Wanuri Kahiu talks Rafiki and Upcoming Work at Design Indaba
The Kenyan filmmaker still remembers the day, back on 24th April, when she would wake up to find that her film, Rafiki, had just been banned in Kenya. The film, which made history by becoming the first Kenyan feature film to premiere at Cannes Film Festival this year, is a love story that follows the lives of two lesbian women. The film was inspired by a short story by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko called Jambula Tree, where the women have to choose between being safe or defying conservative rules.Kahiu is continuing to showcase Rafiki at film festivals having recently screened it in Ghana and at the Durban International Film Fest last month. Kahiu who is pioneering Afrobubblegum as a movement towards African art that is fun and frivolous says she was drawn to the story because it was about love.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
The First Actor of Egyptian Origin to Win the Oscar for ‘Best Actor’
Rami Malek has made history by becoming the first actor of Arab heritage to win the best actor Oscar, after taking the Academy Award for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Born to Egyptian parents who immigrated to Los Angeles from Cairo, the Bohemian Rhapsody star rejected typecasting roles as a terrorist before accepting this role. Malek found his Middle Eastern background a help as well as a hindrance when it came to starting out as an actor: early roles included the pharaoh in all three Night at the Museum films, an Egyptian vampire in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and as a terrorist in 24. It was this last role, which aired in 2010 that prompted him to refuse any negative portrayals of Arabs.
SOURCES: THE GUARDIAN
Veteran Kenyan Rapper Chris Kantai Has Died
Pioneering Kenyan raper, Chris Kantai, also known as Kantadda, a leading force in the Kenyan hip hop scene has died. He was 42. The artist was admitted to the hospital on Monday, after he fell ill, reports Nairobi News. He passed on Wednesday due to complications with breathing. Kantai rose to fame in the early 2000s with songs like “Huu ni Nani G” (Swahili for Who is this G), and the popular track “Happy” featuring fellow Kenyan rap star Stella Mwangi. The artist made a comeback three years ago with the record “Ting Badi Malo” (Luo for Raise your Hands Up), which featured Kenyan artist Khaligraph Jones.
Remembering a Bold Curator of Contemporary African Art
Bisi Silva used her own money to found a nonprofit art gallery called the Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos in 2007. She made it a hub for bold and experimental sculpture, painting, photography and video and performance art that could ignite local and global interest. She died of breast cancer on Feb. 12 in a Lagos hospital at age 56. She curated exhibitions of African art around the world, one, in Helsinki, Finland, in 2011, featuring the Nigerian photographer J. D. Okhai Ojeikere’s images of African women’s exotic hairstyles which she turned into a book.)Others showed the work of the Ghanaian-born sculptor El Anatsui in Amsterdam and Johannesburg. Ms. Silva felt that her mission was to change the way contemporary African art was being viewed from a Western perspective and to develop African artists in ways that their schools were not. She created the Asiko Art School — actually a series of pop-up schools holding annual, monthlong educational gatherings in various African countries including Senegal, Ghana and Ethiopia, where artists, writers, historians, curators and teachers immersed themselves in seminars, workshops and exhibitions.
SOURCES: THE NEW YORK TIMES
A Program to Build the Future of African Architecture
The African Design Centre (ADC), a program seeking to shake up the highly unequal business of African architecture. Last summer, the first cohort of ADC graduates completed its inaugural 20-month fellowship in Kigali, Rwanda. The ten fellows, hailing from eight African nations, are now upending architecture, design and construction across a continent where rapid urbanization and population growth are presenting severe challenges to governments, with the needs of the poorest left unmet. Their signature achievement is the Ruhehe Primary School in northern Rwanda, where more than 1,000 children now receive an education in a custom-built space, constructed almost entirely from materials sourced 150 kilometers from the site, and honed by builders, carpenters and masons from the area.
Cape Town’s Famous Trail Reopens
Just in time for the weekend, the Lion’s Head summit can once again be accessed by hikers and trail-runners. The spiral pathway, which leads from the carpark to the summit, has been re-opened after being closed for maintenance and due to fire damage. However, SANParks warns hikers and runners to look out for signs showing the parts of the path still being worked on. They also ask that everyone sticks to the paths, as venturing off them would do damage to fragile vegetation of the mountain. The pathway leading from the Kramat on Signal Hill to the spiral trail is still closed for rehabilitation after it suffered from the fire.
Get a Ride on Africa’s First High-speed Train
The sleek Al Boraq, now connects two very different but equally fascinating Moroccan cities – laid-back Tangier, sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and frenetic Casablanca, the country’s economic hub and architectural treasure trove. The train, inaugurated by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and French president Emmanuel Macron in November 2018, runs at speeds of up to 320km/h between the glossy new Tanger Gare and Casa Voyageurs stations, stopping at the industrial city of Kenitra and the capital Rabat, cutting the five-hour journey to around two hours. Now that you can zip between cities, you can pack more into your stay.
SOURCES: LONELY PLANET
A Four-day Trip in Namibia
At the peaceful The Strand Hotel, my room overlooked palm trees and the sea and an inviting breeze wafted in from the balcony. Through French sliding doors, a quaint but modern bathroom was hidden. Sandwich Harbour for an adventurous drive on the most breathtaking dunes – which shoot up to between 80m and 120m. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. On one side was the calm sea, on the other were the dunes and in the middle, where we drove, a magenta pathway.
SOURCES: IOL TRAVEL
Sights and Wonders of Senegal
Senegal is teeming with UNESCO World Heritage sites, having a grand total of seven, the fifth highest of any country in Africa. These include five spots that made it onto the UNESCO list because of their cultural significance, plus two natural wonders. Some of the sites, like the island of Gorée, have a dark history due to their role in the slave trade, while others like the stone circles of Senegambia are yet to be fully explained.Archaeologists aren’t quite sure why so many were built, but they do know the area reflects the remains of a highly organized society that lasted for centuries.
SOURCES: AFK TRAVEL
[PIC GALLERY] Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Official Visit to Morocco
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent three days in Morocco to support girls’ education and strengthening links with the UK. Kensington Palace said the charity Education for All “has given girls from the poorest villages and most remote areas of Morocco the chance to reach their potential and contribute to Morocco’s continued development”. Every event was designed to fit with their passions and promote their causes. During the visit, the pregnant duchess was given a traditional Moroccan henna tattoo, which is intended to bring luck to her first child.