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AfricanOz African Australian news & information

www.africanoz.com National Issue 4 autumn 2011

PLUS

News Briefs What’s On SUDANESE SONGSTRESS Ajak Kwai’s flowing vocals PHOTOGRAPHERS… Growing up in Kenya & South Africa AFRICAN SECURITY Food, climate change AUTUMN FASHION Hot Red Dresses! AUTUMN FOOD Hot Moroccan Dish!

faustina TV Star’s Africa Link

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AfricanOz

welcome Welcome to AfricanOz! A publication for everyone. Everytime we do an ‘AfricanOz’ we’re reminded of the economic and cultural diversity of African Australians. While many are PhD graduates, lawyers, company directors and doctors, others are only beginning a solid education after years of upheaval. Whatever the background, the common bond is usually a determination to embrace change and succeed in life in Australia. There is also an enduring affection for the ‘motherland’ and all that it provided. It is this spirit of sharing, affection for Africa, and willingness to embrace change that AfricanOz celebrates every issue. This edition we’re proud to present amazing interviews with African Australians including: Sudanese Australian songstress Ajak Kwai, photographer/scientist Johana Mbere, arts photographer Christoper Rimmer and more PLUS Cooking advice from award-winning chef Hassan M’Souli, GREAT events, gorgeous fashion, entertaining film, books, events, community, news briefs and trivia! We hope you enjoy this Autumn issue of AfricanOz. We always welcome feedback, submissions and inquiries – email newspaper@africanoz.com or write to address below.

contents

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Faustina ‘Fuzzy’ Agolley from Ten’s Video Hits

FEATURES 4

Food Security in Africa – Blog & Aussie Research

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Celebration of African Cultures images

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Scientist/Photographer Johana Mbere

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Sudanese Australian songstress Ajak Kwai

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Art Christopher Rimmer’s Africa

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SPECIAL FEATURE

REGULARs 2&3

Briefs & Resources

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Inspiring people: awards

9 Sports: Aussie Zimb, Sudan highlights 10

Film & Books Desert Flower, A is for Africa

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Fashion Hot Autumn/ Winter looks

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What’s On Great upcoming events!

africanoz Publisher AfricanOz Pty Ltd PO Box 388 Stanhope Gardens NSW 2768 Suite 417, 29 Smith St Parramatta NSW 2150 Website www.AfricanOz.com Phone (02) 8011 3876 Email mail@africanoz.com ADVERTISE ads@africanoz.com or 0414 790 766 SUBMIT FEEDBACK or STORY IDEA Email newspaper@africanoz.com Graphic Design Wendy Wright wendy@africanoz.com

AFRICANOZ THANKS all contributors (incl. Fashion, Books, Foods, Arts) and distributors for your valuable work and time! Copyright AfricanOz 2011 The images, stories, text and design in this publication are subject to Copyright laws. They may not be reproduced in any form without the publisher and/or copyright owner’s permission. DISCLAIMER: Opinions published in AfricanOz newspaper/magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher or staff of AfricanOz. Any material supplied to AfricanOz is at the contributor’s risk. No responsibility will be taken by the publisher. Advertisers and/or their representatives indemnify the publisher in relation to defamation, slander, breach of copyright, infringement of trademarks of name of publication titles, unfair competition or trade practices, royalties or violation of rights of privacy and warrant the material complies with all the relevant laws and regulations and that its publication will not give rise to any rights against or liabilities in the publisher.

Cover image & above right: Faustina Agolley from Ten’s Video Hits

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AUSTRALIAn AFRICAn NEWS BRIEFS

news briefs

New multicultural policy Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced the Government’s new multicultural policy earlier this year ‘The People of Australia’. It includes:

Above: Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd with Dr Catherine Hamlin and Professor Gordon Williams and recovering patients at Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia –famously set up by Australian Catherine Hamlin and her husband Reginald.

Rudd Africa Visits Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is continuing to make regular Africa visits in light of Australia’s renewed interest in the continent, and following upheavals in North Africa. In January, he attended African Union and World Economic Forum meetings, and opened the Australian Embassy in Ethiopia, where his speech acknowledged growing Australian interest in African resources: “There are more than 215 Australian resource companies working in Africa, on nearly 600 projects, across 41 countries. Australian investment in the sector is about $20 billion, with billions more in prospect,” he said. Mr Rudd also mentioned security concerns – including in Somalia, saying: “Al-Shabaab continues to pose a threat in Somalia, more broadly in Africa and well beyond its borders, including in Australia.” In February he visited South Africa, Egypt, and Tunisia. In a joint statement with the Prime Minister Julia Guillard on Egypt, Mr Rudd endorsed the powerful call for constitutional and other reforms, saying, “This change must come without violence or intimidation against those who have been peacefully demanding reform.”

A new independent Multicultural Advisory Council which will “act as a champion for multiculturalism in the community, will advise the government on multicultural affairs and will help ensure Australian government services respond to the needs of migrant and refugee communities,” said Mr Bowen at the launch of the policy at the Sydney Institute. A National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy.

Prime Minister Julia Guillard said, “‘The People of Australia’ policy embraces four key principles, including celebrating and valuing our diversity; maintaining social cohesion; communicating the benefits of Australia’s diversity; and responding to intolerance and discrimination. Our new policy takes a whole-ofgovernment approach to maintain a socially cohesive and harmonious society for all.” The policy is outlined online at: www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/ multicultural/pdf_doc/people-of-australiamulticultural-policy-booklet.pdf

AUST MISSION: SOMALI COAST In early April an Australian defence force crew from HMAS Stuart interdicted a Yemeni-flagged dhow to rescue three crew members held hostage by Somali ‘pirates’. The Chief Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said, “No shots were fired by either HMAS Stuart or the pirates during the interdiction and no threats were made by the pirates to harm the Yemeni crew once they saw the boarding party rapidly secure the dhow.” During a search of the dhow, the boarding party located assault rifles, small arms ammunition and a Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher. The weapons

Below: An Australian crew from HMAS Stuart pulls alongside a Yemeni-flagged dhow held by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa in early April.

were catalogued and then disposed over-board. A statement from the Department of Defence says the unarmed pirates were released in their skiff after being provided with adequate water, food, fuel and communication equipment to make the nearest land-fall off the Somalia coast.

Discussion on Khat The Khat plant (also known as qat, gat, chat, miraa or Sallaa) may be banned for sale under proposed new federal legislation in Australia. The African shrub, which releases an amphetamine-like stimulant when the leaves are chewed, is well known in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, and is used by some African Australians. For many years there have been calls to ban khat, including by some African Australians, due to its perceived effect on social and family relationship problems, financial difficulties, and personal health. However, there are also many arguing that khat has a positive social function. Fact sheets on Khat are available in Amharic, Oromo, Somali and English at the Drug Information Clearinghouse: www.druginfo.adf.org.au/druginfo/ fact_sheets/khat_sheets/ More about proposed ban at www.ag.gov.au/www/ agd/agd.nsf/Page/Consultationsreformsandreviews_ Consultationonimplementationofmodeldrugsched ulesforCommonwealthseriousdrugoffences

Libya Aid Australia has donated around $25 million in humanitarian assistance to Libyans, making it the third largest donor to the humanitarian effort since upheavals began earlier this year. In a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in Abu Dhabi, the interim Prime Minister of the Transitional National Council of Libya, Dr Mahmoud Jabril, welcomed Australia’s continued support. Dr Jabril said there was a crisis in the effective delivery of medical supplies and services, particularly in the north west of Libya. He said many people were dying as a result of untreated injuries. More than 500 000 people are estimated to have fled Libya since mid-February and there are an estimated 1 million internally displaced Libyans.

Aust v African Iron Ore Australia and Brazil’s dominance of global iron ore pricing could end in a few years, due to an increase in iron ore mining in West African countries such as Sierra Leone and Cameroon - according to American economist David Hale. Mr Hale told the ABC’s Lateline program in March, “By 2015 they could be producing 620 million tonnes of iron ore per annum” representing “a huge increase in supply”. Mr Hale said that while there are many Australian companies playing a role in the West African boom, “they don’t have capital, they’re underfunded. Guess where they’re going for capital? China,” he said. While Australia is the largest exporter of iron ore, China is the world’s largest domestic producer - and it has also invested heavily in West African mines and exploration. Full Lateline interview at www.abc.net.au/lateline/ content/2011/s3177190.htm

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AFRICAn AUSTRALIAn NEWS BRIEFS Toowoomba Flood Relief African Australians were affected by the devastating floods in the Queensland regional city of Toowoomba earlier this year. Local resident and team leader for the local ‘African Communities Inclusion Project (ACIP)’, Charles Kitapindu said, “After the unexpected flood that damaged properties and took away lives in Toowoomba, this beautiful city remained devastated. Oakey for example had homes destroyed and properties damaged beyond repair.” Charles said African Australians helped with relief efforts: “Fourteen African Australians volunteered under the auspices of the Social Justice Commission of the Toowoomba Catholic Diocese. They went to Oakey and spent the entire day cleaning homes, removing damaged furniture from homes. In Toowoomba, five African Australians were called upon by the Toowoomba Regional Council to help clean the flooded homes for two days.” There are around 1,400 African Australians in Toowoomba (mainly people of refugee background from Sudan, with some also from Central and West Africa). Sadly, a very high number of African Australians are unemployed there, according to figures provided by Charles. Charles is the team leader for the ‘African Communities Inclusion Project (ACIP)’ a Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Ltd’s initiative. This project aims to end the exclusion of African Australians, and promote greater workforce participation. Contact ACIP at 1300991443

news briefs

In addition to providing teaching materials for the two community schools, servicing 350 students, the organisation has worked with communities in Sydney to provide school uniforms (donated by Wylie’s school wear), stationery and educational toys (Emanuel School, Randwick), bags (Albury Enviro Bags) and build a community facility/classroom (Lions Club, Burwood). DHL helps transport all items. Other provisions include a chicken coop, a vegetable garden, and a well for clean water (Jacob’s Well). “The aim is self-sustainability, to change the mindset of relying too much on donors”, says Rachel. For more, see zambiacommunityschool.org

RESOURCES Census collection jobs Census Collectors (paid) are needed to help deliver and collect Census forms to households during the running of the Census later this year. Knowledge of additional language an advantage. Applicant information kits at www.abs.gov.au/census

A call for papers has been issued by the African Studies Association of Australasia (AFSAAP) for their annual conference at Flinders University in Adelaide, 30 Nov to 2 Dec 2011. See www.afsaap.org.au The 2010 conference paper summaries (and some in full) are available at www.afsaap.org.au They include an excellent range of research on matters including African Australian resettlement and Australia Africa relations.

Three new radio plays about domestic violence have been developed in Arabic, Dari, Dinka, Krio, Somali, and Sudanese Arabic. See http:// speakoutradio.wordpress.com/

The power of literacy This picture features women who have received literacy support at The St Bakhita Sudanese Centre in Homebush West in conjunction with TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute’s Open Training and Education Network (OTEN). Some of these women have now achieved TAFE qualifications. The St Bakhita Centre is looking for donations of new computers and adult books written in simple language. They’re also looking for trained teachers to volunteer. Call Rebecca at OTEN 9715 8569.

The Department of Immigration’s ‘Beginning Life in Australia’ booklet is now available in 38 community languages including Amharic, Dinka, Kirundi, Somali, Swahili, Tigrinya at www.immi.gov.au/living-inaustralia/settle-in-australia/beginning-life/

The 2011 Refugee Conference will be held from 14–17 June, 2011 at the University of New South Wales Kensington Campus, Sydney. Details at refugeeconf2011.arts.unsw.edu.au

The Heartlands Refugee Art Prize entries close Friday 6 May 2011. Call 9417 6777 or visit www.multiculturalarts.com.au/heartlands

The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse has released an issues paper: Implementing legal empowerment strategies to prevent domestic violence in new and emerging communities: www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu. au/PDF%20files/IssuesPaper_20.pdf

Above: Rachel with the Zambian school children

Zambian Education Dream Sydney’s Zambian community recently held an evening of entertainment to raise funds for the Phillip and Henrietta Bandah community school project in Zambia. Zambian-born Rachel Bandah Holst, who has been in Australia for around 41 years, started the school partnership after returning to Zambia and seeing how important education is for a sustainable future: “I’m passionate about education which is instrumental in breaking the cycle of poverty”, she says.

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Safe in the Water. Pictured are young people participating in Surf Life Saving Queensland’s ‘On the Same Wave’ program aimed at preventing drownings, with a focus on CALD communities that are often disproportionately affected. It includes material in Dinka, Kirundi, Somali, Swahili and Tigrinya. With simple reminders like ‘Swim between the red and yellow flags’ and the dangers of riptides, swimming alone and diving into shallow water. See www.lifesaving.com.au/default. asp?contentID=861

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news briefs

FOOD SECURITY ion n i p O Blog This issue’s opinion piece is from former African development worker Lesley Snow. Political unrest, food prices and climate change: what this means for Africa. Political unrest in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are as much linked to upward pressure on food prices and climate change as they are to political despotism and corruption. You only have to look at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’s (FAO’s) Food Security Snapshots and data from their Food and Agricultural Global Information and Early Warning Systems (GIEWS) to understand this. The woeful tales of escalating food prices and shortages emanating from Yemen, Algeria, Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are bad enough but consider what this will mean as it spreads to the rest of Africa -particularly those without oil wealth - as it inevitably must. In a recent article (The Price of Food is at the Heart of this Wave of Revolutions. The Independent, 27th February) Peter Popham points out that recent serious disturbances in Gabon, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Mauritania are a result of hikes in food prices. Lesotho, one of the poorest countries in the south African region, South Africa, the Caprivi province of Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Tanzania are already facing critical food shortages from flooding and unseasonably high rainfall and it is only expected to get worse according to the FAO Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa. South Africa, once a major food producer has already declared a national state of disaster in a number of districts where floods from above average rainfalls and the poor management of dam levels have destroyed thousands of hectares of crops and caused heavy livestock losses. Lesotho has lost up to 60% of its harvest in some areas due to flooding, and the government of Mozambique has declared emergencies in central and southern Mozambique as rivers burst their banks. Countries relying on food imports and food aid face ongoing threats of hunger as crops fail in donor countries like Canada, Russia and Australia due to fire and flooding, and it should come as no surprise if the World Food Program (WFP) faced problems meeting its responsibilities. Certainly the recent gains made by poor countries in increasing food production in line with millennium goals will face setbacks. The question that has to be asked is “can we continue to ignore the links between food production, climate change and political unrest?” On the evidence thus far it seems that the question may not be answered in time to save the homes, crops, livestock, farms, food supplies, livelihood, cultures, languages and people of Africa.

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“Political unrest… linked to upward pressure on food prices and climate change…”

Australian African Food Security Research Queensland scientists are leading an international food security research collaboration that aims to increase crop production by 30 per cent and reduce crop failures for 500,000 African farmers. Scientists from The University of Queensland’s newest institute, the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and Queensland’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) have combined resources to improve sustainable production of maize and legume crops in both Africa and Australia. The QAAFI project ‘Sustainable intensification of maize-legume cropping systems for food security in eastern and southern Africa’ is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and managed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre. SIMLESA Program Leader, Dr Mulugetta Mekuria from the International Maize and Wheat

Improvement Centre, said the research will look at the big picture issues surrounding sustainable and efficient farming: “This partnership will assess market access and value chains, investigate more productive and sustainable practices and farming systems designs and determine how to provide growers with better access to improved maize and legume seeds.” QAAFI scientist and head, Dr Daniel Rodriguez said the long-term partnership will also benefit Australian maize and legume industries facing climate change. “Our key challenge is to determine how to make crops germinate and establish in autumn and winter under drier conditions and to identify how to make efficient use of the increased concentration of rainfall during fewer months in summer,” Dr Rodriguez said. He said solutions include the development of dry sowing technology packages for winter crops, and methods to intensify maize-legume cropping systems during summer. The project is implemented by the National Agricultural Research Systems of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa and Australian research institutions. Food availability and access are major concerns in Africa. More than half the population of 400 million people live in extreme poverty and about 70 per cent depend on agriculture. Maize is the staple food crop in the region, with legumes providing a valuable source of dietary protein. According to an Australian Government statement announcing support for the venture, demand for maize and legumes in Africa is likely to increase considerably over coming years. However, poor weather conditions and weaknesses in crop management and varieties are holding back production of these important food crops. Australia’s assistance will support research, testing and development of farming techniques specific to drought affected regions. It will also help develop drought and disease tolerant maize and legume varieties and educate farmers about new crop varieties and technologies. Below: QAAFI head, scientist Dr Daniel Rodriguez and project farmer from Salima, Malawi.

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african australians

Inspirational: AWARDS African Australians have received or been associated with a range of awards lately, reflecting their quality work in the arts, community service or student life. Sudanese Australians shortlisted for top literary prize

Above: Scene from stage play My Name Is Sud. L to R Barnabas Awoul Deng, Awek Akech, Marsha Adair. Photo by Adam Hollingworth.

Sudanese Australian authors have been shortlisted for the prestigious 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards that recognise some of the nation’s best authors. Yuol Yuol, Akoi Majak, Monica Kualba, John Garang Kon and Robert Colman have been shortlisted in the Community Relations Commission Award category for their jointly-written play My Name is Sud that was performed at Blacktown Community Arts Centre late last year. My Name is Sud examines relations between younger and older Sudanese living in Australia – showing the complexities of settlement, and giving a voice to young Sudanese in all their diversity. “I know who I am. I would like you to know who I am” is a key quote. Winners of the literary prize will be announced on 16 May, the first night of the 2011 Sydney Writers’ Festival. Further info at: www. pla.nsw.gov.au

Multimedia award for SBS Online’s Africa to Australia project The SBS Online Africa to Australia project at www.sbs.com.au/africatoaustralia has won “Best Cultural and Lifestyle Award” at the AIMIA Awards 2011 (Australian Interactive Media Industry Association) for its www.sbs.com. au/africatoaustralia/#/do-i-reallybelong-here The site features amazing videos, photos and audio interviews with African Australians. The site was translated into seven different African

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languages by African Australians. See AfricanOz back page for ad and links.

NSW international student of the year Zimbabwean-born Stephen Chikazaza was named NSW International Student of the Year (Higher Education) this March. There were 25 international students from 19 countries nominated for the awards, including International Grammar School student 18-year-old South African, Thuso Lekwape. There are more than 230,000 international students currently enrolled in NSW. Winner in the Higher Education area, Stephen Chikazaza of the University of NSW (UNSW) told AfricanOz he’s delighted with the win: “It feels great! I am excited and hope that this inspires other students to be involved within their universities and communities. My advice to African students (and International students) would be to locate opportunities where they can apply their skills and talents.” Organisers say Stephen exemplifies true community spirit, with his involvement in peer mentoring, fundraising for disaster relief, and active contribution to the Student Representative Council at UNSW. He has participated in fundraising activities such as the Biggest International Morning Tea (cancer research fundraiser) and Safety Awareness Week. Through all this he’s maintained an excellent academic record. Stephen, now 30, was born and raised in Zimbabwe, and studied in the USA before coming to Australia for postgraduate studies in Integrated Design. Stephen says, “I have had the opportunity to work on a number of innovative and exciting design projects while I’ve been in University. (In future) I want to continue to seek opportunities locally and internationally that will help me to develop and grow creatively as a designer. I have a desire to work with other professionals and learn as much as I can while making a significant contribution.” For more about the awards, see www. internationalstudents.nsw.gov.au/festival

A ‘ZEST’ for Community Service

African Australians were honoured in the Zest Awards celebrating work by the community services sector in serving the people of Western Sydney (See www. gwsawards.org.au) The award for ‘Outstanding New Worker in the Community Services Sector’ went to Hamed Mustapha Turay. Originally from Sierra Leone, Hamed works at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), helping refugee communities develop and expand their governance and leadership capacity.

Above: Stephen Chikazaza, winner of NSW International Student of the Year Award. Photo: Patrick Riviere

Beatrice Sesay received a Highly Commended Award in the ‘Outstanding Community Leader’ category. Chairperson of Sierra Leone Women’s Wan Word, Beatrice is a tireless volunteer for all African communities, helping to organise many events and community support services. Others honoured in the awards include African sessional workers at The Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre. A finalist in the Exceptional Partnership Project was the African Mental Health Project- Sierra Leone Community Council, STARTTS and Transcultural Mental Health Service.

Nominate top African Australians… The African Chamber of Commerce South Australia (AFRICOMSA) is organising awards to honour the outstanding achievements of distinguished African Australians, and those supporting African Australians. The Awards cover African Australians involved in business, sports, science, arts, media, community services and other sectors making a contribution to Australia’s economic, social, political and cultural development. They also recognise the highly valuable humanitarian assistance provided by Australian businesses and not-for-profit organisations who deliver effective programs to African refugees and new arrivals. The Awards ceremony will be held in July. AFRICOMSA President John Nze-Bertram says you can nominate individuals and organisations via their website at http://awards.africomsa.org/home Or to contribute or volunteer, call John on: 0449061457 or Email: admin@africomsa.org

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feature story

Fuzzy AfricanOz was ‘chuffed’ to catch up with one of the coolest celebrities on Aussie TV: Faustina “Fuzzy” Agolley of Ten’s Video Hits where she’s interviewed people like Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, Silverchair, and the list goes on… Here, she discusses her African Chinese heritage, path to being a top TV host, passion for charity – and why she never takes anything for granted.

Can you tell us a bit about your African roots? I’m half Ghanaian, on my father’s side, my other half is Chinese. The unfortunate thing is that my Ghanaian father passed away when I was a baby so I didn’t have a big influence in my family life growing up. My mother took care of my brother and I along with my Chinese grandparents so I had a big Chinese/Australian influence growing up in Melbourne. My eyes were opened to Ghanaian culture and way of life when my father’s sister got in touch with my family when I was 16 years old. Mum took my brother and I to Ghana. It was there, for the first time, we visited Accra. Met my Grandmother for the first time. She made us Fufu(!) I met my relatives, a representative from my Ghanaian tribe. I visited the coast where the slave trade took place. I witnessed people dancing like crazy after a funeral procession, perhaps in place of a wake. My uncle told me people really do ‘celebrate’ the life of the person that’s passed. I also was given a smock to take home. It was all very emotional, awe inspiring. I think, if anything, because Ghanaian culture wasn’t a part of my life growing up in Australia, my experience in Ghana was, in many ways, opening myself to the world. To see that there are differences in culture, yet so many similarities in humanity. It was also a big wake up call to be so much more appreciative of the life that I had in Melbourne. I seized every opportunity I had around me from then on in my school, life and goals. I had a lot more aspiration in life.

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“My experience in Ghana was… opening myself to the world” AfricanOz.com


Did you always intend to work in a musical field? What inspired your passion for music? I feel my love for music was always there. I’m not too musical. I just love listening to music, dancing to music. I’m a fan of music! One of the few things I do know of my father though was that he was a big music lover too. Around the same time I went to Ghana was the time I discovered his record collection stored away in my Aunt’s garage. He had great music taste: Beatles, The Supremes, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Hayes. I also found out that one of the first dates my Dad took my mum on… The Temptations. Sorry getting off the track there… Always wanted to work in television and music I’m glad the two have come together nicely.

You make it look so easy. But how did you get into this role? Thank you! It took many years of work experience and auditioning for TV roles and a move to Sydney to get this job on Video Hits. While I did a year of my Melbourne Uni degree at Sydney University I did work experience for The Great Outdoors and Hi-5. I auditioned for a co-host role on a summer series with Jabba on Channel V. I didn’t get it but I did get bit roles on the channel. Mike Kerry of Channel V then made a music show for Channel 7 which I filled in on a few times. Then, after that, he pitched a gadget and game review show for Channel 10 called Cybershack for me to host. I remember telling him that I wanted a role on Video Hits so ‘here’s hoping that this leads to that’. At the time we pitched Cybershack, Video Hits were after a female presenter. They looked at my showreel, the Cybershack pitch, I gave Video Hits a screen test and, after a 12-week stint, I’ve been with the team for almost five years. YAY!

Do you have any advice for people of African background on getting into the competitive media industry?  Well I guess this advice would be for anyone of any background: Try and be specific as to what you want to do in media. Once you have, think of ways in which you’d get there. There are so many different kinds of media

jobs. The best foot into any door is work experience. Volunteer your services and soak in everything around you. Be prepared to do not so glamorous jobs first, and do them well. Hopefully people will love having you around and it will lead to other opportunities, to where you eventually want to end up. So if it’s writing, don’t stop writing, create a blog, send articles to mags, already established blogs. In TV, start by being a Runner (doing errands) or Production Assisting. If it’s presenting try and do community radio, community TV to get some experience up and be prepared to do behind the scenes work. A lot of the time a lot of your own effort is required to get into the industry. You make the phone calls and the first points of contact, and you need to follow up on your emails and calls to get your foot in. Stay positive!

What inspires your charity work, including for cancer awareness, reconciliation and other causes? Ever since I was a kid I loved being involved in charities. I first started raising money and walking for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation just because (although my Grandfather had a different kind of Diabetes) I couldn’t imagine that restrictive lifestyle for people my own age. Cancer Awareness was very fitting because my mother has worked in Oncology for 15 years. I always felt a compassion for those who suffered from cancer - and then, later in my teens, family and friends around me were affected by cancer in one way or another. I’ve lost friends and family from it. Reconciliation is important to me, especially before the Rudd Government officially apologised to our Aboriginal Australians - that’s why I got behind Reconciliation Australia. Now my attention has shifted to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation which helps at a grass roots level for improving literacy standards across some of Australia’s most in need communities. Education, something I, especially in my teens, did not take for granted. Literacy, education to me equals power and freedom. Also see: www.facebook.com/faustinathefuzz www.videohits.com.au http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faustina_Agolley http://www.youtube.com/user/TENVideoHits

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sports

sports Sudanese Soccer Cup, Sydney

Zimbabwean Aussie Sports! The Zimbabwean Australian community is holding its annual national sporting festival ZIM-PRIDE in Sydney this April. Bernard Muchemwa, organiser and Chairman of Sydney-based Zambezi Sports Club says, “Soccer is the main sport but we also have tennis, netball, basketball, snooker, tug of war and athletics. The following States will be represented: NSW, ACT, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and Northern Territory.” It’s on 23 & 24 April at Merrylands Park Regional Sporting Centre.

The Sudanese (Australian) Soccer championship finals were held earlier this year. The final was won by Blacktown FC who played against the Bor Bright Stars, 2-0. After three months of hard-fought soccer between 11 teams, the game was very evenly matched. According to organisers from The Hills Holroyd Parramatta Migrant Resource Centre, “Bor Bright Stars pushed the Blacktown defence right up to final whistle. In an amazing game of soccer, Blacktown’s second goal was scored just as the final whistle blew!”

KENYANS IN MELBOURNE TRACK CLASSIC Kenyan-born distance runners made a smart appearance at Melbourne Track Classic, a worldclass event in March. Visiting Kenyan-born world record holder David Rudisha won the 800m race at 1:43.88. Kenyan-born American Bernard Lagat won the 5000m. Asbel Kiprop just missed out on a win in the 1500m – the winning spot picked up by Jeff Riseley.

African Australian soccer tournament Melbourne. Would

you like to participate in an annual Melbourne-based tournament involving competing teams from across Africa (eg Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, Egypt etc) Contact Oliver Maboreke at mabodelight@yahoo.com

Zimvic’s Afro Samba Speaking of Zimbabwean teams, Victorian team Zimvic FC has been doing their bit for inter-community sport this year. These four-time winners of the ZIM-PRIDE tournament were recently invited to play in Victoria’s South American soccer extravaganza in North Sunshine. Coach Oliver Maboreke says the team’s previous

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April/May 2011

successes in Victoria include “winning several tournaments including The Out of Africa Annual tournament, Hampton Park Invitational Soccer Trophy beating a professional state league team, Harmony Day Soccer Cup and Sports for Change Multicultural Trophy.”

AfricanOz.com


AfricanOz

out & about

out & about

CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN CULTURES March 2011,

Auburn, SydneyPhotos by Johana Mbere

Catching the Moment

So what is a Scientist and PhD Chemistry graduate doing photographing African events in Australia? For Kenyan-born Johana Mbere it’s a skill and passion he simply can’t ignore. Growing up in Kenya, Johana was lucky to have a father who owned cameras and travelled a lot as part of his career. Johana says, “When it came to taking pictures through dad’s camera, I guess I enjoyed taking pictures rather than being in them.” His interest grew when his father bought a video camera and asked the 10-year-old Johana to master the device. Above: Photographer Johana Mbere “I remember I was better than him in using some of the gadgets and accessories he bought with originally from Vietnam, and also a scientist. it,” says Johana. “I would shoot Meanwhile Johana has retained a passion family events, cultural festivals, funerals and for photography – an interest that’s led other occasions. I would then transfer the him to show a real fly-on-the-wall talent media from the small analogue tapes to the documenting African events in Australia. big regular ones and unfortunately it is dad “People tend to be unnatural when they who got paid! But it was not exploitation - I know they are being photographed,” says have to make that clear.” Johana. “The key to getting people to Johana found his technical be at ease with me is by making them as skills sat neatly with his comfortable as possible. A lot of relaxing talk, emotional interest in smiling, encouragement during shooting photography: “I guess my inspiration to do photography came from the need to preserve memories: good or bad, things that make us happy, something that has caught your eye. The fact that we are getting away from the past… then the best thing is to capture the present because then, into the future, you can look back and tell a story”. Of course, in Africa and of course showing them the results right photography wasn’t viewed as a career after tends to work. Sometimes you have to possibility. Johana went on to graduate from take shots when the subjects are not aware an Indian university with a Masters as by then they are more assimilated to the in Technical environment.” Pharmaceutical In addition to catching people in the Chemistry, moment, Johana is fascinated by macro and from the photography, portrait photography, University of landscape photography and black and white Wollongong photography. He has won competitions with a PhD in documenting diversity in Australia. He is also Chemistry. It is a Tae Kwon Do instructor! You can contact in Wollongong Johana at jodemu@gmail.com he met his wife,

“My inspiration to do photography came from the need to preserve memories: good or bad.”

AfricanOz.com

April/May 2011

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AfricanOz

film & books

film

Desert Flower out on DVD Desert Flower, the film based on Somali supermodel Waris Dirie’s best-selling book of the same title, is out on DVD in Australia this May. The film tracks Waris Dirie’s incredible and often painful journey from being a Somali nomad girl to a stunning international model and UN ambassador. Ethiopian model and actress Liya Kebede (pictured here in the film) plays the adult Waris Dirie while young Djibouti actress Soraya Omar-Scego (also pictured) plays the Young Waris. Other actors include Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins. The film, directed by Sherry Hormann (Father’s Day) and produced by Oscar winner Peter Herrmann (Nowhere in Africa), includes a confronting look at Waris Dirie’s outspoken campaign against female genital mutilation. See www.desertflowermovie.com The DVD will be available at www.africanozshop.com

books

Melbourne’s Horn of Africa stories

Connect with and support AfricanOz by signing up to emailout at www.africanoz.com joining www.facebook.com/africanoz shopping at www.africanozshop.com subscribing to this publication at www.africanoz.com 10

April/May 2011

A is for Aunty, Z is for Zigni is an alphabet book of stories from women from the Horn of Africa now living in and around the Flemington Flats in Melbourne. The women devised stories in collaboration with Jesuit Social Services project worker Nancy Sugarman, while children at Debney Meadows Primary School Flemington provided colourful illustrations. The book mainly features stories from women from Eritrea, as well as some from Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia. It is a refreshing, colourful look at things of cultural importance ranging from henna and folktales to coffee and identity. Please see www.jss.org.au or contact Paul Stewart Project Manager Jesuit Social Services on 03 9427 7388

AfricanOz.com


AfricanOz

fashion

fashion

BE INSPIRED… If the catwalks of Sydney and New York are anything to go by, this winter should be ablaze with elegant red evening dresses, rich blues and sharp black and white tops, pants and dresses. Some of the hottest looks from Australian designers were on show at the recent David Jones Autumn/Winter season launch in Sydney, including these delightful outfits modelled beautifully by African Australian models. As usual, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (for Fall 2011) in New York had stunning evening wear, elegant daywear, and some gorgeous African American models on stage. Here’s a selection of images from both events revealing hot looks for the season ahead.

➀ ➄

1. NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: A model walks the runway at the Chado Ralph Rucci Fall 2011 fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2011 Official Coverage at Lincoln Center on February 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz) 2. NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: A model walks the runway at the Elie Tahari Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center on February 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz) 3. NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16: A model walks the runway at the Christian Cota Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center on February 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)

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4. AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 08: A model showcases a design by Ginger and Smart during the finale on the catwalk at the David Jones Autumn/Winter 2011 season launch at the David Jones Elizabeth Street Store on February 8, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Image.net) 5. NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: A model walks the runway at the Academy of Art University Fall 2011 fashion show during the MercedesBenz Fashion Week Fall 2011 Official Coverage at Lincoln Center on February 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Kohen/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz) 6. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 08: A model showcases designs by Kirrily Johnston on the catwalk at the David Jones Autumn/ Winter 2011 season launch at the David Jones Elizabeth Street Store on February 8, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Image.net)

➅ 7. NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Fall 2011 fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2011 Official Coverage at Lincoln Center on February 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz) 8. NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Men’s Collection Fall 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at 205 West 39th Street on February 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)

9. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 08: A model showcases designs by Bianca Spender on the catwalk at the David Jones Autumn/ Winter 2011 season launch at the David Jones Elizabeth Street Store on February 8, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Image.net)

Shopping online for your winter hair needs? Quality African American brands delivered from Australia direct to you www.africanozshop.com

April/May 2011

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AfricanOz

music

From Nile River to NSW Northern Rivers: Ajak’s voice flows on

Above: Sudanese Australian songstress Ajak Kwai

Sudanese Australian singer Ajak Kwai is going from strength to strength with her “voice that would stop traffic” Fresh from recording a song with Sarah Blasko on The Key of Sea CD she will perform at the Byron Bay Blues Fest in April. She previously released two CDs Why not Peace & Love? and Come Together featuring Australian musicians like Nicky Bomba and Martin Tucker. It’s an amazing path for a lady who arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1999, her musical talent born

“…I’d start a song and everyone would answer.” and nurtured in South Sudan, and influenced by her troubled journey. Here we look at Ajak’s African background, and how she became a respected singer in Australia. It includes excerpts from a previous interview on AfricanOz website.

Ajak’s Journey Picture a childhood in South Sudan when villagers based near the Nile River would gather for ceremonies under the full moon...

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April/May 2011

music

For the tiny Ajak Kwai, the compulsion to sing was just too much: “Even when I was sick and not supposed to go out, I’d go and attend these gatherings… I’d start a song and everyone would answer,” she said. “My family discouraged me. But then I would sing and hum in my sleep. My brother and uncles thought I was crazy.” As part of the Dinka people in South Sudan, Ajak sang about love, peace and the all-important cows. “Cows are wealth in Dinka culture,” said Ajak. “If you have money there, you don’t put it in the bank - you buy a cow. They provide milk and butter. They are a way for men to attract girls and wives. If you don’t have cows it is humiliating for your family. If a cow dies, people are upset.” Ajak’s uncle created beautiful music about his cows. Ajak memorised the songs and taught them to others: “We never wrote them down. But I remembered them. Whenever people wanted to learn a song, they’d say, ‘Let’s go and look for Ajak. She will teach us’.” Then Ajak stopped singing and teaching songs. The longterm civil war in South Sudan badly affected her community, forcing her and her family to flee to Sudan’s capital Khartoum. At the age of 18, she went to Egypt, where she sang in a gospel choir. She arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1999. Here, instead of singing, she threw herself into her studies: an AMES English language course and accounting at TAFE. One day, class members organising a ceremony asked if anyone could sing. Ajak sang out loud. They asked her to sing some more. Soon she was asked to sing at many community and fundraising events before joining musician Martin Tucker at a local festival. Since then she has been asked to sing in major cities around Australia - and has released two CDs, as well as a track on the upcoming The Key of Sea. Ajak’s songs are both sad and uplifting: “Music is a way to deal with stress and sadness in Africa. Even when songs are sad you still want people to go out and have a good time,” said Ajak. “I like to show Australian audiences good things about Africa. It’s not all hunger, disease, troubles.” With an emotionally rich voice, Ajak’s music is a fusion of traditional African with modern influences. Here’s what The Key of Sea producers had to say about Ajak’s involvement in the project: “A while ago we stumbled upon an

amazing track called ‘Tasmania’ by a Sudanese singer, Ajak Kwai. It was breathtaking afro-pop with a voice that would stop traffic.” What makes Ajak particularly unique is her natural musical talent has an emotional richness borne of the hardships she’s faced, and a strong and positive spirit that’s seen her through it all. Of her involvement in The Key of Sea, Ajak said, “The reason I give my time is because I know how it feels not to have home, how it feels to lose people you love...” Like the songs of her childhood, Ajak is still not singing for herself, she’s singing for everyone. Also see www.ajakkwai.com www.bluesfest.com.au www.keyofsea.com.au/tracks (listen to track samples, including collaborations between Blue King Brown and Diafrix, and The Cat Empire and Anbessa Gebrihiwot / Zero)

AfricanOz.com


AfricanOz

music

what’s on EVENTS NSW

› › › ›

Ama & Chan, Part stand-up comedy, parttheatre, part live-to-internet cooking show Ama is a Ghanaian woman who likes Chinese food and Chan is her Chinese husband. 4-14 May, Bankstown Details www.urbantheatre.com.au University of Sydney International Forum: Building Bridges Between Africa and Australia. Fri 13 May 2011. With Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd. Day includes seminars on education, mining, health, agriculture. See https://events. sydney.edu.au/office3/getdemo. African Explosion at Parramatta Riverside Theatres. 15 May. Workshop and performance with Pape Mbaye. A Café Carnivale event. Ki-Swahili school and social club in Merrylands (ongoing) Details swahilimerrylands. freelanguageschools.net

LIST your event or community notice free online. See the new fast ‘Submit Form’ on main menu of www.africanoz.com For further details, and additional events to those on this page, see www.africanoz. com (See What’s On on main menu and hover mouse over your state)

WA

NATIONAL

African Dream Benefit Journey into Africa 29 April Perth See www.africanoz.com events listings

vic Emerge Festival 2011 15 June to 30 July. Melbourne’s fantastic annual music and arts festival presenting amazing new refugee and emerging artists such as Dereb The Ambassador, MASH-2, Melbourne’s one and only female Rwandan hip hop artist, Urban Voices - SS Superstar, and the Burundian Drummers (pictured, image by Damian Vincenzi). Full details at Multicultural Arts Victoria www. multiculturalarts.com.au

Soweto Gospel Choir - African Grace Tour May-July 2011 The two-time Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir returns to Australia with a brand new concert “African Grace”. Its vibrant rhythm movement, renowned vocal harmonies, and impressive performance have made the choir a worldwide phenomenon – performing to sell-out crowds across the world. See ad on AfricanOz inner back page for tour details.

Africans at Sydney Writers Festival, May. Events include ‘East of Africa West of Sydney’ a free forum in Campbelltown featuring winners of the 2011 African region Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Sierra Leone’s Aminatta Forna, author of the acclaimed ‘The Memory of Love’, and rising South African star Cynthia Jele, ‘Happiness is a Four Letter Word’. They speak with Commonwealth Writers’ Prize judge (Ghanaian) Ajoa YeboahAfari. See www.swf.org.au

AfricanOz.com

April/May 2011

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AfricanOz

art interview

Interview

Impressions of Africa In this fascinating interview with acclaimed photographer Christopher Rimmer he discusses his background in apartheid South Africa, overcoming childhood prejudices, moving to Australia, and his amazing and emotional return to Africa many years later.

Above: Christopher Rimmer

Christopher’s photographs have been published in many Australian and international publications, and exhibited in group and solo shows. He obtained an Excellence accreditation in the Federation International de l’Art photographique in 2009 and platinum in 2010. His most recent exhibition ‘Christopher Rimmer – In Africa’ at Galleria Rocco Interiors in Melbourne in March/April was a critical success. Here’s what Christopher told AfricanOz about his background in apartheid South Africa: I was actually born just outside Liverpool in England and I arrived in South Africa as a young child. This was in 1972 and white people and black people couldn’t even walk across the same side of a railway bridge. South African society was completely segregated. I would like to say, like so many do these days, that I thought apartheid was morally wrong but the sad truth is, I didn’t, I was a young child and I simply accepted the view shared by the adults. The only black people I came into contact with on a daily basis, and whom I loved dearly, was our house maid, a huge Zulu woman named Elena, and also our gardener, Moses. In truth, probably all my other relationships with black people were somewhat superficial. When I was 17, I went to a liberal school in Johannesburg where I first came into contact with white South African people who didn’t really think this way. I started to question my view of South African society through a moral prism for the first time.

the line for a political system which I had come to see as morally bankrupt. There were other reasons as well, some based purely on personal expediency that made me decide to follow my mother out to Australia where she had secured a job as a nurse in a Melbourne hospital. When I arrived in Australia I fitted into the life here pretty well and went to university and made lots of friends. As the years past, I probably came to see myself as an Australian. Whilst I took an interest in South Africa, it was as a country I had lived in previously. I didn’t feel the strong sense of connection to the place that I feel now. This sense of connection and the desire to explore it artistically only came when I reached my late thirties. Christopher felt a burning desire to return to Africa: They say that a person may leave Africa but Africa never leaves you. When Africa came back to me, it was an overwhelming transformation. It began to haunt my dreams, I just knew it was time to return. One of the first things that struck me on my return was how much Johannesburg looked like a real African city with the good and the bad that goes with that. It didn’t seem like this little mono-cultural white enclave in the middle of Africa, which I had left twenty five years previously. It had all the vibrancy and things you associate with an African city - good and bad. Everything was completely transformed and in another sense, nothing had changed. All the white people, expecting the worst had evacuated the central area of Johannesburg and had moved out to the northern suburbs re-creating pretty much a newer version of what Johannesburg had been previously. We asked Christopher if there was still a division between black and white: Definitely! A huge amount of progress had been made but there was also this real casual racism there. At least when people are racist in Australia it is accompanied with a certain amount of caution or a certain amount of embarrassment depending on the company but in South Africa it is really casual and that is what I found disturbing. My wife came back with me on my first trip, she is Australian. She found it very confronting. I could see a lot of changes among young people and that is really encouraging, and there is a real desire on the part of young people to create a racially equitable society. I assume this may be easier for them because they have no memory of institutional apartheid. I suspect the apartheid years are still etched into the memories of some of the older people though and for them making the changes required are that much harder. I have the impression that the promise of the rainbow nation has started to fade pretty rapidly for some people. I think a lot of people, black and white, have lost faith in the whole concept of the rainbow nation because of the escalating crime rate and corruption and the lack of delivery of government services. Because of these reasons, among others, there is something of a brain drain going on which is a concern for the future of the nation as a whole.

“When Africa came back to me, it was an overwhelming transformation. It began to haunt my dreams, I just knew it was time to return.”

Later, after becoming aware of apartheid’s ills, Christopher faced the threat of conscription, and instead came to Australia: Many of my friends had been conscripted into the South African army and many had already been sent to the northern border regions where they engaged insurgent forces from Angola, South West Africa (Namibia) and Zimbabwe. A lot of terrible things happened up there and I know some of those guys have never recovered from the experience. I couldn’t see the point of putting my life on

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April/May 2011

In terms of his photographic inspirations in Africa, Christopher said: I have recognised the existence of a line of demarcation were traditional Africa meets Western style modernity I have simply attempted to capture this meeting of worlds photographically and the natural environment, which is caught in between. I have captured images of city dwelling Africans in Italian suits and also nomadic tribesman living in the middle of nowhere plus massive herds of elephant, zebra and antelope which roam the plains between. There is a pathos and

AfricanOz.com


AfricanOz drama in Africa that is hard to put into words but it is unlike anywhere else in the world. As an artist, I find this ferment very interesting. I suppose in another sense, I am attempting to articulate my own connection to South Africa with my camera. Many of the photographs are unashamedly romantic. They are of an imagined Africa of a little boy just about to leave England. Arriving in Johannesburg in the winter of 1972 was completely different to what I had been expecting. I suspect a little of what I was expecting has been woven somewhat romantically into some of the images I have produced and that’s fine by me.

art interview

Below: Himba Woman and Baby. Photography by Christopher Rimmer. Taken during a visit to the far north of Namibia in October 2010.

Christopher has visited some pretty interesting places in Africa like a shebeen (an unlicensed drinking venue) in Zambia, which inspired one of his earlier exhibitions: You know it was pretty wild. A lot of them were high on dagga. They drink an intoxicating brew made from millet and everything gets pretty animated, there’s this very loud Congolese music blaring out. A pretty hairy place for a white person with expensive camera equipment, that’s for sure. Setting up gear and shooting these guys was an something of an ordeal but I have to say they were really accommodating and friendly for the most part. I got the feeling that they don’t often have white people sharing the space with them. I find African people the most welcoming and also that thing of sharing with travellers - the tradition of ‘ubuntu’ where it is traditional to actually assume responsibility and take care of somebody travelling through. I find it really touching because these people had so little. And they don’t regard you as a big white saviour - which is a role I find a lot of Australians assume in one way or another when they go over to Africa. I just went there as somebody who wanted to hang out with them and take their pictures and I found them really engaging a great company. We all had a good time. Christopher was impressed by the general warmth of Africans: The friendliness is one thing and the level of simple psychological happiness. You know the smiles you get from people and it makes you realise that all the things that we are preoccupied with in Australia, like the accumulation of more and more stuff – we don’t really need it. Happiness is a really quite a simple thing. It is not related to a fancy car or a fancy house or whatever. You can achieve it with very little. I think a lot of people in Africa demonstrate that, despite all the hardship and suffering over there, a lot of people seem a hell of a lot happier than we are. For more about Christopher and to keep up to date with future exhibitions, see www.christopherrimmer.com

AfricanOz.com

April/May 2011

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AfricanOz

fun stuff

AfricanOz is pleased to provide cooking tips and recipes from award-winning African Australian cookbook author, gourmet food producer, and restaurant owner Hassan M’Souli, whose profile we featured in Jan/ Feb AfricanOz (see www.africanoz.com). Amongst his many awards, Hassan’s Make it Moroccan won Best in the World in the category of African Cuisine at the 2010 Gourmand Cookbook Awards; while Out of Africa restaurant won the Best Middle Eastern / North African restaurant at the 2010 Savour Australian Restaurant and Catering Awards. Also see www.outofafrica.com.au

Cooking with a tajine Hassan M’Souli

The most common question I’m asked when doing my cooking classes, from customers at Out of Africa, and also friends and family, is what is the correct way to cook with a tajine? Since becoming more popular in western society, many people have tajines, and many don’t know how to use them or use them incorrectly. I’ve put together some of my top tips on the correct way to use a tajine – so everyone can learn how to cook authentic Moroccan.

When cooking with a tajine make sure to…..

When cooking with a tajine make sure NOT TO

1. Season the tajine before first use – soak then boil on a low heat with salt.

1. Use the tajine on an electric cook top – this will make it crack.

2. Before cooking, place celery stalks on the bottom of the tajine to stop the meat sticking.

2. Use in the oven – they are meant to be used on an open flame.

3. Always marinate food before cooking.

3. Continuously open and stir.

4. Cook on a low gas heat or charcoal.

4. Fill the liquid to the top of the rim – only fill halfway.

5. Hand wash only.

5. Don’t cook in decorative tajines. Quintessentially Moroccan, a tajine is a Moroccan dish, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.

African Proverbs God is good, but never dance with a lion.

Zimbabwe

No matter how hot your anger is, it cannot cook yam. He who has no intelligence is happy with it.

Nigeria

South Africa

trivia test your knowledge! Answers below 1. First, and currently only, elected female head of state in Africa? 2. What country does she lead? 3. Deepest mine on Earth? 4. Most famous Kenyan, Swahili love song?

7. Capital of Botswana? 8. A former head of United Nations from Ghana? 9. National flower of Egypt? 10. Key (visual) difference between Asian and African elephants?

5. What does it mean? 6. Ugandan national dish of steamed green banana? Answers: 1. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 2. Liberia 3. Mponeng Gold mine, South Africa, +4,000 m 4. Malaika 5. Angel 6. Matoke 7. Gaborone 8. Kofi Annan 9. Lotus 10. African elephants have bigger ears

FOOD & FUN

RECIPE Sweet Lamb Tajine Serves 4 3 white onions

3 bay leaves

juice of 2 oranges

8 prunes, pitted

2 cups (500ml/16 fl oz) water

Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup (125 ml/4fl oz) honey

½ (75g/2¼ oz) roast blanched almonds

1 teaspoon saffron threads

½ cup (125 ml/4fl oz) olive oil

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

sesame seeds, to garnish

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

8 lamb forequarter (or neck) chops

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 hard boiled eggs, quartered

Chop one of the onions, and cut the other two into rings, Combine the chopped onion with the paprika, saffron, ginger, bay leaves, salt and pepper and the olive oil. Cut the chops in half and coat with this mixture. Marinate for 4 hours, or overnight if possible. Brown chops in a heavy-based pan for 10 minutes on medium heat, add water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the other 2 onions, orange juice, honey and cinnamon. Simmer a further 15 minutes. Stand for 15 minutes then transfer the meat to a tajine. Pour the sweet onion sauce from the pot over the top and garnish with prunes, almonds, sesame seeds and boiled eggs. Serve immediately with rice or cous cous.

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April/May 2011

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Africanoz 4th Issue Autumn 2011  

African Australian News and Information. A print publication of Africanoz.com Welcome to the fourth edition of AfricanOoz in print. This p...

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