Showing posts from August, 2016

Africa Utopia 2016 - an explosion of music, dance, discourse and fashion

Ghanaian-American actress Maame Adjei, who plays Zainab in the hit web series An African City, will be discussing how African designers are pushing boundaries in fashion by challenging stereotypes and moving beyond tradition.

Her talk, entitled 'Beyond Prints' on 3 September, is one of a series of events being staged during the Africa Utopia festival in London’s Southbank Centre from 31 August until 4 September.

Africa Utopia has been going since 2012 and is a celebration of all things African.  From food to fashion, spirituality to dance and discourse to music, the festival aims to offer something for everyone.

There will be in-depth social and political discussions on gender, power and youth culture during the weekend.

Why not come along to the one-hour talk from 1pm on Sunday entitled Gender and Power: African Feminisms Today? The slot will include a workshop on African feminism in the diaspora led by women’s rights activist Fatimah Kelleher.
Youth culture A thought-provoking lo…

Ghanaian chef out to spread the benefits of veganism

Traditionally, eating meat has long been viewed as a sign of affluence in many African cultures and the omission of meat from the diet - a sign of poverty. So when Ghana-born Ben Asamani chose to cut out meat, dairy and all meat products, the reaction was predictable.

Initially people thought that at 16 years old, it was a phase he would grow out of but decades later and Asamani has made a business out of veganism, and is keen to spread this way of life to others. Vegans do not eat any meat-based products and animal by-products such as eggs, diary, honey. This also extends to using leather, silk, wool and cosmetics derived from animals.

Plant-based foods tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and rich in antioxidants, which can combat against such health risks as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Other reasons for becoming vegan include a desire to lower exposure to antibiotics in meat and dairy. There are also the environmental considerations that growing feed for…

People's Guild of Ghana @ International Day

I recently had the pleasure of participating in an International Day event organised by housing association HorizonAmicus in Stockwell, south London at the beginning of August.

It was a chance for my friends and I to share our knowledge of Ghanaian culture, fashion and history with others under the People's Guild of Ghana umbrella.

But we were not the only ones celebrating our cultural heritage. During the four-hour event, visitors listened to a local South London steel band, South Asian dance performances, and took photos with the Pearly King of Peckham.

There was a chance to sample cuisine from the Caribbean, Egypt, and Somalia as well as outstanding capoeira and samba performances from Brasil*(*Brasil spelt the Portuguese way*).

And check out this snippet of the colourful and energetic carnival-like performances (below). I had a quick chat to the dancers after their show and found out they are from the part of Brasil I visited, while I was living there....Salvador, Bahia - V…

Jazzing it up at London's Southbank

Cutting-edge jazz music filled the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank in central London for one day only at the end of July, bringing together emerging and more established talent from across Britain.

I am not a fan of jazz but the exposition gave me a new appreciation of the musical form and how diverse it has become.
Jazz Re:Fest 2016 is in its fourth year and is the brainchild of Jazz Re:Refreshed duo Justin McKenzie and Adam Moses.

Eight live acts performed in total, drawing on influences from West Africa, and using everything from the cello to futuristic piano compilations, all interlaced with DJ interludes. Jazz is one of the musical forms that I can never firmly put my finger on when attempting to come up with a single definition. Its roots are clearly African-American, tied up with America’s often divisive social and political past (and present). It embodies progression and invention in a way that keeps it relevant, which is probably why it draws such a diverse mix of fans.
Sunday 31 …