This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Felabration 2015 #TurnUp in Accra. The event was a fabulous way to honour the legendary Fela Kuti’s birthday. You guys know I don’t play when it comes to my afrobeats, and I got my love for Fela from growing up in Nigeria. I lost all my home training when Kyekyeku performed Fela’s “Lady.” For me though, the best performance of the night was by Villy & the Xtreme Volumes. Absolutely electrifying. I was screaming YAAAASSS, hitting my shoki and waving my handkerchief like your overly turnt Auntie at the church BBQ.
Anyhoo! Before the event I was stressing about what to wear. It was laundry day and I needed to take a simple outfit from “okay” to “SLAY!” Et voila… a cutesy little black dress and some chic accessories.
This “little black dress” is actually a vest top from Dorothy Perkins, tucked into a flared mini skirt from my beloved Primark.
I paired this outfit with a gorgeous deep coral beaded necklace, accented with a chunky bronze section. It was a gift from a very dear friend, and I love it. I’m a fiend for pops of bright colour, so I set off the red/orange of the necklace with a fuchsia lip. This lipstick is “Spellbound” by CoverGirl- I picked it up in Sydney and it is BAE!
And on my tootsies? These fringed tan sandals from New Look. I bought these babies in the summer for Wireless Festival in London. My aim was to serve Chocolate Pocahontas realness. I love these sandals with shorts and little skirts. The swishing of the fringe with every step gives me life!
There you have it! I felt fabulous and also like I had cheated the universe by creating an outfit out of laundry day dregs. A little black dress will always be a winner for ladylike chic. I may swear like a sailor, but I am ALWAYS a lady. Like Fela said, “If you call am woman, African woman no go ‘gree… she go say I be Lady o…”
This post should really be called “Soundtrack to My Life” because I’ve had this song on repeat for so long now. Growing up in my beloved Nigeria means that my heart belongs permanently to Afrobeat. Initially made world-famous in the 60s and 70s by the legendary Fela Kuti, Afrobeat has continued to slay folks up until 2014. I love how modern West African artists are blending the old Afrobeat style with the typically Congolese/Central African sound, commonly known as makossa/soukouss/coupe decale. Add to this blend some of the best elements of modern pop music and you’re left with something INCREDIBLE. Get your chops round the video and then we’ll talk.
*sips palm wine*
And we’re back! Here’s why we love this track:
1. The phrase “Le Kwa Ukwu” is Igbo for “Look at that backside.” Perfection. You’d better effing look at it.
2. I am drunk in love with Iyanya himself. I mean. Are you going to SIT THERE and tell me that you don’t see how his waist moves as if independent of his body? You don’t see that glint in his eye? And that smile which is scientifically proven to cause arrhythmia? Just take a moment to look at that face. Honed out of the finest milk chocolate by a merciful God. I am so unable right now.
3. That thumping bass line. Those frantic drums. The smattering of cheeky guitar, so familiar to me from Central African/Francophone music. You know when you’re dancing and suddenly a track comes on that makes you lose your goddamn mind? Iyanya’s hit song “Kukere” was one of the most popular Afrobeat hits of 2013. Every time the opening bars start playing, there are howls of “THAT’S MY SAWNG” as people sprint for the dancefloor. Like, people are constantly injured in the struggle for prime dancing space. We Africans take partying extremely seriously- I myself have been known to do some quick stretches in the corner when my jam starts playing.
4. The whole song is about a man appreciating the beauty of a woman. The way she moves. The way she makes him feel. The vibe is sexy, sassy and most importantly, FUN. It makes me giggle.
So now tell me the truth- were you able to sit still while watching this?