Apologies for missing both March and April posts – I actually got quite depressed after researching everything around the continent and realising that I would attend none of the amazing festivals. I mean, I still weep at the fact that I missed Ms Erykah Badu at the Cape Town Jazz festival. Ah well. next year

I’m pretty excited about May on the continent. Here goes our next installment – Wanderlust Afrique – May. Dear Universe…

1. Afrika Burn: Tankwa, South Africa 28 April – 4 May 2014

Source: http://www.sarahduff.com

Source: http://www.sarahduff.com

Afrika Burn is a local spin off from the Burning Man festival in U.S.A. where a bunch of crazy, yes crazy, people pack up and go party in the desert. Same goes here – a bunch of mad hatters go and enjoy a week of desert living, with out of this world costumes, burning effigies, building themed “homes” and partying the day and night away in the middle of the Karoo, a place called Tankwa Town. The desert comes alive as its own self sufficient town – I have read and heard that people bring goods and wares to barter to survive. It’s a week of creative expression and community

Annually, the tickets to Afrika Burn are sold out within days and people spend a year planning the trek.

One day, when I am brave.

See more here – http://www.afrikaburn.com/

 

2. HIFA – Harare, Zimbabwe 29 April – 4 May 2014

http://www.hifa.co.zw/

http://www.hifa.co.zw/

Harare International Festival of Arts is a 14 year old music and arts festival held in Zimbabwe annually.

I think it would be amazing to attend this festival to see a side of Zimbabwe art, culture and music that we rarely are exposed. From videos and images found online HIFA tells a story of energy, creativity and celebration. I imagine it is a similar festival of the arts to the National festival held in Grahamstown, South Africa in winter.

See more here – http://www.hifa.co.zw/

You can download the programme and read all about the artists involved  – http://issuu.com/hifa/docs/hifa_pogramme_2014_r_lores_singles

This is a definite for next year

3. Azgo: Maputo, Mozambique 23 – 24 May

The Azgo festival was started off the back of Bushfire festival as part of the Fire festival route. “AZGO is the second stop on the Firefest route, a network of festivals that links HIFA in Zimbabwe, AZGO in Mozambique, MTN Bushfire in Swaziland and Safiko Music in Reunion.”

The festival was started in 2011 by ex-music crush Paulo, the drummer of 340ml and has been dubbed as one of the important festivals on the continent. Though the main focus of the festival is music, it also incorporates film, art, craft fair and culinary adventures for the festival goers to enjoy

Though the festival is young, last year saw over 4000 people enjoying the celebration of Mozambican culture and music by established and upcoming artists.

Azgo is slang for “Let’s Go”. Shall we?

More here – www.azgofestival.com 

4. Mawazine: Rabat, Morocco 30 May – 7 June 2014

source: welovebuzz.com
source: welovebuzz.com

Started in 2001, Mawazine is held in the capital of Morocco, (I thought Casablanca was the capital) is an annual festival that sees local and international artists grace the stages over a week-long celebration of music. Also known as the Festival of Rhythm.

The festival has seen some big names in music such The Jacksons, Rihanna, Lenny Kravitz, Kanye West, Quincy Jones and David Guetta.

This year is no different with Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Jason Derulo (vom) and even Ricky Martin on the bill. More here – http://www.festivalmawazine.ma/home

5. MTN Bushfire Festival, House of Fire, Swaziland 30 May – 1 June

Last year, on a whim, my friends and I packed our things and jumped into the car and drove the three hours to Swaziland for a weekend away and to attend the annual MTN Bushfire festival.
I’d heard about this festival and had always wanted to see and feel and hear it! It far exceeded any and all expectation.

15 000 People from around the world attending this expression of creativity through music, poetry, arts and crafts in mountainous Swaziland in a large open venue called House of Fire. The energy is amazing

During the day and into the night there is theatre, eating, drinking, fun for kids, music and all manners of expression at House of Fire, with a crafts section of the huge open area where people sell accessories, clothes, shoes, pottery and more. I bought a lot of earrings.

MTN bushfire is by far one of the best, most comfortable, easily enjoyable festivals I’ve been to. Swaziland is beautiful and easy to get around, with natural majesties to get touristy and explore if not at the festival. What’s also quite wonderful is that because tickets aren’t ridiculously pricey, the festival is inclusive for everyone and not “well off” foreigners. I believe that proceeds of the festival also go NGO’s for community development, so the fun is for a good cause.

The drive from Joburg is incredible; the wait at the border on the festival weekend is remarkable – i think we waited 2 hours to get stamped. but well worth it. So Bring your Fire
 

More here: http://www.bush-fire.com/

I’ll be missing out on Spoek Mathambo, Nakhane Toure, Oliver Mtukudzi, artists I’ve never heard of and more in favour of, LAST BUT NOT LEAST ….

6. DStv Delicious Festival – Joburg Botanical Gardens  31 May

Last year saw the inaugural  Music & Food Festival of epic proportions in Joburg – the DStv Delicious festival. (Most people who know me know how much I love saying the word “delicious”).

In 2013 the festival was held at Blue Hills Estate out in Lonehill and it was perfect! a 2 hour electrifying set from Jamiroquai, sightings of hobo looking Idris Elba, beautiful people, a lot of delicious food, and the most incredible sound system I’ve ever experienced. I mean, every note from every single artists was clear and crisp – I heard lyrics I thought were mumbles, beats I’d never noted before. Danced and danced and danced and accosted Jamiroquai at the after party

This year, I’m ridiculously excited for the international line-up at the open air festival – Brand New Heavies, Soul II Soul, Incognito. I may pee in my pants. I may die after that weekend. (The day before, 30 May, I’ll be checking out Foreign Exchange at Bassline in Newtown). Can you say scream?
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For more on the premier Music & Food Festival that you cannot miss out on, check these links.

Tickets can be bought here: Computicket 

Follow Delicious here for updates: @DeliciousFestSA

Til the next Wanderlust, see you on the streets my people


Almost didn’t recognise myself. So much of happy.

IMG-20140307-WA0000 IMG_11247684366844

It’s been a tough start to the year, so when I saw these I felt like everything was going to be alright.

Captured at the first wedding of the year; my beautiful friends Rose & Nash said their vows surrounded by and sharing love at a gorgeous venue in Muldersdrift.

Images by Natalie Noels.

Photobomber: Bontle Buddy Modiselle


Thathi’sgubu, thathi’sgubhu….

It’s been almost a decade since the sensational kwaito / afrobeat band were together to dazzle and enchant us mere mortals. BONGA MAFFIN are going to be on stage, in 2014, this weekend. All four original members. Thanks to Castle Milk Stout #CMSNightPicnic.

When last did we have such good news? I mean, Speedy and his towel will be there, Stoane with that voice and words I sang along to without knowing the meaning, Appleseed and all his dreaded glory and of course, the irreverent King Tha! This is truly a once in a decade situation.

I still can't believe it.

I still can’t believe it.

 

It’s going to be a night picnic session in Wemmer Pan (where is that?) on Saturday 22 February. Also on the line-up are hot as fuck (looks? maybe. skill? fuck yeah) DJ’s Kenzhero (I never know how to spell his name), Sphe, Ndubble, Vigi and Amu (Amu DJ’s?)

How do we go? (I say we because i too had to do this)

  1. Log on to Facebook
  2. Go to Castle Milk Stout SAB page
  3. Click on the competition tab
  4. Fill in your details in the form and cross fingers.

The competition closes this Friday 21 Feb. So get on it.

 

 



“Pour, drank…. why you babysitting only two or three shots, imma show you how to turn it up a notch”

MILLERBOOMTOWN

By now you know my boo, Kendrick Lamar,  is coming to our shores next week hosted by Miller & Airey Scott’s BoomTown. You also know that there’s a hot local line-up for the show including everyone’s favourite rappers Khuli Chana and Reason.

Did you see the electric performance with K.Dot and Imagine Dragon at the Grammy’s last week? I thought I was giddy before, but after seeing that, I’m literally going to pee in my pants from hysteric excitement. Okay, maybe not, but you get my point.

Anyway, now that I’ve calmed down to mild panic, I’m giving away two tickets to the Johannesburg leg of the Good kid m.A.A.D city tour to one lucky reader.

The competition is super easy peasy, I promise. I hate working too hard to win things so I won’t put you through any of that.

All you have to do is: (BOTH)

1. Comment on this post with favourite Kendrick Lamar track, hook or line. No need to explain yourself, just promise me you’re singing along out loud while you type 🙂

2. Tweet or Facebook the link to this post and include the hottest hashtag on the streets rights right now #MILLERBOOMTOWN

EASY NE? Competition closes Monday 3 February at 1pm. Random selection. I’ll announce the winner at 5pm and we’ll figure out delivery.

and GO…

 

 

 

 

 


My longest and most pressing dream is to travel Africa. I don’t go a day without imagining what I would see, what I’d eat, who I would speak to, dance with and every wonder I could experience on my continent of richness.

The other day, lusting at  festival calendars in Southern Africa and thinking about the music and cultural festivals I want to attend this year – like Afrika Burn, Oppikoppi festival, The Cape Town Jazz Festival, Bushfire festival, Lake of the Stars – I started to cast my mind to the festivals that happen across the continent.

So, as one does, I got lost on the interwebs and lived vicariously through google, blogs, flickr, and everyone else’s experience of these festival.

Hours of clicking, mouth agape, eyes widening, hope fluttering I was inconsolably enveloped by wanderlust. I may not be able to afford to go to all these places right now, but why not experience them anyway? Then the idea of sharing some of these festivals here, as a way of putting it out into the world, was birthed.

So every month, I will post some interesting festival guides and we can live vicariously through the internet together, until one day it is possible for me to attend all the wonders and give you first hand accounts. Or maybe you’ll go, and tell me all about them Welcome to Wanderlust Afrique, February 2014 edition.

1. Sauti Za Busara – Tanzania – 13 – 16 February

Source: www.2camels.com

Image source: www.2camels.com

Music festival that takes place annually in February on the streets of one the world’s oldest cities; Stone Town, Zanzibar. In Swahili, “sauti za busara” means “sounds of wisdom”. Outside of the live African music element from various artists, there are street parades, fashion shows, artists exhibitions, open air cinema and of course all the other amazing tourist things you can do in Zanzibar, including swimming with dolphins. The festival celebrates its eleventh year in existence and it enjoys the prestige of having been listed as part of Top 25 best festivals. They say it is the “friendliest festival on the planet” – which is believable from my of experience of East African people being kind, soft spoken, welcoming and so full of life. I imagine you’d experience an explosion of cultural celebration through music and other activities, also, Zanzibar is just beautiful, magical and rich in history

2. Up the Creek – Western Cape, South Africa – 30 Jan – 2 Feb 2014

Image source: http://www.tailsofamermaid.com/

Image source: http://www.tailsofamermaid.com/

I’ve never even imagined a water festival. From what I can tell, festival goers float about on a river and watch live bands on different stages, under the sky. I wonder if it as crazy as that sounds. Anyway, there’s comedy and music, over four days, three stages and probably a lot of sunburn. The uniqueness of this festival is that it is about the river. One of the stages is basically a floating device, the bar and some food stalls (amazing) and with that, there would obviously be a competition for the most creative floating device you can put together – if you so wish. This year’s line-up has about 30 artists from rock, to trance, to hip hop and more. When you’re done being a water baby, camp sites available to dry out and rest. So, float on to Breede River, Swellendam and splash away the weekend with laughs and music in a laid-back, no frills, no VIP setting.

 3. Festival on the Niger – Segou, Mali – 5 – 9 Feb 2014

image source: Travellingman

image source: Travellingman

Festival on the Niger is a traditional and contemporary live music event that takes place in Mali city of Segou, with a stage set up just on the shore of the Niger River. It’s a three day festival that is not only nightly music concerts, but also day time activities including showcases of traditional arts and crafts, there are also theatre performances and film screenings. Each year there is a festival theme that will be focus of the conferences, exhibitions and performances and this year’s is “Cultural Diversity and National Unity”. The festival was started as a way to celebrate the richness of cultural and creative expression in Mali and the region.

4. Eyo Festival – Lagos, Nigeria

Image source: http://www.yorubaunion.se/

Image source: http://www.yorubaunion.se/

This is one of the most confusing festivals I’ve come across. A few years ago, I visited Lagos and the streets of Victoria Island had remnants of some sort of street bash, and the driver who had picked me up from the airport tried to explain it to me and I just couldn’t comprehend how it worked and what was happening, but interested nonetheless to find out. And so I read, that this is a Yoruba traditional festival where masqueraded dancers come out to the streets in a somewhat Carnival manner and a manifestation of traditional spirits. I’d seen a statue that had been wrapped in white sheets and all sorts of stick embellishments, and this is how the dancers also dress. It is said that what Samba is to Brazil the Eyo is to Lagos. The fanfare and processions are open to tourists on one of the days. I think this one has to be seen to be fully understood.

There is no set date for the festival, but found somewhere it would take place in the first week of February this year. Do correct me if I’m wrong

“A full week before the festival (always a Sunday), the ‘senior’ eyo group, the Adimu (identified by a black broad-rimmed hat), goes public with a staff (“when this happens nothing on earth can stop the festival from taking place the coming Saturday”). Each of the four other ‘important’ ones—Laba (Red), Oniko (yellow), Ologede (Green), Agere (Purple)— in this very order takes their turns from Monday to Thursday without fail. This strictness with cadre and other old established rules before, during and after the celebration is what perhaps appeals the most about the eyo heritage. “

That’s it for now.

SOME OTHER EVENTS IN FEBRUARY, closer to home:


This is the most important event of the year. On 6 December 2013, for the first time, TEDxJohannesburg celebrates women and the powerful role they play in inventing the world we live in, by hosting TEDxJohannesburgWomen. This event is held in partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at their Illovo campus, in Johannesburg.

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Alright, let’s start from the beginning. First off, I was honoured with an amazing email from the organisors inviting me to the event tomorrow, and I completely forgot. I think them calling me prolific could have had something to do with it.

I am attending this full day of inspiration, presented by prolific women and their journey’s, and I have ONE ticket available to share with someone.

TEDx talks around the world are important, vital and incredible events of sharing and learning and essentially having your mind blown by humans who can’t help but be great.

Tomorrow, the speakers include Fashion and PR hustler and creator Maria McCloy whose journey of creative expression and producing beautiful fashion pieces in African print has been incredible to watch will be sharing her story. Everyone knows how much i love Maria’s accessories. On the line up of speakers, TEDx Johannesburg Women, Maria is referred to as an Urban Culturist – I want to know what that means

Confirmed speakers include breast cancer activist Kwanele Asante-Shongwe; laughter and happiness professor Shareen Richter; game design lecturer Hanli Geyser; mother of child burn-victim Pippie Kruger, Anice Barnard Kruger;  computer science PhD candidate Mpho Raborife; executive coach Desray Clark; engineer Hema Vallabh; educator Marli Hoffman; social transformation guru Barbara Holtmann; sociologist Grace Khunou; music writer Diane Coetzer; and social justice activist Gillian Schutte.

I’m impressed that someone realised how important it is to have a women focussed session – I really never expected it. Women move the world and we don’t celebrate this enough.

 

AND HERE IT COMES

Join me tomorrow by telling me the best piece of advice you’ve received from a woman. It may have been something a woman told you, something you read in a book by a woman, a song that changed you by a woman. What is that one thing that moved you?

You can either comment here or tweet me. Please use hashtag #TedxJohannesburgWomen

Short notice, giveaway close at 15:15 TODAY

http://www.tedxjohannesburg.com/

About TEDxJohannesburgWomen

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxJohannesburgWomen, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxJohannesburgWomen event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TEDConference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)


It’s always so exciting to receive an email from First Wednesday Film Club every month – mainly because a) I get to watch a free movie b) It’s probably a flick I would not have seen on the regular circuit and as such will be introduced to something new.

url

This week was no different – the film being shown is called Of Good Report. From the brief introduction on the newsletter I learned that it is local SA film by Jamil XT Qubeka. Obviously, having no previous knowledge of the movie, I hit up the innernet to learn more about it.

At first, the storyline didn’t quite entice me, rather, I should say made me a little uncomfortable – it is the story of a school teacher who takes a post teaching English at a rural South African school and engages in statutory rape. cue the intrigue – the man has an affair with a 16 year old student of his. This made me uncomfortable at first and I wondered how well a man could honestly tell the story of the power and influence struggle between a young woman and an older man? Or even the sexualisation of young girls that seems to go unchecked. A few things worried me about the story line though I understand these are things that need to be told.

As it happens, I got lost clicking on link after link trying to learn more about this production and then I met the deal maker – the film was banned by the SA film board in July, on the day it was set to be showcased at the annual Durban International Film Festival this year, then later unbanned and it was shown on the last day of the festival. This little bit of big news pretty much solidified my desire to see it. In basic terms – I like things. I like them more if they have a slither of danger or rebellion.

I then came across these images that, in as much are not prolific, tell a dramatic story of events unfolding in the fight for the films unbanning. I believe there was a 140 character sleuth of angry tweets from the film’s director’s or owners at the time f the banning, which I missed.

url-1

url-2So, on Wednesday 4 Dec, I am going to see this film. Let’s.

Image Source

Here’s an interesting review of the movie: Of Good Report


When last did you go to the cinema?

When last did you watch a foreign language film with subtitles

When last were you taken into a world you can’t imagine and get to live every single emotion a stranger goes through. When last did you see you in someone else?

When last did you sit in a dark room and escape into a story? When last were you moved?

That’s what we are going to do next week Thursday 5 December at Rosebank Cinema Nouveau, if you’d like.

jeune_et_jolie_2013_francois_ozon_poster

I’ve been invited to go to the exclusive Premiere of French film Juene et Jolie (Young and Beautiful) – a story of a 17 year old girl who dabbles not in drugs, rebellion and hedonism like other teens, but instead takes up prostitution.

I’d like to take you and friend with me. All you have to do is tweet this post, tag me (@akona1) and @FrenchCinemaZA with your favourite French word… Simple right?!

Competition closes TODAY 28 November at 15:00

Juene et Jolie – 5 December – Rosebank Cinema Nouveau – 7pm Cocktails – 8pm Movie screening

 


In September, my beautiful friends Rose & Nash gathered friends and family to celebrate the process of Lobola negotiations and agreements – essentially, got married.

It was such a beautiful day. The families coming together, the love they spoke and shared, the blessings they wished for the perfect (in my books) couple, the way that you could tell that both families were meant for each other as much as Rose and Nash are. Grateful to have experienced that day and be a part of the union of love.

Anyway, back to talking about me, seeing as this is my blog.

Rose sent some pictures that were snapped. and look, it’s me. In my late mother’s tan leather skirt and my signature headwrap. I also wrapped the bride’s head piece.

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