Events

Obscura Day 2016 Call For Participation On The Continent

Atlas Obscura is looking for Obscura Day events on the continent.

Image: Obscura Day 2016
Obscura Day 2016 is coming up Saturday, April 16th. For the fifth year in a row, participants around the globe will join Atlas Obscura in hosting and attending their own “unusual, wondrous, and curious” real-life expeditions throughout the world. Last year over 3,2000 people took part in 160 special adventures, tours, and exhibitions in 39 states, 20 countries and 6 continents.

In Accra, Obscura Day attendees joined Eric Adjetey Anang, grandson of the famous Ghanaian coffin designer Kane Kwei and manager of the Kane Kwei Workshop, to discover the history and artistry behind Ghana’s celebrated art coffins. That same day in Johannesburg, participants toured the Gardens of Soweto. And over in Detroit, some joined visual artist, curator and historian Olayami Dabls at the Mbad African Bead Museum to explore the history of African bead culture.


The folks at Atlas Obscura are currently looking for events on the continent. It’s a great way to get people interested in your creative work and endeavors and it’s also a cool opportunity to share what’s unique about your scene.

All you need to do to host your own Obscura Day event is sign up here. If you have any questions, email Atlas Obscura Director of Events Megan Roberts at megan@atlasobscura.com.

Be sure to let us know about your events and we’ll spread the word on Okayafrica.

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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