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Thursday, May 20, 2010

MIMI’s Guide To An African–Inspired Summer In New York



Written By: Mazuba Kapambwe—This summer, have an African-inspired summer in the city that never sleeps—New York!

1. KNOW YOUR HISTORY. If you’re in the New York area, must see places include The African Burial Ground in Manhattan, where the bodies of freed and enslaved Africans were found in 1991. You may even sign up for a guided tour of the African Presence. If you’re not in the New York area, take a trip to the local museum which would most likely have an African section.

2. EXPLORE A TASTE OF AFRICA. Indulge your taste buds by enjoying an African meal at an ethnic restaurant. I would encourage trying food from a country other than your own. I would recommend the “Queen of Sheba” restaurant in New York for Ethiopian food and “Braii” or “Madiba” for South African food.

3. TAKE AN AFRICAN DANCE CLASS. Check your local dance school for African inspired dance lessons. Or show your African moves at the annual Dance Africa Bazaar in NY from May 29th 31st. Featuring about 300 vendors selling arts and crafts as well as music and food, this is one event not to be missed!

4. FELA! Three words: “A must see.” This TONY nominated play is receiving rave reviews all over the world. If that doesn’t have you convinced, it should be known that Will Smith, Jada Pinkett and Jay Z are executive producers of the Broadway music. You might even bump into them there!

5. SOCCER, SOCCER, SOCCER. For the first time in history, the FIFA 2010 soccer world cup will be held on African soil in South Africa. Book your ticket now and get in where the action is. Or slip on a team soccer jersey and root for your favorite African team on your television. Countdown the World Cup at the DJ Sbu Channel O event on May 29th in NYC.

6. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC. See Nigerian-US songstress Nenna Yvonne live at the Summer Jam 2010 on June 5th in New Jersey or Ghanaian rapper Blitz the Ambassador at the Summer Stage in Central Park on July 8th. Or experience BET nominated duo “Psquare” on the NY leg of their tour on July 24th.

7. SIT FRONT ROW AT AN AFRI-CHIC FASHION SHOW: Get inspired by an African fashion on June 5th at the OYATO fashion launch event in New York. If you’re in the DC area, check out Passport to Africa (May 23rd 29th), a weeklong celebration which includes a fashion show, food tasting and white party. Mingle with the who’s who of the African fashion scene by attending African Fashion Week New York (AFWNY) 2010 which will be held from July 12th 18th. Designers showing include Kirette Couture, 54 Kingdoms and more.

8. GET AWAY WITH FILM AND BOOKS. View some independent African films at this year’s 17th African Film Festival NY like the much acclaimed “White Wedding” or “Bronx Princess.” Rediscover African tales with books like “Things Fall Apart” or newer books like “The Powder Necklace.”

9. DISPLAY YOUR AFRICAN PRIDE. Celebrate Nigeria’s 50 year Independence by attending the Nigerian Day Parade in New York which is followed by parties and fashion shows. Or dedicate a day to community service on Mandela Day (July 18th).

(Photo Credits: iStockPhoto / Renphoto)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great article Maz.. will put a link to this on my blog... beijos mama! Sophy Aiida

Anonymous said...

Mazuba great writing. i am sure this is just the beginning of a wonderful career. keep it up and it will all fall into place

Anonymous said...

Could you please do this type of guide for other cities????It's wonderful!!! (I am in Chicago) :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome....really is! wish i was as good a writer n do one for london lol...tini!

naijagal said...

Yes, let's get some mimi summer guides for other cities please. DC? LA? ATL?

Myne Whitman said...

I'll be in New York first week of June so this will sure come in handy.

Anonymous said...

wow maz! fab writing. wish i was in NY. no excuses for not enjoying an african summer then :) keep it up babe xx

ngum