• surname-derkyi

    Cool Creatives: Surname Derkyi Dance Trio from #Australia #Ghana

    Feb 23, 2015 • Australia, Dance and Fitness, Ghana • Views

    surname-derkyiSurname Derkyi is an African Dance trio from Sydney, Australia. The group consists of big sister Nana Aba (@Shatta_Nana) and twins Efua Panyin (@thetwinvalery) and Efua Kakra (@TooCheyTV) who are of Papua New Guinea and Ghanaian descent. Watch as they dance to ‘Lobi’ by R2Bees and ‘Feelings’ by Stay Jay and LilWin.

    To learn more, check out their YouTube channel.

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  • me4

    Questions With RWUL Film Academy Founder Rebekah Frimpong

    Feb 18, 2015 • Articles, Ghana, Interviews • Views

    On March 2015, The RWUL Film Academy will be collaborating with iSPACE in Ghana to launch a series of monthly screenings and workshops. The aim of the event is to provide new and helpful resources for independent filmmakers.

    We spoke with RWUL’s founder Rebekah Frimpong to learn more about the upcoming events, and what we can expect from the organization in years to come.

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    Q:What is RWUL? and how did the idea for the organization come about?
    A: RWUL (Reel Worldwide Underground Link) is a non-profit organization that uses film and cinema as an outreach tool in communities worldwide and that provides helpful resources for independent filmmakers. Originally me and my good friend Vinita Acklin in 2006 started RWUL as an organization centered around underground Hip-hop culture and music and film. We later in changed our mission in 2007 to reflect our move towards film as a main mode of educational outreach. We were finding that film was more appropriate for the work that we wanted to do. Film speaks to many people no matter their background.

     

    Q:Why was it important to set up an organisation focusing on the work of independent filmmakers?
    A: For me it was important to set up an organization focused or centered around independent filmmaking because I saw there was a need for it. At the time when we first started we wanted to educate and provide filmmakers with resources about organizations that support filmmakers and give filmmakers a chance to have their work seen. There also was a need for peer critique and community discussion. Many of our earlier events were film screenings that engaged audiences and filmmakers around social issues. All of us at RWUL were excited to see how film brought people together and sparked change in many communities.

     

    Q:How has your upbringing and education prepared you for the type of work that you do?
    A: To be honest, I think my upbringing had nothing to do with the work I do now with RWUL. It was a metamorphous of sort getting into film. As a youth I was classically trained as a ballerina, I was a saxophonist in jazz orchestra, and a classically trained theater student. I never thought about film; I thought only about the stage. But it was the opportunity I got my senior year in college to be in a senior thesis film that changed everything for me. I fell in love with film and cinema. So much so, I went to a local TV station and got training as a TV producer and learned non-linear editing for film and television. In 2009, I made my first film but I was curating film festivals as far back as 2005. I more so just listened to my heart and followed my passion to get to where I am now and doing the work that I do.

    imageQ:As well as being the founder of RWUL, you are also a published author, filmmaker, and a mother (amongst other things). How do you find time to juggle home life with the running of the business?
    A: Everything is a learning process. I am not perfect, and I try to constantly research and learn what I can. I write constantly. I write my goals down, I write my “to do lists”, and I write proposals for projects I want to complete. I also try to take time for me, but recently becoming a mother that has been challenging since I devote myself 100% to my son. I like to keep my outlook simple, that also helps with balancing many things at once. Keeping stress low, meditating, and practicing yoga help me as well. I also believe that eating well contributes to a pure mind and strengthens the body.

     

    Q:What motivates you?
    A: My own ambition, my ancestors, my son, and foremost the relationship I am developing with God motivates me to do the best that I can and to connect with people in a genuine way.

     

    Q: Next month, you’ll be partnering with iSpace to launch The RWUL Film Academy and Monthly Screening Series in Ghana. What can we expect from this year’s events?
    A: Well, we have posted information on our website www.rwul.com with all that we will be planning for the partnership with iSpace in Ghana for the RWUL Film Academy. But basically, there is a new push going on now to have filmmakers connect with audience and their peers completely online. We want to combine virtual and live film programs to engage audiences in Ghana and to hopefully connect filmmakers in Ghana with their peers across the globe. We are mainly working with filmmakers of African descent (defined loosely) from across the globe to take part in this project.

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    Q: Is there a criteria for filmmakers interested in participating?
    A: Filmmakers interested in participating can email me at bgnbpro@gmail.com and can also keep in mind that we will have our 3rd Annual “I Luv Africa” Film Festival (ILAFF2015) in October that they can submit work to. Submission for ILAFF 2015 will be accepted starting April 2015.

     

    Q: RWUL is now in its 8th year. Where can we expect to see RWUL in the next 5 years?
    A: Wow, time flies…basically I developed a 10 year plan back in 2012 for the growth of RWUL. In the next 5 years we are hoping to continue what we have started and to get better at engaging audiences in Ghana. RWUL is hoping the RWUL Film Academy Partnership with iSpace Ghana will lead to reorganizing the mission of RWUL and focusing on independent film and cinema in Africa solely. Having the home base located in Ghana West Africa, RWUL Film Academy will kick starter the development an online platform to teach film, connect, and engage filmmakers with filmmakers in Africa across the continent and the globe. The ultimate goal is to raise the level of appreciation for the art medium of film on the continent of Africa and attracting more investors, fiscal sponsors, and organizations to connect with filmmakers in Africa. By the end of 2015, RWUL’s main goal is to facilitate a successful project that will lead to continuation of the project in 2016 in two other African cities.

    rwulQ: What advice would you give to future African entrepreneurs that are inspired by the work that RWUL does?
    A: My advice would be to stay focused. Be wise in choosing who you work with and collaborate with, and to do your research. Hard work goes a long way and persistence will get you to the place you need to be. Always have goals or a plan and determine your success based on the goals you have achieved.

     

    Q: How can our readers learn more about RWUL and future events?
    A: Please visit www.rwul.com

    First Image Credit: Lightville Photography (Nii Djarbeng) in Ghana.

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  • anafricancity

    ‘An African City’ Takes Viewers Behind The Fashions

    Feb 16, 2015 • Entertainment, Ghana • Views

    It’s been a while since the first series of Nicole Amarteifio’s groundbreaking web series ‘An African City’ ended. As we wait patiently for season two, the ladies from the show take us behind the scenes to learn more about the designers behind the fabulous fashions from Season One.

    anafricancityIn the first two episodes Maame Adjei (who play Zainab) interviews Aisha Ayensu, creative director for Christie Brown and Marie Humbert (who plays Makena) speaks with Titi Ademola, designer at Kiki Clothing.

    Check out the first two episodes below:

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  • date-apex

    ‘Date’, A Short Film About An Awkward First Date from Apex Advertising

    Feb 16, 2015 • Entertainment, Ghana • Views

    date-apex‘Date’ is the second of a series of short film from Ghanaian media outlet Apex advertising. The hilarious short which was released the day before Valentines day, stars actress Deborah Vanessa as she goes on an extremely awkward date. Check out the amazing Cinematography.

    ‘Date’ is part of Apex’s new Youtube channel called ‘The World Needs Stories‘. To learn more, visit their Facebook page.

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  • malek-mari

    How a Sudanese Refugee Became an Indomitable Model: Mari Malek (StyleLikeU)

    Feb 15, 2015 • Articles, Entertainment, South Sudan • Views

    Mari Malek has overcome adversity and carved multiple careers for herself including being a successful model, one of New York’s sought after DJ (going under the moniker DJ stiletto) and her role as an advocate for encouraging educational programs for South Sudanese women and children.

    malek-mari

    Image Source: http://www.udospreitzenbarth.com

    Malek’s story is one of inspiration and courage – one full of setbacks, but she vows to not let that define her as a person.

    In a StyleLikeU.com video feature titled ‘What’s Underneath’, Malek strips down to her lingerie as talks about leaving South Sudan, life in Egypt, coming to the US, motherhood and relationships. View the video and the description below:

    In our second What’s Underneath video in honor of Black History Month, we feature the activist-DJ-model Mari Malek. Mari was born in war-torn Sudan, has lived in the projects of New Jersey, and has faced extreme harassment due to the dark color of her skin. Though she has endured struggles that few of us will experience, Maria has never strayed from her true self: “Fuck everybody who thinks I should suppress my identity. Fuck fear. It’s time for the world to look at one another not as black race or a white race but as a human race.”

    Thank you, Chantelle Lingerie, for sponsoring this episode and for providing Mari with a personal bra fitting and the lingerie shown in this video. For more info about Chantelle, please visit: http://us.chantelle.com/

    About ‘What’s Underneath’
    StyleLikeU.com asked a select group of individuals to participate in a project in which they will remove their clothes to honor how style is not the clothes you wear. To learn more, visit Read more at Stylelikeu.com

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  • AutumnAdeigbo_SH1_yellow-trypt-web

    New Capsule Collection MAKOKO by Autumn Adeigbo

    Feb 14, 2015 • Articles, Fashion • Views

    The new capsule collection by Autumn Adeigbo’s ethical fashion line employs the use of colorful West African printed fabrics and traditional African beading techniques to give silhouettes that are chic and fashion-forward.

    In August 2014, New York- based Celebrity stylist and social entrepreneur Autumn Adeigbo traveled to Cape Coast, Ghana and put together a team of 8 talented female artisans for her new line. The line provides the ladies with the necessary training required to have a sustainable profession as well as an income which allows them to to live better lives and make positive life choices.

    Of the new collection, Adeigbo states in a blog post, ‘My entire family is Nigerian and I saw from an early age how magical the African aesthetic is. I wanted to create ‘that’ line of high quality Always African clothing in chic, modern, and cool silhouettes. We take it a step further by sourcing and producing on the African continent- feeding back to the very people who inspire the brand- my people. Our people.’

    Check out some of the pieces from the new collection below:

    AutumnAdeigbo_SH1_yellow-trypt-web AutumnAdeigbo_SH2_195-web AutumnAdeigbo_SH3_trypt-web AutumnAdeigbo_SH4_289-web AutumnAdeigbo_SH5__trypt-web AutumnAdeigbo_SH5_700-web

    To learn more, visit: Autumnadeigbo.com

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  • 4women1

    Cool Creatives: Hirut ‘Hiroots’ Yosef #Ethiopia

    Feb 10, 2015 • Art, Articles, Ethiopia • Views

    Ethiopian-Israeli artist, photographer and designer Hirut ‘Hiroots’ Yosef is currently showcasing her work in the US for the first time in an exhibition titled ‘Chalom Yashan – A Journey Back Home‘.

    Hiroots is inspired by her Ethiopian heritage, her Israeli upbringing and the American popular culture that she was exposed to growing up. Most of her work employs the use of marker pens and photography.
    In a recent feature with Prana Writes, Hiroots explains the inspiration behind her work stating “In my work, I seek to empower women and build a visual bridge between my native origins and contemporary art and culture, reflecting my connection to fashion, street art and graphics. In doing so, I create a language of my own, redefining a place where the vast influences of my life can coexist.”
    Hiroots immigrated from Ethiopia to Israel at the age of five with her family and studied fashion design.

    View some of her work below:

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    4women1 4women3 4women4 AC-Gallery-ChalomYashan-Rise givethanks

    To learn more, visit Hiroots on Facebook and Hiroots on Flickr

     

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  • imagine-africa-feat

    NEW BOOK: Imagine Africa, An Anthology of Poetry and Visual Arts (March 3, 2015)

    Feb 10, 2015 • Articles • Views

    imagine-africaFeaturing the work of some of the continents most notable writers, Imagine Africa is an anthology of poems, essays and visual artistry published by Random House.

    The book includes work from Georges Lory, Frankétienne, Akinwumi Isola, Paulina Chiziane, Mia Couto, Miram Al-Masri, Scholastique Mukasonga, Breyten Breytenbach, Cedric Nunn, Aimé Césaire, Corsino Fortes, João Melo, Ali Jimale Ahmed and Wole Soyinka.

    Imagine Africa and its theme of “Revolution” is introduced by Georges Lory who opens the collection with his essay, “Poets to your quills, Africa is taking off”. Through a collage of poems, essays, fiction, and visual art, Imagine Africa gives us a glimpse of a kaleidoscopic contemporary Africa.

    The book is due to be released on March 3 and currently available to preorder via the link below:

    Imagine Africa (Pirogue Series)

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