Sunday, December 30, 2007
Our next stop was to the Ijoba Shule. This independent, Afrakan centered institution houses one of the best educational programs for ReAfrakanization. We were invited by Iya Omowunmi Ogundaisi for their 3rd Annual Winter Solstice Presentation. The children demonstrated their thorough understanding of the semester's lessons with creativity and poise. If you're looking for a school to send your children that guarantees a quality, Afrakan education look them up and tell them PKDG sent you.
Our final destination took us to the home of Simply Netfah fashion designer, Netfah Amina-Afia. Good food, good company and good vibes made for a warm and intimate Kwanzaa celebration. Things got a little heated though when Brother Baja (Apotheosis graphic artist) pulled out the Scrabble board and declared war. A pity his martial skills were not quite up to the task :( However, he is within his right to call for a rematch :)
for more info on:
NAPU - myspace.com/napu
The Ijoba Shule - ijobashule.org
Simply Netfah - simplynetfah.com
Monday, October 15, 2007
Fashion shows and related events abound in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. Over the past few weeks we have been inundated with style, creativity and glamour. Two local designers very dear to us, Exodus and Letau Designs, had great showings. We would be remiss if we didn't mention one of Philly's oldest fashion events, Philadelphia Phashion Phest, who had their event in September as well.
Recent acquaintance and House of Talent PA CEO, Antoine Johnson, gave great face at his fashion show Glamarazzi where supermodel to be Staphanie Barnes (also of Apotheosis fame *smile*) lit up the runway. With sponsors Jack Kelmer and Pink Vodka, Glamarazzi rose 23 stories to debut its featured designer.
Not to be left out, Fat Boy Hype Entertainment gave us Philadelphia's first Fashion Weekend. Held at the City Hall courtyard, the show featured the largest collection of designers we've seen so far this season including Teranchula and James Nelson Couture. Aesthetics Magazine cover girl, Charisse, graced the runway with her signature poise.
With the increased nightlife, upscale retail, fashionable venues, influx of new residents and the number one housing boom in the country, Philadelphia is aligning itself to be what some have called the model city of the future.
Mangaliso Ture & Sekayi Khita Hetep
The Arts and Aesthetics Collective
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It's been a long time coming but we finally got a chance to give our heartfelt gratitude to the many contributors that made Apotheosis 6250 A.U. Art and Fashion Exhibition 2007 possible. Our thank you dinner took place at Govinda's Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant on September 25, 2007. We have to show our love and appreciation to Hare and his staff for doing such an exquisite job of catering our affair.
For those of you who missed it, we discussed how the show turned out, how to improve it and ideas for 2008's exhibition. We reminisced over wine while watching footage of the event after enjoying Hare's famous shrimp cocktail, polenta in a red pepper sauce, and other Govinda's fare.
Though it's only been months, it was almost like a reunion seeing all of the models, designers, stylists, our photographer, and other staff again. To all of you who couldn't make it, you were truly missed. We still have a copy of the magazine waiting for you. Again, we were glad to be able to say thank you for the support and dedication given to the show. We look forward to working with you all next year.
Mangaliso Ture and Sekayi Khita Hetep
Thursday, July 26, 2007
On June 9 2007, Odunde Inc held a business symposium cosponsored by the Mayor's Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs. This well attended meeting presented the opportunity for local Philadelphia businesses to hear the investment proposals of several Afrakan countries. The countries represented were: Cote d'Ivoire, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Angola. Each Ambassador gave a presentation on their country's resources and potential investment opportunities.
The event was chaired by Mjenzi Traylor, Deputy Commerce Director for the City of Philadelphia and Stan Straughter, Chairman of the MCACIA.
This event provided the opportunity for PKDG's Chief Operations Officer, Mangaliso Ture, and Administrative Manager, Sekayi Khita Hetep, to offer their ideas on alternative energy sources, water purification and hydroponics as outlined in their proposal for the Ta Neter Campus. we are proud to say we were very well received and hope to stay in contact with the representatives present.
Faida Maramuke MITIFU of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. Daouda Diabate of Cote d'Ivoire, and Alexander H.N. Wallace, III, deputy chief of mission for the embassy of Liberia.
Also pictured, the Angolan ambassador's representative.
Uhuru Hetep Enen a Neter,
Atef Ture' and Sekayi Khita-Hetep
Monday, May 14, 2007
As stated in the previous entry, April was a month of achievements...none more satisfying than the launch of Apotheosis 6250 a.u., our annual art and fashion exhibition. The designers, Simply Netfah, Second World Productions and Letau Designs, took their creativity to the brink by bringing to life this year's theme: AfRAkan GothiK.
Our Creative Director, Jabulani, with his choreography and musical selections provided the unique tonality and flavor of the show.
Amber...Amber...Amber...what can we say? You knew someone, somewhere, somehow for something we needed. Your artistic talents, along with your team of stylists, gave face to the theme...to the show. Your selfless support and sharing of contacts will be forever appreciated.
We couldn't have asked for a better group of models to give style and personality to our vision. Not only did they do their jobs well, but they went and did the jobs they weren't supposed to do. These models were dedicated to the vision of the show and to the audience they were determined to entertain. Special, special thanks and much love to you all.
Our venue of choice is the perfect home for any artistic event. Gallerie Isada not only has the space but the style and decor are simply exquisite.
The art of Jean Wilson, Leroy Johnson, Cheryl Durgans and Willis Nomo illustrated Afrakan culture inter-spliced with urban reality. Special thanks to Cheryl for her expertise as curator, and to Jean for assisting.
We thank our guests for their patronage and support of these talented artists and designers who devote themselves to the expression of our cultural zeitgeist.
Every event has to be coordinated, and none coordinate better than Bo Inc. Bo's attention to detail, managerial skills, and commitment to perfection leave absolutely nothing to be desired. With her faithful partner Baka Beka Bey (the one who never tires), Bo's hospitality, decor and staging gave the professional presentation needed for a show of this magnitude.
When you see the word Apotheosis and the image that accompanies it, you are looking at the graphic genius of Baja Ukweli. He designed our flier, logo and soon to be released poster. Again, much appreciation for exceeding expectation.
We must thank Bumi for providing rehearsal space at Marian Anderson Recreation Center. Thanks again for your love and support Bumi. Hare of Govinda's Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant too deserves a hearty thank you for providing the meals for our models. Asante sana.
DJ's come and DJ's go but Joey comes through with hurt back and all. Every thing we needed in terms of audio visual Joey was willing and able to provide. Thanks Joey.
Thank you to our mistress of ceremony, our very own goth queen, Khenti.
Much love to Maren of Letau Designs for being a part of Apotheosis. Your strength is an inspiration. Thank you too Rob, we know you were there as well.
Saving the best for last, all love and praises duo to queen mother Victoria for her constant support, belief and investments in Apotheosis. Without you there is no me or us.
All those omitted in error, please forgive us. We thank all of you who went far beyond your role and made Apotheosis a success. We could not have done it without your collective effort.
Now...The Arts and Aesthetics Collective prepares for the Apotheosis 2008 show...bigger, better and even more avant-garde.
Uhuru hetep enen a Neter
Afet Ture' & Sekayi Khita-Hetep
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Habari Gani, April was a prodigious month full of challenges and achievements for PKDG. We had the opportunity to go to a community forum entitled Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia, which was held at First District Plaza on April 6.
Dr. Richard Cooper, host of The Karamu on WURD, moderated the forum which consisted of Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III, and Dr. Carl Bell. We consider this to be a panel of Afrakaltural heavyweights.
In regards to the topic of stopping violence in the community Dr. Madhubuti had this to offer: "If your community is toxic, you've got to change or get out of that community. To decrease gang violence and so on you've got to change your community. In Chicago, come join with me. In Philadelphia, join with Dr. Asante...join positive institutions."
Dr. Asante made a good point about self esteem that should be heeded as well. "There is cultural esteem and there is self-esteem. Cultural esteem is the glue that holds it all together...high self esteem is not enough." To that Dr. Madhubuti added that we need institutions that promote a collective mentality, such as his Institute for Positive Education in Chicago. "Violence in the community is a symptom of self-hate and a lack of Afrakanity," added Dr. Asante.
"Self esteem is based on a sense of power. We're confused about if we control our destiny or do white people. Not knowing results in a lack of a sense of power. Being connected to somebody powerful is one way of decreasing or eliminating this powerlessness," said Dr. Bell very earnestly.
The clear cut edict of the night was the development of institutions. Not just any, but institutions that are based on Afrakan culture, which serves as the glue to hold families and communities together. Institutions are key, as they offer infrastructure, hierarchy, and dictate which issues and agendas are relevant to the livelihood of the community. "We have to have strong institutions," said Dr. Madhubuti. "We have to be a model of that which is clear, correct and just...a model of growth."
Dr. Haki Madhubuti has long been an inspiration to me and should be heralded as one of our preeminent leaders for his ability to go from concept to reality, from plan to planet. For his ability to define the clash of races, making us aware of the earthquakes while preparing for the sunrise. In developing life sustaining institutions, he himself has become an institution and a shining example of what can be accomplished should we dedicate ourselves to the completion of our goals.
Dr. Asante has been exemplary, his "Afrocentricity" bringing to light the continuance of our heritage and legacy with a comprehensive understanding of the responsibility we have to future generations.
This panel is a prime example of the benefits of study, application and dedication to the Afrakaltural imperative.
Uhuru hetep enen a Neter,
Atef Ture' and Sekayi Khita-Hetep
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Pya Kule Design Group joins many in the mourning of Robert Matunda, who was tragically taken from us on Monday March 26, 2007 [read article]. Brother Rob and I had a chance to reconnect (thanks to Netfah Amina-Afia) when he and his wife Maren, founders of Letau Designs, decided to become involved with PKDG's upcomming art and fashion exhibition, Apotheosis 6250 a.u.
His warm easy going ways, cool mannerisms, and incredible talent for designing one of a kind jewelry made it easy to love Rob. We remember our first model call at Rob and Maren's loft where they showed us the ropes. Rob, ever on point with assurances, continually served us herbal tea with real mint leaves...style =) Rob multitasked the model call while working out details with Maren, and cuddling and playing with their newborn baby.
Rob and Maren put us down with so many of the people who have become integral parts of the show. It gives us great pleasure to know that Maren and Rob (spiritually) will both be in attendance and featured at Apotheosis. We love you both.
Memorial Celebration for Robert Matunda
621 Reed Street Philadelphia
pot luck dinner...bring food and drink
All are welcome
Spread the word, spread the love
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Dr. Anthony Monteiro, our guest speaker, was excellent in his delivery and set the pace for the conference. "Education, technology, institutions, and production & manufacturing are key factors in our ability to even play the game," Monteiro said. He went on to point out that there is a $73 million deficit in public schools, we're competing for places in the universities, and that poverty is an inter-generational malady. Considering this, "the dollar economy must be reevaluated and there must be a narrowing down of focus. A certain internalization is necessary to determine how to deal with or alter the society at large," says Monteiro. He advises we ween ourselves off of capitalism or at least increase our level of responsibility.
Paul DeCosta's enthusiasm held every one's attention. He emphasized the need for science and math with new applications. "Biology and engineering is a burgeoning field, with science imitating life and producing a new era of technology. Similarly, science should be approached from a philosophical standpoint to yield fresh insights." He holds that the reason why philosophical science and herbalism are ignored for instance is due to the manipulations of insurance companies, so called health professionals, and an industry that's more concerned with profits than the well being of society.
Aleta Finney gave a thorough presentation on environmental responsibility, eloquently breaking down the side effects of radon and the importance of composting. "People usually have an out of sight out of mind mentality when it comes to getting rid of our refuse." Computers for example contain heavy metals and other toxic elements which are carcinogenic. When we throw them away they often end up in landfills and their chemicals seep into the soil and into ground water. This can cause all types of health related issues for both humans and wildlife.
Last but not least, we can't forget PKDG's event coordinator (a.k.a. Bo Inc.) for her outstanding presentation of the cuisine and for the ambiance and decor.
For more information on the conference see our Community Development department. Session II will take place in June, check back for more details.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The physical renovations of the Lounge on-site are now complete. We're adding a few finishing touches before announcing our next session. We're very eager to begin.
Check out our Events page for the latest happenings. The Community Development Conference is a bit more than a month away now. If you haven't submitted a position paper or at least confirmed your attendance, please contact us to let us know if you're in.
Again, we look forward to engaging discussions and debates at the Lounge on-site. Check back for more info on this year's first session.
Uhuru hetep enen a Neter,
Atef & Sxmt