Africa Top10 Lifestyle & Travel News

David Adjaye Designs Memorial Pavilion for the ‘Father of South African Jazz’    

David Adjaye

Ghanaian-born architect, David Adjaye honors the memory of South African jazz great, Hugh Masekela, with a striking monument in Johannesburg. The memorial pavilion, spearheaded by the masekela family, is the result of a partnership between ravi naidoo, of the design indaba trust and adjaye associates who together, worked with south african industry experts and stakeholders including johannesburg city parks. according to the design team, the pavilion is inspired by african burial ritual and practices where dignified structures are created to host family and visitors. rather than erecting objects like headstones, these structures serve as gathering places to remember and connect with those who have departed the physical realm.

She Wants Women to Have Good Sex so She Started a Blog Where They Can Talk About It (Safely)

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

Through the blog ‘Adventures from African Women’s Bedrooms,’ Ghanaian writer Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah aims to give women a safe space to discuss their sexuality. “What are your sex and relationship goals for 2019?” That was the question put to women in a blog post published earlier this year in a country that is deeply religious. The Ghanaian writer who posted the call-out on Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women, the blog she started 10 years ago with a friend, Malaka Grant. Sekyiamah’s interest in sex is less about being salacious (though it’s hard not to blush when reading some of the posts on the site) and more about health, empowerment and community. Top posts include: an anthology of queer erotic writing; a blog exploring how to send nudes safely (spoiler: there is no foolproof method to avoid your image being used in unintended ways); and the 2011 evergreen post which reveals just how much of a mystery female pleasure can seem: “How can you tell when a woman orgasms?”


Female Entrepreneurs Took Center Stage at Dakar Fashion Week

Dakar Fashion Week

At fashion shows in the West, male designers tend to dominate the catwalk, but it’s a different story in Senegal where the organizer of Dakar Fashion Week actively seeks to empower women. At Dakar’s 17th annual fashion week, which ended Sunday, not only were 80% of the featured designers were African women—the show is run by Adama Ndiaye, a female Senegalese designer and entrepreneur. The decision to include a female majority in her designer lineup was easy, Ndiaye said. Women know women’s bodies better than men, and that’s reflected in the quality and aesthetic of their designs.     Furthermore, Ndiaye said, the show serves as a conduit through which she can lift up other female entrepreneurs.


Sample Chief, a Go-To Platform for African Music Knowledge, Share 5 of Their Favorite Samples 

Sample Chief

Nirvana for African music nerds, Sample Chief unearths the origins of African samples heard in other musical works. From rare Cameroonian-Nigerian samples on Tyler the Creator’s Igor, to samples and interpolations of Nollywood movies in today’s African pop, the primarily Instagram, Twitter and YouTube-based platform aims to be an “all-knowing wizard” that “shares African music intelligence on a deeper level,” says Sample Chief’s founder Ore Sami-Orungbe. Samples are the foundation of just about all of our favorite songs whether we know them or not. For music lovers, discovering a rare song within a song can feel like stumbling upon a gem, leaving us to wonder what other musical treasures lie hidden in the songs we listen to regularly. Sample Chief is the digital platform dedicated to helping music nerds find these rare cuts by unearthing the African sounds at the heart of contemporary African music and other genres.


Sunny Dolat Wants to Set a New Standard for African Fashion   

Sunny Dolat

In what promises to be the most diverse African art and fashion event of all time, the N’gola Festival in Sao Tome aims to showcase the best of African art and design from all of the continent’s 54 countries. Taking place on the island between July and August this year, it will feature the works of many artists including Mary Sibande, Sarah Waiswa as well those of former Design Indaba speakers such as Blinky Bill, Wanuri Kahiu and Omar Victor Diop. Kenyan creative director, Sunny Dolat, of The Nest Collective, will be in charge of curating the fashion exhibition that will form part of the festival. Dolat says whether he manages to get pieces from all 54 African countries or not, the exercise will still have been worth the effort, because of what he will discover. 


Holland Festival Programming Gets an African Twist

Holland Festival Programming

This year, for the first time, the festival has invited two artists to contribute their programming ideas. Both are from Africa: Mr. Kentridge, the visual artist from South Africa, and Faustin Linyekula, the Congolese choreographer. The choice of Mr. Kentridge and Mr. Linyekula was part of an effort to extend the festival’s offerings beyond Europe and North America. That effort began in previous years with work from Latin America and parts of Asia, said Annemieke Keurentjes, the programming director, alongside Jochem Valkenburg. “Africa feels like the last bit to really explore,” she said. Ms. Keurentjes  says Mr. Kentridge’s and Mr. Linyekula’s themes of inclusion, exclusion, appropriation and cultural diversity “are very topical for us here.” Both men have used the opportunity to involve their collaborative partners and artists they support. Mr. Linyekula brought work from his Kinshasa center, Studios Kabako, including “Not Another Diva,” a vehicle for the South African singer Hlengiwe Lushaba, as well as his own “In Search of Dinozard” and the new “Congo.” (I wasn’t able to see Mr. Linyekula’s works because of scheduling, but during an informal post-performance conversation, he talked about his insistence on taking a work, “Parlement Debout,” to the southeast Amsterdam neighborhood that Ms. Keurentjes referred to. “Context is everything,” he said. “Dance is a form of storytelling that you write with the body.”)


The Middle of Nowhere in this African Desert

African Desert

There is remote, and then there is the Skeleton Coast, a desolate sweep of coastline along the Atlantic that feels utterly isolated. Shipwreck Lodge is from the heavily conservation-driven outfitter Natural Selection and has now opened as the area’s first polished resort with a point of view worthy of such otherworldliness. During the day, four-wheel drives whiz up and down tawny dunes, past parched terrain, and along the edge of the brooding ocean, which crashes onto marbled sand, littered with whale bones. In the evenings, after the sun has burned the mist away, fynbos-infused gin and tonics are served on the beach.


Following the Trail of the Icons of the African Savannah 

African Savannah

Sagole in South Africa is just one stop of many on a road trip to visit the biggest and best baobabs in the land. The Sunland Baobab (famous for the pub inside it),is a gigantic specimen in Namibia called Grootboom and Botswana’s Chapman Baobab. Across Africa, they’ve also doubled as prisons, pubs, post offices, gun safes, cool rooms, treehouses and one, in the Caprivi Strip, even held a flush toilet.


Malaria Free Conservation at its Very Best

Malaria Free Conservation

This multi-award-winning Lodge spares no attention to detail in providing incredible experiences, whatever your safari dish of choice may be. Be it the big five, birding, photography or just relaxing in luxury, there is a reason that this incredible getaway near Port Elizabeth in South Africa has become the destination of choice for celebrities and royalty alike. There is something synonymous with spending time in the bush and spending time in a tent. At Bayethe the Shamwari crew nail this aspect, blending a luxury tented experience with a true African bush flavour. 


The Movie that Makes You Yearn the Pleasures of the African Desert

David Lean

David Lean’s 1963 epic has inspired many to visit North Africa after seeing the film, Lawrence of Arabia  on the big screen in a 1989 restoration. It took several years to make, and was based on the Middle Eastern adventures of T.E. Lawrence, the English scholar and soldier who became an influential figure in the Arab Uprising against Ottoman rule during World War I. A young and impossibly handsome Peter O’Toole starred, and Lean used 70mm Panavision to capture the magnificent emptiness of Jordanian and Moroccan deserts.


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