African culture – Jabber Africa http://JabberAfrica.org/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 16:18:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9 https://JabberAfrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/cropped-icon-32x32.png African culture – Jabber Africa http://JabberAfrica.org/ 32 32 Duniya dances to the rhythm of West African culture https://JabberAfrica.org/duniya-dances-to-the-rhythm-of-west-african-culture/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 10:01:25 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/duniya-dances-to-the-rhythm-of-west-african-culture/

Last Saturday, audiences at the Barbara Barker Center for Dance at the University of Minnesota got a taste of West Africa thanks to the Bangouras, an immensely talented Guinean family whose knowledge of complex rhythms and acrobatic movements and multifaceted is profound.

Lead drummer Fode Bangoura co-leads Duniya Drum & Dance with his wife, choreographer and dancer Whitney McClusky. Their children performed in “La Réunion”, as well as Fode’s many brothers based in different parts of the world. Other family members also took to the stage, including extremely flexible teenager Adama Bangoura, who performed an acrobatics and contortion act with her father, Idrissa Bangoura. It was the kind of act that had people gasping in awe as the father-daughter team performed jaw-dropping feats of body flips and manipulation.

Fode is the backbone of Duniya’s work, driving the pace with confidence, flash and an infectious smile. The drums were not so much an accompaniment to the dances but rather the main focus. The dancers followed the rhythms produced by Fode and other drummers. In some cases, Fode would set a specific rhythm for a soloist to dance to. Listening to the beat, Alseny “Seny” Bangoura, a master dancer and former principal dancer with the Ballets Africains in Guinea, wowed the crowd with flips and leaps rooted in the rhythm of the drum.

“Reunion” was part of Duniya’s “Fakoly” conference, which offered drumming and African dance lessons throughout the weekend. The show offered a sort of tour of Guinean cultural dances, with examples of ceremonial practices including rhythms played the day before a boys’ initiation ceremony or those played at weddings.

The dancers and drummers wore bright costumes in primary colors and geometric shapes and wore ornaments such as fringe and animal hair. They also twice wore complex masks, jumping around the stage with their knees and arms moving back and forth in precise polyrhythms. It was impressive.

But the skill level of the Duniya dancers was not as good as that of the master dancers, who engaged their bodies like a percussive instrument. Their movements were so precise and clear in every gesture. The Minneapolis-based troupe carried the joyful energy of the evening, with its sense of fun and community.

While the Fakoly only had one performance, Duniya will perform later this year at the Cowles Center for the Fall Forward Festival on the last weekend of October.

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Celebrate Afrobeats and African culture at Jollof N’ Chill this summer https://JabberAfrica.org/celebrate-afrobeats-and-african-culture-at-jollof-n-chill-this-summer/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 15:35:44 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/celebrate-afrobeats-and-african-culture-at-jollof-n-chill-this-summer/

Over the past five years Afrobeat gained popularity thanks to the music of artists such as Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido and many more. The genre originates from the music of West Africa with some influences from American hip-hop, jazz and calypso, creating a sound that is unmistakable, positive and, above all, fun to dance to.

Photo credit: Jollof N’Chill, LLC

Meet Ehimwenma Ima-Edomwonyi, born in Nigeria and an MBA in Finance from New Jersey City University, he is an Afrobeats connoisseur who founded the Jollof N’ Chill event, a celebration of all things African; not just music, but also culture, food, art and businesses representing every country on the African continent. These Afro-centric events support diversity between countries and bring new ears to the Afrobeats sound.

Photo credit: Jollof N’Chill, LLC

“Our mission is to inspire people from all walks of life to hear, see and taste Africa. Our events bring together people from all cultures and backgrounds. We continue to bring people around the world to learn, embrace and empower African cultures. Our events have been central to the growth of our community. People took the opportunity to expand their worldviews, cultural knowledge and connections to each other,” Edomwonyi said when asked what the purpose of his Jollof N’ Chill events is.

Since 2018, Jollof N’ Chill has toured major cities where there is a strong presence of West Africans, such as New York, Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, building an audience and seeing an increase in diversity among its participants.

We hope to connect our growing audience with parts of African culture they might have only seen on social media. Our joy is to bring together all African descendants from outside/inside the Diaspora and individuals who appreciate African culture,” says Edomwonyi.

Of course, like most businesses, Jollof N’ Chill events have been hit hard during the pandemic. But Edomwonyi is no stranger to adversity and is looking to make 2022 his year of expansion.

Photo credit: Jollof N’Chill, LLC

To learn more about Jollof N’ Chill, visit their Instagram page: @jollofnchilltheir next event will be for Juneteenth at New York Town.

Related: Megan Thee Stallion Rocks the First US-Based AfroNation, ‘The World’s Biggest Afrobeats Festival’ in Puerto Rico


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Rich African culture inspires me – Itunu Faseeyin – The Sun Nigeria https://JabberAfrica.org/rich-african-culture-inspires-me-itunu-faseeyin-the-sun-nigeria/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 05:25:05 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/rich-african-culture-inspires-me-itunu-faseeyin-the-sun-nigeria/

By Tosin Ajiire

Itunu Oluwaseun Faseeyin is on a unique mission. It is about showcasing African art and preaching climate change awareness to the world through its creative works.

Omuo, a plant science graduate from Ekiti State, developed an interest in nature and African poetry during her college years. Now, as a successful writer, Itunu has written several articles for magazines and online platforms. Some of his works including Tales of the moon, sunset, Count the stars, and Mother Nature have been published outside Nigeria.

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In this conversation, the married poet and author of Rainbow Whispers talks about his journey to creative writing. Here are excerpts:

Tell us about you.

I am Itunu Oluwaseun Faseeyin. I am a proud Yoruba woman from Omuo, Ekiti State. I had my elementary education at Living Spring International Primary School before moving to Omuo Ore High School for my secondary education. I graduated in Plant Science from Ekiti State University. So it’s safe to say that I’m a real Ekiti woman. I am happily married. I like to read and write. I also like listening to music and watching movies.

Why did you choose to be a poet and not a fiction writer?

Everyone has their own area of ​​expertise, so I found my passion in writing real events rather than coming up with scripts from my head. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing fiction writers, I’m just saying I’m my passion.

How do you find inspiration to write, and what really inspired your anthology, Rainbow Whispers?

African culture, the rich African tradition, the natural environment and the relationship we have with our continent and our parents are major sources of inspiration for me.

Do you write by hand or with a computer?

Thanks to technology that has made it easier for us. For easier transfer and editing, I prefer to write on my computer, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I jot down points in my notebooks.

Could you tell us the story behind your poem, find the bride? Are you indirectly telling your own story?

No. It was not my story. it was about a 33-year-old man struggling with whether his parents would approve of his marriage to his girlfriend, as he needs their approval to get married. He fears that his parents will not accept him into the family.

What inspired the poem, Darkness? Do you write about your mother?

Not my mother in particular, storytelling to younger children under the moonlight is a popular act among African parents, especially Yoruba.

Our parents tell us stories about ancient times, tales to build us up and help shape our characters.

How many jobs do you have so far and which one is your favorite?

I wrote a few books. Some are out and some are yet to be released. Africa, my Africa is my favorite because it depicts the sad state of the African continent.

What are some of the challenges you face as a writer?

They are distractions and other daily functions. I have to be a woman, I have to be a friend and sometimes we just lack the energy. Writing can also be stressful at times.

After studying Plant Sciences, would you have liked to be a farmer??

I can not tell. I think we should all be farmers. Regarding my study program, I would prefer to work in more advanced areas like researching plants, how they can benefit humanity. I would rather be a laboratory crop scientist than a farmer.

How supportive is your husband of your creative writing?

My husband has been very supportive of me, he helps to create an environment conducive to thinking and reflection. It also helps relieve stress and pressure. Indeed, he was a wonderful husband.

Do you think creative writing is self-sufficient in Nigeria?

Yes. Creative writing is self-sufficient in Nigeria.

What novelties do we expect from you throughout the year?

Expect more books, more writings like the current play, Rainbow Whispers.

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Bolarinde launches exhibition with celebration of African culture and heritage – The Sun Nigeria https://JabberAfrica.org/bolarinde-launches-exhibition-with-celebration-of-african-culture-and-heritage-the-sun-nigeria/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 01:37:45 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/bolarinde-launches-exhibition-with-celebration-of-african-culture-and-heritage-the-sun-nigeria/

Next the release of her critically acclaimed film ‘Onidiri’ in 2018, the CEO of Yellow Dot Limited, a leading curatorial/creative production company, Olubukola Bolarinde, is scheduled for her first solo art exhibition on Friday, June 20 2022 in Lagos.

Labeled “106 Expressions”, the exhibition, curated by the greatest guardian of culture and art, Nike Davies-Okundaye, will be an intimate exhibition of Bolarinde’s works inspired by his childhood experiences that cross time and Culture.

“106 Expressions is a collection of artwork celebrating our African heritage; our people and our culture. I was inspired by my experiences as an African child. The works transport you to a place and a time, perceived through the mind of an African child. A different time from the one we live in now. As our world continues to evolve, many of our children do not and never will have these experiences,” Bolarinde explained.

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Describing his art as a form of preservation, the self-taught artist and architect revealed that each artwork in the exhibition will tell a unique story.

The business professional added that the exhibit is a documentary about “my people, my culture, my land. A distinct fusion of North and South, which speaks and stays true to my identity and my diversity.

Naturally attracted to art in all its forms of expression, Bolarinde has always shown a passion from an early age. This was demonstrated by his pencil drawings.

Born in Lagos and the second of five children to her parents, Olubukola spent her formative years in northern Nigeria. from Jos to Kaduna then Zaria. This helped establish her unique sense of identity and diversity.

She moved from Nigeria to the UK where she studied architecture (she gained admission to the School of Architecture, purely on the strength of her art portfolio) and later earned a Masters in Environmental Design and Engineering from the prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL). After graduating as an architect, she returned to Nigeria and went on to have a most successful professional career spanning over 25 years. with over 20 years of experience in key management positions in the banking, oil & gas and telecommunications sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Official celebration of Rabat as African Capital of Culture kicks off https://JabberAfrica.org/official-celebration-of-rabat-as-african-capital-of-culture-kicks-off/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 10:28:00 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/official-celebration-of-rabat-as-african-capital-of-culture-kicks-off/

MOROCCO, June 2 – The celebration of Rabat as the capital of African culture was officially launched at a press conference held on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Maghreb Arab Press Agency (MAP), in the presence of the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaïd.

Initiated under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the launch of the program for this event, which takes place from June 2022 to May 2023, was given in the presence of the Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, and the Mayor of Rabat, Asmaa Rhlalou.

Speaking on this occasion, Bensaid said that the granting of Royal Patronage to this cultural event testifies to the special interest of His Majesty King Mohammed VI for the cultural issue, recalling that in His speech at the sixth European Union- African Union, HM the King declared that education, culture, professional training, mobility and migration “are the priorities of my action, whether in Morocco, in Africa or within the framework of our partnership with the ‘European Union”.

The Minister added that the Sovereign had kindly named Rabat in 2014, City of Light and Cultural Capital of Morocco, a city rich in equipment and cultural infrastructure thanks to the enlightened Royal Vision and royal projects aimed at achieving urban, cultural and social development. tourism in Morocco. the capital of the Kingdom.

Rabat lives to the rhythm of important cultural events that carry the African dimension, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to work for the African continent, he noted, adding that the 27th edition of the International Book and Publishing Fair (SIEL) will be inaugurated on Thursday. with African literature as guest of honour.

Several activities are on the program of the event (literature, poetry, visual arts, music, theater, cinema, street arts, dance, digital arts, fashion shows, photography, popular arts …), he said. underlined, noting that these activities will be organized in all historic spaces, public squares and all districts of the city of Rabat, with the participation of cultural actors from civil society and the various national public institutions concerned with culture.

In addition, Bensaid stressed that this cultural event, which strengthens the positioning of the Kingdom at the continental level, benefits from significant and continuous support from several partners including UCLG Africa and the Wilaya of the Region of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra.

For her part, Asmaa Rhlalou, the mayor of Rabat, indicated that the holding of this continental event is in line with the High Royal Guidelines to integrate culture into development projects, noting that a set of cultural projects which was born in Rabat, will inevitably contribute to its cultural influence, which is part of the royal will to make the capital a world civilizational and cultural pole.

According to the regional manager, this event will make Rabat the embodiment of the richness of Moroccan cultural heritage in addition to making it a global platform for promoting the values ​​of coexistence and dialogue between cultures.

For his part, Mbassi indicated that the program of celebrations in Rabat, capital of African culture, will contribute to valuing African culture as a pillar of the development of the continent, considering these celebrations of African culture as of great importance for Morocco, Africa and the world.

The Committee of African Capitals of Culture officially announced in February 2020 the selection of Rabat as Capital of African Culture for 2022-2023.

MAP 01 June 2022

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Disneyland’s ‘Tale of the Lion King’ celebrates African culture https://JabberAfrica.org/disneylands-tale-of-the-lion-king-celebrates-african-culture/ Wed, 01 Jun 2022 21:49:12 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/disneylands-tale-of-the-lion-king-celebrates-african-culture/

Disney’s “The Lion King” is arguably one of the company’s most famous stories. This summer, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim tells Simba’s familiar journey in a new way.

On May 28, a stage show, “Tale of the Lion King,” kicked off at the Fantasyland Theater in the theme park with a special focus on African culture.

The theatrical adaptation of “The Lion King” is part of the “Celebrate Soulfully” lineup, which debuted in February in honor of black heritage and culture.

“I’ve worked in theater for a long time,” said Susana Tubert, Creative Director of Disney Live Entertainment. “So I always ask myself, ‘What story are we telling and whose story should this story be?’

A special preview of “Tale of the Lion King” on May 26 at the Fantasyland Theater in Disneyland Park. The show focuses on African dance and culture and is part of Disney’s “Celebrate Soulfully” lineup.

(Sarah Mosque)

The show is directed by Paul Bryant and the creative team includes choreographers Kevin Wilson and Marcel Wilson, whose credits include working and touring with artists like Janet Jackson and Britney Spears as well as cosmetologist Shemika Draughan, who specializes in braiding and highly textured hair care.

“I think as a company we recognize that we need to raise the voices at the table so that our products are genuine, authentic and as beautiful as what you see today,” Tubert said.

The show is accompanied by snacks crafted by Disney Chef Natalie Willingham that highlight African flavors.

“I wanted the food to match the story on stage,” Willingham said.

The Troubadour Tavern, located next to the Fantasyland Theater, will serve snacks such as salty plantain chips and spiced Berber-style popcorn for the show.

“It’s still theater food, something that’s still quick and easy to grab and you can enjoy while watching the show,” Willingham said. “Berber is a spice commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine.”

Berbere typically mixes red chili peppers, fenugreek, and ginger with hot spices like coriander, cardamom, allspice, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, and native spices like korarima and ajwain . It turns buttery popcorn into a spicy, tangy snack.

Chicken and coconut curry with sweet potatoes from the Taverne Troubadour in Disneyland Park.

Disneyland Park’s Troubadour Tavern Chicken Coconut Curry Sweet Potato features an oven-baked sweet potato topped with a chicken and coconut curry from Malawi in a special preview of ” Tale of the Lion King” on May 26. The dish is one of the new menu offerings highlighting African culture.

(Sarah Mosque)

“We also have a sweet potato that sort of pays homage to our old potatoes that we had, but now it’s tied into our history,” Willingham said. “It’s a sweet potato, which you’ll find grown in Africa, topped with a Malawian curry, which is also a region of Africa, so there’s chicken and kale with coconut milk.”

For dessert, the tavern offers Hakuna Matata Sweets, which is a trio of animal-print cookies, including a coconut macaron, an orange pineapple thumbprint, and a buttery chocolate chip cookie topped with chips. of cocoa.

“They’re also inspired by ingredients you’ll find in Africa, so there’s coconut and chocolate cocoa nibs you’ll find in Ivory Coast,” Willingham said.

A cup of Pride Rock Punch, at a special preview of "Tale of the Lion King" May 26.

A mug of Pride Rock Punch, at a special preview of “Tale of the Lion King” on May 26. The drink contains pineapple, mango and orange juice as well as tamarind and is served at the Troubadour Tavern in Disneyland Park to accompany the new stage show, “Tale of the Lion King”.

(Sarah Mosque)

Cardamom Cold Brew and Pride Rock Punch made with pineapple, mango, tamarind and orange juice are also available.

Willingham said she revisited the movie “The Lion King” for inspiration, but also researched African cuisine extensively for the menu.

“Being African-American, I’m very familiar with soul food,” Willingham said, “But African food was something very, very different, so I had to do a lot of research to make sure I was true to that.”

Willingham said she was proud of the menu she put together.

“All we’ve put together is food that I would enjoy and eat myself and would be happy to bring my kids to enjoy.”

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Carlow Nationalist – Event celebrating African culture and heritage in Carlow https://JabberAfrica.org/carlow-nationalist-event-celebrating-african-culture-and-heritage-in-carlow/ Tue, 31 May 2022 20:07:54 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/carlow-nationalist-event-celebrating-african-culture-and-heritage-in-carlow/

Runyi Okebunde and her children Glorious and Brianna enjoyed Carlow’s ‘Africa Day’ at Fairgreen Shopping Centre. Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

A CELEBRATION of Diversity Multiculturalism took place last week as the county celebrated Africa Day. The event, organized by the Carlow Africa Support Group and the Carlow County Development Partnership, took place at the Fairgreen Shopping Center on Africa Day, celebrated internationally on May 25.

Carlow African Support Group Coordinator Jolly O’Rock said: “We celebrated Africa Day and the diversity of cultures on Africa Day. We had an art showcase, different foods, different music from different areas…it went really well.

With 54 counties, the continent is a diverse melting pot of cultures. There was music from the Nigerian talking drum and drums from Zimbabwe as well as African and Irish dancing. There were also speakers and other activities.

The traditional African dishes on offer were particularly appealing. with tomato, Jellof (onion rice dish) from Nigeria; Ndole (cooked nuts, meat and herbs). Cameroon; and Ewa Agoyin (a sweet and spicy bean dish) from Togo, as well as the beloved Puff Puff donut.

Eight African nations were represented in the celebrations.

Describing the day as a “wonderful celebration of interculturalism”, Annette Fox, chief executive of the Carlow County Development Partnership, said: “Africa Day celebrates Africa and Africans around the world. It recognizes the 54 countries and cultures that make up the African continent and its contribution to global and local communities Today has been a wonderful celebration of interculturalism in Carlow and we look forward to many more, especially in light of our relaunch of the Carlow’s integration and intercultural strategy.

Africa Day celebrations are organized by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs in partnership with African Embassies in Ireland and local authorities across the country.

This scheme is administered locally by Carlow County Council and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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Bentley’s ‘Best Program of the Year’ Celebrates African Culture https://JabberAfrica.org/bentleys-best-program-of-the-year-celebrates-african-culture/ Tue, 31 May 2022 16:34:21 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/bentleys-best-program-of-the-year-celebrates-african-culture/

Incoming ASA President Kweku Ashiagbor ’23 accepted. “We wanted to push it to a new normal. Everyone was eager to see what we had in store.

Mukosolu Obukwelu ’22 dancing with his mother.

To celebrate this year’s “Kingdoms of Africa” ​​theme, participants were encouraged to wear formal African attire representing various African cultures. Host and comedian Young Prince hosted the event, which included performances by musicians Rema and Prince Lucas, the Afrodites UMass dance group, the Afro Caribbean Dance Group, the Comedy Dr and the poet Amanda Shea. A fashion show from Omo Studios and music from DJ Wonka added energy to the evening. African cuisine was served by the Anokye Krom restaurant.

Hassan says he was amazed to “see our vision come to life. A gala of this magnitude has never been hosted by students before and it was exciting to see what is possible when students are given the resources to create a vision.

Student event leaders spent nearly six months on logistics, including contacting booking agencies, marketing the event to the community, and planning a menu.

Ashiagbor’s “wow” moment of the night happened during Rema’s performance. “I was there watching the crowd and everything that was going on, and I realized that we had done it really well. It shows what happens when students of color are given the tools to show what we can. do and what we have to offer.


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Students support the preservation of African culture https://JabberAfrica.org/students-support-the-preservation-of-african-culture/ Fri, 27 May 2022 22:04:06 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/students-support-the-preservation-of-african-culture/

the herald

Reginald Chirenje

Youth Interactive Writer

“Participation in traditional cultural performances during certain events or activities such as Africa Day and Independence anniversaries is of great importance which is vital for the preservation of our culture. African culture must be taught to the next generation for it to survive.

As the continent celebrated Culture Week, university students also took part in celebrations of African identity through cultural events.

Culture reflects the ways of life, including the arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. It has been called the way of life of an entire society which includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals and food itself.

“Culture and its history are mores, beliefs and purposes. They form people’s national identity. It is essential for us, the younger generation, to preserve our cultural heritage in order to maintain our identity as a nation,” said Nicole Natsai Chimanikire, one of the students.

The importance of preserving culture and heritage is knowledge of their transmission from one generation to another. The value of this is extremely important for minority groups and large nations as well.

“If our older people continue to let culture and heritage die out, future generations will become less vibrant, so it is our duty as a young and energetic generation to continue practicing our cultural activities through our languages, our clothes, the type of food, daily norms and values ​​not only expect the African week once a year,” added Tinotenda Ndayima.

Even though the preservation of African culture in this 21st century has become very difficult due to globalization, one of the ways in which African culture can be preserved is through the restoration of historic sites in the nation, such as Great Zimbabwe which is a reflection of the Shona way of life.

Displaying hero portraits on local currency, declaring the national dress code and enacting historic statues across the country are other ways to uphold African culture. In Zimbabwe, the construction of the statues of Joshua Nkomo and Mbuya Nehanda, the design of the $50 bill, for example, is a clear indication of how the nation is working to preserve the nation’s culture and heritage.

“As young blood, it is our duty to preserve our culture by upholding the values ​​of Ubuntu which are unity and humanity which have always been part of African philosophy,” said Liberty Chiduku, another student.

Ubuntu promotes unity among people and unity leads people to have the same goal which will ultimately result in the preservation of African culture as one.

In this modern world filled with technological advancements, the media plays an extremely important role in creating awareness and appreciation of local culture and traditions.

A nation should preserve its culture and heritage by introducing these two elements into the curriculum. Teaching the future generation about the importance of culture must be encouraged and safely protected by knowledge.

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My artistic expressions totally immersed in African culture, heritage — Olubukola Bolarinde https://JabberAfrica.org/my-artistic-expressions-totally-immersed-in-african-culture-heritage-olubukola-bolarinde/ Fri, 27 May 2022 02:30:58 +0000 https://JabberAfrica.org/my-artistic-expressions-totally-immersed-in-african-culture-heritage-olubukola-bolarinde/

Olubukola Bolarinde is the definition of a polymath. She is a business professional, head of a department at one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies, an art connoisseur and self-taught artist, the CEO of Yellow Dot Limited, a curatorial/production company creative, a writer, among other things. Naturally drawn to art in all its forms of expression, she will unveil her entire exhibition, curated over more than two years, at a private exhibition on June 10 in Nigeria and later in Venice, Italy. during this year. She said ROTIMI IGE his story and his passion for telling African stories through paintings.

TELL US about yourself and your journey.

I am an indigenous Nigerian from Ekiti State, Okemesi-Ekiti, the home of Fabunmi, the propagator of the Kiriji war. My mother is from Ibadan, Oyo State and both my parents grew up in Ibadan. I am therefore an entirely Yoruba woman, firmly rooted in the southwest. All my influences are Ekiti and Oyo State. However, while I was born in Lagos, my formative years, from the age of 11, after my primary education, I went to the North. I went to secondary school in Jos and stayed there for six years. From Jos I went to Kaduna for a pre-diploma course. I then spent another year in Zaria, where ABU is located. This is where I received the training that prepared me for my career in architecture and land planning.

I was immersed in northern culture and speak two indigenous languages, Hausa and Yoruba.

From the North I went straight to England where I studied architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture. There I had my B.Sc Hons and then I had my Masters in Environmental Design and Engineering at the prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL). This is where I finished my graduate studies.

I returned to Nigeria and started practicing as an architect with a firm called James Cubitt Architects here in Lagos and was with them for four years. While I was there, I was seconded to Standard Chartered Bank, and that started my foray into banking and my understanding of the banking framework. I worked there as a project manager, setting up branches from start to finish and designing for the bank in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

I then returned to the oil and gas industry and was employed by Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, a downstream industry leader in AGO diesel trading. The owner of Zenon was looking to divest himself of all his income and profits in real estate, which is where I came in. I first joined as a property manager, then the portfolio grew significantly and it had to be created into a wholly owned subsidiary called FO Properties Ltd. I was appointed general manager of this company.

From there, telecommunications came to call. I worked with Ericsson and came full circle. When I was done with Zenon, I was no longer looking for work. I just wanted to consult for people. I was offering Ericsson locations for a new office in Nigeria at the time, and they made me a job offer I couldn’t refuse. It has been satisfactory so far, and my responsibilities extend beyond Nigeria to Sub-Saharan Africa, 53 countries. I am also now the property manager for West Africa, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, the interior to Cameroon, and in the North, the Niger and Morocco, and now Burkina Faso and in the South Angola and Botswana.

With all your accomplishments, where does the art come in?

There is a creative side, which has always been part of me. It’s innate. I got into architecture school in England, just because of my art portfolio; I have never taken any exams, A levels or prequalification, I was asked to send in an art portfolio and I did exactly that and was admitted. It proved to me that there was something about me that needed to be taken seriously.

How did you discover your abilities as an artist?

I always knew I had a talent for drawing in pencil or pen on paper. I had never tried other mediums like oil and acrylic on canvas. In 2012, I decided to dig deep and bring out this talent. I started painting in 2012, but not commercially. Only personal collectors who know I paint and have commissioned me and have been in contact with me in the art space.

How was it, diving into the art space?

I’ve done other things in the creative industry under my platform, Yellow Dot Limited. I am a writer and a filmmaker, but above all, I am a storyteller, and any channel of expression that I draw on is to tell a story.

What is this story?

The story of our culture, our people and our land. When you look at my works, everything is an African story. There is a story in each of them. All of my background and influences merge in my art and translate into my pieces.

Why did you decide to hold your exhibition now?

The essence of me is to be a storyteller through any channel I choose. Art is a means of expression and there are many stories to tell. Many things have happened in our experience, in our childhood, that we have experienced and that our children do not experience. Things like art, history, film and photography are ways of preserving that history. I see photographs from earlier times that make me realize that if it had never been preserved, I could never transport myself there. That’s why I do what I do. It’s my first solo exhibition and it’s labeled ‘106 Expressions’.

What gave the title 106 expressions?

The date of the event is June 10 (the sixth month). My birthday is very important to me and I have always celebrated my birthday. I don’t even work that day because it’s a time for me to reflect, thank God and enjoy the day. Also, there will be 106 exhibits at the exhibition. There would be 85 pieces of visual art with different media; oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas among others and they would be exhibited in a conventional style.

I also went through transforming my art into original and exclusive fabric. My target audience for this is the fashion industry. I’m partnering with two fashion designers for 10 pieces each in two collections. It is wearable art and would constitute the fashion segment of the exhibition. That is a total of 105 pieces. The 106th exhibition is the event itself, which I curated from start to finish.

To be a creative, anyway to be able to break down the barriers and limits of conventions, that’s what I usually and naturally look for. This is an event that has never happened in Nigeria.

Where is the exhibition held?

My natural habitat as an architect is a construction site, an unfinished building, and I put together an exhibit and build it from scratch on a construction site. I bring people to the site and immerse them in an experience that didn’t exist before. This experience is the 106th exhibition and the venue is at Eko Atlantic. The exhibition space is a maze and once you start you have to see all the artwork. At the end of the maze, you pass into a true formal theater-style seating area, where the fashion pieces then parade.

What is the central message of the exhibition, or what kind of stories would we live?

My art transports you to places, times, people and cultures. You will see lots of African faces and people in African outfits. For example, you see a lady in a jalabia, all wrapped up. Immediately, it is distinct in the North. You see a Durbar man on a horse and you are transported there. You see the Eyo with the kings and you know you are in the south.

How long did it take you to create these 85 pieces?

I have been working on the collection for two years, since 2020.

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