Mama Africa | How are you doing Mama | Mama Africa | Long time me no see you Mama ...There's so many things about you | Wondering where you are | They try their best to hide you Mama | But I search and I find you...In you there's so much beauty |
In you there's so much life | In you there's so many kingdoms | To me it's out of sight... (parts of the lyrics from "Mama Africa" by Peter Tosh)
My family is very connected to Africa, my cousins have their roots in Mozambique through their father and i fell in love with Mama Africa when i first met her in South Africa 5 years ago. Africa is an amazing source of music, design, fashion and art that is unfortunately not mentioned enough...here is my personal current best of fashion, music, object design, photography and graphics from and inspired by Mama Africa (all bolded texts and titles are links)
Mammaw is a team of four designers based in London that is specialized in hand sewn collections made using Ankara styles, African patterns, Kente cloth and traditional fabrics. All pieces are produced in limited edition.
I am completely in love with the fabrics of Lemlem, an ethiopian brand created by Liya Kebede in 2007. Lemlem, which means bloom or flourish in amharic, is all about natural cotton clothes and fabrics, 100% hand weaven according to traditional techniques. The lightness and colors of the textiles is just one of the things that make Lemlem so special. The other thing about the brand is that (as stated on their site) "5% of all sales and proceeds from special promotions support LKFs work to help African moms thrive. The LKF (Liya Kebede Foundation), and its work helps address the top health concern of women in Africa – access to life-saving maternity care. With its giving partners LKF aims to make childbirth safer by training midwives who provide care near where we source and manufacture."
Jain - Makeba
Jain, originated from Madagascar lived 3 years in the Congo as a teenager and makes pop music like nobody else at the moment. She has this song, Makeba...when i hear it, i can not sit till on my chair, i have to get up and move my dancing feet...The clip was directed by the french duo Greg et Lio, who's work reminds me a little bit of Michel Gondry.
It's a track about the South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba and Jain states on her site: “Her voice is part of my childhood,” says Jain. “In Paris I discovered that a lot of my friends knew nothing about her. I found that sad so I wrote the song. The idea was to modernise Miriam Makeba so people my age might search her out."
This is the best gift i got from Africa. Ohad brought me back wonderful wooden bracelets, beautiful wooden carved bowls and a Solar Jar from his recent trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Solar Jar is my favorite. It's beautiful, so smart, simple, functional and sustainable. A perfect piece of design. Its basically a glass jar with a solar panel on the top and an integrated LED light. If it stays in the sunlight for 6-8 hours, it gives up to 12 hours of light. It has an automatic day/night switch that turns the LED off if the lighting conditions are good in order to save battery and turns the light on again, once the surroundings are dark. It even has a USB charging feature as an alternative to sunlight, if solar charging is not possible. You can fill the jar with whatever you wish to create a beautiful atmosphere in the house (i recently filled my jar with chocolate money for this post). Detailed fact sheet available here.
The Dutch photographer Marinka Masséus is the IPA (International Photography Award) photographer of the Year 2016. Her work "Under the same sun" raises awareness for people who are born with albinism. Have a look at the full series of pictures on her website and i can warmly recommend this article with an interview about her work giving insights about her motivation and thoughts.
Lulu Kitololo is the creative director behind Lulu Kitololo Studio. Till 2015 Lulu was part of Asilia, a shared design studio together with her partner from Haba haba. Lulu's blog, Afri-Love is much recommended for everyone interested in african design and culture. Here are some projects from Asilia and from Lulu Kitololo Studio.