Saturday, December 08, 2012

Hage Geingob: Namibia's Prime Minister for a Second Time

Just under two days after becoming SWAPO's (Namibia's ruling party) next presidential candidate Hage Geingob was reappointed to his old job as prime minister in a major Cabinet reshuffle announced by President Hifikepunye Pohamba. For Geingob it has been a vindication of his political career, which started in 1961 when he joined SWAPO and soon after became the party's voice at the United Nations.

Prime Minister Hage Geingob with Cuban President Fidel Castro 2001
(Adalberto Roque, AFP)

Geingob was Namibia's first prime minister serving from 1990 to 2002. SWAPO has often been seen as a party in which cultural mandates sometimes over rule political ones. Geingob's desire to succeed first president Nujoma was often frowned upon and is believed to have played a major part in his sudden dismissal as prime minister in 2002.

In 2003, Hage Geingob was invited to be the Executive Secretary of the Global Coalition for Africa based in Washington, D.C. The Global Coalition for Africa is an innovative intergovernmental forum that brings together top African policymakers and their partners in the international community to build consensus on Africa’s priority development issues. 

On the campaign trail, 2012.
(Courtesy: Nambia Sun)
It is based on the premise that Africa can grow only from within, but to do so it needs outside support. His focus was to work with African continental and regional organizations and Africa’s development partners towards conflict resolution in Africa, promotion of good governance in African states, and integration of African economies in the global economy.

October 2, 2004, Geingob, left the Global Coalition for Africa and returned to Namibia to participate in the November 2004 parliamentary election, in which he won a seat. Geingob became the Party Chief Whip of SWAPO in the National Assembly on April 18, 2007. He was appointed as Minister of Trade and Industry on April 8, 2008.

At SWAPO's 2012 party congress held in December, Geingob was re-elected as Vice-President of SWAPO, a result that is likely to make him the successor of Hifikepunye Pohamba as President of Namibia in 2015. President Pohamba appointed Geingob as Prime Minister on December 4, 2012.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Food, Clothing, and Shelter: African-Centered Sustainable Living in Urban Environments Film Screening

The Auburn Avenue Research Library will host a screening of Food, Clothing, and Shelter, a documentary by local filmmaker, Ebrima Ba. The film examines how local communities in urban Atlanta are turning to African skills, tradition, and knowledge to find alternative ways to meet basic needs. Also documented are communities that provide for themselves through urban gardening, handmade clothing, selling handmade goods, and collective living. This event will be followed by a post screening community discussion facilitated by the filmmaker, Ebrima Ba.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ugandan Students Develop Electric Car

Take a good look at that lime green hornet pictured above, because it may just herald the dawn of a new era in Ugandan transportation. Known as the Kiira EV, this plug-in was designed by students at Makerere University in Uganda, where electric cars, as you might imagine, are something of a rare commodity. In fact, local media outlets are heralding the Kiira as the first EV ever produced within the central African country, and it's not too shabby, either. On Tuesday, after nearly three years of development, the two-seater successfully completed its first test run, reaching a top speed of 65 kilometers per hour and nimbly making its way up a 55-degree incline. According to Paul Isaac Musasizi, who oversaw the project, the Kiira is capable of maxing out at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour, and can run for up to 80 kilometers on a single charge. Aside from its steering wheel and other accessories, every other component was designed and constructed domestically.

Perhaps more important than the Kiira EV's specs, however, is what it symbolizes for Uganda. "When we started the project, we wanted to demonstrate that Uganda has as good talent as that in the US or Germany," Musasizi told Uganda's Daily Monitor. "Now that this is over, we expect and want it to be taken up." It remains to be seen whether the Kiira actually enters production anytime soon, but Musasizi says his team is already working on a 28-seat EV for public transportation, underscoring their commitment to bringing green technology to their country. Hum past the break to see video of the momentous occasion, along with coverage from Uganda's NTV.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Africa's Answer to the iPad: Elikia

VĂ©rone Mankou is the 26 year old entrepreneur behind the African designed Way-C tablet computer. The tablet was launched earlier this year and attracted significant media attention. Mankou’s company VMK, which is based in the Republic of the Congo, this month also unveiled its first smartphone. How we made it in Africa asked Mankou about the business and how his company competes with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Why did VMK decide to launch the Way-C tablet?

The project began in 2006. I was working at an internet service provider (ISP) and wanted to design a cheap computer to give access to internet for more people. After one year, when Steve jobs unveiled the first iPhone, I changed my plan and the project became the “big iPhone”, meaning a tablet.

Earlier this month VMK also introduced its first smartphone, just days before the launch of the iPhone 5. Why enter the smartphone market?

You know, when I was working on the tablet, I noticed that the biggest difference between a tablet and a smartphone is the screen size. After we launched the tablet we decided to work on a smartphone project, and now the project is finished. It’s a Android phone called the Elikia (which means “hope”).

Your products are designed in Africa, but assembled in China. Tell us a bit more about the design and manufacturing process.

You know it’s like building a house. Firstly you have an architect who draws the house and after you have the workers who will build that house using the plans of the architect, but the architect need to be there every time to check if everything is okay. And for the designing of a tech product, it’s the same.

You mentioned in a previous interview that you will roll out 3G enabled tablets.

The first version of the tablet was Wi-Fi only, and many people didn’t like this. They asked us to develop a 3G tablet, so now we are working on a 3G tablet that we will launch in the beginning of next year.

How do you compete with multinational tablet manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung?

For me Apple and Samsung are not interesting in Africa, because their cost is so high. My goal is to put a tablet in the hands of all Africans, their goal is just to make money. It’s different.

VMK has also launched a market place for African-focused apps. Tell us more about this.

I noticed that in Android Market, now called Play Store, more than 99% of apps are not developed in Africa and/or are not developed for Africa. When you search African content, it’s hard to find good ones. We decided to launch our own marketplace to help us promote African content. And for the smartphone Elikia we decided to launch a new version of our market, called VMK Market, with the possibility to buy apps via our gift card, called VMK Market Card. So now we are developing a real environment (including devices, content and monetisation) to help developers.

Describe some of the greatest challenges you are facing in making the Way-C a success.

Our biggest challenge is just to get funding, because it’s needed to produce more products and for marketing purposes.

What is needed for Africa to become a serious player in the tech industry?

Funding and innovation.

What does the future hold for VMK?

We decided to launch a tablet and smartphone. It’s done. Now I want to give all African households access to technology, and develop a new tablet for education priced at about US$100.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Alien Architect @ The Fire 9/18

Alien Architect, whose art work will be featured in the upcoming issue of Aesthetics Magazine, will be performing live at The Fire in Philly Tuesday Night.

His band features Griff Miller (bass), Lem Pidlaoan (drums), Kevin Rigby (effected guitar, often "ambient"), Al Rigz (violin), and Justin Minnick (drums) and himself (vox, acoustic guitar).

Also performing: Anjuli Dobson
4th and Girard in Philly
Doors @ 9

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Black is Back Conference August 18-19 2012

Obama, the election and the struggle for justice, peace, a better life and black power.

Can voting win justice and power for black people?

The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is holding our annual conference in Newark, New Jersey under the theme: “Obama, the election and the struggle for justice, peace a better life and black power.”

Most of us greeted the election of Barack Obama with hope and excitement in the U.S. and around the world. However, since his election the U.S. continues to make war and threats of war against people in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Also, the issues of jobs, the economic quarantine of our communities, police violence and mass incarceration are not even being addressed during the current presidential election campaign.

Can the electoral process be of any use to black people in our struggle for a decent life without fear and imposed violence and poverty? If so, how?

Join the Annual Conference of the Black is Back Coalition to examine all these issues and to get organized

August 18th Speakers Include:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Introducing Noni Rene

"If you're looking for quality music and honest lyrics, you're sure to enjoy the sounds Noni Rene is producing! Noni has loved music all her life and always had ideas for songs, but didn't start writing songs until her preteen years. However, it was at the age of six that Noni started learning music, playing violin. Throughout the years she has learned other instruments (mainly guitar and piano) being formally and self-taught. It took a while for Noni to be confident in admitting she wanted to pursue a music career, writing, producing and performing, but she realized life is too precious to waste not pursuing her passion and honing her talents, so now she is opening up to the world, sharing her art. Hope you enjoy! "

For more visit:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Fate of Pearl of Africa

Pearl of Africa was a historical marker... through which Brother Ahmed Tahir touched the lives of countless people over the years. After all it had been through we never thought it would close. In the African-centered heyday of the early 90's we were replete with conscious cultural stores. There was Stilt Walkers, Sandaga's, Haneef's and of course Pearl of Africa I and II. When all the others moved away or simply closed down, one thing was constant... The Pearl of Africa. Now, the Pearl undergoes it's own transition and we await another era of its influence.

After Brother Ahmed's passing his wife Nandi shared this statement:

"Greetings all, after almost 20 years of business on South Street, the time has come to say goodbye. As of Sunday June 17th Pearl of Africa on South St. will close. I will announce the new location of Pearl of Africa International very soon we move towards our long held dream of manufacturing and producing products that reflect the beauty and history of who we are as a people.

Thanks to all who attended the Celebration of Life yesterday for Brother Ahmed, It was truly a moving experience. Special thanks to Taj El and Obawajumi Owolafia Olayinka for putting the program together, Wanda Dickerson & Robert Dickerson ...and Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, your presence really raised the energy and allowed us to send our brother home the way he would have intended, Asante Sana! Special thanks to Urban Shaman."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Legacy of Dr. Ed Robinson Jr.

"Dr. Ed Robinson was a mentor of mine for a good number of years. His easy going manner made his well informed personality and sharp intellect all the more effective. When he first released the Journey of the Songhai People it became instrumental in our developmental education programs. I remember sitting down and talking with him and his wife when the revised edition came out and how happy he was with the updates. I remember his lectures and siminars at Cheyney University to the incoming freshman class. I remember calling up WURD 900 AM to the show he hosted with his brother, the late Calvin Robinson, called "The Elders Speak." Most of all I remember the comfort he gave when giving voice to everything that made us proud of our Afrakan heritage."

Dr. Robinson's Legacy...

Dr. Edward Robinson, attorney, historian, author of  “Journey of the Songhai People” has made transition at age 94 on Wednesday, June 14 at approximately 10:15pm in his home town of Philadelphia. Family members and friends were in the hospice and at his bedside including his wife, Harriette.

An attorney, historian, author and professor, at the time of his death Dr. Robinson was working actively to produce a new movie titled “Whispers of the Medallion.” In 2004, he was awarded a contract with the Philadelphia Public School District to infuse African studies within the current social studies, science, and mathematics curricula from kindergarten to 8th grade for the 180,000 pupils’ school district and succeeded in making the teaching of African history mandatory for all students....

Read more about Dr. Robinson...


A viewing will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 22, at A.M.E. Union Church at 16th and Jefferson Streets in North Philadelphia. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Merion Memorial Park in Bala Cynwyd.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Aesthetics 6250 A.U. - Global Exposure

View our latest issue Insigne Tribus

Aesthetics 6250 A.U. Magazine is now viewed in over 30 countries worldwide and across the US from California to Maine. Here is a list of new countries viewing Aesthetics 6250 A.U.











Great appreciation and gratitude to all the artists and designers who contribute to the Arts and Aesthetics Collective. As we get more exposure, so do you.  We hope Aesthetics continues to gain you new fans and patrons of your artistic endeavors.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Raw Clothing with Simply Netfah


Sat. June 16th ( 11-3pm) / Sun. June 17th (1-5pm)

In recognition of National Men's Health Month and in honor of Father's Day, we are holding our monthly Fundamentals of Raw Clothing Construction Workshop exclusively for the men in our lives this June.

Mama's treat your sons. Wives treat your mates and sisters treat your bredrin to this special workshop dedicated to our creative counterparts. What better gift than the gift of empowerment!

Space limited. Pre-Registration required. (paypal, check, cash, mo)

$40 in advance / $50 at door

* Ages 11+

* Barter options avail.

* Vegetarian lunches on hand ($5 extra)
For more info visit

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Odunde 2012 Begins

Odunde Festival 2012 kicks off with a week of activities not to be missed.

Fore more details visit:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A New Documentary on The Spook Who Sat by the Door

"Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door" is an independent documentary on the controversial and FBI repressed 1973 black film "The Spook Who Sat By the Door." Through interviews with author Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon (widow of director Ivan Dixon), Academy Award®-winning editor Michael Kahn, Melvin Van Peebles, and many others, "Infiltrating Hollywood" tells the story of "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" from its inception as a novel to the film's release and repression. Today "The Spook" is widely hailed as a cult classic and one of the most important underground black productions of the era.

Although often satirical in presentation, the film was still considered too dangerous for black consumption. In the era of J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO, exhibitors reported that the FBI and local police demanded the cancellation of screenings and most copies of the film were destroyed. The film exists today because director Ivan Dixon hid the masters of "The Spook" in a film vault under a pseudonym. "Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door" reclaims the lost history of the film and the people behind its powerful story. (57 minutes, 2011) 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Remembering Ahmed Tahir

As is often the case, death comes unexpectedly and with great impact. Brother Ahmed Tahir passed away this past May 5th and he will be genuinely missed. Ahmed was one of the last people we were expecting to hear had transcended. After all, he was supposed to come down and see the campus after completion.

There may not have been a Sekayi and Ture were it not for Ahmed, as he was instrumental in our meeting. It was through his organization, N.A.P.U., that we first met.

My cousin (the same one who invited me to participate in N.A.P.U), was one of Ahmed's oldest friends. He called to inform me of Ahmed's expiring from cancer, of all things. The last time we talked to him he didn't let on that he was sick, as was his way.

While Ahmed is memorialized we are left with the memories of late night meetings, cultural debates, hours hanging out at Pearl of Africa, hanging out at Crimson Moon, 2 am visits to watch conscious films, poetry slams on Friday at Zion Train and the myriad events he organized such as African independence Day. Ahmed was excellent at motivating people to come together.

We sincerely hope that his memory is kept vital in the lives of those he touched. His vision for a cultural cohesion between the different sects of Afrakan groups is a noble one that should be realized. He often said that “we are a global people,” reminding us not to dismiss idly the streams of African influence in the world.   Brother Ahmed, you are missed -Ture & Sekayi  



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kenyan activist wins Goldman Prize


Kenyan activist Ikal Angelei won a Goldman Prize for her campaign to block the construction of one of East Africa’s most significant infrastructure projects, the GIBE-3 Dam, that could lead to the region’s Lake Turkana drying up.

Ikal Angelei: "The biggest challenge was working with a community who’s having—there are already a lot of problems, so access to food, access to healthcare, insecurity, lack of government support. It’s so hard when you’re talking about environmental rights and resource governance in a place where people are just thinking, 'Can I just get a meal today? Can I see today and, you know, wait and see what tomorrow brings.' So that was the hardest challenge. But working in an area where the communities were already in conflict over resources was really hard to bring them together and say, 'Listen, we understand the other issues, but as of now we have to speak as one voice.'"

see the whole show

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New Art Exhibition: Al Johnson

73 See Gallery is pleases to announce the opening receptions celebrating the work of artist Al Johnson. Join us at the gallery Saturday, March 10th or Sunday, March 11th from 3 to 6 pm. Saturday will feature the the jazz legend Traciana Graves. Delicious Light fare will be offered. Free.

The show runs through April 12th and we welcome you to stop by. We're looking forward to seeing you here.

Contact the gallery at 973-746-8737 or send email to for more information or to schedule a private viewing.

Location: 73 See Gallery & Design Studio 73 Pine Street, Suite C Montclair, NJ 07042

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Music of Insigne Tribus

Download the music that inspired Aesthetics 6250 A.U.
 Insigne Tribus Edition:

Totemic Synchronicity


Monday, February 20, 2012

New Aesthetics 6250 A.U. - Insigne Tribus

Insigne Tribus is a compilation of contemporary art which broaches a dialogue with our collective unconscious and the natural world. Published by the Arts and Aesthetics Collective.

 Featuring: Al Johnson, Fawn Whelahan, Theresa "Indigene" Gaskin, and James Black.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Afrakans in America History Month - Jazz Legend Randy Weston

Afrakans in America History Month Special Featuring Jazz Legend Randy Weston on His Life and Celebration of his autobiography "African Rhythms"

For the past six decades, Randy Weston has been a pioneering jazz musician incorporating the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa. His 1960 album, "Uhuru Afrika," was a landmark recording that celebrated the independence movements in Africa and the influence of traditional African music on jazz. "Uhuru Afrika," begins with a freedom poem written by Langston Hughes.

Randy Weston visited Africa for the first time as part of a delegation that also featured Nina Simone. The trip would transform Weston’s life and lead him to eventually move to Africa in 1967. On Democracy Now! Weston talks about his collaboration with Langston Hughes, how Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson influenced his life, and his friendship with the Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Kuti. Randy Weston also discusses his success in demonstrating the impact of Afrakan culture, especially its music, on the world. "Having the people understand the impact of African rhythms in world music, whether it’s Brazil or Cuba or Mississippi or Brooklyn... If you don’t have that African pulse, nothing is happening," Weston said.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sarafine @ Foundation House Launch 2/10-2/11

Sarah stavrou will be selling Sarafine Inc./Eco friendly products
at this event. please come out and support the Foundation.

New York, NY (February 2012) – February, February 10th and Saturday, February 11th, The Urban Yoga Foundation and Speak Easy M.E.D.I.A both non-profit organizations will be launching the brand new Foundation House on historic Strivers Row in Harlem, New York. The Foundation House is a semi-private, holistic creative arts center that will manifest the basic meaning of yoga: to unite. With the mission to unify the Harlem community using yoga as the foundation of artistic, academic and creative expression, The Foundation House will act as a creative haven of inspiration offering participants the freedom to practice yoga and use holistic health as a vehicle to strengthen the community.

“We are hopeful to expose the community to a holistic and healthy lifestyle that we all should be living,” said Speak Easy M.E.D.I.A Foundation chairman, Clayton Sizemore. “We want to benefit the community by providing educational resources through both organizations and continue to help others live their best life.”

Talent has been organized for the evening through Pravassa, a wellness company in New York City. Yoga instructors from Asali Yoga, Chef Melissa Gellert and Nourish Our Body will donate their time during the two-day event to provide the Harlem community a chance to experience The Foundation House in its full capacity. Each event will consist of 3 breakout sessions: Guilt Free Sweet Love, centered around vegetarian food and nutrition; Love of Art, where a communal mural will be created; and Living and Loving Yoga, which introduces yoga as a healing technique. Attendees have the opportunity during Friday evening’s Adult focused programs to enjoy food created by Nourish Our Body and enjoy 20-minute yoga classes led by Asali Yoga. Attendees at the Saturday afternoon Youth oriented programs will dig in to food provided by Chef Melissa Gellert and stretch at the 20-minute yoga classes led by Asali Yoga.

“The weekend’s preview is all about uniting the community members and inspiring them to make gradual changes in their lifestyle habits,” said Urban Yoga Foundation founder, Ghylian Bell. “Opening the Foundation House will be the realization of a long time dream to have a physical space in which to help keep the community conscious of what we can do together to insure access to a whole healthy lifestyle.”

Join the Urban Yoga Foundation and Speak Easy M.E.D.I.A as we open this one of a kind center:

Friday, February 10th
Adult Programs: 4:00 – 9:30pm
Saturday, February 11th
Youth Programs: 11am – 4:30pm

$15 advanced ticket sales

239 W 139th St, NYC

To purchase tickets please call the Urban Yoga Foundation at
917-710-5437 or email

Raw Clothing w/ Simply Netfah 2/18


Thursday, February 02, 2012

"Pink Slime" in Hamburgers

McDonald's announced last week that, as of last August, is has stopped using ammonium hydroxide in the production of its hamburgers. MSNBC reports that the chemical, used in fertilizers, household cleaners and even homemade explosives, was also used to prepare McDonalds' hamburger meat.

The food industry uses ammonium hydroxide as an anti-microbial agent in meats, which allows McDonald's to use otherwise "inedible meat." On his show, Jamie Oliver (an advocate for healthy food) said of the meat treatment: "Basically we're taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest form for dogs and making it 'fit' for humans."

Even more disturbing, St. Louis-based dietician Sarah Prochaska told NBC affiliate KSDK that because ammonium hydroxide is considered part of the "component in a production procedure" by the USDA, consumers may not know when the chemical is in their food. "It's a process, from what I understand, called 'mechanically separated meat' or 'meat product,'" Prochaska said. "The only way to avoid it would be to choose fresher products, cook your meat at home, cook more meals at home."

Other questionable chemicals that may be found in our food:

  • Propylene glycol: This chemical is very similar to ethylene glycol, a dangerous anti-freeze. This less-toxic cousin prevents products from becoming too solid. Some ice creams have this ingredient; otherwise you'd be eating ice.

  • Carmine: Commonly found in red food coloring, this chemical comes from crushed cochineal, small red beetles that burrow into cacti. Husks of the beetle are ground up and forms the basis for red coloring found in foods ranging from cranberry juice to M&Ms.

  • Shellac: Yes, this chemical used to finish wood products also gives some candies their sheen. It comes from the female Lac beetle.

  • L-cycsteine: This common dough enhancer comes from hair, feathers, hooves and bristles.

Courtesy: Eric Pfeiffer - Yahoo News.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Women of Colours Exhibition - 1/20-2/24

A rich, visual conversation between dynamic women artists, with works reflecting the complex and variegated windows from which we interpret ourselves and the world around us.

Participating artists include: Gigi Boldon, Noreen Dean Dresser, Mira Gandy, Klode Garoute, Lisa Ingram, Ruth Llanillo Leal, Grace Y. Williams and Yukako.
Curated by Omo Misha

Opening Reception: January 20, 2012. 6-9pm

RSVP required. Please email:

The Knox Gallery 129 W 129th St New York, NY 10027

For more info:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Randall Robinson on the Mass Incarceration of Black America

On this eve of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we host a wide-ranging discussion with TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson and author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African Americans that has rolled back many achievements of the civil rights movement. Today there are more African Americans under correctional control, whether in prison or jail, on probation or on parole, than there were enslaved in 1850. And more African-American men are disenfranchised now because of felon disenfranchisement laws than in 1870. Alexander, whose book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" is newly released in paperback, argues that "[n]othing less than a major social movement has any hope of ending mass incarceration in America or inspiring a recommitment to [Martin Luther] King's dream... My view is that this has got to be a human rights movement. It’s got to be a movement for education, not incarceration; for jobs, not jails; a movement that acknowledges the basic humanity and dignity of all people, no matter who you are or what you have done."


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New 2012 Aesthetics 6250 A.U. Calendar

Get the 2012 Calendar

The Arts & Aesthetics Collective presents our premier calendar for 2012. The unique talent of these artists and designers, all featured in Aesthetics 6250 A.U. Magazine, is yours to enjoy
throughout the year.