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Stunning and mesmerising Angelique Kidjo launching Remain in Light at the Royal Festival Hall

June 9 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #carosika, #music, #artist, #afroculture, #2018, #angeliquekidjo

Stunning and mesmerising Angelique Kidjo launching Remain in Light at the Royal Festival Hall

Just back from Angelique Kidjo's Live performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Angelique Kidjo is a firecracker and so are her musicians. She has such a mesmerising energy and stage presence, it's breathtaking!!!! She is  an amazing and powerful singer, entertainer and she has some unique sharp dance moves ..... my friend and colleague Noel McKoy and I looked at each other and smiled when Angelique Kidjo hit the stage with some MJ moves like the King himself!!!

Angelique Kidjo's interpretation of Talking Heads- Remain in Light is a complete success. It has so much more rhythm and I love the horns of the album. I particularly loved Angelique Kidjo's performance of "The Great Curve" and her emphasis on our need to take care of Mother Earth and women, the givers of life. It was electric, got us all out of our seats dancing. In fact, Angelique Kidjo was totally in control and we would sway from "seat down" to "get off of your seats", "seat down", "get up"....She was so luminous and energetic ..so much so that she invited her audience to join her on stage. Did I go? Oh yes, I did and there we were about 40 of us on stage jamming with the musicians and the Diva herself. These moments of sheer joy are just unforgettable. It was Angelique Kidjo's aim that we all leave the concert boosted and uplifted and she totally succeeded in doing so.

Her legendary interpretation of  Mama Africa for which the public became the backup vocals was top notch.

continue to read below about the after show and Angelique Kidjo's foundation Batonga

Angelique Kidjo performing Mama Africa at Grenada Festival 2016

Now Angelique Kidjo to me is a legend; my father is from Benin too and when I see her, she is nothing short of an auntie in my eyes. In my days growing up, we had many Afro Americans that stood out as talented people but we didn’t have many proud Africans. Angelique Kidjo always stood tall. I totally respect the fact that most of her repertoire is in Fon and Yoruba, as well as including European languages such as French, English and Portuguese. In her video clip, African symbols and imagery are ever present and underlie whatever she does. She presents Africa as her major source of inspiration and then fusion its rhythm with other genres of music. 

Angelique Kidjo is a key ambassador for Africa. An African woman showing us  how to carry ourselves with dignity and love for our motherland. I desperately wanted to interview her to relay her advice to our young artists on the continent who are aspiring to an artistic career and I was really privileged to attend her aftershow and private talk about the work of her foundation.

First of all, I had the opportunity to meet her musicians backstage, amazing drummers, saxophonists and trumpetists. They got talking with Noel McKoy, who was part of the James Taylor Quartet in the 90s and is a well-known British Soul singer who toured in France and all over the world.

Continue to read below for more on the work of Angelique Kidjo's foundation Batonga

Angelique Kidjo Djembe drummers

Angelique Kidjo Djembe drummers

Noel Mc Koy on the left and more of Angelique Kidjo's musicians on the night

Noel Mc Koy on the left and more of Angelique Kidjo's musicians on the night

Angelique Kidjo’s contribution to this world is more than music, although she often concedes that « music is my weapon for peace ». She is also a voice to the voiceless. Her Grammy nominated award Eve in 2015 is an album dedicated to the women of Africa, to their resilience and their beauty featuring 100 African women who sing in their native African languages.

Therefore, after such a powerful performance, Angelique Kidjo naturally chooses to center her talk on the work of her foundation Batonga. On stage, she urges us to do good. Backstage, she speaks of the young African girls she tirelessly supports and empowers in different parts of Africa such as Mali, Benin, Sierra Leone and more...Her foundation tag line is "transforming Africa one girl at a time"

See link below for more info. on the Batonga Foundation. Continue to read below for more info on Angelique Kidjo's work as a goodwill ambassador

Angelique Kidjo will recall how she started her work in 2007. Despite all the opposition she faced, she was determined to succeed. Acknowledging the scale of the challenge, she would respond "if it's easy why bother".

She decided to give a scholarship to girls to access secondary education and worked with grassroot organisations to tackle the causes of early drop outs. Angelique Kidjo sees secondary education as the greatest weapon to ensure that these young girls do not fall prey to child marriage, early pregnancies nor being subjected to female genital mutiliation. She empowers these girls to be "game changers in the community, the country and globally" and she also wants men and boys to be part of changing mindsets in Africa to ensure girls are not objectified. As a goodwill ambassador for Unicef, she would only support the song project "Say no to children's marriages" if both men and women artists were involved and singing in all the local languages of Benin so that the message of the song could reach grassroot people.

Angelique Kidjo is determined to see these young women know dignity and be empowered to choose their fate so that in turn they can support men in the making to play their role in society, investing in their family, their community and raise the GDP of the country and of Africa globally.

As Angelique Kidjo reinvents 'Remain in LIght", she definitely brings us hope, shines bright and inspires us to be a light too in whatever we set out to do for Africa.

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Superbe et lumineuse, Angelique Kidjo lance son nouvel album Remain in Light au Royal Festival Hall

June 9 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #carosika, #artiste, #musique, #afroculture, #2018, #angeliquekidjo

Superbe et lumineuse, Angelique Kidjo lance son nouvel album Remain in Light au Royal Festival Hall

Tout juste de retour de la performance d'Angelique Kidjo's au Royal Albert Hall à Southbank, Londres. Angelique Kidjo est en feu et bien évidemment tous ses musiciens. Elle a une énergie incroyable et une telle présence sur scène, c'est à en couper le souffle ! ! ! !

Son interprétation de Talking Heads- Remain in Light est un succès total. Rythmé, associant le rock, l'Afrobeat, le jazz, j'ai particulièrement aimé la performance d'Angelique Kidjo "The Great Curve" et son accent sur la nécessité de prendre soin de la Terre mère et des femmes, les gardiennes de la vie. Le concert était électrique, Angélique Kidjo était totalement au contrôle, énérgique et lumineuse, et nous invitait à nous lever, nous asseoir, nous lever, nous asseoir jusqu'à ce qu'elle invite son public à assaillir la scène et la rejoindre sur les sons des percussions. Y-suis je allée ? Bien évidemment, environ 40 d'entre nous ont rejoint les musiciens et la diva elle-même sur scène. Des moments de joie pure tout juste inoubliables. C'était l'objectif d'Angélique Kidjo que nous quittions tous le concert motivés, inspirés et elle réussit, sans équivoque, à le faire.


Son interprétation légendaire de Mama Africa pour laquelle le public a rejoint les chœurs était aussi explosive que les toutes les fois précédentes.


Continuer à lire ci-dessous pour plus d'infos sur l'aftershow et la fondation d' Angelique Kidjo Batonga

Angélique Kidjo, pour moi, c'est une légende ; mon père est également originaire du Bénin et quand je la vois, elle n'est rien de moins qu'une tante à mes yeux. En grandissant en région parisienne dans les années 90, nous avions beaucoup d'idoles Afro Américaines mais nous n'avions pas beaucoup d'artistes africains fiers de leurs origines. Angélique Kidjo, elle, se distinguait. J'admirais le fait que la plupart de son répertoire était en Fon et Yoruba, ainsi qu'en français, anglais et portugais. Dans ses clips vidéo, les symboles et l'imagerie de l'Afrique étaient toujours présents dans tout ce qu'elle faisait. Angélique Kidjo présente l'Afrique comme son inspiration majeure et à l'origine de différentes cultures et genre de musique.


Angélique Kidjo est une ambassadrice de l'Afrique. Une femme africaine qui modèle comment nous comporter avec dignité en tant qu'africains et afro-descendants. Je tenais donc vraiment à la rencontrer et à l'interviewer afin de relayer ses conseils à nos jeunes artistes sur le continent qui aspirent à une carrière artistique.  J'ai donc été vraiment privilégié d'avoir un pass pour son aftershow et d'être en mesure de l'écouter parler du travail de sa fondation Batonga après avoir rencontré ses musiciens dans les coulisses, des musiciens de djembe et percussions foudroyants, saxophonistes, trombonistes, trompettistes.


Continuer à lire ci-dessous pour en savoir plus sur le travail de la fondation d'Angélique Kidjo Batonga

Les musiciens de Djembé d'Angélique Kidjo

Les musiciens de Djembé d'Angélique Kidjo

Michael Joussein, tromboniste et autres musiciens d'Angélique Kidjo

Michael Joussein, tromboniste et autres musiciens d'Angélique Kidjo

Cependant, Angélique Kidjo apporte bien plus au monde que sa musique, bien qu'elle concède que " la musique est mon arme pour la paix ". Elle est aussi la voix de ceux qui n'en ont pas. En 2015, elle obtient un Grammy Awards pour son album Eve, un album dédié aux femmes de l'Afrique, à leur résilience et à leur beauté mettant en scène 100 femmes africaines qui chante en langues africaines.


Par conséquent, après une telle performance, Angélique Kidjo choisit naturellement d'exposer, dans le cadre intime de l'aftershow regroupant une trentaine de personnes, sur sa fondation Batonga. Elle nous incite à faire le bien sur scène et semer la vie. Dans les coulisses, elle parlera des jeunes filles africaines qu'elle soutient sans relâche dans divers pays de l'Afrique comme le Mali, le Bénin, la Sierra Leone et plus...Le slogan de la fondation est d'ailleurs "transformons l'Afrique une fille à la fois"

voir le lien ci-dessous pour plus d'infos sur la Fondation Batonga. Continuer à lire ci-dessous pour plus d'information sur les travaux d'Angélique Kidjo comme ambassadrice de bonne volonté de l'UNICEF

Angélique Kidjo évoquera les premiers jours de sa fondation en 2007, quant en dépit de toute l'opposition à laquelle elle fait face, elle est déterminée à changer la donne des jeunes filles africaines.
Elle commencera par munir les jeunes filles d'une bourse, afin qu'elles accèdent à l'enseignement secondaire et Angélique Kidjo travaillera également avec des ONG sur le terrain afin d'identifier et pallier aux causes de l'abandon scolaire précoce. Angelique Kidjo voit l'enseignement secondaire comme la meilleure arme pour s'assurer que ces jeunes filles ne seront pas victimes d'un mariage d'enfants, de grossesses précoces ou l'objet de mutiliation génitale. Elle permet à ces jeunes filles d'être un second souffle dans leur communauté, leur pays et dans le monde. Les hommes et les garçons ont aussi leur part à jouer pour changer la vision de la femme en Afrique et pour s'assurer qu'elle ne soit pas objectifiée. C'est pourquoi en tant qu'ambassadrice de bonne volonté pour l'Unicef, Angélique Kidjo acceptera de soutenir le projet "Non au mariage des enfants" en 2017, tant qu' hommes et femmes artistes seront impliqués et chanteront dans toutes les langues locales du Bénin afin que le message de la chanson puisse atteindre le peuple et non uniquement les élites.

.
Angelique Kidjo est déterminée à habiliter ces jeunes femmes à choisir leur destin afin qu'elles puissent réinvestir dans leur famille, la communauté et augmenter le PIB du pays et de l'Afrique à l'échelle mondiale.


Alors qu'Angelique Kidjo réinvente 'Remain in Light", elle nous apporte de l'espoir et nous inspire à notre tour, à briller autour de nous et surtout pour l'Afrique.

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Boubacar Kafando et son groupe Zaama Nooma au festival Focus Africa 2018

June 6 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #carosika, #festival, #musique, #artiste, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2018, #focusafrica

Boubacar Kafando et Zaama Nooma au festival Focus Africa à Londres

Boubacar Kafando et Zaama Nooma au festival Focus Africa à Londres

Pendant que Boubacar Kafando, un virtuose du N'goni et de la Kora, artiste, compositeur, interprète et et le leader du groupe Zaama Nooma, est en train de terminer les balances pour le concert "Focus Africa" dans une heure de temps, je suis présentée à Joel Kabore, l'un des cinq principaux musiciens du groupe. Joel joue du djembé et Tama et est également du Burkina Faso comme l'est Boubacar. Son amitié et relation musicale avec Boubacar ne date pas d'hier; ils se connaissent depuis plus de 20 ans. Pour ce qui est du groupe Zaama Nooma, il est soigneusement constitué par Boubacar Kafando en 2010.

Joel Kabore me révèle que le nom du groupe signifie "unis nous sommes plus forts" dans la langue Mooré, qui est la langue dominante du Burkina Faso. Le Burkina Faso en Afrique de l'Ouest, qui signifie "Le pays des hommes intègres",  compte environ 70 langues différentes ce qui en fait un pays multiculturel, comme de nombreuses nations africaines. L'humanité de Boubacar Kafando et son groupe Zaama Nooma et leur recherche d'harmonie se traduisent dans leur amour pour la musique ; et l'expression de leur musique est d'encourager tout un chacun à vivre en harmonie avec son prochain. Ils adressent aussi le besoin de justice sociale et les inégalités ou injustices qu'ils voient autour d'eux. Naturellement, il est parfaitement logique que le dernier album de Boubacar Kafando, sorti en 2016, s'appelle "faut pas se diviser".


Pour plus d'info sur Zaama Nooma, Afrobeat band, cliquez le lien ci-dessous :

https://www.boubacarkafando.com/bio-eng

Continuez au bas de la page pour plus d'infos sur l'association Zaama Nooma et son centre culturel au Burkina Faso

Boubacar Kafando qui finit ses balances avant le concert

Boubacar Kafando qui finit ses balances avant le concert

Joel Kabore au Tama

Joel Kabore au Tama

Leur projet musical est, toutefois, bien au-delà de l'industrie de la musique seule. Zaama Nooma est aussi le nom de l'association que Boubacar Kafando a fondée en 2007 dans le but de transmettre l'héritage musical du Burkina Faso et de l'Afrique subsaharienne à sa jeunesse. Elle y veille, à travers différentes actions telles que des ateliers de musique (djembé, Kora), des concerts, des activités éducatives telles que la réparation et la fabrication d'instruments et la recherche et la préservation des instruments en voie de disparition.


Plus tard, en parlant à Boubacar Kafando, il m'est évident que sa passion et son engagement pour la musique et son patrimoine est une partie intégrale de sa mission et de sa vie; il tourne à travers le monde et collecte des fonds pour faire vivre son association. Il travaille aussi activement à promouvoir son groupe Zaama Nooma afin qu'ils puissent également vivre de leur art. C'est une des raisons pour lesquelles Boubacar Kafando aime se produire à Londres, qu'il considère être une ville multiculturelle, très ouverte à la culture africaine et à sa musique.


Pour ma part, j'ai adoré voir Boubacar Kafando et Zaama Nooma Live. Leur énergie, la fusion de rock et la rythmique traditionnelle de la Kora et autres instruments traditionnels, leurs états d'esprit, en font un groupe totalement à part et unique.

Je vous encourage vivement à les découvrir et à assister à leurs prochains concerts.

Pour toutes les dates à venir, https://www.boubacarkafando.com/

Boubacar Kafando & Zaama Nooma et Caro Sika

Boubacar Kafando & Zaama Nooma et Caro Sika

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Boubacar Kafando and the Zaama Nooma at Focus Africa 2018

June 5 2018 , Written by www.afrocultureblog.com Published on #festival, #music, #artist, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2018, #focusafrica

Boubacar Kafando and the Zaama Nooma Band at Focus Africa 2018, RichMix London

Boubacar Kafando and the Zaama Nooma Band at Focus Africa 2018, RichMix London

See Boubacar Kafando the Zaamam Nooma band playing Live

As Boubacar Kafando, a virtuose of the N'goni and the Kora, singer, songwriter, composer and the leader of the great Zaama Nooma band, is finishing off the balance for the concert "Focus Africa" starting in a hour time, I am introduced to Joel Kabore, one of the five main musicians of the band. Joel plays Djembe and Tama and is also from Burkina Faso as is Boubacar. His friendship and musical relationship with Boubacar goes back a long way, over 20 years. The actual band came together in 2010. Joel Kabore tells me that the meaning of the band's name is "united we are stronger" in the Mossi Language, which is the dominant language of Burkina Faso, which counts approximately 70 languages and makes it a multicultural country, as many African nations. Boubacar Kafando and the band's love for people and unity really translate in their love for music; and the expression of their music is to call people to leave in harmony and love each other. They equally address the need for social justice and inequalities or injustice they see around them. It naturally makes perfect sense that the latest album of Boubacar Kafando, released in 2016, is called "faut pas se diviser", we must not be divided.

For more info about Zaama Nooma, Afrobeat band, check the link below:

https://www.boubacarkafando.com/bio-eng

Continue to read below for info on their charitable work

Boubacar Kafando finishing off the balance prior to the concert

Boubacar Kafando finishing off the balance prior to the concert

Joel Kabore playing the Tama

Joel Kabore playing the Tama

Their musical project is, however, far beyond the music industry alone. Zaama Nooma is also the name of the charitable organisation Boubacar Kafando founded in 2007 with the aim to pass on the musical heritage of Burkina Faso and sub-Saharan Africa to the youth. It accomplishes its goal through different actions such as musical workshops (Djembe, Kora), concerts, educational activities such as the repair and manufacture of instruments and research and preservation of endangered instruments. A cultural centre "le centre culturel Zounoogo" also opened its doors in 2009 in the town of Saponé, Burkina Faso.

For more info, https://www.boubacarkafando.com/association-zaama-nooma

Later on, speaking to Boubacar Kafando, it is evident that his passion and commitment for music is integral, touring throughout the world and raising funds for the work of his charity and he is actively working at promoting the band so that they can comfortably make a living from the art and their craft. That is one of the reason Boubacar Kafando loves performing in London which he considers to be a multicultural city, very open to African Culture and music.

For my part, I have loved seeing Boubacar Kafando and the Zaama Nooma band perform. I loved the energy, the fusion of rock and the traditional rhythmic of the Kora and other traditional instruments.

For Boubacar Kafando's and the Zaama Nooma's Band next concerts, find all the dates on https://www.boubacarkafando.com/

Boubacar Kafando & The Zaama Nooma band with Caro Sika at RichMix, London

Boubacar Kafando & The Zaama Nooma band with Caro Sika at RichMix, London

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Kishem, entrepreneurship at its best!!

June 5 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #business, #brand, #carosika, #kids, #ujamaa, #afroculturekidz, #afroculture, #2018

Kiisha and Kemi at Camden Market

Kiisha and Kemi at Camden Market

Kemi and Kiisha, aged 8 and 6 years olds, are just so cool! It's Saturday 2nd June and the girls' brand Kishem (a blend of both of their names) holds a stall at Camden market. On the table, there are numerous gorgeous items so very girly: badges, keyrings, lucky dip sachets, cookies, colouring books.... Kemi is pointing at the illustration of their lead character dressed Wakanda style. I ask her if she watched Black Panther and naturally this 8 year old Tycoon has. Moreover, she has her  own tag line for it "Wakanda rock". I proceed looking at all the items and I am totally in love with them and Kishem's concept.

There is no doubt in my mind that being a little girl again, I would simply love rocking "Kishem style". In fact, all of us ladies present, secretly love all of the characters of Kishem's world and would happily get colouring the pages of the story book there and then. Kishem's oldest sister's favorite is Afia because this character loves science. Unsurprisingly, Kishem's sister loves science herself. And that is the point, that's what we call Positive Representation. These characters in Kishem's storybooks are neither princesses, nor ballerinas. They are powerful, talented, creative, entrepreneurial girls.

- Zhen is a photographer and you get to see her editing in her studio

- Mya is good at cooking

- Kishem loves karate and sports

- Eve is a great swimmer

- Ruby makes jewellery

- Amor loves technology

..... and so on and so forth!!!

These two little girls totally achieved what they set out to do one day of Summer 2016.

"We got the idea to create the Kishem colouring book after asking our mum and dad why there weren't colouring books with all types of children who look like us or our friends in school. Our Dad said "girls problems are meant for solving" (he says that all the time), so we decided to make our own" .... "We wanted the book to have different types of children who are all talented and unique. It was also important to make it more than just a colouring book so after creating and naming each character, we added short stories about them and what they enjoy doing. We think all children have something special about them and we hope this book helps them to realise that they are really cool and that they can do anything".

Two years down the line, Kishem has been able to show their books in UK schools, shipped their books to America, had requests from Africa. I have no doubt Kishem will continue to go from strength to strength. Their multicultural characters offer representation for every girl and ethnic group they represent in our schools nowadays, especially in the UK.

For more info about Kishem or to invite them for a talk at your local school, check their website below....

I wish all the very best to these two precious stars on their Kishem's Journey and have been delighted to meet them. They are greatly inspiring!

 

 

Kishem with their mother Blessing

Kishem with their mother Blessing

Kishem with Caro Sika

Kishem with Caro Sika

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Angelique Kidjo at the Royal Festival Hall on the launch of Remain in Light

May 30 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #carosika, #music, #artist, #afroculture, #2018, #angeliquekidjo

Angelique Kidjo at the Royal Festival Hall on the launch of Remain in Light

At age 23, when Angelique Kidjo left Benin for France, she was once again able to listen to all the rock bands she had discovered on the radio in the pre-communist regime. such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  In Paris, of all the music she loved, one record was particularly unique to her: Remain in Light by Talking Heads in 1980.

"I remember vividly every time the music came in, I said, 'There's something African to it,'"

Interestingly at the time, some of her peers at the jazz school she attended, would try to talk her out of it, not sparing condescending comments such as "This is not African. It's too sophisticated for you.' to which she would respond "OK, whatever you say.'" 'It might be rock & roll, but there's something African to it.'

Ok, maybe in the 80s, we didn't have such easy access to the web but anybody would know today that Angelique Kidjo was totally spot on.

In 1980, in his interview to the Rolling Stone, David Byrne, the lead singer and guitarist of Talking Heads explained "We wanted to develop an understanding of the African musical concept of interlocking, interdependent parts and rhythms that combine to make a coherent whole,". Drawing on the influence of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, the group experimented with African polyrhythms, funk and electronics recording instrumental tracks as a series of looping grooves.

Almost 40 years later, Angelique Kidjo has now recorded her own interpretation of Remain in Light, which she has been performing Live at various concerts over the past year.  The album, due out on the day of her performance at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre on Friday 8th June  2018 on Kravenworks Records, is a perfect counterpart to Talking Heads' record. With explosive percussion, bubbling horns, tribal harmonies and a multilingual approach. David Byrne, himself, has enthusiastically endorsed the project, skilfully directed  by Jeff Bhasker.

"Music has always been my way to teach people on how connected we are and to try to find a common ground to build the bridge where we can walk together in respect of one another". And this album - Remain in Light is a pure demonstration of it and possibly the pinnacle of the artist's fusion and creativity, continually building bridges with others, musically and in her political activism.  Angelique Kidjo is eternally African and yet in unison with the rest of the world. It is inspiring.

Angelique Kidjo's version of Remain in Light has a greater emphasis on rhythm and horns than the original, as well as instrumentation by members of her band, Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, bassist Pino Palladino, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, former Paul Simon's bassist Abe Laboriel, Sr., Blood Orange and others. Kidjo's powerful vocals, along with new vocals in African languages such as Fon respond to Byrne's lyrics. On "Crosseyed and Painless," she addresses the negative perception of Africa in the media; the mistreatment of Mother Earth on "The Great Curve," the after effects of slavery on "Listening Wind" and people's basic right to live on "Once in a Lifetime." 

"The classic Talking Head Album came out right in the era of Reagan. It was a moment of anxiety and fear existed at that time, war on drugs, abuse of power, so for me it’s just to reply to it because we’ve gone full circle and we are there again. I want music to tell us it’s about time we fight, we have the power". True to herself, Angelique Kidjo always reminds us that « music is my weapon for peace ».

She would conclude her interview at Ace Theatre earlier on this month by saying "As an artist, how do I be the voice of the voiceless, how do I generate a platform for everyone to come together. I want people to come to the concert and have fun and listen, and to come out of the concert to feel energised to do things, I am passing you the light.. Be fully the human being that you are!"

And all in all, this remains Angelique Kidjo's message, especially to Africans. She wants them to write their own narrative and tell their own story, one that speaks of the beauty and the legacy of Africa, the mother of humanity.

To get your ticket now:

https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/126278-angelique-kidjo-sings-talking-heads-2018

Next Tour Dates

June 8 - London @ Royal Festival Hall

June 9 - Cardiff @ Wales Millenium Centre

July 11 – Arles, Fr @ Theatre Antique

July 26 – Vic-Fezensac, Fr @ Tempo Latino

July 28 – Katonah, NY @ Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

August 6 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia

August 7 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap

August 9 – Denver, CO @ Denver Botanic Gardens

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Maurice Bishop Homme politique et révolutionnaire grenadin

May 29 2018 , Written by www.afrocultureblog.com Published on #histoire, #panafricanisme, #mauricebishop, #afroculture, #2018

Maurice Bishop Homme politique et révolutionnaire grenadin

Maurice Bishop est né le 29 mai 1944 et sera assassiné le 19 octobre 1983.

Maurice Bishop était un révolutionnaire de la Grenade et le leader du New Jewel Movement qui visait à d'accroître les efforts populaires dans les domaines du développement socio-économique de la Grenade, l'éducation et la libération des Noirs.

Maurice Bishop arrivera au pouvoir pendant la révolution du 13 mars 1979 et sera à la tête du gouvernement révolutionnaire du peuple de la Grenade de 1979 à 1983.

Le gouvernement de Bishop instaure la gratuité de la santé, de plus, il fait de la lutte contre l'analphabétisme une priorité et le taux d'analphabétisme passe de 35% à 5%. Pour développer l'économie, il vise à développer le tourisme et relance le projet d'un nouvel aéroport dans le Sud de l'île. 

À partir de 1983, la position de Maurice Bishop se détériore, et il doit accepter de partager la direction du parti avec Coard. Mais à cause de l'opposition entre les deux hommes, ce compromis ne tient pas longtemps. Le 13 octobre, le comité central du New Jewel Movement, dominé par les partisans de Bernard Coard, place Bishop en résidence surveillée. Le 19 octobre de la même année, Maurice Bishop est libéré par une foule de partisans. Mais quelques heures plus tard, l’armée intervient et tire dans la foule, tuant plusieurs personnes. Sommés de se rendre, Bishop et ses fidèles sont arrêtés et immédiatement fusillés. 

 

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Special Guest Noel McKoy Live at Giants of Reggae 2018

May 25 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #carosika, #music, #event, #artist, #afroculture, #2018, #bereshammond, #noelmckoy

Noel McKoy will be performing at Giants of Reggae 2018 on Friday 24th August 2018

Noel McKoy will be performing at Giants of Reggae 2018 on Friday 24th August 2018

On 24th May, we had the privilege to meet Noel McKoy at Nudawn in Hackney, London before the Happy Days Festival.

See below for full review:

Noel McKoy was performing at the Happy Days Festival in Surrey in Spring 2018

Noel McKoy was performing at the Happy Days Festival in Surrey in Spring 2018

 

I was totally honored to have a sneak peek at Noel McKoy's next Live performance at the Bank Holiday Weekend Soul Festival "Happy Days" in Sussex with a combination of legendary artists from the 70s, 80s and 90s such as Gloria Gaynor, Earth Wind and Fire, Cameo to name but a few....

Thursday 24th May 2018, we were at Nudawn, 206 Well Street in Hackney and Noel McKoy just vibed intimately with his band in front of friends and colleagues.

All I can say is "Happy Days Festival is going to be the place to be over the weekend" in 40 acres of land in Surrey with a legendary lineup!!!! The aim of the festival is nothing less than genuinely take you back to those Happy Days with good, good Music!!! And yes, we need it!

For Noel McKoy, it will also be a time to reminisce and honor artists and friends that passed early. For instance, Claudia Fontaine, the British backing vocalist who performed on Pink Floyd's Tour, who passed on the 13 March of this year; she  was signed on the same label than Noel "Studio 16" at the age of 14 and a lifelong friend. Noel McKoy's set of 50mns, following Omar's set of 3 songs, will also be in memory of the late Lynden David Hall and Eddie Amoo from the Real thing, remembering their happy days together in and outside the industry!

However, 30 years on of his musical career, Noel Mc Koy's passion for his craft and music is untainted. He is going strong!! Noel McKoy has got it all!! Talent, technical ability, the life, the stories, the emotion and the right attitude. He treats his people and others right. He is a great musician and human being. I sat at Nudawn yesterday and was blown out by the quality of the acoustic and intimate experience with Noel McKoy's newly formed Live Band, in the midst of vocalists, musicians, creatives attending, for most, Noel's childhood friends. It is so  evident in Noel McKoy's life : family and friends matter. It is no surprise that one of his first track that brought him to prominence i n 1989 "Family", with he collective of brothers  Cornell, Robin and sister Junette, is still very much part of his repertoire today .  Kevin, Nudawn's manager, remembered when they organised 30 years ago an event showcasing Young and Gifted Blacks. The 4 organisers succeeded in having Noel McKoy perform "Family" at the Brixton Academy. Little did they know that Noel was coming with 30 siblings and extended family members to perform.

And since amazing artists make their mark in this world, Noel McKoy is building a legacy to pass on. King jp who is a talented upcoming soul artist said it all yesterday "Noel McKoy is legendary...." meaning this generation of new artists will listen to Noel McKoy's tracks and remember what good music is all about. They will continue to watch him perform and direct his band and be inspired. You just learn from him. 

And when it comes to legacy, Noel has already 4 albums in the pipeline of Reggae, Soul, Northern Soul and Dance which will be available for purchase online on his website and will be on Vinyl too. With his reggae label "Foundation records", Noel McKoy has an explosive 70 songs with 20 artists waiting to be launched at Regent Street Cinema on Saturday 11th August 2018. More info to come!!!

Noel Mc Koy's final words " keep your music alive - keep listening out for Noel Mc Koy's" and we surely will for decades to come....
 

One of the song Noel performed for #iamnot4sale campaign. See if you can see me at 2:06 in to the video

Noel Mc Koy and his Live Band on the left, Noel McKoy with Caro Sika on the right
Noel Mc Koy and his Live Band on the left, Noel McKoy with Caro Sika on the right

Noel Mc Koy and his Live Band on the left, Noel McKoy with Caro Sika on the right

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Abdias Do Nascimento

May 23 2018 , Written by www.afrocultureblog.com Published on #histoire, #panafricanisme, #afroculture, #2018, #abdiasdonascimento

Abdias Do Nascimento

ABDIAS DO NASCIMENTO (14 mars 1914 - 23 mai 2011) est un icône afro-brésilien.

Il fut un éminent chercheur brésilien de l'Afrique, artiste, et homme politique. Il était également un poète, dramaturge et activiste panafricain.


Nascimento a créé le Théâtre Expérimental noir (1944) et The Black Arts Museum (1950). Il a également organisé la Convention nationale des Noirs du Brésil (1946), le premier congrès des Noirs du Brésil (1950), et le troisième Congrès de la culture noire dans les Amériques (1982).


Professeur émérite à l'Université d'État de New York à Buffalo, il a été le premier membre du Congrès afro-brésilien à défendre les noirs en matière de droits de l'homme et des droits civils à l'Assemblée nationale où il a présenté en 1983, la première loi d'action positive.


Il a servi comme secrétaire d'État de Rio de Janeiro pour la défense et la promotion de la population afro-brésilienne et était secrétaire des droits de l'homme et de la citoyenneté. Tout en travaillant à titre de conservateur de l'art noir Museum project, il a commencé à développer son propre travail de création (peinture), et à partir de 1968, il a beaucoup exposé aux Etats-Unis, au Brésil et à l'étranger.


Il a reçu les honneurs nationaux et internationaux pour son travail, y compris le prix spécial de l'UNESCO Toussaint-Louverture pour la contribution à la lutte contre le racisme, qu'on lui a accordés en 2004. Il a été officiellement nommé pour le prix Nobel de la paix 2010.

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Gitas Portal in Hackney for one more week

May 21 2018 , Written by Caro Sika Published on #carosika, #fashion, #brand, #business, #ujamaa, #afroculture, #2018

Photo Credit : Afro Culture

Photo Credit : Afro Culture

Situated at 99 Morning Lane, close to the Burberry outlet in Hackney, the Hackney Shop is featuring the Modern African Inspired brand "GITAS PORTALuntil Sunday 27th May 2018. The shop is open everyday from 11 to 8pm with unique pieces to boast and a personal shopping experience.

Established in 2011, GITAS PORTAL embodies confidence and sophistication and caters to women from all walks of life. In keeping with its social responsibility promise, Gitas Portal garments are produced locally to ensure that the working conditions and quality can regularly be monitored.

Gitas Portal's boutique is currently based in Deptford Bridge. Known for its clever use of beautiful Ankara /African wax prints and vibrant colors, reflected in their tagline "Be Bold, Win, Wear Colour", Gitas Portal create pieces that transition well from casual day wear to event wear and has secured a clientele all over London and further afield.

By choosing Hackney as a location for their pop-up store, Mariatu, the brand owner, aimed to come a little closer to their East London customers and to give the brand more exposure. The response has been amazing, her designs and Summer dresses displayed in the shop window have attracted many residents passing by on foot or by car, such as a local dad of a 14 and 16 year old teenage girls who came in to search for sophisticated African attires with a view to encourage his two princesses to embrace their African culture.

In addition, Gitas Portal fans and brand ambassadors, such as Sarah Eckert, close to have practically purchased every single piece of Gitas Portal collections, have been coming in to support and purchase their new Summer pieces:

- The Lauren, in tropical colors, Green Ankara print ( a sell out last year) and a beautiful Red and Black vintage

- The Kelai, in Burgundy and Grey, Pink and Turquoise

- The Lady Seray in bold flower prints, Orange and Blue, earth tones and freedom print

Mariatu talks of these dresses as if they were her babies and she does admit to it jokingly.... "these dresses are named after the daughters I would have had...." - a bold statement as Mariatu is a mother of 5. Traditional names from Sierra Leone, her country of origin, inspire her too.

Summer dresses' prices range from £65 to £100 so you know what to do next .....get your unique piece from Gitas Portal before the sell out!!!

What's next for Gitas Portal?

Gitas Portal is always on the lookout for pop-up stores locations to meet new customers so feel free to get in touch if you have any suggestions!!!! Gitas Portal will also be travelling this Summer!! Another conquest of the US Market, after Atlanta, it will be New Orleans and New York...

I will be wearing myself their Summer Bomber in the next coming days..... Watch this space!!!

For more 2018 Afro Culture News, www.afroculture.co.uk and check us on Social Media Afro Culture 2018

Gitas Portal in Hackney for one more weekGitas Portal in Hackney for one more week
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