Africa Top10 Lifestyle & Travel News

The ‘Deuce’ Actor Who Also Reupholsters Vintage Chairs             

Gbenga Akinnagbe

Meet Gbenga Akinnagbe, a Nigerian renaissance man who is not only a successful actor, but also an entrepreneur with a line of vintage furniture he reupholsters in African fabrics. A celebration of his Nigerian heritage and a new take on classic European furniture, ENITAN offers one-of-a-kind pieces that have been reimagined, upholstered in African wax print fabrics. The furnishings merge bright, bold patterns with classic silhouettes, and are the perfect story-telling pieces for any interior. Enitan means “person of story” in Yoruba culture.


8 Emerging Fashion Designers on Their Interpretation of South African Fashion

Design Indaba Emerging Creatives

The Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme, with support from the Department of arts and culture, gives organisers a chance to scan the country for top young creatives across different industries including fashion, architecture and other aspects of design to give them an opportunity to receive mentorship as well as to exhibit at the annual Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town and at the simulcast venue at Lisof in Joburg. Shaline Naicker, 21, differentiates her work by adding technology in the form of photochromatic lenses. Usually used by companies that make eyeglasses, these lenses darken when they come into contact with sunlight – or ultraviolet (UV) light. Kgahlego Kewana is a 28-year-old doctor who switched lanes to become a designer. Her label, DOCTORED was established in 2017. She makes tailored garments that showcase strength and fragility with a masculine feel. Therusha Chetty is a fashion and accessory designer who specialises in henna art. She uses the dye to create designs that you can find on sneakers, cushions and jewellery boxes.


A New Dinner Series at Ida B’s Table Puts the Spotlight on Foods of the African Diaspora  

Chef David Thomas

Chef David Thomas is delighting diners’ tastebuds while also giving them an African history lesson when he stages his periodic Diaspora Dinners at Ida B’s Table in Baltimore. The first diaspora wine dinner last month was a five-course meal which included a whole fish, steak, chicken and rabbit dishes made with recipes native to African countries. During the first course, for example, Thomas explained that Calas, a deep-fried beignet made from fermented rice and rabbit, was originally cooked and sold by enslaved women in New Orleans’ French Quarter. While attendees devoured the surprisingly spicy spheres, Thomas recalled how he discovered the dish while researching Nellie Murray, a former enslaved woman who is considered the queen of Creole cuisine. The next dinner, on March 27, will be in collaboration with the Mera Kitchen Collective, a Baltimore-based group that focuses on empowerment of refugee and immigrant women.


Ethiopia’s First Female Superhero Comic ‘Hawi’ is Here

Hawi Ethiopian Superhero

Inspired by Ethiopian Queen Yodit Gudit, ‘Hawi’ is Ethiopia’s first female superhero comic, and her story is told through beautiful visuals that display the exuberance of Ethiopian culture. Hawi follows the story of Ement Legesse, a young Ethiopian woman living in America with her mother. In the opening scenes of the comic book, it becomes apparent that Ement desperately wants to visit Ethiopia on a guided tour but her mother is against the idea. While Hawi focuses on how a young woman discovers and comes into her own power, there is another powerful and feminine figure: Ethiopia’s Queen Yodit Gudit. Queen Yodit, who was alive circa 10th century AD, earned the nickname “Esato” which is Ahmaric for “fire” among her Ethiopian people.


The Man who Captures the Colours, Faces and Spirit of Ghana

Prince Gyasi

Prince Gyasi takes photos around Accra, the capital of Ghana, using only an iPhone. He captures scenes of city life and uses colours for impact. The photographer wants to use his work to inspire young people and encourage others to start shooting pictures. The photographer’s body of work conveys arresting and colorful compositions, often featuring portraits of friends, family and muses in emotive poses against colored backdrops. Some of Gyasi’s featured images are part of his ‘BoxedKids’ series, a photographic project turned GoFundMe campaign created by Gyasi and his partner. The nonprofit project attempts to help creative, underprivileged children in Jamestown to pursue their creative talents through access to education. The term ‘boxed kids’ describes children who are trapped in a place or situation; in this instance Gyasi is referring to the difficulties experiences by life in Jamestown.


Tips from People Who’ve Been to Morocco

Morocco Travel tips

Travellers say the serene hotels, exquisite Islamic gardens and mountain hikes are just a few of the country’s stars. The recently renovated garden on Rue Mouassine, dates back to the 16th century, is a perfect place to escape busy Marrakech, with an exotic range of plants and an ingenious water system created in the 11th century, fed by an aquifer. The Heri es-Souani stables in the Unesco-listed northern city of Meknes, built by 17th-century ruler and Alawite dynasty founder Moulay Ismail and once home to 12,000 horses, offer an unexpected escape from the cacophony of the world outside. Asilah is a lovely little coastal town south of Tangier. Everyone knows Marrakech but Asilah will give you similar sights and sounds in a more pleasant environment. The northern Rif mountains city of Chefchaouen (pronounced Shef-sha-wen) is incredibly picturesque, with its rich blue buildings. Simply wander the winding streets and alleyways of the medina and you will soon leave the tourist crowds behind.


Get to Know Kigali in Two Days

Kigali’s history

Prepare to be won over by Kigali’s history, culture and cuisine. There is something immediately winsome about Kigali. Its spick-and-span streets are safe to wander and – despite, or perhaps because of, the security everywhere – a relaxed and friendly vibe prevails. Sprawled across lush hills, the Rwandan capital has heaps to explore, including moving historic monuments, an exciting creative scene and a diverse slew of restaurants and bars. Spend at least a couple of nights here – and prepare to be charmed. Coffee is big in Kigali it is sourced locally, with proceeds going back into agricultural training and supporting low-income female farmers.


Cast Away to the Middle of the Indian Ocean

Benguerra Island

Benguerra Island, 14km off mainland Mozambique, is 55km 2 with a population of less than 2 000 people. The central area and the villas at Azura Benguerra Island are designed for maximum privacy, with a fusion of indoor-outdoor living and ‘mullet’ cuts of the roof thatching designed to maximise the view but ensure you are screened from your neighbours. You need only share your infinity pool with a riotous palette of tiny exotic birds as they do their toilette in the fresh water at dusk. Each guest is assigned a butler who ensures that you want for nothing and yet are left in absolute privacy. From the cocktails and snacks delivered to your villa at sunset to breakfast and dinner, you, and only you, are his focus of attention.


The Perfect City to Get Lost In

Chapel of São Paulo

While travelling with smart apps in tow may offer speed, security and five-star reviews, what it doesn’t offer is spontaneity; and it is often these unexpected adventures that teach us the most about a destination and ourselves – and, crucially, result in some of the best travel tales. A Lonely Planet writer who has travelled extensively in Africa found himself walking off course through the interior of the Chapel of São Paulo (now a museum) on Mozambique Island, “I he heard ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong playing in an adjacent room. I was suddenly hit by the beauty around me and I welled up with tears.”


The First Long-distance Hiking Trail in Egypt’s Mainland

Red Sea Mountain

The Red Sea Mountain Trail is 170-km long and is usually completed in 10 days and led by local Bedouins. At this stage hikers aren’t yet allowed to do the trail on their own. Adventurers only cover about 15-20km a day, but there are some intense elevations in the mountains along the way. There is an alternative, easier route at every point on the Red Sea Mountain Trail and hikers can also do a mix of the main route and the easier one. Hikers will have to carry their own food, water and sleeping gear, but will get to see the arresting beauty of the desert plains, deep gorges, rugged summits up high, crumbling Roman towns, and prehistoric rock art.


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