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CULTURE & SOCIETY

Chanting Teens and Talking Drums – A thousand years of Ivorian music

Tom Skye, a frequent visitor to Côte d’Ivoire and the author of a travel book on the country, writes on the evolution of Ivorian music, tracing the roots of its modern expression to its very distant past. Music is everywhere in Côte d’Ivoire. It’s played and performed on buses, trains, beaches and football pitches, and in bars, restaurants, workplaces and …

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Women are narrating the future – African literature 30 Years after the Nobel Prize

Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He was the first African writer to be honoured with the prestigious prize. Alexander Macbeth on how Soyinka’s Nobel has influenced the development of African literature 30 years on. From Negritude to Afrofuturism (via Tigritude and Afrocentricity), the empire continues to write back. Africa is constantly reshaping her own …

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Remembering Bob Marley, 35 Years On

2016 commemorates the 35th anniversary of Bob Marley’s death. Perhaps no other musician has had such a profound impact on how we see the world and our place in it as Marley, who died on 11 May 1981. He infused powerful social messages – of unity and strength in the face of oppression – in his music. German reggae enthusiast …

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World’s Afro dance champions crowned in Berlin

The World Best African Dance Championships took place recently in Berlin, parading some of the best Afro dancers in the world. The artists, from 12 countries, competed as soloists and crews in the categories 1vs1 Afro House, 1vs1 Coupé Décalé and 2vs2 Afro Fusion. There was no pre-qualification for the contest as the participants were able to register at the …

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How Angelique Kidjo opens new doors for African music

Angelique Kidjo, the Beninese-born singer and songwriter, received her third “Best World Music Album” Grammy Award for her 2015 release Sings in February. It’s the artist’s second consecutive win in that category: her 2014 album Eve, which paid tribute to African women, won last year.  Sings is a collaboration of Kidjo with the 110-piece Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg, led by …

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Festivals: African music, dance, fashion and more across Germany

From May to September, African festivals take place across Germany. From the southwestern city of Emmendingen (near Freiburg) to the federal capital and cultural metropolis of Berlin, events celebrating African music, arts and culture are being held. About 80,000 visitors made this year’s Africa Festival, which took place on 26-29 May in the Bavarian town of Würzburg, one of the …

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Okwui Enwezor, global player in the art world

Based in the Bavarian capital, he is omnipresent on the contemporary art scene. In 2011, Okwui Enwezor became the first non-European director of a German art institution. Since then, he has been successfully running Munich’s “Haus der Kunst” (House of Art).  Born in Nigeria in 1963, Enwezor studied literature and political science in New York. His breakthrough came in 1996 …

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Meet the next reggae superstar!

If music journalists from Europe or North America lack the words to express how much they love the music of an African reggae artist they have just stumbled upon, they are quick to talk about “Africa’s Bob Marley”. Lucky Dube, Alpha Blondy, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Rocky Dawuni and many others have been compared to the first superstar of the “Third …

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Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam 2016 – Register Now!

This year’s Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam (AFWA) will take place from 25 to 27 August at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, organisers have announced. Emerging fashion designers from 24 countries will take part in the three-day event celebrating African and African-inspired fashion, art and cultural heritage. AFWA 2016 kicks off with a press conference on 24 August, providing an …

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Hugh Masekela receives 2016 Africa Festival Prize in Würzburg

South African legend Hugh Masekela has been awarded this year’s Africa Festival Prize for his lifetime achievement. Visibly moved, the Jazz musician who performed during the festival, which took place on 26-29 May in the Bavarian town of Würzburg, thanked the organisers for the honour done him. About 80,000 visitors made this year’s Africa Festival one of the most successful …

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Berlin celebrates Africa as Kenako Festival opens!

The African festival in the federal capital of Berlin opens on 2 June with a wide-ranging programme including live concerts, dance workshops, a bazaar and workshops at the popular Alexanderplatz in the city centre. The Festival is visited by around 5,000 people daily! Kenako Afrika Festival, from 2-12 June, parades established and up-and-coming artists, including Wiyaala, the creative artist from …

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Leading African Festivals in Germany

The annual summer season of African music and culture in Germany has gone into full swing. Here are the Top Festivals promising an unforgettable experience: ———————————————- Afrika Karibik Kultur Festival Starnberg 6 – 10 June / Starnberg, Seepromenade Festival features various international musicians, dancers and groups of African and Caribbean origin.  Plus exotic drinks and wonderfully fresh Caribbean summer cocktails …

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Ebeano, the place to be in Berlin!

Nigerian restaurant makes waves in Berlin with delicacies straight from mama’s kitchen   Ebeano, which roughly translates as “the place to be” in the Igbo language, is the name of a Nigerian restaurant in Pohlstrasse, off the popular Potsdamer Strasse in the Tiergarten district of Berlin. Owner and chef Vincent Nnamani, a trained builder (he has a diploma in building …

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Papa Wemba given glorious farewell in Kinshasa

Thousands of people attended several funeral events for Congolese music star Papa Wemba on 2-4 April in the country’s capital, Kinshasa. His body laid in the parliamentary building for an official commemoration and later at his family home for the public to view, among other activities giving the super star of African music a fitting departure.  President Joseph Kabila delivered …

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Africa’s foremost film award holds in June

The 12th edition of Africa’s foremost reward and recognition scheme for filmmakers, Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), holds on 11 June in Port Harcourt, the capital of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. This is following successful nine consecutive editions in Yenagoa, one each in Abuja, Lagos and the South African city of Port Elizabeth, respectively. The government of Rivers State …

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World’s African dance contest holds in Berlin

Dancers from Europe and Africa will converge on the German capital city of Berlin from 11 to 14 May to participate at the first World Best Afro Dance Championship. The new contest, the brainchild of Cynthia Zombou, offers a platform for Afro dancers to showcase their talent, creativity and passion to an international audience. According to Zombou, the contest should …

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Cameroonian Achille Mbembe wins German book prize

Cameroonian political scientist and author Achille Mbembe has received the prestigious “Geschwister Scholl-Preis” 2015 for the German edition of his latest book ‘Critique de la raison nègre’. His book reflects the history of globalisation and deals with capitalism, colonialism and racism. One of the central conclusions is that capitalism does not only move goods around the world but also humans, …

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