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Paul Muhammad, the founder of Moneymob

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

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 #2021, #blackhistory, #akyaabaaddaisebo, #ENG, #blacklegacy, #afroculture, #afrocultureblog

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 Black Magic Awards are back in June 2022

15 Octobre 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #blacklegacy, #awards, #2021, #afroculture, #art, #music, #cinema, #afrocultureblog, #ENG, #2022

Great news! We were delighted to hear from Kojo Anim today that Black Magic Awards will be back in June 2022 with a twist. This time around, they will be honoring both men and women on the same night. We will be keeping you posted on all updates as months go by but without further ado, if you haven't been to one of Black Magic Awards events before, find out more about the concept by clicking on the video link below.

Created in 2017 by Britain’s Got Talent comedian Kojo Anim and entrepreneur Annika Allen, the Black Magic Awards recognises the extraordinary accomplishments made by black men and women. The awards give a voice to the excellence black people share with the world across a variety of disciplines including music, entertainment, sports, business and much more. A selection of bold, brilliant talent who stand as vanguards in their chosen fields, are selected each year to be honoured. They have worked tirelessly, raising up themselves, but are often overlooked by mainstream media and award shows. That’s why the Black Magic Awards was created as a home to celebrate these phenomenal men and women and thank them for paving the way.

The evening centres around a prevailing sense of community, celebrating the winners’ successes and demonstrating how capable, strong, majestic and magnificent black people are. It is a night where we get to raise up those who have paved the way and provide a platform for them to speak their truth.

This fun, inspiring and unifying evening is one of very few events where generations of one family can attend and enjoy together. And it creates a space for young people to see that it is possible to strive for and attain success in a myriad of fields, inspires the next generation but also acts as a reminder that there is still a lot more that needs to be done.
 

The Black Magic Awards

Celebrates the accomplishments of men and women who represent inspirational and positive role models making a difference in the world and paving the way for black people to succeed in a variety of industries such as entertainment, the arts, sport, business, fashion and their local communities

Inspires the next generation of talent wanting to realise their dreams and ambitions

Empowers people to be fearless in how they are represented

Recognises that gender equality is worth fighting for and transcends stereotypes and challenges unconscious bias

Showcases the very best in black entertainment from music, comedy to dance and spoken word

Click on the link below to get involved and find out more about Black Magic Awards.

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The origins of the Kora

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

Portrait inspired by Soundiata Keita, also known as the Lion King and Mansa Kankan Musa

Portrait inspired by Soundiata Keita, also known as the Lion King and Mansa Kankan Musa

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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Acid Jazz Band Incognito

29 Mai 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #Incognito, #blacklegacy, #afroculture, #music, #2021, #carosika, #ENG, #uk

Acid Jazz Band Incognito

Incognito Band is an Acid Jazz Band founded by Mauritius-born Jean-Paul Maunick, nicknamed Bluey, and the late Paul 'Tubbs' Williams. They first made their debut with a disco-funk group in the 1970s known as Light of the World but in time made a few personal changes to it and renamed it Incognito. Their first release was Jazz Funk in 1981. Although Paul Williams left the band a while after, Bluey continued to write for the group and other artists, including George Benson and Maxi Priest. Consequently, Bluey also became Incognito's bandleader.

Ten years after Jazz Funk, Incognito released Inside Life, a 1991 album that spawned the single, “Always There,” with vocal track by Jocelyn Brown, which became a top ten hit. Inside Life boasted a large cast that included some of the best funk players in England at the time.

Since then, the band has released a consistent string of high-quality recordings, beginning with Tribes Vibes & Scribes, a 1992 album that marked the first appearance of American vocalist Maysa Leaks in the lineup. Incognito Band also produced numerous hit singles on either side of the Atlantic, including a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.”

More than just a band in the traditional sense, Incognito is an ever-changing collective of musicians hand-picked by Bluey from a worldwide pool. The result is a dynamic musical entity that spans a vast range of styles and cultures. Bluey stated that more than 1,000 different musicians and vocalists, from all corners of the earth, have performed for the band, over the years, with lineups varying in size from eight pieces to fourteen (or even larger configurations).To name but a few, current and past members originated from South Africa, India, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, Israel, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and much more...Many of the current key members, however, have been in place for several years, including vocalists Joy Rose and Vanessa Haynes. Understandably, the band has toured all over the world and performed in well over 25 countries since their debut.

We had the pleasure of seeing Incognito Band perform at the Happy Days Festival in Surrey alongside many Soul and Funk legendary artists such as Sister Sledge, Sugar Hill Band, Evelyn Champagne King, the British Collective, Jocelyn Brown and many more.

Click below to watch our coverage of the festival, bringing back excellent memories of Live Musical Events.

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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, #afroculture, #blacklegacy, #moneymob, #paulmuhammad, #2021, #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 #2021, #fashion, #afroculture, #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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Beverley Knight - Powerful and Beautiful

20 Mars 2021 , Rédigé par www.afrocultureblog.com Publié dans #afroculture, #beverleyknight, #awards, #music, #artist, #interview, #carosika, #blacklegacy, #ENG, #uk

 In this edition of 'Black Legacy', we will be presenting the charming and powerful singer, Beverley Knight.

In this edition of 'Black Legacy', we will be presenting the charming and powerful singer, Beverley Knight.

Beverley Knight is an English recording artist and musical theatre actress who released her first album The B-Funk in 1995. Heavily influenced by American soul music icons such as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin, Beverley Knight has released eight studio albums. Widely labelled as one of Britain's greatest soul singers, she is best known for her hit singles "Greatest Day", "Get Up", "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" and "Come as You Are".

After more than a decade in the music industry, she was appointed a MBE in 2006 in recognition of her contribution to British music. In September 2005, Knight was made an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Wolverhampton. After receiving a host of awards, including three MOBO Awards Beverley Knight was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 at the Urban Music Award in London. Beverley Knight supported Prince during his residency at the O2 Arena and also performed at the concert after parties. As a result of this, she was flown to perform at his Oscars party in front of A-list stars and received a standing ovation from stars such as Quincy Jones.

In 2019, Knight celebrated 25 years in music with the release of the live album BK25.

Click on the video below to see Beverley Knight's interview by our cultural mediator Caro Sika at the Black Magic Awards Ceremony in London at the Criterion Theatre, as she received her Music Honour.

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