Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Africa 2011 - The Year In Fashion

The growing rise of African influence in fashion was most notable in the Made In Africa collection that was showcased in New York fashion week this autumn by Arise Magazine. From the Ankara of west Africa, to the Kente in Ghana and the Leso in East Africa we have strutted our stuff to all corners of the world. All in all 2011 has been a great year for fashion and below are some of my favourite highlights.

The Designers

The Bloggers

The Stories

Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Vivienne Westwood are some of the designers who chose to get their inspiration from Mama Africa.

The growing trend of 'the fashion market' in Africa includes Le Petit Marche in Lagos Nigeria, the Nairobi Fashion market and the recent addition Soko Stingo in Accra Ghana.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Africa Book Club - Dr Ayittey

I haven't done much reading in terms of African Literature, but that being one of my new year's resolutions, "Africa Book Club 2011 books of the year" seems to be a great place to start. Listed are some of the best books to come out of the continent this year.

That said, i have been reading Africa unchained by Dr Ayittey, a wonderful and phenomenal great read which i have found myself unable to put down. Dr Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist who has very strong views on Africa's problem and solutions which he is not afraid to share. His address to the cheetah generation partly in the book and on his TED interview here is inspiring and beautiful.
He recently did an interview on what Africa requires to develop and his emphasis on Africans taking charge of their futures can be seen through this blog to be happening more and more through all the cheetahs.

In addition, the Arab spring which we have been witnessing over the last year, Dr Ayittey has also released a new book on Defeating Dictators which looks like another must read. The book addresses his belief that Africa's biggest problems come from the bad leadership that can be seen all over the continent. Africa Book Club features a review of his book and other new releases from the continent to get you started on discovering more African writers.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Your Pity Is No Longer Required

I have been trying to describe to myself and others what this blog is about but having just discovered an article by Jonathan Klan on your pity is no longer required, somehow took the words out of my mouth. He could not have said it more brilliantly. Too often the stories coming out of Africa are negative but through the blog i aim to show that there is much more to the beautiful continent than is shown on western media.

"By sharing stories of social entrepreneurs, social businesses or enterprises, or simply young entrepreneurs in the developing world who blazing their own paths out of poverty, i am hoping to shift away from the common mistake of simply documenting 'poverty', towards documenting 'potential'. That in my opinion, will have a much greater impact on the global narrative and western perspectives of these emerging economies".

The article captures the importance of seeing hope and the vast potential that is in Africa as opposed to focusing on the tired old stereotypes. He tells the story of what is happening in Lagos, Nairobi, Freetown and various other cities. From hardworking students to ambitious entrepreneurs to aspiring leaders, ordinary Africans are working hard to create a great future for the continent.

"So let's end this pity party and start focusing on the real problems, real solutions, and real narratives of the countries. It will be a welcomed change, i promise".

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

MTV - Aliko Dangote

The Forbes article on the wealthiest people in Africa was recently released and it's been getting quite a buzz on the social media sites. The top prize went to Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian business man the head of the cement and food company dangote group. Africa's wealthiest man just featured on an MTV Base series offering advice to aspiring young entrepreneurs on succeeding in business. This looks like a great initiative by MTV, which needs to happen more often, where African leader's men and women can sit with the young and offer them words of wisdom.

Watch the interview on here

Friday, 11 November 2011

"I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself"
- Nelson Mandela

Saturday, 22 October 2011


I have just discovered this amazing blog Afrographique, which features African raw data. Ivan colic whom created Afrographique takes raw data and makes it interesting and understandable for everyone. Presenting it in a fun and visually appealing way, the creator describes it as "exciting and digestible". There is so much data that is released on Africa regularly and i think this is a brilliant way to share it.

Monday, 10 October 2011

"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now".

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Daraja Academy

Education, education, education, is the future of Africa! and this video just brilliantly highlights that. Young people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds being given a hope for the future, through the acquistion of knowledge, is what africa is need of. The passion for education in the students is moving and inspiring, if only Daraja academy could be replicated throughout the whole continent.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


ONE just recently launched a new media campaign featuring some well known names such as Bono, Idris Elba, Jessica Alba and George Clooney. The campaign is trying to get as many people to sign the petition to be handed to the G20 world leaders this November.... Hmmm so i have my doubts about the whole campaign and whether it will really change the leaders attitudes or increase real commitment but at least it raises awareness that there is still an ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa.

What do you think......

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Prof Julia Ojiambo

There are many remarkable women in Africa, young and old and i hope to be featuring them regularly on the blog. My first lady is known as Proffesor Julia Ojiambo.
There are many reasons why this lady is remarkable especially as a woman who pursued her academics when it was frowned upon for girls to attend school. Breaking many barriers, she has gone on to achieve several firsts in her life and still today continues to fight for women's rights.

Julia Ojiambo from Luke Younge on Vimeo.

  • Studied Public health at Harvard University
  • First female lecturer at Nairobi University in the 1970s
  • First female MP from western province in Kenya
  • First female Assistant Minister for Housing and Social Services

In her own words Prof Julia Ojiambo higlights what it has been like and you can read the rest of the insightful article here

"the struggle is interesting and much as it is fraught with challenges, some that have proved insurmountable, but in overall terms, it has been satisfying. I've enjoyed every moment of it. It has been worth it."

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Shuga is back!

Kenyan entertainment can be quite dull when highlighting serious issues facing the youth as it can come off as a very dire documentary. However Shuga, a 3 part drama series on HIV, drugs and alcohol, went and destroyed all that because for once entertainment was first and then the education on these issues was highlighted. (flawlessly)

The use of media in targeting the youth has in the past been extremely under-utilised, but there seems to be a shift shown by the growing number of shows addressing social issues. With media becoming more influential in the lives of young people, it is tools such as Youtube and other social media that will become crucial in communicating to the youth.

Although for me the most exciting part of Shuga coming back is its mentoring programme for young people in areas including directing, producing and acting. Anyone who saw Shuga series 1 knows that the show has been by far one of the best productions to come out of Kenya, hopefully suggesting that in the future we can look forward to greater quality shows.

Countdown begins for the series titled love, sex and money which is to be aired on the 14th of February 2012 but if you missed the last series here is a link to catchup

Shuga Episode 1 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
- Wangari Maathai

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

lake victoria solar payphone

The wonders of technology in Africa, a solar powered phone provided by MTN on lake Victoria.

Photo courtesy of abaporu http://www.flickr.com/photos/abaporu/532632943/

Friday, 19 August 2011

Timaya - plantain Boy

Only just discovered this song but i loveee it and for many young people in Africa, hopefully this will be their story transitioning from being a plaintain boy to a rich boy.