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L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny

13 Octobre 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #queennanny, #ghana, #africa, #jamaica, #blackhistory, #blacklegacy, #ENG

Queen Nanny Photo credit: The Black Kings & Queens Project

Queen Nanny Photo credit: The Black Kings & Queens Project

Nanny, connue sous le nom de Queen Nanny était une dirigeante marron et une femme Obeah en Jamaïque à la fin du 17ème et au début du 18ème siècle. Les Marrons étaient des africains, forcés à travailler comme esclaves dans les Amériques, qui s'étaient échappés et qui ont formé des colonies indépendantes, s'organisant politiquement entre eux. Nanny était, elle-même, une africaine forcée à travailler comme esclave mais qui s' était évadée. Il a été largement admis que Nanny était originaire de la tribu Ashanti de l’actuel Ghana. Nanny et ses quatre frères (qui sont tous devenus des dirigeants marrons) apres avoir tous été vendus en esclavage, se sont échappés de leurs plantations vers les montagnes et les jungles qui constituent encore une grande partie de la Jamaïque. Nanny et un de ses frères, Quao, ont fondé un village dans les Blue Mountains, du côté Est (ou Windward) de la Jamaïque, qui est devenu connu sous le nom de Nanny Town.

Nanny a été décrite comme une pratiquante d’Obeah, un terme utilisé dans les Caraïbes pour décrire la magie populaire et la religion basée sur les influences ouest-africaines. Nanny Town, placée comme elle l’était dans les montagnes, loin des colonies européennes, était difficile à attaquer et a prospéré. Nanny a limité ses attaques contre les plantations et les colonies européennes et a préféré cultiver et commercer pacifiquement avec ses voisins. Elle a cependant fait de nombreux raids réussis pour libérer les esclaves détenus dans les plantations et il a été largement admis que ses efforts ont contribué à l’évasion de près de 1 000 esclaves au cours de sa vie.

De son vivant, Nanny Town et les Windward Maroons ont prospéré et se sont multipliés, ce qui était un véritable embarassement pour l’administration coloniale britannique, menacée par les succès des Marrons. Les propriétaires de plantations qui perdaient des esclaves, du matériel et des récoltes brûlés par les marrons exigèrent que les autorités coloniales agissent. Des milices, composées de l’armée régulière britannique et de mercenaires, parcourèrent les jungles jamaïcaines. Le capitaine William Cuffee, connu sous le nom de capitaine Sambo, aurait tué Nanny en 1733 lors de l’une des nombreuses batailles. Après la mort de Nanny, de nombreux Marrons Windward traversèrent l’île pour se rendre du côté occidental (Leeward) de la Jamaïque, peu habité. Nanny Town fut finalement capturée par les Britanniques et détruite en 1734. La guerre, elle-même, dura de 1720 jusqu’à ce qu’une trêve soit déclarée en 1739 ; Cudjoe, l’un des frères de Nanny et un leader pendant la guerre des Marrons, fut la force motrice derrière le traité.

La vie et les réalisations de Nanny ont été reconnues par le gouvernement de la Jamaïque et elle a été honorée en tant qu'héroïne nationale et a reçu le titre de « Right Excellent ». Actuellement, il y a sept héros nationaux reconnus et Nanny est la seule femme. Un portrait moderne de Nanny, basé sur sa description, apparaît sur le billet jamaïcain de 500 dollars en circulation en Jamaïque (voir dans la gallerie d'images ci-dessous).

Source : https://www.blackpast.org/

L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny
L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny
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Sheabutter Making in the village of Hamamat

17 Février 2022 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #hamamat, #ENG, #ghana, #blacklegacy, #business, #africa

In the village of Hamamat, based in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana, all they ever use on their skin is freshly handmade sheabutter, natural oils, herbs and ingredients that are locally grown. The Queen Mother of the village is 98 and still boasts a beautiful skin.

Hamamat Montia, a former miss Africa and a model as seen in the picture below, has a very interesting story. Finding herself separated then divorced from her husband who pursued another love interest, she decided to return to her native village with her two children.

Photo Credit : Bra Perucci Africa

Photo Credit : Bra Perucci Africa

It was, in her view, one of the best decision of her life, reconnecting her with family and cultural traditions. Whilst sharing once a video of sheabutter making in her village, she realised the interest it sparked. It gave her the desire to learn for herself and to turn this artisan activity into a business, which has indeed become very prosperous for her, but not only as it created a local economy and jobs for many ladies in the village. Since the business grew creating other opportunities. Click below to find out the range of products and services Hamamat's village has to offer.
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Paul Muhammad, the founder of Moneymob

29 Décembre 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #ENG, #kwanzaa, #ujamaa, #blacklegacy, #paulmuhammad, #moneymob, #UK

As we reflect upon the principle of Ujamaa on Day 4 of Kwanzaa, Paul Muhammad, the founder of the Moneymob movement and community leader, is an awesome colleague we must give credit to.

Paul Muhammad is the founder of the crowd purchase movement, Money Mob. Money Mob promotes, markets and implements group economics to support Black Owned businesses. Over the last 25 years, Paul has travelled throughout the world on one business venture or another and sees it as his mission to support Black Economics, a mission that is gathering pace with others in the UK, the US and throughout the world. Click below to watch Paul interview Paulette Simpson, the Executive Director of the Top UK Black Magazine the Voice.

Click below to watch more of Paul Muhammad interviews and suscribe to the Moneymob Youtube Channel.

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Akyaaba Addai-Sebo - the architect of Black History Month in the UK

24 Octobre 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #blackhistory, #akyaabaaddaisebo, #ENG, #blacklegacy, #UK

Photo Credit: CNN

Photo Credit: CNN

As we celebrate Black History Month in the UK, have you ever wondered who was the mastermind of it. Well,  his architect is Ghanaian born Akyaaba Addai-Sebo. After visiting the US in the 1970s and being inspired by the Black History Month US held in February, Akyaaba Addai-Sebo initiated Black History Month in the UK in 1987, which is celebrated in October. Its initial aim was to support Black children sense of self esteem and social construct. October was chosen because it was shortly after the UK summer vacation and was the traditional harvest period and time when African leaders gathered to settle differences and appraise the state of the community.

Akyaaba Addai-Sebo also worked to promote diversity in a variety of roles for organizations including the Greater London Council, African Refugees Housing Action Group, Notting Hill Carnival, and Organization of African Unity. In 2014, he was executive producer of "One Humanity," a documentary on the 1988 and 1990 Wembley concerts for Nelson Mandela.

For further reading: Akyaaba Addai-Sebo - Black History Month 2021

 

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The origins of the Kora

30 Juillet 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #blackhistory, #blacklegacy, #music, #diabelcissokho, #carosika, #ENG

Tiramagan Traoré was a general of the great Soundjata Keïta, founder of the Mandinka empire, also referred to as the Mali Empire at the end of the twelfth century through to the sixteenth century.

The story goes that Tiramagan Traoré went to the heights of Kabul (present-day Guinea-Bissau which was formerly a territory of Gambia) with his griot Djelimadou Woulen Diabate and two hunters. During this expedition, Tiramagan spotted a Jinn, in front of a cave, which is a spirit in a form of a woman, living in the mountains. When she saw the expedition, the Jinn became frightened and took refuge in the cave.

Back home, Tiramagan told Waligelenjan, a descendant of Kamisoko, about his adventure. All decided to leave the next morning with a fishing net in order to catch this famous Jinn. When they arrived on the scene, the spirit woman was sitting in front of the cave. Immediately, the hunters launched the net on her to capture her. She, once more, took refuge in the cave and came out with a Kora. Tiramagan married this very beautiful woman and gave the Kora to his griot since he was a nobleman and wasn't permitted to play it. Djelimadou Woulen then exclaimed: "Nobleman, that's an instrument of ours, which belongs to the Mandika people".

It is from this story that the Kora, a stringed instrument of twenty-two strings with crystal sounds, draws its feminine gender. The first person to play it was this griot. When he died, in his honour, a string was removed. Since this time, the Kora has twenty-one leather strings. From the time of the first griot Djélimadou Woulen Diabaté, the Kora has been transmitted from Father to Son and has known more than 70 generations of griots.

The origins of the Kora

Here is below an interview that took place at the Jazz Cafe couple of years back with a griot from the Cissokho family "Diabel Cissokho" by Caro Sika. Enjoy :)

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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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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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