This #HOWTOTHURSDAY, we’re highlighting African-oriented outlets that are making the world a better place to be!
Get Dressed. Kibonen Nfi is the designer behind the hot haute new collection Kibonen NY (pictured above). The collection takes its inspiration from traditional Cameroonian embroidery, West African fabrics, New YorkΓÇÖs vibrance and European Couture. Kibonen has contemporized the most delicate and intricate hand woven traditional garments of Cameroon, her home country, and captured the imagination of fashion industry professionals, and the editors of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Italia. We also hear a few Hollywood red carpet stars have had “meetings” with her. Visit and shop her site to be among the industry pros who are in the know.
Give Back. Serge Betsen┬áis a retired rugby union player┬áplayer who played as a flanker for international teams London Wasps and Biarritz. Post retirement in 2012 Serge took his athletic and winning spirit to champion the cause of underprivileged children in Cameroon. The Serge Betsen Academy has become an extension of Serge’s desire to give back. Originally conceived as a project to increase the popularity of rugby with disadvantaged youth in Cameroon, “Les Enfants de Biemassy,” renamed “Serge Betsen Academy,” now uses the teaching of this sport as a vehicle for social integration and for access to education for hundreds of underprivileged children in Yaounde and its suburbs. The charity arranges medical care by health professionals, organizes immunization campaigns and provides information on STDs. Want to support this wonderful charity? Visit sergebetsenacademy.com.
Feel Beautiful.Shea Yeleen is a┬áline of┬áhigh quality all natural fair trade┬ábeauty products that are┬ánot only wonderful for your skin, but also give back. Wanna know how? When you purchase Shea Yeleen┬ábeauty products, you help contribute┬áto┬áthe living wages of the women from rural, sub-Saharan Africa who harvest natural ingredients to┬ácreate┬á their shea┬ábutter. Not only is this social enterprise’s mission to┬áorganize and train women in the villages of Ghana to┬áproduce high quality natural┬ábutter, the sales┬á provide a fair wage to┬áthe women who own and work at the shea┬ábutter cooperatives in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more about who Shea Yeleen┬áworks with in this short clip. Shea Yeleen products┬áare available at sheayeleen.com as well as select┬áWhole Foods┬ástores.
Dance Freely. Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture, Inc. of Rockland County (pictured up top), headquartered in Suffern, N.Y., was founded in January 2003 as a not-for-profit entity to enrich its community, particularly its youth. Chiku Awali, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, has a mission to promote, encourage, and project civic and cultural programs and activities that are representative of African dance and culture. Chiku Awali also provides community outreach programs to local libraries, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. In addition to dance, the organization provides African drumming classes, as well as African artistic projects such as jewelry making, mancala design and sand painting. Classes are available on a sliding fee scale based on income eligibility. Chiku Awali hosts a yearlong Rites of Passage for Young Men and Women which arms young adults with skills and tools to become a productive member of society. Chiku Awali also focuses on projects that teach healthy lifestyles for its community. The organization sponsors trips to African events in and around the tri-state area, and sponsors tours to Africa. Learn more and get involved.
photo credit: Courtesy The Journel News