Adinkra is a series of ideographic symbols from Ghana and the Ivory Coast depicting age-old proverbs that incorporate aspects of Asante culture, flora and fauna.
These symbols are strongly linked to religion, language, and geometry but in modern times are used widely in and outside Ghana for their aesthetic appeal. The list includes jewellery, pottery, clothing and architecture.
Below is a snapshot of some of the responses I received, feel free to add your own. All images below come from adinkra.org.
Kwame from Birmingham My favourite
symbol is Gye Nyame because everything starts with God, and ends with God. God
creates, sustains and destroys and generates again. It is self-germinating. The
symbol of Gye Nyame looks like a circle when connected and so it is symbolic of
the circle of life.
In her early 20s, Louise Broni-Mensah became the
first Black female entrepreneur to secure capital from a seed fund provider in
Silicon Valley to grow her fledgling business Shoobs(pronounced Shubz). The provider was Y Combinator - a company known for supporting such names as online renting service Airbnb and Genius - a lyrics and music knowledge database. Three years later (in 2017) and thanks to the funding and expertise she received, Louise's online ticketing and discovery platform is changing the way party-goers seek out, buy and engage with urban events across the UK. Passion project Louise took the traditional route to entering the
business world. She holds a Mathematical Economics BSc from Birmingham University, worked
in banking and finance and had her own property all by her early 20s. But music was never
far from her thoughts. “I’ve always had a passion for music but I did it
this way round because my parents wouldn’t let me otherwise,” she told MisBeee
Writes. “At universi…
Gyearbuor Asante, who famously played long-term mature student Matthew in hit
British sitcom Desmond’s, was also a royal.
from Tafo, Kwahu, in Ghana's Eastern Region but rather than follow tradition and
become a chief, the young thespian got himself circumcised instead.
reason, according to details from charity the Friends of Tafo (Kwahu),
was to rule himself out of enstoolment.
left Ghana in the late 1960s to become an actor and the rest, as they say, is
history. But life
has a funny way of panning out and although Gyearbuor never became a chief, his
close friend Humphrey Barclay, who incidentally was the executive producer of
met Gyearbuor (or Christopher as he was known in UK then) in 1972, when he was
doing such shows as Crown Court and so on," he told MisBeee. "I
visited Ghana many times as his guest and when he died in 2000 at the age of 58
of clogged-up arteries, I was the only obruni (white man) at his
It is a rare treat for me
to go to a museum showcasing African art. But when I do, facemasks, figurines
and other sculptured pieces tend to be displayed as an afterthought - in my
Sometimes artefacts with limited cultural links, apart from being from
the same Continent, are huddled together in a corner. And in many cases there
seems to be little acknowledgement of the sheer workmanship involved; the
significant societal and cultural value the pieces hold, or the role they
played and still play in shaping modern art. Centre stage
So you can imagine my surprise at learning that the Musée du quai Branly in Paris was staging the Les Maîtres de la sculpture de Côte d'Ivoire (the Master of Sculpture from the Ivory Coast). In one fell swoop I felt that this exhibition, which runs
until 26 July, showcased how nuanced, complex, sophisticated and diverse
sculpture from the Côte d’Ivoire truly is. And at the same time gave a long overdue
hat-tip to those largely unsung champions of W…
jazz collective KOKOROKO is in the process of writing and recording their own
seven-strong ensemble have been playing renditions of timeless West African
classics such as 'Kai Wawa' across London since 2014. (The song is a
traditional Hausa war chant that was produced by the Mercury Dance Band in
now they are looking to produce original work which will likely be out later
this year, KOKOROKO's alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi told MisBeee. "We feel that now is the right time to present our own message through music," she said. Multicultural roots The band's
music is reflective of their mixed cultural backgrounds. Their
heritage covers England, Grenada, the Grenadines, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica,
Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Their musical influences are equally varied and draw from multicultural inner-city London - where all KOKOROKO's members grew up at some point - right across
to West Africa.