southern africa

Likishi dance costume of the Luvale people, Zambia, including the mwana pwevo mask and a pair of rattles made from seed pods, worn around the ankles.  Artist unknown; late 19th or early 20th century.  Now in the Brooklyn Museum.  Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum.

“The Emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guarantee of its continuity and a precondition for its victory.” Speech delivered in 1973 by Samora Machel, revolutionary leader of FRELIMO and first Head of State of Mozambique. He was killed 29 years ago today in a plane crash arranged by the apartheid South African government. A Luta Continua!


Himba Hairstyles

The Himba women are famous for their coating their bodies and hair with a red paste called otjize.

In Himba culture there is a close tie between marriage and hairstyles.


As children, girls wear two plaits called ozondato, unless they are one of a set of twins.

Once reaching puberty, they are ready to wear their famous red locks of hair.

To create this elaborate hairstyle, their hair must be lengthened by weaving hay, goat hair, or Indian hair extensions. Then the hair is coated with a mixture of clay and red ochre, an earth pigment.

It is important that the the hair is not groomed back, so to let the hair act as a veil, hiding the face from unwanted male attention.

After marriage, the hair can be groomed away revealing the face.


Boys and men wear only a single plait throughout their lives as bachelors. It is when they are finally married that a head-covering is placed. The head-covering is to only be taken off in the even of a death, and/or being windowed. After a death, the men shave their heads.

In the unfortunate event that a man is widowed, his hair returns to being uncovered.

Source: [DailyMail]


Stary Mwaba

Country: Zambia

Style: Realist/ Abstract

Medium: Acryilic and Oil on Canvas

Fun Fact: When Stary was 18 years old his father passed away and after a long time of illness his mother passed away four years later. He was especially attached to his mother. During the time of his mothers illness Stary was not able to sleep at all so to cope with the distress Stary stayed up every night painting in the light of a candle. To convey feelings, anger, thoughts, sorrow, distress and also happiness through art is something that Stary is doing himself when painting

Quote: “I always want to talk about issues that affect my community through my work, issues that are important in the preservation of life and human development. I want to create work in a context in which my culture can be seen, experienced and studied in-depth or compared and contrasted across time and space



2. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to African Masks

3. Breadwinner

4. Sisters Crossing Over




8. The Other Side of the Fence

9. Mable holding Cholastary

10. Love Letter

‘Free Tseko Simon Nkoli’, Lavender Left, Los Angeles, [1980s]. 

Tseko Simon Nkoli (1957-1998) was a pioneering queer anti-apartheid revolutionary and is generally credited with successfully fighting for the African National Congress to take a position supportive of gay rights. 

The Lavender Left was a coalition of queer socialists, including members of the Revolutionary Socialist League and the Freedom Socialist Party. 

‘Black Graphics International’, Detroit, 1974. International Women’s Day tribute to Frelimo, the revolutionary movement fighting to free Mozambique from Portuguese colonialism.


The Baia dos Tigres: Angola’s “Ghost’ Island

The Baia dos Tigres (Tigers Bay) is a small isolated and unpopulated island in the southwestern region of Angola with a land mass of 98 square kms. As the largest and only sandy island off the coast of the 2000 km-long Namib Desert, it remains the least known coastal wetland along desert coast rich in shorebirds.

The Island was once a thriving commercial fishing community in the Portuguese colonial era, connected to the mainland by a small sand causeway. The inhabitants abandoned the Island in 1974 to escape the strong wind, lack of drinking water and the transportation difficulties to the mainland. Filled with hundreds of abandoned Portuguese-style buildings and properties, the structures are now being enveloped by the continual blowing sand.

The Island is only visited now by adventure-seeking tourist groups.

Ellen Chiweshe promoted to become Zimbabwe’s first female air commodore

‘It was a man’s world and it was difficult to break in.’

Ellen Chiweshe, whose title was group captain, has been promoted to become the country’s first female air commodore, the No 3 post in the air force.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported Chiweshe’s new rank in Tuesday’s edition, which included a photograph of air force commander Perrance Shiri fitting a hat on her head as part of a promotion ceremony.