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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Written By: Sam Kessie—I was born in Camden Town, England. At a very young age my father took a job with a mining company and we had to move from London to Obuasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Growing up in England at a very young age exposed me to a completely different culture and way of life from how it was when I moved to Ghana. I hated it and didn’t really have a lot of friends. My parents were pretty protective of me; one could say I had very strict parents, though in the end I am glad they were. I spent a lot of time reading and watching TV. At the same time I was pretty adventurous, getting into trouble occasionally and therefore ending up grounded numerous times. I did write occasionally as an outlet, and had a few articles make it into the local newspaper. However, in school I was always on the path to go into the sciences. Writing, or anything artistic, was encouraged to be more of a hobby. I started Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast in the mid 90’s and although I graduated as a science student, I was a very active member in the Drama Club. Funny enough, one of my prizes at speech day was a book entitled Movie and Methods (I still have that book on my shelf!). I entered college with the intention of becoming a computer engineer, but very quickly realized I was not at all in love with that major.

I struggled for a few years still trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. I even took a few business classes believing I wanted to be like my dad, who worked in finance. I was actually good at it, but once again there was something missing. I hated going to class because I wasn’t really enjoying it. I had a few internships and couldn’t stand it. Then I had to take a requirement for psychology. The complexities of the mind, and attempting to understand individual and social behavior as well as the physiological and neurological processes absolutely fascinated me. I took a few more classes and then decided to change my major and study psychology. The more I delved into this world, the more I was drawn to certain people with all sorts of characteristics. I took several theatre classes and found it intriguing to break down a character to the very core and trying to understand them in a psychological sense.

Read the rest of In The Director's Seat in the latest issue of MIMI, Unapologetically Modern.African.Female.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Written By: MIM!The latest issue of MIMI, featuring model turned singer Imany, has just been published, and it's Unapologetically Modern.African.Female.

Inside this issue, you can: get inspired to follow your dreams by up-and-coming director Sam Kessie's tell-all feature (In The Director's Seat), discover more about the natural hair movement in Kenya (Love, Peace, And Hair Grease), flip through VLISCO's latest look book (Dazzling Graphics), learn to appreciate your mother's quirks (10 Things I Like About My Nigerian Mother), reminisce through Bamako starting from the late forties (Seydou Keita: Vintage Mali), preview the hottest designer collections out of South Africa (Style Files: Jo'Burg Fashion Week), and find much, much more!

We're also thrilled to announce that we've teamed up with renowned publication Africa Renewal to bring you news and analysis on economic and development challenges facing the African continent. To find out more, read A New Scramble For Africa's Riches and Cyber Activism And North Africa's Revolutions, published in the Africana section of the magazine.

If you have any feedback about this issue, you can email MIMI at mimimagazineonline[ at ]gmail[ dot ]com or leave a comment here, on Twitter, or Facebook. Happy reading!

(Photo Credits: © Barron Claiborne)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Written By: MIM!Following the release of her acclaimed EP Acoustic Sessions, Imany has now released her full length album, The Shape Of A Broken Heart. Take a look at her music video for You Will Never Know, the first single from the album, and to hear more from Imany's album, Shape Of A Broken Heart, visit

(Photo Credits: CD Cover Art / © Barron Claiborne)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Written By: MIM!Ogeyinka 2011, meaning surrounded by beauty and style in Yoruba, is the new collection from House of Makeda, the now two-year old afrocentric design house by jazz singer Teni. Inspired by Fela Kuti and his Queens, House of Makeda's 2011 Ogeyinka Collection uses a cornucopia of pinks, greens and blues in ankara african print, aso-oke, silk, satin, leather, velvet, sequins and embroidery. Teni shares: "We chose to use ankara for this collection because right or wrong, it remains synonymous with African fashion and there was none more African and supportive of home-grown fashion than Fela and his Queens. It reflects the effortlessly second to none, rich, avant-garde 1970's style of these unsung style icons, in a time where from Broadway to Beyonce, the world is taking note." Take a look at some of the pieces below, and to see more from the Ogeyinka collection, visit

(Photo Credits: Hakeem Salaam. Model: Uju. Make-Up and Styling: Teni)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Written By: MIM!Freshlyground—whose name evokes the fresh mix of just-crushed herbs—fearlessly dives into crates of traditional instruments, pointed political critique, poetry notebooks, and well-loved Southern African pop forms. They channel the sunny openness of hip Cape Town and the intense energy of singing ancestors. The mix is catchy, driving, and refreshingly upbeat, even when songs take aim at social ills and the folly of misguided politicians.

This summer the group’s bountiful diversity will hit North America (including New York, San Francisco, DC, Philly, Montreal, Vancouver) for the first time, as the group tours in June and July, in a live show bursting with bold energy, wry humor, and skillful spontaneity. Here are their North American tour dates:

06/24/2011, Fri Northampton, MA Iron Horse
06/25/2011, Sat New Haven, CT Festival of Arts & Idea
06/26/2011, Sun New York, NY Central Park SummerStage
06/27/2011, Mon Allston, MA Brighton Music Hall
06/28/2011, Tue Montreal, QC Montreal Jazzfest
06/29/2011, Wed Montreal, QC Montreal Jazzfest
06/30/2011, Thu Chicago, IL Millennium Park - Jay Pritzker Pavilion
07/02/2011, Sat Washington, DC Black Cat
07/05/2011, Tue Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live!
07/08/2011, Fri Quebec City, QC Festival D'ete - Loto-Quebec Stage
07/09/2011, Sat Burlington, VT Higher Ground - Showcase Lounge
07/10/2011, Sun Pasadena, CA Levitt Pavilion
07/13/2011, Wed San Francisco, CA The Brick and Mortar Music Hall
07/14/2011, Thu Santa Cruz, CA Kuumbwa Jazz Center
07/15/2011, Fri Vancouver, BC Vancouver Folk Festival
07/16/2011, Sat Vancouver, BC Vancouver Folk Festival
07/17/2011, Sun Vancouver, BC Vancouver Folk Festival

(Photo Credits: Seppi Hochfellner)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Written By: MIM!There's no question that Bukola Are of House of Versatile Styles has mastered the art of branding. Take a look at her fashion forward film for her label, featuring among other pieces, her ankara inspired accessories.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Written By: Nicole Parker-Jones—Set on the campus of a Nigerian university, Double Yoke tells the story of two undergraduates who must confront the conflicting demands of tradition and modernity. While Nko pursues an education despite the resistance of those who feel a woman's identity is assumed in traditional marriage, Ete Kamba's love for her is severely tested as he is himself locked into the rigid attitudes from which Nko is attempting to break free. Nko must further contend with unscrupulous professors who would take advantage of her tenuous role as a woman in a male-dominated environment. As the author candidly portrays the status of women in emerging African nations, the choices facing Ete Kamba and Nko are neither clearcut nor perfect. In Double Yoke, Buchi Emecheta faces them head on.

(Photo Credits: Book Cover Art)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Written By: MIM!Have you ever danced with your hair? You will after watching Les Nubians, Afro Dance, from their recently released album, Nu Revolution.

Les Nubians - Afrodance from Nice Dissolve on Vimeo.

(Photo Credits: © Delphine Diallo)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Written By: Nani Hapa—Andy Allo's music is perfectly captured as a fusion of alternative/hip hop/neo soul. Watch her soulful video for her song DreamLand (featuring Blu) from her 2009 album UnFresh. Love, love, love!