Dance is a form of non-verbal communication for expressing human experiences, which in the course of time has developed into a form of art. Brazil is a land of many popular dances that contain the elements of African, Portuguese and European dance forms. Samba, Carimbo, Capoeira, Forro, Coco, Cacuria, Jongo, Lundu and other dances are some of the famous dances of Brazil.
Here are 10 traditional Brazilian dances worth knowing about.
As the symbol of Brazil, any good list about traditional Brazilian dances has to start with samba. Samba is a Brazilian music genre and dance style notable for its fast footwork and flowing hip swings which, when coupled with the beats of a steel drum, seems to leave spectators in a trance. Its origins lie in the west coast of Africa, coming to Brazil through slavery. It is the music genre and dance most closely linked to Rio de Janeiro.
Some believe that samba was derived from the word ‘semba’, which signifies a navel bump in Kimbundo, the African Bantu language, and symbolizes the invitation to dance from a man to a woman. ‘Semba’ is also an infinitive of ‘kusamba’, which means ‘to pray’, or to appeal for the favor of the Gods or ancestors by singing and dancing. So, the dance was an indispensable part of the religious ceremonies.
Jongo – sometimes known as caxambu – was brought over to Brazil through slavery and is thought to have originated from Angola. The dance is sometimes referred to as an ancient form of samba and a performance of jongo does prove that the step work is often very similar. Lively and spirited, the dance is performed to a harmonious group of people singing and playing simple instruments. It is sometimes associated with Umbanda, a religion with roots in Africa.
The Jongo is still widely practiced today in various cities: The Vale do Paraíba in the Southeast region of Brazil, to the South of the state of Rio de Janeiro and to the North of São Paulo.
Although not fully classified as a dance, it is a unique combination of martial arts, dance and acrobatics. To spectators, the hypnotizing music and fluidity of the moves certainly appear dance-like. Capoeira is another dance that has an African origin, coming over to Brazil through slavery. The moves include fast-paced sweeps, kicks and dodges with the lower body playing out most of the moves whilst the upper body balances the actions.
Lundu is also a dance form brought by the Enslaved Africans, and it became very popular in Brazil during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The basic musical instruments involved are guitar, piano and drum. This dance also involves the use of handkerchief and castanets, an instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood, or bone, and is held between the thumb and the fingers.
Xote is a typical type of forro dance that is incredibly versatile and has several variations across the country. Blending both European and African influences, it also incorporates elements of salsa, mambo and rumba, depending on the region in Brazil.
Jamaica is a land with a very distinct personality, so much so that much of its culture has filtered down to some of the smaller islands of the Caribbean; everything from the music to the fashion and lingo. Jamaican culture has also gone international, seen in the most significant way on the entertainment scene, with international musical acts being influenced by Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae. The result being an ever-evolving musical contribution that is a fusion of places, cultures, and people.
Here are Interesting Facts about Jamaica that you probably didn’t know before reading this!
Meet Meryanne Loum-Martin, A Parisian lawyer turned entrepreneur and founder of Jnane Tamsna, The only Black woman-owned boutique hotel located in Marrakech, Morocco.
We had a chat with her to talk about her inspiring journey from France to Marrakech, lessons she learned from the challenges and the triumphs along the way, the importance of Black female hotel ownership and how she created one of Morocco’s most beloved retreats, and the incredible plans she has for creating a space where African artists and creatives of the diaspora are celebrated!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Meryanne Loum-Martin. My father is Senegalese, my mother was French West Indian. Paris was home until I discovered Marrakech. I always travelled a lot either as a child with my parents and as a teenager and young adult alone. I am fascinated by the world and the diversity of its cultures.
What led to your path of being a Hotelier?
By pure coincidence… Since I was a child, I was fascinated by architecture and design. As soon as I could I would always travel to explore famous architects work. I went to architecture school at 17 yrs old, after my Baccalauréat, ( French A Levels) . I was totally at ease with creative subjects but was too bad in Maths to become an architect. Unfortunately it is part of the architecture studies in France. So I went to law school and became a lawyer, like everyone in my family. On my mother’s side I am 4 th generation, on my father”s 2nd generation.
But I always kept as a hobby a foot into design, advising friends on their house, etc..
In the mid-eighties my parents wanted to build a holiday house abroad but close to Europe. As the self-taught designer of the family, I asked to be in charge. This is how I came to Marrakech for the first time in December 1985 to scout for land.
Immediately I fell in love with the country, dark blue skies, the regal Atlas Mountains covered with snow, the palm groves and the rose gardens . I built and designed a house for them, convinced them to do a bigger place than what our family needed so I would turn it into a business. It opened in 1989 as the 1st boutique hospitality concept in Marrakech. It had unbelievable press coverage worldwide and the most discerning and famous clients.
As Marrakech, only had big hotels before, my first property, which opened in 1989, happens to be chronologically the one which put Marrakech on the map of boutique hospitality. Our clientele was: Giorgio Armani, Mick Jagger, Brad Pitt, Princess Caroline of Monaco, European royals, David Bowie and Iman, Sade, top models, European and American socialites, fashion stars, and all Parisian CEOs. The place reputation took off as very connected people started the word of mouth. We also had amazing features in all major magazines in the US, in Europe, and worldwide.
I had carefully listened to the complaints about the holidays on offer and made a marketing study based on well-travelled friends whose expectations I trusted.
I created a “private home” experience with the excellence of a hotel service. In 1996, – I had by then resigned from Paris Bar and my law career – I moved to Marrakech and went on to do new projects. The hotel I have now www.jnanetamsna.com I built in 2001. My husband, who is passionate about plants, designed the gardens, and I did the architecture and the interiors. We broke grounds on January 6th 2001 and opened on Dec 27ththe same year with a full house. I believe building a place in 11 months and 3 weeks is a record.
What were some of the highlights and challenges that came with growing Jnane Tamsna to the point where it is?
Highlights: We are blessed that our hotel attracts wonderful people. And word of mouth has been very good. I have also been able to design and host cultural events which I love doing. Literary salons, creative writing workshops or celebrating the creativity of our diaspora, through the “ Afreeculture forum” that we launched this year. Our diaspora creativity in literature, cinema and entrepreneurship were celebrated for 4 days as Jnane Tamsna hosted conversations brilliantly moderated by authors, film screening with their directors and festive events in the evening. Among our Nigerian guests, we had the authors Taiye Sélasi, Enuma Okoro, Chika Unigwe, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and the phenomenal photographer Misan Harriman who shot the front cover of British Vogue September issue.
I am particularly happy to have now a real diversity of guests. In the last 3 years, after having been published for the 1st time in the African-American press, our clientele started to be much more diverse. And now it looks often like our own family !
For me the world of today is for example when a Norwegian family befriends around our pool an African-American family and both the adults and the children keep in touch. I love that our hotel has been such a connector for so many and for so many years. It is wonderful to know that people who met here, who all came to my own house on site for drinks, have become friends and have kept in touch, meeting abroad, sometimes travelling together.
One of the highlight I will always remember was having a famous French musician and jazz pianist on holidays with his family and discovering that a New-Yorker guest was singing at the Carlysle hotel in NY which had the most amazing jazz scene. As I have a piano in my house, I introduced them and asked them if they wanted to do a jam session. On that night I invited all the guests and my house was rocking with the best old standards.. When I am able to live this kind of moments I forget about the challenges of building, marketing and running a hotel !
Challenges: There have been many but I am the type to move forward. In the late eighties when my law career was very promising, (I had won a national competition and was representing France in international lawyers debates, the path to a bright legal career was visible) I focused on to design which was my passion and my call. People thought I was totally out of my mind ! To focus as a Black woman, on a country which was not mine, where I did not speak the language ( Arabic) and in a field notoriously for men ( construction) was certainly a challenge. I took it as an opportunity to do what I was passionate about.
I went on, taking on very tough challenges for two years, until we opened, but never being that discouraged that it would make me change ideas or drop the ball.
I was paid back beyond my wildest dreams as my design and our family property was published worldwide from Architectural Digest, to NYTimes, Vogue and within a few years, it was featured in 62 publications. My work had significant features, including a front cover. In 2001 “Harper’s and Queen” gave me the award of the best private estate in the world at an award ceremony in London.
There are challenges in every field, every job, every life, it is the way one faces it, which will make it bearable or impossible, which will make it a hurdle or an opportunity. I choose to never give up. But don’t get me wrong, there are some very difficult moments.
My constant challenge is to take into account that it is not every one who has my energy: -) … or intuition. Right now I am sitting on a fantastic new project which could really be a trailblazer for the continent. Will I find the finance for it .. ? I hope so as this would be a game changer and after this world crisis we live, we do need to create a lot of jobs.
Today’s challenge : In terms of challenges, it is not particular to our hotel, but to the tourism trade and to the world economy now. The virus has put everything on hold.
The challenge is planetary and goes way beyond my little hotel or bigger projects.
What is very important is that mankind never forget the lesson. We can live differently, we don ‘t need to waste. We need to open our eyes and be grateful for what we have. Be ambitious to grow, but not be greedy and inconsiderate. Be thoughtful about our choices. As today we are the victims of the wrong choices’ consequences .
Why Morocco? What brought you here?
Just this fact : it is 3 hours flight from Paris which was home. When my parents decided to buy a holiday home they were not interested in France or Europe. Their countries of origin were too far from Paris to go there on weekends. So what attracted us was the proximity of the most delightful exotic city.
The importance of Black female hotel ownership?
I am a Black female with a foot in very diverse circles, African American, White European, White American, English Speaking African and French Speaking African. This has given me a very diverse approach to all things. Being at a crossroads of influences has boosted my creativity. Even if other Black females have a different path as mine, I believe that females are very good with hospitality. Especially now that hospitality excellence is not necessarily attached to a corporate brand but can be carried by independently owned hotels.
As females in general and as Black females in particular, we have to constantly be better, work harder to reach executive levels in the corporate world. This constant “ having to prove ourselves” (instead of being only exhausting) has created a natural excellence for many females.
I am in absolute awe and admiration of African businesswomen. From the Nana Benz of Togo who ruled the economy 100 years ago, while being sometimes illiterate but knowing how to count, to the many African females graduating from the best Universities in the world. I am proud, happy, and elated to be a Black Female. I believe that many of us have a unique strength, we understand how both worlds work, the white world where we have gone to the best schools and our own African world. This is a very unique richness brought to us by diversity.
In the late eighties when I could feel that very individual and stylish boutique hotel would be the obvious future, I was living in a Parisian world where being a Black Female was not the conversation. I had always been the only Black in school, the only Black in law competitions, the only Black at the National School of Beaux-Arts where I went for 3 years before going to law school. I was very happy to carry the flag of Blackness as well as I could but I would be lying if I was saying that I suffered from violent prejudice. Never in my own circles. Sometimes with people I did not know like in a shop or in a post office…but these were really rare and totally minor. Today I am very happy to see that Black Female ownership is a statement. It makes me realize that indeed there were many challenges that I had to face while deciding to ignore them.
What are some of the biggest business lessons “you’ve learned along the way that serve as your ‘secrets to success “in running a company?
I believe that there might not be a universal lesson as each destination must have different challenges and hospitality is so much rooted into the essence and D.N.A of a destination. I think that the most important is to know your sphere of competence and to stick to it. I am good at creative stuff, I am bad at management and accounting. These are fields that specialists and competent persons are running for me. But when I started my business I was multitasking like a lot of new businesses have to. Then one takes the habit to control all, and to forget that this is not one’s competence. As it grows, you must let go and focus on what you know best. I am very happy now that even though I follow with a distance all aspects of the business, it is run by the best people and I can focus on creativity, intuition, vision and projection.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am working on a new project which should be a breakthrough in hospitality. The same way that my first pioneering property here, led to 1800 ones directly inspired by it in the city of Marrakech, (the N°1 tourist destination of Morocco, voted among the 1st 5 of the world 3 years ago), I do hope that my concept will be pioneering a very successful type of hospitality which will inspire others on the continent.
Right now I am working on raising finance for this new project. So my day, is a mix of working on the new project, and of running the present business. Since the lockdown, I have very often been invited to speak to conferences on zoom. I am also developing selling on line some of my porcelain collection, home accessories and luminaries. As I said I focus on creative matters. The borders are closed, so we do not expect business for a while. However, I am working on creating theme stays with future partners. My book “ Inside Marrakech” published by Rizzoli is coming out late September and I am very busy organizing virtual launches and zoom events in Black owned bookstores in the US.
How would you define good hospitality?
You have very different travelers. The business traveler needs are not the same as the millennial digital nomad’s, or the family on holidays, I would say that good hospitality is the one which understands the needs of the clients before they even formulate it. It is an attention to details which will enchant the client. It is about generosity and kindness, about flexibility and warmth. In Africa, I think it is about the visitor understanding that our gorgeous continent has a content of many layers. For generations, tourists would come to Africa for beaches or safaris. Our culture was denied its value. People thought that a cultural trip was about old churches and museums in Europe.
The rest of the world was only about outdoors. Grand Canyon in the US, Safaris in Africa or beaches..
It is time for the foreign tourist to explore and discover our modern culture, urban vibes, music, art, and the vibrant creativity of the modern African capitals.
What advice would you share with women who are the start of their hospitality careers?
I think that my strength is to have direct access to my clientele. Since my first project, I have only done projects to satisfy specific needs that I knew existed. I understand that this is a unique position that I am in. So I cannot say “do like me”. I am an accidental hotelier who never went to hospitality school… If you have gone to hospitality school, have found a job in the industry, and plan to open your own hotel or guest house one day…
To invest you need to minimize the risk. To minimize the risk you need to be sure to have the right product for the right client.
So I would carefully formulate my unique selling points. Then I would create my style, and go totally virtual on social media. Why not have an Instagram account of a virtual hotel, which would be full of ideas, events, mood boards of what you plan to do… and then when you have a lot of followers, and have established your virtual brand, then do the hotel.
Maybe there are great old buildings that are available to restore if you plan to be in a city.. and if you need an interior designer I would love to advise ! or take a new project..
What role will the diaspora play in the future of Africa travel?
The diaspora has a foot in Africa and a foot elsewhere. Most of the diaspora does not travel back home to do safaris, or stay on the beach all the time. The diaspora is often urban and will support the art , music and cultural scenes, new restaurants, city hotels, guest houses with a vibe should be supported by the diaspora when traveling back home. I also know brilliant elements of the diaspora who have gone back and started a creative business. I am thinking about studio Lani in Lagos for example. This is a perfect example of the diaspora return and impact on the creative scene.
Hotels and tourism are inseparable. In your opinion, how has the pandemic affected Morocco’s tourism sector?
Like for the whole world, the economy is on halt. It is particularly hard for a city like Marrakech which economy is based on tourism. The government has done a lot to support the population but it is getting harder and harder as we are entering the 6th month of economic paralysis. It is not only the hotels and the staff, but all that gravitates around tourists spending, the markets, the antique shops, the taxis, the local tours, really everything. It is the hardest time ever. We pray that the recovery one day will create a new trail for prosperity and health.
Black is King or a marvelous narration of black pride that displays black beauty, strength and culture through Disney’s Lion king protagonist Simba, journey with the music of The Gift curated by Beyoncé. The film premiered the 31th of July on Disney+ and the next day on African platform like DSTV, Canal+ …
After getting amazed by these high quality visuals with dances, rhythm and researched aesthetics with the collaboration of our amazing creatives from African countries through direction, fashion and filming production we have to point out and show those references that made us lift up from our chairs.
The film was in work since 2019, proving again that Beyoncé’s NDA contracts have enough power to silence anybody. We’ve seen colors, Afrofuturism aesthetic but most importantly blackness through ages and all over the world.
Beyoncé represents an ancestor that will follow the young king into his trip and teach him about the circle of life and witness every moment of his ascending to be a king despite sadness, anger and lost of his own self, from his dreams, and his new accomplished life with Nala and their new baby. In this narrative Beyonce amplifies women gift to give life and show that women are in the center of the creation of the world.
Through African Tradition
The symbol of White
The first scene revolves around Baptism, like the birth of Simba in the circle of life. We can see ancestors, priests sagging and priestess with Calabasas washing children faces and feet, holding flowers and praying. In many African cultures white means “Purity” and also remind us of Komians women in Akan societies, these women considered as medium were able to be in contact with the spirit world and ours. They wore white, had nude feet and could see the future and always accompanies the King and royal family in their reign through protection and even afterwards, whe he passes.
The ceremony use body paint on the young king by his ancestors that solidify his status, and ritual of purification as young king, it reminds us of kaolin (White Clay) that is used in ritual and symbolize joy (Dan people with yangbah dance), peace and mourn, cultural ceremonies in Akan societies and all over west African tribes. Even the Fang of Cameroon and Myene in Gabon, the dead will cross the river of tears to become a spirit , in Gabon the Ogooue they use white clay also to represent ghosts.
But white is also refered in ancient Egypt as mourning, it symbolize death through mummification of passed pharaohs, shroud that can be seen in Nile video clip that represents “The king has died” after Simba’s naivety and fight against the image of funeral always symbolized by black in western societies.
The use of Calabasas is really symbolic, a non-edible fruit that grows in Africa and America that isused to create utensil, musical instrument (balafon, maracas, djembe), its round form is a symbol of cosmic energy and women that are the perfect recipient for holding life. For example in Yoruba’s Orisha myth, Odudua and Obatala merge like two half Calabasas form the universe and represent the duality of the creation of the world.
Snakes can be seen as evil creatures in western religious belief, but in many tribes in Benin, togo vodun, and even dogon tribe where they represent their past immortal ancestors, they are seen as sacred, protectors. The Nommo androgynous twins of dogon is a python.
African spirituality is rooted in animal source of power and image of spirit and are used to portrays divinity and venerence. We can see a bull head of batammaribain Benin and Togo, mursi women in Ethiopia, the bull was a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt whose horns were worn by Hathor goddess of love, family and also by Odiani people of igbo.
Golden and Divine status
Many great scenes representing the masai jumping contest in suit From Kenya and Tanzania. We’ve seen lot of wraps display in plenty of scenes, represent symbol of marriage, status. The lip disc from east Africa, popular in Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique and are symbol of social status too.
The Akan crown, golds and umbrella Ohenekyinnie that means authority over his people. Omo people in Ethiopia, Guere in cote d’ivoire, mastered the art of body painting as cultural expression in Africa and flowers head pieces.
Scenes about balance reminds of Maat one of the most known goddess in Egypt, without forgetting Gods in Vodun Liza and Mawu through he portrayal of good and bad, light and dark that cannot exist without one another.
Adinkra symbol, one of the first written languages from Akan (Most popular in Ghana), is represented in this scene, and this sign is a symbol of wealth, power abundance and solidarity.
Red ochre by Himba women in Naminia mixed with cow milk is used to to protect their skin from the sun, give them a beautiful rich hydrated skin. Their thick hair symbolize fertility. In the film they are symbolising duality of male female spirits/ancestors .
We can see art from the Ndebele of south Africa, Masai jewelries of kenya, celebration of love and return back to the values of motherland that is the real royalty, not the crown and artifacts.
This visual send us far than earth, but to the creation of the world through the Dogon people, a tribe living in west Africa (Mali, Cote d’ivoire…) that refused the arrival of islam and Christianity and have a belief deeply rooted into nature, celestial bodies as the universe and their knowledges of space, astronomy till this day fascinating modern day scientist. In their spirituality the universe was created by the Amma and this God created the earth who was a women and fertilizes her to creates Nommo an androgenous twin deities and its first inhabitants to represens duality. They even have masks that represent the movement of the sun called Sirige. Beyonce represents every celestial mentioned in their tale like the stars, the sun, Sirius, Comet, Black Hole, the pleiade seven sisters to portray how the dance of all these bodies created the world like the dogon speak of in their oral tradition.
We can see green man that represents water genie in Bambara, dogon, Azuza of west Africa (Ghana, benin, togo) pygme genie male, Congo with ireyi cult Toula in Niger, also created by the foam of the sea.
We can see Kanaga masks wore by the Awa society, a mask that is used in a ceremony called Dama and establish the connection between the earth and the sky to usher the sprits and accompany the dead into the spirit world that show this vision of the creation of the world to the young king and his ancestors portrayed by the stars. They always pay homage to their first ancestors like mufasa showing his ancestors to simba.
Representation of Black Beauties
In brown skin girl, The film is pushing Black girls and woman in Disney spaces and is a real statement on universial beauty that misrepresented in its film and Disney princesses. Those girls that beauty is and always have been undeniable through their versatility and diverse characteristics, the song praises darker skin in this colorist society, an ode to black beauty portrayed through Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell. She portrays young girls in contemporary princess outfit thinking about cendrillon ballroom, reference to Rapunzel with huge braided hair, Beyonce included herself as Rapunzel, to celebrate versatility in Afro.
We’ve Fulani braids, bantu knots , Nigerian hair scuplture, hair from Hamer people of Ethiopia, mangbetu with lipombo skull elongation which is a sign of beauty intelligence and power making us think about Nefertiti representing beauty through ages.
Beauty universiality and blackness through the world with south/east Asia where colorism is harsh and economy allow the commercialization and encouragement of bleaching.
African Women bodies
Busiswa wearing Isicholo of zulu, is celebrating african woman curves that have been demonized and sexualized all these years reference to Saartjie Baartman a south african enslaved woman that lived a terrible life because of racism. The hips movement like the earth reminds of assiko dance in Cameroon or dances in Congo that are centered on the hips.
African Spirituality and water (Like Fela says water no gets enemy)
Water is source of life, purification to baptize, regeneration and is important in the circle of life (Ships were seen as trip to the afterlife).
Its very important in African spirituality. We’ve seen her dance with water, on water (river) mazina maganda an Uganda dance to vibrate and bring life to the water. She pays homage to african deities that are connected with water , the orishas from Yoruba mythology, that she mentionned that accompanied the young king through his fight for enlightment, we can mention Yemaya (igbo) also Mami watta in Benin, Togo, vodun, Faro in mali link to Niger river and has a strong relationship with water through music reminds of blues,in saheli tribe where water is a necessity which they are always seeking for.. We remember that the Nile was the center that explain how African migrated through the whole continent, Abla Pokou that sacrified her child to save her people (Baoule myth), water has memory and recover the truth and hold our spirituality, water and woman share life that they give. In mali they have a strong relationship with water, nobody can exist without water. The image of African women taking charges on their head in calabases walking kilometers to get safe water from well or rivers for their family.
Through Lion King
In Mood 4 eva, we can see a display of eccentricity and careless and fantasy world that reminds African dictators through presidential wealthy mandate like Mobutu and Marie Antoinette in RDC with his cheetah famous hat. Its represent the famous phrase “Hakuna Matata” which is a celebration of life. The animal prints are here to remind us of the animals in Lion King the film, we have the morning report by Zazu reference with beyonce reading her morning paper, and the flamingo scene with synchonised dancers in the pool with pink. This dream will send Simba into a world where he will only see his fantasies that scramble his perspection of reality and build his illusion of happiness to ignore his worries.
We can see Beyonce in a tree as Rafiki in Already and others scene th Lion King’s fans will love.
Black is king is a counterbalance narrative towards the hate, incomprehension towards Black people in the world ! Lets seek wealth, real royalty that are not represented by monarchy but by our community values, knowledge and love for each other.
Members of the Garífuna community are still awaiting answers concerning the fourGarífuna men abducted from their homes on Sunday July 19, 2020. Among the missing include Alberth Snider Centeno Thomas (27 years old), a youth community leader who is president of the board of the town of Triunfo de la Cruz, on the north coast of Honduras, along with local fishermen Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez (39), Suami Aparicio Mejía (29), and Junior Rafael Juarez Mejia (33). Witnesses report that their community members were abducted by armed men wearing police uniforms and balaclavas that concealed their faces. The armed men forced the abducted men from their respective homes at gunpoint and ushered them into an unmarked vehicle before speeding away
Over a week has passed since the incident, there is still no sign of the Garífuna community members, with little to no substantial response from authorities. While prosecutors say that the motive for the attack is unclear, Garífuna leaders contend that the abductions are indicative of ongoing state persecution. The region has undergone long-standing conflict as Indigenous community members defend their lands against tourism developers, extractive palm oil industries, and drug trafficking.
Alberth Snider Centeno Thomas is the first youth leader elected to the position he holds as president of the ‘patronato’ or community governance board for close to two years. Just prior to his kidnapping, he had successfully spearheaded an initiative to re-establish the Garifuna community radio station Faluma Bimetu. “Thanks to god, our ancestors, to OFRANEH, and the collaborations that continue to arrive… from different members of the community, soon our radio station will be broadcasting, my people. In these moments, more than ever, we need this radio station to more frequently inform our community about what happens here,” posted Centeno on Facebook on May 19th. During his leadership as president he also began the first phase of establishing a security post to protect the community. Centeno had also previously supported efforts to hold the Honduran government accountable for its compliance with the 2015 Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruling that mandated Garífuna people receive compensation for their stolen land. The ruling also issued the Garífuna people titles to their land in an effort to stave off future evictions. The government’s lack of compliance with the ruling has aggravated the conflict between community members and public officials. Centeno Thomas’ work may have made him a target of the violence.
The Garífuna are an Afro-Indigenous Peoples who are the descendants of the African survivors of slave ships that were wrecked off the island of St. Vincent around 1675 and were welcomed by the Indigenous Kalingo People native to the island. In the late 18th century, the British exiled the Garífuna from the island and forcefully moved them to the Honduran coast and Belize. Over the years, the group has struggled to defend themselves against violent land grabs and hundreds of land defenders have been killed, threatened, or silenced. In 2019, Garifuna leader Mirna Suazo, president of the Masca Board of Trustees in Honduras, was murdered inside her restaurant, when two hitmen disembarked their motorcycles and repeatedly shot her on September 8, 2019. Suazo had adamantly rejected the installations of two hydroelectric plants on the Masca River.
The Garífuna leaders say that the most recent abductions are the latest of many violent attempts made against them by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández’s government: Miriam Miranda, a Garífuna leader and member of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, is insisting that both the kidnappers and the people responsible for organizing the crimes behind the scenes be held accountable. “What happened eight days ago today is the reflection of a systemic persecution and systemic repression, but also a well-crafted plan on behalf of the Honduran state to exterminate the Garífuna community.” She affirmed, “Justice means prosecuting those who ordered this crime.” She noted that the crime was particularly hard hitting for Garifuna youth, because of the hope they felt when Centeno was elected as president of the community board, the first time a young person had held that role. “It was important that a youth took on the role of building their future,” she commented in Nodal Radio. OFRANEH reports that 92% of criminal cases remain in impunity in Honduras. Community members continue to protest the targeted violence, demanding that their lives, land, and culture be respected.
This petition was created to bring more international awareness to what is going on in the country, in hopes that it will soon open up an investigation.
Black-owned businesses are experiencing a surge in demand following the recent Black Lives Matter protests after the deaths of several Black Americans at the hands of police, according to Yelp’s Economic Average Report for the second quarter.
From May 25 to July 10, there were more than 2.5 million searches for Black-owned businesses on Yelp, compared to about 35,000 over the same time period last year — a stunning 7,043% increase. Searches for Black-owned restaurants skyrocketed 2,508% and Black-owned bookstores jumped 1,437% compared to last year.
The news comes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered thousands of small businesses across the country and disproportionately affected minority-owned businesses and hit Black-owned businesses especially hard.
Since the racial justice protests, the demand for Black products has trickled into the book market, with Black authors dominating the New York Times best-sellers list. The list includes books on racism, White fragility and privilege.
As stores across the nation begin to reopen, Yelp’s report revealed that searches for Black-owned boutiques increased by 331% and 161% more people are searching for Black-owned coffee shops for their morning caffeine fix, than last year. Searches for Black doctors have increased by 183%.
While the enhance in enterprise is welcomed, some corporations weren’t ready for the uptick. OneUnited Bank, one of many largest Black-owned banks in America, skilled a big improve of recent clients, main them to issue several messages apologizing to clients in regards to the elevated response occasions.
Justin Norman, Yelp’s vp of information science, instructed Business Insider he expects that curiosity in Black-owned businesses will proceed.
Justin Norman, Yelp’s vp of information science, instructed Business Insider he expects that curiosity in Black-owned businesses will proceed.
“There has been sustained interest in Black-owned businesses since the initial peak at the end of May and beginning of June, and this interest is diversifying past the initial generic searches for Black-owned businesses and restaurants into a wider range of business types. To me, this signals a shift in consumer behavior and habit that I expect will continue,” mentioned Norman.
Today, the South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with Netflix to provide emergency relief to the hardest-hit workers in South Africa’s creative community.
The streaming service will donate over R8.3 million, which will be administered by Tshikululu Social Investment, who will screen the applications for eligibility as well as payout the funds to beneficiaries
“SASFED is delighted about the announcement that the Netflix Covid-19 Film and Television Relief Fund will provide relief for workers in the screen sector that were not eligible for other available relief funds. The SA economy has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, said SASFED executive director, Unathi Malunga.
“The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to struggling industry professionals. We hope other potential partners will follow Netflix’s example and support SASFED’s broader initiatives which offer assistance to industry professionals across the whole value chain – an initiative undertaken by industry, for the industry. SASFED applauds Netflix’ support of the local screen sector during the global crisis.”
Sisanda Henna, IPO co-Chairperson said: “Following months of extreme hardship for most of our sector, the IPO is overjoyed that Netflix is providing this desperately-needed relief for those most hard hit by the pandemic – the industry’s below-the-line freelancers to whom no other relief has been available.
“This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the South African film and TV production industry, and we welcome them – with wide open arms – as a partner in our broader efforts to support the screen sector.”
From 3 August the members of the creative community will be able to apply by filling out an online application at Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za) or mailing physical applications. The eligibility criteria will be posted on the website when applications open.
The South African TV and film community has been dealing with the effects this pandemic has caused to their livelihoods because of the continuous disruptions to local productions. Thank you to SASFED, with the support of IPO, for collaborating with us in our efforts to provide short-term relief to the hardest-hit workers from the local creative industry, who most need our support in these unprecedented times.
Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for African Originals
In March, Netflix announced a $100 million hardship fund to help the hardest-hit workers in the creative community across the world affected by the pandemic, which has since been increased to $150 million. The R8,3 million contribution in South Africa is part of this initiative
In Lesotho, a highland country surrounded by South Africa—an artist named Nthabiseng TeReo Mohanela takes discarded materials and transforms them into unique clothing and accessories. Teaching young people the benefits of recycling and re-creation, she calls her project “From Trash to Treasure.”
With TeReo’s work as a starting point, this short film showcases a broader spirit of reimagination among artists in Lesotho, who use creativity to respond to entrenched social problems: Filmmakers show the need to end child marriage. Musicians write songs about climate change. Farmers collect seeds to protect endangered tree species. Designers use fashion to preserve traditional Basotho culture and challenge common perceptions of Africa.
Profiling a variety of these innovators, “FROM TRASH TO TREASURE: turning negatives into positives” encourages us to take lessons from those who rethink, reuse, and reinvent in order to promote positive change.
Sampa the Great is a Zambian-born singer, songwriter and rapper who is poised to take a huge leap. The Melbourne-based artist has been on an upward trajectory since her 2017 mixtape ‘Birds and the BEE9’ was released on Ninja Tune subsidiary label Big Dada. A critically and commercially successful project, she landed the crown of Australia’s leading black female artist with its release. Influences of Lauryn Hill and Mos Def are weaved in throughout with both its soulful, jazzy theme backed up by introspective lyrical content.
We spoke to Sampa about her musical inspirations and what “home” means to her.
Photo credit: Michaela DutkovàWhat was your first experience with music?
I believe it was a kitchen party/bridal shower, when I was 7.
The women of our community were singing together and to me it was just the most beautiful thing I ever heard.
Hearing all their voices singing in unison, showed me how music can connect us all into one voice.
What was your childhood like?
I lived in Zambia till I was two, then my family moved to Botswana where I was raised in Gaborone . Most of my childhood and parts of my adulthood were spent in Africa between these two places.
My childhood was very expressive. We were taught by our parents to not be afraid of our voices or opinions. We also come from a family that loves to entertain and make people laugh, so it’s not a far stretch that the kids would turn out to be entertainers.
Our parents didn’t come from a wealthy background at all and had to work for a chance to send their children to school and university. No inheritance, no connection, nothing!
Being raised from a Bemba mom and Tumbuka father always reminded me of the legacy I come from, especially in a world that’s hell bent on tearing you down.
My upbringing was also a marriage of two cultures, as I was raised between the two countries and often would look for where I would fit in and which was home to me.
That small displacement was the basis of my recent project “The Return”, which in the grand scheme of things touches on the topic of displacement. Especially that which is felt by the African Diaspora.
My first introduction to hip hop was through my cousin Chewe Sunkutu. He played Tupac “Changes” to me on cassette tape. I was 8/9 years old.
When I heard it, it was basically spoken word with beautiful melody. I just thought it was the most beautiful expression ever. It was also huge way to communicate what I feel, through spoken word and music in the way that he did.
How has music been a coping mechanism for you during these times?
It’s been my comfort,.. you know?
It’s either my healing, my therapy, my voice or my comforter. When I feel lost, misunderstood, uneasy or broken music is my source or means to communicate.
It has always been for me.
What does Africa mean to you?
Africa to me is my origin. My beginnings.
As it has been to those who birthed me and those who birthed them, onwards.
Without that source I think we would seize to exist. Put lightly.
How did you think the time in Africa shaped you?
My time in Africa wasn’t a vacation. I’m from and was raised at home and it’s always my return when I come back from where I’m based.
What it has solidified is that home is the source for a lot in this world. Spirituality, Resources etc.
To know I come from that is a blessing.
Where do you find inspiration for your fashion style?
Lol. I believe it is a mesh of everything. I’m very eclectic when it comes to fashion sense. If it’s a statement we’re making it. Always comfortable and true to myself though.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a cumulation of soul, Zambian folk, hip hop and spoken word. Places I’ve been and their influences/stories are also reflected in my music. Don’t think theirs one sure way to describe it really…
What has been the most memorable experience so far in your career?
My first shows at home! A big 360 for me, as that is were my dreams of being an artist were birthed. I have full intentions of my goal of building a music school at home. All resources,experiences I’m collating till this date is towards that final goal.
Home has always been the goal!
How did you break into the Australian Market?
I believe I brought something different to the industry, which was my particular story and perspective of where Im from and how I’ve lived..
You have travelled and lived in a number of different places. How has Hip-hop played a role in those moves and transition?
I’ve been to these places through the opportunity of Hip hop music. It’s created that for me and I will be forever grateful to the originators of this culture and it’s influence around the world.
So, Lockdown has been lifted and you’re allowed to invite any musician and they will accept the invitation. Who are you inviting?
Lauryn Hill please!
What’s next for you?
Visual Arts and Film.
I have always been interested in visually representing who I am and where I’m from. More so now it doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to music. Looking to venture more in that avenue.
What artist are you hoping to collaborate with in the near future
Lauryn Hill seems to be my answer for most. As well as Thandiswa Mazwai and Nathan Nyirenda and various rappers,musicians form Zambia.