Category Archives: Spotlight

SPECIAL FEATURE: “I will always remain an advocate for the indigenous…” – Tosinger

Thanks for the interview.

HIGHFLYERS ARENA

tosinger

Atlanta-based Nigerian Afrosoul/Folk/Jazz singer, Songwriter and Storyteller has been singing for more than two decades at festivals, intimate music spaces, concerts, churches, events and in theater, during her years in London, as a member of the vocal ensemble of select Broadway shows including ‘GodSpell’ and ‘Rent’. Tosinger comes with a musical flow that’s as soulful and ethnic as it is a sheer loveliness of heavenly inspiration. Her vocal essence and sound has been described as soothing and uplifting and her voice displays a simple conveyance of heartfelt richness. An eclectic artist with a warm personality and matchless passion, she names her African heritage, Ambient, Worship Music, World Music, Folk, Soul & Jazz as influencing her musical creativity. She also mentions legendary artistes such as Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Angelique Kidjo, Sade Adu and Tracy Chapman among others as influences. Tosinger is unique in her compositions as she occasionally incorporates her…

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Spotlight: Beauty and Brains -The @AfroTechGirls


Across the globe, women remain underrepresented in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This is especially true in many African countries including Nigeria. In June 2014, three young women came together with a vision; a vision of a world where the number of women in the Science and Technology industry would rise and women would feel welcomed, accomplished and appreciated for their efforts and achievements. They realised that the best way to do this was by encouraging more young girls to take up STEM at secondary school and university levels and stick with it even after learning. As a result, Afro-Tech Girls was born.

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Afro-Tech Girls is an NGO set up by three female engineers to promote STEM enthusiasm in young African girls through creativity, art and innovation.

At Afro-Tech Girls, they are really passionate about encouraging more girls to embrace the STEM industries and are making it a point to do this in fun and innovative ways. Watch the founders speak in the video below:

Mission – to encourage, educate and empower African girls of secondary and university levels in the STEM fields to follow through and acheive whatever goals they set for themselves through mentorship, teamwork, creativity and innovation.

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Who runs the world? Girls!! 😀

For more info, connect with Afro-Tech Girls at  www.afrotechgirls.org and on instagram at @afrotechgirls

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Afro-Tech Girls Promoting STEM enthusiasm in young African girls

Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing….

Tosinger

Introducing French-Cameroonian Wazal Brand 2015 Collection

African Elegance Meets Paris Chic!

 Ayissi creator of the Wazal Collection.
Ayissi creator of the Wazal Collection.

AYISSI NGA Joseph-Marie aka JJ DU STYLE is a fashion designer who creates very chic street wear. The French/Cameroonian designer whose father was a tailor, has decided to follow the footsteps of pioneer Cameroonian fashion designers such as Imane Ayissi and Martial Topolo by creating his own clothing line called ‘WAZAL’ which was launched in 2005.

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In 2006, he launched his first designs which are worn by celebrities like  SINGUILA, Alpeco, WAYNE BECKFORD, ROMARIC Koffi and Lalcko. His brand “WAZAL” is a blend of “WAZA”, the name of a natural park in the extreme north of Cameroon and the letter “L” which stands for Lion, the Cameroonian symbol of power.

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ABOUT WAZAL COUTURE:

WAZAL COUTURE fashion line that expresses innovations, new styles and creativity. Mixing various colors and prints, he adds and blends other materials/fabrics such as pure cotton, denim jean, wax, leather, fur, synthetic to create a blended ambiance. He got his professional training from VANESSA RUIZ fashion school in Paris and he later on specialized in creating tuxedo jackets. The first collection was in 2013 – “Tete fly.”

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In 2013, he was part of the guests of the Ambassador of Cameroon to Paris for the exhibition of the feast of the Cameroonian youth and the Fashion Night Lounge at the Elysee Palace in Paris, where he presented his three concepts: WazalRock, fly Tété and Africafutur.

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These concepts are based on values that symbolized his career: Daring, Respect and Creation. Wazal’s cuts and designs are impressive, modern and trendy.

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His 2015 collection of tuxedo jackets  inspired by a Cameroonian slang, “tété” means wealthy (bourgeois) chic.

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For more on the Wazal brand and to buy his collections visit: http://www.wazalshop.com/

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

Tosinger

Nigerians Flying High and Taking the Space – @freeman_osonuga & @Kimbersfly

Introducing to some and presenting to others two Nigerians that are reaching for the heights, literally.

fReeMaN OsoNugA

Freeman Osonuga is one of Africa’s leading voices on poverty alleviation, advocacy and care for people with disabilities, orphans and the less privileged. Freeman is a One Young World Ambassador, one of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Persons In Nigeria, and Founder and Executive Director of Heal The World Foundation Nigeria. In  2014, at the Peak of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, he worked as a volunteer and worked with the African Union team of Ebola responders for 6 months in Sierra Leone.

Freeman Osonuga @freeman_osonuga On My Way To Space| @WiredUK Innovation Fellow | Associate Fellow, Royal Commonwealth Society @theRCSlondon | Ambassador @OneYoungWorld | Founder @htwfnigeria |

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Freeman, a Medicine and Surgery graduate from Olabisi Onabanjo University, has been selected (through the Rising Star programme, which launched at the One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin) to embark on a once in a lifetime flight to space and also offered a three year management contract. The programme invites both One Young World Ambassadors and outstanding members of the public aged 18-35 to be nominated to take on the trip of a lifetime.
If selected for the program, he will be the first Nigerian and First
black African to fly to space!
Osonuga is a 2015 WIRED Innovation Fellow. He will be speaking live on the London stage at the WIRED 2015 conference in October.
View Freeman’s profile here on the Kruger Cowne website and watch video below.

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Kimberly Anyadike is a young pilot who learned to fly from an after school program focused on helping at-risk youth realize dreams — Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton, CA.

Kimberly photo via Getty Images

Inspired by the Tuskeegee Airmen, then 15-year-old (now 21) US based Kimberly Anyadike of Nigerian descent flew a single-engine Cessna cross-country from her hometown of Compton, Calif., to Newport News, Va. Anyadike is said to be the youngest female pilot to complete the journey, which took 13 days.

“I set a record flying the plane in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen! The plane is named after Tuskegee Airman, Levi Thornhill, and I was accompanied by Major Thornhill during the trip. I am now the youngest African American female to pilot a flight across the country. After the flight, I was ready for my close-up. It took a lot of courage for me to speak in front of an audience!” – Seventeen.com

Born in Los Angeles in 1994, Kimberly Anyadike never remembers a time in her fifteen years she wasn’t interested in flying. Her passion for aviation began with a 20-minute demo flight at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum, a flight school and youth mentoring center in Compton, CA. Kimberly washed airplanes and did other tasks to earn “museum dollars” that she traded in for flight lessons. Among the mentors available to kids in the program are several Tuskegee Airmen, who Kimberly has been immensely inspired by.

Exposed to a wide range of activities, Kim was a junior lifeguard at Venice Beach for five years, where she also learned how to surf. She attended the Lula Washington Dance Academy, taking ballet, hip-hop and tap dance classes. Kimberly is a youth member at her church where she learned how to read music, and is now learning how to play piano, violin and guitar.

Most recently she has completed college courses at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, the Saturday Science Academy at Charles Drew University and is taking a range of art courses at the Plaza De La Raza. She volunteers to feed the homeless in downtown Los Angeles and is very active in her church, while maintaining her G.P.A Kimberly’s career goal is to become a cardio-vascular surgeon with a pilot’s license. Like her FB page here

Kimberly Anyadike (born c. 1994) is known as the first Nigerian American teen to fly across the United States. Her Dad is from Nigeria, and Anyadike means (Eye of a Warrior). She flew from Compton, California to Newport News, Virginia in 2009. It took her 13 days to complete the flight The miles flown were 2,342. The plane used was a Cessna C-172. She was accompanied by safety pilot Ronnell Norman, a certified commercial pilot and Major Levi H. Thornhill, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot who at age 87, is a member of the elite Tuskegee Airmen who served during World War II.

Anyadike is from Compton, California. She paid for her flight lesson by working many regular jobs around the compton airport — via wiki

 

Wishing these two “reach for the skies” trailblazers all the best!

Beautifully Dreaming, Positively Doing

Tosinger

Organically Singing the album is not out, get yours here

TOSINGER: The ‘Organically Singing’ AfroSoul and AfroFolk Queen of Dreams

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Copyright James G. Spady and Akinyemi Bajulaiye

My music is inspirational. Genre wise, my style is African, roots, ethnic, folksy and soulful with a contemporary edge. I incorporate my native Yoruba language in my songs. I am from Ogun State Nigeria, West Africa, currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

… Tosinger

Oluwatosin [in her native Yoruba language Tosin means God is worthy to be worshiped]. Those who have heard her new CD, are obliged to say that her careful attention to lyrics and musical groundations signal her out as a rising star among Naija performers and vocalists within the global community.

Nigerian born, Atlanta domiciled, Tosinger ushers in a brand new heavy generation of 21st century Diasporic Africans destined for greatness and poised to take their rightful place among musicians, dancers, dramatists, cinematographers and entrepreneurs in the USA and Canada. In setting forth her goals as a twenty first century singer…

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Artist Spotlight – Seyi Voice (@VoiceSeyi) New Music Release

Seyi Voice, a Nigerian Gospel Music Artist releases two new singles today titled ‘Champion’ and ‘He’s Able‘ in anticipation of his upcoming album ‘Sound Of Victory’. Produced by ‘Dr Groove’ and recorded at G-Zone Studios,  ‘Champion’ has an African highlife swing to it, a danceable rhythm with inspirational lyrics for everyone from all walks of life, to let them know that they can make it and to be assured that God is not a respecter of persons; “if you  believe that you are a champion (in Christ), you are on your journey to success”

Listen and download here

 

About Seyi Voice

Seyi Voice is a dynamic worshiper, music director, singer/songwriter and a music producer. All his life he has been all about good music. He owns God’s Zone recording studio. Presently, he runs an outreach program called “Unusual Worship” which comprises of a collective of powerful anointed song ministers . His upcoming album is titled Sound of Victory due to be released at a date yet to be announced. He travels nationwide to  minister in churches and events.

Seyi Voice says:

“Having gone through a lot and seen a lot, I discovered that pain is inevitable when birth is about to take place in one’s life. God’s people, I want you to know that in every situation, God shall always remain God”

Connect with him on Facebook

Follow him on Twitter at @voiceseyi

Beautifully Dreaming..Positively Doing

Tosinger

Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti: The Mother of Afrobeat and Spokesperson for Women in Africa’s Movement for Independence

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© James G. Spady and Akinyemi Bajulaiye 2015

Nobel Prize Winner, Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, makes the role of women like Funmilayo clear when he states, “I have always insisted that American or European feminism has little to teach most other societies —- here is proof [For Women and The Nation: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti] in this portrait of a remarkable woman in remarkable times, brought vividly to life in a work that explores the often neglected crevices of history.”

Fela Remembers Being Introduced To His Excellency Kwame Nkrumah By His Mother

There are many who see Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti as not only the mother of Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Afrobeat Musical Movement but also as the mother of the modern African women’s resistance movements in the 20th century. Scholarship on the crucial roles played by women in their independence movements and in anti-colonial movements in Africa is still underexplored. What do we know about the relationship of a Nigerian leader like Mme. Ransome-Kuti…

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT : New Music + Short Film by @BlitzAmbassador Out in April

Juju Girl is a Short Film/Music Video set in 1960s Ghana  from the latest project titled D I A S P O R A D I C A L the EP by the eclectic Afrocentric hip hop artist, Blitz the Ambassador coming out this April.  I have for a while now, admired Blitz’s brand and music and the way he so effortlessly fuses and delivers his talent in a musically  idiosyncratic manner. You can tell he knows and cares not just about the chops but also the message.  Lyrically and musically on point. Excellence. And his passion for the continent is infectious. Tops in my books. Here’s two of my favorites from him.

About Blitz 

Blitz is the conveyor of the Afrotronic-hop. A hip hop ambassador of African culture in the diaspora.

Samuel Bazawule known by the stage name Blitz the Ambassador, is a Ghanaian-American hip-hop artist and visual artist based in Brooklyn, USA. Samuel Bazawule was born in Accra, Ghana in April 1982. He is the third of four children and attended the renowned Achimota School. While in school he amassed awards for his visual art, but later developed an obsession with hip hop music after hearing his older brother play the classic Public Enemy album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Drawing on his love for history and social observation, he began to research and write historically-loaded rhymes for which he became famous in school.

Blitz (as he had come to be known) was first recognized by Ghanaian Ace producer Hammer of The Last Two. Blitz was asked to come to the studio the next day after delivering an impressive eight bars upon meeting Hammer, who wasted no time in putting him on wax. He recorded a verse on the song Deeba and – in the fashion of one of his idols, Nas, gained instant notoriety and received an award for best new artist at the 2000 Ghana Music Awards. Soon after, in 2001, he moved to the USA to study at Kent State University in Ohio. It was while studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration that he developed his skills as a live artist, performing at several live shows and opening for iconic rappers such as Rakim as well as recording a self-released album, Soul Rebel (2004), under the moniker Blitz.

After graduation, Blitz moved to New York City to pursue his dream. In NYC, Blitz recorded another album, Double Consciousness (2005), discography after this includes 2009: StereoLive EP and in 2013: The Warm Up EP. Studio Albums: 2009: Stereotype, 2011: Native Sun, 2014: Afropolitan Dreams and more recently a 2015: Diasporadical EP. Drawing from his diverse musical background, he immersed himself in the project with explicit intent of changing Hip Hop forever. …via wiki

Blitz the Ambassador live in Switzerland (Full Show)

With a vision that embraces his personal West African past and a revolutionary future of Afropolitan cross-pollination, Blitz the Ambassador meshes African popular sounds, American vintage soul, and hard-hitting beats and lyrics with the help of an international cast of collaborators, including the elegant Angelique Kidjo and Afrobeat firebrand Seun Kuti.
But as always with Blitz, the album is about far more than the music. It’s about the Immigrants who made America, who shaped and molded it. Each person, each generation, each bearer of culture arriving on a boat or airplane has made an impression. Immigration is the chain that links the past to the present, the near to the seemingly far…Via his site for more info. 

#JujuGirl shots + storyboards. #Ghana1960s #BlitzTheAmbassador

Stay tuned for more news on the forthcoming Diasporadical EP (released on Jakarta Records) on Blitz The Ambassador’s page.

Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing..

Tosinger

Fashion Spotlight – Attolle Clothiers (@attolleclothier) on Sale

Attolle Clothiers, an Afrocentric bespoke ladies fashion line was founded in 2002 by Bookey Itoandon – an Attorney who followed her passion for Fashion.  Her love for fashion, sketching and fabric selection led her to follow a career in fashion.

 In 2004, she relocated from Nigeria to United States to raise her family and further her education; and by August 2011 she re-birthed Attollé Clothiers in Houston Texas USA.

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Bookey Itoandon

Over the years, her collections have featured contemporary ready-to-wear pieces with select bespoke outfits crafted primarily from printed cotton wax popularly known as African Wax Print or Ankara Wax Print. In 2010, she showcased at the Goonstyle fashion show in Houston Texas. The collection received a great review and she was invited back in 2011 and 2012. She also participated in the NAMC show in 2012.

Her collection was featured for the first time in 2012 at the AFWNY (African Fashion Week New York). The Attollé collection received an outstanding review that led to an invitation for her to showcase for the second time in 2013. Celeb personalities like Sarah TD Jakes have also been seen wearing her collection.

Bookey has become consistent with her vision to make every woman look elegant regardless of color, size and shape as she continues to develop bold and stunning pieces for all.

Attolle Clothiers is currently running a special holiday sale till Dec 31st available on their website at http://www.attolleclothiers.com/

Here are a few of Attolle Clothier’s lovely designs

And here I am  in one of her jumpsuit designs 😉 during Afrodreamfest 2014

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

Tosinger

Artist Spotlight: @KomiOlaf – ‘Art is Life’

Ontario, Canada based multi-talented artist of Nigerian heritage,  Komi Olafimihan’s  unique conceptual work is beyond the ordinary. His work speaks of very detailed stories as he incorporates his architectural knowledge, artistic flair and mental depth  to create masterpieces that are an expression of his ingenious mind, the astute creative that he is.

He says “Art is Life”…

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About Komi Olaf – Artist – Poet – Architect

Komi Olaf is a visual artist and poet currently living in Toronto. As a master’s graduate of Carleton University’s School of Architecture, his training as an architect directly influences his draftsmanship and manipulation of light and space. His work is based primarily in acrylic and explores the dialogue created through the juxtaposition of images concepts and identities.

His works have been featured in shows at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the National Arts Center in Ottawa. He has also received several awards pertaining to his works including the Empowerment and Success Award presented by the then Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean in 2010 and the Student Award for excellence presented by the Canadian Architect Magazine in 2009.

Komi is a strong believer in the synonyms that exists between images, philosophies and concepts.

Artist Statement

My work is an extension of who I am. A direct representation of my character and experiences. While I was completing a Masters in Architecture, I developed a passion for both painting and poetry and I have been on a mission to fuse these three elements ever since.

Drawing from the various skills and techniques I have been acquiring over the years, I strive to create unique, inspirational and original work that captures the history of African people and the mind-set of the younger generation. As a Canadian immigrant and a Nigerian in Diaspora, I tend to focus my art on the juxtaposition of unrelated images to produce new meaning. My personal experiences such as the religious conflicts plaguing Nigeria have also had an impact on the work I create.

Ultimately, I would love my work to offer insight into the thoughts of the new generation of artists emerging out of the Diaspora. I want to tell a different story with my work, one that captures the complexities of my African and Canadian heritage as well as sparks the conversations that can inspire change and build a bridge of unity.

Some of his works that caught my eye 

From the Afro Collection

Afromobile – Komi Olaf
‘Speak it into existence’ – Komi Olaf
Touch Music Emcee E Art by Komi Olaf
Cross Section Of the AFROpuf – Komi Olaf
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Self Portrait – Komi Olaf

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The Queens
From the “Angels of Music” Collection – The Queens by Komi Olaf

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And I remember this one of ‘Kermit the Frog’ going viral on instagram, turned into several memes by internet users, such a great discovery to know  who the original artist is.

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Sesame Street collection. Igwe by Komi Olaf

Komi Olaf. Spoken Word – Love

For more info and to stay updated on Komi Olaf’s projects –