1Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Women Do Not Need To Be Extraordinary To Be Admirable”
The latest issue of British Vogue is dedicated to “Forces of Change,” one of whom is Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who cites her hopes for women and society. “Policy is important, laws are important but changing cultural norms and mindsets matter even more,” came Adichie’s response, when Vogue asked how we can bring about change. “Take ambition, for example. We praise ambitious men, and judge ambitious women. The behaviour is the same; the body exhibiting it is different.” Regarded as one of the most original writers of her generation, Adichie’s novels, which include Purple Hibiscus (her first, published when she was just 26 years old), Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah have been read, and loved, by millions, claiming some of the most prestigious prizes in literature along the way.
SOURCES: BRITISH VOGUE
2New Species of Dinosaur Discovered After Decades in South African Museum
Initially misidentified as a common form of dinosaur, Massospondylus, one of the first named dinosaurs. The remains of a South African creature that had been hidden in plain sight in a museum collection for 30 years have now been identified as something entirely new. A detailed analysis of the 200m-year-old skeleton, which includes an almost complete skull, led researchers to conclude that the remains not only represented a new species but belonged to an entirely new genus too. Named Ngwevu intloko, which is Xhosa for “grey skull”, the creature measured about 4m from the tip of its snout to the end of its tail and may have weighed as much as 300kg. It walked on its hind legs and had a barrel-shaped body, a long, slender neck and a small, boxy skull. Though predominantly a plant-eater, Ngwevu may have taken small animals too when the opportunity arose.
3Architect Sename Koffi Agbodjinou on Building African Smart Cities
Countries across Africa have been excited by the prospect of building technologically-advanced, “smart” cities, but a Togolese architect is prompting new dialogue on how African innovation can help to revive existing cities and advance the poor. Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou has been working on building a different kind of “smart city”. To him a smart African city is about more than images of tall buildings. “You can have a very old city that is smart just because a lot of little technology. Those people who are talking about smart cities in Africa should show us the technology they want to implement in the city to make it smart. What I also say is that if it is an African smart city project, you have to make the effort to use technology developed in Africa,” he says.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
4Mati Diop’s ‘Atlantiques’ Will Be Making Its US Debut at the 57th New York Film Festival
After critical acclaim at Cannes, ‘Atlantiques,’ a film about the refugee crisis by Senegalese-French director Mati Diop, is now about to hit the big screen in America. Diop’s film is a response to the migrant/refugee crisis, following the story of a young woman from Dakar whose lover has mysteriously disappeared. Believed to be dead, he returns to their village in Senegal.
5David Adjaye Designs Magdalene Odundo’s Ceramics Exhibition at Sainsbury Centre
It’s beauty and drama on display at the latest exhibit at London’s Sainsbury Centre, which features the work of Kenyan-born artist, Magdalene Odundo, in an environment designed by acclaimed architect, David Adjaye. A series of ovoid, round and semi-circular plinths in various shades of grey have been arranged in the six interconnected spaces that house the exhibition. “The concept inspiration is derived from an archipelago, a cluster of objects found within an open space,” said Adjaye. Interspersed with more than 50 pieces of Odundo’s work are a selection of objects chosen by the artist from around the world. More than 30 of these objects are taken from the Sainsbury Centre’s permanent collection.
6Angola is Home to One of Africa’s Biggest Waterfalls
The Kalendula Falls, boast an impressive width of 410 metres and a drop of 105 metres. The thundering noise, mist and setting are overwhelming. The best way to experience the falls is by hire car from Luanda, a six-hour drive on fairly rudimentary roads through varied landscapes. Alternatively, travel by train to the regional capital, Malanje, and then drive north for an hour via Lombe and Calandula. Stay at the charming Pousada Calandula. The six rooms have incredible views and the noise of the waterfall. The falls are best enjoyed from the B&B’s veranda with its bar.
SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN
7Seychelles has Africa’s Best Wild Beach
This isn’t your typical tropical hideaway: you need to trek through a vanilla and coconut plantation to reach these pink-hued shores in the Seychelles. You can see how copra (dried coconut kernel) is made at an on-site mill, and visit a cemetery where the first settlers on the island are buried. When the heat starts to get too much, head in the direction of the giant rock formations and you’ll find your way to picture-perfect Anse Source d’Argent. Here, weathered granite boulders are nestled firmly in the rosy sands looking out over crystalline waters, and you can snorkel to catch a glimpse of giant tortoises gliding by. Once you’ve earned your place on this seaside slice of heaven, you’ll never want to leave.
SOURCES: LONELY PLANET
8The Most Visited Attraction in all of Morocco
Luring 850 000 tourists a year, Le Jardin Majorelle, rescued by Yves St. Laurent, is now overrun by tourists. Once you’re inside, the scene usually leans far from serene. Travellers swarm the blocky buildings and pack the palm-shaded paths, snapping selfies. The snug, on-site Berber Museum provides some crowd relief with exhibits of colorful costumes and angular jewelry from the Moroccan tribe that inspired both Majorelle and YSL. During their first jaunt to Morocco in 1966, French-Algerian fashion designer Yves St. Laurent and his lover and business partner Pierre Bergé discovered Marrakesh’s Jardin Majorelle, a decrepit two-plus acre complex of plantings, cubist buildings and fountains created by early 20th-century French artist Jacques Majorelle in the tony Gueliz neighborhood.
9Ghana’s Tranquil Escape from the Clogged Capital
Aburi is an escape from Ghana’s traffic- and waste-clogged capital. Forty-five minutes away (or less, depending on how enthusiastic you are to get there), the town is a carpet of green — mountains, hills, banana and palm trees — bursting in every direction. Located in the Akuapim South municipal district of Ghana’s eastern region, it is part of the Akwapim-Togo mountain range, with hills averaging 1,500 feet. Hills hushed in silence, interrupted by the occasional songful chirp of birds. The Botanical Gardens (20 GHC, or $5), opened in 1890 and occupying about 64.8 hectares of land, is home to 350 plant species and is literally the seedbed of the production of cocoa and rubber in southern Ghana. It’s the perfect place to set up a picnic, lie in the grass, listen to the whistle of trees and enjoy the cool air. There are also birds and butterflies to spot. Centuries-old trees to marvel at. A picturesque procession of palm trees at the entrance.
10What Went Down at Gabon’s First Event Dedicated to Jazz Music
Music lovers were treated to good music at the “Gaboma jazz rock festival”. The open air concert in the heart of the Gabonese capital Libreville. The richness and originality of this genre of music was the basis for this unique music festival. Some 100 artists and groups took part in the Jazz music festival which attracted hundreds of music lovers who had fun at the free outdoor concert. Due to the unique history of Libreville a city founded by freed slaves, organizers wanted to popularize this genre of music, which originated from the southern part of the United States from African-American culture. To do this, the majority of the work was reserved for local amateur and experienced groups and artists. “We were thinking, jazz in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, we’re going to do it, but we don’t know. So as people came, we educated the audience that came in droves today and sang with us. They kept singing with us, that made me cry, said Gabonese artist Naneth Nkoghe.
SOURCES: AFRICA NEWS