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Photos: White Night In Kigali

Photos from Le Diner En Blanc Kigali.


On August 11th, Kigali became the first city in Africa to hold the esteemed Le Diner En Blanc party that started 20 years ago in Paris. The event in Kigali was hosted by our folks at  Illume Creative Studio and Events Africa. Guests dressed in all white as they wined and dined under the stars. The address of the venue remained a secret until night of the event when they met up in six of the different locations and were driven via bus.

Although the event is a European import, Illume seems to have crafted the night with Rwanda's best interests in mind. Joan Mazimhaka says,

"One of Illume’s goals is to change what the world sees when you Google Rwanda, and we hope this is one of the  events that will accomplish that. We also wanted to put together a fun event for Kigali’s residents, regional guests and tourists and also put Kigali on the map as an events destination.”

The Diner En Blanc was deemed a fun night by all attendees and we hope to see more in different cities throughout Africa!

Check out more photos from the gorgeous dinner here. Visit their Facebook page here.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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