1The WAV 2019: 10 Artists Shaping the Future of South African Music
Take a listen to the South African artists who are reshaping the local music scene with their innovative approaches and genre-bending styles. Artists such as Sjava, Anatii and Mashayabhuqe KaMamba, among many others have managed to make contemporary sounding music infused with the sounds of vintage South African genres such as maskandi, mbhaqanga, Afro pop, kwaito and bubblegum. With many cultures running the risk of extinction thanks to globalization, it’s refreshing to watch young musicians across the continent preserving genres that they grew up with.
2Ndumiso Nyoni Uses Striking Geometric Illustrations to Celebrate Women
The Zimbabwean graphic designer and illustrator uses bold imagery and color to uplift African women and celebrate their power. Nowhere is this more evident than in the beautiful illustrations of celebrated women like the late Lebo Mathosa and Winnie Madikizela Mandela and even his take on an African Powerpuff Girl. “For a long time, Africa’s story has been told by others and not necessarily by Africans. I feel that being an artist is not only an opportunity to create beauty in images, it is also an opportunity to tell a beautiful story about our continent, our people, our cultures and our resilience,” he says.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
3From Refugee Camp to Runway, African Fashion Models Making Big Strides on the World’s Catwalks
As the fashion world becomes more accepting of diversity, a number of Sudanese refugees are gaining traction as premier models and shifting perceptions about beauty and Africa. Led by teenage sensation Adut Akech Bior, they are following a path first laid by Somali-American model Iman, Sudanese-British Alek Wek, and Ajak Deng, the first Sudanese-Australian model to emerge. 12 years ago Australia’s most successful modelling exports were either blue-eyed blondes or porcelain-skinned brunettes. Today a new cadre of Australian supermodels has emerged on the international stage: jet black, impossibly long-limbed Africans – specifically, Sudanese, most of whom arrived in the country as child refugees fleeing civil war in South Sudan.
SOURCES: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
4Zulu and Bauhaus-Influenced Furniture Wins Over South African Buyers
Noting a lack of Zulu-inspired designs in the furniture market, South African designer Siyanda Mbele has created a highly acclaimed collection that melds Zulu and 20th century European influences.
SOURCES: FINANCIAL TIMES
5How Trevor Noah Captivated a US Audience
When Trevor Noah took the reins of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, critics wondered whether he could live up to the reputation of his scathing satirist predecessor, Jon Stewart. Four years later, the question facing the South African comedian is much bigger: not whether he can survive in America, but whether his brand can conquer the world. Don’t believe it? Just consider that Noah, 35, with his made-for-television childhood (literally, now that his best-selling memoir Born a Crime is receiving a film adaptation), gives him a truly global perspective that none of his late-night contemporaries can match. Noah, the last Black man standing on late night at the major networks, stands out. And he’s gone from doubted to lauded — from the pages of Time magazine, which named him one of the most 100 influential people in the world last year, to The Hollywood Reporter, which placed him among the 35 most powerful people in New York media the last two years. In April, Comedy Central reported that The Daily Show was tied for the 2019 late-night talk show lead among men ages 18–34 — and generating a weekly average reach of 56 million video views on social media. Heady stuff for the Johannesburg native who not long ago performed stand-ups to nothing crowds while trying to transform his South African stardom into American relevance.
6Exploring What Lies Below Sudan’s Pyramids
Although not as well publicized, Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt, but a rising water table threatens and complicates ongoing archaeological efforts. And in the ancient royal burial site of Nuri many Nubian pharaohs were laid to rest. There’s only one problem with this incredible site: the rising groundwater is making it hard to get into many of the pyramids. Pearce Paul Creasman, an underwater archaeologist, used his expertise to explore some of them, and told the BBC, he discovered a tomb with quite a surprise.
7Bucket-list Treks in Africa
Mt Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania, near the border with Kenya, with a dormant volcano is Africa’s highest peak standing at a soaring 5895m high. The eight-day route begins on hot plains, continues through jungle, alpine forest, moorland and eventually reaches the glacially-carved summit, where you’ll be treated to stunning views of the savannah below. Other iconic treks include the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia, Blyde River Canyon in South Africa and summiting the continent’s second-highest peak, Mt Kenya. A classic African challenge is Namibia’s 83.6 km, four-day trail through Fish River Canyon, the world’s second-largest canyon. For wildlife encounters head for Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park. The reserve is home to hundreds of species of birds, primates, reptiles and mammals (including the ‘Big Five’), so walking the trails here offer abundant opportunities to spot Nile crocodiles, buffaloes, lions and elephants.
SOURCES: LONELY PLANET
8Take a Trip to Nigeria’s Port City
Port Harcourt is the capital and largest city of the Rivers State in Nigeria, and lies along the Bonny River. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Port Harcourt is one of Nigeria’s driving industrial centres known for their manufacturing of aluminium products, glass bottles and paper. Just an hour flight from Lagos, the city was built in 1912 and named after the Secretary of State for the Colonies Lewis Vernon Harcourt. Travellers to this part of the country will find lots to occupy their time. Among the places to add to your bucket list includes the Rivers State Cultural Centrer, Isaac Boro Garden Park, Port Harcourt Tourist Beach and Mile One Market. There are plenty for places for foodies, too. Try their roasted bole and fish – one of the city’s delicacies – or their famous pepper soup served with a yam.
SOURCES: IOL TRAVEL
9Traveling South Africa Just Got Easier
South African startup LayUp has launched a platform that allows users to make bookings with travel merchants and pay over time. The LayUp software provides travel merchants from hotels to agencies with the ability to provide their customers with an interest-free payment plan for holiday bookings. Consumers can choose a payment plan, paying small amounts on a monthly basis towards their trips, with the total amount settled before the holiday. It offers an easy calculator functionality and online payment gateway that allows users to book a trip without speaking to an agent. Another South African startup, Fomo Travel, was the inspiration for LayUp. Fomo Travel now uses LayUp’s technology to offers payment plans to its customers.
SOURCES: DISRUPT AFRICA
10Opportunity for Investment in Ghana’s Hospitality Industry
One of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in English-speaking West Africa is Ghana, for many obvious reasons. The country is not in any way lacking in tourist attractions, especially for those interested in nature and West African slave trade era history. The Kakum National Park, Labadi Beach, Elmina Castle, the mighty Volta Lake, and the Akosombo Dam are just a few of the sites attracting foreign traffic to the country. The country featured prominently on PWC’s Hospitality Outlook 2017-2027 report as a major emerging market in Africa. Big investors are seeing the light and responding to the stimulus. That is why hotels, both locally and internationally-branded, are springing up in the country. As of May 2017, there were 2,723 hotels and lodges in Ghana. Tour operators and destination marketing, food tourism and events marketing are among the top sectors to invest in.