AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & TourismEconomyOpinion

Tourism and Hospitality: Revolutionary Tools To Boost Economy By Adewale Adenrele

Tourism is a social cultural and economic phenomenon that entails the movement of people to a country or places outside their usual environment for personal, business/professional purposes. This person may be a tourist or excursionist, resident or non-resident, and tourism has to do with their activities.

There are kinds of tourism like adventure tourism, cultural tourism, scientific tourism, sports tourism, water tourism, natural world tourism, area tourism, and many others. It is rightly said that. All tourism is travel but all journeys are not always tourism.

Hospitality is the relationship between a guest and a hotel. Hospitality is the act or exercise of being hospitable. Tourism and hospitality enterprise is associated with each other. Hospitality is the act of welcoming, receiving, hospitality, or enjoyable the guest. It includes ward and beneficent welcome of the tourist

The terms hospitality and tourism do not exist in the most common international industry classification, so these terms encompass a very wide range of businesses. Hospitality is a subset of tourism.

Within tourism, there are tourism-specific businesses that make most of their money from domestic and international short-term visitors (examples: airlines, hotels, attractions, cruises), and then you have other businesses that make some revenue from visitors (examples: restaurants and shops).

The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry.

Hospitality and tourism represent a broad range of career opportunities in industries that include: hotels and resorts, restaurants and commercial food service, meeting and event planning, tourism destinations and attractions, leisure, recreation and sports management, airlines, cruises and other transportation, environmentally sustainable and cultural tourism development, spa and wellness management.

According to United Nations World Tourism Organization celebrating Tourism Day 2019 with the Theme: “Tourism and Jobs — A Better Future for All”. Tourism’s role in job creation is often undervalued. This is despite the fact that tourism  generates 10% of world jobs and is included in Sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work.

Nevertheless, new policies are needed to: Maximize tourism’s potential to create more and better jobs, especially for women and youth. Reflect and incorporate ongoing advances in technology. Address the current mismatch between tourism skills that are taught and those that tourism employers need.

Revolutionary tools to boost the economy

Nations of the world have become increasingly aware of the immense benefit derivable from tourism, and are vigorously developing their tourism industry as a result of the positive economic impact in any area of tourism that boost the economy.

 Agritourism:  This is where agriculture and tourism meet to provide you with an amazing educational experience, whether it be a tour of a farm or ranch, a festival, or a cheese-making class. Farmers, ranchers, and wineries turn their land into a destination and open their doors to the public in order to teach more about what they do. Agritourism is becoming an increasingly popular industry in almost every state. Destinations across the country offer unique experiences ranging from picking your own fresh fruit at an orchard and trying your hand at calf roping to hayrides at a pumpkin patch. There are tons of unique activities waiting to be explored. This is helping to support the local agricultural economy.

Adventure tourism: This is a type of niche tourism involving exploration or travel to remote areas, where the traveler should expect the unexpected. Adventure tourism is rapidly growing in popularity as tourists seek unusual holidays, different from the typical beach vacation, travel in historic regions, or adventurous sports such as mountaineering and hiking (tramping)

Cultural Tourism: The journey of people to specific destinations that offer cultural attractions, including historic sites and artistic and cultural events and shows, with the aim of acquiring new knowledge and experiences that meet the intellectual needs and individual growth of the traveler. This includes urban tourism, visiting historical or tourist sites such as Osun Osogbo, and Olumo rock, and experiencing their cultural heritages. This type of tourism may also include specialized cultural experiences such as Art museum tourism where tourists visit many art museums during tours

Educational Tourism:  Educational tourism is developed because of the growing popularity of teaching and learning of knowledge and the enhancement of technical competency outside of the classroom environment. In educational tourism, the main focus of the tour or leisure activity includes visiting another country to learn about the culture, study tours, or to work and apply skills learned inside the classroom in a different environment, such as in the International Practicum Training Program

In conclusion, the focus on tourism and hospitality will automatically provide infrastructures to develop any country and Africa at large.  


read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaAPO-OPAArtsAwardsCelebritiesCulture & TourismEntertainmentEventsFashion

YouTube Partners AFRIMA, Reiterates Support For African Music and Creative Economy

Ahead of the highly anticipated 8th edition of the All-Africa Music Awards AFRIMA tagged ‘Teranga Edition’ scheduled to hold in Dakar, Senegal on 12-15 January 2023, global entertainment service YouTube, has entered into a partnership with AFRIMA, to help provide artist-focused educational sessions and live streaming support for the awards.

AFRIMA, which is the pinnacle of recognition for African music globally is poised to ensure that the annual 4-day festival is broadcasted to music lovers and stakeholders across the globe.

Importantly, YouTube will be conducting workshop sessions for African creatives at the Africa Music Business Summit (one of the events at the 8th AFRIMA) to educate on visibility across the global creative ecosystem on a digital platform.

The global streaming service will also be partnering with the All Africa Music Awards on a special incubator programme dubbed, AFRIMA Creative Academy, which aims to empower one million Africans (and in the diaspora) in the music and creative industry in the next five years.

The YouTube link for live streaming will be available on AFRIMA’s YouTube page Subscribe for free to the channel and catch the African Music Business Summit live on Friday, Jan 13, 2023, from 9.00 am-4.30 pm (WAT); while the AFRIMA Music Village will be live later that day from 6.00 pm – Till dawn (WAT). Finally, the 8th AFRIMA main awards ceremony will be streamed live from the Red Carpet- 4.30 pm (WAT), while the main awards will start at 7.30 pm (WAT).

Speaking on the development, the Head of the Culture Division at the African Union Commission (AUC), Angela Martins said, “It is important that we spread our efforts to promote inclusivity and ensure that the world can see the impact of AFRIMA at the global centre stage. It is easier for people to now follow up with the award ceremony via their smartphone or other devices. It is also vital we continue to create more education for creators to help them thrive in their crafts, and we are happy to align with YouTube on achieving this shared vision.”

On his part, AFRIMA’s President and Executive Producer, Mr Mike Dada, lauded the streaming service for their support of the African creative economy.

He said, “We have all seen the rise in circulation of short-form audio-visual content on these services and how they have helped to promote African music and creators on a global scale. We believe that sharing knowledge will be a veritable means to expand the revenue funnel for our creators at home and also boost foreign direct investment. In the spirit of uplifting the African creative ecosystem, we are excited to work with a driven and innovative team like YouTube.”

We have all seen the rise in circulation of short form audio-visual content on these services and how they have helped to promote African music and creators on a global scale

YouTube’s Head of Music Sub-Saharan Africa, Addy Awofisayo said, “YouTube has been consistent in its support for African creatives over the years and has played an essential role in the discovery and development of African music & culture and exporting it to audiences and listeners worldwide, enabling collaborations both locally and globally.

“We are excited for our partnership with AFRIMA and the African Union to deepen our relationship with the music stakeholders on the continent, provide educational support for African creatives, and to help music fans be a part of some of the most iconic music moments  as they unfold live on YouTube, wherever they are around the globe.”

As the whole world gears towards the 8th edition of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, which will be held from January 12 to 15, 2023, African music lovers are encouraged to keep voting intensively for their desired winners, using the voting portal live at and take part in the events on social media platforms (IG/TikTok – @ afrima.official ; Facebook – Afrimawards; Twitter – @afrimaofficial; LinkedIn – AFRIMA). The voting process that determines winners at AFRIMA is audited by a globally renowned auditing firm, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC).

As announced at the conference, the delegates are expected to arrive on January 11, 2023. The AFRIMA ceremony is scheduled to kick-start fully on Thursday, January 12, 2023, with a Host Country TourSchool visit and gift presentation (as part of AFRIMA’s Corporate Social Responsibility), as well as a Welcome Soiree in the evening, in Dakar.

The 4-day event continues on Friday January 13, 2023, with the Africa Music Business Summit (AMBS) at the Grand Theatre, in Dakar. The AMBS is Africa’s largest gathering of creative professionals in the music industry and it features workshops and panel discussions on issues and opportunities within the African music industry.

The 8th AFRIMA will continue with high momentum at the  AFRIMA Music Village at the Grand Theatre, which will be a free-to-enter concert featuring live performances from the biggest music stars across the continent.

On the eve of the awards ceremony, on Saturday January 14, 2023, the events will begin with Main rehearsals, Media engagements and a Courtesy Visit to the President of Senegal. There will also be a live recording booth at the venue for musicians across all five regions of the continent, and in the diaspora, to explore for collaborative recordings.  The day’s activities will climax with a Nominees exclusive party.

Finally, the 8th AFRIMA will wrap up on Sunday January 15, 2023, at the 15-000 capacity Dakar Arena, in Dakar, with the live Awards ceremony broadcast by 104 TV Stations to over 84 countries around the world.

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AFRIMA is the pinnacle of African music globally.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & TourismInternational

UNWTO Named ‘Best Tourism Villages’ In 2022 (See Details)

From Austria to Vietnam, 32 destinations from all around the world have been named as ‘Best Tourism Villages 2022’ by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The accolade recognizes rural destinations that are embracing tourism as a driver of development and new opportunities for jobs and income while preserving and promoting community-based values and products. The initiative also recognizes villages for their commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social, and environmental – and a focus on developing tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In 2022, a total of 32 villages from 18 countries across the five world regions were awarded the recognition. The villages were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board based on a set of criteria covering nine areas:

  • Cultural and Natural Resources
  • Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources
  • Economic Sustainability
  • Social Sustainability
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Tourism Development and Value Chain Integration
  • Governance and Prioritization of Tourism
  • Infrastructure and Connectivity
  • Health, Safety, and Security

Welcoming the news, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “For rural communities everywhere, tourism can be a true game-changer in providing jobs, supporting local businesses, and keeping traditions alive. The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO showcase the power of the sector to drive economic diversification and create opportunities for all outside of big cities.”

A total of 136 villages were put forward for consideration by 57 UNWTO Member States (each Member State could nominate a maximum of three villages) for the 2022 edition. From these, 32 were recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO.

A further 20 villages will enter the Upgrade Programme. All 52 villages will also become part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Global Network created in 2021 which from this date gathers 115 villages from the five continents. The Network provides a number of benefits including onsite and online training, sharing of good practices, and international brand recognition and awareness.

The Programme promotes multi-level governance and partnerships and the active involvement and empowerment of communities

Tourism as a driver of rural development and inclusion

The Best Tourism Villages initiative is the flagship project of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme. The Programme aims to ensure tourism contributes to reducing regional inequalities in income and development, fighting depopulation, progressing gender equality and women’s and youth empowerment, advancing innovation and digitalization, improving connectivity, infrastructure, access to finance and investment, innovating in product development and value chain integration, promoting sustainable practices for more efficient use of resources and a reduction of emissions and waste and enhancing education and skills. The Programme promotes multi-level governance and partnerships and the active involvement and empowerment of communities.

Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO

The Best Tourism Villages initiative includes three pillars:

  1. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’: Recognizes villages that are outstanding examples of a rural tourism destination with accredited cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products, and lifestyle and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental.
  2. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Upgrade Programme: The Upgrade Programme benefits a number of villages that do not fully meet the criteria to receive recognition. These villages receive support from UNWTO and its Partners in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.
  3. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Global Network: The Network provides a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, and opportunities. It includes experts and public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism for rural development, as well.

The Award Ceremony will take place in AlUla, Saudi Arabia on 27-28 February 2023 back-to-back with the first presential meeting of the UNWTO Network of Best Tourism Villages.

The next edition of the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO will open in February 2023.

List of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO 2022:

  • Zell am See, Austria
  • Wagrain, Austria
  • Puqueldón, Chile
  • Dazhai, China
  • Jingzhu, China
  • Choachí, Colombia
  • Aguarico, Ecuador
  • Angochagua, Ecuador
  • Choke Mountains Ecovillage, Ethiopia
  • Mestia, Georgia
  • Kfar Kama, Israel
  • Sauris-Zahre, Italy
  • Isola del Giglio, Italy
  • Umm Qais, Jordan
  • Creel, Mexico
  • El Fuerte, Mexico
  • Ksar Elkhorbat, Morocco
  • Moulay Bouzerktoune, Morocco
  • Lamas, Peru
  • Raqchi, Peru
  • Castelo Novo, Portugal
  • Pyeongsa-ri, Republic of Korea
  • Rasinari, Romania
  • AlUla Old Town, Saudi Arabia
  • Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Rupit, Spain
  • Alquézar, Spain
  • Guadalupe, Spain
  • Murten, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland
  • Birgi, Türkiye
  • Thái Hải, Vietnam

Additionally, UNWTO will work with the following villages participating in the Upgrade Programme:

  • Trevelin, Argentina
  • Krupa na Vrbasu, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Fontainhas, Cabo Verde
  • Ninhue, Chile
  • San Vicente de Chucuri, Colombia
  • Barichara, Colombia
  • Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus
  • Pissouri, Cyprus
  • Adaba, Ethiopia
  • Khonoma, India
  • Neot Semadar, Israel
  • Otricoli, Italy
  • Il Ngwesi, Kenya
  • Grand Baie, Mauritius
  • Bella Vista, Paraguay
  • Istebna, Poland
  • Ferraria de São João, Portugal
  • Castara, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Anıtlı, Türkiye
  • Cumalıkızık, Türkiye

Applications in 2021 and 2022 were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board. The composition of this multidisciplinary board for 2021-2022 is as follows:

  • Federico de Arteaga (PhD, Innovation Sustainability, 2022)
  • Joel Callañaupa (Planeterra, 2022)
  • Mari Dunleavy (ICCA Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, 2022)
  • Ahmed Eiweida (World Bank, 2022)
  • Elena García Garrido (ENRD, 2022)
  • Christian Gsodam (ECR European Committee of the Regions, 2021-2022)
  • Amran Hamzah (CIPD Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2021-2022)
  • Ena Harvey (ICCA Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, 2021)
  • Lázaro Israel (Member of the Panel of Experts International Fund for Cultural Diversity at UNESCO, 2021-2022)
  • (Dr.) Manal Kelig (ATTA Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2021-2022)
  • Judy Kepher Gona (STTA Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda, 2021-2022)
  • Fergus Maclaren (ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee, 2021-2022)
  • Joxe Mari Aizega (BCC Basque Culinary Center, 2021)
  • David Mora Gómez (BCC Basque Culinary Center,2022)
  • Ximena Muñoz Vivas (Instituto Design Thinking, 2021-2022)
  • Fabrizio Angelo Orlando (TripAdvisor, 2021-2022)
  • Helena Rey de Assis (UNEP – UN Environment Programme, 2021)
  • Jacqui Taylor (Agritourism Africa, 2022)
  • Peter Wostner (Researcher and Policy Expert. Chairman of the Working Party on Rural Policy at OECD, 2021)
  • (Dr.) Endo Yoshihide (FAO Food and Agriculture Organization, 2021-2022)
read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsNews

Nigeria received over 20 looted Benin Bronzes from Germany

Germany has handed over 20 Benin Bronzes from its museums to Nigeria, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday, making it the latest European country to return cultural artefacts to their African homeland.

The handovers are the clearest sign yet of growing momentum towards the return of artefacts taken away from Africa by Europeans during the colonial period. Germany had agreed to start returning Benin Bronzes held in its museums last year.

Earlier this year, Germany signed a declaration with Nigeria to release all 1,130 Benin Bronzes – actually copper alloy relief sculptures, many showing court figures – in German public museums.

Nigerian foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama and information minister Lai Mohammed were present at the handover including Germany’s minister for culture and media Claudia Roth as well as directors of museums in Germany.

“Today we are taking a step that was long overdue: We are returning 20 Benin bronzes from German museums to where they belong, to their homeland,” Baerbock told reporters in Abuja.

Some of the Benin Bronze artefacts had been in German custody for nearly two centuries with some in private collections and casinos, Nigerian officials said.

British soldiers seized thousands of metal castings and sculptures during a raid on the then-separate Kingdom of Benin in 1897.

The Bronze were auctioned off and then spread among institutions from New Zealand to Germany and the United States, with the biggest collection in London.

The returns are likely to increase pressure on the British Museum in London, which holds by far the largest and most significant collection of Benin Bronzes.

Nigeria’s information minister called on the British Museum to release the more than 900 Benin Bronzes it has.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & TourismEventsFashion

Event: The 12th International Cultural Festival of Miniature and Decorative Arts held in Algeria

The 12th International Cultural Festival of Miniature and Decorative Arts organized within the Ministry of Culture of Algeria in Tlemcen which is one of the historical cities of Algeria was held from 19 to 24 November 2022 with contributions from Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).

A great number of artists and academicians participated in the festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Algeria with contributions from TİKA, where artworks from Türkiye, Iran, Uzbekistan, Oman, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan were exhibited. The “Turkish Art of Marbling” attracted considerable attention at the festival.

Scientific presentations as well as exhibitions and workshops were held at the festival were faculty members of Marmara University, Assoc. Prof. Şehnaz BİÇER and Assist. Prof. Seher AŞICI attended from Türkiye.

Speaking to a reporter from AA, a Faculty Member from the Division of Illumination-Miniature of the Department of Traditional Turkish Handicrafts of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Marmara University, Assoc. Prof. Şehnaz Biçer said, “We are glad to be able to attend this festival organized under the slogan of “Golden Bridges” in the city of Tlemcen in Algeria with contributions from TİKA.”

We are glad to be able to attend this festival organized under the slogan of “Golden Bridges” in the city of Tlemcen in Algeria with contributions from TİKA

Emphasizing the importance of such festivals for the training and practice of such fields of art, particularly the art of marbling, Biçer said, “It is very important for the transfer of culture and art that artists from different countries meet each other and the young people of Algeria.”

Biçer drew attention to the fact that the excitement of young people combined with the experiences of artists and teachers has created a beautiful synergy. “Young people get to know artists from different cultures in these fields of art and this both increases the communication between countries and creates permanent art friendships between them,” she said.

Assist. Prof. Seher Aşıcı from the Division of Bookbinding of the Department of Traditional Turkish Handicrafts of the same faculty said, “We were very pleased to see that the young people of Algeria showed great interest in all the artists from Türkiye and that they were willing to follow us on social media and make the communication permanent.”

Aşıcı thanked TİKA’s Coordination Unit in Algeria and the organization team and highlighted the importance of the participation of Türkiye in the festival.

The festival which started with the participation of 8 countries, particularly Türkiye, on 19 November in Algeria ended last night.

At the end of the festival, works by artists participating in the festival were published as a catalog, and those ranking the highest in the competition were presented with various awards by the Ministry of Culture of Algeria.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & TourismEventsFashion

EVENT: Senegal celebrates 20 years of Dakar Fashion Week

Senegal celebrated in style 20 years of Dakar Fashion Week on Saturday with a show at the historic island of Gorée, once associated with slavery.

The event was organised by Adama N’Diaye, a French designer with Senegalese roots and owner of French label Adama Paris.

“I’m completely happy, my baby [Dakar Fashion Week] has grown up and today is a very nice party with 20 exceptional designers. So I can only be happy that this baby has grown and that my dream has become ours”. (…) “African fashion is inspiring a lot. You have seen Chanel in Dakar and this is not insignificant, and other brands have gone elsewhere in Africa. African fashion is creative, it is diversified, it is beautiful and it is daring”, said Adama Ndiaye, designer and organiser of Dakar Fashion Week.

“The particularity is to be in Africa, to bring together all the African designers, each with their own cultural identity, and to be able to put everyone on the same catwalk, that’s what’s magnificent”, beamed Moroccan designer, Karim Tassi.

The event also boosts the local fashion industry whilst encouraging more young people to follow a career in this business.

Khadim Ndiongue is a young designer who took part in the event.

“It boosts of course the fashion sector in Senegal. Because it already gives audacity to young fashion entrepreneurs to be able to open up much more in this field and to be much more in the thing”, he said.

Dakar Fashion Week ends on Sunday evening with a “white night” event.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & Tourism

Alex Maswanganyi, Soweto born artist with special needs exploring Turkish art

One of the leading centers of the struggle against white racist apartheid, Soweto is a district of symbolic importance in terms of the country’s recent history. South Africa’s sad history lies here, with streets that have witnessed riots and massacres.

Built by the regime as a “black residential area”, this famous “township” now hosts a population of more than a million, mostly black.

Soweto is also one of Johannesburg’s leading cultural and artistic centers. This district, where music and dance are inseparable parts of life, brings new names to South African art. Alex Maswanganyi, a 25-year-old artist from Soweto, is one of them.

Painter Maswanganyi shares his difficult life stretching from the streets of Soweto to Turkey.

Stated that he was born with Down syndrome and heart disease, he grew up without a family, and managed to overcome what he went through by painting, Maswanganyi said, “I cook and sell chicken barbecues on the streets to make a living, I occasionally go to painting and renovation works, I live in a one-eyed tin shack with a view of Soweto Tower and I just want to focus on my art. ” he said.

– “The only game I had was being able to draw with my pencil”

Emphasizing that he was born in a very poor family, Maswanganyi said that his father, who had no education, was involved in a robbery to cover the expenses. Maswanganyi said, “For this, he went to one of the suburbs where the white and wealthy part of the city lives. This was not his first crime. He had a conviction for many crimes. He was caught, arrested.”

Maswanganyi stated that they never heard from his father again and that he was able to survive with the care of a doctor.

Saying that his mother left him in a tin shanty with his sister when he was only 4 years old, Maswanganyi noted that the landlord adopted him.

Maswanganyi stated that he could not play with other children due to his health condition and continued:

“The only thing that distracted me from all this was drawing because the only game I had was being able to draw with my pencil.”

– “I learned basic things from Turkish calligrapher Refik Çarıkçı”

Stating that he met Turkish culture at the Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) calligraphy course in Johannesburg in 2019, Maswanganyi said, “This was the course I was looking for, but the fee was 2 thousand rands (2 thousand 133 Turkish liras). It was not easy to save the money, but I was able to collect it in 4-5 weeks.” said.

Expressing that his interest in Turkish culture increased after he learned some basic things from the Turkish calligrapher Refik Çarıkçı in this 6-week course, Maswanganyi said that from now on he started to include Turkey more in his works.

Maswanganyi stated that the portraits of Yunus Emre and Nelson Mandela look at each other in a corner of this hut that will not get wet when it rains, “I describe Yunus Emre as a figure who fought for peace, love, and solidarity, and in this respect, Yunus Emre and Nelson Mandela have the same vision. I think it is.” he said.

Maswanganyi continued:

“The Turkish Ambassador liked my paintings very much and said he wanted to offer me the opportunity to go to Turkey and see the places I included in my paintings, but I didn’t even have citizenship. How would I do that? How would I go to Turkey? I didn’t tell them anything about it, I tried to kill it somehow.”

Explaining that he took a photo with Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Ndlika Mandela and Turkey’s Ambassador to Pretoria Ayşegül Kandaş and went to the relevant institution for identification, Maswanganyi said, “I lived without an ID for 24 years, but that day, when I showed the photo in my hand to the officials, they were directly interested. The same day. They gave me my birth certificate within 2 weeks, and my ID came out within 2 weeks.” he said.

– “Istanbul was extraordinary”

Pointing out that he was the first person in his neighborhood to go abroad when he set out to visit Turkey last month, Maswanganyi said that this situation created a “Turkey agenda” in the neighborhood and that people were proud of him.

Maswanganyi stated that he was very happy with the sincerity, friendship and hospitality he saw in Turkey. I love it and it’s peaceful, no crime.” made its assessment.

Maswanganyi stated that he continues to take Turkish courses at YEE and said, “My future goal is to go to Turkey and improve my Turkish and art. I want to help strengthen the cultural ties between our countries.” used his statements.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & Tourism

ARTS: ‘The past glory is returning’: Ibadan’s nascent artistic revival

Oluwole Omofemi is just one of many rising artistic stars in Nigeria’s third-largest city

Less than a year ago, a painting by Oluwole Omofemi hung, unguarded, at the side entrance to the grey concrete building where he maintains his two-room studio.

Just steps above one of Ibadan’s busiest thoroughfares, the young woman in the portrait had a confident stance, her face framed by a halo-like afro. She hung exposed yet unbothered by hundreds of passersby.

Earlier this year, Omofemi removed the painting for safe keeping in his personal collection after similar works from his Metamorphosis series were sold for more than 100,000 euros ($96,000) in auctions at Phillips and Christie’s. In March 2022, Invader, a painting that had an estimated value of $10,000 to $15,000, sold for $189,000.

Like the painting, until recently Omofemi, 34, has been hiding in plain sight in one of Ibadan’s most active commercial centres, where he established his current studio space in 2018.

“I want to be very quiet,” Omofemi told Al Jazeera. “I want to live a normal life that an average citizen [would] live.”

He recalls a moment at a party when people were discussing Nigerian artists and the subject shifted to him.

“People were saying, ‘There’s this one guy in Ibadan. This guy has been making this, has been doing that,’ and I was just there, quiet,” he said. “A lot of these collectors don’t even know me.”
Butterly Kiss, 2021 courtesy of Oluwole Omofemi
Butterly Kiss, 2021 [Courtesy of Oluwole Omofemi]

But Omofemi’s hopes of staying under the radar are dwindling.

In April, the third solo show of his career opened at Out of Africa Gallery in Barcelona, with all 10 paintings sold and a waiting list of 75 potential buyers.

Now, collectors send emissaries to find Omofemi’s Ibadan studio, hoping to entice him to sell his works directly.

In May, Tatler magazine commissioned Omofemi to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II for its July issue, which celebrated her platinum jubilee, bringing his profile to new heights. It may be the last painting made of her before her death in early September.

Oluwole Omofemi [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]
Omofemi, 34, has been in his current Ibadan studio since 2018 [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

Omofemi’s rise is bringing more attention to his hometown of Ibadan – Nigeria’s third largest city by population, with more than 6 million people, located some 140km (85 miles) northeast of Lagos.

While Ibadan came to be eclipsed by Lagos as Nigeria’s cultural powerhouse, its legacy as an incubator for many of Nigeria’s most celebrated artists and intellectuals long precedes Omofemi, and he is just one of the many artists sparking a nascent creative revival in the city.

‘Dreams beyond money’

Founded in Ibadan in 1961, the Mbari Club, with its gallery space, library, and performance venue, was not only the artistic centre of the city but of Nigeria as a whole. Members included visual artist Bruce Onobrakpeya and young writers Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. Now giants of Nigerian modern art, Uche Okeke and Demas Nwoko were both active members.

In the 1960s, Ibadan was Nigeria’s most populous city and an international destination. Malcolm X lectured at the University of Ibadan in 1964. Visual artists, including Somali modernist Ibrahim El-Salahi and the widely-acclaimed American painter Jacob Lawrence, traveled to participate in the creative exchanges at the Mbari Club.

When drummer and visual artist Tunde Odunlade moved from Ife to Ibadan in 1973, the city was still “a melting pot where the development of contemporary art [in] Nigeria took off … there was no artist from Nigeria that would not pass through Ibadan – musical, visual, dance”.

But, over almost 50 years in the city, Odunlade witnessed the shift of the country’s artistic centre from Ibadan to Lagos.

“Lagos became the commercial hub of the country, and it was easy for art to flow there,” Odunlade said.   

Tunde Odunlade [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]
‘Lagos became the commercial hub of the country, and it was easy for art to flow there,’ Tunde Odunlade said [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

However, Odunlade and others have sought to revive Ibadan’s artistic scene in recent years.

As a well-established visual artist in his own right, he founded Tunde Odunlade Arts and Culture Connexions in Ibadan’s Bodija district in December 2020. The gallery space features a wide range of works, having displayed the works of more than 80 artists since opening.

Equally notable is that it provides a welcoming and accessible location for young cultural practitioners interested in reviving Ibadan’s artistic energy to stage events, meetings and workshops.

“The past glory of Ibadan is now returning, and I’m glad that I’m part of the whole story,” Odunlade asserts.

“I’m not surprised about what is happening in Ibadan today, especially with Oluwole Omofemi. I’m not surprised because he lives in an environment where there’s peace, where your inspiration will not just disappear because of hullabaloo around you.”

Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera
Luxury handbag designer Femi Olayebi says, ‘Ibadan affords you the ability to be creative’ [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

About 25 minutes’ drive away from Odunlade’s centre, luxury handbag designer Femi Olayebi’s administrative headquarters and factory occupy two full storeys in an unmarked building in central Ibadan.

During her 30-year career, Olayebi has been selected for a merchandising mentorship programme at Saks 5th Avenue, completed a fellowship at MIT, and founded the Lagos Leather Fair, all while successfully scaling up the business she founded from her home into a team of dozens of employees.

At different points in her career, Olayebi recalls wondering, “If I were in Lagos, would I have succeeded faster? Would I have succeeded earlier? At the beginning, I thought ‘yes’, but now I’m wiser, and I know that the answer is an absolute no.”

Olayebi feels “the stress of Lagos doesn’t exist in Ibadan. Ibadan affords you the ability to be creative because you’re not sitting in traffic for hours on end … And then there’s also the fact that, in Lagos, to have [the] kind of space that I have, would have cost me an absolute fortune.”

Like Olayebi, painter Modupeola Fadugba has had many successes in her career. The former Smithsonian Fellow and recent New York Emmy winner in the category of DEI Long Form Content for her short documentary, Dreams from the Deep End, has made a conscious choice to base her practice in Ibadan.

“I’ve always been someone that doesn’t quite like to be in the centre,” she explains. “But I can have access to it if and when I’m ready.”

Fadugba chose to settle in Ibadan. “It is quiet, so I can think and have a lot more space.”

Modupeola Fadugba [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]
Modupeola Fadugba explains her reason for choosing Ibadan as ‘it is quiet, so I can think and have a lot more space’ [Oluwafemi Amogunla/Al Jazeera]

Omofemi also credits Ibadan as being integral to his development.

“I’m very sensitive to the things around me, both the visible and spiritual –  very, very sensitive, and I get my inspiration from everything I see.”

While Omofemi has been influenced by Ibadan, it has been the challenges that it has presented that have propelled him to international stardom.

Omofemi’s current studio is less than 10 minutes by motorcycle from the roadside kiosk where he used to sell commissioned portraits for the equivalent of $10 to $30, a living that he was comfortable with at the time.

In Him I Trust, Oluwole Omofemi
In Him I Trust, 2021 [Courtesy of Oluwole Omofemi
All of that was disrupted in 2017 when the Oyo State Government launched a city-wide campaign against street vending, forcing him from the location where he had sold his work since secondary school.

Ibadan-based painter and gallery owner Tope Fatunmbi had been encouraging Omofemi’s career since secondary school, while respected painter Ebenezer Akinola also served as an important mentor.

Although Omofemi was initially certain that his art career was over, Akinola began to introduce him and his work to established galleries.

“He took me to Lagos, and he introduced my painting to [Alexis] Gallery, and the gallery was so excited to work with me.”

He exhibited at Lagos mainstays, including Terra Kulture and Thought Pyramid, but it was Signature Gallery that saw his work as viable in the international market. They launched the opening of their London gallery with a solo show of Omofemi’s work in March 2020. The 12 large-scale portraits sold out.

Today, the intensified spotlight on his work has led to multiple offers from the world’s top auction houses to broker the sale of The Queen along with bidding wars for exclusive auction rights to his other works.

Back in Ibadan, with up to 10 young apprentices in his studio at any given time, Omofemi remains dedicated to nurturing the next generation of the city’s artistic talents.

“My thoughts, my dreams [are] beyond just having money,” he asserts.

“I spent most of my life here … I have always wanted to give back to my immediate environment in my community. I don’t want to be an artist without impact. I want to be an artist with a footprint in people’s lives.”

read more
AfricaArtsCulture & TourismEvents

CULTURE & TOURISM: South Africa throws mega party as new Zulu king crowned

South Africa’s new Zulu King was formally declared the head of the country’s most influential traditional monarchy at a colorful ceremony presided over by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday.

Ramaphosa was to hand over the giant framed certificate to formally recognize the 48-year-old new ruler Misuzulu Zulu before tens of thousands of people in colourful regalia gathered at a huge soccer stadium in the coastal city of Durban.

“Our king, is indeed officially the King of the Zulu nation and the only king of the Zulu nation,” said Ramaphosa to loud applause from those gathered to fete the new ruler.

Saturday’s official coronation of the ruler of the country’s richest monarchy comes after a year of bitter feuding over the royal succession that has spilled into the courts.

Misuzulu Zulu ascended the throne once held by his late father, Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March 2021 – after more than 50 years on the throne.

The crowning which followed a traditional coronation ceremony in August is the first South Africa has witnessed in more than half a century.

Amabutho, Zulu King regiments, clad in traditional dress and carrying shields and sticks, are seen at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, Oct. 29, 2022. (AFP Photo)

“This historic moment only comes once in a lifetime, many of us will never see this historic moment again,” said Ramaphosa.

Although the title of king does not bestow executive power, the monarchs wield great moral influence over more than 11 million Zulus, who make up nearly a fifth of South Africa’s population of 60 million people.

Amabutho, or royal regiments, clad in traditional skirts, faux leopard skin tops, and carrying shields and sticks chanted songs of praise for their king.

Singing and blowing whistles as they slowly glided around the pitch, women wore broad-brimmed Zulu hats and traditional wraps.

Young girls in equally brightly colored pleated skirts and beads excitedly danced and ululated in the 85,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium – which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament.

‘Great day for’ Zulus

Londolo Zungu, 49, in traditional Zulu attire was among the women at the party. “We are very happy, more than happy, we are supporting the king 100%,” she told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Khaya Ndwandwe, a Zulu historian, said at the stadium that recognition of the new king by the government as “the real king of the Zulu people” means “now the king will be more than protected.”

“It’s a great day for the Zulu nation. It’s a day of great joy for the Zulu people, for everybody,” said Ndwandwe.

The ceremony was given rolling live coverage on all of South Africa’s largest television stations and media outlets.

A long gray feather stuck out from the king’s hair, while a bunch of black feathers was arranged on the back of his head as he sat on a throne covered in leopard skin.

Head of the Anglican church in South Africa Archbishop Thabo Makgoba dabbed holy oil on the king’s hands, face and head as crowds looked on.

“As you embark upon your reign as king of the nation that is recognized internationally as one of the greatest in Africa, I believe you are being called to step up and emulate the highest traditions of your ancestors,” said Makgoba.

Among the delegates was King Mswati III of Africa’s last absolute monarchy, Eswatini, who was also an uncle to the new Zulu king.

Two of South Africa’s ex-presidents, Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki, were also present.

Zulu kings are descendants of King Shaka, the 19th-century leader still revered for having united a large swathe of the country as the Zulu nation, which fought bloody battles against the British colonisers.

King Zwelithini died after more than 50 years in charge, leaving six wives and at least 28 children.

Misuzulu is the first son of Zwelithini’s third wife, who he designated as regent in his will.

The queen however died suddenly a month after Zwelithini, leaving a will naming Misuzulu as the next king – a development that did not go down well with other family members.

The new monarch’s first name means “strengthening the Zulus” but his path to the crown has not been smooth.


read more

Thando Ntuli unveils new collection, revives family history at South African Fashion Week

Thando Ntuli, a young designer who just unveiled her new collection at South African Fashion Week, hopes her clothes will convey a sense of home.

Models present creations by MUNKUS during the second day of the South African Fashion Week (SAFW), at the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, October 21, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The 25-year-old, who grew up in the township of Soweto, took inspiration from the dresses and skirts she used to borrow from her mother and grandmother in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I just want this sense of home to be given, or transferred to the people wearing the brand,” said Ntuli, whose brand is called “Munkus” after a term of endearment that her family uses for her.

The designer dedicated her Autumn/Winter 2023 collection to her mother and explored the different roles women play in society.

“I looked into the five personas that my mum represents: she’s basically a giver, a nurturer, a lover, a fighter, and a leader,” Ntuli told Reuters.

This multitude of roles is reflected in different silhouettes and colours the designer used in her collection, which includes a dress with an image of Ntuli’s mother printed on the front.


read more