Archives for posts with tag: Culture

Ayetoro, Afrobeat and Jazz ensemble from Nigeria is not alien to avid Afrobeat lovers. The band founded by pianist Funsho Ogundipe has consistently churned out great music for well over a decade and is not relenting.

The eclectic band with members from Nigeria, Ghana and the UK has seen singers like Asa, Okwei Odili, Teni Ade and more pass through on their musical journey, a testament of Funsho’s love for nurturing budding musicians and artists. The band has collaborated with some of the brightest musical and creative minds from different parts of the world.

Ayetoro has released a video for Yaro, the first single off their coming album which is yet to be titled. Yaro is coming on the heels of Irunmole, Ayetoro’s 2016 album which was well received, and has recently been released in vinyl format.

Yaro is Hausa for boy. The story is about a young man who wishes to join a secret group dedicated to the enlightenment of the common people.  In joining he is asked three philosophical questions.

In other related news, it was Ogundipe’s birthday some days ago. 8th precisely. Happy belated birthday Funsho, and thanks for the music.

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The song and the video are in Hausa. Click the link to enjoy more sounds of Ayetoro, and peep the video below.

https://ayetoro.bandcamp.com

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In this present day Africa where most things that are our trademark historically, economically, socially and culturally are getting eroded, it is refreshing to see people, especially young people that insist on being Africans- acknowledging the continents richness in spirituality, culture and other ways that pay homage to their rich roots.

Based in Eastern Nigeria, Precious Amarachi-Ugo a cultural enthusiast and explorer seeks to remind Africans of who we were, and what we can be. Her mission reads like the Ghanaian phrase SANKOFA which is a call for us to return to our roots. Amarachi-Ugo believes this is the path through which Africa and indeed Africans can be free again, in body, mind and spirit. We do too, and also love her love for mystery.

AFRIKAJUMP asked her questions about her life and great mission.
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AFRIKAJUMP-Thanks so much for giving some of your precious time, Precious. It is a real pleasure. Can you tell us when you realized your love for travel and exploring?

PRECIOUS-I realized the love for traveling at a very tender age. Mostly from my dad, I grew up with my dad; always traveling during the weekends, going to the borders of Benin and Nigeria to buy shoes that he sold in different places like the Ministry of works and sorts. They said I took after my dad in everything because as young as 10/11 years old, my parents were comfortable putting me in a bus whenever I’m going for a holiday and giving the driver a number to call when we alight. They knew I enjoyed it and I was smart enough to be safe.

AFRIKAJUMP-Yes we don’t need a soothsayer to make us see your bravery. Congrats. What does culture mean to you?

PRECIOUS-Culture is everything to me and also I will say I’m just an old soul. It became my own way of life, even when I barely knew what I was doing I’ve always been attracted to culture. I came from a poor staunch Christian home so anything with any cultural attributes was always frowned at and automatically labeled evil-one of the disadvantages we suffer from religion/colonization. To me however culture will always be that way of living; the way our ancestors lived, the way they flourished just with exactly what we have around us.

AFRIKAJUMP-Preach sister.  Tell us about your project Myafurika please.

PRECIOUS-Myafurika is a huge project that is going to affect almost every aspect of reawakening in Africa as a whole. Myafurika focuses on showcasing the beauty and wonders of Africa. We travel to those places in Africa with historical heritages, rich in traditions and nature. Places that hold histories of Africa that most Africans don’t know ever happened. We go there, get pictures, videos then write about them for the world to see that Africa is not about dark people living in the dark; to show the world that Africa is beyond beautiful and to assure and teach our people that we can be greater and dependent by ourselves. We will also be introducing fashion very soon that we will make possible with our hand woven materials of course made here from start to finish.

AFRIKAJUMP-Sounds great, Good luck. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered on your adventures?

PRECIOUS-Finance. It has been a very big issue because most people that would have been able to finance are dragging back because they don’t agree with our stance, saying it’s against their religion. Some don’t just see the importance of the reawakening because they are comfortable in not knowing and don’t want to know.
Then there is the issue of bad roads. We do most of our traveling by road and most of our roads are death traps thus making some trips fearful ones.

AFRIKAJUMP-Many Nigerians your age mostly practice religions that were imposed on Africans but you hold your ancestral beliefs close to your heart. What is the motivation?

PRECIOUS-Like I said before,I’m an old soul,its within me. Even with the fact of being born into  a staunch Christian home,religion never made sense to me. My grandmother played a big part in motivating me, around the short period I stayed with her,in the evenings when we sit in the veranda, and I ask her questions about religion she always ended up with a line I never forget. She will say to me ‘My dear daughter, always keep your heart clean and pure and always , have good intentions towards your fellow humans cause in anybody religion is within themselves’.

AFRIKAJUMP- Wise words. What do you propose to encourage religious tolerance in Nigeria, particularly those of our native belief systems?

PRECIOUS-Whenever the discussions on that tolerance is raised, I always use the saying “Live and let live” we live in a country that supports freedom of religion and that wasn’t categorized on some and some are left. So if some religion or Christians and/or Muslims are against native believers,what makes them different from what they preach about which is “Love”? So I think individuals should learn to understand that people’s way of worship doesn’t change anything from who they are, before any religion we were first of all  Humans. And no amount of religion is going change that.

AFRIKAJUMP- Preach. What is your dream destination?

PRECIOUS-South Africa,Greece

AFRIKAJUMP-Can you describe your city in one word?

PRECIOUS-Beautiful
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CHECK PRECIOUS’ WEBSITE HERE

http://myafurika.com/

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/MyAfurika/

 

Nigeria is home to many prolific story tellers, always has been. It is evident in movies; music; writers and especially vivid in its theater. 60s and 70s Nigeria saw a boom in drama and stage performances with human proponents like Hubert Ogunde, Baba Sala, Eddie Ugbomah, Ken Saro Wiwa and many other lesser known but well loved thespians that impacted their immediate communities and cities.

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AFRIKAJUMP is happy to have here Temitope Omobolanle Haastrup-Atitebi, a gifted actor often sighted in quality theatrical productions in Nigeria. She was part of the popular SARO-The Musical; which had a cast of over one hundred artists, and has also played Funmilayo Kuti, activist and mother of legendary musician Fela Kuti. She continues to represent depth and detail in her field. The entrepreneur and charity organizer took time off her busy life to answer some questions about life and work.

Here goes.

AFRIKAJUMP- It is a real pleasure to have you on, sister. Thank you for giving us some of your time. How do you juggle being a theater artist and entrepreneur?

OMOBOLANLE-I have realized that I am blessed being a Theater artiste because theater is really encompassing. It prepares and trains you for the persistence and doggedness one needs in any area of life really. Fortunately, what I do as an entrepreneur is in the art; an extension of theater. I trained in acting, costume, make-up, stage management, theater management, directing and production management.

All these skills and knowledge come to play whenever I need them either as an Event manager or as a fashion and craft vendor. Truth be told I don’t even see it as work, because every event is a production that needs all these skills to become a success.
It was actually the theater that inspired my business and provided a platform for me to grow, needless to say most of my clients are in the industry and they give me a lot of referrals as well. That’s why I call myself a Theater-preneur.

AFRIKAJUMP- How did your journey into theater and performance start; and was your family supportive of your decision to study theater at the university?

OMOBOLANLE-I have always been in love with performing arts. I had been singing, writing, acting and dancing as part of school/extra curriculum activities. However I started becoming aware of the special gifts and passion I have for performing arts after secondary school while waiting to get into the University.
Sometime in 1995, I saw a notice board with an invitation to become an actress. I remember walking into the building, registering and being very excited; that was the beginning. Afterwards I went to the training venue somewhere off Yaba road and there I met Lancelot Odua Imasuen.
The training school was called Jovies. However the major challenge was convincing my family that I wanted to study Theater.

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They felt that I was confused and didn’t know what I wanted at the time. Studying theater was a waste of my intelligence as far as they were concerned. I must confess I was confused about a lot of things I wanted in life then but being a performer was not one of them. Theater has been the only constant thing in my life, something I never struggle to do.‎ I fought my way through the opposition from my family and even from within me; Theater won.

AFRIKAJUMP- Beautiful. Congrats. What was your first role you got a cheque for and what was the experience like?

OMOBOLANLE-I honestly can’t remember getting a pay cheque but am sure I did. The experience was much more than a cheque for me at the time. Just being able to perform, being acknowledged as an artiste trumps a million dollar cheque.

The play was OBASEKI produced and directed  by Don Pedro Obaseki  with a star-studded cast of Richard Mofe-Damijo, Norbert Young,Stella Damasus, Henry Ese, Toyin Oshinaike,Kabat Esosa-Egbon, Eliel Otote,Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen and a host of dancers and singers. Everything I know in the arts, j first learnt from these people. I went from being a singer in the Orchestra to becoming an actor and later to be declared best dancer by Don P! (Story for another day).

Later went on to work with Lancelot’s production company as a secretary and was the production secretary as well as an actor in his first films YEAR 2000 and YESTERDAY. I also did my first TV series called laugh patterns in 2002/2003.

AFRIKAJUMP- Lovely, I remember Laugh Patterns. And your fashion ventures, what inspired it?

OMOBOLANLE- I literally just found myself in fashion it wasn’t planned at all. I wanted to make souvenirs and gift items that are unique. Again the arts inspired me; I started looking at using materials that speaks of my cultural background that can appeal to the world. It just took off from making flip-flops to bangles and earrings to tote bags to hair accessories to t-shirts and then dresses and then to everything I can. I am also a very fashionable person so it became a translation of my lifestyle into work. Now I do costumes for productions, my latest jobs were AFFRIF the Christmas play by Harvesters Christian Church in 2016.

AFRIKAJUMP- You have also worked in theater productions which heavily incorporate music, like Saro, and you also played Fela’s mother, how has your exposure with different aspects to art affected you as an actor?

OMOBOLANLE- When I started out, there was excuse for not being able to sing, dance and act- it’s a must. There’s absolutely no doubt that I got the best training  from the best hands in the industry and what that has afforded me is that I can be in any kind of theater production in any capacity, and I always give much more than I have been called for. I contribute positively to every aspect of the production that I possibly can. Playing Fela’s mother Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a great honor and being part of Nigerian’s first commercially acclaimed musical was a dream come through which I was well equipped for.

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AFRIKAJUMP- What would you say of the reception by people in Nigeria about this important branch of art-theater?

OMOBOLANLE-Theater is life; it’s everything. Africans, Nigerians love telling stories, love spectacle; love music and dance and this is what theater is about unfortunately there was a lull, somewhere somehow we traded our essence for shadow. The craze of westernization and all its accompaniment almost killed theater but we are going back to embracing who we are and developing those things that makes us unique as a people. Nigerians are beginning to look for alternative forms of entertainment and theater is providing that especially because it’s not limited; there’s drama, music and dance and now even fashion. The theater is also very interactive and a great place to network.

AFRIKAJUMP- What has been your most challenging role so far?

OMOBOLANLE-My most challenging role was playing Iya Ibeji in Femi Osofisan’s Twingle Twangle a Twanny Tayle in 2003 as directed by Dr Sola Fosudo. It was my first lead role as an actor. I had to show a lot of emotions; one minute I am sad another I am angry or throwing tantrums….I had to manage my voice and be on point. I tried though because I won the best actress of the year at ATAS LASU 2003 for that role.

AFRIKAJUMP- Congrats girl. What would a dream role be, in your opinion?

OMOBOLANLE-Playing Sister Clarence in Sisters Act.

AFRIKAJUMP- What do you think upcoming theater enthusiasts need to know basically?

OMOBOLANLE-Theater is hard work with a lot of passion. Talent alone cannot take you far you must invest in developing yourself all the time. You must constantly reinvent.

AFRIKAJUMP- Can you describe your city in one word?

OMOBOLANLE-Inspiring.

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Translated into English, this Portuguese phrase means Jam at MAM. MAM is Salvador’s Museum of Modern Art in Bahia, Brazil. As the name indicates it is a center for contemporary arts, particularly visual arts but every Saturday MAM comes even more alive with hundreds of people attracted by amazing music from some of the state’s best musicians. Musicians from all parts of the world who visit Brazil often pass through to jam at MAM, with its wonderful view of the Atlantic ocean.

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TIP: Forget about finding a seat if you come later than 6 PM, when the show starts. Also if you don’t want to stay on the epic queue, come early.

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At Jam no MAM, popular and complicated jazz standards are improvised on by these talented musicians including Brazilian tunes. The musicians play just about anything from African music to American soul from folks like Roy Hargrove, Ray Charles and James Brown- whoever catches their fancy.

Another fun part of the event is that as a singer or musician attending the jam, you are very welcome if there’s time, to sing and play with the band. AFRIKAJUMP was there on February 11 where singers like Okwei Odili- Nigeria, Cecelia Stalin- Sweden joined with visiting instrumentalists from other parts of the world to play with Jam no MAM regulars like Ivan Huol, Matias Traut, Andre Cruz Tang, Ivan Bastos, Andre Becker, Gabi Guedes, his nephew Felipe Guedes, Bruno Aranha, Artur Carneiro and more. Joatan Nascimento, a prominent horn player in Bahia was in attendance.

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For more, check out their website and facebook below. Peace.

http://www.jamnomam.com.br

https://www.facebook.com/jamnomam/

Vodun or Voodoo festival celebrated every January in Ouidah Benin is a testament of Beninese’ resilience and commitment to their ancestral spirituality. The practice which is often misunderstood and painted in bad light was once banned by the West African nation’s imperialist oppressors until 1994. In 1996 it was declared one of Benin’s national religions; seeing as sixty percent of the country’s population continue to practice it, sometimes alongside Islam and Christianity.

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The ancient belief is practiced by over 60 million people worldwide.

In the festival devotees give offerings to ancestral spirits, ask for peace and blessings with rituals led by the Vodun Chief priest in Ouidah. They also pray at the sea for the souls of those who were forced into slavery some hundreds of years ago. Ouidah, like Nigeria’s Badagry was a major port of transportation of millions of people who were stolen from Africa’s Western region. These Africans are responsible for the export of the spiritual practice in some other parts of the world like Haiti, Cuba, America, Brazil and the United States.

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Leke Alabi-Isama a documentary photographer from Nigeria attended this year’s edition of the vibrant and energetic festival, and was gracious enough to share some of his shots from the event.

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To see more from the artist, check out his website below, and also subscribe to our blog.

http://www.alabiisama.com/

 

 

Sunday 29th of January 2017 ushered in the Senhor do Bomfim celebrations in Muritiba Bahia. It was a colorful event filled with dancing, costumes and yes; horses.

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AFRIKAJUMP captured some moments from the historical event that attracted people from many parts of the state and beyond; and as usual, African-Brazilians displayed their heritage proudly…

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More photos below:

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https://www.facebook.com/AfrikajumpWorldwide/

Hello good people,

Five years have passed since Afrikajump was launched with love for all things humane; African; global and cultural, and in these years of mostly internet silence we have gathered more knowledge and information, created new ideas, and advanced on our initial goals.

We are happy to be back, with a goal/promise to be more out here with our activities in 2017.

One of our big news is that Afrikajump has evolved into a full fledged international network of people from various walks of life who are qualified to handle any demands of music and multimedia productions, culture and tourism news and information, food, fashion, and technology which you may have.

Attached are photos of this year’s highlights; for us, with Nigerian and South American music collective Okwei Odili + Aweto band, collaboration by Brazilian visual artists Nerize Portela and Silvia Leme, photos by Heder Novaes with cool gig posters by Natalia Arjones.

In this post you will also find photos of some remarkable events we witnessed this year, from spiritual gatherings like Yemoja festival in Salvador, Brazil, to culturally influenced Atomic Afro Fest, Festival Latinidades in Brasilia, and even from the world of sports with the impressive 2-0 victory of Nigeria’s Super Eagles over their Danish counterparts in this year’s Olympics; to sweet Jazz music by A Cinq in dimly lit beautiful Casa da Mae in Rio Vermelho.

email/ afrikajump@gmail.com

facebook/ https://www.facebook.com/AfrikajumpWorldwide/

Special thanks everyone, and have a prosperous and peaceful 2017.