News Brief

OkayAfrica's Weekend Guide: Afro-Latino Fest in NYC, Tech Plus Conference In Lagos and More

There’s a deluge of cool events happening across Africa and the diaspora this weekend and OkayAfrica’s weekend guide is where you’ll find them.

There’s a deluge of cool events happening across Africa and the diaspora this weekend and OkayAfrica’s weekend guide is where you’ll find them.

NEW YORK—The Afro-Latino Fest 2017 takes place this weekend from Friday, July 7 to Sunday, July 9. This year's festival will be a tribute to women in the diaspora, with symposiums, film screenings, performances and more. Purchase tickets for the event, here.

NEW YORK CITY—Ewe-speaking, New York-based organization, the United Volta Association along with Binghamton  University, will host an "African Culture" art exhibition and concert this Saturday, July 8 at the Harlem State Building Plaza. Learn more about the event, here.

BROOKLYN—Like Minded People will host its second annual Akwaaba Picnic, this Saturday at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. Various foods from the diaspora will be served at the event, from jollof to Jamaican jerk chicken, to black rice from Haiti. Purchase tickets, here.

NEW YORK CITY—Join Kenyan-American artist Jamilla Okubo and Nigerian-American artist Ife Chiejina for a "Conversations in Patterns, Textiles, Figures and Portraits" at the Calabar Gallery in Harlem this Saturday, July 8. They'll discuss their process and the cultural themes behind their work. You can register for the event, here.

WASHINGTON D.C.—Catch a showing of the popular dance play,

"Harriet and the Underground, an African & Modern dance theater celebration of the great American icon, Harriet Tubman" this Saturday at the Warner Theatre. Purchase tickets, here.

LAGOS—The annual Tech Plus conference, "Africa's largest tech gathering, where new technology comes to life, new products are launched and innovation converges," takes place this Saturday, July 8. Aside from the conference, there will be an opportunity to network, as well as a gaming session and exhibition. Learn more about the event, here.

LONDON—Catch Nairobi Thompson's one woman show, "Bayonets, Mangoes and Beads: African Diasporic Voices in WWI & WWII," live at the Whirled Cinema in Brixton. It will be an interactive night of history and poetry. Purchase tickets for the show, here.

JOHANNESBURG—South African house heavyweight, Euphonik DJ will play a show this Saturday, July 8 at Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg. Check here for ticket information.

What to Listen to: 

For a playlist of the best songs that came across our desk this week, check out OkayAfrica’s Weekend Playlist, featuring tracks from DavidoSauti Sol, Nasty C and more. You can stream our full playlist below, via Spotify and Apple Music.

Photo: Felipe Maia.

Making Music Between the Cracks In Senegal

Navigating mbalax, hip-hop, and afropop, Senegalese artists are sticking together to make their music heard.

Taking a stroll in Dakar is an overwhelming sonic experience. One of the busiest metropolises of West Africa, Senegal's capital is flooded by taxis with lousy tailpipes and drivers who are keen to honk every now and then while cruising long avenues by the seaside. All over the city, several minarets' speaker boxes remind the prayer times throughout the day, adding chants to daily people's chats in different languages and dialects.

At first, it may not seem too different from other big cities in Africa, but one kind of music sets a unique dakarois tone. Whether in a clothing store, having a thieboudienne for lunch or taking a cab, one's ears will be caught by mbalax music.

A new generation of artists wants to bring different sounds to the main stage of the Senegalese arts. They are the likes of the electro-fueled trio Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, the big afrobeat-ish band Sahad & The Nataal Patchwork and the experimentalist sound-maker Ibaaku. He's one of the founders of Kandang, a newly-born platform that aspires to build up a healthy environment that could develop the work of Senegalese musicians through concerts, workshops and promotion.

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