#Queens: African Diaspora Women – Esosa E.

September 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

Esosa E. performs her one-woman play at the Smithsonian Nat’l Museum of African Art

I think any black woman is a queen. It’s just, do you know it…Based on who we are and what we’ve been through and how we survive and where we stand, we are on kind of sacred ground. We stand on the backs of our ancestors.” – Ava DuVernay, Film Director

In keeping with Afrofusion TV’s mission to celebrate African diaspora people, highlight their creativity, achievements and accomplishments, we have started a new series featuring African Diaspora Women. Ms. DuVernay’s quote encapsulates the idea behind this series, which will focus on women who are making an impact in their area of professional activity –  socially and culturally – and continuing the legacy of greatness that was left by those who have passed on. In the ongoing chronicle of the progress that African descendants  have made in the diaspora, unfortunately, black women have not always gotten their due. And so we aren’t waiting, we’re celebrating.

We’re kicking it off with a feature on actor, producer, author, and raw girl vegan Esosa E. We first talked to this Nigerian-American renaissance woman back in 2014 about her role as Ngozi in the hit web series An African City; this year Esosa has been performing her one-woman play “The Woman Who Would Be King” at major DC venues after a successful showing in South Africa last year. Special thanks go the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage for allowing us to use some of their footage for this piece, and thanks a heap to Esosa for her time and for agreeing to do this feature. Check out a short promo video of our interview and watch the full feature on our website and our YouTube Channel. We’ll say no more; just be sure to follow Esosa on Instagram, Twitter, and like her page on Facebook.Watch this space for more features on dynamic African Diaspora women. Bless…

Kyemah McEntyre unveils debut design collection at Harlem Fashion Week

February 17, 2017 § 1 Comment

Kyemah McEntyre with a replica of her famous prom dress

Kyemah McEntyre with a replica of her famous prom dress

She “broke the internet” with an Instagram photo of her African print prom dress in 2015; now 19 year-old Kyemah McEntyre is the featured designer at Harlem Fashion Week’s runway show in her debut collection at New York Fashion Week. Afrofusion TV was there as Harlem Fashion Week Founders Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell put together a radical, magical show that featured emerging and established designers, with part of the proceeds going to the rebuilding of the Slave Museum at Senegal’s Goree Island. Check out the video we put together, with interviews from Kyemah McEntyre, Yvonne Jewnell, Tandra Birkett, and celebrity stylists Brandon Hood and Jonathan Boderick. Tandra and Yvonne are also organizing a symposium on “The Business of Fashion” next month, March 25th in Harlem, to help educate new and established designers on ways to build their business. Be sure to check it out! You can also watch our highlight video on our Facebook page.

Some photos from the show are below. Bless…hfw-shots-1-11

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Models wearing Kyemah McEntyre's Mind of Kye Designs

Models wearing Kyemah McEntyre’s Mind of Kye Designs

Yvonne Jewnell (c) poses with models wearing her designs

Yvonne Jewnell (c) poses with models wearing her designs

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Smithsonian African Art Awards Dinner Honors Contemporary African Artists

November 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries building in SW Washington, DC was the venue for the first Annual African Art Awards Dinner on Friday October 28, hosted by the National Museum of African Art. Museum director Johnetta Betsch Cole launched the fundraising dinner as a way to honor established and up-and-coming artists, and also to show gratitude to major philanthropic organizations that have supported the museum and its mission.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

The 2016 awardees are Kenyan born artist Ato Malinda and Nigerian-British Yinka Shonibare, MBE, one of the most important contemporary artists in the « Read the rest of this entry »

African Arts and Fashion on Display in DC

May 26, 2016 § 4 Comments

AA Fashion Showcase_

AAFWDC Founder Uche Ibezue (l) with Maria, makeup artist.

When Uche Ibezue of Omak Designs started African Arts and Fashion Week DC, her idea was not simply to bring attention to the nation’s capital as a fashion force. Grabbing the attention of the fashion market, both national and global, was an abiding aspiration. Last week, the third annual AAFWDC featured a panel discussion and fashion showcase, and many of the burning issues regarding African fashion were raised.

A few years ago it was nice to see a number of celebrities wearing African print designs to red carpet events worldwide. Famous names like Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Solange Knowles and her sister Beyonce, Angela Simmons, and even Gwen Stefani were all spotted in gowns and complete sets that were made from African prints like Ankara and Kente. The popularity of those designs has since trickled down to the young ones, the rebellious youth that are always finding innovative ways of expressing themselves. In that vein, a young lady “broke the internet” when she created a stunningly beautiful African print gown, posted it on Instagram, and « Read the rest of this entry »

Bodoma Garifuna at the Afro-Latino Festival NYC 2015

July 28, 2015 § 1 Comment

Bodoma Garifuna perform their traditional Garifuna music and dance at the the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

Bodoma Garifuna performs their traditional Garifuna music and dance at the the Afro-Latino Festival NYC

It was the first time the Afro-Latino Festival NYC 2015 had been held over a three-day period, but it was just as well, because Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn were all a part of a joyous coming together of Latin Americans celebrating the diversity of Afrodescendente culture. Afrofusion TV made it to Brooklyn on the last day of the festival to capture some scenes for our upcoming segment on Afro-Latino identity, and we were pleased to find a group from Honduras called Bodoma Garifuna Culture Band on the billing. Our interest in the Garifuna goes beyond what we need for our African Diaspora series, though. I’ve always been interested in learning more about Garifuna, a group descended from West and Central Africans, Island Carib, and Arawak peoples that live mostly in the Central American coastal areas of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua. Diaspora Garifuna communities can « Read the rest of this entry »

The Afropolitan Presence at the African Diaspora Awards 2013

December 5, 2013 § 2 Comments

Yaya Alafia talks with Afrofusion TV on the red carpet at the African Diaspora Awards 2013

Yaya Alafia talks with Afrofusion TV on the red carpet at the African Diaspora Awards 2013

It wasn’t quite the coincidence – or was it? – that at Applause Magazine‘s African Diaspora Awards in New York City last Saturday, the award for musician of the year went to a Ghanaian hip hop artist whose upcoming album is called “Afropolitan Dreams.” But yes, indeed, the Afropolitan scene was in full effect as the aforementioned musician Blitz the Ambassador, Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, rising star filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu, and the brilliant actress Yaya Alafia all took home honors for work in their craft. Andrew Dosunmu (Restless City) was awarded Film of the Year for his new movie Mother of George, a visual arthouse delight shot right there in New York City. Wangechi Mutu, whose  first US survey exhibition entitled Wangechi Mutu: a Fantastic Journey recently opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, was honored with the Creative Artist of the Year award. All of these artists and other awardees were proud of the impact « Read the rest of this entry »

Kadiatu Kamara and EbonyM Magazine – Fashion and Print Match

December 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Evelyn Beckley founder of EbonyM and Kadiatu Kamara, designer

Evelyn Beckley founder of EbonyM and Kadiatu Kamara, designer

When EbonyM Magazine founder Evelyn Beckley decided to launch her new society publication, her choice for the cover feature? Former model and new fashion designer Kadiatu Kamara. So it seemed to follow that both young ladies would choose to do a joint debut, with Kadiatu taking the opportunity to introduce a new fashion line from her boutique. A 2008 Mis West Africa UK, Kadiatu moved back to Sierra Leone in 2011 and opened Vivid Emporium, located in the Aberdeen area of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The show, held on December 27th, was an invitation-only « Read the rest of this entry »

Ms. Sierra Leone USA Women’s Leadership and Scholarship Pageant 2012

July 3, 2012 § 2 Comments

Ruby Johnson, Miss Sierra Leone USA 2012, with runners-up Fatmata Barrie and Adiatu Bangura

With most of the Washington, DC area still reeling from last Friday’s killer storm that caused widespread power outages, you had to have some sort of sympathy for the organizers of the 5th Ms. Sierra Leone USA Pageant on Sunday July 1st. The original venue was still without power, so a last-minute change had to be phoned, emailed and tweeted out to patrons and invited guests alike. Event organizer Fuambai Ahmadu and former winner Natasha Beckley had to make do with a smaller atrium at the local county civic center, and switch MCs and judges around in an effort to keep the show on schedule. The scaled-down event ended up featuring only eight ladies representing various regions in Sierra Leone, but in that sweltering atrium – fan cooled because power had to be supplied by generator – that was more than enough to keep the excitement going among patrons. Ms. Freetown, a 21-year-old Virginia Tech mining engineering « Read the rest of this entry »

Mother Africa and her Talents

June 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

Mother Africa and her Talents was a night of African Fashion and music last Sunday, with a diverse array of fashions from designers around the diaspora. MCeed by talk show host Sinota Odu, and radio personality David Vandy, it was headlined by Sierra Leone singer Shady, and featured performances that ranged from pop to Gospel to dance. According to founder Fatmata Koroma, the annual event which takes place in the Washington, DC area aims to showcase the beauty, sophistication and diversity of African style and African culture. Be sure to check out the gallery/slideshow of photos that Afrofusion took at the event. Bless…

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Africa Fashion Week New York: Sierra Leone’s Madam Wokie hits the stage Saturday

July 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

Africa Fashion Week New York started it’s runway shows July 14, featuring a who’s who of African fashion designers. Project Runway‘s Korto Momolu from Liberia, Rouch, Jo Black Craze and Blackbird designs are all on schedule for day one. One of the newest designers is a young Sierra Leonean designer who just established her brand two years ago. Madam Wokie’s Couture is the brainchild « Read the rest of this entry »

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