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Giving Back!


Sometimes I feel really embarrassed seeing charity adverts of emaciated, hungry, African and Indian children on T.V. My nephew once asked me “Uncle is there no food in Africa?” I responded to him “Enough food to feed the whole world…potentially”.

If everyone affiliated with India or Africa either by birth or heritage outside of these continents decide to donate a minimal amount of their earnings to specific charities targeting their respective countries, then there would not be any need for the depiction of starving, sick or dying children on T.V. There would not be any reason for international charities soliciting funds vigorously through showing very pitiful and sometimes embarrassing scenes to seek money urgently for feeding children from these impoverished and sometimes war torn countries. We cannot all be at the forefront of these charitable acts, we cannot all be doctors or nurses treating sick children, but we can play our part in alleviating hunger, malaria, HIV/AIDS, Polio,low infant mortality rate and many more issues that affect children in underdeveloped countries. There are charities like save the children, Arms around the child, Oxfam, DEC etc who target these issues specifically.
It is up to you as an individual to play your part and give back…Charity begins at home…LITERALLY!
Do some research on which charity you can donate to today!

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BEFFTA 2012: Celebrating and Rewarding Black Entertainment


Image courtesy of Beffta.com

 

The 4th annual Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Art(BEFFTA) 2012 is just around the corner again!

 This annual prestigious award, which is the brain child of Pauline Long, recognizes outstanding performance in the Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts industry.Afrocentricity Unleashed (yours sincerely) will be at this event as a guest, and (wait for this) NOMINEE 🙂. Online voting kicks off at 7pm today, the 7th of October 2012, and closes on the 21st of October, 2012.

Please find the different categories, as well as a list of nominees below.

 Entertainment Category

Music

  1. 1.       Best Female Act: Mz Bratt, Nike Jemiyo, Cleo Sol,Cherri Voncelle,Hayle Cassidy, Lady Leshurr, Kyra, Princess Nyah, Yolanda Brown, Misha B, Lilas Lafleur, Kookie, NY, Emily Kay, Shiikane, Lea- Anna, Oneness Sankara
  2. 2.       Best Male Act: Angel, IKES, Smiler, Wiley, G Range,Clement Marfo, Jermaine Riley, J Sol, Donaeo, Valentine, Dele, Infecta, Scorcher, Fuse ODG, John Hectic, Micall Parknsun, Pane and Yardz, Alim Kamara
  3. 3.       Best Gospel Act: Guvna B, Faith D, Divine Divine, V9 Collective, New Rivers Choir,  Muyiwa and Riversongz, Andrew Bello, Meleke, Grace Galaxy, London Community Gospel Choir, Dolly P , Divine Impact, Lyrical Soldier
  4. 4.       Best International Act: Zahara, Camp Mulla, Cover Drive, Dbanj, Grace Galaxy, Ruff Kid
  5. 5.       Best UK AfroBeats Act: Fuse ODG, Mista Silva, May7ven, Kida Kudz, Musik Maestro, Shay, 2kriss, Shiikane, Tipsy, Mo Eazy, Vibes Squad, Ezi Emela
  6. 6.       Best UK Caribbean Act: Carol Thompson, Roger Robin, Sandra Cross, Maxi Priest, Lloyd Brown
  7. 7.       Best International Afrobeats Act: WizKid, DBanj, Wande Coal, Zahara, Iyanya, Chameleon, Ice Prince, Fally Ipupa, Sarkodie, Nameless, Nonini, Juliana Kanyomozi, Itz Tiffany
  8. 8.       Best International Caribbean Act: Movado, Vybz Kartel, Gyptian, Damain Marley, Sean Paul, Munga Tun Up, Konshens, Aidonia, Popcaan
  9. 9.       Best Producer: Mr J, Ayo Beatz, Perry Mystique, Victizzle, Rymez, J Weathers, Don Jazzy
  10. 10.    Best Video Director: P Designs, Sesan, Moe Musa, Elmino, Trail Pictures, AJE Filmworks, Antoine Dixon-Bellot Colin Tiley, Dego Visionz, Uvi Orogun, Akpe Ododoru, Duminas Alliance

Dance

  1. 1.       Best Dance Act: Boy Blue, CEO Dancers,High Rollaz,D3 Dancers, Project G, Akai, Dan-Kira, Cerebro
  2. 2.       Best Dance Choreographer: Ricardo Gomez, Kenrick Sandy, Ashley Banjo, Tony Adigun, Turbo

Comedy

  1. 1.       Best Comedian: Eddie Kadi, Babatunde, Funmbi,  Ola the comedian, A Dot Comedian, Geoff Shumann, Don’t Jealous Me, Prince Abdi

Radio

  1. 1.       Station of the year: Rainbow Radio, The soul of London Radio, Voice of Africa radio, Zimnet radio, Guess Radio, Bang Radio, Colourful Radio, Premier Gospel, Zimpower FM, Playvybz Radio, Zimonline Radio, East Africa Radio Online, Inspiration FM
  2. 2.       Radio personality of the year: Yinka Awojobi, Kojo, Ace and Vis, Dave P, Jade Avia, Nage, Kweku Frimpong, Dotun Adebayo, Geoff Shumann, Wayne Boucaud, Benita White, Julie Ann Ryan, Space Clottey

Newspapers/Magazines/Blogs

  1. 1.       Best Community Newspaper: The Voice, The Vision, GLA News, Afro News, Trumpet, Phoenix,
  2. 2.       Magazine of the year: Black Hair, New African Woman, Black Beauty and Hair, Dive Scribe, Rewind, Ovation, Fab Magazine, OK Nigeria, ,Ninetynine Magazine, Arise Magazine, Pride, Afro Pulp, Tropics, Zen
  3. 3.       Journalist of the year: Charlene White, Lukwesa Burak, Janelle Oswald, Mimi Fawz, Lorna Cooper, Henry Bonsu, Regina Jere-Malanda, Belinda Otas, Shoggy Tosh
  4. 4.       Blog of the year: Nissi Knows, Shadders, Notjustok.com, Bella Naija, Funmi Ogunja, Black Grape, Jennie Jenkins, Berry, Haut, Lolo’s Kloset, Jestina-George.com, Africa fashion guide, afrocentricityunleashed.com, The peoples Hub, Eighteen Forever, We Plug Good Music, Nollywood Uncut

Events

  1. 1.       Best Events Promoter: Smade, Cokobar.com, West Coast, Bashment Vibez, Play Entertainment, USH(UK Unsigned Hype), Deroots Promotions, Theodore Ibekwe PR, CRU NETWORK, FOCUS organization, Femtej Kreations media, Disk&Jockey entertainment, Cams promotions

DJ

  1. 1.       DJ of the year: Dj Neptizzle, DJ Unbeatable, Dj Fabuloz, DJ Shola Bee, DJ Xclusive, DJ Cameo, Dj Cee Cee, DJ French Kiss, DJ Lady G2, Dj Dubwise, Dj Longers, Dj Melody, Dj Eve Parkes

Photographers

  1. 1.       Best Photographer: Akwasi Photography, Sixoone Media(David Mbiyu), Trevor Griffiths(iDelick Media), Cassandra M Photography, EJS Photography, Dami Oyetade, (Idezign), Squiz Hamilton, Stuart Dayley,  Fire Shonu Photography, Sync Photography, Creative Piece, Adeyinka Adepitan, Vivida, Akpe Ododoru

Fashion Category:

Fashion Designers

  1. 1.       Best Male Fashion Designer: Adebayo Jones, Visual Artistic Designer, James Brendan, Keve, Kgtkkt Couture, Zakaryas Solomon, Kitoko, Obiora Ichiebuka, Yusuf Abubakar
  2. 2.       Best Female Fashion Designer: Bukki Ojo, Bestow Elan, Light of Marie, Fabryan, Rouge, Eki Orleans, Anita Quansah, Korlekie, Adopted Culture, Dionne Gooding, Bubbushiiky, Tina Lobondi, Janet Opoku, Linda Mirembe, House of Adjeiwaa, AGR Clothing, Dephne Madyara, Johanna Jasmine Maddix

Stylists

  1. 1.       Best Hair Stylist: Edmund Bossman, Junior Green, Eugene Davis, Charlotte Mensah, Donnie Smith, Sandra Webb, Verona White, Adeola Olase, Charlene Cumberbatch, Leon Jade, Joel D, Edee Beau, Ether
  2. 2.       Best Wardrobe Stylist: Samson Soboye, Joel Dash,  Tanesha Westcarr, Erica Matthews, Viennty Styling, Natasha Clarke, Crystal Deroche, Yemisi Adedipe, Sandra Aji, Samantha Watson , Jason Boateng, Abigail Ayoola

Make-up Artists

  1. 1.       Best Make-up Artist: Sophia Taylor, Sheeba Raye, Imelda Ladebo, Sophia Taylor, Kristy Prince, Saamia Khan, Joy Adenuga, Barbara Mensah, Dimple Patel, Ganga Bahambra, Edee Beau, CSG Make-up and beauty

Fashion Choreographers

  1. 1.       Best Fashion Choreographer: Reuben Joseph, Anouska Lewis, Yvonne Simon, Kwame Knight

Models

  1. 1.       Best male model: Martins Igbinedion, Dudley O’Shaughnessy, Hassan Resse, Guetan, Jeremy Boateng, Salisu Abdullai, Charles Rare, Duke Dadzie, Zebulun Delisser, Prince Nkay, Dwain Stephens, Hassan Reese
  2. 2.       Best female model: Symara Templeman, Juanita Francis, Sherene McNicholl, April Alexander, Nana Afua Antwi, Edith Uba, Lydia Harris, Samira Hashi, Rukundo Tusubira, Rosemary Chileshe, Lisette Mibo, Cynthia Chisom,
  3. 3.       Best Modelling Agency: LV Casting Agency, Minc Model Management, Mahogany Model Management, Stomp Model Management, D1 Model Management, Oxygen Model Management, Demus Castings

Beauty Pageants

  1. 1.       Best Beauty Pageant: Miss West Africa UK, Miss Ghana UK, Miss Zim Diamond,, Miss Uganda UK, Miss Jamaica UK, Miss Flavour UK, Miss Black Africa, Miss Congo UK, Queen of Zambia UK, Miss Nubian Pageant
  2. 2.       Best Beauty Queen: Miss Congo UK 2012, Ruvimbo Chinzou, Fatoumata Touray, Ann Marie M’Sichili, Victoria Okafor
  3. 3.       Best Former Beauty Queen: Shirley Dee,Vicky Ngari, Nicola Sackey, Maria Namiro, Ruvimbo Chinzou, Denise Hanson, Misha Terrett, Victoria Mtonga,
  4. 4.       Best Beauty Pageant Director: June Daley, Mavis Osei, Dennis Tawiah, Jacqueline Wabara, Bridgette Chalu, Glorianne Francis, Dele Onabowu , Justina Mutale, Jacqueline Matovu

Film Category

  1. 1.       Best director: Richard Ayoade, Noel Clarke, Patrick Campbell, Obi Emelonye, Christian Asaiku, Tawanda Chimuzinga, Samuell Benta, Lanre Balogun
  2. 2.       Best Actor: Wil Johnson, Anthony Manjaro, James Bryhan, Wale Ojo, David Ajala, Ken Smart
  3. 3.       Best Actresses: Fatima Jabe, Omotola Jalade, Queen Allen, Sherrie Silver , Lorraine Fox, Anita Bellamy, Uru Eke
  4. 4.       Best Film: Last Flight to Abuja, Amina, To The End Of The Road,  Moral Conflict, Amina, Shattered Hearts
  5. 5.       Best screenwriter/Scriptwriter : Obi Emelonye, Maxine Chantel, Bola Agbaje Ann Akin, Debra Odutuyo, Samuell Benta, Babi Isako, Tolulope Yesufu
  6. 6.       Best theatre production Meet The Adebanjos, Belong by Bola Agbaje, I stand corrected by Mojisola Adebayo

TV Category

  1. 1.       Best Actress: Tameka Empson, Dianne Parish, Michelle Asante, Kehinde Fadipe, Chizzy Akudolu, Freema Agyemam, Letitia Hector, Faridah Rimmer, Moji Bamfeta
  2. 2.       Best Actor: Chucky Venn, Ashley Walters, Jimmy Akingbola, Nonso Anozie, Aml Ameen, Wale Ojo, Hugh Quarshie, David Ajala, Samuell Benta
  3. 3.       Best TV Station: BEN TV, VOX Africa, Africa Channel, Hi TV, OH TV
  4. 4.       Best TV Show: Shoot The Messenger, The Hi Life, AfroBuzz,The Sporah Show, The Magazine Show, Meet The Adebanjos, New Generation Show, BBS(BEN TV)
  5. 5.       Best TV personality: Nana AFua Antwi, Alesha Dixon, Lukwesa Burak, Femi Amusan, James Sherwood, Sporah Njau, Leah Charles
  6. 6.       Best presenter: Fernand Frimpong Jnr, Nana Afua Antwi, Sporah Jau, Leah Charles, Reggie Yates, Adesope Olajide, Sugapuff, Remel London, Natalie Brown
  7. 7.       Best Webseries: Breach, Venus Vs Mars, All About The McKenzies, Before The Big Time,
  8. 8.       Best online TV: Factory 78, UPshot TV, SBTV, Time With Natalie, Gidiculture TV

ART Category

1.       Best Spoken Word Artist/Poets – Oneness Sankara, Alim Kamara, Dan Bosi, Chaleboy The Poet, Dean Atta

2.       Best Art Director – Trendy Couture, Kwame Knight, Akpe Ododoru, Ola Shobowale

We will be providing you with a full disclosure of how the night pans out without excluding any details.

  Keep it locked on AFROCENTRICITY UNLEASHED!!!


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Afrobeats in the world`s eye


Music is to the soul what words are to the mind-Words are the pen of the heart, music the pen of the soul. Quote by Modest Mouse.

African music has come a long way and is a significant part of the African Culture. In Yoruba history (A tribe originally from the western part of the African Continent, south west of Nigeria, but can also be found in Brazil), music is used as an instrument for communication, entertainment, enlightenment, information dissemination, expression and so on. “Ewi”(pronounced AHY-WE) can be described as a lyrically artistic, poetic rendition(akin to an ode)in the Yoruba language, used in telling stories about past wartime experiences of  forefathers, folklore, children`s stories, exceptional heroic bravery stories, praise singing, and much more. One of my favourite “Ewi” is one of the many stories of the tortoise who is always depicted as a dodgy, cunning animal  always on one quest or the other trying to outdo other animals…I promise I will tell you the story some other time. 🙂

This decade has seen the highest rise in African artistes, African music, international recognition as well as international collaborations more than ever. We are now seeing Afrobeats breaking the international barrier that Reggae broke decades ago. I would like to analyse, the best way possible, and in my own opinion, how this change came about.

First up! What is Afrobeats? The clue is in the name here…Afro (African) Beats (music). I will define Afrobeats as music whose roots and inspiration derives from Africa, by Africans (not necessarily indigenous to the continent)which might have a fusion of western styles and/or beats, as well as elements of cultural, political, social, historical and other factors attributed to the African continent.

Afrobeats is a subset of African music which appeals more to the younger generation due to its close resemblance in style and beats to international genres. The origin of afrobeats in my own opinion can be traced back to the mid-60s-early 70s when Fela Anikulapo- kuti started his band Koola lobitos  (later known as Afrika 70 then egypt 80)and took the world by storm with performances all over the world. This brought about widespread attention to this “different” style of music which had elements of the African culture, African percussion instruments, gongs, as well as trumpets, tambourines, pianos, electric guitars and so on. The amalgamation of local and foreign musical instruments and style is what (in my opinion) culminated into the world recognized genre Afrobeats being acceptable on the world stage. This quickly grew popular with Africans(inside and outside of the continent) and people of African heritage in the diaspora due to their ability to identify with different elements of this genre.

  Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was also a political activist who used his music as a tool to notify the world about the ills of the Nigerian society which was being ruled by military dictators at the time. This obviously did not sit well with the government back then due to the exposés of their misdemeanours.Fela washed their dirty laundry in public, hence bringing the world`s attention to political tyranny in the country as it was…as well as securing a comfortable spot on the first page of their bad books.

The Afrobeats genre has evolved over the years from close resemblance to more local African music, to being more international standard styled(if you like). This change in style, beats, and structure has brought the world`s attention to Afrobeat`s front door.  Songs like Oliver Twist by D`banj , African Queen by Tuface Idibia, Chop my money(which means “Spend my hard-earned money”) by P-square etcetera have all received international attention due to their unique, indigenous, yet internationally tailored style. This has given rise to collaborations with A-list artistes like Kanye West, Rick Ross, Mary J Blige and loads more. These songs are being played alongside “big banging” tunes in clubs, rated on worldwide charts and reviewed by music critics. Oliver Twist by D`banj made it to the top 10 on MTV UK music charts which bases its ratings on downloads, hence making this song the most popular African song ever featured on the MTV charts.

Personally, I believe this is just the beginning of a long journey for Afrobeats on the world stage, and also a big opportunity for African talents to showcase their skills and culture to the world without getting overly “Americanized” since you loose your culture when you loose your identity and uniqueness. Music has always been a universal language and even children will dance to a nice tune even though they do not have a clue of what the song is about.

My advice to Afrobeats artistes in general is to keep it real with their roots i.e. Africa, and use their music as a communication, as well as an entertainment tool to the world. Please enjoy the attached video for your viewing pleasure. VIVA AFRICA!

Afrowoman: History, Roles and Responsibilities


Mama Africa! I used to wonder where and how this name was derived and remember vividly asking my mum about the origin as a kid. I remember her saying “This coined name signifies Africa`s personification in terms of its ability to breastfeed her own children”.

History shows the significance of the African Woman over thousands of years making reference to her strength, passion, compassion, resilience, long suffering and so many other qualities that makes her idolized and revered by friends,families and the society in general.

Every African culture has a significant story or history portraying the role of the woman in her society. Ancient records show her as queen, goddess, scholar, diplomat, scientist, icon, prophet and freedom fighting warrior exalted with and sometimes above her father, husband and brothers. She is the epitome of multitasking balancing the needs of the husband with that of the children as well as other extended family members not to mention the society.

We have Historical African Women like Queen Nefertiti, Makeda the Queen of Sheba, Queen Ahmose-Nefertari, Queen Tiye, and Queen Nzingha, and the women warriors of Dahomey kingdom and even in recent times, Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti(the mother of Fela Kuti the original pioneer of afrobeats, activist and human right activist) who championed the course on recognition of African Women in Nigeria in 1953 and founded the Federation of Nigerian Women Societies . According to Dr. John Henrik Clarke, “The first accomplishment of the African woman, in partnership with the man, was the creation of a functioning family unit. This major step in human development laid the foundations of the organization of all subsequent societies and institutions. In Africa the “woman’s place” was not only with her family. She often ruled nations with unquestioned authority.

Many African Societies still need to understand that the African Woman is not a figure head but an essential member of the family unit who creates equilibrium across it. A father earns his respect and honour among his children by treating their mother with respect and dignity. She in turn sings his praise to the children and he is revered and respected.

So how is the modern day “African Woman” stepping into the shoes of her ancestors? For one, the western influence and education have had positive and negative influences on the African Woman`s role (and I am not saying this as a male chauvinist pig but as a realist). The role of the African woman has evolved over the years due to (but not limited to)these factors which brings me to these points:

Should these apparent stimuli push the African Woman out of her lifelong role?
What happened to her duties inside the home which is very significant in the bigger society?

Do not get me wrong, we have a lot of African Women who are still aware of their roles and playing it to a T, but the question remains – what is going on with the ones that have lost the cause? Where did it all go wrong?

The African Woman needs to realize that she belongs to a lineage of Warriors, Leaders, Inspirers, Home makers and so on. She is the epitome of multitasking, a goddess who is respected at home and the world in general, a ruler and warrior. Her role with regards to the man is not a competitive one in which the man is the adversary, but rather an important partner (and vice versa) without whom her role cannot be complete.

African woman, take your rightful position of respect because you have earned it over time.

Please find some relevant read links below which you can also peruse. I would like some comments and other viewpoints regarding this issue.

http://afrikaworld.net/afrel/atr-women.htm

http://www.colorq.org/articles/article.aspx?d=2002&x=africanwarriors

http://www.globalaging.org/elderrights/world/2004/subsaharan.htm

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African Fashion Consciousness: The Evolution Of Adire(tie and dye) Textile Material


Adire ((AH-dih-ray)) which means tie and dye is the name given to the indigo-coloured dyed cloth used by women of the south western part of Nigeria, Africa using different types of resist dye techniques. Early records show that these tied designs became commercial  in the early 20th century when exposure to imported European textile material  materialized, and paved the way for local women dyers to innovate new artistic designs on these materials. However, in earlier centuries, adire appears to have been highly regarded; the tunic pictured solely on the right was acquired in the 1640s by a German collector who said it was the kind given by the “king” in a “knighting” ceremony (i.e., given to warriors by rulers).  But by the mid-1950s, adire was considered a “budget” fabric worn only by less well-off women and by men as sleeping cloths, and as a way to recycle faded cloth.   Not until the 1960s did adire become fashionable in West Africa, when expatriate African and African-American men started using adire for shirts as attractive way of celebrating their heritage. 

The influx of European clothing materials in the mid 1930s  did give rise to new techniques of resist dyeing including the practice of hand-painting designs on the cloth with cassava starch paste prior to dyeing known as “Adire Eleko”. This was also a means of cottage-industry income for Moslem women who were rarely permitted to leave their homes. Another method was to use sewn raffia, sometimes in combination with tied sections, while other cloths were simply folded repeatedly and tied or stitched in place. The basic shape of the cloth is that of two pieces of shirting material stitched together to create a women’s wrapper cloth. Examples of popular designs are the jubilee pattern (produced for the King George V and Queen Mary 1935), Olokun (goddess of the sea), Ibadandun (Ibadan is sweet).

Adire has obviously undergone some rapid transformation with regards to production and use over the past few decades. With the introduction of modern technology, innovation in the fashion industry and the Diaspora, there has been the introduction of other multicolour styled adire (other than the traditional blue),lighter tighter woven commercially made cotton materials, brocade, and other luxury textile material. Also, the introduction of the sewing machine allowed the creation of more detailed and elaborate patterns on these fabrics.

Has Adire taken a back seat in the fashion industry? Locall, I would say yes; but we seem to see more and more foreign designers and catwalk models adorning this artistic attire eloquently more than ever before. Combining adire with modern designs gives the ever so brilliant spectrum of colours a dazzling effect which can be spotted a mile away. Adire can be considered as being a natural summer attire which, with the effect of the sunshine on the material, creates a brilliant look…But then, the possibilities with adire are endless.

Reference : http://www.hartcottagequilts.com/africantextiles