Presenting Africa’s 1st Private Online University

Expanding the benefits of e-learning & hybrid learning to the continent, here’s proudly presenting Africa’s Premium Private Online University founded by Gossy Ukanwoke of  Beni American University

Beni American University is an institution of higher learning that strongly believes that access to a global high quality education should not be limited by resources, finances, location or infrastructure. They believe that every African student should be well educated. The history of the institution stems from the core belief that education and the access to higher education is the human right of every youth and most especially in a growing economy that needs to tap into the very stronghold of its human capital capacity – the educated youths.

Motto : ”Access to Global Learning”

Beni American University is Africa’s first low cost international academic institution dedicated to the advancement and access of higher education to everyone. The high-quality, low-cost global educational model embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring university-level studies within reach of millions of Nigerians. With the support of respected academics, humanitarians and other visionaries, Beni American University student body represents a new wave in global education. –  Facebook Page

A little bit about Gossy Ukanwoke

Gossy is a 26 year old  forward thinker and a bright entrepreneur. He has been referred to as  “Africa’s Top Technology Entrepreneur”.  His background is in Business and Technology. He had a Bachelors in Management Information Systems at Girne American University, North Cyprus. He grew up and had his early education in Nigeria. He is the  founder of Students Circle Network and he stepped down from the active management and operation of the network to focus on the creation of this new online university. He was also a  finalist at the Future Africa Awards 2012 in the Innovation in Education Category. He says in an Atlanta BlackStar Interview “Knowing the importance of education and seeing the need in West Africa was the main inspiration. There were other drops of serendipities which all summed up that education will be it for me” .

BAU Research & Development is reinventing learning in Sub-Saharan Africa through its leading projects – Proposed Beni American University, BAU Online and Students Circle Network by introducing new learning models geared towards entrepreneurial development and employability – See more at: http://beniamerican.org/#sthash.i8VzdlSK.dpuf
Gossy Ukanwoke – President  & Founder of Beni University

Here is his interview on NdaniTV

and another –> CNN African Start-Up interview captioned  Nigeria’s Mark Zuckerburg’ builds own school.

Beni American is Africa’s premium Distance Learning Institution. Transforming students, pushing the bounds of knowledge, and providing world class education – More info at  http://beniamerican.org/ . Feel free to share this post to all you know will benefit from this.

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger

Fashion Week – The African Versions

What is the purpose of Fashion week anyway? Is it a showcase of eye-candy fashion that the average person can not afford to adorn themselves with? or is it a ritual gathering of upper bourgeois tastemakers of fashion? Here’s a little history behind the purpose of the event.

A fashion week is a fashion industry event, lasting approximately one week, which allows fashion designers, brands or “houses” to display their latest collections in runway shows and buyers and the media to take a look at the latest trends. Most importantly, these events let the industry know what’s “in” and what’s “out” for the season. – Source Wiki (More history here )

The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the four fashion capitals of the world: Milan, Paris, New York, and London.  Some other important fashion weeks in the world are held in Amsterdam, Bangalore, Barcelona, Mexico City, Boston, Buenos Aires, Cleveland, Copenhagen, Dubai, Jakarta, Los Angeles, Lisbon Madrid, Manila, Rome, São Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Sydney, Tbilisi, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and Hong Kong. Well, now we have African versions  and South Africa is leading the way, thanks to African Fashion International

African Fashion International (AFI) is the leading Fashion authority on the African continent and is committed to the promotion and development of the best South African design talent. They organize various fashion events and recently organized the popular Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 2014; South Africa’s premier annual autumn/winter fashion show, held on 20 to 22 March with over 34 of the country’s top designers lined up to present collections in  15 shows at the Sandton Convention Center. Check out the designers here 

Here are a few of my personal favorites: All photo credits to
Simon Deiner / SDR Photo, shot on location SCC, Joburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Designer: Avant Apparel

Designer: Laduma

Designer: Fabiani

Designer: Tuelo Nguyuza

David Tlale’s The Intern –Designer : Nokwanda Ngcobo

Designer : Viyella

David Tlale’s The Intern Designer : Ayanda Mthembu

David Tlale’s The Intern Designer: Duke

View the highlights of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week JOBURG

Other African Fashion Week events worthy of mention –

AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON (AFWL)

also Organizers of  Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam, Africa Fashion Week Brussels and Nigeria’s Next Top Designer

AFWL 2014

AFWL 2014 will be taking place on the  7th – 9th of August , it is tagged the Renaissance  edition as it will experience a strong convergence of true contemporary African Creativity in fashion. According to AFWL’s CEO and Founder, Ronke Ademiluyi, “AFWL is working with partners in various countries in Africa and the theme for this year’s event is “Showcasing Modern African style”. More at http://africafashionweeklondon.com/

AFWL’s CEO and Founder, Ronke Ademiluyi

Screenshot 2013-12-04 11.51.07

ADIREE

Adiat Disu is the Founder & CEO of Adiree, Organizers-  Africa Fashion Week New York founded on the concept of hosting international Africa Fashion Weeks (in fashion capitals) , focused on promoting brands from Africa on a global scale. In 2009, the concept began with the birth of Africa Fashion Week in New York, the premier capital for Fashion, Entertainment, and Lifestyle brands. The next one will be on September 4-6, 2014. See http://www.Adiree.com or http://www.africafashionweekny.com for more info.

Adiat Disu Director of Africa Fashion Week (8)

Adiat Disu, Founder & CEO of Adiree

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Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing

xoxo

Tosinger

From Russia With Love?

The beauty of the  African people, the culture, the  aesthetically appealing artistry and artifacts  has always been a source of exotic wonder and inspiration for further creativity for other parts of the world, even if with an incorporation – a merge of other elements (from other cultures) . Russia is on the spotlight today, I know there is  crisis going on right now and hope issues get sorted soon. However, I came across a carefully crafted piece of African inspired artwork done with the Headwrap  or Gele as the focal point. Very beautiful and creative  shoot, with the use of well placed  patterns, colors, form, texture done for the Russian Architectural Digest  (not fashion or visual arts), interior design ad campaign for their textile department. The visual art kind of reminded me of Kehinde Wiley and Yinka Shonibare ‘s work , naturalistic and renaissance in appearance while incorporating African elements.

Ironically,  Russia was nos 2 on the list of worst countries for blacks to visit according to a January 2014 Atlanta BlackStar article. (Read for details). I am not sure of the authenticity of this claim since I have not visited Russia to share any first hand experiences. According to the piece:

Black visitors will also have to be extra careful when they venture outside of Moscow into the rest of Russia. In a chilling warning, the Russia expert of  New Republic, Julie Ioffe, said, “There’s quite a bit of violence against people considered to be Black” in Russia, raising new fears about the safety of Olympic athletes, visitors and media attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Ioffe warned that nowhere in Russia is safe for a person of color to visit, outside of Moscow’s city center. – @ATLBlackStar

After all is said and done, there is no doubt that the continent and her people are a source of attraction for aesthetic and cultural inspiration . Here’s the  AD Magazine Russia  photos below- Taking Headwraps and Fabrics to a Whole New Level  for their ad campaign for designer fabrics/textile division. Enjoy!

PHOTO CREDITS

Photographer Olga Volkova Tuponogova-
Stylist: Natalia Obukhov
Model: Keshia Asiedu
Producer: Maria Kuznetsova
Makeup artist: Polina Karpov / MaestroArtExtraordinary
Assistant Photographer: Konstantin Egon
Assistant Stylist: Katerina Konyushenko

Photo AD_Fabrics_03_new_.jpg

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Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger

Because I’m HAPPY

The funky, upbeat, very popular song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams is not an ordinary song. The way it is still spreading like wild fire, the joy it brings, the numerous covers of it, the video remake from different parts of the globe, the effect on  its audience are all  so magical.  There is really nothing so complex and overtly musically/technically creative about the song, but the simplicity, the energy and the spirit of it is so infectious, it’s wonderful and yes very inspirational ( reminiscent of “Don’t worry, Be happy” by Bobby McFerrin ) And please it is absolutely not necessary to make a Gospel version (as I already came across some), the message is clear, any remix is just a showcase of the remixer’s talent, it doesn’t add to or remove from the effect of the original. (Am I the only who flinches at Gospel remixes of mainstream popular songs?)

Happy” is a song performed by American singer and producer Pharrell Williams, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album. It also serves as the lead single from Williams’ second studio album, G I R L (2014). The song was written and produced by Williams. It was released on November 21, 2013 alongside a long-form music video presented via the website 24hoursofhappy.com. 

“Happy” has been highly successful, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and charts in 19 other countries. It has sold one million copies in the United Kingdom, and has reached the summit on three separate occasions, both records in their own right. Source – Wiki

So it is no surprise when an African comedian and dancer, Clifford Owusu of Ghanian origin-  who I’ve been following for a while on his YouTube channel known for his whimsical impressions of Africans living in the diaspora – decided to collate his viewers’ videos for his own ‘Happy’ edition. See below (and there’s my son making a debut at 0.29 🙂 gotta love it)

Enjoy and be happy.

There is a certain sucking sound in the room when you are around them:~)

Beautifully Dreaming … Positively Doing…. Because I’m Happy 😀

xoxo

Tosinger

Here’s Breakfast.. What’s for Lunch?

Good Morning…  What did you have for breakfast? 🙂

Breakfast is a meal that “breaks” the “fast” of a period of time (night time) where the body receives no food for fuel. As the period without food is usually during sleep. Therefore, the time when we generally “break” the “fast” is in the morning when we wake. Breakfast helps to jumpstart metabolism. Metabolism is the engine in your body that controls how your body uses energy through the day. It is especially important for the brain to have energy for thinking and learning.

Here’s what people around the world have for breakfast, well according to  BuzzFeedYellow



Eating breakfast has been significantly associated with better concentration and focus, as well as improved weight. ‘Feed your eyes’ with these photos of a popular African breakfast – Yam and Eggs. Pictures courtesy the Afropolitan Chef

and here’s the recipe for ‘Yam and Eggs’ with a twist added, tuna in the eggs.. Yum!

And for lunch, maybe you want to try  one of these, courtesy of Ndani Recipes

Start your day the healthy way – with the breakfast of champions! Are you a Champion? What’s your favorite breakfast? do share 🙂

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger

 

Meeting Chimamanda + HALF OF A YELLOW SUN Official Trailer

I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in person and got my copy of ‘Americanah’ signed at Atlanta’s Author Presentation and Book Signing of Americanah. What an impressive event and author!

She is in person, warm and (as my one of my friends  pointed out) not as intimidating and overbearing as her works/or speeches might express..:) She is in fact – as I observed from the short time spent, listening to her interact, read, speak, her way with the audience’s questions very down to earth, laid back, always smiling, confident and sweet even in her firm opinions. She did use some a couple of expletive words here and there that would make the ‘self righteous’ flinch. However, overall, she is a great speaker, very fluid and eloquent.  She exudes confidence and radiance.  Not that I expected less, but it is always a breathe of fresh air- considering the known lofty culture of celebrities albeit with great talent/work – when the celebrated are relate-able on ground.  She received graciously, my gift to her, of my AfroSpire Demo CD and told me the name ‘Tosinger’ is one she won’t forget, how impactful. She is undoubtedly, like I told her, an inspiration, one who all African women, and people (and everyone in general) are mightily proud of. Here’s a humorous recap of the event from my blogger friend from the GH 🙂 , Malaika on her blog ‘Mind of Malaka’

chima
Tosinger and Chimamanda
americanah
My Americanah Signed with Love..

In the same line of thought, the official UK Movie Trailer of Chimamanda’s Orange Prize-winning novel – Half of A Yellow Sun is out! It’s a drama that brings together the lives of four people during the struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria. HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is the feature film debut from London based Nigerian playwright, novelist and screenwriter Biyi Bandele. Starring Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), BAFTA-winner Thandie Newton (Crash), BAFTA-nominee Joseph Mawle (Birdsong), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) and John Boyega (Attack the Block) HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is an epic love-story weaving together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war, produced by Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films (The Last King of Scotland). Co starring Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Onyeka Onwenu, Nollywood’s OC Ukeje, Zack Orji  and Genevieve Nnaji among others.

Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)

View Trailer

Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT : Richard Bona

Hello Friends,

Here’s some great music to wind down your week. I present to you a genius of his craft, vocalist and guitar maestro extraordinaire -> Richard Bona.  A friendly banter we had back in 2013 proves that he is just as real as his talent. Are you ready for some of his  jazzy earsplosions? 🙂 not just yet, here’s some 411 on him.

“Like many African songwriters, he sings lessons and parables. The language of his music is less specific; it draws on pop and jazz from across Africa, the Americas and Europe. His songs assume a virtuosity so complete that it only has to whisper.” – The New York Times

Richard Bona (born October 28, 1967 in Minta, Cameroon) is a jazz bassist and musician. His actual African name, as he said during a live performance with Bobby McFerrin in Montreal, is Bona Pinder Yayumayalolo. Bona was born into a family of musicians, which enabled him to start learning music from a young age. His grandfather was a griot – a West African singer of praise and storyteller – and percussionist, and his mother was a singer. At 4 years old, Bona started to play the balafon. At the age of 5, he began performing at his village church. Not being wealthy, Bona made many of his own instruments: including flutes and guitars (with cords strung over an old motorcycle tank).

His talent was quickly noticed, and he was often invited to perform at festivals and ceremonies. Bona began learning to play the guitar at age 11, and in 1980 aged just 13, he assembled his first ensemble for a French jazz club in Douala.The owner befriended him and helped him discover jazz music, in particular that of Jaco Pastorius, which inspired Bona to switch his focus to the electric bass. More at Source – Wiki

Enjoy this front row 1 hour straight Jazz Experience.

Here’s one of my favorites ~ ‘Eyala’

Richard Bona, thanks for sharing your gift, as you inspire your audience and other African Artists  on the globe and in the diaspora to continue to bear the musical torch of AfroFusion music. For more about Richard Bona’s music, discography and tours, visit http://www.bonamusic.com

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger

Telling Our African Stories : AfricanStory.TV

Hello Everyone,

How shall we know, if they don’t tell us?

During my stint with Fuxion TV as a Children’s Program Presenter, I enjoyed telling African folk tales on ‘Kiddies Tales Time’, an educative and entertaining children’s program which showcases the art of storytelling, with moral-teaching folktales and songs  from the African continent. Having a grandmother who was an Educator, Late Mrs Georgietta Abeke Adesina (Mama Headmistress, Abeokuta) who told me stories as a little girl and coincidentally (or not) a mom who was also a children’s show presenter (Kiddies Forum) and later a newscaster, during her broadcasting days at NTA Abeokuta , the importance of the connection of media and culture, in recording our stories for the next generation to be enlightened/educated, is very real and meaningful to me. That is why I connect to the mission of this project.

My mom, Doyin, on Kiddies Forum NTA Abeokuta circa 80s
My mom, Doyin, on Kiddies Forum NTA Abeokuta circa 80s

And if you are a Generation X Nigerian  as I am, you will also remember the popular Children’s show Tales by Moonlight on NTA

Introducing AfricanStory.TV : For centuries, oral storytelling has been the format used by many cultures in passing along important historical facts and information down for other generations.  Visioneer/Content Producer Daty Kaba says

“this exciting project,  AfricanStory.TV was manifested when Priya (my daughter) asked me to tell her African stories from my childhood. It dawned on me that I had sporadic memories or had completely forgotten those stories. I did research and found that most people have forgotten those folklores from childhood as well.


For centuries, oral storytelling has been the format used by many cultures in passing along important historical facts and information down for other generations.  African Story TV (ASTV) will follow that tradition with current technology. ASTV is an online webtv ” portal” broadcasting short African stories told by everyday Africans, African Americans and Caribbeans. Storytellers will be filmed on video and it will be featured on the online webtv. ASTV will serve as a online village where global citizens can enjoy stories from Africa, US and the Caribbean. A cultural heritage site that will help preserve oral story tradition that has existed for centuries in Africa. African Story TV is also an educational hub for students and future generations to experience African Stories and the significance of oral storytelling.

Enjoy some of the videos here And if you have any to submit, you can click here to do so

For more about AfricanStory.TV, visit their website at http://africanstory.tv . Follow on Twitter at @AfricanStory_TV and subscribe on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/AfricanstoryTV

Pa Jimi Solanke : Acclaimed Nigerian Yoruba Folklorist

Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger