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Contemporary Architecture In Africa Villaggio II Ghana

In an example of contemporary architecture in Africa Villaggio II, one of Accra’s premium residential developments was shortlisted for the 2012 Best Tall Building Awards, held by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Completed in 2011, the main tower of the development is an imposing block-like structure that stands at 30 storeys high and is the tallest structure of its kind in Ghana and the West African region. The Villaggio II complex was designed by UK based architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and comprises four buildings containing 200 apartments, an office and retail space plus a restaurant and gym. The […]

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Jewellery Made In Africa Trollbeads Malawi Workshop

Giving their customers the freedom to customise their jewellery as they please, Danish brand Trollbeads is known for its interchangeable beads and charms that come in an array of gemstones, 18ct gold, sterling silver, fresh water pearls and glass in an ever-evolving collection. Trollbeads currently has 600 unique styles, and each bead created has its own look and a story behind it inspired by anything from fairy tales to familiar everyday things. Trollbeads recently began creating glass beads for jewellery made in Africa. [Image credits: Malawi Universal Uniques – Trollbeads]

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Aissa Dione Tissus Luxury African Textiles Designer

Businesses, schools, private residences, galleries, shops, hotels, workshops and studios opening up their spaces to hold exhibitions as part of the Dak’art OFF programme, brought the opportunity to meet with the artists and designers behind the works if you got your timing right. Opening the doors of her home was award-winning textile artist Aissa Dione Tissus, who was displaying the works of several artists in her elegant surroundings. Aissa was very welcoming and I was honoured to meet her; it was one of the many occasions I wished I spoke French, as there was so much I wanted to ask. Aissa […]

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Modern Mauritian Food Shelina Permalloo Master Chef UK Winner

A chef who brings ‘…bring[s] sunshine to a plate’ is how Gregg Wallace and John Torode, the judges of Masterchef UK described 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo’s cooking of modern Mauritian food. British-born of Mauritian descent Shelina was inspired to cook by her mum and aunty, developing a love of food at a young age as she helped her Mum with the cooking. Having grown-up in the UK Shelina also credits food with helping her to better understand her Mauritian heritage and culture, saying it makes her feel closer to Mauritius, her heritage and her family. Throughout the competition Shelina brought her Mauritian heritage into her […]

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High Thorn Lighting Modern African Interior Decor Accessories

Taking inspiration from traditional African design and techniques, and combining it with nature and a contemporary design aesthetic, has resulted in a unique range of African interior decor accessories from South African-based company High Thorn. Handcrafted in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal High Thorn’s product range includes lighting, ottomans, tables, leather pots and twig framed mirrors.

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Basa Body Kenyan Coconut Oil Inspired Skin Care Beauty

I think its fair to say that most of the beauty and skin care products I have featured lean in favour of using Shea butter as a main ingredient, with others like coconut oil coming in as secondary, well not so in the case of Basa Body whose natural Kenyan Coconut Oil inspired skin care product range is made from Virgin coconut oil that is produced by hand in Mombasa, Kenya. Easily absorbed into the skin Coconut Oil is known for its healing properties and contains natural antioxidants that are anti-fungal and antibacterial, and is said to be good for smoothing the skin […]

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The Gentlemen of Bacongo Sapeurs Of Congo Street Style

Everytime the ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo‘ photographic exhibition came to London, I always managed to miss it, so whilst I was in Dakar I finally got to see some images from book of the Sapeurs of Congo; on display as part of a wider exhibition on contemporary African photography entitled ‘Africa See You See Me’, that was being held at the Goethe Institute, during the Dak’art 2012 Biennale. Since its release in 2009, the book about the Sapeurs of Congo and accompanying exhibition has delighted and captivated audiences across the world, taking them on a fashionable journey through the streets of […]

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Kenyan Beaded Sandals Colourful Summer Accessories

Inject a dose of pattern and colour into your summer holiday wardrobe with Kenyan beaded sandals from The Afropolitan Shop’s Summer 2012 collection. A traditional style sandal hailing from the coastal region of Kenya forms the basis of the design which feature leather soles, in a choice of black or brown, accessorised by brightly coloured intricate traditional hand beading on the uppers. [Image credits: Kenyan Beaded Sandals clockwise from top left, African Shield, Infinity, Mara, Jamaica and Sunset Sandals – The Afropolitan Shop]

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Contemporary African Architecture Hilton Windhoek Hotel

One of the main features on MSN UK this morning, was the World Architecture News Hotel of the Year Shortlist, and amongst the chosen was a contemporary African architecture entry, the ultra modern, and quite industrialised looking, Hilton Windhoek Hotel. Situated in the centre of the Namibian city, Windhoek, the Hilton Windhoek Hotel was designed by Wasserfall Munting Architects; a local architectural practice that was founded in 2004 by Jaco Wasserfall and Paul Munting. [Image credit: Hilton Windhoek Hotel – Wasserfall Munting Architects via World Architecture News]

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Contemporary African Art Senegalese Artist Papa Ibra Tall

Several months ago I coveted a dress made out of gorgeously colourful clashing prints, alas no available size meant it remained on the hanger, but was reminded of the distinctive print when I saw some stunning tapestries by renowned Senegalese artist Papa Ibra Tall, whose exhibition opening was one of the first I stumbled upon during Dak’art 2012. Held at the Place du Souvenir, the event was a retrospective of sorts celebrating the artist’s long career in international and contemporary African art, a lively well attended occasion that saw guests milling about observing the art and enjoying the warm evening, serenaded by the jazzy sounds of the National […]

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Africa Travel To Senegal Four Weeks Immersed in Creativity

Nanga def, (‘hello, how are you’ in Wolof… and, also the name given to a rather yummy cocktail!). Four weeks in Dakar have come and gone leaving in their wake a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and colours. My time Dakar was amazing, surpassing my expectations. There are times when some things are just meant to be, when everything just comes together; I felt that during my time in Senegal. I went to Senegal with no real plan of what I was going to do, having deliberately chosen to adopt a-wait-till-I-get-there approach. Unbeknownst to me at the time of planning, my trip […]

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