I’m an American and I love the United States of America. I’m proud of where I was born and raised. But this post isn’t going to be about that. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many places throughout the world. I have fond memories of so many people I’ve met and so many instances I’ve been a part of.
Nigeria isn’t just a place I’ve traveled to. This has become a home away from home to me. I lived there off and on for many years and it is a Country that I not only care about, but a place where I want to see it’s potential reached. And I have committed myself to being a part of that solution in the years to come. (more…)
Bellafricana celebrated Nigeria @54 by hosting an exhibition at Labule Restaurant on the 1st of October, 2014. Despite the heavy rain fall on the day, the exhibition was a success.
Various African products were displayed for sale; Adire table mat and coaster set, ankara apron and gloves set, kente bags, kente slippers, African men and women wears, ankara cushions and many more. Here are some pictures from the exhibition;
Mud cloth is a traditional woven cloth from Bamana people of Mali with rich hues ranging from rich black, brown, mustard, red or green (although other colors are sometimes found), with sections of the cloth composing of individual motifs such as fish bones, little stars or hunters.
Mudcloth in Africa dates as far back as the 12th century AD. The symbols and shape arrangement on the mudcloth reveals a variety of different secrets. A person’s social status, occupation and character can all be represented in a piece of mudcloth. Each piece of mudcloth has its own unique story to tell.
In fact, in the most recent Star Wars Film, “The Clone Wars”, Anakin was wearing a Mud cloth vest while he was dressed as a refugee traveling with Padme when they were returning to Naboo. (more…)
If you have never heard of Sir Shina Peters, then you are definitely not Nigerian. Let me tell you a little something about him.
Oluwashina Akanbi Peters, popularly known as ‘Sir Shina Peters’ is a Nigeria Afro-juju musician. He was born in Ogun State on the 30th of May, 1958. He started his career in collaboration with General Prince Adekunle, playing the guitar, then formed his group with Segun Adewale. Sir Shina Peters later went on to form his own band called “Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars” through the 1980s after releasing various albums with Segun Adewale. Sir Shina Peters is a well-recognised symbol of music evolution in Nigeria. Popularizing one of Africa’s most important genres, he is seen as a force for great musical movements. (more…)
After a 45-minute journey, and occasionally losing my way, I arrived at Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. First mode of action was to get my picture taken with the infamous “Solomon R. Guggenheim” as a background. Check!
Next, the moment of truth – entering the museum and soaking in the moment, the beautiful works of art, the architecture. All of it.
Halting mid-walk I glimpse a sign from the corner of my eye; “Closed on Thursday.” Just great. Deflated, it now makes sense why people were sitting outside loitering.
Sigh. What next.
I recall seeing a museum right across the street from the Guggenheim on my way there. Rather than go all the way back home, I could substitute this for the Guggenheim visit.
With the red banner of the National Academy School of Fine Arts blowing in the wind above the entrance, I wondered why I had not come across the name before. (more…)
Timeless. Regal. Exclusive.
These were the first thoughts that came to mind, as I gazed upon the infamous Rembrandt self portrait that graced the walls of The Frick Collection. Yup! Another day, another museum to visit.
It felt surreal to be in such a place, being able to view exquisite masterpieces that had been hand-selected by Henry Clay Frick himself.
It should be stated at this point that I once had the opportunity of visiting The Frick Collection, but had prioritized my painting sessions over it. Looking back now, making the time out to visit would have done a world of good.
The Frick Collection is located at East 70th Street, New York. A sizeable expanse fenced and gated, surrounded by trees and green. Not a bad first impression at all. It is widely known to have a wonderful collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and silverware.
The inside is absolutely stunning! Luxurious carpets, delicate embellished curtains, and spectacular furniture cordoned off by ropes. Not to mention, the remarkable paintings and sculptures that grace the walls and rooms. (more…)
Kitenge is an East African cotton fabric printed in various colours and distinctive patterns. It has its origin from Kiswahili kitengele. Kitenge is sometimes worn as sarong by women, or as a baby sling. Some of the African countries where kitenge is worn are Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Sudan. It is an informal and inexpensive fabric with a distinctive border and political slogans.
In Swahili the plural form is ‘vitenge’ while in Tonga it is ‘zitenge’. It forms an important part of the East African culture. Kitenge fabric has a long history and gives the Eastern African region an identity. Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Kim Kardashian and Solange are some of the celebrities that have been spotted on the red carpet wearing Kitenge designs.
In Kenya the Kitenge festival is a popular event held periodically and is meant to highlight the varied uses of Kitenge fabric. This vibrant cotton fabric is wax printed, using rotary printing machines. Most often it’s a multicolored, dark wax print on a lighter background. The printing on the cloth is done by a traditional batik technique. (more…)
African prints are one of those prints that is so versatile and intensely vibrant. The brilliant colourful fabric is making worldwide rave to an extent we can’t even comprehend or ever get tired of the print.
A maxi dress is a floor or ankle length informal dress. Maxi dresses forms fitting at the top and are loose flowing at the bottom, cut to flow over the body. Maxi dresses are comfortable and easy to throw on. They can be worn to any occasion from casual to semi-formal and even to formal events, all depending on the style, shape and colour. Maxi dresses create a feminine and romantic impression. They have a relaxed, smooth, light, and soothing character that makes one look trendy (more…)