In the two and a half years I have been hosting parties, none has been as emotional for me as the Lock and Key Party I hosted last Friday. All was going as planned until 5:00 pm Friday evening. The skies opened with a vengeance. If you have never lived in Nairobi, here is a glimpse of how Nairobi gets with the slightest drizzle… The traffic is impossible!
A 10 minute drive can easily turn into 4 hours. The plan for the party was pretty simple: the guys get the locks while girls get the keys after which guests look for the matching lock and key combination. The winning pairs would get a bottle of wine (we had 200 bottles to give away).
It was an overwhelming feeling when 800 of our friends turned up for the party. We had such an amazing time! Here is how it went 🙂
Julian Louie’s Spring 2011 Aldo Wedges are a mishmash of textiles on the shoes was inspired by Pieter Hugo’s photography book The Hyena & Other Men. The designer explains: “The photographs [are] of a group of men in Nigeria who were street entertainers, and they trained hyenas. They had these crazy outfits that were half American sportswear that they found and half really traditional tribal pieces with a lot of interesting textiles and tassels. So the whole collection was about the mix of those two ideas.”
Here are images off the book The Hyena & Other Men by Pieter Hugo (South Africa) followed by pictures of the shoes inspired by the images…..
This is the first piece I am writing while still on my Easter break at the coast. When X stumbled (literally) upon Stephan the man behind Afrochic, she introduced me and we both got that warm feeling which accompanies a friend crush (a term Caitlin coined three years ago). You have a friend crush on someone when you meet them for the first time and you get along so well its scary. At the end of our first encounter, Stephan arranged a tour for us to the exclusive Afrochic Hotel. Here is how our day went!
The Ocean View of Afrochic Hotel
The Main Entrance of Afrochic Hotel
The Common Areas
After the lovely tour, we had the pleasure of enjoying lunch by the beach… Our starter were samosas which we enjoyed immensely. My favourite were the prawn Samosas.
Stephan serving the Samosas with Ian in the background
Prawn Samosas 🙂
Our main course included chicken….
Fish cooked in coconut rice and wrapped in banana leaves….
And more fish….
The staff was very warm and friendly..
Derrick and Shabbir were part of the group that visited the hotel…
Ian and I having a chat. X was hiding somewhere…… 🙂
I stumbled across Margrit by accident recently. She is a German born, US based artist who specializes in paintings (portraits and anstract) jewellery among other things. I spoke to her about her keen interest on painting African portraits…..
One of my favourite paintings by Margrit
The Chronicles of an African Girl: Have you had an exhibition in Africa?
Margrit: I never had an exhibition in Africa, although I would love to have one.
The Chronicles of an African Girl: Which African country inspires your work the most and why?
Margrit: The African country which inspires me the most is Ethiopia, the early home of civilizations. I love the extraordinary diversity of ethiopian cultures, their beauty, strength and vitality. I love their marvelous body painting and their elaborate decorations borrowed from nature. I am fascinated by the beauty of the Surma, Karo, Dasanech and Mursi tribes.
The Chronicles of an African Girl: The first thing I noticed about your paitnings is they portray a very positive image of African people. How did you find beauty in Africa where some do not?
Margrit: African people are in my eyes very beautiful, full of life and vitality, I love their music and artifacts.
The Chronicles of an African Girl: What advice would you give to upcoming African artists or any other person keen on exploring their creative side?
Margrit: The advice I can give to African artists is to follow your heart, go back to your roots, try to find what is deep inside you and you want to share with the world, tell your story, and the story of your people, be conscious of the cultures, try to contribute with your art to a new future, show the truth in everything. And have FUN ,JOY, and be EXCITED about life. Alone the process of creating is unbelievable satisfying and hopefully encouraging for more and more young people to do the same.
The Chronicles of an African Girl: You listen to a lot of African music while working on your art. Who are your favourite African musicians?
Margrit: When I listen to African music I like to listen to Soukous music, to Angelique Kidjo, Dobet Gnahore, Lucky Dube, Rokia Traore, Khaled, Cesaria Evora, Oliver Mtukudzi, Youssou N’Dour, Guem, Thomas Mapfumo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Oliver Mtukudzi.
I had the deepest honor being involved in the “Think Pink” Diplomatic Happy Hour alongside Camille last Thursday. The event was hosted by Camille (US Embassy Nairobi), The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and me representing Internations (Nairobi Chapter) at the Tree House. It was in honor of International Women’s Month. 20% of the door went to Zawadi to help young girls gain skills that can change the lives of their local villages. The dress code was pink.
Camille and I
We had approximately 200 guests who enjoyed a lovely evening at the Tree House. We sipped rum punch cocktails as we watched the traffic inch by on Uhuru highway and the new overpass to Musem hill. We also managed to raise over 60,000 Kshs for Zawadi.
Mifuko Oy (Mifuko is the swahili word for Bags) is a Finnish design company, which co-operates with several small artisan workshops in Kenya. Mifuko gives the designs a Scandinavian twist, while trying not to interfere with the creativity and techniques of chosen African artisans. Each product combines traditional African handcraft techniques with Scandinavian design. Here are some of their prodcuts: