When i place my name on the waiting list for a chance to get a ticket for Canon’s InstaMeet I honestly did not think I was going to get one. Canon InstaMeet events are highly sought as they are as exclusive as they come.
When I got an email a few days later confirming my place at their latest gig, i was over the moon. I literally had to cancel plans I had that evening to make sure I was there.
As expected, the event was a massive success. We were first of all treated to some drinks and snacks which i must say I was not able to take full advantage of as I had just had a heavy late lunch before I got to Somerset house where the event was held.
For the secret gig, three bands were lined up with the first to perform being Liskka, the second The Bloom, and lastly Bent Ref.
At the end of concert we were ushered in to view the amazing exhibition celebrating the life of Stanley Kubrick.
Here are a few of the photos I took. I hope you like them. Tell me what you think in the comment section below.
A massive thank you to Canon UK for organising such a great event.
I promised two weeks ago I would share my experiences in Istanbul with you but have not been able to do so until now. I apologise for the delay and hope its worth the wait.
I will be sharing my experiences of Istanbul in two parts. The first article (this one) will look at this city’s architecture, where the second article will explore food, hospitality and the people.
First of all, whenever I talk about architecture in Europe, there are two main cities I benchmark my idea of beautiful architecture from which are Barcelona and Prague. I know other European cities have beautiful architecture as well, but the above two left a lasting impression on my mind for so many reasons. You can check out articles of my Prague experience here and here. But anyway, this article is about Istanbul so let me reel it in a bit before I get carried away with talking about other cities. Oh and the fact that Istanbul is not even in the European union is probably a good enough reason for me not to compare but anyway, moving on.
Ok, basically I have heard so many things about Istanbul from different people who gave good reviews about this city. At this point, you would think it’s a no brainer for me to just pick up my suitcase and head out there right? Well guess what, that’s exactly what I did. Apart from the little scare I got after seeing on telly the tragic occurrence of the Ankara bombing on the 10th of October, there was no stopping me from travelling to Istanbul. As with many of the places I travel to for the first time, I did not know much about Istanbul. In fact, I know so little that I couldn’t have told you more than 10 facts about this city. Shocking right? Well wait until you hear my big confession. Continue reading Beautiful Architecture – C F HIM in Istanbul→
African art, craft, food, music and culture are fast taking roots in London and beyond. You only have to pop into any event with a slight connotation of African culture during the warmer months of the year to see the different style and designs of Ankara and Kente garments donned by men and women alike. Not that these two fabric types are the only African cloth but these are more easily recognisable due to their vibrancy and the amount of people who wear them. In fact there are so many other African textiles well worth exploring such as Akwete cloth, Ukara (both from the Igbo people of Nigeria), Aso Oke Fabric, Adire (from the Yoruba people of Nigeria), Mudcloth from the Bambara people of parts of Mali, Guinea, Burkino Faso and Senegal, Kitenge and Shweshwe from Kenya and South Africa respectively. Did you know that the earliest surviving African textile discovered dates back to the first Century CE? This was discovered at the Archaeological site of Kissi in Burkino Faso.
African food itself is becoming a staple for many as new restaurants serving different African cuisines continue to pop up in the city. That is all nothing compared to the way Afrobeat (a highbred of Jazz, highlife and funk) with West African origins, have taken hold of England. There’s no way you can go to any night club in central London without at least a handful of Afrobeat songs being played to an appreciative audience.
So it came as no surprise when I walked into the Covent Garden piazza area on Saturday the 1st of August to hundreds and hundreds of people happily floating in and out of the area. Covent Garden was truly alive with vibrant coloured garments, delicious smelling food and upbeat sound of music that is unmistakably Afrobeat. The atmosphere was electrifying to say the least.
Because I did not have the opportunity to dive into a massive plate of Jollof rice and Plantains, I was particularly looking forward to being entertained by the lyrical specialist and poet that is Alim Kamara. This young man has a way of playing with words like no other. I have been fortunate to see him perform live on several occasions and he always delivers. In fact he was the only act of the day I could vouch for based on experience. To my disappointment, I was too late and I missed his performance. Imagine my dismay. However, Fuse ODE who performed just after I got there made up for this disappointment. Fuse ODG has become a household name in the UK with big collaborations with Wyclef and Sean Paul in “Antenna” and “Dangerous love” respectively. One of the things that made Fuse ODG a standout act to me is his thirst to show Africa as a thriving continent with much more to offer than the stereotypical and outright wrong image of the continent. His music or should I say movement does not only have good beat but carries a political message and a message of hope for a new Africa.
The event came to a fitting end with the fantastic and soulful performance of the Nigerian French singer and songwriter, ASA. I mean I could write a whole blog post about this woman’s performance and it wouldn’t be enough. Listening to her serenade the crowd with songs such as “Fire on the mountain”, “Eyo” and many more beautiful ones highlights an influence of great artists such as Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. Her performance left the very diverse crowd from different background wanting more and a great example of how African cultures have impacted this great city of London.
The festival itself was organised by the Africa centre that has a 50 year history with the aim of promoting Africa’s cultural diversity outside the continent. It literally provides a hub for creativity, innovation and business in all matters pertaining to Africa.
In case you are one of the unlucky ones who did not get to see this wonderful event, make sure to check out the pictures below. Leave a comment and question! And if you were there, then feel free to add to the conversation by posting a comment below. Ta
As promised in a previous post about Prague, I have put together another set of photos of this wonderful city. This city does not need introduction when it comes to architecture. If you are into architecture then you would definitely appreciate the architectural diversity Prague has to offer. Lonely planet wrote “Prague is a living laboratory of 1000 years of European architecture. Fans of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau will all find plenty to gawk at. Gothic marvels such as the Charles Bridge and St Vitus Cathedral rival the best in Europe. More eclectic 20th-century styles like cubism, functionalism and even ‘communism’ are represented as well, creating an entrancing labyrinth of contrasting styles that complete a remarkably cohesive whole”.
I would even challenge anyone who isn’t bothered about architecture to visit Prague and not be intrigued and stimulated by this. If and when you visit Prague, here are a few places, buildings and points of interest I would encourage visitors to see: Charles bridge, Old town square, St. Vitus Cathedral, Astronomical clock, Prague castle, Petrin Lookout tower, Dancing house, Prague national theatre, Kampa Island, Church of our lady before Tyn, National Museum, St Nicholas Church, and Powder gate.
I am sure there are many other places to see but these are just the ones from the top of my head.
Before you browse through the pictures, here are a few facts about Prague you might find interesting:
– Prague Castle is the biggest ancient castle in the world.
– Prague’s nick name is the city of a hundred spires.
– The population of Prague is over 1.2 million
– The Vltava River which is Czech republic’s longest river flows through Prague.
– Prague was the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors
Enjoy the photos and please leave a comment or share your experiences from Prague (if you have any) for other readers. Prague by River