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Rwanda arrives big stage for African movies, fashion shows

Kigali, the Rwandan capital, appears set to dominate the culture scene in the months ahead

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Kigali, the Rwandan capital, appears set to dominate the culture scene in the months ahead.

Rwanda was officially announced as the host of the 14th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs) slated for August 11 2018 at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, as Kigali Fashion Week returns, at least 40 fashion models have been selected for the upcoming Kigali Fashion Week 2018 slated from June 21-23.

The annual fashion gala is organized to promote locally made outfits by local fashion designers and supporting local designers expose their fashion creativity to the international market.

AMAA, an annual event recognises outstanding work by Africans in the film industry.

Arguably one of the most anticipated events on the continent; the AMAAs are expected to attract people from all walks of life.

Speaking during the official launch of the awards at the Kigali Cultural and Exhibition Village on Thursday, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the awards founder and CEO, said Kigali was their choice for the awards because of its good hospitality reputation.

“It’s wonderful that Rwanda is pushing for the promotion of arts. This makes it easy for us filmmakers to come and work with locals. We are honoured to have worked with some of the filmmakers in Rwanda’s industry and hopefully, this will pave way for more collaboration in the future,” she said.

Belise Kariza, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Chief Tourism Officer said, “We are excited to be the hosts of the upcoming Africa Movie Academy Awards. The awards come at a time when Rwanda is putting a lot of effort in boosting the entertainment industry in the country, as well as positioning it as one of the key sources of economic development.”

She added, “In addition to being an opportunity for Rwandan filmmakers to acquire skills from across the continent, the awards are a great platform for job opportunities in the film industry. It is also a prospect to showcase Rwanda as a tourist destination. We thank the organisers for choosing Rwanda.”

The nominations for the awards will be unveiled in July.

Last year, Kigali hosted the AMAA nominations gala, and Rwandan filmmaker, Clementine Dusabejambo, was nominated. The events were previously held in Lagos, Nigeria.

John Bunyeshuri, the founder of Kigali Fashion Week, said this edition will be all about uniqueness of Made-in-Rwanda outfits, adding that he trusts local fashion designers’ creativity will excite and impress the audience.

He said, “Our main focus is to contribute towards the promotion of Made-in-Rwanda using our platform to the international market. We have the platform, we have excellent designers and a good organizing team behind the event management, the rest is making history. I am confident people can only expect the best out of the event”

The arguably biggest fashion event in Rwanda is expected to attract 14 local designers, who will be joined by African fashion designers trading their profession in different countries across the world, namely Uganda, Burundi, England, Kenya, Switzerland, Japan, USA, Germany, DRC, Spain, Nigeria and Germany.

Kigali Fashion Week has seen fast rise, going international after its fashion events to Europe in April, looking to expand Made-in-Rwanda promotion in Netherlands and Belgium.
In September, the event will shift the focus to London before going to New York in December and Tokyo next year.

Culture

Repentant Germany signs accord to return stolen Nigerian artifacts, Benin Bronzes

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Germany and Nigeria have signed a memorandum of understanding for the return of centuries-old sculptures known as the Benin Bronzes that were taken from Africa in the 19th century.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Culture Minister Claudia Roth, as well as Nigeria’s Culture Minister Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairo Dada.

The German Foreign Minister admitted “it was wrong to take the bronzes; it was wrong to keep them for 120 years.”

Two pieces of artifacts, a head of a king and a relief slab depicting a king with four attendants were handed over to commemorate the return of the pieces.

 

“This is just the beginning of more than 1,000 pieces from the Kingdom of Benin that are still in German museums, and they all belong to the people of Nigeria,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. “It was wrong to take the bronzes; it was wrong to keep them for 120 years.”

 

The bronzes “are some of Africa’s greatest treasures, but they are also telling the story of colonial violence,” Baerbock said.

African arts litter many museums in Europe and North America. Some of the countries have sought to resolve ownership disputes over objects looted during colonial times.

One of such museums, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, an authority that oversees many of Berlin’s museums, announced last year that it was beginning formal negotiations on returning pieces that are in its collection.

According to washingtonposthundreds of African artifacts were sold to collections such as the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, which has one of the world’s largest groups of historical objects from the Kingdom of Benin, estimated to include about 530 items, including 440 bronzes. Many of them date from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Historyextra reports that Benin Bronzes are a collection of more than 3,000 figures and other decorative pieces looted by the British in 1897. The artifacts are housed in at least 161 public and private collections scattered around the world.

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First ever African Fashion exhibition debuts in the UK Saturday

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The first ever African Fashion exhibition which has been touted to be UK’s most extensive exhibition of African fashion artistry is set to debut in London on Saturday, July 2, according to the show organisers.

The epoch making African Fashion event which is aimed at showcasing designers from the black continent, as well as exoose Africa’s diverse heritage and cultures, which will open at London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, is also the country’s first exhibition dedicated to the medium.

Apart from the fashion show, there will also be an exhibition are African objects, sketches, photos and film from across the continent, starting from the African liberation years in the 1950s to 1980s to up-and-coming contemporary designers, according to the event organizers.

The project curator, Elisabeth Murray, in a statement, said the scene is set with a section on “African Cultural Renaissance”, highlighting protest posters and literature from independence movements that developed in conjunction with fashion.

“The Vanguard is the central attraction, displaying iconic works by well-known African designers including Niger’s Alphadi, Nigeria’s Shade Thomas-Fahm and Kofi Ansah of Ghana.

“Over 250 objects are on display for the African Fashion exhibition, with approximately half of these drawn from the museum’s collection, including 70 new acquisitions.

“Many of the garments on show are from the personal archives of a selection of iconic mid-twentieth century African designers with one of the highlight being the centre-piece made by Moroccan fashion designer Artsi Ifrach, called “A Dialogue Between Cultures” which was Inspired by the British trench coat and headscarf,” Murray said.

“The conversations and collaborations that have shaped the making of the Africa Fashion exhibition are a testbed for new equitable ways of working together that allow us to imagine and call into being the V&A of the future,” she added.

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