Chantal Loial, founder and director of the dance company Dife Kako, has arrived in London today with 3 dancers who joined her this year from Strasbourg, Guadeloupe and Paris to attend Batuke Festival and Notting Hill Carnival 2018.
On Saturday 25th August, we had the pleasure to see her make a special appearance at the Music Soukous Festival with longtime friend AWILO LONGOMBA.
Chantal Loial performing with AWILO LONGOMBA at Music Soukous Festival, RichMix
For a full bio about Chantal Loial, check out the link below:
Chantal Loial will be teaching tomorrow, Sunday 26th August 2018, at 1.30pm at Rich Mix, running an Afro & Soukous Bootcamp. For more info and to book your pass, click link below:
What struck me about S.Rise, Reggae and Conscious artist from Guadeloupe, is his commitment to self-development and to inspire others. His vision is huge, so much so that he seems to always think he takes babysteps where others would consider they have arrived.
S.Rise owns up to his actions and their impact within the society he lives in. Unlike some, he chooses not to use You but rather personnifies what he sings using I « I don’t want to position myself telling people what to do with themselves but by reminding myself of staying in a positive mindframe, and say I « as an affirmation », it can then resonate within the listener too".
S.Rise would further say « The way I write at the moment is very mindful of the way I will say, formulate stuff and take ownership of the lyrics … This is me now, aware of who I am and where I am coming from, more focussed than before, self-disciplined, knowing the importance of having the mind, soul and body strong. If your thinking process is negative, it’s like eating bad food, you are harming yourself »
And his frame of mind is clearly expressed in his last song « I am winning », available to download for free on his website http://sriseofficial.com and out since the 1st August 2018.
Continue to read below for more info on S.Rise
The inspiration came while S.Rise was performing at a show in St Pancras with the live band called (ONE THE BAND) in Spring 2018. The band played the instrumental of the song « Hello » from an artist called Kes. « I really love this song. When the band played it, I wanted to write something on it. Then I downloaded the instrumental and the chorus came to me. I was at home. »
I am winning is a great song for Summer which willl uplift you on your way to work remaining hopeful while on the « plantation ». The song also encapsulates S.Rise’s general feeling « everything that happened so far this year, Gambia, #Iamnot4sale, Kalash, Etana in Guadeloupe, blessings and babysteps and progress ». He is full of appreciation.
See S.Rise performance with Etana in Guadeloupe and at Kalash's concert in London on 9th June 2018
Continue to read below for more info
S.Rise performance at Kalash's concert in London on 9th June 2018
His manager Red would also mention a significant performance at Hootananny where S.Rise performed his first 45mns set with his live band. It was the 1st time he would headline a concert.
I am winning also states his convinction and his plans. It takes us right into S.Rise’s world with family and friends featuring in the video clip in cartoon forms. « The whole cartoon itself are friends and family. I like how everybody has been showcased…. I liked the way he put my mum and dad from the beginning. I greet them and then am in Guadeloupe with the sun shining. »
The wole concept of the cartoon was hugely important to S.Rise « When you are looking at music videos nowadays, children can’t look at them. For most of them, they are very sexualised. » S.Rise wanted to change that and connect with youth who can easily play it. And the children do love the characters and seeing S.Rise as a super hero.. S. Rise particularly likes his parents portrayed as a King and a Queen just like the lyric « I am the son of a King and a Goddess ». It is so important to him that young people respects their parents who are life-givers and he also wants to promote a counter culture which does not degrade women, nor hype drugs and the use of alcohol ; which he swaps for « having a bottle of water in his hand »
See still shots below and continue to read for more info on S.Rise
When it comes to S.Rise plans « I am plannning to go to Gambia in 2 years and live there, the plan is to have a business running over this side (UK) and keep being creative in Gambia. I want to set up smthg not as the boss, where I end up working even more than the employee but be the owner of the business, » echoed in the I am winning song :
« I don’t want to be the boss but the owner » ; nor will he follow the leader. « I am not a follower an I dont want people to be followers….. We are the leader. I am going to stand my ground, have my own thoughts and do my own things »
If you haven’t listened to the song yet, here is the link below and website to download.
S.Rise last words for you readers :
« Thank you for all the feedback I have got so far, thank you to Afro Culture with the interview, this is exclusive : stay connected, I am working on an album, debut album, out in 2019"
To see S.Rise perform in the next coming weeks, join him at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 18th August for the African Holocaust Day Commemoration and at Monday Notting Hill Carnaval Parade with Batuke on Monday 27th August 2018.
The Founder of Slavery Remembrance - Shezal Laing
Shezal Laing is a trailblazer. She’s just the type of person that would make things happen if she has set her mind on it.
She would say of herself that she wants to be happy with the world as it is but with the current knowledge she has, it has been impossible for her…Nevertheless, she sets out to do something about it …. Not just for her but as a mother of 2 sons of Caribbean and African origins, she wants to set « a path as clear and easy as possible for them and fight as many battles as possible while alive so they don't have to ».
In 2016, what Shezal qualified as being in a horrible place near a breakdown, was actually in hindsight, her springboard into championning the Slavery Remembrance Day in London. While spending time in Jamaica to recuperate from a very stressful work situation, it was while discussing with her children’s grandmother about the lack of visibility and initiatives around the International Slavery Remembrance Day promoted by the UNESCO that the spark came on and she simply decided to do something about it. She observed that the Jewish Holocaust Day was widely accepted while the International Slavery Remembrance Day was receiving very little or no recognition whatsoever.
« I will do something. I will hold a memorial to recognise this day » she decided from then on
And so after incorporating Slavery Remembrance as a company, immediately upon her return from Jamaica, she birthed the African Holocaust Day the very same year and made history by holding the first ever memorial in Trafalgar Square London. She still remembers, baby on her back, welcoming contractors by herself in the morning as they started putting out the barriers. She litterately started on her own.
Slavery Remembrance Day, now African Holocaust Day
The first memorial was a resounding success centered around « educating, celebrating and inspiring » all from African, Caribbean descents and beyond to learn from the past and be empowered to have a common vision for change and success !! The Sankofa Badge, which is also the logo of Slavery Remembrance, embodies our past and heritage as the African diasporas, and represents the foundation to lay down and the stepping stone it provides on our way to achieving in the world we live in as a cultural entity, an economic force and a united people.
And fostering unity, celebrating black history and black culture is at the heart of the initiative which is self-sustained. Slavery Remembrance is more than just a memorial and much more happens throughout the year, also through its sister’s company « My Tribe » which aims at connecting diasporas and supporting black businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations. Shezal also observes that the memorial triggers many different responses within the afro-caribbean communities from anger, guilt, denial. « the memorial has really changed my understanding of where our biggest battle is….. It has opened my eyes to so many mindsets and the need for a collective understanding of what happened. Some are still traumatised by it. Honoring and remembering our ancestors is like a counselling session. People are coming to terms with it, it is a gradual process ».
The Sankofa, which is also the logo of Slavery Remembrance, embodies our past and heritage as the African diasporas, and represents the foundation to lay down and the stepping stone it provides on our way to achieving in the world we live in as a cultural entity, an economic force and a united people.
The next African Holocaust memorial will be held on Saturday 18th August 2018 in Trafalgar Square.
As a small grass root organisation community leader and director, Shezal Laing encourages all of us to step up and share the load. Every job description is needed from admin, bid writing, web content, PR, marketing and more. You can support and contribute in many ways from volunteering on the day and throughout a year, as well as financially by buying a badge or more.
Shezal’s last word « come and enjoy the day, share the event, share the news. »
See Teaser and link of the event below to share extensively!
FRUITSOFLOVE selection of handmade lipsticks at the top; at the bottom Deyon King wearing her own makeup
I've had the pleasure to meet Deyon King, an amazing and talented creative wearing so many different hats. From taking on the role of a cosmetic chemist, creating her own line of handmade natural makeup "Fruitsoflove" to styling and designing clothes using Ankara fabric, as well as accessories such as earring, bows and handbags, the list is endless. [She can also sing]......
Deyon would say of herself: "I've always been quite a creative type of person. People would come to me with broken bits of watches and earringS that are falling apart and ask what I could you do with it. I've always had a creative nack, gifted by God I would call it".
See pics below and Etsy site link to purchase fruitsoflove items:
A selection of bows on the left, top and earrings in the middle with green lipstick worn by myself, circle ankara skirt on the right
But that's not all. Deyon has a beautiful way of passing on knowledge. For instance, she is amazing at styling hair. I needed a hairstyle and within seconds by looking at my face, traits and outfit, she could picture exactly what would suit and the lipstick I would sport out. However, the ones appointed to do my haire were her daughters.
Deyon herself would say that her earliest memories of doing hair was between the ages of 8 to 12 where she would take on the task of doing her cousins' hairs, hairstyles, her mum's friends children and even my mum's friends themselves. She learnt herself from her mum and aunties who would be standing in the family living room with a girlfriend seating on a chair in the middle and they'll get busy styling their friend's hair. "In Caribbean culture, it is quite traditional and natural for the eldest to take care of the youngest hair and a way of making some money by doing hair braiding. I would have a doll that I would practise my braiding skills and cornrows on and be corrected by my auntie. I learnt by watching"
It is therefore not in the least surprising that her daughters, Syrenity and Sakura, have taken it on too.
"Now my kids have got this love for doing hair. They do the same thing with their dollies, try to braid the hair and single plats. They are amazing at single plating and I teach them different techniques as time allows".
You can see them below and the result of course of hair and make up.
We trust that Deyon King, her daughters and her brand will keep on unlocking their creativity. Long life to fruitsoflovve!!!