Friday, 12 September 2014

Home

I tried to clear the phantoms from my mind
grasp the painful acceptance of reality
that i would never see or feel your aura again
my spirit would not let go
oceans would never stop me
I long to feel your warmth again
my feet firmly planted on you
breathing in the air of mystery and genesis
I awaken refreshed
I awaken ready
I awaken to your magnetic pull
I'm coming home
I'm coming home

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Afrika






What i see and what i feel words cannot express
                                            buried deep in your bosom
                                            your warmth a slice of orange high in the blue sky
                                            my soul soars high,
                                            high like an eagle bursting with pride
                                            my joy overflows
                                            warm tears flooding my face
                                            this is what you do to me Mama Afrika

                                            My sojourn in a faraway land
                                            though endless is temporary
                                            I feel your spirit calling and i come running
                                            taking in your essence and your beautiful mysteries

                                            I am energised by you
                                            I feel your love
                                            I know your love
                                            oceans cannot separate us
                                            the sanctity of your being never lost on me
                                            

                                            
                                       



                                                                  
                                                                  
                                                                                                               



Monday, 22 July 2013

African skies

The sun shines high in the endless blue African sky, young and old constantly wiping their brows. The young women in their beautiful and colourful boubou's ( a long loose-fitting, colourful robe mainly worn in West Africa ) elegantly walking up and down the teeming streets.
 The voices of street vendors rent the air, hawking everything from the sweetest, juiciest oranges to tailoring services that can patch up your ripped trousers before you can shout 'obioma'!

Suddenly the heavens open up without warning, rain pouring down like no tomorrow. The crackling sounds of thunder and lightening quickly follow, sending everyone scurrying for shelter.

 The children sing and dance with abandon, their mothers screaming at them to get out of the drenching rain. Soon the down pour recedes and everyone soon settles back into their rhythm.

The sun shines brightly once more, the rays bouncing off the glistening roofs. Time for a cold beer and some fresh fish pepper- soup.

 The bar doesn't look like much from the exterior but the beautiful sound of afro jazz pulls me in, the live jazz band mesmerizing the gyrating females. A wide grin fills my face, the world's troubles a long, long distance away.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

When we were Kings

I have always stood tall, proud of being African, confident in my own skin. I've been fortunate to have people around me who also feel like i do, proud of our African heritage and culture and the significance and impact it has had on the world, whether it is acknowledged or not.

Growing up in Africa, culture surrounds you, it engulfs your being, consciously and subconsciously. The warmth of welcoming guests, the greetings and the goodbyes and oh yes the food.

Family is the most important aspect of African life, sharing the joys and sadness, the burdens and the blessings. The African's kidnapped and forcefully brought to the Americas still maintained the tradition of keeping family at the front and centre, despite the savagery meted out by their white oppressors. They still stood tall despite the indignities, the black woman still raised her children and they survived.




Today the African family in the diaspora is under serious threat. The black man is M.I.A leaving the black woman carrying the 'can', why??! I look back at our history, where the black man was king, he was spiritual, he was an innovator, a warrior, a protector of his family, always standing tall and proud.

It is imperative that we teach our children the authentic African history, not the adulterated half-truths taught in schools in the west. Truth be told a lot of us are ignorant of our history and our culture and that is something that must be corrected soonest.



Family is what has kept Africans going through all the struggles, the black man MUST continue to keep family front and centre.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Traditional African Costumes

I have always been interested in Traditional African attire, the patterns, colours, fabrics and so on. Unfortunately some African cultures have lost their traditional costume but thankfully most have held on to their costumes and modernised them.

Zanzibari women working on seaweed cultivation by Yadid Levy

Kenya traditional dress




Angola - Mucubal woman. They are bantu speaking in South Angola


Ghadames, Libya - traditional costume - Ghadames town is a UNESCO world heritage centre near the border with Algeria. Pic by Eric Lafforgue


King Kobina of Elmina, Ghana and his royal court in traditional dress. Circa 1890's



Ghana - Traditional Kente costumes


Ivory Coast - modern traditional costumes


Cameroon - Woman in Traditional costume
Doris Imalenowa in traditional African dress

The Ndebele tribe, South Africa - Traditional costume



Traditional Zulu Costumes, South Africa



Traditional South West Nigeria (Yoruba) wedding costumes



Gorgeous Igbo bride, Nigeria


Modern Senegalese costume

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Africa's most luxurious hotels

With the warm and welcoming nature of Africans, Africa has always been open for business and leisure. The significant growth in Africa's economies attracts both local and foreign investors everyday as well as an increasing number of tourists.

There are hotels to cater for every pocket in Africa, but more significantly the number of 5* hotels abound and compare to any other in the western world. In this post i am really just trying to give you a snaphot  of the most luxurious hotels dotted all over Africa.


The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh - Hurghada Red Sea, Egypt






The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh was voted one of the top 5 favourite Resorts/Hotel Spas in Africa and the Middle East based on Choice Awards by Spa magazine, 2010.  A luxurious all-suite resort set on the coast of the Red Sea at Hurghada. With 48 acres of palm-filled grounds and 850 metres of private sandy beach, Sahl Hasheesh is a spectacular and dramatic resort. Shady marble colonnades, domed pavilions, atriums open to the sky and the elegance of the traditionally inspired contemporary Arabic architecture.


LUX Belle Mare, Mauritius
LUX* Belle Mare

Swimming Pool

Senior Suite

LUX Belle Mare is situated in the quaint seaside village of Belle Mare on the east coast of Mauritius and is brimming with vibrant energy. Overlooking a protected coral reef lagoon, LUX Belle Mare boasts one of the largest swimming pools in Mauritius. LUX Belle Mare is a vibrant five star resort that blends traditional Mauritian style with modern amenities. Guest rooms and suites are thatched-roofed wooden structures scattered throughout the resort.


Tribe Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya






Spread across three wings in the heart of Nairobi’s diplomatic district, home to the United Nations and many other institutions, the Tribe’s 137 guest rooms and suites are linked by a soaring sunlit atrium.
Some 900 hand-sculpted artifacts from all over Africa have been gathered here, capturing the diversity of the continent and evoking a sense of splendor.


Zanzibar Serena Inn, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

 The Zanzibar Serena Inn is a haven of tranquillity and opulence amongst the bustle of Zanzibar. Faithfully restored and lavishly embellished with a jackdaw collection of antique clocks, crystal chandeliers, fretwork screens, carved staircases, Persian rugs and brass-studded doors, the interior design concept is a fusion of authenticity and opulence that reflects the very essence of Zanzibar.


Fairmont Zimbali Lodge| Zimbali, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Pool

Lobby and staircase

Thandi Lounge

Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, on KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast, under an abundant forest canopy, you will find Zimbali, Zulu for "valley of flowers." A sanctuary unlike any other in South Africa, this charming and unspoiled region is a nature lover’s wonderland.
The eastern frontage of this Durban resort comprises a 3 km stretch of unspoiled beach forming a natural golden boundary between the rich green forest and the warm blue Indian Ocean.
 Whether visiting for business or leisure, guests will enjoy five-star service, including on-call butler service, ensuring an unforgettable African experience at our Durban resort.


Ellerman House, Cape Town, South Africa






Ellerman House is one of the world's most exclusive and private retreats. Its magnificent position sweeping over the vibrant city of Cape Town and the endless blue of the Atlantic Ocean respects its status as an historical landmark with a proud heritage of stylish entertaining and understated luxury.
Ellerman House has nine elegant rooms and two sumptuous suites. Superb food, an extraordinary cellar of 17,000 bottles of South African wine and a world-famous art collection epitomise proud South African hospitality, elevating it to take its place among the best in the world, while remaining true to its African heritage.


The Kampala Serena Hotel, Kampala, Uganda
Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery


An inspirational blend of 5-star polish and pan-African panache, this 152-room world-class hotel will showcase the cream of Ugandan culture while delivering the ultimate in personalized service, international cuisine, social style and business reliability.
Drawing its architectural inspiration from the abundance of Uganda's lakes and rivers, the hotel is styled around a central water theme, which manifests itself in the wrought ironwork, mosaic pillars, hand-carved panels, cascading waterfalls and shimmering water gardens alike.


The Elephant Camp, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe






The Elephant camp is situated only 10 minutes from Victoria Falls in a private concession within the Victoria Falls National Park. With an emphasis on exclusivity, the luxury tented suites all have private decks and plunge pools.


Raffles Praslin Seychelles, Praslin, Seychelles






Raffles Praslin Seychelles presents an all-villa Seychelles luxury resort nestled within the stunning island of Praslin that was once declared the rediscovered Garden of Eden. This Seychelles hotel seeks to present guests with an escape where warm native Seychellois hospitality is infused with the enchanting touch of Raffles.
Taste the exotic flavours of the breezy Curieuse Restaurant, the traditional cuisine and Mediterranean delights of Losean. Enjoy lazy evening siestas on the Danzil Lounge Bar or the Takamaka Terrace Lounge while sipping a signature Raffles cocktail or classic wine.

These are just a few of the splendid hotels dotted all over Africa, well what are you waiting for, your African adventure awaits.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Africa's most influential monarchs

Africa was always a continent of Kingdoms and great empires ruled by powerful Kings before the Europeans carved her up and divided her into jumbled up states. We had legendary monarchs like

Shaka Zulu of South Africa(1787-1828)


 Queen Amina of Zaria(1533-1610?)



 King Jaja of Opobo(1821-1891)



Haille Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia(1892-1975)


and so many other great monarchies.

Africa still has influential monarchs of varying degrees, but here are the most influential in modern day Africa -

King Mswati III of Swaziland


King Mswati III - Queen Elizabeth II Accompanied By The Duke Of Edinburgh Holds A Lunch For Sovereign Monarchs

King Mswati III is considered to be Africa's only remaining absolute monarch. Crowned on April 25, 1986, aged 18 years and 6 days, he became the youngest head of state until Joseph Kabila took office on January 26, 2001, as president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Known for his taste in luxury he is regarded as one of the wealthiest heads of government and has reigned for 26 years. He currently has 13 wives and several children.


Almost as powerful is King Mohammed VI of Morocco
King Mohammed VI - Prince Charles And Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Morocco - Day 1



King Mohammed was born on 21 August 1963 and ascended to the throne in July 1999. Though a constitutional monarchy the king has a monopoly on the countries natural resources making him one of the richest heads of government worth an estimated $2.5billion as at 2009. He has brought economic growth and some social liberalization but maintains sweeping powers. Human rights have also being regarded as not being top of his list, another complaint is that he takes too many vacations.


Another powerful constitutional monarch is King Letsie III of Lesotho




Letsie III born 17 July, 1963, is the King of Lesotho. He succeeded his father, Moshoeshoe II, when the latter was forced into exile in 1990. With his assistance and that of Nelson Mandela of South Africa, his father was reinstated as king of Lesotho on January 25, 1995, but soon died in a car crash in early 1996, and Letsie III became king again. Most of his duties are ceremonial but his influence is national.


The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'adu Abubakar III


Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales greets the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslim community, The Sultan of Sokoto, Mohamed Sa'ad Abubakar at Clarence House on February 18, 2009 in London. The Sultan is the titular ruler of Sokoto in northern Nigeria. He is the leader of approximately 70 million Nigerian and West African Muslims and is the son of the late Sultan Abubbakar Sadiq III.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'adu Abubakar III has been rated as the fourth most powerful and influential monarch on the African continent. Born August 24, 1956, he is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto in northern Nigeria and is considered the spiritual leader of Nigeria's 70 million muslims.

He retired from the Nigerian Army with the rank of Brigadier General in 2006. His last appointment was as the Defence Attaché to Pakistan (concurrently accredited to Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan)2003-2006. He also served as Commanding Officer, 231 Tank Battalion with West Africa's peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone. He succeeded his brother as the 20th Sultan on November 2, 2006, after his death in a plane crash.


He is followed closely by Africa's longest reigning monarch Dr Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano


In October 1963, he was summoned to Nigeria to become the 13th Emir of Kano while studying French in Switzerland. Both at the National and International arena he is regarded as a wise counselor because of his experience and diverse cultural linkages that make him a bridge and an asset in promoting mutual understanding and resolving conflicts. The 13th Emir of Kano, northern Nigeria, was born July 25, 1930 and is renowned for his abundant wealth.

King Goodwill KaBhekuzulu of the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal


Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is the reigning king of the Zulu nation. Born July 14, 1948 at Nongoma, he became King in 1968, making him one of the worlds longest reigning monarchs. Though a largely ceremonial monarch he still wields a lot of influence and has repeatedly made calls for the South African government to consult traditional chiefs on policy making.

He has been criticized recently in some quarters for his condemnation of same sex relations, but also for his penchant for luxury cars. He has seven or eight palaces.

King Osei Tutu II, king of the Asanti in Ghana


King Otumfuo Osei Tutu, is the 16th Asantehene, King of the Ashanti. He ascended the Golden Stool on 26 April 1999. By name, he is in direct succession to the founder of the Empire of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I. Born on 6 May 1950, he was educated at Polytechnic of North London, now London Metropolitan University, from where he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy, conferred at a ceremony at The Barbican Centre, London on 11 January 2006.
His royal clothing is always heavily adorned with gold; from a velvet crown accented with gold-leaf-over-wood motifs; intricately woven and patterned kente cloth; and huge gold bracelets.


Oba(King) Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos




Oba Rilwan Akiolu was born October 29, 1943 and was installed as Oba of Lagos in May 2003.
He studied at University of Lagos where he read Law. He joined the Nigeria Police Force where he rose to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police before his retirement in 2002.

He is the traditional sovereign of Lagos, Lagos state, Nigeria, the acknowledged financial heart of contemporary Nigeria and is sought by Politicians and corporations alike for his counsel and support.

The official residence of the Oba, since 1630, is Iga Idungaran, a castle constructed by the Portuguese (finished in 1705). Today Oba's palace is a very popular tourist sight in Lagos, Nigeria.

Kabaka Mutebi II of Buganda





Kabaka Mutebi II is the 36th Kabaka of Buganda, a kingdom in modern day Uganda. He was born at the royal palace on April 13, 1955. He spent a large part of his life in exile in the UK following the desecration of Buganda between 1966 - 1986. He returned to Uganda in 1988 after the Ugandan government restored the Ugandan Kingdoms in the constitution and was crowned his royal highness on July 31, 1993. He has played a very important role in inspiring confidence in the Baganda not to abandon practices that have made the kingdom endure over the last 800 years.

Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, the Olubadan of Ibadan


The Olubadan is the royal title of the King of Ibadanland in Nigeria. Oba Samuel Odugade I is the 40th Olubadan and was crowned in August 2007 at the age of 93 covered live by international media including CNN. Though his role is largely ceremonial he is still highly influential.