Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

SA Cabernet Sauvignon in focus

South Africa has a long history with Cabernet Sauvignon, both as a varietal and blended wine. Highly rated examples abound, too, including many Stellenbosch-based bottlings from producers with long track records, like KanonkopLe RicheRust en VredeRustenberg and Waterford,

But South African Cabernet Sauvignon was never firmly identified as a consistent exemplar on the international wine stage.

It’s time for that to change, the Wine Enthusiast online recommends. Beyond the diversity and caliber of Cabernet Sauvignon produced in South Africa,­ the wines also represent tremendous value.

Babylonstoren 2015 Nebukadnesar (Simonsberg-Paarl); $45, 93 points.

Dark and brooding, this Cabernet Sauvignon-led blend, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, currently smells somewhat reserved, with shy notes of black plum, cassis, Baker’s chocolate, boysenberry and cigar-box spice. It’s medium-plus in weight, with opulence and a rich body that’s framed by bold, supporting tannins and medium acidity. It’s well balanced, with a long, spicy finish that ends with a kiss of dark chocolate. Catamarca Imports LLC.

Ernie Els 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch); $24, 91 points. While this is currently slightly tight and closed, it shows the structure and elements to present a complete and well-balanced wine with a little time. Scents of charred plum skin, dark chocolate, cigar box and roast beef dance in the bouquet, while the bold, firm palate offers flavors of black fruit skin, cassis and char. Drink 2019–2022. Editors’ Choice.

Robertson Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Robertson); $10, 91 points. Brambly berry, black plum and cherry abound on the nose of this attractive wine. Touches of cinnamon stick, violet and milk chocolate add interest. The medium-weight palate is fresh and vibrant in ripe fruit tones, with velvety tannins and ample acidity. It’s well balanced and harmonious, while the lasting finish evolves from fruit flesh to soil then tree bark and finally soft sweet spice. Best Buy.

 Vergelegen – top African winery

South Africa’s Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West has been voted the top winery on the African continent. (Image above: illustration).

Vergelegen placed 34 overall in the prestigious World’s Best Vineyard 2019 competition, where a global voting panel analysed 1,500 wineries from 17 producing countries. Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco has been announced first.

We are absolutely delighted by this award,” Vergelegen CEO Don Tooth said. “The Vergelegen team is committed to building South Africa’s reputation as a producer of world-class wines and this win is an acknowledgment of that passion.”

 

Incarnations: Afrocentric cultural view

IncarNations African Art as Philosophy exhibition crosses the African continent, following former slave trade, and migration routes in search of essence of African art. Artist Kendell Geers has selected the artifacts from vast collection of Sindika Dokolo, establishing an Afrocentric point of view, discovering new angles in infinitely rich African cultural heritage.

DSCN9468[1]However the exhibition is much more than the appreciation of the African art collection. It open a floor to a profound debate on intercultural communication, inviting public to enter polemics over traditional view on the artifacts from the once upon a time “Dark Continent“, fascinating Europeans by its mysteries, and savageries. passions and sacrifices.

A conversation between artist and curator Kendell Geers and author of publication “African Art and Philosophy” Souleymane Bachir Diagne, philosopher, professor, and director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University, will take place on October 4, 2019 in BOZAR, Brussels.

DSCN9473[1]“Something we Africans got” is presentation and discussion with editor Anna-Alix Koffi, devoting the latest issue of the quarterly magazine to the Congolese contemporary art landscape, and exchanges with Sindika Dokolo, Didier Claes, Chris Dercon, and George Senga. The event takes place in BOZAR, Brussels on October 5. 2019. Magazine launch SWAG, issue #8

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ARTISTS TALK: “An Afro-centric Idea of Art” the conversation with contemporary artists participating in the exhibition IncarNations: Kendell Geers, Otobong Nkanga, Barthelemy Toguo, Lisa Brice and others. Moderated by Osei Bonsu. The debate will take place of October 5, 2019 in BOZAR, Brussels.

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Restitution of artifacts debate, launched by BOZAR in a series of muti-stakeholders talks on the main challenges and considerations concerning the issue of the restitution of objects from Western museums back to African continent, intended to cover the whole range of problems from different point of view, including opinions of museums, international organisations, academics, private collectors, legal experts, artists, and activists. The event takes place in BOZAR, Brussels on October 11, 2019.

DSCN9484[1]Meanwhile there are also summer 45 minutes summer tours, focusing on a few exhibition highlights: O4, 11 & 18.07, 22&29.08

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Guided lunch tours focusing on exhibition highlights: O6, 13, 20, 27.09 & 04.10 More info on the site http://www.bozar.be

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IncarNations: Kendell Geers in Bozar

IncarNations is an exhibition created by the South African artist Kendell Geers in dialogue with the Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo. A fascinating initiative that reflects the diversity of the African artistic heritage, from an Afrocentric point of view and including the itineraries of slaves, colonialism and independence movements.

@KendellGeers

@KendellGeers

“Ethnographic museums are a negation of art because they prevent the objects on display from really looking at us. Because ethnography is constituted, at its colonial origins, as a science of what is radically other, it is in its nature to fabricate strangeness, otherness, separateness“, the Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne writes.

Taken from Sindika Dokolo‘s impressive collection, the works of African artists enter into dialogue with those of the diaspora while contemporary works will be displayed alongside classical works.

Incarnations looks at African art as a living philosophical practice.

Works by Sammy Baloji, William Kentridge, Tracey Rose, Wangechi Mutu, Otobong Nkanga, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Ana Mendieta, Kehinde Wiley, Andres Serrano, Aida Muluneh, Mwangi Hutter, Hank Willis Thomas, Tracey Rose, Adrian Piper, Lubaina Himid, Roger Ballen, Zanele Muholi, Phyllis Galembo and many others.

LOCATION:

BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts @BOZARBrussels

Guided Tours on request

Info: +32 2 507 83 36 – groups@bozar.be

 

 

 

Benin guide found dead

A corpse of the guide for two French tourists who went missing on safari in Pendjari parc in Benin last week has been found in a burnt car, a local official and a regional security source said.

The fate of two French tourists, who failed to return to the lodge in the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin, is unknown, the sources said.

French mass media reported that they were believed to be kidnapped, citing unnamed regional sources.

France’s foreign affairs ministry could not confirm the information so far, though it has acknowledged that two nationals and their guide had been missing since May, 1. However they underlined they have advised against travelling to the area.

The relevant authorities in Benin and neighbouring Burkina Faso, where the sources say the car was found, declined to comment.

In March 2009 the park was nominated as a tentative site for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site program, and in July 2017 it was officially inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of a transnational extension of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex. Stretching across three countries, W-Arly-Pendjari Complex is the largest and most important continuum of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic ecosystems in the West African savanna belt.

 

Uganda women as “tourist attraction” scandal

The initiative proposed in Kampala, Uganda, by Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda adds curvy and sexy women to the list of attractions for tourists. Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo says the tourism minister is “misguided” and has other options to use instead of women’s bodies.

The fascination by curves of African women is reminiscent of a two centuries old story of the ‘Hottentot Venus’ Sarah Baartman who was exhibited (1810) at a venue in London’s Piccadilly Circus after her arrival from Cape Town. “You have to remember that, at the time, it was highly fashionable and desirable for women to have large bottoms, so lots of people envied what she had naturally, without having to accentuate her figure,” said Rachel Holmes, author of ‘The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman”.

SA Kweneng city discovery

South Africa archaeologists have rediscovered an ancient lost city from around 1800 AD known as Kweneng using laser technology.

The researchers – who are with the University of Witwatersrand – have been studying the site in the Suikerbosrand National Park for decades.

But it was not until cutting-edge laser technology known as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) became available in recent years that they were able to study the ruins in detail from above, and discovered that what they thought was only a scattering of ancient stone huts, turned out to be an urban agglomeration.

 

Cameroon masterpiece at BRAFA

Brussels Antiques & Fine Art Fair (BRAFA) traditionally presents a sophisticated collection of masterpieces of African art, and this year event reaffirms its excellence, sharing with art lovers rare, and mythic objects of authentic cultures.

Doustar Gallery, Brussels displays an extraordinary 19th century piece of Cameroon art: Atwonzen, a beaded head, worn in ancient mysterious rituals by chiefs of Bamileke people in Dschang region.  (Image below).

Art Without Frontiers” is the motto of BRAFA ambitious to celebrate art from every continent and every culture, which has been one of the strengths of the Fair, and one of the reasons explaining its international success. Masterpieces from Africa, America, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania broaden the horizons, and inspire, while bringing visitors in contact with the other forms of art and expression, to other representations and fascinating different visions of the world.

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The BRAFA Art Fair, created in 1956, is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious art fairs, famous for the high quality fine art, antiques, modern and contemporary art and design. The Fair lasts for 9 days from the end of January to the beginning of February. The first major art event of the year, it is considered a reliable barometer of the art market.

atwonzen

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.

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