Project Tanzania – Afrika Fifty6 is Headed to Dar es Salaam

Last year, Afrika Fifty6 launched Project Tanzania, aimed to support the Ijango Zaidia Orphanage Center located in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. On August 16, 2014, Afrika Fifty6 partnered with critically acclaimed photographer Shamayim to raise proceeds for Ijango Zaidia. As a continued effort of the ongoing Project Tanzania, Afrika Fifty6 will be traveling to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania  on February 1, 2015 to provide the Ijango Zaidia Orphanage Center with essential materials to improve the lives of the orphans the organization supports.

Ijango Zaidia was officially founded in 1996 by Zaidia Nuru Hassan Ijango  as the result of a Lake Victoria ferry accident. On May 21, 1996, the MV Bukoba capsized, killing more than 1,000 people, many of whom were parents. As a result, many children were left without families. Zaidia Nuru Hassan Ijango took it upon herself to take care of the children affected by the tragedy, and children who lost their parents in other ways.  The word “Zaidia”, which coincidentally loosely translates to “support”, is a fitting name not only for the organization itself, but for its leader’s generous heart. In addition to her providing the children with shelter and family, she also uses her earnings from informal jobs to purchase materials for the benefit of the orphanage.

Currently, the orphanage provides several services to its constituents, including basic necessities such as food, shelter, school fees, and health care. Additionally, Ijango Zaidia provides orphans with personal guidance, and general emotional support. Like any other nonprofit, the organization is in continuous need of resources to sustain its growing needs. As Ijango Zaidia’s website indicates, they are in continuous need of financial support to rent facilities, and basic amenities such as beds, mattresses, mosquito nets, and school supplies.  As Project Tanzania continues, Afrika Fifty6 hopes to be able to meet some of these needs, and improve the lives of the organization’s leaders, the orphans supported by the center, and the community at large.

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Designer of the week “Caven + Etomi”

Caven Etomi is the creative fusion of co-founders, Joan Caven, Doreen Caven and Oseyi Etomi. The brand was created out of a need to bridge a gap in the market for African inspired modern casual wear.

With a shared love for African art and fashion, the designers hope to use their talents to be the storytellers of contemporary Africa.

Website: www.cavenetomi.com
Instagram: @CavenEtomi

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Americanah: Why You Should be Watching (& Reading)

David Oleyowo & Lupita Nyong’o (variety.com)

In 2013, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie changed the literary scene with the release of her novel Americanah. Although she had several books published before this time, this novel has been the most popular. On its surface, Americanah is a love story, where two people separated by distance, culture, and time struggle to maintain their relationship. Looking deeper, the novel tells a much bigger story about the struggles that many immigrants face: identity management, culture shock and loneliness. Each perspective tells stories that so many of us, particularly in the African Diaspora, know too well. The book also explores the unique identity challenge that so many of us face: the heightened awareness of blackness that comes from moving into a society where race is often the focal point of differentiation between groups. This heightened awareness brings forth a lot of questions about who we are, and how we fit into our new environment. If you haven’t read the novel, you must. It’s a moving, and very insightful experience.

Although the film adaptation is still in its infancy stages, recent developments have some profound implications. Lupita Nyong’o and David Oleyowo have signed on to star in the film, and bring exposure to the African immigrant experience. The simple association of these names with the film makes me optimistic that new audiences will gain insight into the African immigrant experience, and see the beauty of our similarities and our differences. As excitement for the film grows, we as consumers and as community members have a responsibility to follow through. The media has very little representation of the vast experiences of people of color. By supporting this film (and the novel), we have the opportunity for us to demand greater representation of our experiences, our struggles, and our triumphs. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to create dialogue surrounding issues of identity, and the relationship between Africans and African-Americans.  And most importantly, it gives way for other contemporary writers, filmmakers, and artists whose exposure is contingent on the growing demand of their art.

As we wait for the film, I would encourage you to read the novel (and Adichie’s other novels). I would also encourage you to take time to find the writers, actors, and artists that you haven’t heard of.  We have the opportunity to uplift them, and provide visibility to the breadth of our own experiences, and the experiences of others who don’t have a platform, or a voice. We have that power, and we have the responsibility to use it.

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For Our Girls of Nigeria Benefit Concert

Friday May 30th 2014 stars from all over Hollywood joined Afrika Fifty6 in raising not only awareness but thousands of dollars to aid the girls of Nigeria.

The legendary Stevie Wonder attended and shared his remarkable voice with the audience. Tyrese’s co-stars from The Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel and Ludacris also joined in the evenings festivities. Countless starlets walked the red carpet as well.

There was an evening full of performances and good energy, all to promote awareness for an even bigger cause.

Afrika Fifty6 X Tyrese For Our Girls of Nigeria Benefit Concert!

May 30th, 2014 Afrika Fifty6 presents a red carpet charity event hosted by singer/actor Tyrese Gibson and friends at 1Oak Los Angeles.

Proceeds raised from the benefit concert will go directly to benefit UNICEF’s programs that help protect children in Nigeria. UNICEF is dedicated to providing children and their families affected by the crisis with essential services.

To purchase a ticket, click the image below!

If you would like to make a donation, visit the Donate tab above!

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The Bashada Tribe

Bashada means poor. The name comes from a time when the tribe was the poorest of the region, but that time has long gone. These people now earn good money with their pottery.

The Bashada are a small agro-pastoralist indigenous ethnic group living in the Southwest of Ethiopia. The Bashada live in close neighborhoods with 15 other ethnic groups in Ethiopia.

The fashion of the Bashada tribe is very inspiring, bold coloring and body paint.

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We Are

The “We Are” collaboration by Afrika Fifty6 X Ron Bass, is a collection of one of a kind wearable art.

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Ron Bass is a spirited individual by ways of Brooklyn, NY who is inspired by all things emitting love. A new student to the creative world who found his passion and peace of mind in the wake to the loss of his beloved parents. With his distinct love for DIY (Do It Yourself), Pop Art and Fashion, Ron has created pieces inspired by many but his core inspiration draws from the work by legendary Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Mark McNairy and Jeremy Scott. Ron’s latest work has made its way to the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce, Swizz Beatz, Rita Ora and Victoria Secret Model Cara D to name a few. His goal is to one day leave a mark on art and fashion culture by showcasing love for thyself and others while creating pieces that will inspire the masses.

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Zendaya Maree in Michael Tousana Collection

The talented Zendaya Maree spotted in a shirt from Afrika Fifty6’s very first collaboration with Michael Tousana. This shirt and other’s like it are available here. Proceeds from this shirt in addition to the our other products will go to aiding the less fortunate in Africa.

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