Upcoming events – Not to miss

COMMUNITY INVITATION 2016

The Ghana Union Düsseldorf in collaboration with Ghana Council NRW and Verein Junger-Deutsch-Afrikaner are cordially inviting the community to a special conference on Saturday, 1st October 2016 in Düsseldorf which will be followed by a cultural festival.

The associations mentioned above are platforms used to support and encourage Ghanaians in NRW, especially the youth, on education and socio-economic issues.

The main goal is to support and empower Ghanaians in the diaspora to tackle and find sustainable solutions to social problems. It also aims to aid the Ghanaians, Africans in general with smooth and better integration into NRW while maintaining and sustaining their original cultures.

The focus of this year´s premier inaugural conference and festival is to encourage and engage the youth in activities that would lead to growth and better integration of the African diaspora a particularly in NRW.

Your active participation will be hugely appreciated as it would help to create and promote more awareness.

The day is fully planned out, ranging from dialogues between attorneys and youths, to rich cultural displays, open discussions, music, food and dance.

All members of German NRW community as well people from diverse nations and cultures are welcomed so feel free to come to support and participate in the development and strengthening of the network of the African diaspora in NRW.

Links: http://www.vjda.de/, https://www.eine-welt-netz-nrw.de/seiten/528/, https://ghanaforumnrw.wordpress.com/, http://ghanacouncilnrw.wix.com/04, http://ugag-1.de/AboutUgag/

DUS: Ghana Grill Party In The Park

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The first ever organized Open Grill Fest in the Heerdter Freizeitpark in Düsseldorf was a major success. The party was live yesterday. People attended in numbers, the weather was nice, the music was good and the atmosphere just amazing. Positive vibes with many children bouncing to afrobeats and challenging their dancing skills in a cypher. Since the event was organized quite “last minute” the advert about it was minor, as the amount of Ghanaians living in Düsseldorf and cities around, could have filled the place twice or triple times more. But so far so good, as this had taken place the first time ever, the results are encouraging for the organisers to make this happen on a regular basis. Ghanaians love dress codes for no reason I can give, but it was good to see the majority reppin´ the white on jeans look.

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It is always good to have the community together, having good times. Events like this can be seen as an opportunity in the future, to raise awareness on certain problems that affect the African diaspora in Germany – which in that sense can be targeting the Ghanaian community first. Instead of making the big fuss about development policy issues and the wellbeing in all senses, Ghanaians love to party and party hard, too much at times. I am not judging or condemning it, as I am a typical Ghanaian who loves “enije” (good/fun times) too, but there is so much more potential, which can be used to pave the way for the second generation.

One minor example out of many – it is a struggle to find participant, who are actually in need of learning the German language, in order to manage their life without depending on the help of others, but wherever there is a community based party – all problems are put aside and celebrated “small, small”. Number wise in 2009, there are about 40.000 Ghanaians documented, for living in Germany, which builds the largest migration group of Subsaharan-Africans, followed by Nigerians and Cameroonians. Now in year 2015, we are surely more people to make that last availabe statistic irrelevant. So, with more people “on board” now, I think it is highly about time to put us on the map properly with bigger and greater achievements in our personal developments or as a collective – just for example; instead of going down at all parties advertised.

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Einladung…

Herzliche Einladung an alle

Am Pfingstsonntag, 24. Mai feiert die Römisch –Katholische Kirchengemeinde die ich besuche, das internationale Pfingstfest in Derendorf. Nach der Messe in der Kirche Heilige Dreifältigkeit, gibt es draussen vor dem Pastoralbüro und dem Pfarrgarten; Essensstände einer internationalen Küche der: Franzosen, Ghanaer, Japaner, Inder, Italiener, Maroniten (>Libanesen, Aramäer, Syren), Rumänen, Spanier und der Ukrainer. Die Messe beginnt um 10Uhr. Von 12 – 16Uhr kann man sich mit Wertemarken an den landestypsichen Speisen bedienen. Fühlt euch herzlich eingeladen. Essen gibt es reichlich.

Ort:

Barbarastr. 9

40476 Düsseldorf

Verbindungen: Vom HBF die Strassenbahn 704 Richtung Derendorf zur Haltestelle St. Vincenz Krankenhaus (10min)

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WAK: FRMNG

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So, 17. Mai. Firmung in Style. I love God. I love Fashion. I love life. Sorry for the size of my head wrap, but that´s the way it goes when going the Nigerian style. 😉 Have an open heart. Have an open mind. Respect all nations. Respect all religion. Just be yourself. Life is to short to worry, hate and all sorts of negativity. Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu… whatever your faith is, be happy, proud and respect to all and everyone. 😉

Haare im Wandel

Afrikanische Haarfrisuren liegen mir als Afrikanerin besonders am Herzen. Die Hauptursprünge der Frisuren liegen in afrikanischen Volksstämmen. In den verschiedensten Kulturkreisen entstanden die Frisuren aus religiösen oder spirituellen Gründen. Sei es bei Afrikanern, Indianern, Buddhisten oder den antiken Kelten; Frisuren aus geflochtenem Haar, kamen in der Geschichte der Menschheit immer wieder vor.

In der heutigen Zeit werden die Frisuren jedoch aus Mode getragen. Wie heisst es doch gleich? „Wer schön sein will muss leiden“, denn die Flechtfrisuren sind manchmal schmerzhaft für die Kopfhaut. Durch die starke Zugbelastung auf die Kopfhaut,  halten die Kopfschmerzen bis maximal drei Tage. Das widerum hängt von der Sensibilität der Kopfhaut jedes Einzelnen und der Vorsicht der Friseure ab. Das Flechten von Frisuren kann zudem auch bis zu zehn Stunden dauern. Der Aufwand der Herstellung, richtet sich jedoch nach der eigentlichen Frisur, der Haarlänge und Anzahl der Zöpfe.

Im Laufe der Jahre habe ich zahlreiche Frisuren ausprobiert. Das Experimentieren mit meinen Haaren, bereitet mir jedesmal aufs Neue, grosse Freude. In einer Sammlung von Bildern, möchte ich euch nun gerne, meine aktuellsten Frisuren zeigen und eine Erläuterung zur Herstellung geben.

Bevor ich euch auf eine Reise durch den Wandel meiner Haarfrisuren mitnehme, habe ich eine Webseite zu empfehlen, die in einer Reihe von Bildern, die Vielfalt an Frisuren mit naturkrausen und lockigen Haaren, in kunstvoller Ästhetik zeigt. Die Arbeit der Fotografin namens Jamala Jones, wurde bereits mit mehren Awards für ihren Beitrag zu Mode, Kunst und Kultur, in der Form ihrer Kuration ausgezeichnet. Hier der Link: http://lecoil.com/

Meine Bilderreihe:

Geglättete Haare

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In der Vergangenheit empfand ich geglättetes Haar als „pflegeleicht“. Mit Glättungscremes wird einem mit seinem „Problem“ weitergeholfen. Chemische Verfahren, die einer Dauerwelle ähneln, verändern die Haarstruktur und können das krause Haar längerfristig glätten. Die Glättung hält in der Regel ein paar Monate und hat den Vorteil, dass wertvolle Zeit beim Stylen der Haare gespart wird. Die Haare sehen somit glatt und „besser“ gepflegt aus. Aufgrund der Unterzahl an qualifizierten afrikanischen Friseuren in unserem Umfeld und dem Schönheitsbild in der westlichen Welt, beginnt die Pflege der Haare schon in der Kindheit mit Cremes. Je nach der individuellen Haarstruktur kommen unterschiedlich starke Cremes für die Haarglättung zum Einsatz. Nimmt man zu schwaches Haarglättungsmittel tritt der gewünschte Erfolg nicht ein. Bei zu starkem Auftragen kann die Haarstruktur jedoch beschädigt werden.

Natur-Haare

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Im Gegensatz zu europäischen Haaren wächst afrikanisches Haar voluminöser und kräuseliger. Durch diese Kräuselung ist die Oberfläche etwas rauer und macht es anfälliger für Haarbruch. Die Einsicht, meine Naturhaare zu lieben, pflegen und zu akzeptieren, wie sie sind, kam erst in meinem Alter von 20 Jahren. Mein Haar braucht also eine Extraportion Pflege und sanfte Behandlung, damit es seine volle Schönheit entfalten kann. Da man heutzutage allerdings Information im Überfluss kriegt, ist das Pflegen der Naturhaare kein Problem mehr. Man stellt fest, dass sich Afro-Hairstyles ohne große Frisieraufwände, verwirklichen lassen.

Haarverlängerung

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Das eigene Haar mit Echt- oder Synthetikhaar zu verlängern, lässt die Haare kräftiger aussehen und ist modisch angesagt. Die Basis der Frisur beginnt mit Cornrows / Corn rolls, wobei die eigenen Haare, eng an der Kopfhaut zum Zopf geflochten werden. Die Verlängerungen werden im Anschluss entweder mit Clips befestigt, geklebt, mit Faden eingenäht oder mit einem Häkel gebunden.

Geflochtene Haare

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Rastazöpfe, Braids oder Rastas, alle diese Begriffe bezeichnen die Flechtfrisuren, die aus vielen Flechtzöpfen besteht und in der Regel mit einer drei-strähnigen Flechttechnik geflochten werden. Es gibt beim Flechten von Braids unterschiedliche Stile, Arten und Varianten: Sehr dicke Braids wurden nach ihrem Ursprungsort, Casamas im Senegal benannt. Die Mehrheit betitelt dies jedoch einfach mit Senegalese Braids oder Medium Sized Braids oder Box Braids. Sehr dünne Braids beschreibt man mit Micro Braids oder klärt die Friseurin, bildlich einfach auf. Braids, bei denen nur etwas über das Eigenhaar geflochten wird, sagt man Open Braids, da der Rest des Haares offen gelassen wird. Für die Haltbarkeit der Braids ist die Flechttechnik des Ansatzes entscheidend.

Gedrehte Haare

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Drehzöpfe sind meine Lieblingsfrisur, da die Textur der Kunsthaare meinem Naturhaar gleicht und somit im Gesamtbild natürlich wirkt. Ohne die Haarsträhnen zu drehen sehen sie fülliger und weicher aus. Mit dem Drehen der einzelnen Strähnen sehen sie straffer aus.

Verfilzte Haare

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Der natürliche Vorgang bei krausendem Haar, führt zur Verfilzung, wenn die Haare nicht gekämmt werden. Da ich meine Frisur, rein aus Mode getragen habe, wurde bei mir Wolle verwendet und wird Faux Locks genannt. Wenn man sich für Locks entschieden hat, kann man diese nämlich nur wieder loswerden, indem man sie abschneidet.

Zur künstlichen Herrstellung der Frisur wird das sogenannte Backcombing verwendet, indem die Haare wiederholt gegen die Haarwuchsrichtung gekämmt werden. Eine weitere Methode wäre die Anwendung von Reibungen der Haare auf die Kopfhaut oder zwischen den Fingern. Akzente kann man jeweils mit Muscheln und Perlen aus Holz, Metall oder anderen Materialien setzen.

Dreadlocks haben ihren Ursprung aus der Rastafari-Bewegung, Anfang der 30er Jahre. Mythen besagen, dass die Rastafari verfilztes Haar trugen aufgrund des Glaubens an die Verleihung von Macht und Stärke, wie es der Israelitenführer Samson, aus der Bibel hatte. Ein weiterer Mythos besagt, dass die Rastafari sich bewusst von dem Schönheitsideal der britischen Kolonialmacht, abgrenzen wollten und somit durch die Frisuren, bewusst Abneigungen provozieren wollten. Daher erhielt die Frisur den Namen “Dread”locks (= furchtbar). Durch den Erfolg der Reggae-Musik im Lauf der Jahre, haben sich in der heutigen Zeit, unter anderem, die Dreadlocks zum Symbol der Rastafari entwickelt.

Lockige Haare

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Bei Haarverlängerung mit lockigen Kunsthaaren, hängen sich die Locken zum Glück, nicht schnell wieder aus. Lockige Haarfrisuren sind zeitlos, sehen gut aus kommen in eiligen Situationen meist als letzte Rettung zum Beispiel, wenn man kein passendes Accessoires zum Outfit gefunden hat. Ein wenig Puder im Gesicht und vielleicht ein Blümchen in den Haaren, untermauert das Sprichwort: „Weniger ist mehr“, neu.

Afropunk Fashionistas – Another level

Goodness gracious, Lord have mercy. What happened to my life? Can´t believe what I have been missing out on all these years!

Shout out to Jesus – my personal Lord and saviour! Shout out to my beloved gospel, soul, hip hop, Afro beats- & German artists BUT I guess finding out just now of the Afro punk festival, makes me literally question my life.

The New York Times has described it as the “most multicultural festival in the US”. (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/08/25/fashion/AFROPUNK-STYLE.html)

“Afropunk” has become synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming, unconventional and as an urban culture inspired by alternative music. Its participation refers to a majority of African Americans and other black people in the punk scene.

Breed of Ghanaian parents > born and raised in Germany > studied & lived in the UK, is just still not cutting it, when I literally just discovered some amazing pictures of the Afro punk festival 2014.

A simple fact, which I and my fellow Afro – German sisters always agreed on, is:

  • There are trendy young black people in the US & all these “wannabee fashionistas” still ain´t shit here in Germany
  • It t is only by God´s grace to find a natural good dressed, stylish, smart Afro husband potential here in Germany

Well, not to portray Germany as the worst place for Africans to live in – it is quite the opposite. Germany is nice. I love it here and consider it as my home BUT one sad fact is that most of our fellow Afro- German males only dress to impress at Sunday church services or at parties…

No offense given nor to be taken by me please, as I am allowing myself to exaggerate here a bit. I am actually talking about the things I have noticed amongst my fellow Ghanaians brothers and sisters here in Germany.

The Afro Punk festival seems to be attended by people of fashion on another level. I wouldn´t say that this is the way everyone should dress, but as a collective I find the uniqueness of each person photographed just amazing.

I guess: Brooklyn, NYC – that´s what´s up next year summer?!

Here are some pictures of the freshest looking people, in a variety of styles.

(Pictures copied from the link below)

Link:

http://youngblackmind.com/2014/08/24/whats-hot-top-fashions-of-afropunk-2014/

Pictures:

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Say my name, say my name

The first step as a parent is to choose a name for the unborn child. The sources of names are widespread. Parents are surely all trying to signal their own expectations of how successful their children will be. Preferred are unique, wild, trendy, biblical or ethnic names. However, many parents seem to believe that a child cannot prosper unless it has the right name. They are seen to carry powers.

In Germany for example, there is a prejudice against certain surnames and associate that these children like to seek for attention. Names like Justin, Chantal, Pascal, Kevin and Dennis are commonly associated with troublesome characters. Children named Sophie, Alexander, Jonas or Max for example are mostly the lucky ones – posh and living the good life.

Naming issues in the African community living in Germany is rarely, as for some unknown reasons but funny facts – many Africans like to name their child after a white person, who had been good to him or her or them. Typical German names like Hans, Detlef, Gregor or Richard are to be found amongst a proper looking Black African.

And on the other hand, many Black Africans have some very uncommon names such as Kissmate, Beauty and Loveleen. The most interesting naming ceremonies I was part of recently are the names Jita (Jesus is the answer) and Jasson (S for special). They may face some embarrassing situations but it does not have to be the cause of their names. This fact alone should tell you that Ghanaians do not play with Child Dedication and Naming Ceremonies at all.

In the African culture, Christening and Naming Ceremonies have a great importance to parents. Religious names are significant for blessings, protection of evil spirits. ‘A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.’ – Proverbs 22:1 (International Bible Society 1973:461)

As an example on my name Anita, it does not signal a typical Black African girl’s name. My mum said, apparently my first name Whitney was not fully recognized so she was asked to give me a second common name. I do not know up to date, what sort of law that was but end of the day I do not mind my double name. In fact I love it. Whitney – Anita.

In Ghana for instance, the Akan tribe name their children on the day of birth. Names are given by the Weekdays and family members have influence on the child’s name too.

Weekday                      Weekday                      Girls                    Boys

English                         Twi                                Name                  Name

Monday                         Adwoada                      Adwoa                  Kodjo

Tuesday                       Abenada                        Abena                 Kwabena

Wednesday                  Akuada                          Akua                   Kwaku

Thursday                      Yawada                          Yaa                     Yaw

Friday                           Afiada                            Afia                      Kofi

Saturday                       Miminda                         Ama                     Kwame

Sunday                          Kwesiada                      Akosua                 Akwesi

Names do not only signify a person’s origin or even ethnic but also has apparently some marketing influence. We live in a marketing-oriented society. I do wonder at times if distinctive black culture is the cause of the economic disparity between blacks and whites or merely a reflection of it.

Despite any negative prejudice, people should not be valued on their personalities and cultural setting without knowing them.

A name cannot make us who we are and what to become in life. No one can make it up without motivation, encouragement and hard-work.

The sign a child’s name send to the world, does not really matter.

 

Ghanaian architect

Young black men out there: be inspired and encouraged to achieve your dreams!

British Ghanaian architect David Adjaye received the title of OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for services to British architecture. Also, he currently holds a Visiting Professor post at Princeton University.

Adjaye´s work spans exhibitions, private homes and artist collaborations.

Just to list a few of his buildings:

–          home for the designer Alexander McQueen

–          The Upper Room for Tate Britan Museum

–          Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver

–          the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo

–          National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington

THERE IS SURELY NO JUJU (BLACK MAGIC) BEHIND HIS ACHIEVEMENTS. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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House Dance

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Dance Addict < Click here!

As you can see in this video, me and my friend are dancing to house music.

House Dance is a social dance primarily danced to house music. Dancing house is improvisational in nature, and started with New York and Chicago´s community based dancers back in the post disco era in the US. Dancers, who were orginally not looking to create. ended up becoming an influencial part of the dance vocabulary used internationally today.

Fast and complex foot – oriented steps, combined with fluid upper body movements, as well as floor works, are the main elements of house dance. In the vocabulary of dancers, the elements are referred to, as “Footwork” – “Jacking” – “Lofting”.

The source of house music derives from Jazz, African, Latin, Soul, R&B, Funk and Hip Hop. The other source is the individual bringing his or her characteristic, ethnicity and origin to the dance.

The main feature, that distinguishes house dance from dancing done to electronic music nowadays, is an emphasis of subtle rhythms and riffs.

Although, it could boldly be said that House Dance, actually orginates from the Caribbean island – Guadeloupe.

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Yes, I said it. This is my opinion. Well it is true, that the Americans dancing to house back in the days, were of course living in America and did not either really know what they were dancing – but they went down in the clubs, taking by surprise of what the music was doing to them in the clubs in that era.

Rural Guadeloupeans used to dance to gwo ka (french creole for drums) in communal experiences. Their music was created with drums and is a major part of Guadeloupean folk music up to today. So, dancing to gwo ka, was a form of the Guadeloupeans telling their folk stories and their dance definitely shows all elements that were created unconsciously by dancers in America´s post disco era.

A discussion about its proper origin could go on forever. However, I am not aiming to do so and would like to leave it up to each and everyone to do their research and compare or rather explore for yourself. All that counts at the end of the day, is how it makes you feel and I can say: It makes me feel good. I love house music and its dance!

Plenty of the American dancers that were key in the progression of this social dance, are still doing great things by contributing, teaching and inspiring dancers in all art forms around the world.

By interest, you can look up couple of names that were big in this movement, that has poisoned us with love and affection for house music and its dance.

You can start with dancers as Ejoe Wilson, Brian Green, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf Sealers, Terry Wright and Shannon Mabra. This is JUST the beginning of more to find on further information about this great art form.