script> Africa Moto: 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Art: Mali before the coup

I was in Cincinnati, Ohio recently for my  husband's cousin's wedding. It was a great family reunion and such a beautiful wedding. The post wedding brunch was at the 21C Museum Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. For anyone planning a wedding in Cincinnati, I highly recommend it. The food was great and so was the artwork.   I was looking at some pictures from Malian photographer Malick Sidibe exhibited at the museum and was transported back to Mali before the coup.  I was reminded of the Recontres de Bamako , the biennial photography festival of African artists that ran from November 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012. The theme of the exhibition was "Pour un monde durable" (for a sustainable world). Here are some of the pictures I took from the exhibit at the Musee National. I've posted mainly the pictures of the archived black and white photos of Malian culture in the 1960s and the mosque architecture of Djenne and Timbuktu.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Artist Love: Saki Mafundikwa

Happy Friday!

Have a look at the beautiful work of Saki Mafundikwa. Saki is a true renaissance man, he is a typographer, filmmaker, design school founder and an author of the book: Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Africa. His book explores typography in Africa, a subject that has not been studied much. Don't you just love it. I am so inspired by his work and his approach of looking inwards to his Africa identity for inspiration for his work. As a international development professional/fashion designer/mushroom farm co-founder/Africa blogger, this really resonates with me, and is something I want to explore more.


Mafundikwa left Zimbabwe in the late 1970s to study in the US. He talks about how he needed to leave home to find himself. He made the decision in 1997 to leave New York, cash in his 401(K) and return to Zimbabwe to start up Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA), a school of graphic design and new media. ZIVA, means knowledge in Shona. Saki believed that he needed to  inspire young people in Zimbabwe to consider graphic arts as a possible career option. I discovered his work through a colleague at my co-working space who had heard Saki speak at Yale.



In 2010, Mafundikwa presented an award winning documentary Shungu. Shungu is a personal journey that gives insight into the resilience of the people of Zimbabwe during the world's worst economic crisis. You can explore more of his work here and get his book here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Accessories Love: Ndau Collection

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe based Ndau Collection is an accessories brand that I totally love. I was introduced to the brand by one of the designers, Christie Brookstein and have followed her and co-designer Christie Halstead's progress since. Their statement jewelry is bold, well-crafted and edgy. The label employs skilled artisans to produce designs inspired by African culture, history and design and works to preserve traditional techniques. Ndau Collection is also a socially responsible business. The designers initiated a Ruoko Project  a craft incubator at Elephant's Walk that provides space, training, support and promotion to talented local Zimbabwean artists. Pretty cool stuff! Below are some of my favorite pieces...

I was so excited to hear that they are headed to the MAGIC, the major tradeshow for fashion and accessories brands. I wish them the best and can't wait to see them stocked in some really cool boutiques here. Head over to their website to see more!
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