1The Best African Films of 2019 So Far
African stories have been captivating filmmakers around the globe, and the quality and variety of their telling has been advancing tremendously. With a wealth of new offerings, here is a run-down of the best African films to hit the cinemas in 2019. Premiering in Cannes, Maryam Touzani’s poignant debut, Adam, is a thoroughly enjoyable slow burner that employs show-stopping performances to demonstrate compassion and the unbreakable bond of female friendships. Sudabeh Mortezai’s prize-winning drama, Joy, acquired by Netflix, astounds with its rounded and complex depiction of the life of its heroine. Keeping up with the Kandansamys, a play on that other famous family from America, became South Africa’s highest-grossing locally-made film in 2017. On Lionheart, Genevieve Nnaji makes her directorial debut. The result? A tenderly observed and sentimental drama about family, feminism and the ties that bind.
SOURCES: AFRICAN ARGUMENTS
2Nigerian Artist Haneefah Adam Turns Food Into Art
Haneefah Adam first gained acclaim for her creation of Hijarbie, the Muslim version of Barbie, but she’s now turned her creative juices toward a new medium: food. While many chefs concoct artful displays, this artist is literally using food to create art. Adam is inspired by random things, including life experiences and culture. In 2016, she won the #TechMeetsArtNG exhibition, sponsored by Samsung Nigeria and Rele Gallery. The competition was a culinary exhibition aimed at exploring the artistic presentation of some of Nigeria’s local meals. Her winning entry, pictured above, was inspired by one of her favorite childhood meals, ogbono soup, a southern Nigerian delicacy made from the dried seeds of mangoes. She says the art represents an African woman adorned in vibrant colors.
3South Africa’s Mantsho Just Became the First African Brand to Collaborate with H&M
South Africa’s Mantsho holds the honor of being the first African fashion brand to collaborate with H&M. Mantsho’s lead designer, Palesa Mokubung, refers to the vibrantly colorful pieces as her ‘love letter to Africa’ and we’re feeling the love. The H&M x Mantsho range includes women’s accessories, clothes and shoes. The items use overtly (South) African patterns combined with western designs. “Mantsho” means “Black is beautiful” in Sesotho, which is Mokubung’s home language. She founded the label in 2004, and has gone on to showcase on runways in countries such as the US, Greece and India.
4The 77 Percent – The Magazine for Africa’s Youth
‘The 77 Percent,’ a program geared to express the views of Africa’s youth, who represent 77% of the continent’s population. 77 percent of Africans are younger than 35. These dynamic young people are politically active and motivated, but they are also the least represented demographic across the continent. It’s time their voices are heard as they shape the future of Africa and take their place on the world stage. A hard-hitting reports, personal stories and lively debates direct from the continent.
SOURCES: DEUTSCHE WELLE
5How ‘Sakhile and Me’ is Connecting Africa to the World
Enterprising German gallery, Sakhile and Me, is forging a different model in the art world by seeking to combine art with education, focusing particularly on being a bridge between the African diaspora and the rest of the world. The Sakhile and Me gallery features all kinds of art mediums, including sculptures, poetry, photojournalism, archiving and the combination of art with historical text. The gallery places an emphasis on artistic practices that serve as a self- or collective expression. Alongside the highly contrasted black and white self-portraits of Muholi, hangs the mesmerising work of Lindeka Qampi. Qampi’s work, while filled with a little more colour, is every bit as intense. She embodies the African landscape in her self-portraits.
SOURCES: DESIGN INDABA
6Discover Egypt’s Hidden Travel Relic
The pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza may draw Egypt’s biggest crowds, but a half-mile stretch of medieval architecture — recognized by the United Nations as the largest collection in the Islamic world — is the best place to learn about past and contemporary Cairo. While popular among locals, this fascinating, historic street remains mostly unknown to tourists. Al-Muizz Street, located in Cairo’s Islamic neighborhood, is the oldest operating street in Egypt’s capital. This 10th-century path stretches between two of three remaining gates in the old walled city of Cairo. In the 10th century, only the high-class Fatimid royalty (the ruling Shi’i Muslims from North Africa), could access the interior of the gated city. But after slave soldiers (the Mamluk) seized the country in 1250, they opened the gates to all Egyptians. In 1997, Egypt’s government caught on to the historic treasure trove, and dedicated over 10 years of renovations to turn this neglected piece of Islamic history into a highly trafficked “open-air museum.”
7Hands-on Conservation-focused Safaris in Africa
High-quality, low-footprint pioneer Singita launched Safari With a Purpose trips last year to take guests behind the scenes at the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania during stays at one of the brand’s impeccably run lodges. The now-thriving landscape is once again vulnerable to poaching. The five-day program brings people into the heart of anti-poaching ops at the Grumeti command center. Some guests have even collared elephants (for a near-$20,000 fee), flying in a helicopter alongside a vet to dart and tag the gentle giants. Meanwhile, Africa’s exploding population means socioeconomic sustainability is equally key; in response, most safari brands have set up programs for education, health care, and job training, while preserving traditions through tourism. A standout is Cottar’s Safaris, which has been in the business for a century. They’re planning to add 40,000 acres to the Olderkesi region of the Masai Mara to secure elephant corridors and have pledged to go net-positive on energy by 2024.
SOURCES: CN TRAVELER
8Livingstone Epitomises the Zambian Spirit of Harmony
Most visitors choose to focus on adventure activities on the river or in the bush and miss out by never venturing into this interesting African town – a little scruffy but well worth exploring. Its spine is the wide main road, Mosi-oa-Tunya, which feeds into a network of smaller ones. Shops, cafes, small businesses and pavement traders line the streets, and an abundance of established trees – mangos, flamboyants, acacias – thrive here. The history books tell us that Livingstone began as a settlement in the early 20th century benefitting from the 1905 construction of Victoria Falls Bridge. By 1911, it had become the capital of the country then known as Northern Rhodesia but in 1935, Lusaka, further north, was given the title as it was nearer to the riches of the Copperbelt. Relics of the town’s illustrious beginning are evident in many of the beautiful but crumbling buildings.
9Hollywood Stars have Fallen in Love with Africa
If you want to follow in their footsteps you’re going to need a healthy travel budget and a real love for the outdoors. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Idris Elba, Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart and Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres have all visited the Bisate Lodge in Rwanda. Ellen and Portia love Africa and going on safaris and along with Mick Jagger and Brooke Shields have stayed at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi Kenya. Tanzania is also a firm favourite with Hollywood elite. Josh Duhamel has stayed at the Grumeti Reserve and Oprah Winfrey and Charlize Theron have both witnessed the wildebeest migration while staying at the Singita Grumeti Game Reserve. Hollywood favourites George and Amal Clooney have also visited the country and stayed at the Mwiba Lodge. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who got engaged at Meno a Kwena in Botswana. The couple have also stayed over at the Okavango Delta’s Mapula Lodge where they reportedly dined under an ancient baobab tree by firelight.
10All You Need To Know About Sailing In Africa
Sailing around Seychelles is a chance to explore hidden beaches and have them all to yourself. Also, you will be able to see a lot of endangered and critically endangered species such as Aldabra giant tortoises, green turtles, and the Seychelles paradise flycatchers. While sailing in the blue waters, you should definitely try scuba-diving since Seychelles is considered an underrated-diving destination. While sailing in the world’s longest river, you can learn more about Egypt and its people. Exploring the largest Arab country in the world on a luxury yacht is a very relaxing experience. Zanzibar has ideal holiday weather all through the year. All these things make sailing around Zanzibar an unforgettable experience. Sailing in Kenya is also a lot of fun. The locals organize tours that include scuba-diving, windsurfing, and fishing. Getting to Madagascar is a real challenge, but you will not have a problem if you go there on a private yacht. It’s a spectacular and unspoiled place with diverse wildlife.