Of Africa is coming up on our second birthday soon and we can’t help but be nostalgic. In January 2017, we launched an idea for a series of essays, interviews and art pieces that centered around the concept of “Homeland”. In reaching out to people for their stories, we experienced a true sisterhood in speedy and enthusiastic responses from around the world. Here is a check in with three of those sisters.
We interviewed Nigerian American director Abbesi Akhamie towards the end of 2017 when her short film “Still Water Runs Deep” had just screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. We predicted that Abbesi’s star was on the rise and we advised our readers to pull up a chair and watch her career soar. We have not been proven incorrect. “Still Water Runs Deep” has continued to be screened in dozens of festivals, most notably the Women of African Descent Film Festival in New York, Nollywoodweek Paris, and Palm Springs International Short Film Festival in California. Her drive and her talent make her a force to be reckoned with. We can’t wait until the day she accepts her Oscar.
Read our interview with Abbesi here.
The musical brilliance and intelligence of emcee Missy D shone through in her list of five songs that remind her of “Homeland”. It was clear then that Missy D’s musical influence was wide ranging and touched by just about every corner of the continent. At the time, Missy D had just released her ingenious album “When Music Hits You Feel No Pain” and she was looking forward to performing it around her city, Vancouver. Since then Missy D has become an even more vocal supporter of POC musicians in Vancouver and beyond. She has also been in demand at her gigs and festivals like Skookum: After Dark Festival in September.
Review Missy D’s list here.
Our interview with Djami Diallo was one of my personal favourites. Not only is Djami an engaging and intelligent person, she is also inspirational in her dreams to compete as a wheelchair racer. In the interview, Djami led us through the difficulties and successes of her career so far, emphasizing her great desire to compete for her country, Canada, and one day in the greatest competition of all: the Paralympics. In thrilling news, Djami competed for Team Canada in September and continues to go from strength to strength, all while still teaching full time.
Read more about Djami and her amazing backstory here.
What have been some of your favourite pieces? Let us know in the comments!