Sunday February 14: A&C Top Ten
1. African Mythology Inspires Space Opera
Artist Paul Louise-Julie counts among his inspirations the words of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, the images of Star Wars and the whispers of a Senegalese elder who opened his eyes to the oral history of West Africa. Six years ago, he challenged himself to combine these influences with his skill as an artist and his desire to tell African stories. One of the results of this endeavor is Yohancè, an upcoming futuristic space opera rich with imagery influenced by ancient African culture and design, which aims to connect people with Africa’s past by creating a new mythology inspired by the continent.
Source: Quartz Africa
2. Bringing Art-house Cinema To Liberia
Pandora Hodge is bringing cinema to the masses through Kriterion Monrovia, which screens films to communities around Liberia's capital. During the Ebola outbreak, Ms Hodge and her team were forced to stop screenings, so they set about raising awareness of the virus through door-to-door campaigns. Now the country has been declared free of Ebola transmission, Kriterion Monrovia is set to open its first art-house cinema. The country's last modern-day cinema shut down during the civil war in the 1990s.
3. Ivorian Designer Loza Maléombho Features In Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ Video
Everyone’s been talking about Beyoncé’s surprise “Formation” release. But what few realize is that one of our favorite designers at Okayafrica actually gets a major co-sign in the unapologetically black and proud video. If you pay close enough attention, you’ll notice one of Queen B’s dancers donning a look by Ivorian fashion artist, designer and label founder Loza Maléombho. The piece is from the Abidjan-based label’s brilliant Spring/Summer 2016 Zaouli collection inspired by traditional masks from the northern region of Côte d’Ivoire.
4. Nairobi's Food Scene
When American April Dodd went home for the first time since moving to Nairobi, there were a lot of questions about food. “Friends and family kept asking ‘What do you want to eat? Do you have pizza in Kenya? Do you want pizza? Can you find good Chinese food?’” she recalls with a roll of her eyes. “I had the best Korean food I’ve ever had in Nairobi—and yes, we have pizza.” The Kenyan staples are traditionally maize, grilled meat, and a kale-like green known as sukuma wiki. But Nairobi has always been a city of immigrants, getting its start at the turn of the 20th century as a hub for the British and Indian workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railroad.
Source: Global Advisors
5. Meet The Malian Kora Player Who Got It From His Father
Sidiki Diabaté was always going to be a star. His father Toumani Diabaté is the kora player in Mali and his grandfather, after whom he’s named, was just as famous… and for exactly the same thing. It’s in his blood. The twenty-four-year-old is a ‘griot’ – he comes from a long line of ancestral storytellers, traditionally found in west Africa who entertain patrons and communities with their songs and instruments. Sidiki has been playing it ever since he could hold one. He recorded an album with his father in 2014 which was nominated for Best World Music Album at the Grammys. He’s now had over two million views on YouTube and sells out stadiums in Bamako and venues in Europe.
Source: True Africa
6. Two Writers ‘Put Flesh On The Bones’ Of Our Forgotten Histories
Veteran writer Zakes Mda and first-time novelist Nakhane Touré discover they are more similar in their views than they thought. The most recent installment of the Goethe Institute’s Literary Crossroads series, titled Rewriting South African Landscapes, substituted the verve and urgency that has come to define South African public discourse of late with an understated magic.
Source: Mail & Guardian
7. London Show Explores Africa And Soviet Cold War Links
An exhibition in London is exploring the legacy of cultural relationships between Africa, the Soviet Union and related countries during the Cold War.
8. Nigerian Student Gives Barbie A Modest Makeover
It was only last month that Mattel gave Barbie a dramatic transformation with a variety of skin tones and different body types, including adding curves to her impossibly slender frame. Now a Nigerian medical scientist has taken Instagram by storm since she began posting images of a hijab-wearing Barbie doll a few weeks ago. We are used to seeing Barbie scantily-clad in denim hotpants and skimpy tops, but with her colorful headscarves, flowing abayas and full-length couture dresses, Hijarbie is far more covered up.
9. Say I Love You The African Way
We say “I love you” all-year round to friends, family, and significant others, but Valentine’s Day is provides an extra-special occasion. Take the opportunity to say “I Love You” in one of these languages from Africa’s 54 countries.
10. Fashionable Trends From Ghana's Gutters
Like many cities, Ghana's capital Accra struggles to deal with the huge amount of waste that it generates every day. Discarded plastics are a particular problem, drains clogged by plastic bags overflowed last year and caused a massive flood in which many people were killed. But one group of young local residents is determined to show how plastics can be recycled and not thrown into the gutter.