1With African Music on the Rise, Afro-Themed Dance Parties Get to Win Too
With the explosion in popularity of African music, the companies that sponsor Afro-themed dance parties are seeing correspondingly huge increases in demand for their events. Get to know where the party is at and what you shouldn’t be missing. Afrocode is a dance-heavy event that hosts weekly parties in Atlanta, New York City, and D.C. The inaugural Afrocode was organized by Ghanaian entrepreneur “FredEvents” in 2013. ElectrAfrique has touched down in Berlin and Paris, and London-based event company Sounds D’Afrique has brought the flavor of Afrobeats to London’s club scene.
2Contemporary Cape Town: 7 Modern South African Residences
Modern architecture is on the rise in Cape Town, and these stunning residences showcase the exceptional work being undertaken, as well as the common design themes that prevail. While it is the second most populated urban area in South Africa, the city is also the seat of the national parliament and was recently named a World Design Capital. This collection focuses on modern residential design in Cape Town, drawing from different firms, locations, and clients across the city. While the houses are each a unique architectural exploration and formal expression, they all value expansive views, simple geometry and outdoor space. The designs make careful use of overhangs and partitions to allow a spatial blurring between exterior and interior rooms, creating programmed space that extends beyond the different houses’ perimeters.
3INFLUENCED: Meet Sibu Mpanza – the YouTuber Making a Killing from Just Having Fun
What makes a YouTube star? Learn from one of the best – South Africa’s Sibu Mpanza – whose meteoric rise to mega-influencer status was totally unexpected, but something on which he’s now building a media empire. Mpanza is a full-time YouTuber who has been able to capitalise on creating hilarious content about his life and pretty much anything that interests him. While he initially “blew up” because of a YouTube video he put out, a video which called out White students at the University of the Free State who were recorded beating up protesting Black students at a rugby game, he’s since moved onto a second channel, More Mpanza, where he makes content that’s a lot more fun, apolitical and doesn’t take a toll on his mental health. As if two successful channels weren’t enough, he’s also got a third channel, Arcade, where he and his business partner talk about things they enjoy in the technology space.
4Sifiso Shange Honours Women with His ‘Afri-Modern’ Designs
Furniture designer, Sifiso Shange, uses his work to convey stories rooted in his Zulu culture and to honour the many women who have influenced and nurtured him. A key design aspect is the diamond shape which can be found in all his designs. Shange says that shape is sacred within Zulu culture, as it represents both the female and the mother. When Shange exhibited at the Design Indaba Conference in 2018 he started with two side tables and now he has built up his catalogue and is exhibiting his work around South Africa.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
5How Patience Torlowei Creates Fashion From the Highs and Lows of Modern Africa
In the Smithsonian’s new exhibit ‘I Am…Contemporary Women Artists of Africa,’ a central feature is a dress by Nigerian designer Patience Torlowei, which depicts the struggles and beauty of modern day Africa. This sleeveless gown with the hand-painted train is a conversation — about the violence man has committed against the Earth as well as the beauty that springs from it. The dress’s dazzling bodice has a metallic glint, as if it was spun from strands of 22-karat gold. The skirt is an artist’s canvas — an achingly visceral landscape of red flames, puce-colored water, a hazy sun, gray smoke, rusted pipes and brown torsos etched with muscles. At a glance, the gown is a stunning example of one-of-a-kind fashion. But really look at it and the dress expresses the richness of Africa’s natural resources, its bloody conflicts, the blithe despoiling of its communities and the toll that such degradation takes on the people.
SOURCES: THE WASHINGTON POST
6Stunning Destinations to Do Extreme Sports in Africa
El Gouna, Egypt is an ideal spot for kitesurfing, a fusion of wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, paragliding and gymnastics, kiteboarders use what’s known as a power kite to propel themselves across the ocean while standing on a specially designed board. Some of the world’s most scenic grade five rapids are found on a section of the Zambezi River that borders Zimbabwe and Zambia.
SOURCES: LONELY PLANET
77 African Countries on TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places List
Gorongosa National Park is a preserved area in the Great Rift Valley of central Mozambique. The Red Sea Mountain Trail is a community tourism initiative in Egypt. Zakouma National Park in southeastern Chad’s Salamat Region is the nation’s oldest national park. The Museum of Black Civilisations is a museum in Dakar, Senegal, which opened in December 2018. Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop where their environmental footprint is small, and so is their team.Composed of ten huts inspired by traditional Owambo architecture, Omaanda is an exceptionally beautiful lodge, whose discrete elegance and timeless appeal takes visitors on an unforgettable journey. Kenya’s Leopard Hill is a new and modern camp in the midst of the African wilderness.
8There’s Nothing Dark About This Kenyan Town
Lodwar is a special place. The capital of Turkana County, which is also known as the cradle of humankind, it is the warmest town in Kenya with a temperature average of 29 degrees Celsius per year. It is one of the sunniest places in the world, receiving an average of 3,600 hours of sunshine annually. It’s not easy to journey to the town located approximately 700 kilometers from the capital, Nairobi. No bus company services that route, so one has to travel to the town of Kitale to get a connecting bus. The community in Lodwar is known for their mastery of basket weaving and the market is abuzz with activities and women adorned in colorful ornaments who sing as they weave.
9US Tourism to Rwanda Doubles
Rwanda saw a 114% jump in tourists from the U.S. last year despite doubling gorilla-tracking permit prices to $1,500 each, the country’s top tourism official said. The East African nation famed for its endangered mountain gorillas sold tickets for $19.2 million last year, compared with $15 million in 2016, when it doubled the cost of a permit, according to the Rwanda Development Board said. The number of permits issued fell by almost a third last year, compared to 2016.
10A Study of Festivals across Africa Shows how they Create more Sustainable Cities
During the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the Cape Town Carnival was introduced to provide opportunities for creative expression, employment, skills development, social cohesion and economic development. Although an enjoyable spectacle, the carnival happens at night, meaning only a minority of residents with access to transport can participate. The Got Ramogi festival in Kenya’s Kisumu City was set up in 2015 to preserve and protect the traditional culture, sacred sites and myths of the Got Ramogi people. Researchers highlighted the considerable benefits these festivals bring. New infrastructure such as roads, sanitation and power lines must be built to organise and deliver events, as part of a wider ecotourism strategy.
SOURCES: THE CONVERSATION