People have always wondered what impact, if any, NGOs have on the people they presume to help. Africa, as a whole, is practically infested with NGOs claiming to do this or the other. But are they making any positive impact?
The Samaritans is a new comedy TV series from Kenya, about an NGO that literally does nothing. The new mockumentary series, produced by Kenya-based Xeinium, profiles the fictitious relief organization Aid for Aid whose ambiguous mission is to “save Africa.” The show’s characters, who work out of a Kenyan field office, have no idea what that mission entails or how they’re supposed to go about fulfilling it. But what the characters do succeed in doing is exposing the dark underbelly of the nonprofit world. The show explores how funds are often wasted on extraneous expenses and how ill-equipped college grads are sent to spearhead major campaigns they can’t handle, “Samaritans” creator Hussein Kurji told Africa is a Country. For example, one character named Scott is an Ivy League graduate whose only prior experience in Africa was a six-week internship in Casablanca, Morocco, according to the show’s Kickstarter site.
Kurji told Africa is a Country that he was inspired to develop the show because there are more than 4,000 NGOs registered in Kenya and far too many untold stories exist from these groups. (more…)
Just a Band, the Kenyan house/funk/disco band famous for their hit viral video Ha-He, are featured in the current issue of the LA Times Magazine. The magazine asked 15 critics the world over to pick one track by a homegrown artist that they think is worth crossing over to the United States. Wanjeri Gakuru, of UP Magazine, submitted Just a Band’s Forever People which made it to the final playlist. Just a Band are the only Africans on the playlist. Yay for Kenya!!!
This song’s steady 127 bpm jam begins as the pitter-patter of rain—definitely not the Benga of old or our new-age Genge. And yet their geeky Afro-electropop captures the zeitgeist of Nairobi’s twentysomethings and is still delicious everywhere.
I managed to visit their Kudishnyao! video art exhibition at the Goethe Institute this past Saturday and the energy was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Kenya before. It was a full fledged rave and it made me feel 10 years younger. Of course the eye candy on display didn’t hurt. (more…)
Calling all Kenyan models! The Kenyan Ford Supermodel competition is back! You too can be the next Ajuma Nasanyana from Turkana (sponsored by Surazuri) who won a contract with Ford following her entry into the competition in 2003/4. She is now one of the worlds top Supermodels. Gift Opar, pictured above, was last year’s Kenyan representative. Although she did not win, she was the only African representative!
Casting takes place on the 21st of May starting at 9:00 am and finishes at 2:00pm with the girls going through the following stages:
A. Heightometer – where they will be eliminated or progress to the next stage based on their height MIN 5’8”
B. Hips measurement – where they will be eliminated or progress to the next stage based on their hip size MAX OF 37” (more…)
I love Solange Knowles. Not just because she cares for my lovely Africa, but also because she is a wonderful musician who uses her voice for the greater good. Solange is using her voice to raise awareness and funds for The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). The organization’s focus is to give African schools and communities direct access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Half of Africa’s population suffers from diseases related to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation, and is looking to increase to 47 million in three years if nothing changes. To this end, Solange has teamed up with Chris Taylor, Twin Shadow and director Natalie Johns to create “Kenya”, a donate to download track. (more…)
Norwegian televoters have selected Stella Mwangi to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany with her song “Haba Haba”. Stella won the final of “Melodi Grand Prix 2011″ with 280,217 votes against the closest rival “the Blacksheeps” song “Dance Tonight” garnering 155,059 votes!
“I am so grateful for all the votes, I’m so glad I get to represent Norway with what I burn for,” Mwangi told reporters after digesting the fact that she had won. “Music means everything to me,” she added. Her song centers heavily on what her grandmothers told her as a young girl, that she could be whatever she wants to be. Stella Mwangi and her family moved to Norway as political refugees when she was only five years old.
I hope she knocks them dead at Eurovision. Congrats to STL!!! Check out pics of her Melodi Grand Prix 2011 performance after the break. (more…)
I’m always looking for a way to help improve my country, and the world, in my every day life. Now you can do it through fashion, and by being a fashion trendsetter at that! Inspired by the beauty of East Africa, Kikoy4Kenya is a line of 100% cotton, hand finished textiles that celebrates the rich heritage, craftsmanship and vibrancy of Kenya. Kikoy4Kenya combines the century-old dying and weaving skills of Kenyan artisans to produce the highest quality of indigenous cotton in a rich array of patterns and hues. More than a luxurious hand woven garment, the Kikoy is a jewel from the rich Kenyan culture. Traditionally worn as a sarong by East African men, the multi-tasking Kikoy also serves as a scarf, a dress, and a turban as well as a tapestry or a blanket.
Kikoy4Kenya began as a community project to raise money for the Koinonia Education Centre in Nairobi. Children of the Kibagare slum are given the opportunity to receive a high class education. The school is able to give the children an opportunity to learn and grow. K4K believes that education is the first step in eliminating poverty, and the education of the children is a step towards the education of the community. For every Kikoy4Kenya sold, K4K funds one day of education for one child. However you wear your Kikoy4Kenya, you are wearing it as part of a global community.