1Thebe Magugu Wins the 2019 LVMH Prize
In a first for Africa, South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu has won the prestigious LVMH prize, which bestows serious funding and mentorship for emerging talents. Designers selected – amongst them, Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize, British designer Bethany Williams or Hed Mayner from Israel – had to present a collection to over 63 judges including Dior creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Guesquière, US designer from the eponymous label, Marc Jacobs and Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, Delphine Arnault. Shining a light on what it means to be an African designer, focusing on ready-to-wear and creating clothes that are deeply embedded into South Africa’s culture, Magugu is resolute about his future and what he wants to achieve. “In very basic terms, I really do want to make sure that I am happy in the life I’m living but I also want to make sure that if ever I do leave, God forbid, that I would have contributed something quite solid not only to the industry but the world in general. I just want to have made an impact and contributed to something bigger than myself.”
2Mayra Andrade is Pushing Cape Verdean Music Forward
Get to know the music of Mayra Andrade, which is rooted in the traditional sounds of Cape Verde, but integrates global music for a truly fresh and modern sound. Now living in Lisbon, the Cape Verdean pop singer firmly plants one half of herself in her mother island while the other swims into sounds from beyond. Her fifth and most recent album, Manga, released in February, is a fresh take on old styles. Andrade has always lovingly trespassed the stodgy borders of traditional Cape Verdean music. Manga takes it further, hitting up the ranks of West African pop and Lisbon’s Afro-Portuguese dance music for inspiration.
3With Her Latest Novel, Petina Gappah Sees an Obsession Through
It was a 21-year journey, but Zimbabwean author, Petina Gappah wanted to get the story right. Through extensive research, she has compiled an epic tale based on the true story about the transport of the explorer David Livingstone’s body out of Africa. It took that long because the story she wanted to tell was a complex one: that of the arduous, nine-month journey in 1873 of 69 workers as they transported the body of the explorer David Livingstone from the interior of Africa to the coast of Zanzibar, where he was carried to Britain for burial. It took so much research that Gappah, 48, finished and published three other books over the time she worked on it, while navigating a career as an international trade lawyer in Geneva.
SOURCES: THE NEW YORK TIMES
4Rolecia Janse van Rensburg’s Quirky Approach to Interior Design
One of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives, Rolecia Janse van Rensburg brings a fun, colorful perspective to her interiors and furniture design. She created LightWell designs to evoke a joyful response from customers and products that can be used to create new exuberant interior spaces. Some of the products she created include handles which resemble Liquorice All Sorts of sweets and can be attached to any cupboard. She recently added to the range colourful reading lights.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
5An African Marvel: The Diasporic Symbolism of Simone Leigh’s Brick House
Inspired by the Commodore’s song ‘Brick House,’ artist Simone Leigh has created a powerful sculpture that incorporates references to numerous aspects of African culture and will reside temporarily on New York City’s High Line. The classic tune raises vibration and positively affirms the strength, beauty, and mightiness of black women. Given the history of enslaved African men and women in America, Leigh’s Brick House subverts narratives surrounding European-American architecture as superior to African design. The mere presence of Brick House on the High Line reminds us of the importance of African art and invites viewers to engage with African architecture on a grand scale.
SOURCES: ATLANTA DAILY WORLD
6A Whale of a Time on this SA Coast
Hermanus comes to life during the annual Whale Festival in September. It is the best time to see and celebrate the southern right whales, as they make their yearly pilgrimage to the waters of Walker Bay in the Western Cape.
7Transforming Malawi’s Wildlife Destinations
Famous for being the ‘warm heart of Africa’ and for its vast glittering lake, the country is on its way to being renowned as an exciting safari destination. Thanks to conservation organisation African Parks, three beautiful reserves – Majete, Liwonde and Nkhotakota – once decimated through poaching and poverty, are now blossoming with life.
SOURCES: LONELY PLANET
8The Moroccan Village with Only One Paragraph in the Travel Guide
Lonely Planet called Bhalil a “curious village… worth a visit if you have your own transport.” It is also a testament to the idea that travel without a plan is sometimes the best plan. Bhalil consists of several inhabited hillsides, the guesthouse on one of them. Looking south from Kamal’s third-floor deck you can see a ridge with houses partway up, then rocks and cliffs, and at the top a flat band of ocher earth.
9Eco-friendly Surf Shop Starts New Wave
A lack of infrastructure and education surrounding proper waste disposal in the Senegalese capital has resulted in piles of litter inundating the city’s streets and beaches. Babacar Thiaw is taking matters into his own hands by turning his restaurant into a waste-free haven. It’s the first of its kind in the region. Thiaw has spent the past year working with local conservation groups to transition his business into a zero-waste restaurant. He hopes other beachside restaurants will follow suit. At the official launch of Thiaw’s newly transitioned restaurant, attendees could read any of the roughly dozen plaques that described the steps Copacabana has taken to reduce waste.
10The Writing’s On the Wall in Brazzaville’s Shopping District
Shops in the Republic of the Congo’s capital use colourful depictions of the goods they sell to get around the lack of a common tongue. In Brazzaville languages spoken include French, Lingala and Kituba, alongside about 60 others. Many businesses use such paintings as a visual lingua franca to communicate what goods they sell. The most popular paintings concern personal grooming and sharp dressing and are seen on beauty salons, barbershops, shoe stores, clothes and fabric shops. In the commercial sections of the city, there are murals of electrical appliances, mobile phones, televisions and computers. There are also advertisements for photographic portraits, paintings of music stars – as well as pictures of food, especially meat.
SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN