Arts + Culture

#Goals: This Ghanaian Health Guru Is Using Dance to Keep Us Motivated

For the latest installment of #Goals, we speak to Ghanaian wellness coach, Cassandra Nuamah about how she's helping others maintain health lifestyles.

During the month of August, we'll be highlighting aspirational folks who are setting major #goals and achieving them, and asking them to share their stories and insight to help motivate us all to “live our best lives."


These athletes, artists, fashionistas, scholars, entrepreneurs, and more, are a reminder to us all, that dreams are valid!

Previously, we spoke with Nigerian tech maven Iyin Aboyeji. For our latest installment, we speak with Ghanaian fitness guru, Cassandra "Coach Cass" Nuamah. Read our conversation below.

Cassandra Nuamah, also known as Coach Cass wants to help us all reach our #bodygoals.

Since becoming a personal trainer in 2010, the Ghanaian wellness coach has helped launch Africa With Us, a yearly fitness getaway that takes participants to various parts of the continent for an opportunity to immerse themselves in fitness and nutrition all while gaining knowledge of the health-conscious practices of the continent. And she's also helped popularize Kukuwa, an African dance program founded by her mother.

Kukuwa, has garnered dedicated attendees across the diaspora, with its unique use of rhythmic movements, and its dedication to making exercise less of a chore and more of a dance party.

Through an immense passion for wellness and a generous dose of self-motivation, she's found success on her quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while helping others do the same—you can get the motivation you need to finally start that workout you've been putting off, just by following her on Instagram.

We spoke to Coach Cass briefly about achieving her personal goals, and what she has planned next. Read our conversation below.

Do you consider yourself successful? Why or why not?

Yes and no. Yes, because I am doing what I love and loving what I do, which is helping people in the best way I know how: through fitness, dance, wellness, and culture.

But my true measure of success, at least financially, is for me to be able to do what I want to do without being limited by a budget.

Do you enjoy what you do?

Absolutely, I know this because I would do it everyday for free.

What habits do you think have been central to your success in the fitness world?

My habit of always managing peoples expectations and trying my best to be being relatable and authentic in my style.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

Being able to travel the world, doing what I love and getting paid for it.

What role do you think family and friends have played in helping you achieve your goals?

They are essential to all the success I've had in my life. They are my biggest cheerleaders and have always supported me.

We know you're not done yet, so what's next for you?

More digitized fitness and wellness programs to reach more people. And just continuing to certify more people around the world in Kukuwa and African dance. And also, bringing more people to Africa through our yearly curated African fitness and cultural trips, Africa With Us.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Image courtesy of Adekunle Adeleke

Spotlight: Adekunle Adeleke Creates Digital Surrealist Paintings That Celebrate African Beauty

Get familiar with the work of Nigerian visual artist Adekunle Adeleke.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Adekunle Adeleke, a Nigerian visual artist, using digital mediums to paint dream-like portraits of Africans. Read more about the inspirations behind his work below, and check out some of his stunning paintings underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Facebook.

Can you tell us more about your background and when you first started painting?

I am a self taught artist. I started drawing from when I was really young. I mostly used graphite pencils and paper. But about six years ago, I think it was 2014, I wanted to start getting into color. I was a university student at the time and I lived in a hostel with three other people, so I couldn't go traditional so [instead], I started making paintings digitally, first on my iPad and then on my laptop with a Wacom. I have been painting ever since.

What would you say are the central themes in your work?

I personally think my work celebrates beauty (African beauty to be precise) and occasionally absurd things. I really just want to make paintings that are beautiful.

How do you decide who or what you're going to paint?
I do not have an exact process. I do use a lot of references though. Sometimes, I had an idea of how exactly the painting would look, others I just make it up as i go along.

Can you talk about a particular moment or turning point in your life that made you want to pursue art or a creative path?

I am not sure–I did not actively pursue art in a sense. I was just doing it because it was fun and I wanted to. Then people all of a sudden wanted to put me on projects and offer to pay for my hobby. I have thankfully been able to make art and also work in a separate field—which I also enjoy–by day.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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