Tired Of The Same Old New Year’s Resolutions?

We are now in 2016 and instead of making the same old resolutions that seem to fall by the wayside come February why not embark on something completely different this year and watch your health, body and mind transform in front of your eyes.

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Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of holistic health originating in India more than 5000 years ago and it’s fast becoming  one of the most popular lifestyle choices around. Translating literally as ‘The Science of Life’ and a sister science to Yoga,  the great thing about Ayurveda is that anyone can try it and those that have rarely go back to how they were before.

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Dr Deepa Apte, one of the UK’s top Ayurvedic practitioners and director of London based Health and Beauty Spa Ayurveda Pura shares with us her thoughts on why Ayurveda is so revolutionary and so different from everything else out there:

  • It’s tailored to suit your individual needs: Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is made of up one of three energies or doshas which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. A short questionnaire will determine which one you are and then everything from the best diet, exercise , colours of clothing and seasonal changes are identified to make sure you are always in balance and functioning at optimum health.
  • It works with you and not against you: Many diets or detoxes require you to give up or change many aspects of your life and some can leave you feeling worse than when you started out. Ayurveda works with what you have and who you are identifying problem areas in your diet, lifestyle and relationships and offers solutions which incorporate meditation, breathing, yoga, herbs and massage treatments so you can better understand your body and your mind and move forward with a clearer image of what feels good for you.
  • It’s completely natural: Everything prescribed to you in Ayurveda from your diet to the herbs and even Ayurvedic beauty products are completely 100 % natural. Ayurveda is all about the removal of toxins or ‘Ama’ from your body so everything we ask you to try and do is to help with this toxin removal. It really is a completely holistic system of health and will leave you feeling so energised and healthier inside and out.
  • It’s not complicated: One of the best aspects of taking up an Ayurvedic lifestyle is the fact that it’s super easy to incorporate into your daily lifestyle. There’s no complicated procedure to follow or food combinations, you just have to be consistent in your approach and the benefits will start to show. For an idea of what a typical Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle day looks like click here 

By tara mestre

Ford – Helping Deliver Healthcare In Africa

 

Ford Sensor Technology Applied to Motorcycles for New Mobility Insights; Improves Medical Care for Rural Africans

1970 Ford Torino King Cobra
1970 Ford Torino King Cobra
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    Ford is now equipping motorcycles with sensor kits inspired by its OpenXC hardware platform to map areas of community health care services in rural West Africa. Capturing data on additional transportation types to help researchers detect patterns and develop new mobility solutions

  • Researchers have used OpenXC technology to collect real-time data from vehicles to better understand driving habits and help create new, innovative features for today’s car
  • OpenXC has been used in several experiments tied to Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics to the next level. Learnings could be expanded to other transportation modes – helping ambulance and emergency services providers improve efficiency across the world

Ford is expanding its use of sensor technology to motorcycles, allowing researchers and programmers to better understand how cars, bikes and other modes of transportation in combination can create new mobility solutions and help make people’s lives better – including improving how healthcare is delivered rural West Africa.

“OpenXC started as a project to make a car send a tweet five years ago, but has since become a platform, or an ‘Internet of mobility’ that allows us to use data to better understand how people move around the world,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Now, the same open innovation mentality behind OpenXC has inspired our team to create a sensor kit for bicycles and motorcycles to learn how other transportation options might best serve people in urban, suburban and rural areas, including improving their health.”

Ford’s open-source hardware and software kit provides real-time access to vehicle data, such as sensors, GPS receiver and vehicle speed. Ford has been using OpenXC to support some of its Ford Smart Mobility experiments for more than a year.

The company is gathering and analyzing vehicle data collected by OpenXC as part of Ford Smart Mobility, its plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics to the next level.

Data-driven motorcycles

The broad insights learned from vehicle data, including how people drive and use their cars, first inspired Ford researchers to create a sensor kit for bicycles to collect additional data. Now, the company is rolling out the new sensor kit to motorcycles helping Riders for Health.

The medical services group collects GPS data and mapping coordinates to reach people who need medical care – vaccines, medications and live-saving hospital care – in rural West Africa.

Ford helped Riders for Health improve its maintenance systems and vehicle fleet logistics, equipping Ford Ranger pickups with OpenXC technology. This allows Riders for Health to track stops, timing and routes for their work in The Gambia.

The data collected also is being used to create maps of remote regions – a first.

After learning that more than half of the group’s fleet of service vehicles are motorcycles that cannot capture the right level of data, Ford created a new sensor kit that will be upfitted on 50 motorcycles early next year.

“Our goal is to understand what mobility means to people who don’t have access to their own vehicles,” said Arthur Zysk, Ford research analyst who leads the project. “Ford’s commitment to smart mobility innovation is driving real, measurable change.”

Longer-term lessons and applications from this project could be used to help ambulance and emergency services providers improve efficiency across the world, including in rural areas.

Urban mobility learnings

Engineers at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto have been using sensor kits that gather information from bicycles and other common forms of transportation in urban areas.

The devices gather information such as wheel speed, acceleration and altitude, as well as traffic patterns, pedestrian data and road conditions, which is difficult to obtain from vehicle sensors.

Researchers continue exploring how bike and vehicle data can be analyzed together to gain greater understanding of how different transportation modes might best meet future mobility needs.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 197,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

  By Peter O’Shea 

Fashion Cities Africa

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton, UK

30 April 2016 to 8 January 2017

The first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion will open at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in April 2016.

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Exploring fashion and style in four cities at the compass points of the African continent – Casablanca in Morocco, Lagos in Nigeria, Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa – Fashion Cities Africa will consider recent and contemporary fashion practices in these distinctive metropoles, from couture to street style.

Designs by Marianne Fassler,  photographed by-Simon Deiner SDR
Designs by Marianne Fassler, photographed by-Simon Deiner SDR

The exhibition will focus on the style choices of individual ‘fashion agents’ from each city; from designers and stylists to photographers and bloggers. Helen Mears, the Museum’s Keeper of World Art, Martin Pel, its Curator of Fashion & Textiles, Africa fashion specialists Hannah Azieb Pool and Helen Jennings and researcher Harriet Hughes visited the cities in summer 2015* to explore their fashion scenes and identify key players.

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Helen Mears says: “There’s been a surge of interest in contemporary African art and design in Europe and the US in recent years, but this is the first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion.  We want to reveal the diversity that exists across the continent – and within single cities – and show that wax print is only part of the story of African fashion.

“Each of the cities featured has its own fashion scene: in some cases emergent, in others more established. Some African designers are now major players in international fashion, while others are experimenting creatively in the interface between global fashion and local identities.

“The exhibition aims to provide a snapshot of fashion practices in four specific cities and an introduction to some of the stories behind the style, whether it’s the widespread practice of tailoring or the impact of the huge market for second-hand European clothes.”

The exhibition will occupy three large galleries and include diverse apparel from couture to street style, alongside images, film, sound and even a reconstructed tailor’s workshop evoking the drama, creativity and dynamism of the distinctive cities.  Highlights will include:

New commissions, including by Nairobi-based brother and sister duo 2Many Siblings  

(http://2manysiblings.tumblr.com/)

Controversial high-fashion outfits worn by one of Kenya’s hottest bands, Sauti Sol (MTV Europe’s Best African Act 2014)

Garments and accessories associated with The Sartists, a Johannesburg-based creative collective documenting their lives and style in post-apartheid South Africa (https://instagram.com/thesartists)

Exquisite hand-crafted ‘caftan couture’ pieces by Casablanca-based designer Zhor Raïs

Apparel by Maki Oh (TBC), the internationally acclaimed Lagos-based label worn by figures including Michele Obama

A parallel project, undertaken by members of some of Brighton & Hove’s African diaspora communities, will explore the relationship between fashion, identity and the African continent from a local perspective. Powerful images from the project, which will be co-ordinated by Sarah Naomi Lee, will accompany the exhibition.

Fashion Cities Africa is part of the wider project Fashioning Africa, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Collecting Cultures programme – which supports strategic collecting projects for museums, libraries and archives.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery already holds an important collection of historical African textiles, mostly gathered 1880-1940.  Thanks to National Lottery players,Fashioning Africa will research recent developments and establish an African textile and fashion collection representing 1960-2000.  Running until 2017, the project has appointed a collecting panel from BAME and fashion communities, and will be delivered in partnership with the University of Brighton and the Sussex Africa Centre at the University of Sussex.

Fashion Cities Africa will also be accompanied by a book of the same name, edited by Hannah Azieb Pool with contributions by Helen Jennings (Intellect, 2016, £20).  This will showcase street styles in the four cities through images of their fashion agents by high-profile fashion photographers (Sarah Waiswa, Victor Dlamini, Deborah Benzaquen and Lakin Ogunbanwo), accompanied by profiles and essays.

By Ronke Lawal

Bringing The Ancient Past To Life. A Review of ONAEDO: the Blacksmith’s Daughter: a Novel by Ngozi Achebe

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The most interesting aspect of this historical novel for me is the way in which the freshness and simplicity of its style enhances the credibility of what is in some ways an incredible tale. It is narrated with such veracity and ease that the reader will be easily persuaded that the impact of slavery on the pristine African communities of the past was exactly as portrayed here. Ngozi Achebe has crafted a story that fills several gaps not merely in world literature but also in the perception of African history as both a discipline and an emotional concern for all those whose ancestry is eternally touched by that tragic industry. Her depiction of the beginnings of slavery and the inter-phase between Portuguese slave dealers and African society is a remarkable example of the restoration of a lost era to contemporary relevance through literature. She has achieved in her first novel the remarkable feat of creating what might very well come to be regarded as a unique masterpiece.

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The tale has the epic sweep of a narrative recollection of events based on irrefutable evidence. The characters devised by the author leap off the page with dramatic intensity, and none more so than the central protagonist Onaedo. This central character could be considered a beacon of modernity even by the standards of our own times and yet the setting and the social milieu described by the author is impeccably traditional and befitting to the era of antiquity in which it is located. The alliance of brilliant writing and impressive research has made the story a classic both in its content and in its moral tone. The descriptive power of her writing strengthens the accuracy of her recreation of 16th century life in olu Ndigbo, the nation of the Igbo peoples, before the intervention of Western culture. At the same time it also serves to suspend belief in the common assumption that the first and most important intercourse between these territories and the outside world were as a result of British colonial intervention.

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Ngozi Achebe has actually moved our perception of ancient African history, especially of the intercourse between traditional societies like that of Ndigbo and the Western world, onto a new plane. Coming from the pen of the niece of Chinua Achebe, the great chronicler of the confrontation between Ndigbo society and the British colonisers, this book is one of the seminal literary events of new African writing for the 21st century. It is unique in its adventurous conceit of seeking to open up a chapter of the past that has been shrouded for centuries in both mystery and myth. Portuguese explorers who were the first recorded visitors from Europe to the West African coast have largely taken a back seat in scholarly chronicles of the intercourse between Europe and Africa. This novel moves the era and the extraordinary events recorded in it to the forefront of contemporary concern.

These events include the commencement of the slave trade, the first stirrings of Christian conversion of the communities of the West African coast, and trade in spices, palm oil, gold, hides and ivory. However she also examines the nature of the culture and occupations of the traditional society in depth and posits that the invasion from the West served to destroy a deep-seated philosophical commitment to a fundamentally pastoral way of life. In outlining and then building the tale around romantic disenchantment and rustic violence she establishes the core of the narrative in the disastrous demise of a family. The head of this family is Eneda the blacksmith whose provenance may very well be allied to the discovery of the fabled Igbo-Ukwu bronzes. Indeed the way in which she has integrated reflections on historical events and iconic memories into exciting parameters of storytelling serves as proof of her extraordinary talent.

Ms. Achebe has said in interviews that her inspiration came from many sources one of which is the story of those fabled artefacts. In addition to this although she was not one of the “Biafran children” evacuated to Sao Tome for safety during the Nigerian civil war her curiousity about the history of that island community also became a major inspiration. This provides the background for the latter half of the novel and elevates it beyond a simple tale of romance and adventure into a profound commentary on the relevance and character of an African society that ended up contributing to its own violation. Although this is a serious novel it remains a most exciting and entertaining narrative to read because its intellectual depth does not detract from the elements of drama, intrigue and romance that serve to carry the story forward.

One of the most remarkable abilities displayed by the author in this work is that of establishing the personality traits and defining peculiarities of both major and minor characters with extraordinary depth in a few short sentences. She deploys incidents and characters with uncanny realism even while displaying a penchant for poetic phrasing in her descriptions of places and reflections on the importance of traditional laws and morals. Her depiction of such seminal characters as Onaedo’s aunt Aku whose extraordinary gifts of telepathy and psychic foresight allied to knowledge of traditional medicine make her a formidable ally as well as foe, and Oguebie the jealous prince and traitor to the community who becomes one of the pioneers of local collaboration with foreign slave traders, reveals that she has particular strengths of observation as well as of imagination. Her characterisations gain veracity through her effective use of modern psychological evaluation even while consolidating the relevance of their place in the narrative of the past. She is also noticeably even-handed in depicting both African and European characters in terms of their universal humanity.

Onaedo is a complex but highly readable work. The prologue and the epilogue provide signposts to the contemporary relevance of the body of the work. Maxine the discoverer/editor of the manuscript in these technically slight but profoundly exploratory chapters is herself a victim of loss brought about by historical upheaval. Having seen her beloved father disappear to Nigeria during the civil war, she is confronted by a crisis as he has written to her that he is coming to visit her three decades later. Faced with this dilemma she tries to find balance in reading through a box of old diaries apparently written by an extraordinary African slave from Brazil. It would be tantamount to giving away the author’s most precious secrets for me to relate how this formula is resolved in the end but the most unexpected revelations follow with seamless regularity. The main narrative is based on Maxine’s lightly edited version of the diary. The effective power with which Ms. Achebe deploys this complex literary device is that of an accomplished author. Although she is a practicing medical doctor her work does not appear to be that of a one-volume writer. Her first book, which has now been shortlisted for the LNG Literary Prize for 2011, is no amateur’s essay. It is the powerful outpouring of an accomplished storyteller. Her famous uncle must be as proud of her as all Nigerians who read this remarkable story should be.

Publisher AfricAgenda Publications, Abuja: Reviewer: Lindsay Barrett

Top Half Term Family Getaways With Al Fresco Holidays

UP TO 30% OFF FAMILY HOLIDAYS ACROSS EUROPE THIS OCTOBER FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY

British summer time may be over but there’s still time to catch some rays this October. Al Fresco Holidays is offering a fantastic selection of October 2015 half term breaks at a range of three to five star parks across Europe.

Spain, Costa Dorada: Sanguli

Was £434 Now £304 – saving £130

Staying in a Puccini 2 bedroom mobile home sleeping up to 5. Departing 24th October for 7 nights

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Set in the beautiful Costa Dorada, with its poolside palm trees and sun kissed playa, Sanguli is a Mediterranean paradise. With a wide range of activities on park and PortAventuraTM  on the doorstep, you can be sure of a fun packed holiday. The enormous amphitheatre makes the park truly unique, whilst the paddling pool, children’s playground and sandy beach ensure everyone is entertained.

Holland, Wassenaar: Duinrell

Was £630 Now £419 – saving £178

Staying in a Rossini Riviera bedroom mobile home sleeping up to 6. Departing 24th October for 7 nights

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This action packed, four-star park includes the on-site Tiki tropical waterpark, voted one of the top 20 waterparks in the world. Tackle the 70-degree slide, relax on the lazy river, or dodge the waves in the wave pool, all while the younger children play in the paddling pool. With its very own theme park with rides, magic shows and a roller coaster, there’s something for all the family.

France, Champagne: La Croix De Vieux Pont

Was £455 Now £319 – saving £136

Staying in a Rossini 2 bedroom mobile home sleeping up to 6. Departing 24th October for 7 nights

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If France is calling this half term, kids and adults alike will love the activities on the vibrant La Croix Du Vieux Pont park, with a large indoor pool, waterslides and spa pools for water babies. Sporty families can try the mini golf, tennis, archery, boules, fishing, football, and canoe hire or enjoy the thrill of the zip wire.

France, Paris: Paris Est

Was £455 Now £319 – saving £136

Staying in a Bellini 2 bedroom mobile home sleeping up to 6. Departing 24th October for 7 nights

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If you are heading to Disneyland® Paris, or simply looking to soak up the Parisian culture, Paris Est is in the perfect location for making the most of the city. Boasting an onsite children’s play area, table tennis and TV room, there is always something fun to do.

All these parks are perfect for families, set in beautiful locations near beaches, forests or cities, with a huge range of outdoor activities available on and off park.

– Limited promotional nights available for selected dates and parks whilst stocks last

– Price may be amended at any time
– Subject to availability

– Cannot be combined with the two for one deal or group booking discount

– Al Fresco Holidays reserve the right to withdraw at any time without notice 

To book any one of these fun-filled holidays, call 0161 332 8900 or visit www.alfrecso-holidays.com.

Neil Carr

Chelsea Paris Collaborates With Jean-Pierre Braganza

Loved her at first sight…well at least her collection ;-), but could switch camps if I can get my dainty paws on her Ada Bronze/Gold shoes, aptly named after yours truly ;-). OK, stretched the truth there a bit, but my first name is Ada.

Ada Bronze/Gold shoes
Ada Bronze/Gold shoes

According to the gorgeous diva herself – Theresa Ebagua, her luxury footwear is inspired by her African heritage and passion for creating unique, immaculately-constructed shoes. We loved her in issue 10 DivaScribe see image below and are totally made-up about her brands collaboration with Jean-Pierre Braganza.

DivaScribe ISSUE 10 Featuring Chelsea Paris
DivaScribe ISSUE 10 Featuring Chelsea Paris
Chelsea Paris Collaborates With Jean-Pierre Braganza
Chelsea Paris Collaborates With Jean-Pierre Braganza
Theresa Ebagua (Chelsea Paris)
Theresa Ebagua (Chelsea Paris)

London Cocktail Week 2015… What’s Hot This Year?

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London Cocktail Week, which returns this year 5-11 October, has announced that it will be taking a week-long residency in Old Spitalfields Market, transforming the whole 1200 square meter space into The London Cocktail Week Village – a bustling hive of the very best cocktails in the capital.

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Within The London Cocktail Week Village there will be over 30 unique pop-up bars, trucks, vans, even bicycles, and a central bar hosted by the award-winning Mr Lyan. All will be serving up bespoke drinks specially created to encourage hands-on tastings, chances to meet the faces behind the famous brands and discover more about your favourite cocktails alongside street food, great music and a fabulous festival atmosphere.

The market is completely free entry and all visitors are invited to enjoy the delicious drinks on offer, although for London Cocktail Week wristband wearers, each pop-up will also be serving a menu of £5 signature serves. Wristbands are available for pre-order online or to buy at the market for just £10.

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The London Cocktail Week Village is open daily till 9.30pm and for those looking to extend their evening, a must-stop is The House of Angostura pop-up. Overlooking the bustling market, this intimate and exclusive house party will be rocking every night of London Cocktail Week with DJs, delicious Angostura cocktails, and as with every good house party, people hanging out in the kitchen.

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This upper floor also houses the LCW info point and ticket office – where you can purchase wristbands and snap up last minute ticket deals to any of the tastings, parties and pop-ups across the capital.

Alongside The London Cocktail Week Village, there are also 275 fantastic bars stretching right across the city, each serving £5 cocktails to those wearing wristbands and cherry picked by the LCW team to showcase the very best of London’s unrivalled hospitality scene. Beyond the Cocktail Tours and The London Cocktail Week Village – there’s also a huge host of incredible parties and pop-ups…

Here’s our ‘What Hot’ Guide…

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Switching back across the capital, to heart of the West End, festival-goers will discover a world of incredible mixology, exquisite spirits and unforgettable experiences in the home of the festival – the stylish World Class London Cocktail Week Hub. This one-week luxury pop-up will delight and surprise guests with a host of bespoke drinking experiences in this multi room hub, curated to celebrate the craft of the cocktail. Not only will you be able to pick up your wristband and free pocket bar guide, but roam from one room of playful discovery to the other – suitable for the curious newcomer to the seasoned cocktail lovers alike. The Hub, located at 51 Poland Street, W1F 7LZ, promises to be a true highlight of the week’s activities.

A stones throw away from the London Cocktail Week Village, Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands and Patrón Tequila will bring the 24 Hour Bar Build, flying 24 of the world’s best bartenders into London to host a 24-hour international bar clash and crown one city The World’s Best. Some of the most prestigious bars from New York, Paris, Singapore and London will be united under one roof for the first time to compete in 24hr Bar Build. The four city teams will be tasked with developing a cutting-edge new cocktail bar concept. From designing the space to leading the physical build and inventing an inspiring new cocktail list, creating a social media buzz and then it’s down to you to decide. Enjoy all four bars as the cream of the cocktail world pit themselves against one another.

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An exciting return from previous years’ pop ups is the Buffalo Bourbon Empire. Here for yet another year in time to dispel some of your post-summer blues. From the moment you step through the door, immerse yourself in all that is Buffalo Trace. Taste some of the world’s greatest whiskey whilst they transport you to the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Whether you’re learning how to make your favourite cocktails, sample the highly anticipated Antique collection, watching the hilarious award winning comedy duo ‘The Thinking Drinkers’ who will be taking you on a journey through American whiskey drinking and sampling the Buffalo Trace range along the way or just sitting back and relaxing with some sublime drinks, there is a little bit of something for everyone.

Amongst the incredible selection of whiskies at this year’s LCW, you can delve into the Art of Blending with Chivas Regal: Chivas have been carefully selecting and blending whiskies since 1801 and this London Cocktail Week you can get an insight into the skill of a Master Blender.  Popping up in The London Cocktail Week Village all week, you can attend their Art of Blending experience and leave with your very own unique blend! Drop in and join a session while you’re in the market – or get ahead and book in your slot through the website.

A classic cocktail is hard to beat. Simple and easy to make, they never go out of favour. Just like a classic story. And everyone loves a good story so DIY Cocktail classics with Absolut will never go out of fashion. With the pioneering creation of flavoured vodkas like Absolut Citron and Absolut Peppar, contemporary cocktail serves such as the Cosmo and the Bloody Mary became staples of the bar menu, and favoured classics forever more. Rico Dynan, Absolut Vodka Brand Ambassador, invites you to discover all there is to know about your favourite tipple. Choose your session based on your favourite Absolut Classic.

Finally, what better way to enjoy and refresh at London Cocktail Week than with Schweppes, the exclusive soft drink for the DrinkUp.London bar this year. The original quintessentially British mixer that first bottled bubbles back in 1783, Schweppes will be bringing its pop up bar at The London Cocktail Week Village.

London Cocktail Week wristbands cost just £10 and are available now at LondonCocktailWeek.com. They are collected from either The World Class London Cocktail Week Hub or The London Cocktail Week Village once the week begins on Monday 5th October, along with a FREE pocket sized bar guide mapping out all bars participating in the festival.  As well as £5 cocktails in all partner venues and pop-ups, wristband wearers can benefit from a whole host of delicious offers around town – meaning there really is something for everyone during this fantastic week.

By Siobhan Payne

London’s Diverse Creative Landscape To Be Celebrated In New Exhibition In Greenwich Peninsula

Vanessa-coore4

NOW Gallery announces that it will celebrate London’s diverse creative landscape in a new cross-cultural installation, Home Affairs, running 20th August – 4 September 2015.

The exhibition is a collaboration between furniture designer Yinka Ilori, fashion designer Christine Mhando of London-based CHiCHiA and creative consultant Arieta Mujay. Together they will create four theatrical, visually compelling conceptual spaces, brought to life with curated film, archival footage and performance. Framed by the language of traditional Nigerian & Swahili parables, the spaces will be filled with thought-provoking furniture, indigenous plants, designed objects, garments and wallpapers inspired by bespoke Khanga textiles, with visitors encouraged to navigate and explore.

The installation will be further enlivened with illustrations by Lulu Kitololo and spoken word performances by Project Tribe’s Bazaar •{Bohemian}•

More On The Creatives…

Yinka Ilori is a London based designer. He specialises in up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that surrounded him as child. He has exhibited internationally in solo shows: This Is Where It Started, The Whitespace Gallery, Lagos, October, 2014; Yinka Ilori, Just Africa, Stockholm March 2014 and It Started With a Parable, Jaguar Shoes, London in collaboration with London Design Week, December, 2013. And group exhibitions: Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Basel, March, 2015 touring to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Autumn 2015; Africa Calling, Africa Utopia, Southbank Centre, September 2014; Creative Britain feature stand, British European Design Group, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), New York May 2012. Yinka Ilori’s pieces are available for purchase here, at lifestyle stores in London and at Temple Muse, Nigeria and can be viewed by appointment at his East London studio.

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Yinka Ilori

 

Yinka Ilori
Yinka Ilori

Christine Mhando is a Tanzanian-born, London-based designer. Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, CHiCHiA, in 2007, an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the ‘Khanga’, a traditional East African cotton-printed fabric used by local women as wraps. With Beyonce as a fan, Chichia goes from strength to strength as an international African brand that modernises and transforms traditional East African textiles into stylish, contemporary and considered fashionable attire.

Christine Mhando
Christine Mhando

Arieta Mujay is a fashion creative who has been working in fashion at various capacities for 15 years across the UK and Africa. Arieta has styled and worked a host of celebrities including Rihanna, Kelis, Amber Le Bon, Kelly Rowland, Alesha Dixon, Pixie Lott and Lily Allen. Mujay is a reviewer and contributor for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s online platform, a mentor to young businesses and an avid supporter of female empowerment.

Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay
Arieta Mujay

Bazaar •{Bohemian}• (Vanessa Coore) is originally from California and is currently based out of Atlanta. Coore, one half of Afropolitan blog duo Project Tribe, uses her social media platforms to provide creative nourishment, spread #PositiveLoveEnergy, and highlight new and developed brands from all over the world. Through her social media platforms she’s been able to offer distinct and creative visuals that tell stories through a bohemian inspired lifestyle. Her goal when featuring brands is to highlight them in a unique, and aspirational way.

 

Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore
Bazaar •{Bohemian}• Vanessa Coore

NOW Gallery, conceived as part of the on-going regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, sits within a hub designed by architects Marks Barfield moments from the O2 and North Greenwich station. The hub, formed of two curved glass pavilions linked by a patinated brass-edged canopy – longer than the wing span of an Airbus A380 – contains NOW Gallery, a cafe, restaurant, sky bar and charcuterie. As visitors emerge from North Greenwich tube station and look to the right they will see the pavilions, the art installations within and also through them to the Emirates cable car along a line of latitude.

Tina Lobondi Showcases At We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza

DESIGNER: TINA LOBONDI
DESIGNER: TINA LOBONDI
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The Department of Arts & Culture, as part of its Africa Month Festival, hosted  the We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza on 27 May 2015. Appointing African Fashion International (AFI), the leading fashion promotions company in Africa, to coordinate the Fashion Extravaganza. The event, held at the Museum of African Design in the fashionable and culturally diverse Maboneng area in Johannesburg, featured fashion designers from across the continent.

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Tina Lobondi
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Tina Lobondi

The evening celebrated the style, design and heritage of the African continent. Showcasing designers include Taibo Bacar (Mozambique), ARAPAPA at Santa Anzo (Uganda), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa), Alphadi (Niger), Sophie Zinga (Senegal), Tina Lobondi (DRC), Kiko Romeo (Kenya) and MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa). Garments, rooted in African heritage and re-imagined in a global context, were showcased on a runway, worn by models from South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the DRC.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

Fashion and clothing is a central aspect of cultural identity. In further celebrating this, guests were be given the unique opportunity to view a fashion exhibition of garments created by The Carnival Company – in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture – as part of We Are Africa Month celebrations. These garments are inspired by the diverse African heritage, particularly African masquerade and carnival attire.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The evening’s event was held together by Master of Ceremonies Gaetano Kagwa, a Ugandan media personality. Alongside the fashion showcase, Xhosa songstress Simphiwe Dana and spoken-word by poet Naima McClean, known as the First Lady of Urban Cool, performed, bringing together the evening’s celebration of African culture. Adding to the cultural experience of the night, Sanza Sandile (a Swaziland-born chef known as the ‘king of Yeoville’) served a “journey through African cuisine”, his take on Afro-fusion cooking with a modern twist.

Tina Lobondi
Tina Lobondi

The We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza was part of the exciting programme for Africa Month that took place throughout the month of May. Africa Month is a festival of ideas and cultural exchange, organized by the Department of Arts & Culture. It provided a platform and network for conversations about the African continent. These will go beyond the challenges to successes experienced and a recommitment to work for the continued development and integration of the continent. The theme for this inaugural Africa Month, launched by the Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa at Freedom Park (Pretoria) on 1 April 2015, is We Are Africa – ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo’.

By Marica Quarsingh

Rihanna Fronts New Dior AD Campaign ‘Secret Garden’

Love or loathe her, Rhianna sure moves brands. Her recent campaign for lifestyle brand Christian Dior from which pictures were unveiled just yesterday sees the diva pulling her best sultry and seductive poses yet for Dior’s Secret Garden Campaign.

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What is more remarkable is that Ri-Ri is the first female of colour to front a major campaign for the Dior house, which is probably a cunning ploy to attract more women of colour to the brand. In an interview with MTV News in March, the 27 year old Bajan diva commented on the importance of her casting for the campaign which she said was ‘fantastic’ and meaningful.

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She went on to add ‘It feels fantastic…”It is such a big deal for me, for my culture, for a lot of young girls of any colour. ‘I think, to be acknowledged by Dior is just, it means a lot as a woman to feel beautiful, and elegant, and timeless”.

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Well said and we reckon that the brand are lucky to have the young diva on side, and it is worthwhile noting that beauty really has no colour boundaries, and hopefully more major lifestyle brands would emulate this example. Congratulations Ri-Ri!

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