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New single SUBIRA by Siti and the Band

30 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #afroculture, #ENG, #subira, #zanzibar

The new sounds from Zanzibar are as fresh as they could be, be it the sparkling Qanun, the vibrant violin or the powerful and bright voice of Siti Amina, let yourself be taken away into a journey to the magical Island!

New single SUBIRA by Siti and the Band

Siti & The Band are releasing their new single and music video for the romantic love song “Subira” on the 28th of May 2021. ”Subira” is the first single from their forthcoming second studio album.

Zanzibar’s music history has been determined by female voices –from Siti Binti Saad to Bi Kidude, they have always been a trajectory for female emancipation and empowerment over the past decades.

Translating the traditional music into the modern times, Siti & The Band beautifully crafts the sounds of the new generation. In “Subira” it molds into unique afro-arab grooves, led by powerful vocals, the sparkling sounds of the Qanun and sweet responses by the Violin.

The message calls for our patience – in relationships and in our personal lives. Siti Aminais, the lead singer of the band is a role model for many young African women, determined to be all they can be.

After touring from East to West and from North to South with their first album “Fusing the Roots”, Siti & The Band utilized the pandemic to get back into the studio and record their second album. The stories and experiences from the Felabration Festival in Nigeria, Visa for Music in Morocco, Capital Nights in Sudan, IOMMA in La Reunion, ACCES in Nairobi and many other places are still alive and keep on influencing their musical journey and creative delivery.

Watch their new music video below and experience the island's magic.

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Mamadou Diabaté, balafoniste burkinabé

29 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #mamadoudiabaté, #carosika, #FR, #musique, #patrimoine culturel, #burkinafaso, #afrique, #artiste

Mamadou Diabate, né en 1973 au Burkina Faso, est le descendant d'une famille de musiciens Sambla. À l'âge de huit ans, il commence sa formation auprès de balafonistes connus de peuples voisins et remportera son premier prix en 1988 dans le groupe de son père. Depuis ses débuts, Mamadou Diabaté a publié 13 CDs avec ses propres compositions et 2 autres avec de la musique authentique des peuples Sambla et Tusia (tous deux en première mondiale). En 2016, il est fait chevalier de l'ordre national du Burkina Faso et reçoit en 2019, le prix du «Meilleur artiste international» du Burkina Faso.

Mamadou commence sa carrière dès son plus jeune âge, à cinq ans lorsqu'il reçoit des leçons de musique de son père, Penegue Diabate. Son père était un joueur de balafon célèbre, bien au-delà des frontières de la culture Sambla. Mamadou Diabaté persévère dans l'apprentissage du balafon durant son adolescence et remporte le premier prix de la Semaine nationale de la culture (SNC) au Burkina Faso dans le groupe de son père. En 1998, il remporte également le premier prix de la Semaine nationale de la culture (SNC) au Burkina Faso mais cette fois-ci, avec son propre groupe Landaya.

En 2000, il s'installe à Vienne, en Autriche, où il vit jusqu'à maintenant, et fonde en 2006 le groupe "Percussion Mania" avec lequel il tourne et joue à l'international.

En 2011, il remporte le World Music Award autrichien avec son groupe "Percussion Mania" et en 2012, le Grand Prix du "Triangle du Balafon" à Sikasso au Mali. Pour son jeu de balafon, il reçoit également le «Prix Alkaly Camara de la virtuosité».

Dans le cadre de sa vie personnelle, Mamadou Diabaté estime qu'il est important de pouvoir contribuer à l'essor de son pays natal le Burkina Faso et il y a construit une école primaire où les enfants pauvres reçoivent un enseignement gratuit.

Pour en découvrir plus sur l'histoire du Balafon et de la culture Sambla, ainsi que sur le parcours de Mamadou Diabaté, cliquez sur l'interview ci-dessous réalisée au Jazz Café, à Londres, lors de son dernier passage.

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Author and Self-Love Advocate Tene Edwards

29 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #poetry, #author, #afroculture, #teneedwards, #carosika, #2021, #ENG, #queenonamission, #uk

Author and Self-Love Advocate Tene Edwards

For 27-Year-Old Tene Edwards, it all started on Instagram. “I was broken, my heart was aching, and I completely lost myself. I always used to be the girl who smiled regardless of what was happening in my life but after that heartbreak, I just didn’t know how to smile anymore. I remember when I was on my way home from seeing the guy who was really hurting me and my face must have looked so distressed because a stranger said to me “smile. You are beautiful you know. You should smile.” I think this played on my mind during my train journey home and I knew from that moment that I needed to find a way to pick myself up and I can’t remember how long after, but sometime after I began to journal and I found healing in my writing as I faced my emotions.

Tene then decided to share her words with the world and created an account on Instagram called quotepotion which helped her discover that there were many other people experiencing the same emotions as she was. “I built my organic following online using my phone by engaging with people who followed and commented on the inspirational posts of accounts that had larger audiences than mine, this drew them to checking out my page and some following. I did this for hours on end to begin with and found that people were really able to resonate with my words. I then started to search via hashtags that were relevant to my writings and engaged with people there. I also asked the larger accounts to repost my words, some did this for free while other accounts charged”.

I self-published Walk With Wings to begin with as I wanted to give my readers something that they could hold and make their own. I also saw this as an opportunity to monetise my passion of writing and was very keen to do this after reading a ton of self-help books that consistently screamed “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”. I wrote the content out on Word and searched for an illustrator, editor and book designer to help me with the layout of the inside of the book on the copyright pages of other books that I liked. I then uploaded the documents onto CreateSpace (now KDP).

Tene contacted The Good Quote to ask if they could share some of her words on their account and before you know it, she was having a meeting with them in Joe & The Juice about Walk With Wings and the rest is history. Walk With Wings has reached the hands of thousands and thousands of people worldwide and Tene’s words have been shared by household names and celebrities including, Kandi Burruss, Wesley Snipes, Dascha Polanco and Khloe Kardashian.

Social media is a powerful place; I practically built my brand on there. Anybody can. I think a lot of people are underutilising it, including myself to be honest when we should really be making the most out of it, being a free platform to advertise. I don’t think advertising can get any easier and cheaper than this.”

Click below to watch one of Tene Edwards latest interview by Gin and Gist:


Our cultural mediator, Caro Sika, showcasing Walk with Wings by Tene Edwards:

Author and Self-Love Advocate Tene Edwards
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Paulette Simpson, one of the most influential Jamaican executive in the UK

21 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #paulettesimpson, #blacklegacy, #moneymob, #paulmuhammad, #ENG, #uk, #jamaica

Photo source: web

Photo source: web

Paulette Simpson is an extremely influental Jamaican lady who wears many hats. She is well known as the Executive Director of the Voice Newspaper (subsidiary of the JN Group), a Black-owned newspaper that has served the Black British community for over 35 years but not only. Paulette Simpson is also the Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Corporate of Affairs of JN Bank Limited in the United Kingdom, Britain's first Caribbean-owned bank and the Deputy Chair of both the Windrush Advisory Panel and the Windrush Commemoration Committee.

Born in England, her grandmother thought best for her granddaughter, Paulette, to be raised in Jamaica and so she returned there as a child. Paulette Simpson attended primary school in both Mizpah and Christiana, before moving on to Manchester High School. As an undergraduate, she returned to the UK and studied at the University of Stirling in Scotland, where she earned a Bachelor of Art Degree in Business Studies (Finance and Marketing). She also later completed a MBA at the University of Westminster. Professionally, she began working at PriceWaterhouse, for a few years, in various positions. She was then recruited by the National Commercial Bank to establish and manage its London office. When the ownership changed in 2002, she was immediately snatched by, what was then, the Jamaica National Building Society. Since, she has worked as Executive, Corporate Affairs and Public Policy at JN representative office in the UK and provides strategic management support for The Voice Newspaper.

Paulette Simpson is considered to be a major player in improving the lives of Jamaicans in the UK and Jamaica, bridging and maintaining Jamaica's connection with its Diaspora. She is very active in the community and assists various charities with their work.

She was recognised twice as one of Britain’s most influential people of African and African-Caribbean heritage in the annual UK Powerlist published by Powerful Media in 2018 and 2019.

Paulette Simpson is also deputy chair of the Windrush Advisory Panel and the Windrush Commemoration Committee in the United Kingdom. As such, she has been honoured for services to the Caribbean community in the UK by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and was conferred with the highest ranking order of Commander of the British Empire.

Click below to watch Paulette Simpson's interview conducted by Paul Muhammad, founder of the MoneyMob movement on the topic of "Supporting Black Businesses" in our Ujamaa series.

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Fuse ODG, a Pan-African Artist and Philanthropist

19 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #fuseodg, #music, #artist, #ghana, #carosika, #ENG, #uk

Photo Source: Web

Photo Source: Web

Fuse ODG, born Nana Richard Abiona on 2nd December 1988, is a Ghanian Afrobeats rapper, singer and songwriter born in Tooting, London. He is a two-time winner of the Best African Act at the MOBO Awards and came to international fame with his 2012 single 'Antenna'. Working with the likes of Wyclef Jean, Sean Paul and Ed Sheeran, FUSE ODG brought Afrobeats to the general public.

Fuse ODG was raised in Ghana and returned to South London to complete his secondary school. In 2011, a trip back to his homeland started off his musical career. He released a string of Afrobeats singles that melded old African highlife rhythms with western rap and R&B melodies and came to fame with his song 'Antenna' in 2012. His chosen stage name "Fuse" comes from his fusion of musical styles, as he is known for his unusual combination of genres such as Afro-pop, hip-hop, R&B, funk and rock, whilst "ODG" stands for 'Off Da Ground'. 

At 30 years old, FUSE ODG released his second album, New Africa Nation, which encompassed a more ambitious project: building schools to enable children in rural areas in Ghana and Jamaica to access quality education. Besides, his movement TINA 'This is New Africa' (which is also the name of his first album) is all about changing how Africa is perceived internationally. His take is:

"If you are from Africa, your mission should be loving yourself and developing a love for where you are from."

Watch Antenna, FUSE ODG single, that shot him to fame.

Understandably, FUSE ODG has been instrumental in promoting 'the Year of Return', a 2019 initiative of the Ghanaian government, along with the U.S. based Adinkra Group, that is intended to encourage African diasporans to come to Africa (specifically Ghana) to settle and invest in the continent. In support of the year of Return Campaign, he launched Nana Dolls in December 2018, a black doll line for young African girls on the continent. In his announcement, the singer stated that the doll line was an important addition to the cultural representation of the true African girl. He went on to address the problem Africa is facing as Black dolls in Africa only represent 1% of the market. 99% of the toys being sold in Africa are white dolls which condition children to believe that being white is better. His contributions were recognised the same year at The African Diaspora Awards, which celebrates the accomplishments of exemplary individuals from the African Diaspora who excel in various spheres of life, as well as individuals in society working towards the advancement of Africans in the Diaspora and Africa as a whole.

FUSE ODG has now embarked on the new mission of
building a high school in Akosombo, Ghana and refurbishing a secondary school in Jamaica with Reggae artist Chronixx, fitness entrepreneur Chakabars  and artist Donisha (who also happens to be Bob Marley's granddaughter). Students will be equipped with various vocational skills to find work, upon graduation, in industries such as construction, or health and beauty for instance.

For more info, watch one of his latest interview below:

Our cultural mediator, Caro Sika, got a selfie snapshot with FUSE ODG at the latest Black Magic Awards.

Our cultural mediator, Caro Sika, got a selfie snapshot with FUSE ODG at the latest Black Magic Awards.

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Takine Camara, la reine du Bazin

9 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #beautécharismatik, #takinecamara, #fashion, #mode, #carosika, #FR, #mali

Photo source: Web

Photo source: Web

Takine Camara est une entrepreneure malienne talentueuse et ambitieuse. Elle est créatrice et fondatrice de la marque de mode 'Beauté Charismatik'.

Alors que sa passion pour la mode remonte à sa tendre enfance, Takine Camara la matérialise adulte par le lancement de sa marque 'Beauté Charismatik'. Afin de faire écho à ses origines maliennes et pour se distinguer de la tendance de la mode africaine associée, très et trop souvent, au wax, elle décide de se spécialiser dans la confection de tenues en bazin, une étoffe synonyme de luxe et de richesse portée, notamment en Afrique de l'Ouest, lors des festivités. Le bazin devient donc la signature de marque de Beauté Charismatik, qui confectionne des tenues à la fois modernes et traditionnelles.

Depuis, sa marque fait l'unanimité en Afrique de l'Ouest et dans la diaspora et s'associe au luxe et au prestige. De par ce fait, Takine Camara est conviée à participer à de nombreux évènements de renom tels Miss Mali ou Miss Afrique de l'Ouest où les prétendantes aux titres défilent portant des créations de Beauté Charismatik. Takine Camara a également eu l'opportunité de collaborer avec la marque WATI B pour la Nuit du Mali en habillant son directeur artistique, ainsi que l'artiste Cheick Tidiane Seck. Plus récemment, ce sera l'artiste Mokobe, qui parrainera le premier Fashion Show de Takine Camara au Sénégal ou la grande Diva Internationale Oumou Sangaré qui sera habillée par Beauté Charismatik pour son premier concert à Dubaï.

Bref, 'the sky is the limit' pour cette créatrice et entrepreneure africaine qui n'hésite pas à voyager, à s'inspirer de cultures et expressions artistiques aux quatre coins du monde et à y travailler.

Découvrez-là ci-dessous dans un de ses interviews en compagnie du présentateur et entrepreneur Mohamadou Deme sur KWABO TV.

La créatrice Takine Camara s'entretient avec l'entrepreneur et présentateur Mohamadou Deme.

Nous sommes bien évidemment fan de la marque. C'est pourquoi notre médiatrice culturelle, Caro Sika, a eu l'honneur de porter deux robes de la collection Reine d'Afrique de Beauté Charismatik,
lors de la dernière édition d'Africa Fashion Week à Londres.
Takine Camara, la reine du BazinTakine Camara, la reine du Bazin
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Serge Aimé Coulibaly, un artiste burkinabé engagé

3 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #serge aimé coulibaly, #artiste, #danse, #carosika, #FR, #burkinafaso

Photo Credit: Lydia Nesvadba

Photo Credit: Lydia Nesvadba

Serge Aimé Coulibaly est né à Bobo Dioulasso le 12 mars 1972. Depuis 2002, il travaille en Europe et dans le monde entier par le biais de la compagnie de danse Faso Danse Théâtre, dont il est le fondateur et directeur artistique . Il fondera également ANKATA, un laboratoire de recherche, création et production des arts de la scène situé à Bobo Dioulasso.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly fait ses débuts au sein de la compagnie Feeren au Burkina Faso, sous la direction d'Amadou Bourou, en tant que comédien, danseur et musicien. Cette première expérience lui permettra de partir en tournée en Afrique et en Europe. En 1998, il est choisi pour chorégraphier le spectacle d’ouverture de la Coupe d'Afrique des Nations, et en 1999 celle de l'ouverture du Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

Depuis la création de sa compagnie Faso Danse en 2002, Serge Aimé travaille sur des thèmes complexes et tente de donner une véritable impulsion positive aux jeunes générations Son africanité est la source de son inspiration et avec son art, il veut créer une danse contemporaine puissante qui part du sentiment mais qui porte aussi réflexion et espoir. La puissance de son expressivité rend son travail universel et compréhensible sur tous les continents. Les pièces en date, produites sur différentes scènes européennes et africaines (festivals), en commençant par la plus récente sont Kirina (2018), Kalakuta Republik (2016), Nuit Blanche à Ouagadougou (2014), Fadjiri (2013), Khokuma 7° Sud (2011), Babemba (2008), Solitude d'un Homme Intègre (2007), A Benguer (2006), Minimini (2002).

Cliquez ci-dessous pour l'interview complet de Serge Aimé Coulibaly sur son parcours et son engagement politique lors de la 100ème représentation de sa pièce Kalakuta Republik, au Barbican Center, à Londres.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly s'entretient avec notre médiatrice culturelle Caro Sika lors de son passage à Londres.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly s'entretient avec notre médiatrice culturelle Caro Sika lors de son passage à Londres.

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Awilo Longomba, un artiste qui fédère

30 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #awilo longomba, #artiste, #musique, #afroculture, #2021, #patrimoine culturel, #FR, #rdc

Photo Source: Web

Photo Source: Web

Awilo Longomba est un artiste chanteur et musicien congolais. Il est célèbre autant sur le continent que dans la diaspora et il se produit fréquemment sur la scène internationale. Depuis plus de deux décennies, Awilo Longomba est dans le top 3 des musiciens de la RDC et son style musical a transcendé le soukous, incorporant également l'afro pop et l'afro beat. Sa polyvalence musicale entraîne de nombreux featuring et collaborations avec d'autre artistes africains tels la diva nigériane Yemi Alade avec "Rihanna", « Zoungou remix » avec le guinéen Bebeto, "Enemy Solo" avec les P-Square.
Né le 6 mai 1962 en République démocratique du Congo, il héritera du talent musical de son père, le chanteur Vicky Longomba du Tout Puissant OK Jazz. Avant de commencer une carrière solo, Awilo sera batteur, notamment du groupe Viva La Musica et Loketo entre 1980 et 1994. En 1995, il abandonne la batterie pour le chant, et enregistre Moto Pamba, son premier disque sous son nom. Avec son deuxième album Coupé Bibamba en 1998, sa notoriété s'étend d'Afrique en Europe en passant par l'Amérique. Coupé Bibamba en featuring avec la chanteuse de Kassav Jocelyne Béroard, l'animateur Tutu Kaludji et Alain Mpéla de Wenge BCBG, deviendra son album phare et connaitra un énorme succès, suivi de Kafou Kafou en 2000 — qui gagne un prix au Kora Awards en 2001 (le 3ème en date ayant déjà reçu des awards en 1996 et 1997 pour ses albums précédents). En 2003, il sort Mondongo et en 2008 l'album Super Man, qui reçoit le Best Soukous Entertainer Award en 2009.
En 2016, après un long séjour dans son Kinshasa natal, Awilo sort « Kolo kwanga » où il célèbre la chikwange (manioc), un met congolais apprécié de tous. Dans le clip de cette chanson, il se fait entourer de plusieurs chroniqueurs musicaux de Kinshasa et du célèbre comédien kinois Fiston Saï Saï. 
Awilo Longomba est parmi les rares musiciens congolais à se produire chaque fois en Afrique Occidentale dans des pays comme le Nigeria, le Burkina Faso, le Cap-Vert et autres. C'est un artiste qui fédère et qui attire tout type de public.
Voir ci-dessous Awilo Longomba lors de ses retrouvailles avec la directrice artistique Chantal Loial au Richmix, à Londres.
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Princess Ademiluyi Ronke, the founder of Africa Fashion Week

28 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #fashion, #blacklegacy, #ENG, #princessronke, #nigeria, #uk

Photo Credit: Allure Vanguard

Photo Credit: Allure Vanguard

Princess Ademiluyi Ronke is the great grand-daughter of the late Ooni Ajagun Ademiluyi, the King of the Ife Kingdom, now located in Osun State, Nigeria. She is the owner and founder of the award-winning fashion platform, Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria. To date, the Fashion Week has gained global recognition and showcased over 1000 African and African inspired designers.

 Princess Ademiluyi Ronke was born in England and is a Law Graduate from Thames Valley University in London. In 2011, she founded Africa Fashion Week London in order to promote African Fashion globally. This year marks 10 years of her showcasing African fashion designers in London. Her Africa Fashion Week London platform is the longest running festival in the UK and Europe that supports and promotes emerging African designers. Under her supervision, organizations like the KwaZulu Natal Fashion Council, The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, The Seychelles Creative Enterprise and The Trade & Investment South Africa have all used the AFWL platform to showcase creative talents from their various countries to the world.

In 2015, she launched Africa Fashion Week Nigeria to provide an African platform to emerging African designers on the continent and give them the opportunity to showcase their collections in Europe, through Africa Fashion Week London.

In 2016 she was made the global and cultural ambassador of the Legacy of the Iconic Queen Moremi. The late ‘Moremi Ajasoro’ is an historical figure of extraordinary dimensions in Ife, who saved her people and heritage from extinction.

Princess Ademiluyi Ronke uses the Queen Moremi Initiative to promote female leadership, mentorship and entrepreneurship programs for young women. She also campaigns against trafficking of young women in Nigeria.

We've had the opportunity to attend Africa Fashion Week London on two occasions. Click on the video below to watch our first experience of Africa Fashion Week London. A real feast for the senses!

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Legendary Soul Singer Omar

21 Avril 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #music, #artist, #omar, #2021, #afroculture, #carosika, #interview, #blacklegacy, #ENG, #uk

Photo Source: Web

Photo Source: Web

Omar Christopher Lye-Fook, known professionally as Omar, is an internationally acclaimed and exceptional soul singer, songwriter and musician, who has been praised by the likes of  Maxwell, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder actually wrote him a song which they recorded together as a duet 15 years later.

Omar was born on 14th October 1968 in London. His father, Byron Lye-Fook was a studio musician and drummer who worked with reggae legends Bob Marley and Horace Andy, as well as the Rolling Stones. At age five, Omar was already learning how to play the drums. During his school years, he completed formal training in piano, trumpet/coronet, and other percussion instruments. He also spent two years at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and the Guildhall School of Music in London. Recording for his father's Kongo label, Omar debuted in 1985 with the single "Mr. Postman" at age 16. He shot to fame in 1991 with his single "There’s Nothing Like This". It reached number 14 in the UK Singles Chart.

In the 1990s, He recorded the albums There's Nothig Like This, Music, For Pleasure and This is Not a Love Song in and towards the end of that decade moved on to major-label RCA. When he parted ways with the label, Omar constructed his own studio and established the record label Blunt Music. He released Sing (If you want it) in 2006. Omar received the Best Neo-soul Act and Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Urban Music Awards, which acknowledges urban music artists around the globe. He was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2012. The next year, he released The Man and in 2017 Love In Beats on the Freestyle label, which took three years to make with the collaboration of his baby brother, known professionaly as Scratch Professor (aka Roland). Roland is a Grammy Winning producer, remixer and DJ.

Omar's voice is extra soulful and distinctive although he hated the sound of his voice when he first started performing. He is now described by some as the father of British Neo soul. However, Omar knows no musical boundaries.His influences are wide and varied, including ragga, hip-hop, funk, jazz-pop, rock, and Latin/Caribbean music. 

More recently, before the pandemic, Omar was awarded the Music Honour at the Black Magic Awards 2019 at the Criterion Theatre in the heart of London.

Watch his interview and his word of advice for upcoming artists.

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