DYNAMIC AFRICA

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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Posts tagged "tanzania"

NEW MUSIC: Victoria Kimani - Prokoto ft Diamond Platnumz & Ommy Dimpoz.

American-born Kenyan artist Victoria Kimani releases a brand new video for her single ‘Prokoto’. If you’re wondering why the song has a heavy West African sound to it, it’s because Victoria, who briefly lived in Nigeria during her teenage years, is signed to Nigerian record label Chocolate City.

The track features to other East African artists, MTV MAMA and BET Awards-nominated Diamond Platnumz and fellow Tanzanian Ommy Dimpoz.

"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.

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.

Worn mostly by women in the East Africa - mostly Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and Kenya, these large rectangular colourfully-designed cloths, called kangas, are a staple garment for many, mostly in the rural parts of these areas, but are also worn usually by older women in more urban areas.

Having their origins in the 19th century when Swahili-speaking women living along the cost, intrigued by the cotton shawls worn by the Portuguese who controlled the Zanzibar coastline, started buying them in bundles of six and stitched them together in two lengths of three and made them into dresses, kangas have developed into a highly important social aspect of life for many in this part of East Africa.

In the early 20th century, the most noted features of kangas were added when a trader in Mombasa named Kaderdina ‘Abdulla’ Hajee Essak started accenting his kanga cloths with proverbs. Nowadays, most kangas are embedded with a message - often in Swahili - of some sort ranging from political to personal.

Most recently, labels like the London-based British-Tanzanian fashion line Chichia London have begun incorporating kangas in their designs, creating western-inspired garments with a heavy East African touch.

(source)

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Tanzanian model Herieth Paul for 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Spring 2014

Mwalimu Julius K.Nyerere, President of Tanzania, at Taj Mahal, Agra 1971

Ms Salama Adam Hassan, 24, said that fishing has saved many women in Kikungwi from abject poverty, “I completed my secondary school last year and since then I have been fishing and now building my own house. I do not want to wait until I get married. As I wait to get married, soon I will have my house.” Salama says she and her colleagues in the village are fulfilling their dream of managing their own affairs without necessarily relying on men including husbands, brothers and dads who in most cases have to care for multiple homes.

Women in Zanzibar are taking up the profession of fishing, usually reserved for men in the society, and using it as a means to gain financial independence and economic security, with one woman quoted in this article as saying, “It is no longer men’s work.”

About this change in social attitudes and progression of women’s empowerment in the region, Ms Bahati Issa Suleiman, is the secretary of the Kikungwi Village women group says that this initiative has helped women decrease their dependency on men - particularly their husbands, and that women now see this type of work as something they are capable of doing.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

africaisdonesuffering:

Artist Lounge: A Self-Taught Artist – Sher Nasser

A while back I came across the works of Sher Nasser, a Tanzanian artist born in Zanzibar. I fell in love with her creativity and style of drawing and painting, and the way that she portrayed of the African environments as wells as African people(s). Having been impressed with her work, I thought I would share her story with our readers. Sher is a busy artist and was unavailable for questioning but I was able to get her to give me a summary of who she is, how she started her art journey and her general thoughts on African art.

“I am an ordinary person, a senior, and a grandmother who enjoys painting and creating art. I did not study art in college, I am far from technically trained. Art just happened to come by some years ago when I was looking for something different to engage myself in aside from my usual full time employment, home care, and family life.

Drawing and painting started as something fun and fulfilling for me to do and with the development of technology along with internet access I have been able to gain exposure and exhibit my talent. I am a self-taught artist, so as to speak, who draws and paints whatever captures my attention. I am passionate about painting African people(s) and that may be because I was born here and have love for my continent and its people(s). I also feel that, as an African, our art is finally getting the exposure and gaining the popularity it truly deserves.”

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eastafricaart:

Combs from Tanzania

Top: Wood comb, 20th century

2nd row: Swahili comb, 20th century

3rd row: Shambaa comb, 20th century

Bottom: Bone comb, 19th century

More on combs and hair in Africa.

Part of present-day Tanzania, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kilwa Kisiwani is historical area that is home to the great ruins of the Kilwa Sultanate and Songo Mnara.

The Great Mosque of Kilwa Kisiwani is the oldest standing mosque on the East African coast and, with its sixteen domed and vaulted bays, has a unique plan. Its true great dome dating from the 13th was the largest dome in East Africa until the 19th century.

Kilwa Kisiwani, was occupied from the 9th to the 19th century and reached its peak of prosperity in the13th and 14th centuries. In 1331-1332, the great traveler, Ibn Battouta made a stop here and described Kilwa as one of the most beautiful cities of the world.

Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara were Swahili trading cities and their prosperity was based on control of Indian Ocean trade with Arabia, India and China, particularly between the 13th and 16th centuries, when gold and ivory from the hinterland was traded for silver, carnelians, perfumes, Persian faience and Chinese porcelain. Kilwa Kisiwani minted its own currency in the 11th to 14th centuries. In the 16th century, the Portuguese established a fort on Kilwa Kisiwani and the decline of the two islands began.

The remains of Kilwa Kisiwani cover much of the island with many parts of the city still unexcavated. The substantial standing ruins, built of coral and lime mortar, include the Great Mosque constructed in the 11th century and considerably enlarged in the 13th century, and roofed entirely with domes and vaults, some decorated with embedded Chinese porcelain; the palace Husuni Kubwa built between c1310 and 1333 with its large octagonal bathing pool; Husuni Ndogo, numerous mosques, the Gereza (prison) constructed on the ruins of the Portuguese fort and an entire urban complex with houses, public squares, burial grounds, etc.

The ruins of Songo Mnara, at the northern end of the island, consist of the remains of five mosques, a palace complex, and some thirty-three domestic dwellings constructed of coral stones and wood within enclosing walls.

The islands of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara bear exceptional testimony to the expansion of Swahili coastal culture, the lslamisation of East Africa and the extraordinarily extensive and prosperous Indian Ocean trade from the medieval period up to the modern era.

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According to historians, oral tradition, not sure which community exactly, states that the island of Kilwa Kisiwani was sold to Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi, son of the  Emir Al-Hassan of Shiraz, Persia, whose mother is also said to have been an Abyssinian enslaved woman, in the 10th century. 

Read more about the Kilwa Sultanate.

"African chiefs sentenced to death by the Germans for their role in the Maji Maji rebellion"

The Maji Maji Rebellion, lasting from 1905 to 1907, was an organized uprising initiated by several groups of African communities in the colonized territory of German East Africa against German colonial rule and German policy that forced them to grow cotton for export, profiting the German colonists.

German colonial efforts in east Africa were initiated by the German Colonization Society (yes, they actually had an organization dedicated to colonialist missions) led by an extremely violent and racist man named Karl Peters. In the book “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, it is said that, "[The] African colonial possessions became the most fertile soil for the flowering of what was later to become the Nazi elite". Testimony to the extremely violent nature of German colonialism in parts of Africa.

Peters, who believed Germans to be a superior race and a believer of Social Darwinism, used ideologies relating to völkisch to fuel his ruthless ambitions in German East Africa which included him murdering large segments of local populations who opposed German occupation. This led to him being labelled “Mkono wa Damu,” meaning “Man with Blood on His Hands”, by the local Tanganyika population, where he was governor.

The series of events that led to the Maji Maji uprising stemmed from a system where the Germans began levying head taxes and charging each village with a quota of cotton production through the use of slave labor.

Following a drought in 1905 that threatened the region and the quota imposed against various villages set by the Germans, several communities banded together under the command of a medium named Kinjikitile Ngwale to oppose and resist German colonial policies. Ngwale claimed to be possessed by a snake spirit called Hongo and had communicated with the deity Bokera (no substantial information found on Bokera). Through this encouner, Ngwale had put together a concoction - the maji - consisting of castor oil and millet seed, that was said to be able to turn German bullets into water.

Armed with this liquid and their traditional war tools, the united local communities, empowered by Ngwale, went about destroying German-run cotton plants. These communities included various ethnic groups such as the Ngoni, Matumbi, and Ngindo people.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of artillery and firepower in the form of machine guns and canons, the Maji Maji rebels were terribly defeated. Furthermore, German reinforcements were sent from Germany to assist the colonists in their attacks on the anti-colonial fighters.

The German governor of East Africa at the time, Gustav Adolf von Götzen, used famine as a weapon of war, destroying entire villages, burning crops and killing livestock. One of the leaders of the German troops, Captain Wangenheim, wrote to von Götzen saying, “Only hunger and want can bring about a final submission. Military actions alone will remain more or less a drop in the ocean.”

It is estimated that at least 10, 000 casualties and losses were suffered by the Maji Maji rebels, and 15 Europeans and almost 400 Askari’s (local guards employed by the Germans) were the estimated casualties on the colonist’s side.

AFRICA’S oil reserves has hit 132.4 trillion barrels of oil and represents eight per cent of world supply, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, said in its latest survey on the continent’s oil and gas sector.

The survey, which was released recently and titled: “Africa Oil and Gas Review”, puts the continent’s gas reserves at seven per cent.

It disclosed that Africa currently supplies about 12 per cent of the world’s oil, boasting significant untapped reserves estimated at eight per cent of the world’s proven reserves.

The report said the continent has natural gas reserves of 513 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with 91 per cent of the yearly gas production of 7.1Tcf coming from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.

According to the  review, the oil and gas industry is grappling with the severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the African continent fuelled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills.

The survey draws upon the valuable experience and views of industry players in Africa‚ including international oil companies operating on the continent‚ national oil companies‚ service companies‚ independent oil organisations and industry commentators‚ to provide insight into the latest developments affecting the industry.

It stated: “Africa supplies about 12 per cent of the world’s oil‚ boasting significant untapped reserves estimated at eight per cent of the world’s proven reserves. The continent has natural gas reserves of 513-trillion cubic feet with 91 per cent of the annual gas production of 7.1-trillion cubic feet coming from Nigeria‚ Libya‚ Algeria and Egypt”.

Poor infrastructure and an uncertain regulatory framework were the two top challenges identified by the new emerging players/markets‚ particularly in Uganda‚ Ghana‚ Tanzania‚ Nigeria and Kenya.

PwC Africa Oil & Gas Industry Leader and Deputy Country Senior Partner, Nigeria, Uyi Akpata, said: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies and regulations are stifling growth, development and investment in a number of countries around Africa.”

“PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ analyses what has happened in the last 12 months in the oil and gas industry and in the major African markets”.

Chris Bredenhann‚ PwC Africa oil & gas advisory leader‚ said: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference‚ uncertainty and delays in passing laws‚ energy policies and regulations are stifling growth‚ development and investment in a number of countries around Africa.”




Can a handful of ancient copper coins from a once-opulent corner of East Africa change what we know about Australian history?

A team of researchers is on a mission to find out.

With its glittering wealth, busy harbor and coral stone buildings, the island of Kilwa rose to become the premier commercial post of coastal East Africa around the 1300s, controlling much of the Indian Ocean trade with the continent’s hinterland.

Situated in present-day southern Tanzania, during its heyday Kilwa hosted traders from as far away as China, who would exchange gold, ivory and iron from southern Africa’s interior for Arabian pottery and Indian textiles as well as perfumes, porcelains and spices from the Far East.

But the Kilwa sultanate’s heyday came to a crashing end in the early 1500s with the arrival of the Portuguese who sacked the city in their bid to dominate the trade routes between eastern Africa and India.

From then on, Kilwa never managed to recover its greatness. With its trading network gradually eclipsing, the once flourishing city started to decline in importance. It was eventually deserted in the 19th century, its crumbling, UNESCO-protected ruins offering today a glimpse of its glorious past.

But interest in this nearly forgotten East African city has resurfaced lately thanks to the mystery surrounding a remarkable discovery thousands of miles away, in a long-abandoned, remote chain of small islands near Australia’s Northern Territory.

Back in 1944, an Australian soldier named Maurie Isenberg was assigned to one of the uninhabited but strategically positioned Wessel Islands to man a radar station. One day, whilst fishing on the beach during his spare time, he discovered nine coins buried in the sand. Isenberg stored them in a tin until 1979, when he wondered if they might be worth something and sent them to be identified.

Four of the coins were found to belong to the Dutch East Company, with one of them being from the late 17th century.

But the rest of them were identified as originating from Kilwa, believed to date back to the 1100s. The sultanate started minting its own currency in the 11th century.

"It’s a very fascinating discovery," says Ian McIntosh, an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis anthropologist.

"Kilwa coins have only ever been found outside of the Kilwa region on two occasions," he explains.

"A single coin was found in the ruins of great Zimbabwe and one coin was found in the Arabian Peninsula, in what is now Oman, but nowhere else. And yet, here is this handful of them in northern Australia, this is the astonishing thing."

According to history textbooks, Aboriginal explorers arrived in Australia from Asia at least 60,000 years ago. The first European widely known to have set foot on the continent was Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606, more than 160 years before captain James Cook arrived at Australia’s south-eastern coast to claim the territory for the British empire.

So how did the five coins from distant Kilwa wind up in the isolated Wessel Islands? Was a shipwreck involved? Could it be that the Portuguese, who had looted Kilwa in 1505, reached the Australian shores with coins from East Africa in their possession? Or was it that Kilwan sailors, renowned as expert navigators all across the sea route between China and Africa, were hired by traders from the Far East to navigate their dhows?

These are the kind of questions that McIntosh now hopes to answer as he bids to unravel the mystery of how the coins, which are currently stored in Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, were found in this part of the world.

"We have five separate hypotheses we’re looking to test about how these coins got there, each one quite different from the other," says McIntosh. On July 15, he will lead an eight-member team of archaeologists, historians and scientists to the area where Isenberg discovered the coins.

"This is an initial survey; if we find something then we’ll prepare for a more detailed and focused exploration in specific areas," says the Australian professor. "We are interested in a more accurate portrayal of Australian history that is currently allowed in textbooks."

The team will embark on its quest for answers equipped with a nearly 70-year-old map on which Isenberg had marked with an X the spot where he found the coins.

McIntosh, who was sent the map before Isenberg’s death in 1991, says he first tried to mount an expedition to the Wessel Islands in the early 1990s but at the time he’d failed to gather funding.

"In 1992 there was a very limited interest for such a venture," he says. "But we maintained an interest in the Kilwa connection because it was such a famous place in its day — from the 1100s to the 1300s it was the most prominent port in the entire east African coast, bigger than Mombasa, Zanzibar and Mogadishu."

"If you bought these coins in a shop in Kilwa, you could probably get them for a few dollars," says McIntosh. "But in northern Australia, these are priceless in terms of their historical value."

Unidentified photographer, inscribed:
Dressing hair. Women of the E. Coast. Africa
Tanzania, early twentieth century

Women’s Hair Dressing in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Late 19th century.