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TThe 25th of May 2019 marks a momentous day on the African calendar, Africa Day. Across the entire continent, diverse people of different cultures, religions, beliefs and more celebrate the progress that Africa has made. Africa as a whole has experienced difficulties throughout the years, and for that very reason, Africa Day is an occasion to maintain and increase awareness of the continent’s endless possibilities while celebrating the achievements we, the people of Africa, have made.

We’ve tracked down some of the best African experiences that you can have in South Africa, from food and drink to art and design, there’s something for everyone to celebrate all that is richly unique about Africa. 

FOOD

Little Addis Cafe

In the creative heart of Johannesburg, you will find an authentic Ethiopian eatery owned and run by Kassa. The Little Addis journey started with Kassa opening a stall at the weekly Market on Main in the precinct that brought a taste of Ethiopia to the Sunday market crowds. Little Addis has since grown to a kitchen, coffee bar and seating for up to 36 people.

Their menu shows off a variety of meals from lamb and vegetable stews, red lentil stew, chicken stew, beef and butternut, cabbage and spinach salad mixed with the classic Ethiopian spices of paprika, coriander, dried chillies, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper to give each meal a different taste. Little Addis also serves a range of traditional Ethiopian teas and coffee to try out. Find out more on their website.

MOYO

A unique African dining experience inspired by African traditions and values. Moyo is a celebration of, and commitment to, the beauty of Africa, and the industry of her people. Africa’s warm hospitality and modern ambience make the Moyo experience an unforgettable one.

Moyo embodies Africa’s finest urban cuisines, with diverse dining options ranging from relaxed lunch meals to romantic dinners. The Origins menu is broad and bold, offering visitors a taste of the continent, while also appealing to the local by offering classic South African favourites with a twist. The Life menu introduces café-style breakfasts and lunch with an African spin for quick on the go meals.

For your added pleasure, Moyo scouts Africa for the best artistic talent. Colourful costumes, dramatic acts and fancy footwork of dancers will ensure that you leave delighted. With a song on the lips of the Wishy-Washy ladies, you will be welcomed to the age-old tradition of the African hand-washing and face painting ceremonies.

Today, live music and a unique dining experience are available across South African cities including Cape Town with branches in Blouberg and Kirstenbosch; Durban at Ushaka Marine World and in Johannesburg at Melrose Arch and Zoo Lake.

ASANKA

In West Africa (Ghana) the Asanka is used to take quality fresh ingredients to make uniquely African meals. Asanka restaurant similarly lives a philosophy of creating authentic, classic foods, presented with fine-dining flair African influences from Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, Togo, Cameroon, Benin and beyond.

The two executive chefs have crafted a menu of interesting takes on dishes found all across the continent. The idea was to take recipes from north, east and west Africa and give them a fine-dining twist.

Asanka seeks to fuse the aromatic flavours the African continent has to offer, with familiar Western and cosmopolitan delicacies, resulting in inspired, exceptional gourmet foods and a truly memorable culinary experience in the heart of Johannesburg’s cosmopolitan Sandton precinct. Signature dishes include a Moroccan spiced lamb loin served with apricots, cauliflower mousse and soy marinated parsnips or the harissa brisket which is served with charred spring onion, potato chips and celeriac puree.

GOLD, Cape Town,

One of the biggest misconceptions about Africa is that the continent shares a homogenous culture. Africa is home to hundreds of tribes, ethnic and social groups and GOLD celebrates this diversity in its cuisine.  Tuck into a 14-dish set tasting menu inspired by dishes from all over the African continent.

While honouring African culinary traditions we combine these with modern flavours and techniques to serve up a sophisticated African feast that we change seasonally.

African food is traditionally shared and enjoyed with family and friends. Similarly, our 14-dish tasting menu is served in generous individual and shared portions. Each dish is brought to your table with a country of origin, cooking techniques and spicing explained.

Be entranced by the richness of African stories told through praise singing, Mali puppetry, dancing, marimba percussion and djembe drumming. As community is everything in traditional African cultures, at the end of the evening, all the staff join in the festivities as a way of coming together to celebrate as a family.

EPICURE

Situated in the heart of Sandton, Epicure restaurant boasts exquisite décor, superb service and fine food accompany breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night African street food tastes.

Menus change according to the chef’s inclination but consistently offer a taste of our time and space. Coconut-based crabs pay homage to the wonders of West African seafood. Slow-cooked Nguni oxtail serve southern African comfort and luxury. Magnificent mabele (sorghum) topped with wild mushrooms.

Multi award-winning chef Coco Reinarhz is African epicurean elegance personified. World citizen and son of our soil, his food philosophy always engages with what it means to be African in a global gourmet context.

With a childhood spent at his mother’s side in her restaurant in Kinshasa and formal training at the Ecole Hotelière de Namur in Belgium, Coco is uniquely qualified to lead the new wave of South African cuisine. Under his careful stewardship, modern French flair and exquisite.

ARTIVIST

The Artivist in Braamfontein is a mixed-space venue that merges food, music, art and performance. Its location makes it perfectly situated to contribute to the culture within the city. It gives life and voice to black-conscious Pan-African narrative in a social space for creatives.

The food centres around real nourishment and largely focusses on regional, Pan-African and Mediterranean cuisine that is ethically sourced and prepared, environmentally and people conscious ingredients.

The basement performance space plays host to live music from jazz, hip-hop and soul collaborations to DJs. The artists perform intimate sets in the centre of the room. The space has also played host to a Pop-Up Mozambican food experience called Mozi Bite, which offered a broader view of Mozambican food and culture beyond prawns and piri-piri, and where we featured artworks on loan from legendary Mozambican sculptor Gonçalo Mabunda.

FASHION

KISUA Africa

KISUA’s Ghanaian founder Sam Mensah Jr believed Africa could offer the world a fresh perspective on style from his travels in Africa. He had a vision for a unique opportunity that would take African fashion to global customers and create opportunities for African designers.

Through the KISUA Designer Fund, designer collaboration KISUA provides financial support to the African designers by paying a portion of every sale of the collaborations to the designer.

KISUA is a unique African fashion brand that showcases our continent’s brightest design talent to the world. They create exclusive capsule collections in collaboration with African designers. Inspired by the sights, sounds and tastes of Africa, blending traditional techniques and materials with a contemporary design aesthetic. 

ART

ZEITZ MOCAA

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is the largest art museum in Africa, and the largest museum in the world showcasing the art of Africa and its diaspora. The museum is dedicated to researching, collecting, and exhibiting this art, and houses an impressive collection of work from all over the continent and beyond.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a contemporary art museum which collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits twenty-first-century art from Africa and its diaspora; hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding; and guarantees access for all. Over one hundred galleries, spread over nine floors, are dedicated to a large cutting edge permanent collection; temporary exhibitions; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Training, Performative Practice, Photography, the Moving Image, and the Costume Institute.

The Zeitz MOCAA includes pieces by artists across the African continent including Zimbabwe, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Benin, Angola, Ghana, Togo, Egypt, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Tunisia and Swaziland.

Standard Bank Gallery

TThe Standard Bank Gallery is home to both curated collections of art as well as a collection of historically significant African and South African arts and crafts, including cultural items such as figurines, drums, masks, clothing and ritual objects, as well as beadwork, textiles and valuable ceramic pieces.

The 40 Years of Collecting: Celebrating the Standard Bank African Art Collection (Wits Art Museum) exhibition marks a remarkable partnership between Standard Bank and the University of Witwatersrand (Wits University) in building the Standard Bank African Art Collection. This exhibition promises to be one of the largest classical African art collections in the southern hemisphere. The historical agreement was formalised in 1979 when the senior executives of both institutions, Ian McKenzie and Professor Karl Tober, signed an agreement based on the common goal of collecting, preserving and conserving African cultural material.

The exhibition shows the trajectory of the jointly owned African Art collection and focuses on the moments that have shaped and defined an understanding of its many objects, artefacts, artworks and materials that make up the many culture groups living in Africa and South Africa today. These defining moments are laid out in the exhibition to map the subtle socio-political nuances of how culture has to a large extent remained the same but is also constantly evolving.

40 Years of Collecting: Celebrating the Standard Bank African Art Collection runs from 13 May to 6 July at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg.

The gallery is located on the corner of Simmonds and Frederick Streets in central Johannesburg and offers free, safe undercover parking on the corner of Harrison and Frederick Streets. Gallery hours: Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:20 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 13:00. Entrance to the exhibition is free.

 

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