New African Fashion Issue

African Update – 03/01/12

New African Fashion Issue

In its first fashion issue, New African Woman explores the growing fashion industry on the continent, which is drawing attention on the world stage. This issue introduces readers to up and coming African fashion designers from across the continent. In particular, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dakar have become hubs for the industry. However, we also meet the Ghanain Nana Afua Atwi, the UK’s top model of color, Mary-Ann Kaikai (Mammy Yako) from Sierra Leone, and the Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara.

The issue looks at Fashion4Africa, an organization founded by London-based Anna Njie to promote the enormous potential of African textiles, designers, models as well as other music and culture on the continent and abroad. Check it out at

 Exceptional African Women

Simply B’Exotiq introduces us to Beatrice “Bee” Arthur, a flamboyant designer with Ghanaian and Russian roots, who combines the best of European and African fashion in her work through the company Simply B’Exotiq. Winner of the Kora Fashion Award in Sun City South Africa in 2001, and participated in a program to get young girls off the streets in Northern Ghana through sustainable income projects.

In Excavating African History: Redefining our Narrativethe issue profiles Sada Mire, Somaliland’s only archeologist and Somalia’s only female archeologist. A native of Mogadishu, Mire’s interest in archeology started when she was a student in Sweden and realized that while there were thousands upon thousands of books and researchers dedicated to the study of European culture through archeology, there was nothing parallel in Africa.

After struggling for years to drum up support for her work, Mire finished her PhD and is now supported by the United Nations to establish a department of tourism and archeology for Somaliland. She has also made several significant discoveries, including evidence of a trade between Somalia and Egypt of frankincense, a 5000 year-old rock site and ancient Chinese pottery, proof of an ancient trade relationship between China and East Africa. Mire hopes to prove that Africa was one of the first continents to enter the Iron Age. Her broader mission is to show the rest of the world as well as Somalis themselves, that Somalia is about more than war and poverty:

“I want people to know that Africa was at the forefront of technological development in the world and contributed not only slaves, but technology and knowledge to other cultures. It was not just always the recipient that we know it as today.”

Fatoumata Diawara: I’m not to be pitied profiles the stunningly talented singer-songwriter, Malian Fatoumata Diawara, who has just released the album Fatou. Diawara began her acting career at an early age and by the age of 14 was touring Europe. Despite her success, at age 20, her family tried to force her into an arranged marriage. What Fatoumata did then was almost unthinkable: she fled the country.

Landing in Paris, France, Diawara taught her self to play guitar, and soon discovered she had great potential as a singer-songwriter. Her latest album, Fatou, is her attempt to change the situation in Mali by raising awareness and giving a voice to women. Her beautiful and upbeat songs, nevertheless explore serious issues: two of the songs explore the highly prevalent practices of forced early marriage and female genital mutilation in Mali. You can listen to samples from Fatou on Diawara’s MySpace page:

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Book of the month

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

New arrivals

New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton

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