Felabration, the annual festival of music and arts commemorating the life and times of Africa’s foremost musical icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
This year’s edition themed, ‘Fight to Finish, Fight to Win’ is scheduled to hold virtually from 15 to 17 October.
Due to the COVID-19 realities, the organizers decided to go ahead with the event, adapting to the “new norm.” Felabration 2020 will be running for three days, (not for a week as in the past) on different internet platforms that include, Zoom, Facebook, Youtube, Hip Tv and others.
This year’s musical guests include Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Made Kuti, Niniola, Wande Coal, Joeboy, Antibalas, WurlD and more, who are all on deck to get the crowds moving.
Organised by the Felabration Organising Committee, the week-long musical event is on it’s 22nd trip around the sun, as it was first organised and celebrated by Kuti’s eldest daughter, Yeni, in 1998. And since 2005, the annual event has transformed into seven days of connecting through concerts, carnival parades, lectures, film screenings, art exhibitions, seminars and workshops, all in varying spaces across Lagos. While the festival originated in Fela Kuti’s home country, it quickly became a global celebration as the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and many other countries joined in in later years.
Over two decades after his passing, Kuti’s influences are still clear as day through the growth of the music festival. And his political messages still ring in the ears of those closest to him and his art, “My father’s political views were expressed in his music”, his daughter Yeni says, “You can’t divorce the two. You cannot honour Fela without recognising his social and political activism at the same time.” And the emphasis on ‘Symposium’ this year highlights the importance of African conversations with speakers like Her Excellency Arikana Chihombori Quao, Dr. Vincent Magombe, Dele Farotimi and Kweku Mandelalending their voices towards the conversation around “Colomentality”.
As the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide surpasses 1 million, Rio de Janeiro has delayed its annual Carnival parade for the first time in a century.
According to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, Brazil has the second-worst death toll worldwide, with more than 140,000 deaths and more than 4.7 million confirmed cases.
Carnival organizers concluded the global event could not go on because of Brazil’s vulnerability to the coronavirus. The traditional parades attract more than 7 million people over the course of five days.
Rio’s League of Samba Schools, LIESA, said the continued spread of the coronavirus has made it impossible to safely hold the traditional parades that are a cultural mainstay, and, for many, a huge portion of locals’ livelihood.
“Carnival is a party upon which many humble workers depend. The samba schools are community institutions, and the parades are just one detail of all that,” Luiz Antonio Simas, a historian who specializes in Rio’s Carnival, told the Associated Press. “An entire cultural and productive chain was disrupted by COVID.”
Organizers have not announced a new date for the delayed event but Rio’s tourism agency saidthat it’s uncertain to know when large public events can resume without a coronavirus vaccine.
The festival was scheduled from Feb.12th through Feb. 17th, 2021, which is known to attract 2 million people per day to parties on the Brazilian city streets known as blocos.
The last year Rio’s Carnival was suspended was 1912, following the foreign relations minister’s death at the time.
Diversity is what makes South Africa one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With 11 official languages, each culture embraces the essence of what it means to be an African through food, music, dance and fashion..
Heritage Day was originally known as Shaka Day, in commemoration of King Shaka Zulu. In 1996, during an address marking Heritage Day, former President Nelson Mandela said:
“When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”
Heritage Day is celebrated on the 24th of September and it recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of South Africa. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate this day.
For Xhosa women, the most common traditional wear is umbhaco. It is a long skirt and apron made from printed or embroidered fabrics. The Xhosa attire includes beaded necklaces, called ithumbu.
Worn by married women as a sign of respect to one’s husband and his family, isicholo is a flared disk-shaped hat. This hat is accompanied by a thick, cowhide skirt which has been softened with animal fat and charcoal, called isidwaba.
Men wear a front apron, known as an isinene, and a rear apron, ibheshu, to cover the genitals and buttocks
This culture is big on colours and beads. Worn by married women, idzila is an accessory placed around the neck, arms, and legs. Their colourful blanket, umbalo, is also for married women. And then there is the signature beaded headband known as amacubi.
The main item of clothing for men is an iporiyana. Decorated with beads, it hangs on the neck. They also wear animal skin called karos to keep warm.
The Vavenda wear munwenda, a multi-coloured striped cloth that comes in two pieces – a top and a bottom. It is paired with beads such as lutomola tsie, mapala, tshithivho vivho, zwifudzi, magidipho, and makunda. They also have musisi, a skirt-like garment made from the munwenda material.
The most iconic clothing item in the Xitsonga culture is xibelani. It is a knee-length skirt typically worn by Xitsonga women. It is made from a bolt of cloth, a fabric called salempur, about 18m long. They also have a top called a yele that they wear with a tightly fitting T-shirt.
The Swati culture is complex as their clothing style varies according to age and gender. Some items are reserved for specific ceremonies, such as the incwala or the umhlanga (reed dance).
However, married women wear skin aprons and skin skirts. They also have another apron they wear under the armpits; after the birth of their first child they put the same apron over one shoulder and style their hair in a bun. Married men wear loin skins.
Tswana women wear an apron called a khiba, with a skirt called a mosese. Men wear a kaross, a blanket made from animal skin, to cover up.
They wear a traditional Basotho dress called the seshoeshoe. However, a statement piece is the Basotho blanket, worn by both men and women over the shoulders.
VISIT HERITAGE SITES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Did you know South Africa is home to nine world heritage sites and many more national heritage sites? A heritage site is categorised as a place with cultural and historical importance. The World Heritage Sites are:
Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa in Sterkfontein
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in Northern Cape
Robben Island in Western Cape
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in the Western and Eastern Cape
iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal
Vredefort Dome in the Free State
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park in KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho
Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains in Mpumalanga
South Africa’s nine World Heritage Sites offer a diversity and abundance of cultural and natural values that encapsulate the value systems of the country.
In our ‘Black Artist To Watch’ series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work.
Black Artist To Watch: Mafalda Vasconcelos was born in South Africa but grew up in Mozambique. Mafalda’s work is inspired by the symbolism and spiritualism of her Mozambican culture. Her process is about spiritual self-discovery, identity, cultural exploration but also about love and admiration for ancestry and womanhood. Her art is not just a spiritual quest but also a way of exploring emotions and how they relate to identity.
Read more about the inspirations behind his work below
Tell us about the first moment you knew you wanted to be an artist? How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I have never wanted to be an artist per se, I have always been creative and wanted to pursue a creative career through which I could make things with my hands. I never thought that art was a possibility, but I am grateful that I have become an artist. Art to me is not just a spiritual quest but also a way of exploring emotions and how they relate to the subconscious.
You were born in South Africa, grew up in Mozambique before moving to Australia. How do you incorporate Africa to your art and how does Africa inspire your work?
I grew up surrounded by Mozambican women and African art, in Mozambique. My mother and her family are from the Nharinga ethnic group from the north of Mozambique. This was a very small ethnic group and due to assimilation, most of their culture was lost and not documented. I create work that is inspired by these women but also as a way to connect to our culture and my ancestors. Ancestral heritage is a very important aspect of most African cultures, including my own, which I try to honour by creating portraits based on spirits and energy rather than real human figures.
In addition, I draw or paint female figures as a reference to the Divine feminine that the black women in my life represent. Africa, the continent is also a feminine and nurturing figure and my work always depicts her in an allegorical way. She represents me and my ancestors.
Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve created?
Nolwandle is my favourite, I kept her to myself. I also love the new mini paintings I have been creating based on the concept of duality.
How has the current pandemic affected you as a creator?
The current pandemic has provided me with an opportunity to really look within and reflect on my creative process and focus on my art. It has allowed me to explore and experiment with themes and techniques that I wouldn’t otherwise have tried. We are currently in a very strict lockdown in Melbourne and basically all I can do is create from my home studio, which I am very fortunate to have. Making art has become a spiritual practice that keeps me sane and motivated.
What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Books. The most important part of my process is visual research, I use books as a source of inspiration and guide. I can’t imagine creating without that important part of the creative process. The books that inspire me the most are books about African art and African spirituality.
Art can change one’s perspective on the world. Are there certain ideas that your works try to introduce, suggest, or communicate to the viewer?
My work is about spiritual self-discovery, cultural exploration but also about love and admiration for ancestry and womanhood. I hope that the viewer is drawn to the imagery I create but most importantly, I hope that they feel the love that I try to pour into the canvas. The interpretation of art by the viewer is personal and relates to each one of our experiences, which I find interesting. The work I create is not so much about thought but about human emotion and as long as the viewer is feeling something when looking at my portraits, I am happy.
if you could sit down and have a meal with one artist/designer/musician in the world, Who would it be and why?
I would absolutely love to sit down with Dr. Maya Angelou. I have so many spiritual questions that I want to ask her. Other than that, I would just love to sit with ordinary people like my great grandmother Faneta. I would ask her about her life, which I find so interesting, more so than any artist or musician.
What is the best gallery or museum for art lovers in Australia?
NGV in Melbourne or Mona in Hobart are in my opinion, the best ones to visit.
What are you reading or watching at the moment?
I am reading Divine Inspiration by Phyllis Galembo and Robert Farris Thompson.
Do you consider a country’s art galleries when you select your travel destinations? If you could take an artistic tour across one country in the world, where would you go?
I am more interested in culture and people than in art galleries. I find that most art galleries are not often representative of the culture within a country or even the people. But I do try to visit art galleries wherever I go.
If I could do an artistic tour of a country, it would be Mozambique. I would visit every little town from Rovuma to Maputo, learning more about my country and the cultures within the ethnic groups of Mozambique. I was back there in January and visited a few places which I hadn’t been even though I lived in Mozambique for 20 years. I learnt so much about myself, my story and my people and it was life changing. I think those are much more enriching experiences for me as they relate more to my theme of work.
Ethiopians on Friday marked the first day of the Ethiopian New Year, as the East African country welcomed the year 2013.
The Ethiopian New Year, or Enkutatash in Amharic language, falls on September 11 (or September 12 during a leap year).
The East African nation uses a unique calendar, which counts its year seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar. Presently, the country is celebrating the arrival of 2013.
Ethiopia has its own calendar with 13 months, and each of the 12 months has 30 days, while the 13th month called Pagumen has five days, which becomes six in each leap year.
Enkutatash is literally translated as “gift of jewels,” a name that derives from the story of the Queen of Sheba. According to the Bible and other ancient transcripts, the ancient queen of Ethiopia traveled to Jerusalem to meet King Solomon, and there she sent him a large quantity of gold and precious stones. Upon her return to Ethiopia, local rulers welcomed her with plentiful jewels.
Ethiopian New Year comes at the time when the heavy rainfall starts to cease, and the bright sun comes to shine over the green land, which is also covered by the golden flower known in Amharic language as “Adey Abeba”.
As it comes with change of the season, the New Year in Ethiopia is celebrated with new hope, and the people are making special preparations.
Enkutatash marks the end of the three-month rainy season, when bright autumn days return to the vastly highland nation. On the night of the eve, each household or neighbors light wooden torches in group called “chibo” to symbolize the coming of the new season of sunshine.
Steeped in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church traditions, Enkutatash celebrations usually begin with church activities. New Year church programs start some time after mid-night on the eve and last into the next morning.
The New Year brings an extended family together to attend a series of events, including the slaughtering of cattle, either a sheep, goat, or cow, depending on a household’s financial condition.
Often, a community or a village will pool money to slaughter a cow (worth about 1,000 U.S. dollars) in group, while each household can choose to slaughter a less expensive sheep (about 130 U.S. dollars).
Coffee ceremony is an integral part of the celebration. The ritual of coffee serving and drinking, which can last for hours, is an important social occasion offering reunion for relatives and friends and a chance to discuss community matters while enjoying top-notch coffee.
To be invited to a coffee ceremony in an Ethiopian family is a sign of great respect.
Enkutatash is also a special day for children. They gather in groups and go from house to house — girls play the Amharic song “Abebayehugn,” meaning “I have seen flowers,” with hand drums, while boys often present pictures painted by themselves — with expectations of praise and gifts.
For children, the new attires from parents and gifts from community members are undoubtedly the most expected thing of Enkutatash. Enditem
Nana Kwasi Wiafe is the founder and creative director of Very Ghanaian; a clothing line. He is also a stylist and 2020 has been an amazing year for him. He worked as a stylist on Beyoncé’s visual album ‘Black is King’. He also worked with Kim Jones, a fashion designer and Amoako Boafo, an artist, as a stylist on the Dior Men Spring Summer Collection 2020.
Describe your journey to becoming a designer/creating a brand?
Growing up have always been interested in telling my own story and with my love for fashion it was no coincidence I decided to create a brand which is aimed at doing just that .
My journey started as a model initially, even tho I still actively model I have been able to use that platform as a pivot to transition into styling and now a designer and creative director for my brand Very Ghanaian .
You worked as a stylist on Beyoncé’s visual album “Black is king” for the Ghana crew. How was the process, planning the looks?
The process normally starts with inspiration, team meetings ,listening to the music and with the mood board establishing the story telling direction, I move on with pulling of looks and putting them together for each scene.
Beyoncé and her entire team go to great lengths to execute their vision so a lot of research goes into every look to ensure it’s complimentary to the overall vision .
I also love showing emerging brands/talents so I always make an effort to feature these brands.
A big thank you to my brother Joshua Kissi who was the director for the Ghana visuals, he has always believed in my talent and put me on whenever an opportunity comes up and the rest of the team David Boanuh and Sharifah Issaka
Where do you see African Fashion’s future and it’s influence on the whole fashion industry?
I believe the future is African fashion, brands here are telling incredible African stories rich in history,culture,heritage and inspiring at the same time.
Recent research has shown that people buy into brands that they connect to more especially with the stories they’re telling and brands like Tongoro, Maxhosa, Very Ghanaian , Loza Maleombho ,kente gentleman, Orange culture, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu etc are leading the way with that and would be leaders of the industry in future.
What roles do you think social media plays in African fashion today?
For the most part social media has been a blessing for African Fashion , it has helped the world discover emerging brands from the continent , giving them the platform to show their work and exposed a lot of talent which wasn’t happening in the past.
For me the lows of being a designer is building the business side of it alone , without a team you can trust from the on set it’s a bit difficult, also production in larger quantities is a problem because we don’t have enough factories here producing sustainably.
Some of the highs that comes with it is being able to express myself through design and using that to tell my story and impact lives. For me that is all that matters.
From your page , I can tell you are passionate about promoting African style. When did you first realize that was important for you.
My love for Africa was discovered at an early stage born out of curiosity.
Our sense of style , art , history,culture and our people. We are so beautiful and cool so that piqued my interest to find out more .
Our style as Africans has inspired the world for centuries and still does so it only makes sense to push it more for people who also don’t know about it to know this style.
What would you say to anyone looking to get into fashion ?
Let purpose led you and prepare to risk it all .
In what ways would you say COVID-19 pandemic will affect the nature of the fashion industry?
Covid-19 pandemic has already affected the nature of the fashion industry for good and I believe this will continue.
For me it has change it in a good way, like crowded shows are not really needed anymore, you can equally do a show online and the world will still see it .
Having physical stores are becoming less important compared to having an online store and our way of doing business has change for good!
Any tips for young fashion entrepreneurs?
I have a few
Don’t wait too long , start now.
Protect your ideas , register your business and trademark soon as you start .
You can’t do it alone ,have a team because team work makes dream work .
Festivals in Ethiopia are typically colorful and exciting. The country has cultural, religious, and other festivals that can attract foreign tourists and local participants to come and gather to watch the procession and take part. The most known name of which held every year in Amhara and Tigray States is Shadey, Ashendye, Solel, Mariya, which is the name for a tall grass that young women usually tie around their gowns as a type of decoration. The celebration days also herald the freedom of young women. It is a popular festival which reverberates the voice of young women loudly.
Young girls or participants usually attend the occasion by dressing jeweler, embroidery, and hairstyles. It is a famous girls’ or young women’s festival among some of the most popular festivals celebrated in Ethiopia. It has been celebrating annually for centuries in the northern part of Ethiopia specifically in Tigray and Amhara States
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.
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.
It’s a small Brazilian fritter made from black-eyed peas. The dish uses onions and ground dried shrimp to give it an extra punch in flavor. They’re shaped into balls and deep-fried in boiling azeite dende also known as Brazilian palm oil. The balls are then split in half and filled vatapa, a creamy paste made from finely ground peanuts, shrimp and coconut milk.
To elaborate, you need to soak the peas overnight and strip their skins. This will include the black “eyes”, making it tedious but often optional. But if you opt to do this, you’re rewarded with a creamier texture for the final dish.
History of Acaraje
Acaraje originated from Western Africa, that’s why you can also find it on Nigeria and Ghana. But after getting to the Americas, it became more popular in Salvador, Brazil as street food. Women in Bahia made and sold the dish as well.
It is popular with the Yoruba people of south-western Nigeria and Sierra Leoneans. In Ghana, it is a popular breakfast dish, eaten with millet or corn pudding while in Nigeria it is eaten with bread, ogi or eko, a type of cornmeal made with fine corn flour.
In the Yoruba culture, akara plays a significant role when a person assumes the age of 70 or dies. It is fried in large quantity and distributed across every household close to the deceased. Back in the day, the cake was also prepared in large numbers as a sign of victory when warriors returned victorious from war. Wives of the warriors fried it and distribute to fellow villagers as gratitude for the safe return of their husbands.
In Sierra Leone, akara aside being a street snack, is usually prepared upon the birth of a child, a wedding, funeral or party.
The dish, made from peeled beans formed into a ball and then deep-fried in palm oil or vegetable oil, is found in West African and Brazilian cuisines. It was sent to the Americas, especially Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia by the West Africa enslaved from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Mali, Gambia and Sierra Leone.
With that, the dish became part of the “heritage culture” of Bahia. Its ceremony of certification happened at the headquarters of the National Institute of Artistic and Historic Heritage in Salvador. The ceremony featured a lot of proud women, serving lots of trays to everyone.
The dish’s name is a funny mistake since its real name is “acara”. But women from the Yoruba ethnical group selling these shout “acara -je”, meaning, “I have acara”.
Acarajé is sold on Brazil’s streets but here it is variously made with fried beef, mutton, dried shrimp, pigweed, fufu osun sauce and coconut. Distinct sellers wear all-white cotton dresses and headscarves and caps. The bean cake is reported to have made its way to Bahia in the 19th century.
Earnings from its sale was used to sometimes buy the freedom of enslaved family members until the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888 while serving as a source of family income. It also has a notable presence in Sergipe and the markets of Rio de Janeiro.
Acarajé serves as both a religious offering to the gods in the Candomblé religion and as street food.
As an essential ritual food used in Afro-Brazilian religious traditions such as Candomblé, it is offered to the orixá Exu. They vary in size based on their offering to a specific deity: large, round acarajé are offered to Xangô; smaller ones in form are offered to Iansã. Small, fritter-size acarajé are offered to Erês, or child spirits. Acarajé is used in Candomblé rituals in the states of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Maranhão.
Acarajé was listed as a federal immaterial asset (patrimônio nacional imaterial), by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage in 2004; the role of baianas in the preparation and sale of acarajé was recognized in the same act.
Today, acarajé represents a good example of how African influences have been shaping Brazil’s cultural heritage and its culinary identity.