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A Look Into Oakland's Scene

Okayafrica contributor Candi Martinez runs down a a look into Oakland's scene.


From artist collectives to all night dance parties, copious farmer's markets and an official holiday honouring hip-hop, Oakland never skips a chance to come together and celebrate life. With its diverse population of immigrants, artists, radicals, educators, taste makers, and free thinkers, the city is a cultural oasis, where nearly anything is possible. Here's a guide to a handful of groups, venues and events in Oakland dedicated to sharing and celebrating culture from across Africa and the diaspora.

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Visual Artists

Photo of Keba Konte

This list would be incomplete without honoring Oakland's artists. Painter/sculptor Eesuu Orundide blurs the line between fine art and street art. His 16 Cowries series (a semi-permanent installation at SF's African American Art & Cultural Complex) elicits conversation about how we define wealth. Photomontage artist Keba Konte (above) is known for his complex and layered historical narratives created by combining photography with clever woodworking techniques– his distinguished pieces grace many Bay Area cafes, galleries and theaters. Kenyan-born painter Omiiroo Nyeusi employs a wicked color base to push viewers beyond expectations– the result of which is a fresh take on the Black experience that features elements of music, politics and identity. Catch Eesuu Orundide’s “Sugar.0” opening April 4th at Sole Space (1714 Telegraph).

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Photo by Deon Raath/Rapport/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Spirit Of Humanity Gives Hope To Young Boy Mauled By A Hyena

A 9-year-old Zimbabwean boy Rodwell Nkomazana has a shot at a normal life, again, after a horrific hyena attack left him with half of his face missing.

It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes that village comes from thousands of kilometers away, and consists of committed surgeons, passionate nurses and generous international donors. Nine-year-old Rodwell Nkomazana was asleep at an all-night church service when the unthinkable happened. The little boy was attacked and mauled by a hyena outside Harare, in Zimbabwe.

The medical team at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, where he received his initial treatment, did all they could to save his life and stabilise him. However, due to a lack of resources and expertise, it was all they could do.

With half of his face missing, including an eye, his upper lip, his nose and part of his forehead, Rodwell was set for a life full of challenges. Not only would he have lost his childhood, but he would have probably spent most of his time in seclusion — isolated from the rest of society.

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