The Movement of AFRIKIN
AFRIKIN presents current culture through art, fashion, talks, food, innovation and performance – ways to connect, communicate and experience the lives and perspectives of our brothers and sisters – our AFRIKIN – in the languages of the people.
We are AFRIKIN!
From the Founder’s Desk
Dear AFRIKIN, As summer comes to an end, we look forward to the changes autumn brings. We are the alchemists of our lives, and it is indeed golden if we truly want it to be. While we applaud Nike standing beside our brother Colin Kaepernick by including him in their latest campaign, we are the ones who create the narrative. The popular conversations are about patriotism, but have we recognized to whom we have pledged our allegiance? We all want to support our allies in this revolution, but we haven’t identified our true brethren. As our brother Akon said, “This is the opportunity now to own that in which we’re complaining about.” AFRIKIN apparel brands await! AFRIKIN across the country have stepped into private spaces to make their intentions known to the Universe the past few weeks, and many prayers were answered. My prayers have surely been answered with sister Jah9 and the Dub Treatment being able join us for the word, sound, power on October 14th. Her soothing voice that echoes from the streets of Jamaica to the rebels in Gambia with a message of hope for the future. Joined by our Sunflower Squad OSHUN from the NY, brother KT the Arch Degree and Drigo the Culinary Alchemist with his gourmet vegan eats and a premium open bar, seems like an all-inclusive evening for the records. In addition, we look forward to seeing the great changes November brings as voter turnouts are expected to be even more impressive. Let us come together and remember that we are agents of change. There is no gesture too small to create a difference in this world. Smile. Compliment. Hug. Believe. Above all else, love. Peace and love, Alfonso D’Niscio Brooks Founder
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow…
“You should always respect what you are and your culture because if your art is going to mean anything, that is where it comes from.” – Romare Bearden
The oldest known abstract drawing has been found in South Africa’s Blombos Cave — on the face of a flake of siliceous rock retrieved from archaeological strata dated to 73,000 years before the present. The work is at least 30,000 years older than the earliest previously known abstract and figurative drawings.
Have you ever visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and wondered, “Why can’t we have an all AFRIKIN one?” Well, South African sculptor Lungelo Gumede did after a trip to NYC and was inspired to make it happen!
The artist is creating Africa’s first-ever wax museum displaying our favorite AFRIKIN heroes. Lungelo who hails from Durban, is a visual artist and wax sculptor who started doing portraits on the beach before the municipality of eThekwini commissioned him to paint actor Forest Whitaker – visiting just days after winning an Oscar for his role in the movie The Last King of Scotland.
Gumede has since sculpted many other AFRIKIN heroes and leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, TV Icon Oprah Winfrey and legendary musician Michael Jackson.
Apart from the painting and wax figures, Gumede also works with bronze and has created the sculptures of Mandela and anti-apartheid activist Albertina Sisulu for their centenary.
Three photographers are exhibiting work that confronts the way African-Americans are often perceived in art, the workplace, and through their physical appearance. The work, by artists Alanna Airitam, Endia Beal and Medina Dugger can be seen in an exhibition called How do you see me? at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.
Airitam said: “When I see the beauty and power in the eyes of the people in the portraits, it immediately counters all the negative stereotypes and narratives we receive on a daily basis. It is (and always will be) especially important for me to combat the barrage of dehumanizing messages Black people face through media with messages that clearly state that we are beautiful, powerful, valuable, worthy human beings and we’re here to stay.”
The exhibition How Do You See Me? runs at the Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, until October 27.
Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN 2018) is almost here and it promises to be fantastic. Led by Creative Director, Babalola Haastrup, Head Stylist, Femi, and Fashion Influencer, Angel Obasi, the team put out a keen eye for style and technique that will represent the designers well. Some of the designers showcasing at Fashion Week include Ghanaian menswear designer Bushai Weave, Congolese designer Adriana Talansi., and Nigerian contemporary designer Erenti – a strong menswear line with the slogan “Confidence is Silent.”
AFWN takes place September 15-16. Are you attending?
|2018 Technovation World Pitch winners, Save A Soul, Nigerian students who developed a mobile app to tackle the problems of fake pharmaceutical products.|
|A team of five Nigerian junior secondary school girls, who go by the name Save A Soul won gold at the junior level of the Technovation World Pitch Summit held at Silicon Valley in California, U.S.A. where they presented an app they built that identifies fake pharmaceutical drugs in Nigeria.Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye from the Anambra State qualified for the finals with their app, FD-Detector (Fake Drug Detector) which leverages a drug’s barcode to verify its authenticity and expiration date.|
They successfully implemented their business plan using the app by partnering with NAFDAC (National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control), an agency responsible for regulating drugs in Nigeria, to market the app and help save lives.Save A Soul were the only African finalists in the junior category of 6 teams and won a scholarship of $12,000. The win will go a long way to promote the app which will help reduce the infiltration of the pharmaceutical market with fake drugs.Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo congratulated the girls and their mentor Uchenna Onwuamaegbu-Ugwu, the founder of Edufun Technik STEM Center.
AFROPUNK brought it to another level in Brooklyn last month. With dynamic performances by Miguel, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu and so much more, it was a beautiful weekend for everyone to enjoy!
|In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, we pray for the safety and recovery of all our AFRIKIN in the Carolina’s.|
KT The Arch Degree comes to South Florida
on October 14 for Mélange!
Kamani Tait, better known as KT the Arch Degree of GreenLife Botanicals comes straight from St. Croix to share his knowledge on health and wellness. Through his lifelong studies with the Usha Herbal Research Institute and his late stepfather – the inimitable Dr. Sebi – KT has become a renowned expert on alchemy, physiology, anatomy, metaphysics and nutrition and its effects on the human body. Because of his knowledge and masterful use of herbs he has been able to assist many people in their self-healing. Taking on the title and duty as “Ethnobotanist”, KT has made it a lifelong mission to educate and stimulate actions of self-care.
Make sure you’re in the building to learn new ways to achieve optimal health in order to live your best life!
|Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation displays a plastic shopping bag at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew on Monday, September 17, 2019.|
|The scandal bag scandal is over! |
The Jamaican Government Bans Single Use Shopping Bags, Plastic Straws, Styrofoam, Effective January 1, 2019. There will be a ban on the importation, manufacturing, distribution, and use of all single-use plastic carrier bags commonly called scandal bags. The ban will apply to the importation of polystyrene foam, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, used as finished goods in the food and beverage industry i.e food and beverage containers. There will be a ban on the import and manufacture of plastic drinking straws, but no ban on wax-lined paper straws or other non-plastic straws.
June Cole is striking out on her own!
Team AFRIKIN Program Director June Cole is excited to be at the helm of her debut event, Melange under the banner of her company, the June Cole Creative Agency.
June’s early career in marketing and A&R began as a Communications student at Pace University, leading her to Sony Music, Uptown Records, Island Records and Mercury Records before ultimately transitioning to education. Here, she enjoyed her work as a teacher and principle, and creating curriculum for various schools.
After two decades, June answered the call of the entertainment industry, working with the brand management team behind nationally syndicated radio host Tamara G, in addition to producing galas, seminars, plays, art exhibits and fundraising events in Miami.
June recognized she had the passion and skill to produce positive media and events that emphasize education – what she calls “edumedia”- and created the June Cole Creative Agency. The timing could not be better because in the last five years, there has been a shift of authentic acceptance and embracing of cultural diversity in the marketplace. She takes her expertise in creating curriculum for the classroom to the stage, effectively drawing up lesson plans for attendees of her colorful events while making it as fun and interactive as her classrooms have always been.
The marketing vet and education maven is building her success on a wealth of experience and combined passions, proving there is no limit to how we reach our dreams. We are so proud of her contributions to AFRIKIN and look forward to her successful launch on October 14!
Akon is making it plain! He spoke with Noreaga and DJ EFF, urging us to get past the fear and “Go back to Africa.” He encouraged entrepreneurship, to do exactly what we’re doing in America in Africa to even more successful results, and focus our attentions African support is more than enough. “Africa’s the only place in the world where Black people can go and build Fortune 500 companies from scratch within five years.
“We literally got a pot of gold and nobody ain’t even going for it,” he insists, referring to the wealth of natural resources in the Motherland. “We don’t have to buy or borrow from nobody. We can do it ourselves if we just came together to do it.” As Noreaga expressed interest in making the transition, Akon advised purchasing land.
Akon has proven to be a great example of the opportunities we can create. He founded the Akon Lighting Africa which provides a concrete response at grass roots level to Africa’s energy crisis and lays the foundations for future development. Launched in February 2014 by international music star, Akon, leader Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily, this initiative aims to develop an innovative solar-powered solution that will provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.
Akon is also “The King of Zamunda” because he has his own money! In July, our brother launched his cryptocurrency Akoin, a bridge to encourage investment and entrepreneurship in Africa, and other emerging economies.
via Revolt TV
Britain’s hottest rapper Stromzy has announced that he will fund two British AFRIKIN students to attend the University of Cambridge this year, and two in 2019. In partnership with the University of Cambridge, the Stormzy Scholarship will fund and cover full tuition fees and provide a maintenance grant for up to four years of an undergraduate course. Stormzy says: “We as a minority are still heavily under represented at the top universities and I pray this scholarship serves as a reminder that we are more than capable of studying at places of this caliber.”
Great work, brother Stormzy! Congratulations to the students!
The highly-anticipated film adaptation of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” is coming, and there’s no more perfect place to premiere than Harlem!
Directed by Barry Jenkins, the film based on the 1974 novel of the same name by James Baldwin will have its U.S. premiere at the famed Apollo Teater in Harlem in honor of the 56th Annual New York Film Festival.
“It’s been an honor working with the estate to bring this piece of James Baldwin’s legacy to the screen,” said writer and director Barry Jenkins in a press statement to the public. “From the birthplace of Baldwin to the streets and homes within which we made this film, the honor is doubly felt in the NYFF’s generous offer to widen its borders for our US premiere: up on 125th Street, in the community Jimmy forever knew as home.”
If Beale Street Could Talk centers around Tish, a young pregnant woman determined to prove the innocence of her fiance, Fonny, who has been accused of rape. Tish sets out to secure Fonny’s freedom before their baby is born. The film, which stars Regina King, Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry and Aunjanue Ellis, will premiere at the Apollo on October 9, where Jenkins and the cast will be present.
|Leaders of 15 African incubators, accelerators and seed funds have been selected to participate in VilCap Communities Africa, a program led by Village Capital to accelerate the flow of capital to early-stage companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The VilCap Communities program is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and aims to equip entrepreneur ecosystem leaders with the tools, resources and connections they need to catalyze impact investment.The 15 finalists will take part in forums led by Village Capital later this year in Lagos and Nairobi, capped off by a major convening in Cape Town in November, where they will learn and share the latest best practices, including Village Capital’s proprietary curriculum and peer-selected investment process.More than 200 incubators, accelerators and funds applied for the programme, with the selected finalists operating across 20 African countries. The group brings together a mixture of types of organisations, from both mature and nascent ecosystems.The Lagos cohort includes pan-African energy and hardware organisation Energy Generation, Sierra Leone’s Global Entrepreneurship Network Freetown, Ghana’s Growth Mosaic, the DRC-based investment company Ingenious City, and the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria. |
via Disrupt Africa
The world’s eyes are on Ethiopia. Since taking office in March, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has had to address concerns about his plans for the future of Africa’s second most populous nation, a country in a part of the continent where world powers are scrambling for influence.
Mr Abiy says he wants to change his country from the inside out — and fast.
Ethiopia comes with its share of problems: millions of disaffected youth, widespread poverty, a violent struggle over resources among Ethiopia’s competing ethnic groups and a range of detractors from inside and outside the government who are either threatened by too much change — or angry that it’s not enough.
After taking office in March, he officially ended two decades of hostilities with Ethiopia’s longtime rival and neighbor, Eritrea. Beyond that, he started loosening a tightly controlled state-run economy, pledged multiparty elections in a country long known for jailing dissidents and began wooing the government’s most strident critics: members of the Ethiopian diaspora, who have long organized insurgencies from afar. Leaders of a previously outlawed opposition group returned to the capital on Saturday.
Mr. Abiy’s changes are a major departure for Ethiopia, which has long relied on a government model that emphasizes state-led economic growth and a suppression of political dissent.
Mr. Abiy says he does not want to remain in the palace forever. He has promised competitive elections plus term limits for the prime minister. “I’m not a king,” Mr. Abiy said. “My ultimate objective is to see democratic elections in Ethiopia. If that happened, I’ll feel I fulfilled my objective.”
More than just changing the way Ethiopia is run, Mr. Abiy says he wants to change the way Ethiopians see themselves. He speaks of “the ideals of love, forgiveness and reconciliation. Let’s break the wall, let’s build a bridge. Let’s build a united Ethiopia. Let’s build one Ethiopian community. Let’s look inward and examine ourselves—let’s only take the best from our history and join in common purpose. Let’s build a just society.”
Time will tell, and we are hopeful for a brighter future for all of our AFRIKIN in Ethiopia, Eritrea and beyond.
Sounds We’re Spinnin’
AFRIKIN Naomi Osaka is the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament, defeating Serena Williams in the final of the 2018 US Open. The sisterhood expressed was admirable and inspiring. Congratulations!
It’s time for the 3rd annual iGEN FILM FESTIVAL!
Mark your Calendars for the iGen Film Festival (formerly the Elijah Wells Youth Indie Film Festival), a three-day film festival that celebrates the talent of emerging filmmakers ages 16-25 years old from around the world to celebrate and inspire other young filmmakers to develop their technical and creative skills.
Multi-Platinum rapper and actor, entrepreneur, and model Romeo Miller has been named the 2018 Ambassador for the iGen Film Festival taking place at the Black Archives Lyric Theatre in Miami.
Visit www.igenfilmfestival.com for more info!
Melange is an amazing night to create instant memories and capture you living your best life! Featuring electrifying energy and power pulsating from Reggae artist Jah9 and the Dub Treatmentand Neo-Soul Hip-Hop duo OSHUN for their debut performances in Broward; Health and Wellness words of wisdom from the world-renowned Ethnobotanist KT the Arch Degree; Vegan tapas fromDrigo the Culinary Alchemist; Sustainable fashion; and Yoga on Dub – a modern take on the ancient art. If your melanin is poppin’, don’t miss this epic celebration produced by June Cole of Team AFRIKIN!
Days of Note
September 15, 1821 – an Act of Independence was signed in Guatemala City which declared Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) independent from Spain.
Great AFRIKIN in History
|Septemer 5, 1994, Pennsylvania, US – Bronx-born Author, Emcee, and Activist Sister Souljah delivers controversial rebuttal to then-President Bill Clinton’s attack on her comments regarding the heinous LA Riots. Her speech at Cheyney State University criticized the economic and political system that kept millions of AFRIKIN in permanent bondage.|
|“When I talk about our people, I do so not because I am ignorant, or illiterate, but because I am well-studied, and well-experienced in the area and because I have a fundamental love for our people, and I think that we deserve much better than we’ve encountered in the United States of America.” ~Sister Souljah|
September 2, 1911, Charlotte, NC. – Romare Bearden is born.
Bearden was one of the world’s most influential contributors to art and literature. His work included cartoons, oils and collages which celebrated the AFRIKIN experience in America through powerful statements which he integrated into greater American modernism.
Get familiar with Drigo the Culinary Alchemist!
Rodrigo Richardson grew up around griots who told stories with their food, a family of restaurateurs, cooks, dubbers, bubblahs, and rubbas. Generations of history from several Caribbean islands are encoded in his DNA so the saga of heritage speaks through his food. Drigo’s present culinary journey, in true Sankofa form, is in homage to them. In reverence and in celebration he re-creates plant-based and healthy interpretations–carving a new path and making new stories for those to come.
“I am motivated and inspired by both the outstanding people I have worked with during my career, and a lifelong love of all things culinary,” Drigo says. The highly skilled and disciplined cook has a unique creative process and passion for great food, and customer appreciation is the main ingredient in his principles of cooking. His cooking carries a diversity of flavors due to years of travel as an apprentice, and considers himself fortunate to have been privy to learn from chefs mastering in Caribbean, Latin, Indian, African, and Thailand cuisines and skills, being taught to prepare and thus create magic using the freshest, local, sustainable produce into amazing dishes.
Drigo is known to prepare diverse traditional dishes into healthy vegan options for those with dietary constraints that miss that good home cooking. He is knowledgeable of most dietary requirements including but not limited to: Vegan, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Diabetic, and Gluten free.
Drigo the Culinary Alchemist will be presenting Vegan tapas at Melange October 14, at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center.
|The AFRIKIN Book Club features downloads for powerful eBooks you may have never read. See what we added to the shelf!|
Have you seen the photos from
AFRIKIN 2018: Art | Culture | Community in Miami, May 19th?
Check out our gallery for pics of yourself, your friends, and all your AFRIKIN in attendance
|AFRIKIN RadioWe are still fine-tuning our permissible copyright workarounds to bring you the best content that advances the ingenuity and promise of our people across the Diaspora. Check out our live shows and podcasts with new music releases, classics, unbiased news, controversial talk shows, and important interviews. Learn more about your AFRIKIN around the world and enjoy new perspectives. |
Until then, check out the vibe on our Soundcloud.