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 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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