Page 1

NOV/DEC 2015 Thinking Outside The Box Vol. 2 Issue: 7

AFRICAN HEALTH NOW Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo

VISIONARY OF THE MONTH Laolu Senbanjo

CULINARY ARTS

Eric Adjepong

MODEL BEHAVIOR Mame Adjei

BREAKING BARRIERS Kofi Arko

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

IDENTITY ANALYSIS Nadia Sasso

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Letter From Editor Dear YAV Magazine Readers: How we define who we are is not soley based on titles or the positions we hold, but rather how we define ourselves based on what we are passionate about. To be able to say: “I am a filmmaker, I am a chef, I am an actor, I am a community leader, I am a mentor, or I am an inventor” and knowing that the title claimed is a passion or a calling is truly a blessing. Too often many people can feel stuck or like they are not doing what they envisioned themselves doing. Why not live out your dreams? Why not let what you are passionate about lead you? There are many paths to success but really only one true path to happiness which can be defined differently from person to person. In this issue I was very excited to share the stories of some young African visionaries working in areas we don’t often get to hear about. I hope our readers get to see that you can shine no mattter your background and that no dream is too little to be great. In this issue I also share for the first time a bit about my own personal journey and recent recognition from the African Youth Excellence Award organization. My vision for YAV Magazine has always been for our magazine to become a foundation for hope. After about three years of collecting and sharing the stories of African youth worldwide and the those who have inspired them, I feel our mission at YAV Magazine is evolving. We are branching out to share now some stories all those of African descent throughout the diaspora. Please enjoy this issue number seven of YAV Magazine for the winter season “Thinking Outside the Box” and visit our website www.yavmagazine. com to see more of what we do at YAV Magazine! Rebekah A. Frimpong Editor in Chief Of YAV Magazine Twitter: @YoungAfricanVis Email: yavmagazine@gmail.com YAV Magazine-BGNB Productions (c) 2015


CONTRIBUTORS

Gilbert Frank Daniels Photography and Writer

In Uganda’s vibrant art scene there is one young photographer whose work stands out because of his unique perspective on “Liberating Self Expression”. Bwette Daniel Gilbert, calls himself a Hip-Hop Archivist rather than a photographer because he considers what he does to be more than just photography but instead he feels his photos document moments in time and personal self-expression and a love for Hip-Hop culture.

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


TABLE OF CONTENTS Community Mame Adjei

Inside This Issue:

Features Nadia Sasso

Arts and Culture Eric Adjepong

Visionary Of The Month Laolu Senbanjo Art of Laolu Senbanjo and Photo by Delphine Diallo

THI NK I NG O UT S I DE T H E B OX Issue seven of YAV Magazine: Thinking Outside the Box will feature stories of young Africans charting their path in unique ways, taking thier talents and using them to inspire and empower others. Success is not always measured by capital but rather by being able to do what you are passionate about. YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 5


YAV MAGAZINE’S NEW COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP YAV Magazine will be helping sponsor teams and working to connect individuals and organizations to the We Got Skillz soccer camp. Silas Balabyekkubo of The Bavubuka Foundation started the We Got Skillz Soccer Academy in Uganda engaging over 200 young people just last year! YAV Magazine will have a special community partnership with We Got Skillz soccer academy in Uganda. Check out our teams this December!

To Sponsor a Team Learn More, Visit Us Online: www.yavmagazine.com

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL...GOT AN INSPRING STORY TO TELL


A MODEL TO SUCCCESS

A

merica’s Next Top Model contestant and Miss Maryland USA pageant queen, Mame Adjei is taking the fashion industry by storm and inspiring many yourng women to pursue their dreams. She is breaking stereotypes and bringing unique perspective as a Ghanaian-American to her brand as a rising star and model. YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 8


COMMUNITY

YAV PROFILE: MAME ADJEI

YAV Magazine discuss with rising star, model, and pageant winner Mame Adjei about what is takes to be successful and who inspired her to succeed.

Written by YAV Staff Photo Courtesy of Mame Adjei’s Website

Who were the female role models you felt made the most impact in your life? And what attributes did they have that inspired you? Growing up, Oprah was one woman I always saw on television that I thought was so incredibly inspiring because of everything that she’s been through. All of the struggles she has overcome and the successes she has had…what I love most is the way that she gives back. She never lets any of her struggles keep her from continuing to pursue her dream and to me that is the ultimate story of success. I also truly admire Tyra Banks forward doing what I love to do (modeling) and building an empire out of it. I aspire to someday be on that level. My mother of course is also one woman who has helped me in countless ways and motivated me to be great and I love her for molding me into the person that I am today. How do you hope to have a positive influence in Ghana with your current title and work? I always wished to have a platform with which to affect change on a global scale. I pray that I can continue to build up to that level where I can truly help the people of Ghana with different programs and service initiatives that will aid people; women and youth especially, gain adequate and equal access to education and justice. With my modeling and pageantry platform I really hope to inspire women to also simply chase their dreams no matter what

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


“I really believe that people in this world must be more compassionate...”

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


their circumstances are, and to truly do what fulfills them, and not just what society expects of them. What are some of your career aspirations that people may not know about? I always wanted to work for the United Nations to combat child poverty and hunger in the world. I really believe that people in this world must be more compassionate and use their statuses platform success to help others more. I also always secretly wanted to be a popstar and actress when I was younger (what little girl hasn’t dreamt of doing that) and so I really hope that I can explore my talents in those realms soon. What is planned next for you? If this year has been any indication of what I am capable of, and what is to come, then I expect to take over the world soon. Seriously, I hope to continue on my journey to becoming a household name; a supermodel with substance and personality. I would like to begin acting and be seen on your TV screens, and just honestly do everything that allows me to express myself through all forms of art, even including painting and clothing design. So expect a little bit of everything from Mame Adjei. How can our readers learn more about your upcoming projects and work? To learn more about me, my mission, my projects and such please visit my website at MameAdjei.com and make sure to follow me on social media! My Instagram & Twitter handle is @MameAdjei4 and Facebook business page is Mame Adjei, so go like it! YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 11


Images by Jason Koski

IDENTITY ANALYSIS Nadia Sasso Sierra Leone- American Ph.D. student seeks to examine

African identity with her new digital storytelling project and documentary film Am I...TooAfrican to beAmerican, TooAmerican to beAfrican? YAV Magazine interviewed Nadia to get more insight on this project and film.

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Why do you feel your new digital storytelling project “Am I” is so important for African audiences to see? And what do you hope that will get from the film? The stories represented in the film showcase the manner in which the cultural, ethnic, racial, and linguistic boundaries of West Africa and America are dynamic, complex, and multidimensional. The “problem” here is that while such stories represent the manner in which identity is dynamic, complex and multidimensional; there is a certain sort of rigid and flat discourse on identity that short circuits the complexity of such accounts. Given the constant conflicts of cultural, racial, ethnic, and linguistic identities represented by the women in the film, viewers will be able to see the development of social

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


“One should be able to celebrate one’s self in their entirety at all times”.

consciousness and call for new and novel meanings of Black representation. The information and insights provided by the respondents in the film argues for a new discourse on Black representation. What types of dialogue do you hope your film will spark around issues involving identity? I hope to further develop research that educates and increases the luminal spaces between cultures and societies that represent new imaginations about

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


power and about self so that we are not closing Pandora’s Box of race and ethnicity. Many of the complexities associated with negative ethnic relations in America derive from media-generated portrayals of immigrants, particularly Africans, and the media-generated portrayals of Blacks and African Americans. Most importantly, my sense is that this multimedia project showcases the fact that we need everyday, scholarly discourse that does not flatten the concepts of race and ethnicity to exclude those with multiple identities so that individuals do not feel pressure to perform one racial/ ethnic identity at a time in a specific region. Although individuals often lament choosing a racial and ethnic identity all the while celebrating the best of both worlds, one should be able to celebrate one’s self in their entirety at all times.

How have you changed your own views on identity since creating your project? Yes I didn’t know what to expect when starting this project as I was trying to ultimately find myself. Through this project I find that identity is fluid, situational, and socially constructed. Individuals have multiple identities that emerge in different social contexts. However, I am still learning and developing my own analytical and theoretical thoughts as I am still a student. Find a screening near you or request a screening of: Am I...TooAfrican to be American, Too American to be African? For more information visit www.amithefilm.com

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 15


FEATURES

AN AFRICAN APPROACH TO HEALTH YAV Magazine highlights the work of Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo Founder and President of African Health Now. On the heels of a successful benefit gala, Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo is headed towards making a huge impact on African health. Photos Courtesy of African Health Now

Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo Founder and

President of African Health Now (AHN) hosted her first benefit gala event for AHN in New York on October 20, 215. The successful and well attended event honored Wangechi Mutu, Dr. Samuel Quartey, and Bozoma Saint John. AHN’s mission is to help promote and provide information as well as accessibility to sustainable primary health care to women, children and families living across Sub Saharan Africa.

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 16


Each year AHN has been able to reach and work with hundreds of young people and adults throughout Ghana, West Africa with their free events, fairs, and health outreach programs. Their annual event: “A Gift of Life @ Christmas� is a health fair that provides accessibility to health care resources that would otherwise not be available. AHN has successfully had in variuos regions of Ghana a number of six Health Fairs that have given people in need resources needed to better their health. AHN has connected to over 4000 people over the last five years. In Ghana AHN hold Health Fairs in Pokuase, Accra; Old Tafu, Kumasi & Tema Station, Accra, and Agbogbloshie Market, Accra areas. The AHN Health Fair provides services such as: Blood Pressure Screenings, Diabetes Testing, Primary Dental Care, Breast Cancer Education, and Nutrition information. All AHN health fairs are coordinated by local and international volunteers from various backgrounds who work BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


together in helping to increase awareness of non-communicable health issues effecting under-served people. African Health Now most recent project: Project W.A.S.H (Water And Sanitation, Hygiene) was launched in 2014 in response to the recent flood disasters in Ghana,West Africa. As floods waters and fires claim over 200 lives of men, women, and children in Ghana’s capital of Accra, it was an opportunity for African Health Now to respond with an immediate effort to provide assistance and reply to the urgent needs of those affected by pushing foward AHN’s Project W.A.S.H . Although, Project W.A.S.H was created as an emergency relief effort, AHN has now developed this project into an ongoing program in conjunction with their annual health fairs. For More Information on Africa Health Now Visit: http://africanhealthnow.org/ YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 18


Journey Towards Faith

Special Editor’s Note From Rebekah Frimpong

Having a leap of faith I feel always pays off, because you are determining your

succcess not based only on the outcome, but the engery you put forth and in towards your goal. About 10 years ago, I made the decision to not go onto medical school and become a peditrician after completing my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Pre-Med Studies and Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. This decision was not easy to make, but I started to feel compelled to help others in different ways outside of being a physician. This decision was my leap of faith. Instead of medical school, I chose to lead a life where I could help others on a more personal level. In addition, I wanted to explore how medical research and social science reserach could help lead to cures to diseases and disorders that clinicians work tirelessly YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


to combat in the health field. I found that research gave me the gratification I was looking for and also allowed me to use my knowledge and experience in the medical field in various ways. Becoming a researcher also allowed for me to work on my artwork and talents as an artist. I could connect to people in a unique way through my art work raising awareness on issues such as women’s rights, environmental issues, and youth empowerment. I could use my art work to inspire others to be active in their communities who may have not thought they could make an impact. I have had to balance the worlds of science and art my whole life. Studying late nights for chemistry exams and genetic tests for class, and then spending afternoons writing poetry and some days painting or teaching art to children at the Boys and Girls Club. I found that connecting science and art kept me balanced. I also learned that arts could heal and also aid in the learning of science. Creativity is not just something that artist use to create but also is a tool that can be used in many areas of work. I use my creativity today to develop programs for mothers in need, create programs for young people in inner cities, to connect and engage people around the world in dialogue about improving Africa. I also use my creativity to tell stories using the medium of film. In the summer of 2015, I was awarded an African Excellence Award (AYE Award) for my work in the arts. This award meant so much to me because I was getting acknowlegded by the African and American communities I serve for almost 10 years. I hope to continue to take my art and use my creativity to engage others in converstaions on how to improve their communities. I hope our readers see my story as an example of how having faith sometimes revels strengths we thought we never had..

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


ARTS/CULTURE

Eric Adjepong

CULINARY ARTIST FUSING WEST AFRICAN CUSIINE

Written By YAV Staff Photographs Courtesy of Eric Adjepong

Eric Adjepong is new York based chef bringing his West

African roots to the plate. With gourmet twists to West African classic dishes, Eric is set to redefine the dinning experience. Eric shares with YAV Magazine how he got started as a chef and what community issues he feels are important in regards to health and the African diet. YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 21


How did you get started in your career in the culinary arts? I completely lucked out. I’ve been fascinated by the concept of food and cooking since I was about the age of six. It wasn’t until I was in my senior year of high school when I seriously considered cooking as a profession. I graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, worked my way through a few restaurants in New York City then eventually moved to London to study for my master’s degree.

What are some of the traditional African dishes you love to cook and what special twist do you put on them as a chef to elevate those dishes? Being a first generation Ghanaian-American, I started cooking the foods I grew up eating and really enjoying, Red Red bean stew, groundnut soup, Jollof rice, banku and tilapia. After a while I branched off cooking foods from other African regions all aiming to find flavors and techniques I think are really interesting.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


West African Cusine

TRADITONAL DISHES WITH GOURMET TWIST

With your new company Pinch and Plate, what do you hope to accomplish for setting a standard in fine dining and entertaining? When we came up with the idea of Pinch and Plate I think we were most excited about how easy the concept was for us to execute. Janell (my partner) and I have been hosting dinner parties way before Pinch and Plate became a business. Now that the company has gained the exposure it has, we’re YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 23


New Recipes New Vision

UNDERSTANDING THE BEAUTY IN OUR FOOD

just hoping to continue offering our brand of unique dining experiences to our clients. If there has been a standard set by Pinch and Plate it’s the fact that we’ve found ways to offer more dining options and in return giving more control to the host by completely removing the hassle of gathering people together around food. You have a degree in Public Health as well as degrees in the culinary arts and nutrition, what do you think is the most pressing health issue in the African community regarding health and food/nutrition? And how do you think these issues can be addressed? Africa faces a unique situation regarding the status of its health, food and nutrition security. Malnutrition is one of the biggest issues the entire continent

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


faces. The most precious times now in an African life seem to come within the first five years because millions of children die simply because their bodies are not getting the amount of nutrients required to live a health life. Meanwhile, the rates of processed foods unfamiliar to non-western countries continues to increase at rapid rates. Bouillon base cubes and other high sodium based seasoning substitutes have quickly cornered the market, so much so that these quick fix products have now become staple ingredients to recipes that before our time never called for its use. What community initiatives are you passionate about? Facing the challenges that stem from food insecurities in inner cities has definitely been one of my biggest passion projects. Growing up in New York City, I’m familiar with the landscape of where and how fresh produce and unprocessed foods are distributed in places resemble where I come from. When I came back to the states in 2013, I worked in a school in Harlem, NY educating teens and families about smarter ways to shop for food and why certain foods are and are not accessible to certain areas in NYC.

More on Chef Eric Adjepong VISIT WWW.PINCHANDPLATE.COM WWW.CHEFADJEPONG.COM

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 25


ORONDE KAIRI JOHNSON Sharing The Black Experience Philadelphia based artist Oronde Kairi Johnson has been creating art depicting Black-American culture for over tens years. This self taught painter and illustrator shares with YAV Magazine his hopes to start bringing his artwork to Africa!

Interview by G. Frank Images by Oronde K. Johnson

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be an artist? And how do you describe your style of art? I’ve always been interested in all things creative. Art just happened to be the “gift”. Once I recognized it was a part of my make up, I pursued it earnestly. I’ve always admired style, design and everyday life. So I incorporate it into my art. I guess you can call what I do, “stylized interpretations of life”. Q: If you could work and study in one African country, which country would you choose and why? I’ve never been to Africa. So I feel that any of it’s countries would be a great working or learning experience for me. I like the art of Onyeka Ibe. He’s lives in the United States, but he’s from Anambra State, Nigeria. Q: How do you feel about your artwork being shared in the African community? I’m humbled! Sharing your your gifts is a wonderful thing.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


$GYHUWLVHZLWK<$90DJD]LQHDQGEHDSDUWRIDPRYHPHQWWR HPSRZHUDQGHQJDJH$IULFDQ\RXWK$VRQHRIWKHIDVWHVW JURZLQJGHPRJUDSKLFVHQJDJLQJWR$IULFDQ\RXWKZLWK<$9 0DJD]LQHDGYHUWLVLQJZLOODOORZ\RXUFRPSDQ\WREHVHHQE\ $IULFD¶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

3DUWQHU:LWK<$90DJD]LQH7KURXJK $GYHUWLVLQJa-RLQWKH0RYHPHQW

Advertise with YAV Magazine 5DWH&DUG 7ZR2SWLRQV  2SWLRQ2QH+DOI3DJH$G 7KUHH,VVXHV 2SWLRQ7ZR)XOO3DJH$G 7KUHH,VVXHV

<$90DJD]LQH'HWDLOV Æ&#x201D; 7KUHH,VVXHV$QQXDOO\ Æ&#x201D; 3DJHVLQ(DFK,VVXH Æ&#x201D; 5HDGHUV:HHNO\ Æ&#x201D; (YHQWV6SRQVRUVKLS$YDLODEOH <$9(YHQWV

Æ&#x201D; &XVWRP$GGHVLJQDYDLODEOHDW$IIRUGDEOH5DWHV )RUPRUHGHWDLOVVHWWLQJXSDQDGDFFRXQWZLWK<$90DJD]LQH SOHDVHHPDLODGV\DYPDJD]LQH#JPDLOFRP

Â&#x2039;<$90DJD]LQH

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

ZZZ\DYPDJD]LQHFRP

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


RECAP OF THE I LUV AFRICA FILM FESTIVAL IN GHANA ILAFF 2015 YAV Magazine presented with RWUL and the Goethe-Institut of Accra in Ghana, West Africa The 3rd Annual I Luv Africa Film Festival (ILAFF 2015) on October 21-24, 2015. Here are some highlights from ILAFF 2015 and visit www.rwul.com for more information. At ILAFF 2015 there were over 15 independent films and video art works screened along with discussions and Q&A sessions all free to the public highlighting the work of filmmakers of African descent from across the globe. This year RWUL presented for the first time in Ghana a video art exhibition to open up the film festival. The video art exhibit feaatured the work of Dexter Jones, Sheena Rose, Erick Msumanje, and Taji Raâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oof Nahl. A special screening of the documentary film Oya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa! by filmmaker Seyi Adebanjo was also presented on the first day of the film festival.This acclaimed film explores the complexity of gender dynamism.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Pictured are screenshots from “Dreams Don’t Chase Themselves” by Hezekiah Davis III and “Afronauts” by Frances Bodomo.

Earlier in the year RWUL hosted a Film Academy in partnership with iSpace Ghana from March 2015-July 2015 to help booster support for local filmmakers in Ghana. Two filmmakers from the academy were featuredin the film festival; Hezekiah DavisIII (Dreams Don’t Chase Themselves) and Mary Nyambura (In Conversation). ILAFF 2015 was well attended and Frances Bodomo premiered her Sundance selected short film Afronauts to a perceptive audience. Next year RWUL will be traveling with the I Luv Africa Film Festival to Uganda, East Africa for the 4th Annual presentation.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Behind the Lens: “CASTING GREATNESS” The Casting Agency Behind BEAST OF NO NATION, Interview with Mawuko Kuadzi Interview By Rebekah Frimpong and Photos Courtesy of MK Casting

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 30


Acting is a skill that can be perfected over time with proper

training and practice. Casting director Mawuko Kuadzi creator of MK Casting based in Ghana, West African is hoping to help nuture some of Ghana’s best acting talent. With recent success of helping cast young rising actor Abraham Attah of the NetFlix Film orginal “Beast of No Nation”, Mawuko Kuadzi hopes to inspire a new generation of actors in Ghana and throughout Africa.

MK casting is one of the most recognized premiere casting company in Ghana. MK Casting was started by Mawuko Kuadzi, an actor himself, writer, and producer. MK Casting specializes in casting services for film productions, commercials, television shows, music videos, bill board advertisements, theatre productions, radio broadcasting, and print modeling for clients throughout Africa. Mawuko has combined his years of casting experience and tech savy entrepreneurship to grow MK Casting to be revered as one of the best casting companies in Ghana. With a flawless record of excellent service and a “can do” attitude, directors, producers, production companies, ad agencies, television networks, and movie studios conisder MK Casting’s reputation to be amongst the best. Mawuko credits his succes to professionalism and a personal commitment to finding the best talent for his clients.

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Mawuko Kuadzi Pictured Here With Star of “Beast of No Nation” Idris Elba

Mawuko Kuadzi credits to working on ‘Beasts of No Nation” as a great opportunity. He recounts that the experience was quite a great experience but hopes that project will give MK casting a chance share light on some other acting talent in Ghana. Mawuko Kuadzi says: “the casting process was very intense because we had a limited time to find all the characters especially to find Agu”. He recalls going to football pitches, community TV game centers, schools and everywhere he could think of to find kids for the film. Mawuko notes: “I believe we succeeded because we had a determined casting team”.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


MK Casting’s Recent Work Includes: “Beasts of No Nation” By Red CrownProduction/Netflix “Out of the Village” Film by Jonathan Stein “Stooping Low” By NAFTI Film School in Ghana Student Film “Woodin Commercial” By Breakthrough Media

MK Casting’s goals really goes beyond Ghana. Their priority is to build a very strong casting company/agency that can work in any part of the world. Mawuko feels that if Casting Directors can be brought from United States to work in Africa, then we should also be capable of working in any part of the world. “We are building a casting structure so that producers, directors and production companies who want to shoot a film, commercial, TV series, documentaries, and etc… can employ our services to cast for these clients”, says Mawuko.

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 33


The Man of Vision

Written By YAV Staff Photos by Thomas Bary

Kofi Arko is CEO of Therapeutic Innovations that he started

while attending Northeastern University where he is studying in Bioengineering to recieve his Ph.D. Kofi Arko has designed with Threrapeutic Innovations new ways to help provide medical devices for hospital and clinics worldwide that will improve pediatric health.

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 34


YAV Magazine intervewed Therapeutic Innovations CEO Kofi Arko. He shares how the company was started, their mission, and his goals for Africa and the healthcare industry.

When was Therapeutic Innovations started and what inspired you to be involved in this organization? Therapeutic Innovations (TI) was started on the campus of Northeastern University by two Bioengineering PhD students Kofi Arko and Anwar Upal. TI seeks to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries in terms of pediatric health care. This is important because much of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population is represented by children in low-income families who are unable to access the high quality care available to those in the developed countries. To bridge this gap, we have come together to satisfy the unmet needs of the children and pediatric clinicians around the world. We aim to redesign and reduce the cost of medical devices and hope that someday all children will have access to modern healthcare. How do you hope to have an impact on healthcare in Ghana? A current TI visit to Ghana confirmed the World Health Organization report which indicated that Africa and India have one of the highest rates of premature births and deaths globally. We visited some of the major hospitals in the Capital City of Accra and we were amazed to realize that most of the life support equipments that were necessary to sustain neonatal infants were either broken or not available. So as part of our product lines, we are developing a respiratory system that will be used to support the lungs of premature babies to assist them to breath for the first few weeks or months after birth. Currently the existing breathing systems for neonatal infants are very expensive, so we hope to build a much cheaper and robust breathing system to help save some of these babies.

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


â&#x20AC;&#x153;I build a sustainable venture to ensure that affordable medical devices will be made available for the less privileged kids across the globeâ&#x20AC;?.

What medical device or devices are Therapeutic Innovations currently working on and what hopes do you have for implementing this device? Due to intellectual property issues I cannot disclose much information about our products but to give you a brief review, TI has teams working on orthopedic and pediatric devices. Orthopedic devices include spine implants and Bone healing wearable. The pediatric section is working to complete the second iteration of prototype for the breathing system which should be ready for the market come 2016. Medical Device implementation strategies have already been put in place to ensure that once the products are ready, distribution channels will be available for supply. Currently we are working with Erkardi Systems in India and Korle-bu /37 military hospitals in Ghana for beta testing the breathing systems for immediate implementation after design completion.

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 36


What is next for you? As the CEO of TI my next step is to make sure that I build a sustainable venture to ensure that affordable medical devices will be made available for the less privileged kids across the globe. On the other hand, am also working very hard to complete my PhD here at Northeastern University. Also, am looking to work with companies and individuals that are willing to collaborate with TI in manufacturing and supplying the breathing system to African and India. How can our readers learn more about Therapeutic Innovations? Readers can visit us at www.therapeuticinnovations.org and also connect with us on Facebook. For more information and collaborative works, they can send emails to either arkogen1@gmail.com or mensah.s@husky.neu.edu .

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


VISIONARY OF THE MONTH

Laolu Senbanjo

Patterns and Designs of Beauty Written By Rebekah Frimpong Photography By Delphine Diallo & Courtesy of Iris Media Studios

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


YAV Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Visionary of the Month is Laolu Senbanjo, former lawyer from Nigeria now based in New York who decided to follow his passion and work in art, design, and music. Laolu Senbanjo shares with YAV Magazine his view on art and how his work is showcasing his heritage and expanding views on beauty.

CONNECTING THE DIASPORA-THE MESSAGE IN HIS ART

I believe my art already connects both my home of Nigeria and Africa to the Diaspora in so many ways. My messages and themes do this as an artist of Afrofuturism. For example, my Yoruba heritage is present in almost all my works, notice the Yoruba Gods or Goddesses (Yemoja) in the Brooklyn works for example. Also, I believe that my message to the world as an artist is that literally everything is a canvas, and everything is art. I express myself through my art and everyone that owns a piece of my art, whether it be a canvas for the wall, pair of shoes, or sacred body art, they now share a piece of me and are part of YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 39


my dream and my success. I also believe that I’m just as much back home as I am in Brooklyn. So because I straddle these two worlds almost so seamlessly my art is connecting me to the Diaspora and vice versa. Also, my art and essentially me as a person link people in the Diaspora to Nigeria.

“Seamlessly my art is connecting me to the Diaspora...”

APPRECIATION FOR ART

I would say that Nigeria has a long way to go in regards to art appreciation from preserving historical art and artifacts, to art museums and galleries, and then there’s the issue of respect towards artists and artisans not too mention financial and class respect. So I hope that during my lifetime there are museums built for Nigerian and African art and that they’ll even bring back a lot of the ancient art that’s currently being housed at museums around the YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 40


“My Art form is physically drawing what’s in the inside, what’s in your soul...”

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 41


world. I also look forward to artists truly collaborating with each other and encouraging one another to create and learn new techniques and styles. The environment is very hard because people don’t buy enough local art and often don’t pay what an artist might deserve financially for their effort. So it often makes a very hostile environment fit for collaboration amongst artists because you’re fighting for the same patrons.

“I hand paint everything and customize it”

WHERE TO FIND HIS WORK & CURRENT PROJECTS

You can always check out my Instagram for the latest images @laolusenbanjo of what I’m up to and my website www.Laolu.NYC The latest things I’m working on is the Sacred Art of the Ori body art and custom designed Art on shoes and clothing. In Yoruba, my language, “Ori” literally means your essence, your soul, your destiny and also comes with a mantra. When I work with a muse, the muse, their Ori, and I become one. My Art form is physically drawing what’s in the inside, what’s in your soul, and your essence and being YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 42


outside on your canvas which is the skin. It’s the deepest most spiritual experience I’ve ever had with my Art as an artist. It’s amazing and energizing. The connection is phenomenal. Creating Art on shoes and clothing has been a work in progress for many years that has now come to fruition with many things aligning at once. It’s the perfect Art medium/form because people get to share their love of my art reach and every day with other people. It’s not just sitting on a wall for people to occasionally glimpse at. It walks up and down the streets of New York, Paris, Capetown, London, and Rio. It’s on people’s backs in nightclubs, at weddings, and in the office. And most importantly it’s personal. I hand paint everything and customize it to the person and the art becomes as portrait of the person, whether it’s shoes or a jacket, it tells their story and mine. We become one. RESPONSIBILITY TO COMMUNITY

I’m very connected to my community here in Brooklyn. I’ve created a mural in East New York which its sole purpose is to build community. Also, I’m planning one in my own neighborhood of Ditmas Park. Also, I work for Groundswell with youth creating a mural in a homeless shelter. Not too mention the fact that I donate a lot of Art to charities for auctions. I also often donate my time at different public schools here in New York encouraging middle school and high school students to create.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Zuriel Oduwole

World’s Youngest Filmmaker Zuriel

Oduwole has been noted as the world’s youngest documentary filmmaker. She has been working on her “Africa Project” and portraying positive images from Africa.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


She also was a correspondent at world Press Conference and was featured on CNN for work that she has been doing as young as 10 years old. One her films â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Promising Africaâ&#x20AC;? has screened in the United States, Japan, Nigeria, and Ghana. She is also a champion for girls education and named Global Ambassador forEthiopianAirlines.

Zuriel has interviewed Head of States from countries across the globe including 14 Presidents.

Zuriel Pictured Here With Jesse Jackson.

YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 45


In this in depth interview, Zuriel Oduwole, a young rising filmmaker and advocate for young girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; education shares with YAV Magazine how she got involved in filmmaking as one of the youngest and accomplished filmmakers in the world!

What made you decide to enter the fields of media and filmmaking? Well, I always saw form the news that there was power in media. I see people talk about something and the next day, it is in the papers. So, I knew media was an important way to get your message out. So I had two messages I wanted to focus on. They were the importance of girls to get an education s they have better opportunities when they get older, and the importance to see Africa as a place with opportunities, instead of what they show in the international news, like the wars, the famine, the corruption and the diseases. Africa was more than that, and I wanted to show people that. So media was a great way to do this. I made my first film at the age of nine in 2012 and it was on the Ghana Revolution. I traveled to Accra Ghana to meet and interview Presidents Jerry Rawlings and John Kufuor for this project, and I had a great time. They were both very, very generous with their time and I am thankful. I really am, because I never met them before then. My second film was on the 1963 formation of the OAU and the effect on Malawi, Tanzania and Mauritius. For this, I met and interviewed the Presidents of all three countries, and I showed the film in California. It was a great experience, as it allowed people see Africa in a different light, like a positive light. My third film was on the effect of technology on education, and it was made for a White House program, and then my last film which is the first one I showed in the cinema in November 2014, was at age 12. The film showed in the Film House Cinema Movie chain and Genesis Deluxe Cinema Movie Chain, both in Nigeria, then it showed in South Africa, London, Ghana and Japan. I am so very thankful to the Lord for allowing me do these cool things. YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 46


What current social issue do feel is of most importance to you and why? It has to be Girls Education, because I am a “girl”, and I can’t pretend there are no issues with girls education. Usually on the African continent, when there are not that many resources, the boys get it first and get to go to school, and the girls stay at home and do cores. These girls who stay at home have fewer options in life because they are not educated. And sometimes also, because they are not educated, their parents let them get married at age 15, and sometimes even younger. I can’t imagine how uncool that just feel, when your friends are going to school, and you are not, or getting married. So I think all children boys and girls should go to school, because that way, they would be more productive adults and have good jobs, and take better care of their families. That’s what I think.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


Out of all the people you have had an opportunity to meet and interview, who was your most memorable and why? Wow. I hope this is not a trick question. I have met and interviewed 15 Presidents and Prime Ministers, some of whom are the Presidents of Liberia, Cape Verde, Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Guinea, and some Prime Ministers like those of Jamaica, Lesotho, St Kitts and also St Vincent & grenadines. Also I have interviewed Africa’s richest man – Aliko Dangote, and also interviewed Venus Williams and her sister Serena. I can’t say on stands out over another, but they are all different. For example, President Jose Fonseca of Cape Verde spoke Portuguese, so we had to have an interpreter, who interpreted both sides of the question. President Goodluck Jonathan laughed when I asked him how much good luck he brought to Nigeria. That was cool. President Searleaf Johnson of Liberia was very tough in her answers, but she was very encouraging. I liked that. President Kikwete of Tanzania allowed me sit beside him on his Sofa in the State House. I was later told that no one ever sits in that sofa, beside him, so that made me feel very, very, very special. And the President Purryag of Mauritius said they should do the interview of me and him in the Blue Room of the State House. That room is where the independence was signed, and only visiting heads of state are received there. Some of those who were received there are the Pope, the Queen of England, and President of France and President Mandela, but they allowed me meet the President there. That was so very totally neat and cool. Thank you Lord for the upgrade and favor – right? I enjoyed it. How do you hope to inspire other young people to reach for the dreams? Just by telling them what I do; but most importantly, letting them see what I do. My dad is from Nigeria and my mom from Mauritius. That’s the best way. Also letting their parents see what I as an African Girl can do. That way, they know that they too can do anything. YAV MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2015

PAGE 48


Can you share with us some of your future goals? Well, I like to be an athlete when I become a teenager like from age 14 – 16 and compete in the Olympics one day. Then after finishing University, I want to be a robotics engineer and Game Designer, but when I get much older like 40, I like to be the President of the United States of America. People expect me to say President of an African country, but if I am president of An African country like say Nigeria, I might be able to influence Nigeria and a few other countries, but if I am the President of the United States like Barack Obama, then I can influence the US and all the countries in the world, and I would be doing even more for Girls Education around the world. So that’s why I think it’s better to aspire to be the President of the United States.

BGBNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM


About Young African Visionaries-YAV Magazine YAV Magazine’s mission statement is: “Envision Tomorrow Today”, meaning dream and make it happen. YAV Magazine strives to achieve a commitment to excellence by sharing authentic stories of real young Africans making a positive change in the world as well as sharing the stories of those who inspire them.. YAV Magazine is committed to telling these stories without bias or subjective perspectives but rather allowing our readers to observe for themselves stories of success, triumph, and even stories that tackle challenging topics. We present to our audience the choice to have a say in the world they see beyond them and to also commit to excellence along with us. YAV Magazine celebrates the achievements of African youth worldwide.

BGNB PRODUCTIONS (C) 2015

WWW.YAVMAGAZINE.COM

Vol.2 Issue 7 Thinking Outside the Box  

Vol. 2 Issue 7 "Thinking Outside the Box" of YAV Magazine. See more about this issue on www.yavmagazine.com Publisher BGNB Productions LLC

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you