Friday, 29 June 2012

One of my favourite things is eating good food and in Africa there is such a wide variety of delicious, organic food. From Northern Africa to Southern Africa and from East to West you will find something that will tickle your taste buds. Come with me and let me take you on an African food odyssey....

Sautéed Merguez, soy sauce and green beans, orange and with Sardine Dolma chopped meat


Chicken B'stilla

Algerians probably have one of the sweetest teeth in Africa and are known for their lovely sweets and desserts.


feijoada de Gambas






Ugandan Veal Curry with Bananas



  Pounded Yam with Efo Vegetable sauce and Tilapia fish

Jollof Rice and Dodo (Plantain)

Fish Stew


Mafe – A stew of chicken, fish, or lamb simmered in peanut butter sauce

Thiebou dienne or ceebu jen - The national dish of Senegal, a spicy stuffed fish simmered with vegetables in tomato paste, tamarind, and habanero pepper, served with rice

Salatu niebe – A colorful salad with black-eyed peas


Ravimbomanga -  potato leaves stewed with dried shrimp and beef in a light tomato sauce and is served over rice
File:Ravimbomanga Madagascar Food.jpg

Ginger-lemon coconut chicken served with steamed rice

This particular topic has been torture for me, but as you can see African cuisine is vibrant, fresh, organic and most importantly Delicious!!!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Africa is such a colourful and vibrant continent and as such she is blessed with an abundance of creative people whether it be in the arts or any other field, but most especially in fashion. Africa's designers are exploding onto the world fashion scene with their designs appearing in the top fashion magazines like vogue and on the elite European and American fashion week seasons.

We also have highly regarded fashion week collections in Africa whereby top fashion designers show off their collections like the Arise fashion week 2012 held in Lagos, Nigeria and the Dakar Fashion week 2012 held in Senegal. The fashion industry is big business and employs a lot of people and the African fashion industry is no exception.


Let me introduce you to some of Africa's top fashion designers -
Folake Folarin-Coker - Tiffany Amber

 Nigeria - Folake Folarin- Coker is the proprietor of Tiffany Amber.  Despite holding a masters degree in Petroleum Law her love for fashion reigns supreme. Tiffany Amber is an international award winning label. Folake as founder and head designer was awarded Designer of the Year 2009/2010 at the Africa fashion week (AFI) in Johannesburg with Tiffany Amber named as Fashion Brand of the Year at the Arise Magazine Fashion Week. She is the first African based designer to showcase for two consecutive seasons at the New York Fashion Week. Some of her collection can be found at

Tiffany Amber  SS/12 Collection                      AW/12 Collection

Taibo Bacar

Mozambique - Taibo Bacar is a top fashion designer from Mozambique with numerous awards under his belt. He draws inspiration from classic looks with a touch of glamour. He showcased his collection at the 2011 fashion week in Milan with his ready to wear collection and more recently at the Arise magazine Fashion Week in Lagos 2012.

Ready to wear - Milano                                 At the Arise Fashion Week - Lagos

Twin sisters Ayaan and idyl Mohallim - Maatano

Somalia - The twin sisters were born in the U.S and raised in Somalia, but had to flee Somalia when they were nine to escape civil war and relocated to the U.S. They launched their brand Maatano (Meaning Twins in Somali) in 2008. Oprah Winfrey introduced them to the national stage as an emerging brand when they appeared on her show in October 2008. They have been receiving a lot of press attention including CNN, New York Times, Arise magazine and several others.

Spring/ Summer 2012                                       Fall/ Winter 2011
11_flat fall4

 Aisha Obuobi - Christie Brown

Ghana - Christie Brown is a Ghanaian based luxury women's brand. It was founded in 2008 and has won several global awards including The Emerging Designer of the Year Award for the year 2009 at the inaugural Arise Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg, South Africa. Christie Brown was also the only Ghanaian designer chosen to showcase in the Arise L'Afrique- a- Porter, in Paris as part of Paris Fashion Week in March 2010.                                Stockists

Duro Olowu

Nigeria - Duro Olowu returned to his first love fashion, after training as a lawyer. He launched his London based label in 2004 and won the British Fashion Council's New Designer award a year later. His vibrant collections have made him a favourite with A-listers from Michelle Obama to Uma Thurman.       Stockists online

Duro Olowu Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Farai Simonyi - FARAI
Farai Simoyi - L'Africana Night Fashion Week Finale Party

Zimbabwe - London born Zimbabwean Farai Simonyi lived in Harare, where she got her first taste of fashion through her aunt's lingerie company. She moved to the U.S when she was 10 and studied Fashion and Design at West Virginia University. After paying her dues as a designer of a major denim company she started her own line 'FARAI'. She debuted her Spring/Summer collection 2011 at NYC Fashion Week 2010.

S/S Collection 2012

The growth of the fashion industry in Africa is partly due to the economic boom which has led to an expansion in the middle classes and creation of substantial new business opportunities. I will return to this topic at a later date to discuss ways of taking the industry to the next level.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Obudu Mountain Resort formerly called Obudu Cattle Ranch lies on the Obudu Plateau at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level and enjoys a climate and vegetation typical of the temperate regions of the world, with temperatures ranging from 7-150C all year round. The Ranch is a five hour drive or a short flight away from the capital Calabar.

The final journey to the ranch can be made either by car or by cable car, covering a distance of eleven kilometers from the bottom to the top of the main hill. The Obudu Ranch Resort cable car span is currently the longest in the world, point to point.

Obudu Mountain resort, Nigeria             courtesy of flickr

Breath-taking beauty of Rio Cubal (Benguela), Angola 

Ghana pointing the way forward                                              

So also the beautiful city of Dakar, Senegal looking ahead to a brighter future.  Pix by Jeff Attaway 

Dakar, Senegal                                                hosted on flickr

The growing transformation of Addis Ababa is impressive with infrastructure being put in place for the increasing growth of her middle class as well as a greater number of returnees from the diaspora.

Here is a suburb of Addis Ababa with new apartments and houses being built.  flickr

The housing stock in several major African cities is low and their is a high demand for low cost housing as well as executive homes for the burgeoning middle and upper classes. As i keep banging on, there is huge potential for property developers and investors alike. Do your research, i can be of assistance in that regard for a small token Coolest Smileys, and then make a considered choice of aiming for the executive homes market or the low cost housing sector.  In many instances governments are offering developers incentives to build quality low cost housing. Its a win-win situation because one is helping in the development and modernisation of the area as well as making a tidy profit, but as i say make sure proper research is done before going into any project.

Examples of some of the developments being constructed all over Africa.

Skyrock Apartments in Kilimani, Kenya.              Prices from Kshs 25,000000 (£189,500)

Executive homes at Trasacco Valley Estate, Accra, Ghana
Trasacco Valley Properties

Apartment block in Lagos, Nigeria

Kensington Luxury Heights development in Kampala, Uganda.
An example of one of the four bedroom houses of the Kensington Luxury Heights development in Kampala, Uganda.

The concept of cluster houses is gradually being accepted in African cities and there is a massive need for low cost housing though land prices can be prohibitive in some areas. Developers can negotiate favorable outcomes with the government especially when developing for the lower end of the market.