Ethical Fashion Initiative: when fashion is both beautiful and meaningful

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It’s about 6pm on the 12th of June 2014. I’m at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, a characteristically grandiose European institutional building made all the more incredible by its waterfront view and bright, modern yet noble style. It is the type of space that – bewilderingly – makes you think of both justice and injustice. Today…

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7 great novels by African women writers

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“In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves,” said Michael Martone rightly. We also read ourselves in the books we read, or at least in those books that we cherish. For this reason, one of my 2014 resolutions was to return to a favourite pastime, namely reading fiction. For some years my reading life…

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African Cosmopolitanism part I

Rendering of Eko Atlantic Marina. Credit: Eko AtlanticLAGOS_EKO

At the 15th summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1978, then Lieut. General Olusegun Obasanjo said, “no African nation is about to embrace communism wholesale any more than we are willing to embrace capitalism.” In 2013 such a statement seems alien. Rejecting capitalism is not a real option for African nations, right?…

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Africa Lecture Series at OSI Club, University of Berlin

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The Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science at the University of Berlin hosts a public lecture series every year to ensure that students of the university as well as citizens of Berlin have a broad and diverse access to discourses on African politics. I will be a guest lecturer at the Africa Lecture Series of the OSI club at…

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7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

Globalisation, the compression of the world through cultural exchanges and innovation, is not a new incident to Africa (nor any other part of the world for that matter). Africa is interwoven in a millennia-long global exchange, where it has often lost out but also benefited from and shaped the course of global innovation to a far…

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Event: An African summer festival in London

If you are a reader who is currently in London, I hope you are enjoying the heat, sunshine, rejuvenation, relaxation and enjoyment that the summer season promises. It’s been a rare treat na! As a friend and supporter of the Africa Centre in London, I’m sharing an upcoming event of theirs that I’m looking forward…

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Can Africans have multiple subcultures? A response to “Exorcising Afropolitanism”

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On 24 June 2011, over 5,000 people showed up for an event at the V&A Museum in London titled “Friday Late: Afropolitans”. Now, packing the world famous museum is usually the function of western art and high fashion, but on this night the crowd came to listen to artists like Spoek Mathambo, taste palm wine…

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Dressing up as Frida Kahlo

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A few weeks ago, ahead of FRIDA – Female Revolution in Dance & Art, I got “unibrowed”, moustached, red lippied and dressed up as the legend Frida Kahlo for the International Women’s Month event. Or rather, as Frida Kahlo in a selection of her self-portraits. The photos, which are part of the ongoing exhibition, were…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Edith Victoria of All Thingz Nice

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The MsAfropolitan Boutique aims to provide a platform where design by women of African heritage can be purchased, celebrated and reach a wide audience.  We believe that all creativity is a form of storytelling and when it reaches community the outcome is transformation and empowerment. Customers are invited to a shopping experience that centers around community and empowerment, including distinct…

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Participating in OpenForum 2012 and OpenForumYouthSummit in Cape Town, South Africa

From May 22 – 24, the OpenForum 2012 in Cape Town will provide an unprecedented opportunity for activists, academics, businesspeople and policy-makers to take a critical look at the factors that will influence the African democracy and governance agenda over the next decade, debate the paradox of unequal growth and turn innovative ideas into action…

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Going to see “Belong” by Bola Agbaje

Supporters keh. Forget this country. How many year have you lived here?… Your English is better than the Queen’s and they still call you… I’m looking forward to my upcoming theatre date with bloggers @IamIola and @IamNicholeBlack. We are heading to the Royal Court Theatre to see the new play by Bola Agbaje, writer of…

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Speaking about race, sisterhood and citizenship at BE.BOP 2012 Berlin

I’m participating in BE.BOP 2012- BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS, an international screening program and transdisciplinary roundtable on Black European citizenship in connection to recent moving image and performative practices. My presentation is on race, sisterhood and citizenship. BE.BOP 2012 aims at facilitating a long-term exchange between specialists and time-based art practitioners of different contexts and…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Margaret Kadi of Project Sierra Leone

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It’s been a few months since the last MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview (with Jessica Huie of Colorblind Cards) and I’m delighted to resume the series. In case it’s your first time here, the MsAfropolitan Boutique is an online shop launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020 and selling design made by…

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Shop design made by women of African heritage

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Launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020, The MsAfropolitan Boutique celebrates the entrepreneurship of Africa and diaspora women as a one-stop shop for fashion, accessories, art and gift collections made by women of African heritage. In 2011, it was featured in the Huffington Post, catchavibe, SOAS World Magazine, Women of the…

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The Afropolitan year in review and 7 amazing photos from ‘The Rise of Afropolitan Fashion’ show

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When we look back at Afropolitanism in the future, 2011 will certainly stick out as a landmark year. It was the year the Afropolitan movement reached both virtual and actual spaces that define global culture. For example, Afropolitanism got a wikipedia listing. ARISE, the magazine that brought Afropolitanism to the mainstream, hosted ARISE Nigeria Fashion…

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Celebrating African Music – The MsAfropolitan Mixtapes vol. 1

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I’m pleased to share that the first edition of the MsAfropolitan Mixtapes is here. Courtesy of Broadcite Music, an esteemed independent label committed to creating unique sounds for the musically aware, we are going on an Afropolitan ride from Ghana to South Africa fusing highlife, juju, afrobeat and more with Detroit House and the edgy beats of underground London….

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My feature in (1)ne Drop – dialogues on racial politics and identity

Being black is not a matter of pigmentation being black kis a reflection of a mental attitude  - Steve Bantu Biko I am participating in an upcoming collaborative project by Africana Studies scholar Yaba Blay, Ph.D. and award-winning photographer Noelle Théard. (1)ne Drop, as the documentary is called, is going to be a thought-provoking look…

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1-year anniversary of the African Women’s Decade

Today marks the one year anniversary of the AWD. The idea of a Women’s Decade was hatched in 1975 at the First World conference on women, but it took years of efforts to dig the path that in 2008 manifested as the proposal for an African Women’s Decade (AWD) by ministers of gender and women affairs in…

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Interview feature on black feminism, Afropolitanism and more

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Cross-post from my two part interview with Kathryn & Miriam from the much recommended Live Unchained project blog www.liveunchained.com @liveunchained —— For Minna Salami feminism sparked a revolution within, meaning the end of many illusions. Namely, the illusion that anything would be handed to us in terms of respect and empowerment in a world that denied…

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A Diaspora canvas: Exploring the feminine heritage of African art

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If creativity isn’t about community in one-way or another it is dull at worst and provoking at best. Artists that manage to emphasize the spiritual, aesthetic and social elements of living are those that bring to us gifts of understanding. Artists that exemplify this idea are musicians like K’Naan, Baaba Maal, Nneka, Blitz the Ambassador, Fela,…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Mary Ononokpono of Mononoko

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The mission of the MsAfropolitan Boutique is to showcase a handpicked range of products made by African Diaspora women on a rotating basis. Visit us here. Through this work, I meet many inspiring women whose Afropolitan stories are featured in an interview series features which you can follow here. Last week the MsAfropolitan Boutique added its…

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Listed as 1 of 7 African diaspora women using fashion for change

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Do you know of the Africa Centre in London’s Covent Garden? If you don’t it’s a kind of home away from home for Africans in London. It hosts regular events of interest to diaspora groups, it sells books and other lovely products and it’s of historic significance. Despite this, it was revealed this year that…

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Engaging the Diaspora, Afropolitans and Africa

I’m glad that I’m a young African woman now rather than in the 60s. Yet watching this clip of Angela Davis and discussing it on my FB page this week made me miss those rebellious and more importantly, revolutionary, times. By the way, the reason for this preference is of dual nature. I am African…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview Series – Douriean Fletcher, founder of eKlektik eKhos

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The mission of the MsAfropolitan Boutique is to showcase and offer a handpicked range of products made by African Diaspora women on a rotating basis. Visit us here. As part of my journey to achieving this goal, I’ve met many inspiring women whose stories I want to share with you in an interview series features which…

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Breaking it down – V&A Friday Late Afropolitans

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Last Friday MsAfropolitan and I (some split-personality going on) participated in a wonderful event at the V&A Museum in London. We presented a fashion show and a panel discussion to a visitor count of over 5,000 people. Here are some of our, okay my, thoughts on the event. By the way, if you’re new to…

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MsAfropolitan presents – Fashion and Talks at the V&A Friday Late: Afropolitans

Photo courtesy of the V&A Museum

MsAfropolitan is taking part in Friday Late: Afropolitans at the V&A, the world’s largest museum of art and design. In “MsAfropolitan presents – The rise of Afropolitan Fashion” myself with the help of creative director Ola Shobowalewill conceptualize the contemporary creativity and beauty of Afropolitan fashion for women. Visitors will be able to experience the fusion of bold African patterns and…

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More Afropolitan artists you need to know

Thanks for all your recommendations to the ’7 Afropolitan artists to watch’ list. As I’m sure you will understand after listening to these three artists, I simply cannot choose. So I’ve got three runners up. 1. Blitz the Ambassador Seriously, you got to hit play and groove to this full album stream. Ghanaian, US-based emcee…

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7 Afropolitan artists to watch

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1. Kay Elizabeth Kay Elizabeth is a vocalist living in London, born in California, of Jamaican and English heritage. Her unique sound and performance style has formed through her personal voyages through history, experience and education. Becoming disenchanted in her youth with American education and popular culture, Kay found her musical interests moving away from…

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