Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

Kenya enjoys tourism sector growth

Kenya’s profit from tourism raised by almost a third in 2018 from the previous year to 157.4 billion shillings ($1.55 billion), after the number of visitors increased by 37%, the tourism ministry said.

The World Bank report 2018 on Ease of Doing Business ranks Kenya No. 80 up from No. 92 in 2017, and is expected to rise in 2019, contributing mainly to tourism sector.

However the UK government Foreign travel advice warns, that “bag snatching is common in transport hubs like bus stations, railway stations and airports. Mugging, kidnapping, car-jacking and armed robbery occur regularly, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and other large cities. Foreigners are not generally targeted, but incidents of violent crime have resulted in the death of several British nationals in recent years. Crime rates are higher in slum areas of Nairobi, the Old Town of Mombasa and on and around the Likoni Ferry (which links Mombasa and the southern resorts). Gun attacks in Kwale County on the south coast resulted in fatalities in September and October 2017. You should be vigilant at all times and follow any security advice given by your employer or your hosts.”

“Guinean” champagne charms Africans

In a luxury lounge in Abidjan, customers of Cote d’Ivoire enjoy a special champagne:  Laurent-Perrier? Widow Clicquot ? Moet and Chandon? There is a new brand of  named after Dian Diallo to welcome guests.

This is the first brand of champagne that bears an African name,” says creator Dian Diallo, a 40-year-old Guinean wine expert. “This is by no means an African champagne because it does not exist, an African champagne!” He explains that “Dian Diallo” was developed in the art and know-how of the traditional Champagne method from A to Z, from the vine to the bottling, everything was done in Champagne “in the respect of the AOC,” he says.

Dian Diallo, who studied management, economics and marketing in France, knows the industry well. Before launching in 2017, he worked for ten years for major brands of champagne. “I realized that Africans consumed a lot more sweet and fruity champagne (…), much more than classic dry or semi-dry, because the crude has the acid side they do not like” he added.

By bringing a small dose of cane sugar, we completely remove this bitterness.” This addition allows “to soften a little champagne so that it is delicious” without being “too sweet“. The element of cane sugar is a special feature in Champagne and Dian Diallo is then looking for a champagne that suits him. “I had a very nice welcome and I partnered with a winemaker, Rémi Jacques, Baye“, whose family has been making champagne since 1932. Objective: sell this sparkling in Africa, in relation to the expectations of the public on the spot.

In terms of grape varieties, Dian Diallo champagne is composed of “50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, it gives a supple champagne, soft, easy to taste with a touch of freshness, that we can take at all times of the day, “says Rémi Jacques.”But there is no adaptation to an “African taste “, we are not in an industrial product: it’s champagne!”, he concludes.

Dian Diallo sells more than 10,000 bottles a year in Africa in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, and Burkina Faso. He says he enjoys a “strong craze for champagne and luxury goods in Africa“, favored by a middle class with increasing purchasing power.

If he intends to seduce the African public by the quality of his product, he also plays on the continental fiber: “There is a real pride of Africans to see an African evolve in this closed environment,” says Dian Diallo. This marketing specialist invites upscale customers to tastings in hotels and chic places in African capitals.

Mukanda masks of Belgium African Museum

Mukanda schools masks create a mysterious setting presenting an image of an ancient ritual  of boys passing to manhood. The re-opened African Museum, Belgium, exposes a collection of artifacts from different tribes*, accompanied by explanations of the video hosts to guide a visitor into a universe of schooling by the spirits of masked deceased ancestors Makishiwho revisit the world of living to protect the young boys, and the entire village during the period of Mukanda school session.

The opening of school is a memorable moment of a night festivity, with plenty of food and Katasu beverage to frame the entrance to the first rituals on next morning: Nganga Mukanda or a ‘natural healer‘ will rub a clay into boys bodies to prepare them for a circumcision at Kateteveje ‘death place‘. The drums beat in frenzy to overwhelm the screams of the boys…

Curator and scientist Hein Vanhee devoted to the history of peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo at Africa Museum, and at the University of Gent Centre for Bantu Studies shares his knowledge of the mask collection (Video above).
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Image: above ‘The Rotunda‘ of African Museum, Belgium.

AMENDMENTS:

Tribes” is a term which we do not longer use, because it has colonial connotations and describes inaccurately the peoples about whom the exhibitions are. We prefer to speak of “peoples” in general of when referring to more local contexts we use “communities.Hein Vanhee.

Belgium Africa Museum opening

After five years of €66 million large-scale renovation Belgium Royal Museum of Central Africa opens its door on December 9th, under a new name, and with a new concept: it closes the chapter of the Colonial Palace of the epoch of King Leopold II, and moves on to Africa’s present and future.

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“…Our new permanent exhibition aims to depict the image of modern Africa, looking into the future, without overlooking the shared common past” said Guido Gryseels, the Museum Director, whose ambition is to provide a platform for debate, the meeting space, the exhibition place, the scientific laboratory, and the documentation center. (Image below: Guido Gryseels interviewed).

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We hope to become a real meeting place and centre for dialogue for people who have keen interest in Africa”, Mr. Gryseels added.

At present the Museum works together with diasporas, and builds partnerships with African museums in Rwanda, the Musée des Civilisations noires in Senegal, the national Museum of Congo, and the National Museum of Lubumbashi. There are expectations to have exchanges with a new museum in Kinshasa,  which will open the its doors in the end of 2019. (Image below: the Rotunda, African Museum, Belgium).

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The Museum has experienced a dramatic cultural evolution from Colonial past to a modern vibrant multicultural universe, introducing voices and opinions of Africans in various forms along the exhibitions, telling their own narratives. Furthermore, the new type of engagement is foreseen for recruitment of staff from African origin to ensure the diversity of employees.

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However the Director underlines, that the current state of the establishment under his leadership is “work in process“, a new beginning, a rebirth of a fascinating space, an ‘African island‘ in the middle of Belgium: 120 000 ethnographic artifacts, 10 000 animals, 8 000 music instruments, three kilometers of archive, 205 hectare site, with only one percent of treasures at display!

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African Museum, Tervuren, Belgium

http://www.africamuseum.be

 

Cape Town: Jürgen Dünhofen in Transitions art project

“Depicting leaps in our life from chaos to order, transitions started with observing the flow of chaos and order between zones of quietude and stressful, busy moments where big changes in our lives occurred.”

GROUND ART CAFFE 160 Strand street, Cape Town 8001 South Africa

A collaboration by Jürgen Dünhofen, Thurlo Adams & Adam Douglas

Moments of flux that accompany experiencing starkly different cultures, countless moves, acclimatizing to new environments and forming and nurturing new relationships – have been vital to the project Thurlo and Jürgen styles’ converse with each other as Adam‘s drone tracks mirror the fleeting emotions invoked in the drawings.

It’s been fascinating to watch the work develop, from a simple point of departure to a strong focus on portraiture emulating the theme. Adam Douglas is a musician, writer, photographer and educator living in Tokyo, Japan. He records under the names Kemek, Deeper Than Space and Dechirico, and previously collaborated with Jürgen Dünhofen on Drone Project 1.

Jürgen Dünhofen is an installation artist that works in various mediums. His work often focuses on mindfulness and perception. Transitions is the second project that he’s collaborated on. He is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. Thurlo Adams is a visual artist and teacher who is currently based in Cape Town. He predominantly uses ink as his medium and focuses on detailed portraits. Transitions is his first collaborative project.

The exhibition runs from the 1st of November to the 5th of December 2018

Fragment: Jürgen Dünhofen

 

Fragment II

Goddess Osun festival in Nigeria

Fertility goddess Osun festival attracts thousands of Yorubas, an ancient ethnic group in West Africa that numbers around 40 million, the vast majority living in Nigeria.

According to Unesco which named the area a World Heritage site in 2005, the dense forest of the grove and “its meandering river is dotted with sanctuaries and shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of Osun and other deities“.

Priestesses prepare offerings and sacrifices to the great goddess: a heady mixture of sacrificed chickens, ochre powder, potato chips and gin. Beating drums and the sound of shots from colonial-era rifles build to a crescendo.
Soon tens of thousands of people are marching past. Crowds accompany the  Arugba, a virgin whose face is covered with a scarlet cloth embroidered with shells, to the river where the spirit of the water goddess lives.

The wife of Sango, god of fire and thunder, once demanded a sacrifice to bring prosperity to the community, but today the virgin is just tasked with giving the offerings to the sacred river.

On the riverbank, in the shade of century-old trees, a woman reads the future in kola nuts.

One after another, women fall into a trance and have to be held back so that they do not drown in the river.

Nigerian women will turn to the beautiful Osun to give them children.

Moët & Chandon championship for best sommelier in South Africa

The intense search of  for South Africa’s most talented sommelier started to select the top professional who will represent the nation at the 2019 Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) Best Sommelier championships in Belgium. The winner  will receive the title of  Moët & Chandon Best Sommelier South Africa 2018.

A sommelier is a wine specialist in a range of operations from wine and food pairing, wine serving to being the ultimate wine guide.

The South African Sommelier Association (SASA) is looking for a person to meet the criteria of an exception skill, knowledge and experience. The most required qualities are sophistication and audacity.

The competition intends to search for new talents and support creativity in local communities.

The winner will receive a sponsored place in the ASI Best Sommelier of the World championships in Belgium in 2019 along with a voyage to visit the Moët & Chandon Maison in France.

Champagne cascade

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