cigar in his mouth.

Well, if Derwall had any sense of foresight, he would’ve booked a one-way ticket back to Munich immediately. Better yet, if Derwall had only done his homework on the Algerian team, he may have refrained from making such a statement. Negligence on Derwall’s part would later mean that West Germany would be in for a great surprise. It was only after the match that Derwall admitted that he was given a footage of the Algerian players in action, as is customary, but did not show it to his team as they would have mocked him had he done so. Why? Simply because the Germans, whether out of racism or ignorance, did not think the Algerians to be worthy opponents.

In 1982, most of Algeria’s national football team was comprised of players who had been teammates for years as Algerian law at the time prohibited players from leaving the country before the age of 28, something that stemmed from the FLN’s role in Algeria’s history of independence and its influence on the country’s football team. All of the players had been based at home, as a result of this law, making their bond of the field exceptionally strong and fluid. Several former FLN players were part of the coaching staff in 1982, including Abdelhamid Zouba and the co-manager Rachid Mekloufi, and the spirit of Algerian pride that had been established by these players who left France to play for Algeria was present in the team. 1982 was also the 20th anniversary of Algeria’s independence. 

Algeria had successfully beaten Nigeria to be present at the 1982 World Cup and during their first ever match at this tournament, the determination and humility of the Fennec Foxes, as well as their skill, of course, would see them through to a 2-1 victory against West Germany. This victory made Algeria the first African team to defeat a European opponent at the World Cup. Their next match against Austria saw the tides turn as they lost 2-0, but against Chile, they regained their form and won that match leaving them with four points from their three games (back when it was two points for a win).

Now, their fate of progressing became dependent on West Germany failing to beat Austria the next day. But both the Germans and Austrians both knew that if Germany beat Austria 1-0, it would result in both teams progressing to the next round at Algeria’s expense. Thus, both teams conspired to achieve this result - a distasteful case of match-fixing that forever changed the world of football. After Germany’s Horst Hrubesch put his team in the lead at the 10th minute, both the Germans and Austrians basically did nothing for the next 80 minutes. No attempts at goal, just an hour and 20 minutes of kicking the ball around.

As The Guardian points out, “the game was no longer a contest, it was a conspiracy.”

Both the Austrian and West German teams were scorned by the public. Algerian fans in the crowd burned peseta notes to show their suspicions of corruption. Spaniards in attendance waved hankerchiefs throughout the second half in a traditional display of disdain. The following day, Spanish newspapers denounced the actions of both teams and there was outrage in West Germany and Austria too.

German commentator Eberhard Stanjek, working for German channel ARD, almost sobbed during the match and said: “What is happening here is disgraceful and has nothing to do with football. You can say what you like, but not every end justifies the means.” His fellow Austrian commentator suggested viewers turn off their TVs and he refused to speak for the last half-hour. Former West German international Willi Schulz branded the German players “gangsters”.

But these ‘gangsters’ remained unapologetic through the criticism, backlash and protesting. When German fans gathered at the team hotel to protest, the players responded by throwing water bombs at them from their balconies.

The head of the Austrian delegation, Hans Tschak, made this extraordinary racist comments about the Algerian team: “Naturally today’s game was played tactically. But if 10,000 ‘sons of the desert’ here in the stadium want to trigger a scandal because of this it just goes to show that they have too few schools. Some sheikh comes out of an oasis, is allowed to get a sniff of World Cup air after 300 years and thinks he’s entitled to open his gob.”

Not ones to stoop down to the level of their European opponents, the Fennec Foxes remained publicly unphased by these comments. As Merzekane recalls, “We weren’t angry, we were cool,” he says. “To see two big powers debasing themselves in order to eliminate us was a tribute to Algeria. They progressed with dishonour, we went out with our heads held high.”

All over the world, people called on FIFA to punish the Europeans or stage a replay, but in the end all that was done by them was to rule that from then onwards the last pair of games in every group would be played simultaneously. Algeria had come to the World Cup and made history in more ways than one. They had left an “indelible mark on football history.”

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

Look at her ♥️. (Ngambe, Cameroon) - @voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun #cameroon #afrique #africa

Le garçon marchait - @voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun365 #afrique #africa

My little muse. Cc @Voodart #visiterlafrique #cameroun #cameroon #afrique #africa

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

Seven Amazing Photographs That Show Urban Johannesburg Then and Now.

It’s been 20 years since South Africa transitioned from a segregated apartheid state to a democratic nation. Depending on who you ask, much has changed, but much more has stayed the same. However, what you cannot dispute is the physical change that has occurred in the make up of some of the country’s larger cities like Johannesburg, the economic capital.

Here are seven amazing photographs of the Jozi Central Business District (CBD) that show Johannesburg then and now.

Photography by: Roxanne Henderson and Pericles Anetos.

(source)

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.

Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu, M.B.E (Nigerian, 1917-1994) ‘Princes of Mali’.

The above work draws inspiration from poet Leopold Sedar Senghor’s 1945 work Femme Noire. While in France, Enwonwu interacted with Leopold Sedar Senghor and the Antillean poet Aime Cesaire whose ideology of Negritude, described an emergent sense of black pride.

The philosophy Negritude called for political action designed to overturn the colonial subjugation of continental and Diaspora Africans. Enwonwu adopted Senghor’s ideas about Pan - African cultural emancipation and became a close friend to the future statesman.

Senghor’s Femme Noire is an ode to the black woman, but most importantly, it is a song of praise to Senegal, his country. Its veneration of the image of the black woman as an embodiment of African ideals coincided with Enwonwu’s deployment of indigenous Igbo concepts of beauty and feminine power. For Enwonwu, Negritude did not necessarily imply adherence to specific forms but to ideas of black empowerment and emancipation, essentially the philosophical, political and aesthetic issues pertaining to Negritude, served as “the revitalization of African force”.

In this artwork, Enwonwu welds indigenous notions of power to political demands for black empowerment. The vibrancy and movement of the figures represents Enwonwu’s accordance with the inherent philosophies of the Negritude philosophy: emancipation and celebration of the Africans and their land. The vibrancy of colour which collides to yield new forms, permeates the social and cultural fabric of African societies. This work expresses the present state of neo-African culture, which includes Enwonwu’s heritage of indigenous Igbo and Nigerian art, his formal academic training and his transitional modernist practice, insights acquired from his analysis of European Modern art, and influences derived from his engagement with rhetoric of Senghor’s Negritude.

(via Bonhams)

Kesse Donkor for Lazy Oaf.

Up-and-coming British-Ghanaian model Kesse Donkor features in UK designer Gemma Shiel’s independent graphic and illustration label Lazy Oaf’s Summer ‘14 lookbook photographed by Katie Silvester.

Illustration by South African artist Atang Tshikare of Zabalzaa Designs.

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).

"I’m a shocker. I like to create controversy. It’s my trademark.” - Brenda Fassie.

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: Cedric Nzaka of “Everyday People Stories”.

From the street to the runway, and back to the streets again, Cedric Nzaka is a man on a mission. Armed with nothing but his great eye and passion for style, fashion and culture, and his camera, of course, the Kenyan-born South African-based creative has been documenting everything from the faces of Jozi’s style-conscious youth to the runways of fashion weeks in South Africa.

Intrigued by his documentation of the monthly Johannesburg brunch series THE WKND SOCIAL, I caught up with the jack-of-many-creative-trades to find out more about the man behind Everyday People Stories.

In a few words, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. 

I’m Cedric Nzaka, Kenyan-born and raised, but currently based in South Africa. I’d describe myself as a humanitarian, social documentary and landscape photographer, with a particular interest in NGO photography, and with a keen detailed eye for urban and street wear photography. Most of all, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche: “I’m an artist and no artist tolerates reality”.

It’s always so interesting to meet other foreign Africans in South Africa, and Johannesburg has become a magnet for many Africans from all over the continent and all walks of life in recent years. What brought you to South Africa? What’s it like being Kenyan in SA?

The main reason I came to South Africa was to discover a nation’s struggle for freedom whilst following the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Hector Pieterson and many other celebrated revolutionaries. The South African freedom struggle is a compelling story that tells of the sacrifices made by the people in overcoming the oppression of colonialism and apartheid. 

Living away from your country can be a really interesting and unforgettable experience, but at the same time it has very important effects on one’s life. The major effect, and also a very common one, is that once you begin a life away from home, you find yourself missing everything from your past. This is not to say that you are unhappy, but rather that you are aware of your newfound solitude.

Missing your family and the attention they all paid to you is a very common feeling. Little details like sitting on a Sunday morning watching TV alone instead of helping your dad organizing his things or having a nice chat with your mom makes you realize how valuable your family really is. For me, being a Kenyan in SA has made it possible for me to achieve a certain kind of newfound knowledge. You learn how to accept being in another type of society and a foreign culture, as you’re now living in a place with different customs and traditions from yours. You have to be able to develop yourself in unknown conditions. This means making new friends, learning other points of view, accepting different opinions and values, and seizing every opportunity you have to go to new places. 

How long have you been involved in photography? Did you start out wanting to photograph fashion portraits or was there something else you had in mind when you began using a camera?

 I started out with documentary photography because I considered documentaries to be a powerful means of conveying social messages to the world. Many people use television and film as a form of entertainment and if one can add factual information to the mix, the medium of documentary films can produce great changes by creating awareness and simultaneously educating the masses.

But somewhere along the line while I was working on a travel documentary, I felt the urge to do something different and out of my conform zone. Something that would help me grow as an artist and as an individual, which led to me choosing to get involved in urban and street style photography.

You’ve photographed a range of different fashion scenes, from the street to the runway. Is there one particular environment you prefer over others?

Street Photography is art photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Truth be told, I do enjoy shooting on the runway as much as I enjoy working in the streets because it allows me to challenge myself as a photographer. But there is not that much that can be done when it comes to runway photography compared to street photography. To me, street photographs are mirror images of society, displaying “unmanipulated” scenes, with usually unaware/aware subjects. 

You’re someone who seems to be able to capture a certain kind of youth culture and soulful essence of what’s hip in Johannesburg. Where are your favourite places to photograph in Jozi? Can you tell us about some of your favourite hangout spots in Jo’burg?

One of my favourite places to photograph is Braamfontein Centre. It borders the city centre and is joined to Newtown by the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Braamfontein is fast becoming the hipster capital of Johannesburg as it’s home to a number of museums, theatres, restaurants and coffee shops, the Neighbourgoods Market - a Food and Design Market that’s open every Saturday, galleries and quirky design stores.

My second favourite place to photograph when in Jo’burg is definitely Maboneng which has been converted from industrial properties to a happening lifestyle playground. Street art is a big feature here, along with an eclectic selection shops. The pioneer development is Arts on Main and it’s also home to the Market on Main.

Third favourite place would be Newtown. Jo’burg’s original cultural precinct, Newtown is a vast heritage site with the impressively renovated Turbine Hall and immense Mary Fitzgerald square that hosts thousands of people for major cultural events.

My favourite hangout spots therefore would be anywhere around those three above-mentioned areas - from the famous Great Dane and Kitcheners in Braamfontein, all the way to Goethe on Main in Maboneng.

The Johannesburg street scene seems to be evolving from one great thing to the next. What are some of the trends you’ve noticed unfold in recent months?

Johannesburg is shedding its painful, crime-ridden past to emerge as Africa’s hippest hub for art, music and fashion. The fashion industry in Jo’burg is constantly growing - especially the design front of it all. The trends I’ve seen emerge a lot more are centered on the question of identity where most people communicate and express themselves through what they wear.

Besides photography, are there other things you’re involved in?

I’m a marketing consultant, graphic and fashion designer, fashion trend analyst, writer and illustrator. I’ve also had a passion for soccer from a very tender age and it’s something I still take part in when I’m not using my camera.

Lastly, what are five things you can’t leave the house without?

My iPhone, DSLR Camera + 50mm lens, clean pair of sneakers and most of all head gear. I’m always wearing some sort of head gear be it a beanie, snap back or 5 panel cap. I always have to have something on my head. 

Find him on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

WISHLIST ITEMS: CHICHIA LONDON.

It’s not often that I feel myself drawn towards bold patterns and multi-colored garments but these CHiCHiA London items aren’t the kind of silhouettes you come across everyday. Handmade in Tanzania from cotton kanga fabric, these pieces are sure to make you the center of attention in any room you occupy.

Shop them here.