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 "southern africa"

In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

New record deal and European tour dates for Shangaan Electro pioneer Richard “Nozinja” Mthetwa.

Considered to be the driving force behind the fast-paced Shangaan-inspired electronic dance music genre, the Limpopo based musician and entrepreneur has officially signed British record label Warp. His song Nwa Gezani My Love’ received a lot of attention online after being featured on Honest Jon’s compilation New Wave Dance Music from South Africa.

Nojinza is also the founder of Nozinja Music Productions, his Shangaan focused music label in Limpopo. About this style of music, Nozinja says:

"It’s similar to the Zulus, but faster and we put a lot of style inside. There’s disco in there, we use Pantsula moves…We don’t use the sounds of the hip-hop guys, or the afro-pop, or whatever, we’re using Shangaan sounds. The traditional Shangaan music is fast. You play it slow, they won’t dance."

He’ll be touring in Europe during the coming months.

Tour dates:

April
Tue 29 Bristol, Start The Bus
Wed 30 Brighton, Bermuda Triangle

May
Thu 1 Liverpool, Sound City
Fri 2 Paris, La Machine du Moulin Rouge
Sat 3 Krems, Donau Festival
Sun 4 London, Electrowerkz
Mon 5 Sheffield, The Harley
Thu 8 Gent, Vooruit
Fri 9 Berlin, Urban Spree
Sat 10 Utrecht, Spiegelbar

August
Fri 22 Katowice, Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival.

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All Africa, All the time.

Nothing wakes me up quite like this DJ ADEMAR “Afro-House Mix”.

An infectious blend of Angolan kudoro, Central African soukous and Afro-house music from Lusophone Africa.

Cape Town’s version of Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ is here!

I think it’s safe to say that Pharrell Williams’ jovial anthem is quite possibly the most globally infectious song of the decade.

Thanks to social media, people in cities all over the world have been creating and uploading videos of themselves dancing joyously to his Despicable Me 2 theme song. Africans are no exception. Cities like Cotonou, Tunis, Yaounde and Libreville have all participated in this trend.

Now, it’s Cape Town’s turn and as a dweller of the Mother City for the past three years, I absolutely love this video. The creators touched down in multiple areas of the city and its outskirts (not just the city bowl, thankfully) and the cast are an incredibly diverse array of individuals - a pretty darn good reflection of the city.

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All Africa, All the time.

FIFA U17 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: QUARTER-FINALS STAGE.

Out of the three qualifying African teams at this year’s U17 Women’s World Cup that began on March 15th, hosted in Costa Rica, two - Ghana and Nigeria - have made it to the quarterfinals stage.

With only one win out of three against hosts Costa Rica, Zambia’s losses against Italy and Venezuela respectively sealed their fate early in the tournament denying them any chance of advancement out of the group stage.

Ghana was the first team in the tournament to make it to the knockout stage after beating Germany 1-0. Emerging at the top of their group with 6 points, Ghana kicked off their start in the tournament with a 2-0 win against North Korea followed by their win over Germany. Their loss to Canada didn’t hurt their chances of moving forward due to the negative results of Germany and North Korea.

Nigeria have smooth sailed their way through the tournament. Without a single defeat, the team made it to the quarterfinals at the top of their group with 9 points. The U17 ladies beat China PR 2-1 in their opening match, followed by a win over Colombia with the same result, ending with a 3-0 victory over Mexico.

In the quarterfinals, Ghana is set to play Italy on March 27th. Nigeria are pit against Spain on the same day.

Good luck ladies!

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All Africa, All the time.

South African ultra-customiser, illustrator and graphic designer Atang Tshikare.

Longboard decks and sneakers customised by Bloemfontein-born South Africa graphic designer, illustrator, graffiti artist, customiser and founder of Zabalazaa, Atang Tshikare.

Atang has customised and illustrated on various mediums and items, from canvas boards and furniture, to sneakers and bicycles. 

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All Africa, All the time.

Nandipha Mntambo - “Praça de Touros" (2008).

Shot in the now abandoned Praça de Touros arena in Maputo where black Mozambicans once fought for the entertainment of the colonial Portuguese, Mntambo rehearses the steps and takes on the persona of a professional bullfighter - a role usually reserved for men.

Where no animal is present, Mntambo dons an animal hide on her back suggesting that in the absence of an actual bull, she is both the fighter and the victim, the hunter and the hunted, both the fear and the feared in a scenario where neither occupant had agency over their being in the ring and the consequence of what lay ahead. 

About the cowhide, Nandipha says, “I have used cowhide as a means to subvert expected associations with corporeal presence, femininity, sexuality and vulnerability.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland in 1982 but grew up in Johannesburg. She obtained a Masters in Fine Arts from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town in 2007, and in 2011, she was chosen as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Art .

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All Africa, All the time.

Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.
NoViolet Bulawayo, "We Need New Names".

Campaign and catwalk: MaXhosa by Laduma.

Inspired by creator Laduma Ngxokolo's Xhosa heritage, MAXHOSA BY LADUMA is an innovative knitwear line that seeks to preserve culture through contemporary fashion.

Traditional Xhosa aesthetics are merged with tailoring and garments from other parts of the world, all made with South African mohair and merino wool, to create items ranging from cardigans to cushion covers. Laduma’s designs are more specifically inspired and guided by the Xhosa Ulwaluko (male circumcision and initiation) ceremony, one of the most important events in the life of a young man as he graduates into manhood.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite local designers.

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All Africa, All the time.

MORNING MUSIC: Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Nomathemba.

It’s never to late to say congratulations! Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the legendary South African a capella group won their fourth Grammy at this year’s ceremony held this past weekend. 

The collective took home the award for ‘Best World Album’ for ‘Live: Singing for Peace around the World’, an award they shared with French flamenco group Gipsy Kings.

Founded by lead singer Joseph Tshabalala, the all-male choral group has been making music since the 1960s. Singing in the Zulu vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube, the group first gained worldwide prominence after collaborating with US artist Paul Simon on his hit album Graceland in 1986.

They received their first Grammy nomination in 1988 and, altogether, have been up for a Grammy a total of 13 times. The group have also been nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy for their short documentary film On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom.

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All Africa, All the Time.

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As we commemorate and celebrate what would have been the 67th birthday of South African anti-apartheid human rights activist and Black Consciousness leader and founder Steve Biko, we’re putting a focus on his ideals and objectives by listening to this rare interview with Biko that took place shortly before he was assassinated by apartheid police in 1977.

In this crucial and definitive exchange between interviewer and interviewee, Biko clearly outlines and defines what the foundation of Black Consciousness is, the importance of socialism, wealth distribution and its relationship to the distribution of wealth in the country, the argument of human rights vs minority, what non-racialism means in this context, and reorganizing the mentality of a broken society.

He also touches on his stance concerning non-violence activism, what the oppressors fear most about the oppressed - their vengeance, the unfoundedness of racist logic, and makes an eerie prediction on the handing over of power to ‘black faces’ operating within the realm of a petty bourgeoisie sector that are puppets of progress. 

10 Places to Visit in Southern African

Mosi-oa-Tunya, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Forming part of the Zambezi river in Southern Africa, Mosi-oa-Tunya is a spectacular and iconic waterfall - the largest in the world based on its width - separates these two countries and forms a border between them. It’s a natural splendor that I still need to lay eyes on. The national park that surrounds it, and shares the same name, is an UNESCO World Heritage site and the area is home to historical evidence of the presence of Homo habilis that may have lived there as far back as two million years ago.

Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, Mauritius

Although officially named the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden - a leader in the Mauritian independence movement, known also as the country’s ‘Father of the Nation’, the name most commonly used to refer to one of the most-visited sites in the country comes from the Port-Louis the district of Pamplemousse which it is located in. The garden is home to more than 650 varieties of plants - from Baobabs and Palmier Bouteilles, to Giant Water Lilies as seen above.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Sometimes referred to as the Okavango swamp, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, is a large inland delta - a landform that lies at the mouth of a river - that is formed where the “Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari desert. All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired, and does not flow into any sea or ocean.”

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago consists of six islands that lie
near the mainland city of Vilankulo - another great area to visit. The archipelago is a protected as a conservation area and national park - one of the largest in the Indian Ocean, and is the only official marine reserve in the country. One can participate in activities such as scuba diving, Dhow and horse safari’s, diving and game fishing.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Forming part of the country’s Namib Desert - the oldest desert in the world, Sossusvlei is an incredible salt and clay pan that is visually stunning and notable for its reddish-orange sand dunes.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

Although baobab trees are common in other parts of the African continent, this particular area that lies between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar is a breathtaking stretch of road that is lined by these unique and astounding trees that can reach up to 80 feet (24m) in height and ten feet (3m) in diameter.

AfriSki Resort, Lesotho

Located in the Maluti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Park in the tiny southern African mainland country of Lesotho, entirely surrounded by South Africa, is one of only a handful ski resorts on the African continent mostly located in north and southern Africa.

Chongoni Rock Art area, Malawi

A Unesco World Heritage site, this historic part of the country located in the central region of Malawi is home to some of the nation’s most sacred histories that date as far back as the Stone Age and Iron Age periods. Much of the rock art carry symbols that are said to be strongly associated with women. The Chonhoni Rock Art area consists of over 100 sites located in the hills of the Malawi plateau.

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

South Africa is one of the most-visited countries on the African continent and offers numerous holiday selections from coast to coast. One of the largest canyons on earth, and possibly the largest ‘green’ canyon, and the second largest in Africa. The canyon is located in Mpumalango and forms part of the Drakensberg escarpment.

National Museum of Slavery, Angola

Often when people talk of slavery in Africa, the focus tends to lie on the Western and Eastern parts of the country, in the same vein that the United States is often seen as the destination where most enslaved Africans were kidnapped to. During the Transatlantic Slave trade, many enslaved Africans were taken from this part of southern Africa and mostly inhumanely shipped off to Brasil and North America. The museum, founded in 1997, is located Angola’s capital city of Luanda and houses the terrible reminders of this dark period in world history.

December: Highlighting Travel and Exploration in Africa

P.S.: Before you travel anywhere, it is important to do your research on the place(s) you plan on visiting and make an informed decision on whether visiting there would be in your best interests, as well as that of the local community.

streetetiquette:

[ Travel Etiquette Luanda, Angola ]

Additional photos from our trip.

Check out the full coverage including four videos and more photos

Thanks for the support.

Really excited for Art Week Cape Town and after looking through their schedule, I’ve picked some of the standout events that I’m planning on attending beginning at the end of this month:

Budding designer Jane Elizabeth Kotze has just been announced as the winner of this year’s ELLE Rising Star Design Award in collaboration with Mr. Price. 

About her vintage-inspired and print-heavy range that she designed for South African department store Mr. Price, where all the items will be available from both in-store and online, Jane says:

'I wanted retro styling and easy-to-wear pieces that you can mix and match and have fun with. The colours and prints are fun, fresh and vintage inspired and the destination tees make the collection a little tongue in cheek.’

The collection officially launches in Thursday at select Mr. Price stores nationwide and is available from Mr. Price’s online store from today.