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Showing posts from 2013

A Nigerian expat in London revives the art of the telegram

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My Twitter friend Yemmi Agbebi, originally from Nigeria and a long-time resident of the United Kingdom, recently founded a new company, Telegramwire. Below is the company's press release (with British spelling, of course!).  London, England - BBC Inspired News Broadcast, Inspires Telegramwire, A Worldwide Telegram Messaging Service And "Greeting Card Killer" which Launched December 16, 2013. A BBC News broadcast of the closure by India of it's 160 year old #Telegram service, was the inspiration behind a new Berkshire dot-com and start-up, #Telegramwire, which is based along UK's M4 Berkshire Corridor. #Telegramwire is a Worldwide, cloud based, Letter Telegram service, which gives control back to customers, to create and send, original and thoughtful contents in the form of telegram cards to friends, families and loved ones. Telegramwire's Letter Telegrams, are suitable for celebrating a range of special and exciting moments including birthdays, christe

African Travel Association congress in Buea, Cameroon

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Opening Gala Dinner The following information was provided by the ATA after a successful event in Cameroon in October 2013. AFRICA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION 38 TH  ANNUAL WORLD CONGRESS IN BUEA, SOUTHWEST CAMEROON International event convenes delegates from business, government and the non-profit sectors to explore Cameroon's newest attractions in the Southwest Region. Cameroon delegates emphasize importance of attracting U.S. tourist arrivals and investment. November 7, 2013  - The Africa Travel Association, the leader in tourism promotion to Africa, held its 38 th  Annual Congress in Buea, Cameroon from October 16-20, 2013. Under the banner of "Re-Discovering Cameroon," nearly 200 international and local delegates, including tourism ministers from Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe and representatives from the public and private sectors, gathered at the newly-opened Mountain Hotel to explore how tourism is one of the most promising industries across Africa and

African puppets

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A photo gallery of new African puppets by Vickie Frémont, representing various regions and fabrics in the continent. Indigo Mudcloth Baule woven cloth Bazin fabric Korhogo fabric The puppets are to be shown at the upcoming SIRA event at the Maison de l'Afrique in Montreal, Canada, on November 7, 8 and 9, 2013. Vickie will be holding three workshops on Saturday, November 9. Maison de l'Afrique: 6256 Henri-Julien, Montreal - for more information: tel. 514-701-1433.

Ifeoma Anyaeji - "Transmogrification" at Skoto Gallery, NYC

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Detail Cancer and Contours , 2011,  Discarded plastic bags ( Plasto-yarns )  and bottles, twine and wood. 39 x 41 x 8 inches Skoto Gallery has unfailingly shown high quality art in New York since 1992. The gallery’s specialty is African contemporary art, and Skoto was the first to provide an NYC space to El Anatsui, for example, whose art is now displayed in many museums worldwide. The current exhibition, on view through November 2, 2013, is called Transmogrification : works by Ifeoma Anyaeji. It is a very original and also timely exhibition using surprising materials for the three-dimensional art and sculpture. Ifeoma Anyaeji Ifeoma, born and raised in Benin City, Nigeria, studied painting at the University of Benin in her hometown, as an undergraduate. However, sculpture was always her passion, and 3 years ago she won a Ford Foundation Fellowship award and attended Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri, USA). She eschewed traditional materials to co

Doual'art - a Cameroon center of art

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During our recent stay in Cameroon, we were fortunate to find a group exhibition showing at Doual'art , the cultural center in downtown Douala. This is one of the rare, if not the only, nonprofit exhibition spaces in Cameroon. It is managed by Marilyn Douala Bell and Didier Schaub, located in the business center of Douala, Place du Gouvernement. Pieces by Joseph Francis Sumégné "Petit Masque I," Joseph Francis Sumégné "Petit Masque II," Joseph Francis Sumégné "The Family," Romuald Dikoumé, 2012 "La déchirure," Merlin Tefolo, 2012 "Deido Plage," Salifou Lindou, 2012 "Mental Thown I," Salifou Lindou, 2012 Marilyn Doualla Bell in the upstairs office Didier Schaub It is also the best place to meet with our old friend, the artist Koko Komegne .

Portraits: Raphael Sack-Tina, Bruce Maier, Rolande Hodel, Frédérique Hervet

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Raphael Sack-Tina Raphael Sack-Tina attended high school in Douala, Cameroon at the Lycée technique, at the time an institution similar to Pratt University until recently: a small percentage of applying students were accepted into 7th grade, and received a scholarship for the next seven years. Students hailed from all over Central Africa, and it was a boarding school. Friendships endured throughout life. Raphael went on to become an engineer and is currently living in Canada. After the book crowdfunder, Raphael wrote: " Congratulations for such a great idea for a book. Its inspires me to work on a positive contribution in Civil Engineering in Africa in the near future." Raphael Sack-Tina, M.Eng., P.Eng. Bruce Maier Senior Structural Engineer at Candu Energy Inc., Mississauga, CANADA Bruce Maier is a software specialist with a quirky sense of humor--a self-described "lifelong computer geek," living in Long Island, New York. He wrote his first soft

Richard McMillan, Architect and publisher

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Ab incredible variety of talented people contributed to the book, De La Case A La Villa . Many are not of African origin, although all share a certain vision of the world, I think. Book cover design by Pollyn C. Horvath Richard McMillan is an American registered architect, trained at the University of Tennessee, with an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. Besides working full-time in the architectural field, Richard is also a publisher. His book, 101 Cool Buildings (The Best of New York City Architecture), is an ode to the plethora of interesting contemporary architecture in New York City. Beyond architectural themes, he also publishes choral music ( RM Choral Music ).

Landry Tientcheu: Landry at the Bayou

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Landry Tientcheu Landry Tientcheu   is a specialist in sustainable energy by day, and a talented singer by night.  Landry, who is of Cameroonian origin, and currently lives in California, USA,  wants to use the platform of his music to tell a different story about Africa. He wants to tell the story of a gifted Africa, of an educated Africa, of a knowledgeable Africa, of a prosperous Africa, one that doesn’t inspire misery and neediness. As  Landry  eloquently states, “Misery is real, but it  doesn't  bring  out  the best in us. Successful and  inspiring stories of Africa, on the other hand, inspire people to invest in themselves and in others. People only invest when they feel good about themselves, about others, and about where we are going as a species." I call Landry's new album "Jazz with a French African accent" - it's called  Landry at the Bayou .  Landry at the Bayou album cover

Ali Baba's Cave: Calabar Imports in Brooklyn

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Atim in the Front Street store Calabar was an international sea port as far back as the 16th century. Calabar Imports is a fitting name for Atim Annette Oton's Brooklyn-based stores. I visited her in the seasonal Dumbo store, at The Shops at 145 Front Street. Atim is one of the first African-born architects we met in New York. At the time she was teaching, and publishing a design magazine called Blacklines; she had interviewed my spouse, Epée Ellong , for an article about his architectural projects in Cameroon. It's now my turn to write about her! The store is in Dumbo, in the shadow  of the Manhattan Bridge The store and business is owned by  Atim Annette Oton and her mother,  Heloise Annette Oton.  The main store is located  in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.  Calabar Imports carries a dizzying array of unique handcrafted items: affordable fashion clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry, home decor and gifts. The business was creat