Wings http://arikwings.com The Inflight Magazine Of Arik Air Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Stone Free http://arikwings.com/?p=3686 http://arikwings.com/?p=3686#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:47:45 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3686 As singer-songwriter, Bukola ‘Asa’ Elemide, 31, gets ready to release her third album, Bed Of Stone, one of Nigeria’s most famous musical exports tells Wings why things are different this time around… Words Belinda Otas When she burst onto the music scene seven years ago, she broke new ground with a sound that transcended boundaries; she’s since built a reputation as one of the most exciting artists to have emerged in the last decade. Her soulful melodies appealed to audiences across Africa, Europe and North America, and her debut album picked up a top-five spot on Billboard’s World Music chart. This is not the same Asa we encountered on her self-titled debut which caught the world’s attention in 2007, or on her sophomore album, Beautiful Imperfection, both released to critical acclaim. Bed Of Stone, an eclectic collection of 12 soulful, introspective, uplifting and pain-filled tracks, is a philosophical ride. With influences that range from rock to jazz, and lyrics in English and Yoruba, her mother tongue, Asa explores what it means to live, love and questions life. Dead Again is confrontational, and Asa says the song came about after an episode of betrayal. “When I found out, it was like, ‘this is what this person turned out to be’,” she says, “I was really mad. I was hurt while I was writing the song.” She adds: “In fact, I was going to Hastings to meet a producer, who was meeting me for the first time; but he met an angry girl [laughs], and I was shaken. He asked what the problem was, and I poured it all out and he started scribbling it on paper and said, ‘Let’s make a song out of this’. The direction the song took was totally unplanned. It just happened.” From the melodic and playful Eyo to the rock-influenced sound of Satan Be Gone and the haunting Bed Of Stone, Asa weaves seamlessly between genres and emotions. It’s impossible not to be moved. So, what were we previously unaware of, that she had to tell us this time around? “With this album, I’ve grown – and each album, you see an evolution. This one, I’ve come into myself, I’m comfortable with myself and I’m searching for something and stating it. I’m projecting what I want on this album,” she says. “You know, these three albums, they have their individual spirit because I wrote them in different states of mind. The first one, that was a younger me, more rebellious, asking questions and writing about love. The second one was much more comfortable and joyous. I wanted to dance, and I wanted people to see another side of me that they’d not seen in the first record. This third one is a blend of those two – like hold on, it’s time for introspection. I need to actually be true to myself, and say, this is what I’m going through at the moment in my life and I want to write about it. I wanted to feel human again.” From the outset, Asa’s career has been studded with awards. She was a Best Female Nominee at the Victoire de la Musique and won France’s prestigious Prix Constantin, the accolade accorded to a French artist with the outstanding album for that year. She has opened live shows for the likes of John Legend, Beyonce and Snoop Dogg. But she’s no diva; Bed Of Stone may be very much an album of her personal journey, but it’s also one she believes her fans can relate to. Even though the record appears to confront harrowing themes, especially on songs like Dead Again, Asa has a different view. “I won’t say it’s troubling, I would say it’s more or less an exorcism of life and feelings that we go through everyday. It wasn’t just introspective of me. I also thought about other people.” As to why her music not only appeals to fans across the globe but also transcends boundaries, Asa says: “I’m not into fads. I like to be fashionable and I like fresh sounds. Of course, there will be times when I incorporate acoustic with electronic and bring something fresh in terms of sound, but the core remains the same. You always have to be yourself, be as true as possible. That makes it timeless.” This explains why she has stayed true her roots in soulful music, against the backdrop of the current popularity of Afrobeat pop music in Nigeria which D’Banj, one of Nigeria’s biggest artists, recently said was ‘the country’s second-biggest export after oil.’ She admits: “I enjoy that kind of music. I dance to it and it really makes me happy, which is what music should be but I can’t do it. It’s not my strength. If you can’t do it, don’t even attempt it. I have never thought of going down the popular route. For me, if you’re comfortable with what you do, be confident in it. If you’re good at it, keep it up. If you can’t, don’t do it for the wrong reasons. I’m not going to do it for the wrong reasons. I will enjoy it, but I will stick to my lane.” Sound Travels Since her first album, Asa has toured extensively across Europe and North America, which has earned her the reputation of a nomad at heart. She tells Wings that being on the road gives her the freedom to write. “Whenever I travel, that’s when I’m able to write, because I’m able to think. You get to perceive things clearly on the road and I have noticed that about myself,” she says. “I have no home. The road is like my home. It’s very hard for a musician to say ‘this is home’. I always go to Lagos. I have a house and family there. I also partly live in Paris. Really, I’m everywhere, and I enjoy travelling. I long for it. There is this nostalgia, and if I get to a city and I like it, I […]

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asa_02

As singer-songwriter, Bukola ‘Asa’ Elemide, 31, gets ready to release her third album, Bed Of Stone, one of Nigeria’s most famous musical exports tells Wings why things are different this time around…

Words Belinda Otas

When she burst onto the music scene seven years ago, she broke new ground with a sound that transcended boundaries; she’s since built a reputation as one of the most exciting artists to have emerged in the last decade. Her soulful melodies appealed to audiences across Africa, Europe and North America, and her debut album picked up a top-five spot on Billboard’s World Music chart.

This is not the same Asa we encountered on her self-titled debut which caught the world’s attention in 2007, or on her sophomore album, Beautiful Imperfection, both released to critical acclaim. Bed Of Stone, an eclectic collection of 12 soulful, introspective, uplifting and pain-filled tracks, is a philosophical ride. With influences that range from rock to jazz, and lyrics in English and Yoruba, her mother tongue, Asa explores what it means to live, love and questions life. Dead Again is confrontational, and Asa says the song came about after an episode of betrayal. “When I found out, it was like, ‘this is what this person turned out to be’,” she says, “I was really mad. I was hurt while I was writing the song.” She adds: “In fact, I was going to Hastings to meet a producer, who was meeting me for the first time; but he met an angry girl [laughs], and I was shaken. He asked what the problem was, and I poured it all out and he started scribbling it on paper and said, ‘Let’s make a song out of this’. The direction the song took was totally unplanned. It just happened.”

From the melodic and playful Eyo to the rock-influenced sound of Satan Be Gone and the haunting Bed Of Stone, Asa weaves seamlessly between genres and emotions. It’s impossible not to be moved. So, what were we previously unaware of, that she had to tell us this time around? “With this album, I’ve grown – and each album, you see an evolution. This one, I’ve come into myself, I’m comfortable with myself and I’m searching for something and stating it. I’m projecting what I want on this album,” she says. “You know, these three albums, they have their individual spirit because I wrote them in different states of mind. The first one, that was a younger me, more rebellious, asking questions and writing about love. The second one was much more comfortable and joyous. I wanted to dance, and I wanted people to see another side of me that they’d not seen in the first record. This third one is a blend of those two – like hold on, it’s time for introspection. I need to actually be true to myself, and say, this is what I’m going through at the moment in my life and I want to write about it. I wanted to feel human again.”

From the outset, Asa’s career has been studded with awards. She was a Best Female Nominee at the Victoire de la Musique and won France’s prestigious Prix Constantin, the accolade accorded to a French artist with the outstanding album for that year. She has opened live shows for the likes of John Legend, Beyonce and Snoop Dogg. But she’s no diva; Bed Of Stone may be very much an album of her personal journey, but it’s also one she believes her fans can relate to. Even though the record appears to confront harrowing themes, especially on songs like Dead Again, Asa has a different view. “I won’t say it’s troubling, I would say it’s more or less an exorcism of life and feelings that we go through everyday. It wasn’t just introspective of me. I also thought about other people.” As to why her music not only appeals to fans across the globe but also transcends boundaries, Asa says: “I’m not into fads. I like to be fashionable and I like fresh sounds. Of course, there will be times when I incorporate acoustic with electronic and bring something fresh in terms of sound, but the core remains the same. You always have to be yourself, be as true as possible. That makes it timeless.”

This explains why she has stayed true her roots in soulful music, against the backdrop of the current popularity of Afrobeat pop music in Nigeria which D’Banj, one of Nigeria’s biggest artists, recently said was ‘the country’s second-biggest export after oil.’ She admits: “I enjoy that kind of music. I dance to it and it really makes me happy, which is what music should be but I can’t do it. It’s not my strength. If you can’t do it, don’t even attempt it. I have never thought of going down the popular route. For me, if you’re comfortable with what you do, be confident in it. If you’re good at it, keep it up. If you can’t, don’t do it for the wrong reasons. I’m not going to do it for the wrong reasons. I will enjoy it, but I will stick to my lane.”

asa_main

Sound Travels

Since her first album, Asa has toured extensively across Europe and North America, which has earned her the reputation of a nomad at heart. She tells Wings that being on the road gives her the freedom to write. “Whenever I travel, that’s when I’m able to write, because I’m able to think. You get to perceive things clearly on the road and I have noticed that about myself,” she says. “I have no home. The road is like my home. It’s very hard for a musician to say ‘this is home’. I always go to Lagos. I have a house and family there. I also partly live in Paris. Really, I’m everywhere, and I enjoy travelling. I long for it. There is this nostalgia, and if I get to a city and I like it, I try to live there for a while, sometimes for a few months, just to experience every aspect.”

Her love for travel isn’t just confined to her tours, “Within Nigeria, I love going to Calabar and Kaduna. I love a good road trip. However, every time I try to attempt travelling every one screams, ‘It’s not safe!’ but I love it and always have. When I was younger I went to school in Jos, and I would travel 14 hours by bus for the scenery, the lusciousness and the different cultures. I also recommend Abeokuta, my hometown. You see the houses perched on the hills, the red sand, just life and simplicity – not all that concrete and machinery that you have in the big city.”

When she fuses Yoruba with English, Asa’s musical language pushes the boundaries in a way that seems effortless; it’s a trait that runs through her albums, something she’s never been afraid to do. “Everyone, and especially successful artists, have always infused some originality. For me, this is how I can be different. In hindsight, I never think about it, because it comes out naturally.” Asa adds that it makes music much more interesting. “It’s like an ingredient you put in your food. You spice it up and that’s the way it is for me when I write in English, Yoruba or sing in French. Music has no barriers or frontiers. The most important ingredient in making music is that it’s universal.”

In spite of her international success, Nigeria and Africa are still her main sources of inspiration. She says that the song Eyo (also the name of a popular festival in Nigeria) was born out of nostalgia. “I was homesick and missing Lagos – the warmth, family and just familiar ground – and I remember Lagos and playing at the Eyo festival; and it’s full of warmth and colour, so it all reminded me of home and brought it all back.”

By contrast, Bed Of Stone was inspired by her personal experience when she first returned to France after years of living as a student in Nigeria. A song of pain, Asa recalls: “The first time I came to France I remember it was such a difficult period for me. Bed Of Stone is about the discomfort. It’s the stories of our mothers who stayed through thick and thin, so they could provide for their children back home. It’s not easy to be in another country or speak another language that’s not one’s own. You will definitely not be treated well. The song is a dedication to those people who persevere.”

Asa’s third album, Bed Of Stone, is out now, asa-official.com

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The Beats Go On http://arikwings.com/?p=3698 http://arikwings.com/?p=3698#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:47:28 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3698 The 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards celebrates the unstoppable rise of contemporary urban music from the continent… Words Helen Jennings Photography Chris Saunders When the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) first launched in 2008, the term ‘afrobeats’ did not exist. Today, as the MAMAs touches down for a forth time, it’s bandied around loosely to describe all urban pop music from West Africa and beyond. A play on afrobeat, Fela Kuti’s fusion of highlife, jazz, soul and traditional rhythms, in recent years a young generation of musicians have added the ’s’ — along with hip hop, R&B, dancehall and house influences — to create a new energetic sound all of their own. And boy is it infectious. Thanks to pioneers such as 2Face Idibia, P-Square and D’Banj, afrobeats has made waves across Africa, the UK and US with artists such as Tinie Tempah, Kanye West, Akon, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross all getting in on the act. Thanks to polished music and video productions, airplay, social media and music sharing networks, newer acts including Fuse ODG, Wizkid (aka The African Justin Bieber) and Burna Boy are landing lucrative endorsements and filling stadiums. And it’s not just afrobeats artists having all the fun. As this year’s MAMAs line-up illustrated, kwaito from South Africa, bongo flavour from Tanzania, kuduro from Angola and soukous from Congo are on fire too. The 2014 awards show descended on Durban in June for its most watched show yet. Broadcast live to an audience of half a billion people worldwide, the ceremony honoured the who’s who of African music alongside guest performances from US stars Trey Songz, Miguel and French Montana. Winners included Nigeria’s Davido, Tiwa Savage, Flavour and Clarence Peters, Ghana’s Sarkodie and South Africa’s Mafikozolo and Uhuru. “The last MAMAs [in Lagos in 2010] was huge but this one is so much bigger, which is a reflection of the African music industry as a whole,” says Alex Okosi, senior vice president of Viacom. “Artists have become more accomplished and there is a lot of strong new talent coming through. The scene is pan-Africa, the beats are travelling and that’s what’s exciting.” MTV’s Johannesburg-based VJ Nomuzi Mabena feels the music’s surge in popularity comes down to the respect African youth now feel for homegrown creativity. “The artists who are breaking boundaries internationally are African to their core – the way they talk, the way they dress, the music that they make and the cities that they live in — they are proud to be African,” she says. “That had been missing for a while, artists used to pretend to be American or English. Now it’s awesome to be African and the MAMAs proves it.” But there’s no room for complacency. Here are some insights on the ups and downs of the scene from those in the know at the MAMAs… AKA AKA has been dubbed the “Prince of South African Rap” thanks to his new school kwaito anthems such as Victory Lap, Congratulate and Kontrol. Born Kiernan Forbes, he cut his teeth as part of the trio IV League before going it alone in 2008 with the song Do It and album Altar Ego. Right now he’s hyped to have just finished up his sophomore album Levels featuring Burna Boy, Sarkokie and JR and taking it on tour. “It’s a classic album fusing house with hip hop,” he explains. “South African artists don’t realise how big we are abroad. The scene is brimming and we’re pushing it to new levels. I have fans all over the continent and my ambition is to be a superstar. Being African is the coolest shit right now – we have stories that have to be told and the world is gravitating toward us. It’s crazy.” Efya Accra’s neo soul sensation Efya aka Jane Adindor is known for her sultry voice and emotive lyrics fusing English and Twi. She initially tasted fame in 2007 as a finalist in the TV talent show Stars Of The Future and subsequently released an album in South Africa as the duo Irene & Jane. She went solo as Efya in 2010 and has had a string of hit sings including Getaway and Forgetting Me. Right now she’s putting the finishing touches to her debut album, Love Genesis. “I’m making some dance music and techno and finishing up tracks with Banky W, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage,” she says. “Being nominated at the MAMAs is a big deal. There are not enough female artists in the limelight and there’s a lot to be done but we’ll make it.” Dr Sid Dr Sid’s name is no joke. A fully qualified dentist, Sidney Esiri swapped teeth for tunes in 2007, signed to super producer Don Jazzy’s Mo’Hits Records, and hasn’t looked back since. He picked up fans performing as part of the Mo’Hits All Stars alongside D’Banj and Wande Coal and released his debut album Turning Point in 2011. His latest album Siduction includes the hits Surulere and Baby Tornado Remix featuring Alexandra Burke. “When it comes to entertainment, Nigerians always push the boundaries. We’ve put in a lot of work and we’re trendsetters,” says Sid of his country’s domination at the MAMAs. But this is just the beginning. “Music is growing at a phenomenal pace across Africa – production standards are high. What’s lacking is a proper structure – distribution, royalties, licencing – all those technical and business angles need to be sorted out. Once that’s done, artists can make money from their music and afford to invest in the industry to make sure it goes the way it needs to go.” Tiwa Savage Tiwa Savage’s star is rising in 2014. The “queen of naijapop” won Best Female at the MAMAs and was nominated for BET and World Music Awards too. She also caused headlines for the raunchy video to her latest single Wanted, which sees her dance provocatively in a revealing outfit. “The song came from a trying time in my life when haters were saying, ’this […]

The post The Beats Go On appeared first on Wings.

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MAMAs_01

The 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards celebrates the unstoppable rise of contemporary urban music from the continent…

Words Helen Jennings Photography Chris Saunders

When the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) first launched in 2008, the term ‘afrobeats’ did not exist. Today, as the MAMAs touches down for a forth time, it’s bandied around loosely to describe all urban pop music from West Africa and beyond. A play on afrobeat, Fela Kuti’s fusion of highlife, jazz, soul and traditional rhythms, in recent years a young generation of musicians have added the ’s’ — along with hip hop, R&B, dancehall and house influences — to create a new energetic sound all of their own. And boy is it infectious. Thanks to pioneers such as 2Face Idibia, P-Square and D’Banj, afrobeats has made waves across Africa, the UK and US with artists such as Tinie Tempah, Kanye West, Akon, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross all getting in on the act. Thanks to polished music and video productions, airplay, social media and music sharing networks, newer acts including Fuse ODG, Wizkid (aka The African Justin Bieber) and Burna Boy are landing lucrative endorsements and filling stadiums.
And it’s not just afrobeats artists having all the fun. As this year’s MAMAs line-up illustrated, kwaito from South Africa, bongo flavour from Tanzania, kuduro from Angola and soukous from Congo are on fire too. The 2014 awards show descended on Durban in June for its most watched show yet. Broadcast live to an audience of half a billion people worldwide, the ceremony honoured the who’s who of African music alongside guest performances from US stars Trey Songz, Miguel and French Montana. Winners included Nigeria’s Davido, Tiwa Savage, Flavour and Clarence Peters, Ghana’s Sarkodie and South Africa’s Mafikozolo and Uhuru. “The last MAMAs [in Lagos in 2010] was huge but this one is so much bigger, which is a reflection of the African music industry as a whole,” says Alex Okosi, senior vice president of Viacom. “Artists have become more accomplished and there is a lot of strong new talent coming through. The scene is pan-Africa, the beats are travelling and that’s what’s exciting.”

MTV’s Johannesburg-based VJ Nomuzi Mabena feels the music’s surge in popularity comes down to the respect African youth now feel for homegrown creativity. “The artists who are breaking boundaries internationally are African to their core – the way they talk, the way they dress, the music that they make and the cities that they live in — they are proud to be African,” she says. “That had been missing for a while, artists used to pretend to be American or English. Now it’s awesome to be African and the MAMAs proves it.”
But there’s no room for complacency. Here are some insights on the ups and downs of the scene from those in the know at the MAMAs…

MAMAs_aka

AKA

AKA has been dubbed the “Prince of South African Rap” thanks to his new school kwaito anthems such as Victory Lap, Congratulate and Kontrol. Born Kiernan Forbes, he cut his teeth as part of the trio IV League before going it alone in 2008 with the song Do It and album Altar Ego. Right now he’s hyped to have just finished up his sophomore album Levels featuring Burna Boy, Sarkokie and JR and taking it on tour. “It’s a classic album fusing house with hip hop,” he explains. “South African artists don’t realise how big we are abroad. The scene is brimming and we’re pushing it to new levels. I have fans all over the continent and my ambition is to be a superstar. Being African is the coolest shit right now – we have stories that have to be told and the world is gravitating toward us. It’s crazy.”

MAMAs_efya

Efya

Accra’s neo soul sensation Efya aka Jane Adindor is known for her sultry voice and emotive lyrics fusing English and Twi. She initially tasted fame in 2007 as a finalist in the TV talent show Stars Of The Future and subsequently released an album in South Africa as the duo Irene & Jane. She went solo as Efya in 2010 and has had a string of hit sings including Getaway and Forgetting Me. Right now she’s putting the finishing touches to her debut album, Love Genesis. “I’m making some dance music and techno and finishing up tracks with Banky W, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage,” she says. “Being nominated at the MAMAs is a big deal. There are not enough female artists in the limelight and there’s a lot to be done but we’ll make it.”

MAMAs_dr_sid

Dr Sid

Dr Sid’s name is no joke. A fully qualified dentist, Sidney Esiri swapped teeth for tunes in 2007, signed to super producer Don Jazzy’s Mo’Hits Records, and hasn’t looked back since. He picked up fans performing as part of the Mo’Hits All Stars alongside D’Banj and Wande Coal and released his debut album Turning Point in 2011. His latest album Siduction includes the hits Surulere and Baby Tornado Remix featuring Alexandra Burke. “When it comes to entertainment, Nigerians always push the boundaries. We’ve put in a lot of work and we’re trendsetters,” says Sid of his country’s domination at the MAMAs. But this is just the beginning. “Music is growing at a phenomenal pace across Africa – production standards are high. What’s lacking is a proper structure – distribution, royalties, licencing – all those technical and business angles need to be sorted out. Once that’s done, artists can make money from their music and afford to invest in the industry to make sure it goes the way it needs to go.”

MAMAs_tiwa

Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage’s star is rising in 2014. The “queen of naijapop” won Best Female at the MAMAs and was nominated for BET and World Music Awards too. She also caused headlines for the raunchy video to her latest single Wanted, which sees her dance provocatively in a revealing outfit. “The song came from a trying time in my life when haters were saying, ’this girl is too sexy, we can’t allow it.’ The video has started a dialogue – is this too much for Africa, are we ready for this yet?” she says.

Tiwatope Savage learnt the ropes of the music business in London through singing backing vocals for artists including George Michael, Mary J Blige and Chaka Kahn and in 2009 signed a deal with Sony, going on to write songs for Babyface and Monica.

She moved home to Nigeria in 2010 to launch a solo career with the single Kele Kele, signed to Don Jazzy’s newly-formed Mavin Records in 2012 and dropped her debut album Once Upon A Time last July. “I make songs that can compete with male artists and lyrically, I speak to Africans and non-Africans alike,” she explains of her success. Time to go global? “I would love to but there’s the misconception that if you want to go international you are forgetting the African market. That’s not the case. I want to take Africa with me.”

MAMAs_mdee

Vanessa Mdee

As Tanzania’s first ever MTV VJ, Vanessa Mdee (aka Vee Money) has been promoting afropop since 2007 and more recently she’s become a recording artist herself. Having signing to B’Hitz in 2012 and collaborating with A.Y. and Ommy Dimples, she released her award-winning single Closer earlier this year. She has attended every MAMAs since the beginning and witnessed its impact on audiences grow each time. “The reach and scope of artists have developed a lot since the start. This event trended on Twitter this year – so that tells you something,” she says. “The MAMAs is such a great platform for pan African collaboration. It’s also amazing to see Tiwa Savage and Nhlanhla [from Mafikizolo] are here but I would love to have ladies from East Africa nominated too.”

MAMAs_abantree

DJ Abrantee

“Afrobeats isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life.” So says DJ Abrantee, and he should know. The British Ghanaian DJ has been hosting Capital XTRA’s Afrobeats radio show since 2011 and representing the sound as a club DJ and promoter for over a decade. A household name from Accra to Acton, Abrantee is passionate about bringing West African music to the masses. “This is coming from the roots, from Africa, there’s hiplife guys who have been doing it all their lives and it’s only now they’re getting the chance to cross over.” He’s also confident that afrobeats can be truly commercial, despite the obstacles. “We’ve got a big thing on our hands here if artists get beyond live promos and giving their music away for free online. It’s about proper distribution -and having more DJs like me around the world banging on the door.”

Tune In

Listen to the best underground African music on DJ Edu’s Destination Africa show on BBC 1Xtra. This London-based Kenyan DJ and columnist knows his Sexy Dance from his Skelewu.
bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007215q

Log on
Get the latest news, gossip, mixtapes and videos from OkayAfrica, a clued up digital hub based out of NYC.
www.okayafrica.com/

Pass out
Hear the real deal at The New Afrika Shrine, Fela Kuti’s Lagos HQ now presided over by his son Femi every Thursday and Sunday. And to get in the mood, watch Femi’s collaboration with Wizkid on Jaiye Jaiye on YouTube.
www.facebook.com/pages/THE-NEW-AFRIKA-SHRINE

The post The Beats Go On appeared first on Wings.

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Beyond The Bling http://arikwings.com/?p=3692 http://arikwings.com/?p=3692#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:47:13 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3692 Oud-scented historic walkways, abra rides on Dubai creek, backstreet bars and  bargain eats – there’s more to Dubai than skyscrapers. Gabriela Maj offers an insider’s look at the history, attractions and at what’s happening around town in the coming months. Words  Gabriela Maj  Photography Gabriela Maj & Definitely Dubai From the eye-popping splendour of the world’s tallest tower to the traditional frankincense merchants in the historic neighborhood of Bastakiya; Dubai sparkles with ambition, all the while maintaining a rich connection to its heritage and traditions. A cosmopolitan metropolis associated with haute glamour and over-the-top extravagance, the city delivers on its reputation while offering up many an off-the-beaten-path surprise. Dubai is home to a population of just over two million people, with residents representing almost every country on earth. The United Arab Emirates, or the UAE,  a federation made up of seven principalities including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is situated on the Arabian Gulf right in between Saudi Arabia to the west and the Sultanate of Oman to the east. The city’s humble beginnings hark back to fishing and pearl diving, which together constituted the community’s livelihood until the 1960s when Abu Dhabi first began exporting oil. Off The Tourist Trail If it’s making like a local and stepping off of the well-worn tourist trail that you’re after, Dubai’s got plenty for you. Head to the historic district of Al Bastakiya, built in the 19th century and lovingly restored on the Dubai Creek. Get lost in the traditional narrow walkways in between clay houses topped with customary wind towers, which provided ventilation to inhabitants before the arrival of the air conditioner. Bargain with a merchant for some bakhoor, an incense burned on special occasions in Emirati homes, or a little oud oil, a favorite scent for men and women in the Gulf. In the quiet inner courtyards which today house artist studios, cafés and bookshops, let the cool breeze from the Creek kiss your cheek and listen for the whispers of Dubai’s ghosts. Rest your feet at the stylish XVA Café in the shade of an old leafy olive tree and then continue on to the shores of the Dubai Creek. Here, you can catch an abra, a traditional wooden water-taxi boat, and watch the hustle and bustle of the markets and the old wooden cargo dhows from the region and subcontinent being loaded and unloaded along the shore, the way they have been for the last two hundred years (www.xvahotel.com/cafe). The Dubai Creek is a natural saltwater creek that separates two main sections of the city and is crossed by four large bridges. It flows 14 kilometres inland from its origin in the Arabian Gulf. The mouth of the Creek is where Dubai began. Here, the first inhabitants of the Bani Yas tribe settled and set up a community; a harbour and port were established, playing a vital role in the community’s fishing and pearling trade.  The Creek has been dredged and expanded since the 1960s with a final goal of eventually connecting in a giant loop back to the sea. The project, part of the Business Bay development, is in progress. A far cry from the clay and palm frond buildings which housed most residents of Dubai until several decades ago, today’s skyline is marked by some of the most impressive construction projects in the world. The crown jewel among these is of course the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in existence, and a feat of engineering and architecture not to be missed. The tower, which opened with a sensational fireworks show in January 2010, cost 1.5 billion dollars to construct and from start to finish, took a mere six years to build. The building soars up in the desert skies at almost 830 meters in height, with 163 floors (not including the 46 maintenance levels hidden in the spire). Sweeping views of the city can be had from the observation deck on the 124th floor and, on clear days, the entire man-made island development of The World located just of the city’s shore can be seen. Tickets sell out regularly and cost double at the door so, make sure to buy yours online a few days in advance. (www.burjkhalifa.ae). A Mall But Not As You Know It The entrance to the Burj Khalifa is conveniently located in the Dubai Mall, and so for those with some major stamina, tackling the tallest tower and the world’s biggest mall can, in theory, be done in one day. But be warned, the Dubai Mall is as impressive as it can be overwhelming. 37 million people visited the 500,000 square-metre compound in 2009, the first year it opened. The 1,200 shops, a giant aquarium, a skating rink, cinemas, two restaurant complexes and an array of well-known brands from high street to high fashion make this landmark a favourite with visitors and residents alike. Dining and Dozing On account of its nearly perfect weather three out of four seasons a year, strict laws assuring security in a region riddled with conflict and a long list of cutting-edge tourist entertainment attractions, Dubai hosts over 10 million visitors a year, and offers up some of the most luxurious accommodation available. Topping that list is the landmark Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star hotel, shaped like a giant sail. The hotel sits on a man-made island 200 metres offshore, and can be reached only via private bridge. Visitors without a reservation are not permitted onto the property. If you’re not planning a stay this time around, you can always make a reservation for brunch or dinner at Al Muntaha restaurant located at the very top of the hotel and gain access for the day to the wild and wonderful interiors of the third tallest and most blindingly colorful hotel in the world (for reservations, call +971 4 301 7600). For a night out of gourmet eats prepared by world-renowned chefs all conveniently clustered together in one impressive location, check out the Dubai International Financial Center […]

The post Beyond The Bling appeared first on Wings.

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Burj Khalifa (Dusk) Panorama

Oud-scented historic walkways, abra rides on Dubai creek, backstreet bars and  bargain eats – there’s more to Dubai than skyscrapers. Gabriela Maj offers an insider’s look at the history, attractions and at what’s happening around town in the coming months.

Words  Gabriela Maj  Photography Gabriela Maj & Definitely Dubai

From the eye-popping splendour of the world’s tallest tower to the traditional frankincense merchants in the historic neighborhood of Bastakiya; Dubai sparkles with ambition, all the while maintaining a rich connection to its heritage and traditions. A cosmopolitan metropolis associated with haute glamour and over-the-top extravagance, the city delivers on its reputation while offering up many an off-the-beaten-path surprise.
Dubai is home to a population of just over two million people, with residents representing almost every country on earth. The United Arab Emirates, or the UAE,  a federation made up of seven principalities including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is situated on the Arabian Gulf right in between Saudi Arabia to the west and the Sultanate of Oman to the east. The city’s humble beginnings hark back to fishing and pearl diving, which together constituted the community’s livelihood until the 1960s when Abu Dhabi first
began exporting oil.

dubai_02

Off The Tourist Trail

If it’s making like a local and stepping off of the well-worn tourist trail that you’re after, Dubai’s got plenty for you. Head to the historic district of Al Bastakiya, built in the 19th century and lovingly restored on the Dubai Creek. Get lost in the traditional narrow walkways in between clay houses topped with customary wind towers, which provided ventilation to inhabitants before the arrival of the air conditioner. Bargain with a merchant for some bakhoor, an incense burned on special occasions in Emirati homes, or a little oud oil, a favorite scent for men and women in the Gulf. In the quiet inner courtyards which today house artist studios, cafés and bookshops, let the cool breeze from the Creek kiss your cheek and listen for the whispers of Dubai’s ghosts.
Rest your feet at the stylish XVA Café in the shade of an old leafy olive tree and then continue on to the shores of the Dubai Creek. Here, you can catch an abra, a traditional wooden water-taxi boat, and watch the hustle and bustle of the markets and the old wooden cargo dhows from the region and subcontinent being loaded and unloaded along the shore, the way they have been for the last two hundred years (www.xvahotel.com/cafe).
The Dubai Creek is a natural saltwater creek that separates two main sections of the city and is crossed by four large bridges. It flows 14 kilometres inland from its origin in the Arabian Gulf. The mouth of the Creek is where Dubai began. Here, the first inhabitants of the Bani Yas tribe settled and set up a community; a harbour and port were established, playing a vital role in the community’s fishing and pearling trade.  The Creek has been dredged and expanded since the 1960s with a final goal of eventually connecting in a giant loop back to the sea. The project, part of the Business Bay development, is in progress.

A far cry from the clay and palm frond buildings which housed most residents of Dubai until several decades ago, today’s skyline is marked by some of the most impressive construction projects in the world. The crown jewel among these is of course the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in existence, and a feat of engineering and architecture not to be missed. The tower, which opened with a sensational fireworks show in January 2010, cost 1.5 billion dollars to construct and from start to finish, took a mere six years to build. The building soars up in the desert skies at almost 830 meters in height, with 163 floors (not including the 46 maintenance levels hidden in the spire). Sweeping views of the city can be had from the observation deck on the 124th floor and, on clear days, the entire man-made island development of The World located just of the city’s shore can be seen. Tickets sell out regularly and cost double at the door so, make sure to buy yours online a few days in advance. (www.burjkhalifa.ae).

dubai_06

A Mall But Not As You Know It

The entrance to the Burj Khalifa is conveniently located in the Dubai Mall, and so for those with some major stamina, tackling the tallest tower and the world’s biggest mall can, in theory, be done in one day. But be warned, the Dubai Mall is as impressive as it can be overwhelming. 37 million people visited the 500,000 square-metre compound in 2009, the first year it opened.

The 1,200 shops, a giant aquarium, a skating rink, cinemas, two restaurant complexes and an array of well-known brands from high street to high fashion make this landmark a favourite with visitors and residents alike.

dubai_07

Dining and Dozing

On account of its nearly perfect weather three out of four seasons a year, strict laws assuring security in a region riddled with conflict and a long list of cutting-edge tourist entertainment attractions, Dubai hosts over 10 million visitors a year, and offers up some of the most luxurious accommodation available. Topping that list is the landmark Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star hotel, shaped like a giant sail. The hotel sits on a man-made island 200 metres offshore, and can be reached only via private bridge. Visitors without a reservation are not permitted onto the property. If you’re not planning a stay this time around, you can always make a reservation for brunch or dinner at Al Muntaha restaurant located at the very top of the hotel and gain access for the day to the wild and wonderful interiors of the third tallest and most blindingly colorful hotel in the world (for reservations, call +971 4 301 7600).

For a night out of gourmet eats prepared by world-renowned chefs all conveniently clustered together in one impressive location, check out the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). Outposts of well-known favourites such as Zuma (+971 4 425 5660) and Le Petite Maison (+971 4 439 0505), Gauchos (+971 4 422 7898) and China Sea (+971 4 354 5543) serve up mouth-watering delicacies to the city’s stylish fashion set on Friday and Saturday nights.

Calendar Highlights

The events calendar for Dubai avoids the sweltering summer and kicks off with the Formula One Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi (Nov 21-23) followed by the Dubai International Film Festival (Dec 10-17), The Dubai Food Festival (the month of Feb), The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Feb-March), Art Dubai (March 18-21), the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature (March 3-7) and the Dubai World Cup (March 28) all of which attract the biggest names in the game and offer a look at the dynamic city’s burgeoning international art and sports scenes.

Ear To The Streets

For the art lover with an ear to the street, Al Serkal Avenue in Dubai’s Al Quoz neighborhood is your destination for the best in contemporary and conceptual art. Tucked away in between industrial low-rise dusty storage facilities and small factories, this cluster of warehouses has been taken over by gallerists, curators, designers and artists and has become the official hub of the contemporary art scene. Just over 20 galleries connected by a strong sense of community operate their alternative spaces along this cul-de-sac and represent an interesting array of talent with a focus on art from the Middle East, Asia and Africa (www.alserkalavenue.ae).

Starting 26 September and continuing through May, the Friday RIPE Market in Safa Park offers a glimpse into what’s best about this city. Founded in 2011, the market has grown to offer live music, stalls serving up local fare, emerging artisans displaying their wares and, most importantly, an outlet where local organic farmers from all over the country sell fresh produce at wholesale prices to residents looking for an alternative to the flown- and shipped-in, over-priced offerings at the local grocery stores. The market’s easy going and friendly atmosphere tends to draw large groups of picnickers who sprawl out on blankets on the grass, Frisbee players, families with children, and groups of friends who come together to relax in the sun, listen to a little music and to get away from the fast pace and non-stop hyperbole of it all (www.ripeme.com).

For cheap eats beloved by residents and visitors alike, try Ravi Restaurant where you can fill your belly with excellent Indian flavor for a few dirhams at one of the outdoor tables in the boisterous residential neighbourhood of Satwa (+971 4 331 5353). If it’s fresh seafood that you crave, and you’re not fussy about table cloths, head to the Bu Qtair fish shack in Jumeirah where the chefs dole out the day’s catch prepared in one secret mouth-watering marinade, all out of a small trailer hidden in between fishing boats and piles of nets on the shore. But don’t let the lack of décor fool you! This joint frequently sees queues down the road and waits can run up to 45 minutes – the food is so good. And finally, if it’s a good night out that won’t break the bank you’re thinking of, head to Club Africana at the Rush Inn, one of the best back- street bars in the city with a six-piece Congolese band that will make sure you’re on the dance floor until the sun comes up (+971 4 3522235).
So whether you’re high rolling, or just taking it all in on a budget, Dubai’s got something for everyone. Marhaba! Welcome!

dubai_03

5 Madcap Adventures

1 Sand boarding
Sand boarding and sand skiing are very similar to snowboarding and skiing, only slower, hotter and scratchier. There are plenty of local operators in Dubai that will get you out surfing the dunes. viator.com

2 Gulf diving
Dive into the warm Gulf waters and you can nose around shipwrecks submerged on the sandy seabed at a depth of between 10m and 35m and encounter clownfish, sea snakes, Arabian angelfish and possibly even rays and barracuda. Dubai has plenty of dive operators that are ready and willing to get you out in the water.

3 Water sports
With calm waters and predictable winds, Dubai has a huge range of water sports. Ocean lovers can water ski, jet ski, parasail, kite surf, wakeboard, scuba dive, snorkel, or go deep- sea fishing. For a waterborne adrenaline rush, you can try your hand at kite surfing off Kite Beach, water-skiing at the Dubai Marina or sailing aboard a skippered yacht from the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

4 Hot-air ballooning and sky diving
Drift high above the Arabian Desert and the city on a dawn balloon ride. The tranquillity is a sharp contrast to the chaotic city, and the views are nothing short of amazing. Thrillseekers can also sky dive over the desert or the Palm in Dubai. The combination of great weather and first class facilities attracts sporting enthusiasts from all over the world. skydivedubai.ae

5 Falconry
Interactive wildlife experiences introduce you to the vast Arabian Desert, Dubai’s native animals and the UAE’s ancient tradition of falconry. Learn about the history and the art of falconry, a practice that uses trained falcons to hunt prey, and discover why it retains an important role in present-day Arab culture. You’ll get to interact with the falcons and try your hand at Falconry yourself.
viator.com

dubai_05

Dubai Online

Browse online listings for exhibitions, concerts and sports events, check out a review of a new water park, rent a flat or find a freelance gig…

Time Out Dubai
www.timeoutdubai.com
Your one-stop-shop for entertainment, shopping and weekly listings of what’s going on around town. Time Out is written by residents for residents and visitors alike and will have anyone new to Dubai covered.

Dubizzle
www.dubai.dubizzle.com
Started as a community message board, the site has grown into the region’s most popular classifieds, rental, and community website. Interested in hitching a ride to Oman for the weekend? Want to sign up for a one-day photography workshop? Looking for a babysitter? This site has got it all.

What’s On
whatson.ae/dubai
From reviews of the city’s best low-profile boutiques, yoga studios and nightclubs to the occasional celebrity sighting as well as concert listings, hotel reviews and tidbits of info and advice on lifestyle, this site caters to a hip travel or in-the-know resident interested in what’s going on with style.

Delicious Dubai

The best epicurean adventures can be found on the city’s favorite food blogs.

Foodiva
by Sam Wood
www.foodiva.net
Everything you wanted to know about what’s hot and what’s not on Dubai’s restaurant scene including listings of gourmet shops, first hand advice for the city’s chefs, and a food travel section by Sam Wood.

Fork It Over Dubai
by Tala Soubra
www.forkitoverdubai.com
Easy-to-navigate simple design, well-written reviews and beautiful photography, all by Tala Soubra, have made this site a popular one among locals. Look up a recommendation or browse for something brand new – this little blog is a big deal on Dubai’s food scene.

Culinary Delights
by Saba Wadi
www.culinarydelightsbysabawahid.blogspot.ae
Nominated for best blog in 2013 and an official reviewer on the ‘Gourmet Trail’ of the Dubai Food Festival, this site mixes recipes with local restaurant reviews and a look at a variety of food- related businesses in the city.

dubai_08

Affordable Dubai

Definitely Dubai’s three ideas for three days

1 Day Pass
A day pass, valid for unlimited rides on the metro and buses, costs less than US$4. One of the most value-for-money bus routes for visitors is Line 8, which begins at the Gold Souk, takes the tunnel under Dubai Creek to Heritage Village, and then sets off down Jumeirah Rd (parallel to the beach) and all its hotels and malls, up to Burj Al Arab and Wild Wadi. Line 8 ends near the Internet City and Mall of the Emirates. This local bus ride takes in the iconic buildings and attractions of the cosmopolitan city.

2 Cultural Immersion
Visit the Jumeirah Mosque, a monument that pays homage to the history of Dubai, on Al Jumeirah Road. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding hosts visits of the Grand Jumeirah Mosque every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10am. No booking is required, but you must arrive at the main entrance to the Jumeirah Mosque by approximately 9.45am. Modest dress is preferred; however, traditional attire can be borrowed from the Mosque.

Look out for air-conditioned shelters and take a local bus to Madinat Jumeirah Souk. Enjoy lunch overlooking the mythical Arabian architecture, Venetian-style canals, and Burj Al Arab followed by an afternoon of window-shopping if you can resist the urge to splurge. Alternatively, head to the Dubai Outlet Mall to take advantage of the discount on premium fashion brands. Relax on the Umm Suqeim beach for the rest of the day while overlooking Burj Al Arab and rest your tired feet from all that walking…

3 Park Life
There are several parks with free entry. Mushrif Park offers activities such
as swimming, horse riding and camel rides. Meanwhile, Jumeirah Public Beach offers free access and boasts clean, white sand and crystal seawater. The adjacent Jumeirah Beach Park is also a perfect place to have a picnic.

For more ideas and itineraries, visit definitelydubai.com

dubai_09

Moza Al Matrooshi
United Arab Emirates
Head of the Arts and Architecture section of Emirates Diaries Magazine. “Dubai has the soul of the resilient past and the face of contemporaneity. It continues to push through while retaining its cultural values.”

Taimur Al Askari
United Arab Emirates
Media and marketing executive.
“I love how international it is! There are people from every country in the world here.”

Gilles Ledos
France
Filmmaker specialising in aerial drone photography and founder of Abstrak Aerial Media.
“From the modern skyline to the dunes in the desert, there is so much inspiration here. This city doesn’t look or feel like any other place in the world.”

Elena Kinane
Armenia
Farmer and founder of Greenheart Organic Farms.
“Farming in the desert is very difficult. But of course it can be done. Anything is possible in Dubai.”

Hello Dubai…

Wings’ at-a-glance info for visitors

Getting There
Arik Air operate flights to Dubai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Book tickets at Arikair.com

Getting Around
Dubai cabs are cost-effective and plentiful. There’s a minimum spend of 10 dirham and a trip across town shouldn’t cost more than 40-50 dirhams. Most taxi drivers speak basic English.

Dubai Metro features driverless trains that shuttle passengers on a monorail between space-aged stations. The carriages are gleaming, platforms well-maintained and air-conditioned and journeys smooth. Unlike cabs, however, it’s mainly aimed at residents, missing out on some tourist spots. There’s a line linking the airports to various points, including Deira City Centre mall and the Mall of the Emirates. Most stations have taxi ranks. You may need to catch a cab for short onward journeys to your hotel.

The Basics

Currency: Dirham
Language: Arabic, but English is widely used.
Religion: Islam is the official religion of the country. The Emirate of Dubai is well known for its religious tolerance and there are many places of worship available including churches and temples.
Best time to visit: September-May
The weekend: Friday-Saturday
Important rules for new visitors: Public displays of affection between men and women are strictly forbidden. Alcohol may only be consumed in designated locales.
Length of stay with a tourist visa: 30 days

The post Beyond The Bling appeared first on Wings.

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http://arikwings.com/?feed=rss2&p=3692 0
Altered Images http://arikwings.com/?p=3695 http://arikwings.com/?p=3695#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:46:55 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3695 A new wave of young photographers are weaving a visual identity for South Africa, just by focusing their collective lens on the vibrant scenes they capture around them. Meet the next generation of South African image makers. Words Nana Ocran Go back twenty years in South Africa and the idea of being a commercial street photographer would have been relegated to the territory of pipe dreams for the majority of South Africans. Back in the day, ‘street’ photography meant images that reflected the social and political demonstrations that inevitably sprung out of the system of apartheid. Some of the dons of photography were those who are now in or heading towards their octogenarian years. Names like Peter Magubane, George Hallett and Ernest Cole were pioneers at a time when having a camera in your hand meant a fine, jail time, or worse. These days, a competitive and highly commercial industry is being buoyed up by the can-do energy of photographers who are using their eye for fashion or knack for producing slick music videos or magazine spreads to show the world their South Africa, as they see it. I spoke to four photographers whose visual messages span activism, social commentary, street style and photo journalism. Chris Saunders The Visual Magician A photographer and filmmaker based in Johannesburg, Chris Saunders’ influences straddle fashion, art and advertising. He’s photographed many national and international names for high profile companies and publications including Adidas and Rolling Stone magazine. Most of my shoots have been in South Africa although a lot of my clients are from Europe, the USA and Australia. I have travelled a little and worked in some great places. I’ve shot projects and assignments in Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda. I also lived in Italy for a year where I was on a residency at Fabrica, Benetton’s creative research institute. I don’t have a particular preference for street or studio photography. Both have their place in my work. It all depends on the subject in a portrait and the concept in an assignment. I’ve recently built a new studio in Johannesburg where I base my office. It’s in the Maboneng Precinct and it’s making me want to shoot more studio photography. Over the last couple of years I’ve started directing too. I recently shot my first music video for a South African musician Nozinja on the acclaimed international electronic music label Warp. Besides this fun madness, I’ve also worked for some of South Africa’s top agencies and magazines around the world. For me, photography is paradise. chrissaunderssa.blogspot.co.uk Neo Ntsoma The Pioneer The first woman recipient of the CNN African Journalist Award for photography, Neo Ntsoma also won the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award and co-edited a Wits University-published book, Women by Women. She grew up in the apartheid era and seeing the negative portrayal of black South Africans and the lack of participation of black women in a media industry dominated by white males, inspired her career. Her work has appeared in The London Telegraph, TIME Magazine and The Washington Post, and her images have been exhibited in Europe, Bangladesh and the USA. Photography is the art of observation. It’s not just how you hold a camera and snap a picture but a way to see life in an extraordinary way. It allows me to feel and to share that feeling with others. I’ve never been one to follow a particular style or content. I respond to what catches my attention and the point I’d like to highlight at that particular moment. My sense of style and approach to photography builds up once I start exploring the subject. There are so many fun and memorable shoots that I have done. I get to jump between very bizarre worlds all the time, from squatter camps one day to hanging out with celebrities another. I get an insight into people’s lives that other people don’t – and maybe wouldn’t want to. One of the most memorable shoots I did was the ‘Right to Respect’ campaign for Marie Claire South Africa, which featured 15 prominent South African women taking a stand against gender-based violence. These were achievers in their own right, and yet survivors in a society that hasn’t learned to respect its own. They came out on the streets of Johannesburg, and spoke up in support of the campaign. It was a successful project that got the message across with memorable impact. The only portrait photographer whose work I follow is Annie Leibovitz. She has the ability to produce thought provoking images captured with extraordinary depth and feeling. Her images suck me in and I end up looking over every inch of the frame for hidden details. Currently, she is one of the highest paid photographers; I pray that in a few years time I can be able to afford a session with her. Anthony Bila The South African Sartorialist Artist, photographer and videographer Anthony Bila is well known for his Township Diaries series that gives a true-to-life insight into life, fashion and street style in Daveyton Township. Much of his work reflects his own sartorial sensibility, which earned him a place on South African GQs Best Dressed List, 2011. I was born in Tembisa, a township in the East Rand of Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m currently based in Kempton Park but I travel for work all the time. I’ve always taken photographs in my minds eye and that’s happened as long as I can remember; literally hundreds of thousands of images in my head. It was only much later, when I was given a disposable film camera as a gift that I had a glimpse of what it would be like to show the rest of the world what I saw; how I saw the world around me. A significant early photograph I remember taking was in my township of Tembisa. It was of an old man sitting at a street corner, watching the world change before his eyes amidst political unrest […]

The post Altered Images appeared first on Wings.

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Spoek Mathambo for Rolling Stone South Africa

A new wave of young photographers are weaving a visual identity for South Africa, just by focusing their collective lens on the vibrant scenes they capture around them. Meet the next generation of South African image makers.

Words Nana Ocran

Go back twenty years in South Africa and the idea of being a commercial street photographer would have been relegated to the territory of pipe dreams for the majority of South Africans. Back in the day, ‘street’ photography meant images that reflected the social and political demonstrations that inevitably sprung out of the system of apartheid. Some of the dons of photography were those who are now in or heading towards their octogenarian years. Names like Peter Magubane, George Hallett and Ernest Cole were pioneers at a time when having a camera in your hand meant a fine, jail time, or worse. These days, a competitive and highly commercial industry is being buoyed up by the can-do energy of photographers who are using their eye for fashion or knack for producing slick music videos or magazine spreads to show the world their South Africa, as they see it. I spoke to four photographers whose visual messages span activism, social commentary, street style and photo journalism.

Chris Saunders

Chris Saunders
The Visual Magician

A photographer and filmmaker based in Johannesburg, Chris Saunders’ influences straddle fashion, art and advertising. He’s photographed many national and international names for high profile companies and publications including Adidas and Rolling Stone magazine.

Most of my shoots have been in South Africa although a lot of my clients are from Europe, the USA and Australia. I have travelled a little and worked in some great places. I’ve shot projects and assignments in Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda. I also lived in Italy for a year where I was on a residency at Fabrica, Benetton’s creative research institute. I don’t have a particular preference for street or studio photography. Both have their place in my work. It all depends on the subject in a portrait and the concept in an assignment. I’ve recently built a new studio in Johannesburg where I base my office. It’s in the Maboneng Precinct and it’s making me want to shoot more studio photography.

Over the last couple of years I’ve started directing too. I recently shot my first music video for a South African musician Nozinja on the acclaimed international electronic music label Warp. Besides this fun madness, I’ve also worked for some of South Africa’s top agencies and magazines around the world. For me, photography is paradise.
chrissaunderssa.blogspot.co.uk

Neo_Nstoma

Neo Ntsoma
The Pioneer

The first woman recipient of the CNN African Journalist Award for photography, Neo Ntsoma also won the National Geographic All Roads Photography Award and co-edited a Wits University-published book, Women by Women. She grew up in the apartheid era and seeing the negative portrayal of black South Africans and the lack of participation of black women in a media industry dominated by white males, inspired her career. Her work has appeared in The London Telegraph, TIME Magazine and The Washington Post, and her images have been exhibited in Europe, Bangladesh and the USA.

Photography is the art of observation. It’s not just how you hold a camera and snap a picture but a way to see life in an extraordinary way. It allows me to feel and to share that feeling with others.

I’ve never been one to follow a particular style or content. I respond to what catches my attention and the point I’d like to highlight at that particular moment. My sense of style and approach to photography builds up once I start exploring the subject.

There are so many fun and memorable shoots that I have done. I get to jump between very bizarre worlds all the time, from squatter camps one day to hanging out with celebrities another. I get an insight into people’s lives that other people don’t – and maybe wouldn’t want to. One of the most memorable shoots I did was the ‘Right to Respect’ campaign for Marie Claire South Africa, which featured 15 prominent South African women taking a stand against gender-based violence. These were achievers in their own right, and yet survivors in a society that hasn’t learned to respect its own. They came out on the streets of Johannesburg, and spoke up in support of the campaign. It was a successful project that got the message across with memorable impact.

The only portrait photographer whose work I follow is Annie Leibovitz. She has the ability to produce thought provoking images captured with extraordinary depth and feeling. Her images suck me in and I end up looking over every inch of the frame for hidden details. Currently, she is one of the highest paid photographers; I pray that in a few years time I can be able to afford a session with her.

Anthony Bila

Anthony Bila
The South African Sartorialist

Artist, photographer and videographer Anthony Bila is well known for his Township Diaries series that gives a true-to-life insight into life, fashion and street style in Daveyton Township. Much of his work reflects his own sartorial sensibility, which earned him a place on South African GQs Best Dressed List, 2011.

I was born in Tembisa, a township in the East Rand of Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m currently based in Kempton Park but I travel for work all the time. I’ve always taken photographs in my minds eye and that’s happened as long as I can remember; literally hundreds of thousands of images in my head. It was only much later, when I was given a disposable film camera as a gift that I had a glimpse of what it would be like to show the rest of the world what I saw; how I saw the world around me.

A significant early photograph I remember taking was in my township of Tembisa. It was of an old man sitting at a street corner, watching the world change before his eyes amidst political unrest and turmoil. I never developed the photograph or saw it though.

I hate conforming to or being categorised as a fashion or street style photographer. I see myself as a creator, so while photography is one of my most dominant creative outlets, I also write, illustrate, paint and currently I’m exploring film and videography. I would love to photograph far more of the continent and the world, but to be honest the opportunity has not presented itself yet. I’m keen to photograph Mozambique especially, because some of my ancestors are from there and I’d love to see and showcase it from my perspective. I’d also love to visit Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Senegal and many other countries. I want to bring Africa to the world and the world to Africa.
anthonybila.com

Lebogang Tlhako

Lebogang Tlhako
The Street Reporter

Independent photographer Lebo Tlhako has been a two-time runner up for Elle Magazine’s style reporter competition. Her visual passion comes through in her blog, which crackles with the youthful energy of the styles found on Johannesburg’s streets. Lebogang tends to shoot people who she calls ‘Smadzadza’ which means ‘Dressed to kill’ or anyone with an element of spontaneity. Smadzadza is also the name of her  blog where she shares her photographs.

Photography is my breath and heartbeat. My Canon A1 analogue is the one and only camera I own and the one that I still use to date. It’s my companion. I’ve been through good and bad times with it and I love the perfect imperfections we create. I mostly shoot in colour film and I like the distinct look, the saturated colours. Even when light leaks into my camera, the results are amazing.

When I first started out, I’d say my photographic style was dreamy, saturated and contrasty as I was shooting fashion reportage, but as I keep on shooting I really enjoy a variety of things and I don’t have a dominant photographic style. I enjoy taking candid street photographs, landscapes and fashion.

I was an intern at Live Magazine SA and one of my most awesome jobs was to document and shoot at music events. The artists that stood out were Snoop Lion and Shingai Shoniwa from The Noisettes, and the talented Okmalumkoolkat and his clique, Boyzin Bucks.

I definitely prefer being behind the lens as opposed to being in front of it, but if I had to choose a photographer, I’d commission Mark Magagane. He’s one of the best portrait photographers in South Africa.

Right now, one of the things on my wish list is to travel. Although, having said that, I need to explore my beautiful country that is South Africa.
borrowedfromtheboyz.wordpress.com

photographers_02

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West Side Story http://arikwings.com/?p=3701 http://arikwings.com/?p=3701#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:46:31 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3701 West Africa offers breathtaking beaches, dense forests rich in bird-life, fabulous modern and traditional art, music and dance. When the average non-African fantasises about a holiday in Africa, you can be pretty sure about the images called to mind. A vast, rolling savannah under a low-hanging, blood-red sun; a lonely acacia tree and a brace of loping giraffes, silhouetted on the horizon; a foreground flurry of stampeding wildebeest wreathed in pillowing dust; and, of course, a pride or two of lunching lions, keeping up the rear. Images familiar from a million nature documentaries and tourist brochures, and even from the dust-jackets of most novels about the continent: images that all originate in its southern and eastern reaches. With such spectacular competition so close to home, it’s not surprising that the subtler charms of West Africa hold less sway on the outside world’s imagination – or that this region receives fewer tourists each year. But anyone who knows it, also knows that it offers inexhaustible natural and cultural treasures to the visitor, including breathtaking beaches, dense forests rich in animal- and bird-life, fabulous modern and traditional art, music and dance. And, as any tour operator will tell you, most of those who come here on holiday fall in love with the countries they visit, and can’t wait to return. “The best news is that exploring West Africa has never been easier,” says David Oades of tour operator, Overlanding West Africa. “And that’s true for casual tourists and adventurous travellers alike. Roads are improving rapidly; new hotels and resorts spring up monthly; and we tour operators are becoming ever more imaginative in our offerings to guests. Holiday here now, and you can expect a more diverse, enriching and stylish experience than you might have enjoyed even a year ago. The main challenge is to stay abreast of the latest developments.” Oades also contends that the relatively modest scale of the region’s tourist industry is a strength, from the point of view of those who do visit. “The clients we work with are more interested in local people and culture than your average tourist elsewhere in Africa,” he says. “And such human interactions are far more authentic and engaging without the crowds of fellow visitors you’d expect further south and east. In fact, the only frustration for us is the difficulty and expense of securing tourist visas for some countries, although lately, the amount of paperwork required has been much reduced.” In those countries with the most established tourist industries, tour operators’ main focus is on how to keep things fresh and exciting for their clients; something often achieved by opening up new areas of exploration and novel cultural experiences. For Roberto Cerea, whose company TransAfrica specialises in Ghana, that means encouraging them to get away from the country’s coast – dazzling though it is in parts – and explore some of the lesser-known attractions inland. Ghana “We recommend guests visit Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, during the Akwasidae festival, which happens every six weeks,” says Cerea. “It’s always a stunning spectacle, with a colourful parade of dancers, musicians and singers past the palace of the King of Ashanti. An event like that can make all the difference to your experience of the city.” And Cerea also recommends visitors don’t rest content with observing local culture, but get involved, too. Around Kumasi, that might mean spending a day making adinkra cloth – a traditional hand-painted fabric – with local craftspeople. Ghana’s most famous wilderness area is perhaps the Mole National Park (see sidebar); but Cerea suggests that visitors seek out natural glories elsewhere too. The little-visited Volta region in the east is one of the country’s underrated gems, he says, and particularly good for walking. “It’s a region of superlatives, with Ghana’s highest waterfall, Wli, and its highest peak, Afadjato. The wildlife sightings in its jungles can be superb, with 300 species of butterfly and 33 species of mammal to look out for.” The Gambia Getting off the beaten track in the Gambia is harder, so petite and so popular with tourists is this idyllic riverine sliver of the continent’s far west. But thanks to its lively hotel scene and imaginative tour operators, fresh experiences are not in short supply. One new opening this year is particularly exciting. Originally a private house, the White Horse Residence near Batokunku is just 15 minutes’ drive away from the bustle of Serekunda, but sits beside a vast white-sand beach that is all but deserted even at the height of the season. With just seven rooms, it is one of the country’s most tranquil boltholes. Gambia’s dazzling bird life is one of its greatest attractions, of course, with 576 species to spot – an astonishing number for a place just half the size of New Jersey. And Jenny Aylward of The Gambia Experience reports ever-increasing interest in them among her company’s clients. Its main birdwatching trips are led by the British TV presenter Chris Packham – the indie-music-loving frontman of the BBC’s Springwatch series. But in the past couple of years demand has been so high that Chris’s friend Malick Suso, a brilliant local ornithologist, has been leading extra expeditions. Senegal In neighbouring Senegal, the best-known tourist hotspots, such as the Sine-Saloum delta, lie in the north of the country. But much of the good news for visitors these days comes from the far south – the region of Casamance, whose long-running civil conflict has calmed down in recent years, allowing a slow efflorescence of tourism, much of it low-key and refreshingly community-oriented. “For me, Casamance is the most spectacular part of the country,” says David Oades, “with its lush, tropical landscape, rich in wildlife. The beaches around Cap Skiring and elsewhere are huge, peaceful and golden. Ziguinchor, the provincial capital, is really atmospheric. And for people interested in Senegal’s famously vibrant music scene, it’s an indispensable region.” Oades’s latest discovery in Casamance is The Little Baobab, a newly-built ecolodge in the coastal village of Abéné. It has been […]

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]]>
westside_main

West Africa offers breathtaking beaches, dense forests rich in bird-life, fabulous modern and traditional art, music and dance.

When the average non-African fantasises about a holiday in Africa, you can be pretty sure about the images called to mind. A vast, rolling savannah under a low-hanging, blood-red sun; a lonely acacia tree and a brace of loping giraffes, silhouetted on the horizon; a foreground flurry of stampeding wildebeest wreathed in pillowing dust; and, of course, a pride or two of lunching lions, keeping up the rear. Images familiar from a million nature documentaries and tourist brochures, and even from the dust-jackets of most novels about the continent: images that all originate in its southern and eastern reaches.

With such spectacular competition so close to home, it’s not surprising that the subtler charms of West Africa hold less sway on the outside world’s imagination – or that this region receives fewer tourists each year. But anyone who knows it, also knows that it offers inexhaustible natural and cultural treasures to the visitor, including breathtaking beaches, dense forests rich in animal- and bird-life, fabulous modern and traditional art, music and dance. And, as any tour operator will tell you, most of those who come here on holiday fall in love with the countries they visit, and can’t wait to return.

“The best news is that exploring West Africa has never been easier,” says David Oades of tour operator, Overlanding West Africa. “And that’s true for casual tourists and adventurous travellers alike. Roads are improving rapidly; new hotels and resorts spring up monthly; and we tour operators are becoming ever more imaginative in our offerings to guests. Holiday here now, and you can expect a more diverse, enriching and stylish experience than you might have enjoyed even a year ago. The main challenge is to stay abreast of the latest developments.”

Oades also contends that the relatively modest scale of the region’s tourist industry is a strength, from the point of view of those who do visit. “The clients we work with are more interested in local people and culture than your average tourist elsewhere in Africa,” he says. “And such human interactions are far more authentic and engaging without the crowds of fellow visitors you’d expect further south and east. In fact, the only frustration for us is the difficulty and expense of securing tourist visas for some countries, although lately, the amount of paperwork required has been much reduced.”

In those countries with the most established tourist industries, tour operators’ main focus is on how to keep things fresh and exciting for their clients; something often achieved by opening up new areas of exploration and novel cultural experiences. For Roberto Cerea, whose company TransAfrica specialises in Ghana, that means encouraging them to get away from the country’s coast – dazzling though it is in parts – and explore some of the lesser-known attractions inland.

ghana

Ghana

“We recommend guests visit Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, during the Akwasidae festival, which happens every six weeks,” says Cerea. “It’s always a stunning spectacle, with a colourful parade of dancers, musicians and singers past the palace of the King of Ashanti. An event like that can make all the difference to your experience of the city.” And Cerea also recommends visitors don’t rest content with observing local culture, but get involved, too. Around Kumasi, that might mean spending a day making adinkra cloth – a traditional hand-painted fabric – with local craftspeople.

Ghana’s most famous wilderness area is perhaps the Mole National Park (see sidebar); but Cerea suggests that visitors seek out natural glories elsewhere too. The little-visited Volta region in the east is one of the country’s underrated gems, he says, and particularly good for walking. “It’s a region of superlatives, with Ghana’s highest waterfall, Wli, and its highest peak, Afadjato. The wildlife sightings in its jungles can be superb, with 300 species of butterfly and 33 species of mammal to look out for.”

Jon Banfield - March 06

The Gambia

Getting off the beaten track in the Gambia is harder, so petite and so popular with tourists is this idyllic riverine sliver of the continent’s far west. But thanks to its lively hotel scene and imaginative tour operators, fresh experiences are not in short supply. One new opening this year is particularly exciting. Originally a private house, the White Horse Residence near Batokunku is just 15 minutes’ drive away from the bustle of Serekunda, but sits beside a vast white-sand beach that is all but deserted even at the height of the season. With just seven rooms, it is one of the country’s most tranquil boltholes.

Gambia’s dazzling bird life is one of its greatest attractions, of course, with 576 species to spot – an astonishing number for a place just half the size of New Jersey. And Jenny Aylward of The Gambia Experience reports ever-increasing interest in them among her company’s clients. Its main birdwatching trips are led by the British TV presenter Chris Packham – the indie-music-loving frontman of the BBC’s Springwatch series. But in the past couple of years demand has been so high that Chris’s friend Malick Suso, a brilliant local ornithologist, has been leading extra expeditions.

senegal

Senegal

In neighbouring Senegal, the best-known tourist hotspots, such as the Sine-Saloum delta, lie in the north of the country. But much of the good news for visitors these days comes from the far south – the region of Casamance, whose long-running civil conflict has calmed down in recent years, allowing a slow efflorescence of tourism, much of it low-key and refreshingly community-oriented.

“For me, Casamance is the most spectacular part of the country,” says David Oades, “with its lush, tropical landscape, rich in wildlife. The beaches around Cap Skiring and elsewhere are huge, peaceful and golden. Ziguinchor, the provincial capital, is really atmospheric. And for people interested in Senegal’s famously vibrant music scene, it’s an indispensable region.”

Oades’s latest discovery in Casamance is The Little Baobab, a newly-built ecolodge in the coastal village of Abéné. It has been a labour of love for both its owners, local lady Khady Mane and her English partner Simon Fenton. Khady worked for years as a dancer in Senegal, and Simon is a photographer. Both run classes in those specialities, as well as leading treks and managing music courses, often taught by well-known Senegalese musicians from the local area.

sierra_leone

Sierra Leone

Ghana, the Gambia and Senegal all regularly offer new experiences to visitors, but none can compete on this front with Sierra Leone. “Since the country’s civil war ended 12 years ago, its reconstruction has progressed in leaps and bounds, and tourism is set to skyrocket,” says Dianne Ceresa of Rainbow Tours. “Sierra Leone was a playboy paradise back in the 1980s. Celebrities and statesmen such as Johnny Hallyday, UB40 and Jacques Chirac all spent time in Freetown. In fact, one nearby beach even featured in a TV advert for Bounty chocolate bars. There’s no reason why it can’t reach – and surpass – that level of glamour again.”

The Bounty advert beach is still pristine, I’m told by Bimbola Carrol of the Freetown-based private tour operator, Visit Sierra Leone. It lies just outside the capital on the ravishing Freetown peninsula, which is fringed by many such jaw-dropping stretches of glistening white sand – access to all of which became easier this year when the road along the peninsula (hitherto a rutted mess) was resurfaced at last. The potential for development is immense (indeed, a new resort, The Place, recently opened on the magnificent Tokeh beach), but both Ceresa and Carrol hope that most new accommodation here will be tasteful and small-scale.

The new tourism in Sierra Leone is still in its infancy, of course, and the best-known sights around Freetown – Banana and Bunce islands, for instance – are enough to occupy most first-time visitors to the country. But already Carrol and his colleagues are dreaming up new activities for their guests. “Just last week I took two visitors on a walk up Pickett Hill,” says Carrol. “It was the first time I tried it, and they loved it – the views across Freetown are great. On the Peninsula, we’ve started taking them to York, one of the oldest towns in the region – atmospheric and fascinating. And inland, the potential is immense, especially in wildlife-rich areas such as the Gola rainforest and the Outamba-Kilimi National Park.”

Still, history, culture and wilderness exploration are not top priorities for every visitor. And if there’s one golden rule for identifying the next big thing – or at least the next hip thing – in travel, it’s this: follow the surfers. Sure enough, it turns out Sierra Leone has the most accessible left-hand break in West Africa, and an enterprising Irishman, Shane O’Connor, has already set up a surf club right beside it, on the sparkling sands of Bureh Beach, just outside Freetown. Its local membership is passionate, and burgeoning – and it will host its first competition later this year. There’s no telling where this scene could go in the next decade or so. Just remember: you read about it here first.

 

Sand, Sea & Scenery

Three of the best: Beaches

Wild: Sierra Leone
Six hours by boat from Freetown, the eight Turtle Islands are the ultimate castaway fantasy. There’s no electricity, no mobile phone signal, and no tourist accommodation. But the islands’ few inhabitants are only too happy to put visitors up and cook for them, and the local beaches are dazzling.
rainbowtours.co.uk

Luxury: Ghana
For true West African beachside luxury, head to Ghana’s Lou Moon Lodge. Set on a private bay fringed with golden sand, its ten villas are hidden among lush vegetation on the mainland shore and on an island opposite. Food is excellent, with an emphasis on local ingredients, including quiveringly fresh seafood.
loumoon-lodge.com

Chilled: Senegal
The beach at Cap Skiring in Casamance is often spoken of in hushed tones as the finest in all of Senegal. But head away from the town and you’ll find equally lovely bays in less touristy – but lively – locations. Abéné is a particular highlight, with its excellent annual music festival.
senegal.co.uk

Cool Culture

Three of the best: Traditional activities

Craft: Ghana
Glass-bead making in Ghana was first documented in 1746, but is believed to date much further back. These days, visitors can watch traditional practitioners of the craft at work in the Krobo region. The beads are cast from powdered glass in clay moulds, and are often elaborately coloured and patterned.
transafrica.biz

Music: Senegal
A fount of international stars such as Youssou N’Dour and Baaba Maal, Senegal has one of world’s most vibrant music scenes. There are great live performance venues in Dakar and elsewhere – but true enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to take a lesson on a traditional instrument such as the djembe, seorouba, kora or balafon.
thelittlebaobab.com

History: Sierra Leone
Founded by freed slaves in 1787, Freetown has as distinctive a history as any city in the world, and touring it with a knowledgeable guide is invariably fascinating. Be sure to take a stroll down Pademba Road, with its 19th-century wooden houses, and don’t miss the beautiful cathedral of St George.
visitsierraleone.org

Where The Wild Things Are

Three of the best: Wildlife

River: Gambia
Set beside a tributary of the Gambia River, the Mandina Lodges are among the most luxurious wilderness accommodation in West Africa – and the 1,000-acre nature reserve around them is fantastically rich in wildlife. Expect to see an immense variety of birds, along with a host of other species, including crocodiles and red colobus monkeys.
mandinalodges.com

Savannah: Ghana
Located near the town of Larabanga – known for its 15th-century mosque – Ghana’s Mole National Park is one of West Africa’s top safari destinations. Guides lead visitors on walks across its savannah and riverine woodland, where the creatures to spot include elephants, baboons, warthogs and up to 344 species of birds.
molemotelgh.com

Rainforest: Sierra Leone
Set in the glittering stream of the Moa River in the south of Sierra Leone, Tiwai Island is one of the country’s natural jewels. Visitors can camp amid its lush rainforest, where the spectacular wildlife includes 135 bird species, the rare pygmy hippopotamus, and some of the world’s most colourful monkeys.
tiwaiisland.org

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Secret Shopper http://arikwings.com/?p=3704 http://arikwings.com/?p=3704#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:46:10 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3704 Red carpet frocks, jolly knitwear and architectural silhouettes — The insider’s guide to shopping ’til you drop in Johannesburg Words Helen Jennings Johannesburg is South Africa’s fashion capital thanks to a swelling number of talented local designers and a burgeoning creative class eager to build and consume the city’s shopping culture. Here, two South African designers, Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth & Ashes and Laduma Ngxokolo of MaXhosa by Laduma, discuss what makes Jozi style tick. Plus we pick the top 10 secret spots to head to for a retail therapy fix. Ten top spots for… Cosy cool: Superella The sign outside Ella Buter’s store reads ‘Very Much Nice’. We couldn’t agree more. The designer stocks her own comfortable, multi-layered pieces alongside found and old objects and artisanal accessories. Pick up anything from a woven plastic tote to a Superella smock. Corner of 7th Avenue and 9th Street, Melville For red carpet glamour: KLûK CGDT Malcolm Klûk and Christiaan Gabriel Du Toit launched their womenswear line in 2003 and are now renowned for their dreamy gowns and ladylike tailoring. Upon entering their opulent, velvet-clad boutique expect to be offered a flute of champagne. 46 Sixth Street (corner 3rd Avenue), Parkhurst kluk.co.za For vintage: Reminiscence Victorian jewellery, 1950s day dresses, 1960s Bakelite bags and furs aplenty cram this treasure trove of vintage delights. Owner Rosemary opened the store in the early 1980s and often provides the wardrobe for films too, most recently Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. 7th Street, Melville vintageclothing.mahoonas.co.za For international brands: Luminance An upscale department store in the Hyde Park Corner mall stocking big names such as Nicholas Kirkwood, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney alongside its in-house line. You can relax in the library with a cup of coffee, too. Shop 45, upper mall, Hyde Park Corner luminanceonline.com For local designers: Egality This intimate store champions South African fashion. Jolly knitwear by Maxhosa by Laduma, directional womenswear from Avant and statement rope necklaces by Pichulik all fly off the shelves. 25 4th Avenue (corner of 11th Street), Parkhurst egality.co.za For streetwear: Rad From the chaps behind the hugely popular coffee shop/bookshop/gallery Warm & Glad comes the new clothing store Rad. Jonathan Shaw and Nathan Redpath love trainers so expect to find a choice selection of New Balance, Converse and Puma plus a wall of Super sunglasses. 357 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park radthestore.com For hipster style: 70 Juta As part of the Play Braamfontein initiative to reclaim this formerly gritty corner of the CBD, 70 Juta houses a revolving mix of niche boutiques such as Being Frank, Prime, Feiyue, Parooz and Amerikana. Visit on Saturday and then move onto Neighbourgoods Market at 73 Juta. 70 Juta Street, Braamfontein playbraamfontein.co.za/70-juta-street neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za For jewellery: Tinsel Watch Geraldine Fenn and Eric Loubser make intricate jewellery in their workshop while browsing one-off pieces from some of South Africa’s best jewellery designers. Shop 4, 25 4th Avenue, Parkhurst tinsel.co.za For minimalism: Suzaan Heyns Suzaan Heyns launched her high concept womenswear label in 2008 and is now feted for her architectural, feminine silhouettes. The store is as understated as the designer herself. Shop 53 Galleria, Melrose Boulevard, Melrose Arch suzaanheyns.com For denim: Infinite Sixty Jeans junkies head to the two branches of Infinite Sixty in Melrose Arch and Morningside to choose from contemporary brands including Replay, Superdry, Scotch & Soda, True Religion and G-Star. Skinny or boyfriend? You decide. infinitesixty.co.za Laduma Ngxokolo “I always strive for my collections to be distinctive, fun and majestic,” says Laduma Ngxokolo of his knitwear brand MaXhosa by Laduma. The hotly tipped, award-winning designer draws inspiration from Xhosa culture and uses South African mohair and merino wool to create chunky, colourful menswear and womenswear. “My A/W 14 collection is entitled Buyel’mbo, a phrase often uttered by Xhosa elders to reminisce about traditional values. The collection explores how to fuse modern and heritage styles and still dazzle.” Born in Port Elizabeth and based in Cape Town, Ngxokolo shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg. What is special about Joburg? Although it hasn’t reached its pinnacle yet, the Joburg scene carries a lot of energy. What’s trending right now? In terms of street style, it’s all about felt hats, blanket coats and bold prints. Where do you shop? I like to visit the Parkhurst store of one of my all-time favourite designers Marianne Fassler. Her charisma is reflected in her avant-garde womenswear. maxhosa.co.za SPOTLIGHT Anisa Mpungwe Tanzanian-born Anisa Mpungwe studied at the London College of Fashion before establishing Loin Cloth & Ashes in 2008. Her debut collection won the South African Elle New Talent Award and she’s gone on to refine her talent for flattering tailoring, daring draping and authentic prints. She showed at NYFW in 2010 and opened her flagship in the Maboneng Precinct in 2012. The downtown development has revitalised this previously neglected area and is also home to homegrown brands including Black Coffee and Love Jozi as well as the Sunday hangout, Market On Main. Describe your aesthetic. I make clothes for women who follow their hearts’ desires and dare to be different. What is special about Joburg? It’s a city of endless possibilities. There are a lot of designers producing really interesting work and moving in an experimental direction. Trendy consumers love to mix up cultures in the way that they dress. Why choose to settle in Maboneng Precinct? Maboneng was a new place and I was new to Joburg so the puzzle fitted. And the more this creative hub grew, the more I grew too. I am in the middle of the social scene, and because everyone is a creative here, it pushes me to produce original, thought provoking work. Describe your store. It’s a deliberately raw space filled with all sorts of goodies. Loin Cloth & Ashes full circle skirts and Afro tops are best sellers and for winter our must-have is a jacquard cocoon jacket. We also introduce new brands every month, such as Babatunde and Wake. Loin Cloth & Ashes, The Main Exchange, Retail Space […]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Red carpet frocks, jolly knitwear and architectural silhouettes — The insider’s guide to shopping ’til you drop in Johannesburg

Words Helen Jennings

Johannesburg is South Africa’s fashion capital thanks to a swelling number of talented local designers and a burgeoning creative class eager to build and consume the city’s shopping culture. Here, two South African designers, Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth & Ashes and Laduma Ngxokolo of MaXhosa by Laduma, discuss what makes Jozi style tick. Plus we pick the top 10 secret spots to head to for a retail therapy fix.

Ten top spots for…

Cosy cool: Superella

The sign outside Ella Buter’s store reads ‘Very Much Nice’. We couldn’t agree more. The designer stocks her own comfortable, multi-layered pieces alongside found and old objects and artisanal accessories. Pick up anything from a woven plastic tote to a Superella smock.
Corner of 7th Avenue and 9th Street, Melville

For red carpet glamour: KLûK CGDT

Malcolm Klûk and Christiaan Gabriel Du Toit launched their womenswear line in 2003 and are now renowned for their dreamy gowns and ladylike tailoring. Upon entering their opulent, velvet-clad boutique expect to be offered a flute of champagne.
46 Sixth Street (corner 3rd Avenue), Parkhurst
kluk.co.za

boutique_02

For vintage: Reminiscence

Victorian jewellery, 1950s day dresses, 1960s Bakelite bags and furs aplenty cram this treasure trove of vintage delights. Owner Rosemary opened the store in the early 1980s and often provides the wardrobe for films too, most recently Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
7th Street, Melville
vintageclothing.mahoonas.co.za

For international brands: Luminance

An upscale department store in the Hyde Park Corner mall stocking big names such as Nicholas Kirkwood, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney alongside its in-house line. You can relax in the library with a cup of coffee, too.
Shop 45, upper mall, Hyde
Park Corner
luminanceonline.com

For local designers: Egality

This intimate store champions South African fashion. Jolly knitwear by Maxhosa by Laduma, directional womenswear from Avant and statement rope necklaces by Pichulik all fly off the shelves.
25 4th Avenue (corner of 11th Street), Parkhurst
egality.co.za

For streetwear: Rad

From the chaps behind the hugely popular coffee shop/bookshop/gallery Warm & Glad comes the new clothing store Rad. Jonathan Shaw and Nathan Redpath love trainers so expect to find a choice selection of New Balance, Converse and Puma plus a wall of Super sunglasses.
357 Jan Smuts Avenue,
Craighall Park
radthestore.com

For hipster style: 70 Juta

As part of the Play Braamfontein initiative to reclaim this formerly gritty corner of the CBD, 70 Juta houses a revolving mix of niche boutiques such as Being Frank, Prime, Feiyue, Parooz and Amerikana. Visit on Saturday and then move onto Neighbourgoods Market at 73 Juta.
70 Juta Street, Braamfontein
playbraamfontein.co.za/70-juta-street
neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za

For jewellery: Tinsel

Watch Geraldine Fenn and Eric Loubser make intricate jewellery in their workshop while browsing one-off pieces from some of South Africa’s best jewellery designers.
Shop 4, 25 4th Avenue, Parkhurst
tinsel.co.za

boutique_03

For minimalism: Suzaan Heyns

Suzaan Heyns launched her high concept womenswear label in 2008 and is now feted for her architectural, feminine silhouettes. The store is as understated as the designer herself.
Shop 53 Galleria, Melrose Boulevard, Melrose Arch
suzaanheyns.com

For denim: Infinite Sixty

Jeans junkies head to the two branches of Infinite Sixty in Melrose Arch and Morningside to choose from contemporary brands including Replay, Superdry, Scotch & Soda, True Religion and G-Star. Skinny or boyfriend? You decide.
infinitesixty.co.za

spotlight_01

Laduma Ngxokolo

“I always strive for my collections to be distinctive, fun and majestic,” says Laduma Ngxokolo of his knitwear brand MaXhosa by Laduma. The hotly tipped, award-winning designer draws inspiration from Xhosa culture and uses South African mohair and merino wool to create chunky, colourful menswear and womenswear. “My A/W 14 collection is entitled Buyel’mbo, a phrase often uttered by Xhosa elders to reminisce about traditional values. The collection explores how to fuse modern and heritage styles and still dazzle.” Born in Port Elizabeth and based in Cape Town, Ngxokolo shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg.

What is special about Joburg?
Although it hasn’t reached its pinnacle yet, the Joburg scene carries a lot of energy.

What’s trending right now?
In terms of street style, it’s all about felt hats, blanket coats and bold prints.

Where do you shop?
I like to visit the Parkhurst store of one of my all-time favourite designers Marianne Fassler. Her charisma is reflected in her avant-garde womenswear.
maxhosa.co.za

spotlight_02

SPOTLIGHT

Anisa Mpungwe

Tanzanian-born Anisa Mpungwe studied at the London College of Fashion before establishing Loin Cloth & Ashes in 2008. Her debut collection won the South African Elle New Talent Award and she’s gone on to refine her talent for flattering tailoring, daring draping and authentic prints. She showed at NYFW in 2010 and opened her flagship in the Maboneng Precinct in 2012. The downtown development has revitalised this previously neglected area and is also home to homegrown brands including Black Coffee and Love Jozi as well as the Sunday hangout, Market On Main.

Describe your aesthetic.
I make clothes for women who follow their hearts’ desires and dare to be different.

What is special about Joburg?
It’s a city of endless possibilities. There are a lot of designers producing really interesting work and moving in an experimental direction. Trendy consumers love to mix up cultures in the way that they dress.

Why choose to settle in Maboneng Precinct?
Maboneng was a new place and I was new to Joburg so the puzzle fitted. And the more this creative hub grew, the more I grew too. I am in the middle of the social scene, and because everyone is a creative here, it pushes me to produce original, thought provoking work.

Describe your store.
It’s a deliberately raw space filled with all sorts of goodies. Loin Cloth & Ashes full circle skirts and Afro tops are best sellers and for winter our must-have is a jacquard cocoon jacket. We also introduce new brands every month, such as Babatunde and Wake.

Loin Cloth & Ashes, The Main Exchange, Retail Space One, 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng Precinct, loinclothandashes.com
Maboneng Precinct
mabonengprecinct.com

LFDW_image

GT Bank Lagos Fashion & Design Week

This year’s GT Bank Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW) comes to town from October 29 to November 1

Having previously focused on nurturing Nigerian talent through shows, presentations and awards, this fourth edition will also welcome designers from further afield. “We will begin to present designers from across Africa as part of our vision to promote inter connectivity within the African fashion industry,” says LFDW founder Omoyemi Akerele. “Africa is a natural market for the fashion industry and LFDW wants to ensure that we tap into it.” The event, supported by partners including MTN, Maybelline and Wings, The Inflight Magazine of Arik Air,  will also partner with Frallain Inc and Marangoni to offer workshops, a 6 month internship with Edun under LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy) and scholarships to young designers under the new LFDW Fashion Focus programme. See you there.
lagosfashionanddesignweek.com

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Bite-Sized http://arikwings.com/?p=3707 http://arikwings.com/?p=3707#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:45:57 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3707 Clandestine cocktails, brunch with Andy Warhol (sort of) and bone-warming ramen — A foodie report on the most exciting bars, restaurants and cooking schools in the culinary cities of New York and London. Words Rocky Casale New York and London have some of the most dynamic food scenes on the planet. In both cities, constant culinary renewal is the unwritten law that perpetuates thanks, in part, to creative chefs, deep-pocketed backers, and multicultural communities that bring their homeland recipes to town. From clandestine bars above burger joints, to pop-up master cookery courses in stunning kitchen showrooms, London and New York never fail to attract some of today’s most entertaining foodie venues. London Fera At Claridges Now that Michelin-starred chef, Simon Rogan, has opened Fera inside Claridge’s Hotel, this London institution can once again boast having one of the most refined, yet casual restaurants in the city today. Chef Rogan, who made a name for himself cooking at his Cartmel, England restaurant, L’Enclume, redecorated the former Gordon Ramsay space in chic shades of grey and green, and filled the room with elegant bare-wood tables. Come for lunch on a weekday when you have better luck securing a table, and order the tasting menu (£95). Or sample plates such as stewed rabbit with lovage or sweet seared scallops and peas in buttermilk; and don’t leave without trying one of the signature cocktails, like their deliciously potent gin fizz with pear and honey shrub and sweet cicely. Brook Street, London W1K 4HR, +44 (0)20 7629 8860; claridges.co.uk/fera Enrica Rocca Pop-Up Cooking School Billed as one of the top 10 cooking-school proprietors in the world, Venetian countess Enrica Rocca has been invited to host her internationally acclaimed cooking classes at London’s Smallbone Kitchen showroom in Knightsbridge. This series of pop-up cookery master classes opens on the heals of Rocca’s recent cookbook release, Venice on a Plate: But What a Plate, which received the 2014 Gourmand ‘Best in the World’ Cookbook Award. At Smallbone’s kitchen showroom, Rocca will be leading a series of classes drawing from her cookbook, and from her repertoire of traditional and contemporary Venetian and Italian recipes. Guests are given brief lessons on wine and food pairing, historical background on Venetian cuisine, and the opportunity to learn Italian cooking from one of the world’s leading experts. 220 Brompton Rd; London SW3 2BB; +44 (0)20 3370; smallbone.co.uk New York The Garret What makes The Garret one of New York’s most delightful new bars? Perhaps its clandestine second floor location above a burger shack? Maybe its minimalist cocktail list of only 12 drinks that doesn’t burden patrons with limitless choice? Or is it that, if the possibility of a blobby burger floats into your head, a waitress will ask the bar’s neighbour, West Village Five Guys Burger, who are just downstairs, to throw one on the griddle and bring it up to you? The Garret, a copper-ceilinged gem off 7th Avenue, is all of this, and more. The atmosphere is decidedly laid back, and the bar has a first- come, first-serve policy; an un-alienating measure that ensures a healthy mix of young patrons. 7th Avenue and Barrow St; info@garretnyc.com; garretnyc.com Casa Lever Those who frequent Casa Lever, the Milanese contemporary restaurant at Park Avenue’s modernist architecture masterpiece, designed by Gordon Bunshaft in 1951, return not only to lunch on refined northern Italian fare, but to bask in the restaurant’s fabulous art collection. The restaurant recently expanded its Andy Warhol pop-art collection from 19 to 32 paintings, a rare stash (for a restaurant) valued at over $50 million. Casa Lever serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and is a favourite aperitif spot for locals shopping on Fifth Avenue or museum-haunting nearby. Casa Lever’s Gardens also host live music performances, ranging from Cuban rhythms to contemporary jazz. 390 Park Avenue at 53rd St. New York, 10022; +1 212 888 2700; casalever.com Ivan Ramen American chef Ivan Orkin, who boldly opened a ramen shop in Tokyo, recently teamed up with Ramen Burger creator Keizo Shimamoto, to open their Lower East Side flagship eatery, Ivan Ramen. The small, thin space references Tokyo’s famous ramen spots; the room is cozy and warm, dressed as it is in izakaya blond-wood and shiny crome. At the heart of the 60-cover space is a long ramen bar, where, besides soup, the chefs serve up nibbles like pork meatballs with buttermilk dressing, bulldog sauce and bonito or a variety of sake by the glass. But Orkin’s ramen stills commands the largest share of the attention, especially their triple pork, triple garlic mazemen ramen, a steaming bowl of tonokotsu broth and wholewheat noodles. 25 Clinton Street, New York: +1 646 678 3859; ivanramen.com To Market Three of the best food markets at Arik Air destinations True foodies love the full sensory experience – smelling, touching, exploring and discussing the provenance of ingredients on offer. Pick up a tasty souvenir or get your grill on as soon as the fisherman anchor their pirogues… ACCRA The Accra Green Market Ghana’s first-ever farmer’s market brings together small-scale producers touting locally grown, sustainable, and organic produce at Ako Adjei park. Founded by Agripro – a mobile-app company that provides farmers with access to marketplaces, producers sell items such as high-end local forest honey, mushroom wine and a huge array of fresh fruit and veg to well-off Ghanaians, expats and chefs from leading hotels and restaurants. facebook.com/AccraGreenMarket DAKAR Soumbedioune Fish Market Every sunset, just after the fishermen have parked their pirogues, 20 or so vendors set up their wood-fired grills. Pull up a plastic chair and dine on mullet, snapper, grilled prawns, crab and giant barracuda alongside salad and a cold brew. Soumbedioune is located in a cove next to Magic Island in the city centre. JOHANNESBURG Neighbourgoods Every Saturday from 9am–3pm, come rain or shine, you can buy farm-fresh foods and speciality ingredients such as organic wines, terrines and condiments at Jo’burg’s marvellous Neighbourgoods Market, alongside clothes by SA designers. Housed in a modernist building that is adorned by […]

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food_main

Clandestine cocktails, brunch with Andy Warhol (sort of) and bone-warming ramen — A foodie report on the most exciting bars, restaurants and cooking schools in the culinary cities of New York and London.

Words Rocky Casale

New York and London have some of the most dynamic food scenes on the planet. In both cities, constant culinary renewal is the unwritten law that perpetuates thanks, in part, to creative chefs, deep-pocketed backers, and multicultural communities that bring their homeland recipes to town. From clandestine bars above burger joints, to pop-up master cookery courses in stunning kitchen showrooms, London and New York never fail to attract some of today’s most entertaining foodie venues.

London

Fera At Claridges

Now that Michelin-starred chef, Simon Rogan, has opened Fera inside Claridge’s Hotel, this London institution can once again boast having one of the most refined, yet casual restaurants in the city today. Chef Rogan, who made a name for himself cooking at his Cartmel, England restaurant, L’Enclume, redecorated the former Gordon Ramsay space in chic shades of grey and green, and filled the room with elegant bare-wood tables. Come for lunch on a weekday when you have better luck securing a table, and order the tasting menu (£95). Or sample plates such as stewed rabbit with lovage or sweet seared scallops and peas in buttermilk; and don’t leave without trying one of the signature cocktails, like their deliciously potent gin fizz with pear and honey shrub and sweet cicely.
Brook Street, London W1K 4HR, +44 (0)20 7629 8860; claridges.co.uk/fera

Enrica Rocca Pop-Up Cooking School

Billed as one of the top 10 cooking-school proprietors in the world, Venetian countess Enrica Rocca has been invited to host her internationally acclaimed cooking classes at London’s Smallbone Kitchen showroom in Knightsbridge. This series of pop-up cookery master classes opens on the heals of Rocca’s recent cookbook release, Venice on a Plate: But What a Plate, which received the 2014 Gourmand ‘Best in the World’ Cookbook Award. At Smallbone’s kitchen showroom, Rocca will be leading a series of classes drawing from her cookbook, and from her repertoire of traditional and contemporary Venetian and Italian recipes. Guests are given brief lessons on wine and food pairing, historical background on Venetian cuisine, and the opportunity to learn Italian cooking from one of the world’s leading experts.
220 Brompton Rd; London SW3 2BB; +44 (0)20 3370; smallbone.co.uk

food_02

New York

The Garret

What makes The Garret one of New York’s most delightful new bars? Perhaps its clandestine second floor location above a burger shack? Maybe its minimalist cocktail list of only 12 drinks that doesn’t burden patrons with limitless choice? Or is it that, if the possibility of a blobby burger floats into your head, a waitress will ask the bar’s neighbour, West Village Five Guys Burger, who are just downstairs, to throw one on the griddle and bring it up to you? The Garret, a copper-ceilinged gem off 7th Avenue, is all of this, and more. The atmosphere is decidedly laid back, and the bar has a first- come, first-serve policy; an un-alienating measure that ensures a healthy mix of young patrons.
7th Avenue and Barrow St; info@garretnyc.com;
garretnyc.com

Casa Lever

Those who frequent Casa Lever, the Milanese contemporary restaurant at Park Avenue’s modernist architecture masterpiece, designed by Gordon Bunshaft in 1951, return not only to lunch on refined northern Italian fare, but to bask in the restaurant’s fabulous art collection. The restaurant recently expanded its Andy Warhol pop-art collection from 19 to 32 paintings, a rare stash (for a restaurant) valued at over $50 million. Casa Lever serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and is a favourite aperitif spot for locals shopping on Fifth Avenue or museum-haunting nearby. Casa Lever’s Gardens also host live music performances, ranging from Cuban rhythms to contemporary jazz.
390 Park Avenue at 53rd St. New York, 10022; +1 212 888 2700; casalever.com

Ivan Ramen

American chef Ivan Orkin, who boldly opened a ramen shop in Tokyo, recently teamed up with Ramen Burger creator Keizo Shimamoto, to open their Lower East Side flagship eatery, Ivan Ramen. The small, thin space references Tokyo’s famous ramen spots; the room is cozy and warm, dressed as it is in izakaya blond-wood and shiny crome. At the heart of the 60-cover space is a long ramen bar, where, besides soup, the chefs serve up nibbles like pork meatballs with buttermilk dressing, bulldog sauce and bonito or a variety of sake by the glass. But Orkin’s ramen stills commands the largest share of the attention, especially their triple pork, triple garlic mazemen ramen, a steaming bowl of tonokotsu broth and wholewheat noodles.
25 Clinton Street, New York:
+1 646 678 3859;
ivanramen.com

food_boxout

To Market

Three of the best food markets at Arik Air destinations

True foodies love the full sensory experience – smelling, touching, exploring and discussing the provenance of ingredients on offer. Pick up a tasty souvenir or get your grill on as soon as the fisherman anchor their pirogues…

ACCRA

The Accra Green Market
Ghana’s first-ever farmer’s market brings together small-scale producers touting locally grown, sustainable, and organic produce at Ako Adjei park. Founded by Agripro – a mobile-app company that provides farmers with access to marketplaces, producers sell items such as high-end local forest honey, mushroom wine and a huge array of fresh fruit and veg to well-off Ghanaians, expats and chefs from leading hotels and restaurants.
facebook.com/AccraGreenMarket

DAKAR

Soumbedioune Fish Market
Every sunset, just after the fishermen have parked their pirogues, 20 or so vendors set up their wood-fired grills. Pull up a plastic chair and dine on mullet, snapper, grilled prawns, crab and giant barracuda alongside salad and a cold brew. Soumbedioune is located in a cove next to Magic Island in the city centre.

JOHANNESBURG

Neighbourgoods
Every Saturday from 9am–3pm, come rain or shine, you can buy farm-fresh foods and speciality ingredients such as organic wines, terrines and condiments at Jo’burg’s marvellous Neighbourgoods Market, alongside clothes by SA designers.

Housed in a modernist building that is adorned by a jaw-dropping 15-storey wall mural by the artist Eduardo Villa, the market is a meeting point for the creative people of Johannesburg’s Braamfontein neighbourhood.
73 Juta Street Braamfontein, neighbourgoodsmarket.co.

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Gallivanter http://arikwings.com/?p=3710 http://arikwings.com/?p=3710#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:45:42 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3710 Lagos Photo When October 25–November 26 Where Lagos Launched in 2010, Nigeria’s first festival of photography has never failed to impress with its roll call of game-changing photographers, workshops and events. The festival’s popularity is testament to the diversity of people and stories coming from all over Africa, from dusty rural towns to the gleaming glass offices, noise and traffic of Lagos. The month-long festival programme is packed with events, from the exhibition itself to artist presentations, Q & A sessions, and panel discussions. This year’s theme, “Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction” examines the blurred lines between documentation and art, photography and truth. By incorporating genres such as staged narratives, performance, self-portraiture, and still life, photographers push the boundaries of the medium. While photography has historically been positioned as a ‘window to the world,’ with an immediate and tangible relationship to its subject matter, many contemporary artists working on the continent incorporate image-based strategies that move beyond the confines of photojournalism to produce works that negotiate the complex social and political concerns that define a new Africa in the twenty-first century. It is a fascinating theme made more intriguing by the presence this year of the travelling World Press Photo exhibition. All this is tempered with a light-hearted element to the festival,  the Etisalat Photography Competition, “Mastering the Selfie.” Time to get those camera phones above your heads, ladies and gentlemen. lagosphotofestival.com Africa On The Square Festival When October 11 Where London The huge stone lions that grace the edge of Trafalgar Square will feel right at home this October, when the Africa on the Square Festival comes to Trafalgar Square. Expect a relaxed atmosphere, with the sounds of rhythmic drumming from the live musicians and colourful fashion while you eat your way through food stalls hailing from all corners of the continent. There’s plenty to see and do, with a packed line up that includes dancing and other performances, family-friendly activities for kids, and stalls where you can pick up some goodies to bring home. london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/african-festival-2014 Felabration When October 13–19 Where Lagos As the creator of afrobeat, political activist, and champion of the underprivileged, musical legend Fela Kuti deserves a celebration. In Lagos this takes the form of Felabration, an annual festival of music and arts that coincides with Fela Kuti’s birthday. In its 13 years, Felabration has grown into a massive week-long festival that attracts thousands to the New Africa Shrine in Lagos to see musical guests like Hugh Masakela, Femi Kuti, Les Nubians, Baba Maal, King Sunny Ade and others play. Alongside the musical guests are other events, including the ‘Fela Debates’ symposium series, dance troupes, photo exhibitions and the always-colourful Fela Street Carnival Parade with elaborate floats and dancers in intricate costumes. It’s always fun, and best of all, almost all of the events are free. felabration.net Port Harcourt Book Festival When October 20–25 Where Port Harcourt Port Harcourt may not seem like the likeliest place for a world-class literary festival, but the Port Harcourt Book Festival proves doubters wrong. The festival has been going strong for a solid seven years, and this year Port Harcourt is the UNESCO World Book Capital, an accolade that spurred on the organisers of the festival to expand the events on offer. It’s moved to a venue three times the size of the previous year which means a greatly improved capacity for the events, which include the main book fair, symposia, seminars, meet and greets with authors, and book signings for the general public. Also included are writers’ workshops, author readings,  and even events for children – all the better to instil a love of reading early on. This year’s celebrated books include titles by Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Elechi Amadi, Kofi Annan, and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. portharcourtbookfestival.com London Fashion Weekend When September 18-21 Where London Walk down any street in London and you’ll notice that its denizens are always creatively dressed, with personalities expressed before you’re even close enough to greet them. Where Paris fashion is shorthand for sophistication and grace, Milan’s is provocative and ‘molto sexy’, and New York’s is sleek and powerful, London fashion is creative, playful, and cool, with British designers always on the cutting edge. London Fashion Weekend, held at Somerset House, is a great way to see all of this in a mere four days. Visitors can enjoy designer shopping, catwalk shows, and style advice from the best fashion insiders and brands in the business. There are talks and demonstrations, along with a selection of exclusive pop-up shops from over 80 of the country’s best-loved labels. Pick up some freebies and statement pieces to complete your 2014 look before finishing up with a glass of prosecco and pampering yourself with some stellar hair and beauty treatments. londonfashionweekend.co.uk New York Comic Con When October 9–12 Where New York City Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s New York Comic Con, where the most die-hard fanboys and geek girls unite in their love for all things comics. Held at Gotham City’s very own Javits Center, the enormous show floor is host to the greatest in the world of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, gaming, movies, and television. One of the best parts of Comic Con is seeing all the intricately-costumed cosplayers stalk the halls of Artist Alley in search of the meet and greets with the best inkers and writers, panels and autograph sessions with their fantasy heroes, panel discussions, exclusive previews, and masterclasses. This year the legendary Stan Lee presides, with other guests from Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, comic artists like Matt Fraction and Takeshi Obata. At USD35, day tickets are cheap when you take into account the sheer number of things on offer.  It’s well worth it for both the most dedicated fans and the general public for the spectacle alone. newyorkcomiccon.com What’s On, When The best apps for finding out what’s happening at three Arik destinations, right now Best for Lagos Eventbrite (iOS, Android) Global events […]

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I am Walé Respect Me

Lagos Photo

When October 25–November 26
Where Lagos
Launched in 2010, Nigeria’s first festival of photography has never failed to impress with its roll call of game-changing photographers, workshops and events. The festival’s popularity is testament to the diversity of people and stories coming from all over Africa, from dusty rural towns to the gleaming glass offices, noise and traffic of Lagos.

The month-long festival programme is packed with events, from the exhibition itself to artist presentations, Q & A sessions, and panel discussions.

This year’s theme, “Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction” examines the blurred lines between documentation and art, photography and truth. By incorporating genres such as staged narratives, performance, self-portraiture, and still life, photographers push the boundaries of the medium. While photography has historically been positioned as a ‘window to the world,’ with an immediate and tangible relationship to its subject matter, many contemporary artists working on the continent incorporate image-based strategies that move beyond the confines of photojournalism to produce works that negotiate the complex social and political concerns that define a new Africa in the twenty-first century. It is a fascinating theme made more intriguing by the presence this year of the travelling World Press Photo exhibition.

All this is tempered with a light-hearted element to the festival,  the Etisalat Photography Competition, “Mastering the Selfie.” Time to get those camera phones above your heads, ladies and gentlemen.
lagosphotofestival.com

Africa On

The Square Festival

When October 11
Where London
The huge stone lions that grace the edge of Trafalgar Square will feel right at home this October, when the Africa on the Square Festival comes to Trafalgar Square. Expect a relaxed atmosphere, with the sounds of rhythmic drumming from the live musicians and colourful fashion while you eat your way through food stalls hailing from all corners of the continent. There’s plenty to see and do, with a packed line up that includes dancing and other performances, family-friendly activities for kids, and stalls where you can pick up some goodies to bring home.
london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/african-festival-2014

felabration

Felabration

When October 13–19
Where Lagos
As the creator of afrobeat, political activist, and champion of the underprivileged, musical legend Fela Kuti deserves a celebration. In Lagos this takes the form of Felabration, an annual festival of music and arts that coincides with Fela Kuti’s birthday.

In its 13 years, Felabration has grown into a massive week-long festival that attracts thousands to the New Africa Shrine in Lagos to see musical guests like Hugh Masakela, Femi Kuti, Les Nubians, Baba Maal, King Sunny Ade and others play. Alongside the musical guests are other events, including the ‘Fela Debates’ symposium series, dance troupes, photo exhibitions and the always-colourful Fela Street Carnival Parade with elaborate floats and dancers in intricate costumes. It’s always fun, and best of all, almost all of the events are free.
felabration.net

Port Harcourt Book Festival

When October 20–25
Where Port Harcourt
Port Harcourt may not seem like the likeliest place for a world-class literary festival, but the Port Harcourt Book Festival proves doubters wrong. The festival has been going strong for a solid seven years, and this year Port Harcourt is the UNESCO World Book Capital, an accolade that spurred on the organisers of the festival to expand the events on offer. It’s moved to a venue three times the size of the previous year which means a greatly improved capacity for the events, which include the main book fair, symposia, seminars, meet and greets with authors, and book signings for the general public. Also included are writers’ workshops, author readings,  and even events for children – all the better to instil a love of reading early on. This year’s celebrated books include titles by Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Elechi Amadi, Kofi Annan, and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
portharcourtbookfestival.com

KRL092_LONDON_FASHION_WEEKEND_BFC

London Fashion Weekend

When September 18-21
Where London
Walk down any street in London and you’ll notice that its denizens are always creatively dressed, with personalities expressed before you’re even close enough to greet them. Where Paris fashion is shorthand for sophistication and grace, Milan’s is provocative and ‘molto sexy’, and New York’s is sleek and powerful, London fashion is creative, playful, and cool, with British designers always on the cutting edge.

London Fashion Weekend, held at Somerset House, is a great way to see all of this in a mere four days. Visitors can enjoy designer shopping, catwalk shows, and style advice from the best fashion insiders and brands in the business. There are talks and demonstrations, along with a selection of exclusive pop-up shops from over 80 of the country’s best-loved labels. Pick up some freebies and statement pieces to complete your 2014 look before finishing up with a glass of prosecco and pampering yourself with some stellar hair and beauty treatments.
londonfashionweekend.co.uk

LONDON, UK - MONTH 00: XXXXX. Month 00, 201X in London.

New York Comic Con

When October 9–12
Where New York City
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s New York Comic Con, where the most die-hard fanboys and geek girls unite in their love for all things comics. Held at Gotham City’s very own Javits Center, the enormous show floor is host to the greatest in the world of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, gaming, movies, and television. One of the best parts of Comic Con is seeing all the intricately-costumed cosplayers stalk the halls of Artist Alley in search of the meet and greets with the best inkers and writers, panels and autograph sessions with their fantasy heroes, panel discussions, exclusive previews, and masterclasses. This year the legendary Stan Lee presides, with other guests from Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, comic artists like Matt Fraction and Takeshi Obata.
At USD35, day tickets are cheap when you take into account the sheer number of things on offer.  It’s well worth it for both the most dedicated fans and the general public for the spectacle alone.
newyorkcomiccon.com

What’s On, When

The best apps for finding out what’s happening at three Arik destinations, right now

Best for Lagos
Eventbrite (iOS, Android)
Global events app Eventbrite is perfect for networking-savvy Nigerians. Find events, print tickets, and connect to social media straight from the app.

Best for Johannesburg CompuTicket (iOS, Android)
Access to South Africa’s best musicals, live events, rugby, soccer, and sporting events straight from your mobile. You’ll never be stuck for things to do.

Best for London
YPlan (iOS, Android)
Also available for New York, this app has an excellently curated list of events and an innovative design that lets you find what’s available. Best for the spontaneous and those looking for an insider’s guide (and insider prices) on what’s happening tonight, tomorrow, and the next day.

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The Language Of Colour http://arikwings.com/?p=3713 http://arikwings.com/?p=3713#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:45:27 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3713 Becoming more aware of and receptive to the colour that surrounds us benefits our happiness, wellbeing and lots more besides Words Caroline Shola Arewa Colour plays an important role in our lives. Imagine life without the rays of the sun or the blue sky; a garden with grey and dreary flowers. Fruit and other foods would be unappetising without colour. If your clothes were dull and lacking in vibrancy, life would get fairly dull also. Colour brightens your life on the road, making it welcoming and inspiring; It affects us in myriad ways, both consciously and unconsciously. Is there anything to be gained from becoming more aware of the colours that surround us? I did some research, and it seems colour enhances every aspect of our lives and wellbeing; from increasing our physical health and lifting our emotions to stabilising moods and increasing our overall sense of happiness and success. Technicolour Dreams Colour is how we define our perception of different wavelengths and frequencies of light. It’s a small part of the electromagnetic energy that surrounds us. Each hue has a unique wavelength and frequency. Colour impacts our emotions and moods so much that we even have language to describe its effect. We speak of being ‘green with envy’, or getting angry and ’seeing red’; when amused, we are said to be ’tickled pink’. Something that spontaneously springs to mind comes ‘out of the blue’. We can also feel ‘blue’, a bit down and depressed. In her book, The Temple Of My Familiar, Alice Walker describes one of her characters according to colour. “Carlotta was yellow. The young, hopeful immigrant color, the color of balance, the color of autumn leaves, half the planet’s flowers, the color of endurance and optimism”. Each colour has its own emotional vibration that has a profound influence on our moods. Style Spectrum The shades you wear and the colours you eat also play a critical role in determining your energy levels. High energy supports high performance in all aspects of life; whether it is at home, business, work, playing for fun or competing to win. Understanding the power of colour will give you an advantage. Be aware of the shades in your wardrobe. Do you have all seven rays of the rainbow? The colours of our attire provide the potential for full expression. Ozwald Boateng, the renowned fashion designer featured in issue 18 of Wings, is famous for bringing colour to Savile Row, London’s prestigious home of bespoke tailoring. Colour is not only worn at celebrations, but can enhance our everyday lives. In the boardroom, it denotes confidence and success. It’s used in schools to help children grow up feeling proud and successful and it’s always guaranteed to make people feel good. Rainbow Plates When it comes to food, we know to think ‘green’; green is the shade of spring, new life and fresh leaves. I take this a step further. In my book, Energy 4 Life, I advocate eating a full spectrum of rainbow colours. A rich, plant-based diet, of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables, generates optimum health. Science now shows that fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants which can reduce the risk of cancer and other major health issues. All seven colours can be included daily with an emphasis on green. Green foods are high in chlorophyll, liquid sunshine. Try avocados, cucumber, spinach, kale, lettuce plus other leafy greens. They provide an abundance of phytochemicals to help boost immunity, lower cholesterol and, of course, raise your energy levels. They are also good sources of calcium, iron and protein. Use them in juices and smoothies to increase your nutritional intake. Since colour plays such a vital role in our lives, it figures that it has a place in rebalancing and restoring our physical health. So next time you feel a bit ‘off colour’, choose colours that support healing. Blue or green in the environment are very calming, and can soothe and relax the nervous system, providing an opportunity for the body to rejuvenate. Red is stimulating, so can be used to reverse tiredness and aid sluggish circulation. Plus, it’s the colour of passion. Red is also known to boost a flagging appetite; hence it is often seen in restaurant décor. The pigments in fruit and vegetables have been found to promote heart health, improve vision, repair gene damage and help fight cancer. Immunity can be improved, blood pressure reduced and brain health preserved. Don’t underestimate the difference a change of colour can make in your life. Experiment, make simple shifts, adopt more colour and embrace the powerful difference a ray makes. Colour Psychology What a difference a ray makes Red The energising colour of action, inner power and strength. Wear sparingly as it can be seen as overpowering and aggressive. Orange Orange can be warm, happy and optimistic. It’s good for creating connection and social activity. Yellow The colour of the sun and creativity, it stimulates the mind, and is therefore good for business. Green Green denotes, health, growth and vitality. It’s a healing and expansive colour with a sense of generosity and compassion. Blue A safe and reliable colour, often used by those in authority to cultivate trust. Wear this shade in interviews. Indigo The colour of the night sky resonates with stillness, wisdom and intuition. Use it when important decisions need to be made. Violet Violet is a peaceful colour that represents the spiritual. It implies meaning, purpose and the union of body and mind. It’s often seen in religious attire. Beauty Buzz Pack these products to brighten up your travels Aura Soma Parfum Aura-Soma Pegasus fragrances express the visual and non-visual energies of colour. They are a blend of essential oils, herbal extracts and colours, with aromas specially formulated to smell good and powerfully uplift the wearer’s mood. pegasus-parfum.com Zephorium Zephorium use colour and affirmations to help you change your thoughts and empower your life. These natural oils for your hair and body are in sets of beautifully coloured bottles. […]

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Style with a colorful attitude

Becoming more aware of and receptive to the colour that surrounds us benefits our happiness, wellbeing and lots more besides

Words Caroline Shola Arewa

Colour plays an important role in our lives. Imagine life without the rays of the sun or the blue sky; a garden with grey and dreary flowers. Fruit and other foods would be unappetising without colour. If your clothes were dull and lacking in vibrancy, life would get fairly dull also. Colour brightens your life on the road, making it welcoming and inspiring; It affects us in myriad ways, both consciously and unconsciously.

Is there anything to be gained from becoming more aware of the colours that surround us? I did some research, and it seems colour enhances every aspect of our lives and wellbeing; from increasing our physical health and lifting our emotions to stabilising moods and increasing our overall sense of happiness and success.

Technicolour Dreams

Colour is how we define our perception of different wavelengths and frequencies of light. It’s a small part of the electromagnetic energy that surrounds us. Each hue has a unique wavelength and frequency. Colour impacts our emotions and moods so much that we even have language to describe its effect. We speak of being ‘green with envy’, or getting angry and ’seeing red’; when amused, we are said to be ’tickled pink’. Something that spontaneously springs to mind comes ‘out of the blue’. We can also feel ‘blue’, a bit down and depressed. In her book, The Temple Of My Familiar, Alice Walker describes one of her characters according to colour. “Carlotta was yellow. The young, hopeful immigrant color, the color of balance, the color of autumn leaves, half the planet’s flowers, the color of endurance and optimism”. Each colour has its own emotional vibration that has a profound influence on our moods.

Style Spectrum

The shades you wear and the colours you eat also play a critical role in determining your energy levels. High energy supports high performance in all aspects of life; whether it is at home, business, work, playing for fun or competing to win. Understanding the power of colour will give you an advantage. Be aware of the shades in your wardrobe. Do you have all seven rays of the rainbow? The colours of our attire provide the potential for full expression. Ozwald Boateng, the renowned fashion designer featured in issue 18 of Wings, is famous for bringing colour to Savile Row, London’s prestigious home of bespoke tailoring. Colour is not only worn at celebrations, but can enhance our everyday lives. In the boardroom, it denotes confidence and success. It’s used in schools to help children grow up feeling proud and successful and it’s always guaranteed to make people feel good.

Rainbow Plates

When it comes to food, we know to think ‘green’; green is the shade of spring, new life and fresh leaves. I take this a step further. In my book, Energy 4 Life, I advocate eating a full spectrum of rainbow colours.
A rich, plant-based diet, of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables, generates optimum health. Science now shows that fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants which can reduce the risk of cancer and other major health issues. All seven colours can be included daily with an emphasis on green. Green foods are high in chlorophyll, liquid sunshine. Try avocados, cucumber, spinach, kale, lettuce plus other leafy greens. They provide an abundance of phytochemicals to help boost immunity, lower cholesterol and, of course, raise your energy levels. They are also good sources of calcium, iron and protein. Use them in juices and smoothies to increase your nutritional intake.

Since colour plays such a vital role in our lives, it figures that it has a place in rebalancing and restoring our physical health. So next time you feel a bit ‘off colour’, choose colours that support healing. Blue or green in the environment are very calming, and can soothe and relax the nervous system, providing an opportunity for the body to rejuvenate. Red is stimulating, so can be used to reverse tiredness and aid sluggish circulation. Plus, it’s the colour of passion.

Red is also known to boost a flagging appetite; hence it is often seen in restaurant décor. The pigments in fruit and vegetables have been found to promote heart health, improve vision, repair gene damage and help fight cancer. Immunity can be improved, blood pressure reduced and brain health preserved. Don’t underestimate the difference a change of colour can make in your life. Experiment, make simple shifts, adopt more colour and embrace the powerful difference a ray makes.

Colour Psychology

What a difference a ray makes

Red
The energising colour of action, inner power and strength. Wear sparingly as
it can be seen as overpowering and aggressive.

Orange
Orange can be warm, happy and optimistic. It’s good for creating connection and social activity.

Yellow
The colour of the sun and creativity, it stimulates the mind, and is therefore good for business.

Green
Green denotes, health, growth and vitality. It’s a healing and expansive colour with a sense of generosity and compassion.

Blue
A safe and reliable colour, often used by those in authority to cultivate trust. Wear this shade in interviews.

Indigo
The colour of the night sky resonates with stillness, wisdom and intuition.
Use it when important decisions need to be made.

Violet
Violet is a peaceful colour that represents the spiritual. It implies meaning, purpose and the union of body and mind. It’s often seen in religious attire.

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Beauty Buzz

Pack these products to brighten up your travels

Aura Soma Parfum

Aura-Soma Pegasus fragrances express the visual and non-visual energies of colour. They are a blend of essential oils, herbal extracts and colours, with aromas specially formulated to smell good and powerfully uplift the wearer’s mood.
pegasus-parfum.com

Zephorium

Zephorium use colour and affirmations to help you change your thoughts and empower your life. These natural oils for your hair and body are in sets of beautifully coloured bottles. The shades relate to the rainbow and natural world around us.
zephorium.com

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Plane Truth http://arikwings.com/?p=3716 http://arikwings.com/?p=3716#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:45:10 +0000 http://arikwings.com/?p=3716 12 little lies we tell ourselves before embarking on a trip Words Emma Woodhouse 1 I will pack the day before, in a serene and organised manner My clothes will be freshly laundered and neatly compartmentalised into a minimal number of practical outfits that correspond with the nature and length of my trip. Except for these sequinned clutch bags. I might need them on this weekend wilderness retreat. 2 I will check in early I won’t jump up and down in the security queue like a toddler who has consumed two litres of Coca Cola and then proceed to try and beat Usain Bolt’s world record to get to the gate before take-off. Also, I will not knock over a small child on the travelator like last time. Unless the child is wheeling one of those hazardous Trunki cases that obstruct my path. 3 I will not buy yet another overpriced international adaptor, charger or usb at the airport And not because I packed this morning in a total fluster and forgot them. 4 I am a thoughtful gift giver I’m boarding a plane home to visit family whom I haven’t seen in a year. I intended to gift my new baby nephew a hand-knit monogrammed baby blanket. So I forgot. He will treasure this inflatable travel pillow and tin of Harrods shortbread until his own children inherit them one day. 5 I need these convenient travel-sized bottles of conditioner and sunscreen No it doesn’t matter that they’re a waste of money, bad for the environment and I already packed conditioner. They’re cute. And convenient. Just like it says on the bottle. 6 I will not be a duty-free diva I will not slather my face with four of the most expensive face creams, wrists with half a bottle of Chanel no. 5, and cheeks with three shades of Mary J. Blige blush from the MAC counter in the Departures terminal. Just because it’s all there and my gate hasn’t been announced yet, it does not make it appropriate to board the plane looking like Liza Minelli in Cabaret. 7 I will finish my work on the flight I won’t watch three Nollywood movies that I wouldn’t normally watch at ground level instead. 8 I know what I’m having for dinner I will not pick up and read the inflight menu multiple times to decide between two dishes. But chicken or beef, though? Spicy or plain? Such a conundrum. 9 I will let that man have the empty row of seats I won’t spend the duration of take-off with my eyes menacingly piercing the soul of the man across the aisle, my peripheral vision firmly on the seatbelt sign waiting for it to turn off, activating a cheetah-like response; ready to pounce for the full row of empty seats behind us both. I really don’t care if he gets to them first. 10 My partner and I are considerate to fellow passengers We won’t book two seats either side of the middle seat in the hope that nobody else does and we get the row to ourselves. 11 I won’t look suspicious upon arrival I won’t avert my eyes and smile awkwardly at the floor as I scurry through the ‘nothing to declare’ lane simply because I’m intimidated by the poe-faced customs officials. I actually don’t have anything to declare but I ate some dried fish at a dubious market stall last week. What if they can detect micro-particles on my clothes and I end up in prison? 12 When I get back I won’t forget to immediately turn off my email auto-response and answer message that tells clients I’m on holiday and to contact my colleague instead. OK, maybe that one’s a lie.

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Relaxed Passenger

12 little lies we tell ourselves before embarking on a trip

Words Emma Woodhouse

1 I will pack the day before, in a serene and organised manner
My clothes will be freshly laundered and neatly compartmentalised into a minimal number of practical outfits that correspond with the nature and length of my trip. Except for these sequinned clutch bags. I might need them on this weekend wilderness retreat.

2 I will check in early
I won’t jump up and down in the security queue like a toddler who has consumed two litres of Coca Cola and then proceed to try and beat Usain Bolt’s world record to get to the gate before take-off. Also, I will not knock over a small child on the travelator like last time. Unless the child is wheeling one of those hazardous Trunki cases that obstruct my path.

3 I will not buy yet another overpriced international adaptor, charger or usb at the airport
And not because I packed this morning in a total fluster and forgot them.

4 I am a thoughtful gift giver
I’m boarding a plane home to visit family whom I haven’t seen in a year. I intended to gift my new baby nephew a hand-knit monogrammed baby blanket.
So I forgot. He will treasure this inflatable travel pillow and tin of Harrods shortbread until his own children inherit them one day.

5 I need these convenient travel-sized bottles of conditioner and sunscreen No it doesn’t matter that they’re a waste of money, bad for the environment and I already packed conditioner. They’re cute. And convenient. Just like it says on the bottle.

6 I will not be a duty-free diva
I will not slather my face with four of the most expensive face creams, wrists with half a bottle of Chanel no. 5, and cheeks with three shades of Mary J. Blige blush from the MAC counter in the Departures terminal. Just because it’s all there and my gate hasn’t been announced yet, it does not make it appropriate to board the plane looking like Liza Minelli in Cabaret.

7 I will finish my work on the flight
I won’t watch three Nollywood movies that I wouldn’t normally watch at ground level instead.

8 I know what I’m having for dinner
I will not pick up and read the inflight menu multiple times to decide between two dishes. But chicken or beef, though? Spicy or plain? Such a conundrum.

9 I will let that man have the empty row of seats I won’t spend the duration
of take-off with my eyes menacingly piercing the soul of the man across the aisle, my peripheral vision firmly on the seatbelt sign waiting for it to turn off, activating a cheetah-like response; ready to pounce for the full row of empty seats behind us both. I really don’t care if he gets to them first.

10 My partner and I are considerate to fellow passengers
We won’t book two seats either side of the middle seat in the hope that nobody else does and we get the row to ourselves.

11 I won’t look suspicious upon arrival
I won’t avert my eyes and smile awkwardly at the floor as I scurry through the ‘nothing to declare’ lane simply because I’m intimidated by the poe-faced customs officials. I actually don’t have anything to declare but I ate some dried fish at a dubious market stall last week. What if they can detect micro-particles on my clothes and I end up in prison?

12 When I get back I won’t forget to immediately turn off my email auto-response and answer message that tells clients I’m on holiday and to contact my colleague instead.
OK, maybe that one’s a lie.

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