Hailing from the town of Wa in the northern part of Ghana, the country’s biggest musical star of recent times, Emmanuel Andrews Samini brings a genre of music which is a melodious mixture of highlife, dancehall, reggae and hip-hop.
Anita went to find out more about Samini, one of those gifted artists that started singing in church at the age of 14, Samini has moved up the musical scale of success with a Hey Presto attitude! In 2004, he released his maiden album Dankwasere which remained at the top of the music charts in Ghana for several weeks. His award-winning second album, the eponymous SAMINI, which hauled in three Music awards in 2007, continues to enjoy high rotation on the local charts.
Anita covers the Mozambique Fashion Week (MFW) day 3 at Station
This was a cultural and artistic fashion event taking place in Mozambique for the 5th time. The location was the Maputo railway station in Workers square, a building designed by Mario Vega, an architect of the early 1900’s. The event was all about creating and discovering new fashion designers, celebrating those making headlines in the fashion industry and creating opportunities for new business markets and contacts in the fashion industry. Designers that showcased at the event came from all over Africa; countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania and South Africa were represented. Anita was at the event and got to speak to South African designer, David Tlale and Tanzania’s Anisa Mpungwe.
Pras Michel (LA)
Lebo caught up with Pras Michel, the Grammy award-winning, Haitian-American rapper, actor, film producer and member of the Fugees. The Ghetto Superstar hit maker first concentrated on busting the blocks, firstly taking on the streets of LA, and then working on the issue of piracy off the African coast. Lebo spoke to him about the documentary he produced, titled Skis Row. This is a documentary account of his nine-day experience posing as a homeless person living in downtown LA, with hidden cameras capturing the devastating reality of homelessness. The experience of living on the street inspired Pras to launch prAsperity in 2007, a non-profit organization that jump starts awareness and solutions for intractable problems affecting the human condition. There may be no Fugees reunion in the future, but with movies, his marketing company Platinum Brand and the publishing of his weekly video blog, he has managed to keep busy. With the sterling quality of his documentaries, he is definitely on the right track in his pursuit of Happiness.
Profiling businessmen in Cameroon
We met Cameroonian businessman Francis Nana Djonou, owner of Biopharma. Francis realised that customs restrictions in Cameroon were not favourable for import and that beauty products available on the market did not meet the ethnic skin characteristics and decided to do something about it. This businessman is one of the new era of businessmen who are not only getting projects up and running and making new business ventures work, but are spearheading projects that seek to transform the local communities to make inclusivity and accountability a central priority. These individuals are taking concrete steps in contributing to the growth and development of Cameroon, increasing the level of philanthropy and community involvement. The Deputy Managing Director of Societe de plantations de Mbanga, Julius Akene, is another businessman making it happen in Cameroon.
U Mi1 Exhibitions (Nigeria)
Ngozi "Gozi" Ochonogor is a designer with a story to tell. Every one of her designs is infused with memories of a home she never quite left. Born and raised in Lagos, Gozi left Nigeria for England during a time of political strife in the country. She studied Software Engineering, and continued studying towards a Masters in engineering, a far cry from fashion! Like her role model, Balenciaga, Gozi's designs are primarily focused on her pattern construction coupled with her love for the arts. Whenever she travels, she tries to pick up souvenirs of where she’s been, to create her own world and culture. IK spoke to this amazing designer.
Interior Decorating Exhibition (Durban, South Africa)
This is design with a difference! A stellar line-up of creative interior and exterior artists worked their magic as they set about transforming apartments in Durban, South Africa, into visual spectacles of glamour and style for the eighth ‘Designers on Display’ show. Lebo was at the event and witness how six stylish apartments were exquisitely decorated by some of KZN’s finest interior designers including Clifton Smithers from ‘Union3’, Nikki Rolfe of ‘Nikki Rolfe Interiors, Susan Prinsloo from ‘Gemini Interiors’, Brendon Simmonds from ‘North Shore Designs’, Stan Oshrey from ‘Living Image’ and Stacey Vermeulen from ‘Design Ahead Interior Design & Decorating’. These designers successfully produced contemporary, sophisticated and timeless results to complement Durban’s North Shore. With over 4000 visitors checking out the apartments during the course of the exhibition, there was bound to be something to catch everybody’s attention.
Hester Baker-Pearson, publisher of Style Magazine in Atlanta knew the time had come to put Liberia on the world map when she returned home. Her new lifestyle magazine…aims to showcase the best of Liberia and is published quarterly. Liberia is steadily recovery from more than a decade of civil war and is raising the prospect of developing a tourist industry. Hester told us about her ‘Glam Squad’ which comprises of ten staff members that have become regulars at all hot and happening tourist spots in Liberia. This is one magazine that is fast putting Liberia on the map!
Nike Art Gallery (Nigeria)
Nike Art Gallery owner, artist and designer, Nike Davies Okundaye is a specialist in the arts and an enthusiast of African arts. Adaure went on a mission to explore the Yoruba culture, a culture that has flourished in Western Nigeria for well over 1000 years. The Nike Centre for Art and Culture was launched in 1983 by Nike in order to create jobs for young Nigerians and to encourage Nigerian women in the arts. While she is known for her colourful batik and paintings that offers a modernist gloss on traditional themes, Nike was brought up amidst the traditional weaving and dyeing practices in her native village. Her fame as an artist and teacher has taken her all over the globe. Nike has given workshops on traditional Nigerian textiles to audiences in the US and Europe during the past 20 years.
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