Conversations: Anitra Michelle – Designer & Photographer

Photo Courtesy: Anitra Michelle

One of the many things I really enjoy about being an expat is the numerous encounters with people from the varied walks of life who have packed up their homes and families, moved across oceans, and settled in places foreign. It requires a great deal of resilience; an adventurous spirit; and an adaptability that does not often come naturally for some of us. So when I do meet people whose personalities marry all of those characteristics, I am intrigued.

Conversations: Anna Getaneh – MD & Creative Director of African Mosaïque

A month ago, breezing through a Ralph Lauren store, a whimsical dress in a mud cloth-inspired fabric caught my eye. Could it be? I thought. Had another African inspiration, other than Vlisco, the Dutch-made wax fabric, ubiquitous in much of West Africa and beyond made it to the design studios of Western designers?
I literally stopped in my tracks and went over to touch the fabric. It had a supple silk feel but the design on the fabric was definitely African.
I then remembered a designer that had introduced me to this Malian cloth; Anna Getaneh. At the time, almost five years ago, she was working out of her home-based studio.  I had made  a few trips to her to have my boubou, a very fashionable and simple design, enhanced with this fabric across the midriff- making it both easy-to-wear and timeless – it still hangs in my wardrobe. Now here was Ralph Lauren, years later.

Alabaster Box…Musical Gentlemen

 

Alabaster Box,  sing what they call ‘Afroppella’, uniquely African sounds mingled with their perfect acappella repertoire. They are an all-male, gospel acappella music quartet whose sound is reminiscent of South Africa’s very own LadySmith Black Mambazo. They are fantastic! For a group that has played to audiences all over the world and toured with world-famous musicians, they were pleasant, extremely humble and positively charming.

Conversations in SA: Nthabiseng Sibanda – Founder & CEO of Puo Educational Products

Photo: Courtesy of Nthabi Sibanda

The use of mother tongue language in the family home and multi-lingualism in general are ongoing discussions worldwide. There are websites and organisations abound dedicated to both and they have become even more topical and pertinent now as the debate revolves around the preservation of language as a part of the preservation of culture.

Yoga in Ghana

Looking for an alternative to my normal cardio and strength-training exercise schedule I was introduced to yoga as a way to gaining more flexibility and a better use of my muscles that would not be too traumatic on my body, or so I thought. Traumatic it was not really, but it was definitely a test of my flexibility, or lack of, and I was duly humbled after my first session. Well my second actually, I had been dragged to a Bikram Yoga Class some years before because it was at the time  a new and growing fad. It the end I was really more fascinated by the potentially detoxing effects, from all the sweating than the real health benefits of long term practice.