Month: June 2016

Angolanos em Londres: Re-introducing London’s Angolan Community

Okay. I must admit that Angolans I have found pretty difficult to tell apart. I guess this is a good thing. I may be fiercely dedicated to identifying and serving my community of African Londoners but in the same way that people often get my nationality wrong is with the same conceit I admit to doing the same with others. Once I hear the Portuguese however; it narrows itself down to Cabo Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea (Equatorial and/or Bissau) and São Tomé and Príncipe.

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Quite a few of my Angolan friends have told me they can tell the difference between when Angolans and someone from Cabo Verde (yes – there is a sizeable Cape Verdean community in the UK) or Guinea is speaking Portuguese – my eyebrows raise – but when I come to think of it – I can tell the difference between when a Nigerien French speaker and a Congolese French speaker. I’ll never forget one time when I was on the train home from Tattenham Corner and I met a guy (Carlos) from East Timor fluent in Portuguese. You learn something new each day.

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Back to the point. It is estimated that approximately 30,000-35,000 Portuguese Speakers reside in the borough of Lambeth alone (Nogueira, Porteous & Guerreiro 2015). Wow. There’s an article from LagosinLondon asking why there are no ‘Angolan Restaurants in London’ – Partially incorrect! There are but as usual with the African community Restaurant scene, many start, few continue. I remember seeing an Angolan Cafe/Bar near Canning Town around 15 years ago. Don’t where it’s gone now.

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Besides this, there are a handful of Angolan supper clubs and pop up food store emerging. Checkout Patricia Pascoal (pictured above) Angolan Cookbook and Supper Club i’m expecting to do big things when it launches later this year. But no1 will have to be Nelma’s Cuisine (pictured below) in London. They do some great Angolan and Portuguese Food!

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A lovely cuisine and a lovely woman in charge: Do Check out Nelma’s Cuisine! If you enjoy Portuguese & Angolan food but don’t wish to cook – the she is your chef!

“Caros amigos, voltei para ajudar aos meus irmãos Angolanos cá em Londres e não só, a organizar os melhores eventos, almoços, festas e tudo mais!Faça encomendas de bolos, salgados, cubas de pratos típicos da banda… TUDO A UM BOM PREÇO! Passem a palavra por favor! Estou disponível a tempo inteiro!O meu terminal é o 07506722317 Nelma Lane.”

There are loads of Facebook Groups (of Restaurants, Clubs and Community Groups) where you can join, connect and meet with Angolans and Friends of the Angolan Community such (based in the UK) such as Angolan Students Society – UKKizomba 101, Clube VicioMulher organista, Silvaneide em Record Precoce Natural dos 9 aos 20 anos, Angola Festival UK Alcides Garcia, Mangopes, Kizomba Eemhadi, Voz de Sao Tome e Principe and Radio Angola – Uma Radio Sem amongst others.

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You may be unaware, but Luanda is unofficially the most expensive city in the world…

You’ll find some Angolans at restaurants and bars such as the Ocean Bar Restaurant in Leyton. As well as sizeable communities in Stratford, Woolwich, North London, Midlands and North West England such as the Angola Association of Nottingham.

Furthermore, do Tweet to @LizMula, @AngolanAuthur, @ZenaidaMZ (from Mozambique but an expert on UK/Africa Lusophone Affairs, @YPrenda and @MsRebelleSoul who are proud Angolan Social Media pros and well connected to the Angolan UK Community


London based Angolan Entrepreneurs & Organisations (Recommended):


MANAGEMENT TO LEARN

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Address: Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, Bloomsbury London WC1H 9BB | Tel: +44 (0)20 7953 0243 | Fax: +44 (0)20 7953 0244 | Emailinfo@management2learn.co.uk

Management To Learn provides the highest level of cost-effective and timely services to Angolan students in UK, Europe and the United States to ensure the students fulfil their mission of becoming skilled professionals.


UKANGOLA

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Address: UKAngola Ltd, 21 Baseline Business Studios, Whitchurch Road, London, W11 4AT | Phone : +44 20 7243 4052 | Email : info@ukangola.com

Reliable Travel Management Consultancy  recognised as a leading travel management company to Angola through the profitable fusion of professionalism and reliability. Their close engagement with clients from initial consultation through advice to implementation is what makes us unique in our field. With UKAngola you get peace of mind from our in-depth understanding of your business, our ability to deliver a timely, professional turnkey service, and our ongoing monitoring of new legislation and how it specifically affects you.


OTHER ORGANISATIONS:

Some websites to get you started are ALMA UK (ALMA is the partnership between the Anglican Church in Angola, London and Mozambique. The original covenant was signed on 12 July 1998. A renewed Covenant was signed on 13 July 2008 during the Rivers of Life service in St Paul’s Cathedral), Aprendado Angola Capoeira Association, Tokoistas Angolan Charitable Association (kasepanansiluzando@btinternet.com), UK Angolan Community in London headed by Carlos Alonso.

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The Bridge UK-Angola is a charity organisation helping a wide range of groups in need in Angola, including street children, the sick, the elderly and destitute communities. The Angola Community in London (question marks as to whether they are still active) provides advice and help on immigration, housing, education, welfare benefits and social services for Angolans in London, including refugees and asylum seekers. Interpreting and translation. Prison, detention centre and hospital visiting. Domiciliary care and food for older people. Liaison with other organisations on refugee issues and policy development.

Do remember that the Portuguese speaking community in London and the UK is rather large and diverse. Within the community are migrants from four different continents: Europe (the Portuguese mainland and the islands Madeira and Azores); Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and the island of Sao Tome e Principe; South America (Brazil) and Asia (East Timor). Each ethnic group has its own unique culture, yet crucially they share one language and are said as well to be bound by their love of food, music, dance and conviviality in general.
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*** Do you know or want to recommend other Angolan Entrepreneurs, Stakeholders or organisations that you feel should be present on this list based in London/Greater London that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

15 African Catering Companies to Check out in London (2016)

Now there are a ton of African caterers out there; some with mere business cards and others with a state of the social media presence. With all the fuss about African food pop-ups are beginning to take over the London street food scene dying down; it’s still of good use to write up a small list of some of the best caterers out there – or should I say down here in and around London.

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It’s worth checking out the #OyaComeChop Supper Club hosted by Tokunbo’s Kitchen by the way – One of the place to ‘eat out’ before the year runs out! Looks Amazing!!

It’s worth mentioning how African caterers preceeded African restaurants; and there are many caterers with tasty food and blessed hands that can deliver direct to your door and event. Here some of the best African Caterers currently trending in London and Greater London:


*** SPECIAL FEATURE: IJESHOP ***

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Insta: /Ijeshop | Facebook: /ijeshop | Twitter: @ijefood | Email: ijeshop@gmail.com | Phone: +44 (0)7949536008

Ms. Ayo Ijeoma is the seasoned cook and entrepreneur behind this brand. The New Website is out soon; but their existing platforms show that these guys are growing and in demand. Furthermore, their new web design will be complete with luxury Afrofusion recipes plus info about their catering service to Hotels and venues across England for Weddings and Corporate events too! Also, Delivery of Nigerian/African GROCERIES and COOKED FOOD can be made direct to your door UK WIDE. Ijeshop certainly means business. Check these guys out – Highly Recommended indeed!


1) LOLO CATERING

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Insta: /LoloCatering | JustEat: /Lolo-Kitchen-Northolt | Facebook: LOLO-LC | Twitter: @LoloCatering | Email (events enquiries): alice.lolocatering@outlook.com | Phone :(+44) 07480 244518 | Snapchat: Lolocatering

Small but healthy upcoming African Catering Business based in Ealing. LOLO Catering is a licensed Food Catering company with a 5 Star Hygiene, officially on . Whether it’s small dinner parties to large private and corporate events such as Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays and Conferences or Family Fun Days, informal buffets, christening, Churches and Community events – these guys deliver. And literally too. Certainly one of the best caterer options for small events 50/60+ people or less. Email alice.lolocatering@outlook.com for any enquiries or any events/bookings. Pleasant catering experiences with convenient solutions and great food guaranteed.


2) CUISINE A LA LEKE

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Insta: /alalekecuisine | Facebook: /alaLekeHourlyKitchen | Address: Unit 25, Ropery Business Park, Anchor & Hope Lane London SE7 7RX | Phone 1: 07552 203 464 | Phone 2: 07939 966 419 | Email: info@alaleke.co.uk

Cuisine a la Leke has established excellent reputation for providing 5 Star Hospitality Services for the Afro-Caribbean Clients for over two decades in the United Kingdom. You can also rent their kitchen for all your party needs. Their professional kitchen complies with Environmental Health Standard making it ideal for any start up business requiring a space to operate from.

3) FAVOUR CATERING & EVENTS

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Insta: /FavourCateringAndEvents | Facebook: /FavourCateringAndEvents | Address: Unit A3, Connaught Business Centre, Hyde Estate Road, London NW9 6JL | Telephone: 0208 2003004 | Mobile 1: 07956 306798 | Mobile 2: 07958 344865 | Email: customercare@favour-events.com

Quality service from a Quality Family run African Catering Company. FAVOUR Catering and events are a family run business with years of experience. Our passion is to provide tasty, beautifully presented Food with a commitment to excellent customer service. Over the years, we have built a reputation for bespoke catering and personal service. We design our menus to specifically suite each client and event to ensure that the entire customer experience from initial meeting to the main event is friendly and professional.


*** SPECIAL FEATURE:  TEMI TYS KITCHEN ***

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Insta: /TemyTysKitchen | Email: TemiTysKitchen@gmail.com | Twitter: @TemiTysKitchen | Listings: UKBlackOwned

Temi Tys Kitchen – Kudos! Healthy cuisine, Wonderful African and British food creatively altered every week via his weekly menu. Head Chef Temi is a man who knows exactly what his vision is for his African Inspired Recipes: Tasty Food. Whether it’s Cookie Cake, Fried Rice served with Honey Glazed Salt n Pepper Chicken Wings; Crispy Duck on a bed of creamy potato mash topped with Asparagus and a homemade Hoisin sauce or even American style pancakes topped with maple syrup, alongside scrambled eggs, Sausage, streaky bacon, TemiTys Chestnut mushrooms😏 & blueberries. Hands Down – this guy has the best instagram page out there – for enquiries email Temi: temityskitchen@gmail.com


 4) RNK FOODS

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Twitter: @RNKfoods |  Facebook: /African.SupperClubPhone 1: 07761 558 314 o| Phone 2: 0151 608 7405 | Emailinfo@rnk-foods.co.uk

Clinician & Nutritionist Grace Ronke Adegoke is the name behind this healthy brand. These guys have a vegetarian menu and cater for your parties, conferences and meetings where and when you want. Whether it’s weddings, birthdays or a christening etc. Whatever your venue, be it a prestigious hotel or a marquee they can help. Grace is an African Food Enthusiast ! Passionate about teaching food, cooking it, researching it and Eating it healthy way.


5) BRING AND BRAAI

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Insta: /BringAndBraai | Facebook: /Bring-and-Braai | Phone 1: (Mark) 07884 481121 | Email: (Mark) 07884 481121 – mark@bringandbraai.co.uk | Phone 2: (Rodney) 07903 555647 rodney@bringandbraai.co.uk

Truly South African!  🇿🇦 These Outdoor Caterers bring , a Taste of Africa ‘literally’ to your back garden or local park.  🇬🇧, Using Traditional Methods & Flavours; they arrive, set up, and cook a feast for you and your family and friends. Then when you’re completely satisfied that all your guests have been fed to their hearts content – they pack up and leave. Family Fun Days, Summer Rugby, Outdoor Events and more; they have a menu to suit all tastes, budgets and occasions. Don’t worry about the kids also – if they are under 12 they eat for £5.


6) LARABA CATERING

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Facebook: /LarabaCatering | Twitter: @LarabaCatering | Phone 1: 07836732618 | Address: Laraba Catering, Epsom, Surrey KT17 3LU | Phone 2: 07552 422 177

Whether it’s catering 5 Star Wedding and Anniversary events or small intimate gatherings, Laraba is the one. Aromatic, colourful, flavoursome and healthy – Laraba Catering’s traditional Nigerian food brings the authentic tastes of West Africa straight to your table. Head Chef and Founder of Laraba, Lara is passionate for catering for corporate events, family parties and busy homes. And having personally indulged myself in some of her food myself; Laraba is certainly worthy of as one of the best Nigerian/African Caterers in London at the moment.


7) Little Boabab

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Vintage Senegalese! Checkout this Senegalese Restaurant in Clapton. Khadim is the owner and Senegalese is the food. It’s our favourite Restaurant in London at the moment here at Migreat so we give them the thumbs up! Little Baobab feels like the sort of venture that was popping up every day in Hackney a few years ago. Run by chef Khadim and musician Abdoulaye Sam, two friends originally from Dakar, Senegal, the restaurant hosts live music every night. Check them out! They do cater for small events also.

Address: 159 Lower Clapton Road, Clapton, London E5 8EQ | Website: here


8) Tasty African Food (TastysUK)

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Insta: /TastyAfricanFood | Twitter@TastysUK | Facebook: /TastyAfricanFood | Head Office Address: 20-22 Gilbert Road, Belvedere, Kent, DA17 5DA | Phone 1: 07483455270 Phone 2: 02083100844

Tasty African Food is passionate about delighting your guests to high quality African food. We provide professional catering services to individuals and organisations for events such as weddings, birthday parties, business meetings etc. Tasty African Food have been going from strength to strength for 17 years plus. Tasty African Food has been serving authentic African dishes since year 2000 and are among the top African caterers in London.


9) MrsJFoods

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Insta: /MrsJFoods | Facebook: /MrsJFoods | Twitter: @MrsJFoods | Address: Mrs J Foods Kitchen, Unit 15 Lansdowne Workshops, Lansdowne Mews, Charlton, London SE7 8AZ | Tel: 0207 112 4922 or 07801 228 481(Out of hours) | Email: info@mrsjfoods.com

Luxury Nigerian and fusion catering covering most of UK. MrsJFoods is a perfect choice for private hire small and large gatherings for daytime and evenings events with wonderful choices of cold and hot African food. They also offer Outside Catering for your Special Outdoor Events. Choose Mrs J for impressive food and service your guests won’t forget in a hurry!


10) Diddi Catering

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Insta: /DiddiCatering | Twitter@DiddiCatering | Facebook: /Diddi-Catering+Events | Phone (UK) +447984549669. +442085215172 | Phone (Nigeria) +2347080205517 | Email: info@diddicatering.com

Diddi Catering is an African-caribbean caterer based in East London. They serve mainly West African food. Diddi Caetring have an enviable reputation for imaginatively presented and deliciously tasting, Authentic African food.


11) EAT JOLLOF

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Insta: /EatJollofLondon | Facebook: /EatJollof | Linkedin: /Eat-Jollof-London | Twitter: @EatJollof | Phone: 020 8984 8437 | Emailinfo@eatjollof.co.uk

Eat Jollof offer a full range of African and Caribbean food catering services in London and the rest of the UK. From private parties, such as weddings and birthdays, to major corporate events. It has built its reputation as London’s leading catering company by providing a modern and creative culinary alternative to the mainstream options. Check them out!


12) Waakye Leaf

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Insta: /WaakyeLeaf | Facebook: waakye.leaf | Twitter@WaakyeLeaf | Phone: 07515 783 902 | Emailinfo@waakyeleaf.co.uk

Waakye Leaf is a Ghanaian and afro fusion catering company with a fast-growing reputation for cooking great-tasting food, providing excellent service and meticulous attention to detail. Waakye Leaf’s main principle is to use the best ingredients, serve generous portions and ensure to have the highest quality in our dishes. Distinctively Ghanaian and Distinctively good!


13) Sweet Handz

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Insta: /SweetHandz | Facebook: /SweetHandz-Restaurant | Twitter: @SweetHandzN7 | Address: 217 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DL | Phone 1: 0207 700 6427 | Phone 2:  07956296062

Boom! SweetHandz is a touch of Ghana situated in the heart of London City. Our Restaurant blends a relaxed atmosphere with the delicious authentic Ghanaian Food! Sweet Handz offers a range of outside catering services for all kinds of functions. They are available today and can be hired for your wedding, birthday, party or parties! Whether it is catering for office parties, a family get together, large corporate events, private get-togethers, or a group celebration, we ensure your event is tailored to fit in with your ideas and budget or dietary requirements.


14) Magic Fingers

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Insta@MagicFingersEvents | Phone 1: 0208 525 1738 | Phone 2: 07958 619 729 | Emailyourday@magicfingersevents.co.uk

Whilst many venues have not been capable of delivering authentic African food in terms of quality, variety, flavours and customer satisfaction; Magic Fingers does just that. Through catering and decorating, Magic Fingers can create an enchanting, magical ambience through food, centerpieces, lighting and draping. Decorations are on point and food is amazing. Very well regarded services promise not to disappoint.


15) Beautiful Foods

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Twitter@BeautifulFoods | Facebook: /BeautifulFoodsLTDAddress: Neville Court, 37 Neville Road, Croydon CR0 2DS | Phone: 020 86830512 | Email: info@beautifulfoods.co.uk

Beautiful Foods are an experienced African food manufacturers, weddings and event caterers in and around London UK for over 10 years. BFL also distributes its Tabitha’s range of snacks to the market place via a nationwide network of distributors in the U.K. Our ranges cover all levels of the marketplace ranging from retailers, venues, hotels, wholesalers and supermarket. We strive to continue to promote our Tabitha’s brands well known for their combination of quality and competitive pricing throughout UK, Ireland, Scotland, Europe, Nigeria, South Africa and the USA market.


 *** Do you know or want to recommend other Caterering Entrepreneurs and/or organisations based in London/Greater London that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

Les Nigériens au Royaume-Uni: Re-Introducing London’s Nigérien Community

We’re not speaking of Nigerians but Nigériens. Not much is known about the Niger Republic in London; let alone the UK and dare stay throughout non-French speaking Europe. There’s an argument to suggest why on earth is this article being written; but life it’s not just about serving ‘majorities’ but ‘minorities’. Niger is a county close to my heart, I have extended family, made some great friends the some whilst based in Belgium (there is a large community there) and have good ties with the country.

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I don’t politics. But I won’t deny this is a very nice photo of Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou (right) and Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari in India (It’s got that brother’s feel). Credits: TheNationOnline.ng

#Nigéria ==> #nigérian ==> Nigerian (English way of spelling Nigerian)

#Niger ===> #nigérien ==> Nigerien (English way of spelling Nigérien)

#Arrêtez Ça!!

The quote above represents some of the typical responses from Africa’s francophone communities (living in France and Belgium) towards those that still do not understand the difference between Niger and Nigeria. At the world cup two years ago when France beat Nigeria, it was a common sight  to see people on social media congratulate Nigeria and Nigériens alike – only to find that Nigérien refers to the people of Niger or Niger and not the people of Nigeria which in french is Nigérian.


Nigériens à Londres: Nigerien Community in London

Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Pidgin English are main languages that dominate much of Africa’s most populous country whilst Hausa, Zarma, Tuareg and Arabic dominate the small and humble Niger nation. Niger is Nigeria’s northern neighbour and the similarity in names comes from both countries deriving their names for the Niger river – even CNN (below) couldn’t note the difference. There are a handful of 2nd and 3rd generation Nigeriens that are in the UK having moved from France and Belgium.

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Migrants from Niger Republic are spread across the country as students and expats in very small numbers. Nigeriens have a very small population in the UK (believed to be less than 500 Niger Citizens) and London but some can be found In North East London at Kilburn, Harlesden and Stepney Green. The majority (who are Hausa, djerma and Zarma speaking are Muslims) get on well with Francophone Africans, Northern Nigerians and Ghanaians, Arabs and Sudanese. Nigeriens are noted to be reserved, humble and conservative yet welcoming people.


A Few UK Based Nigerien Bodies:


1) GRENASAD (Nigerien Students Group in England for the Protection of Democratic Achievements)

Vive le Niger | Vive la Démocratie

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Pour le GRENASAD ( Groupe d’Etudiants Nigériens en Angleterre pour la Sauvegarde des Acquis Démocratiques )
signés  le 16 Septembre 2009  à Londres (Angleterre )
Le Coordinateur Provisoire . Sidikou Bourahima Gade
Le Rapporteur Principal . Bachir Abdou
Le Rapporteur Adjoint. Hassane Hamadou
Le Facilitateur. Adamou Abdoulaye Djibo
Tel : 00(44) 755271537
Email a : grenasad@yahoo.co.uk


2) Niger Consulate, UK (temporarily closed)

TOPSHOT-NIGER-POLITICS-VOTEThere are only a handful of people and resources that you can aid you to locate the Nigerien community in the UK and London. Surprise Surprise; the embassy is the best place to start. The Consulate of Niger is located in Maida Vale in Kilburn, North London. The Honorary Consul along with his team are very supportive and doing a great job integrating and serving the Nigerien community and friends of Niger alike. Their address can be found here or below at:

Main Office: Consulate of the Republic of Niger UK MPC House 15 Maple Mews Maida Vale London NW6 5UZ Tel: 0207 328 8180 Fax: 0207 328 8120


3) DARN-UK

165.3_CP_NigerThey are DARN-UK and that stands for the ‘Diaspora Association of Republic of Niger Nationals’. This association was established in the UK in 2012. DARN-UK is the Diaspora Association of Republic of Niger Nationals in the UK. The Diaspora Association is a social, non-political, anti-racist and non-religious organisation in all its aspects. It doesn’t reflect nor does it defend the interest of any political party or religious tendencies in Niger or in the United Kingdom.

*** Do you know or want to recommend other Nigérien projects and/or organisations based in the UK and/or London? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

“I don’t want to go Nigeria because my parents dislike the place!”

True talk? Unknown to many British-Nigerian parents; they are the cause (and not media propaganda) of why many of our children are not interested in our culture or the continent. This is a throwback article I wrote last year but I wonder how many British African parents would change their answer this question in light the recent ‘Brexit’ 2016 vote. Now please don’t get carried away with the title; this does’t just apply to British-Nigerian Parents but also the parents from the wider African community (as some of the comments below of those that disagree and agree with this point make aware).

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Will African diaspora’s become more inclined to travel home as British identity in Europe becomes more questioned? We’ll have to wait and see. I believe so. The question of whether our children born and raised in Europe are not interested in Africa because of parental chit chat and experiences is a divisive one as some of the reader comments below (from the Facebook posthighlight.

Agreed:

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“Agree with some of the points in the article. It’s very common to hear of Ghanaians in the UK who are careful of Ghanaians in Ghana, Nigerians careful of Nigerians (both in Nigeria and here haha) and so on. There are many here who have had negative experiences of home coupled with African men and as a result; share with the younger generation that neither Africa or African men are a good choice and you must be very careful… poignant read!”

Disagreed:

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“That’s not true. Majority of British born Nigerians travel home love Nigeria and make efforts to travel home. The ones who don’t like nigeria are those it was used to threaten as punishment for bad behaviour or those put off by how aggressive ppl back home can be sometimes when they get something wrong through no fault of their own. My kids are into Naija movies and music. They’ve travelled home and enjoyed the experience too.”

 

I’ve certainly seen, met and heard conversations right from secondary school in London, barbers and hair salons, market corners and events about people’s experiences back home and how this shapes a lot of the perceptions of young people growing up. What controls the circumference of your thinking will control the diameter of your thinking.

 

I’ve certainly benefitted from visiting and living in East and West Africa. But prior to; it was what I saw and heard out of the mouthpiece of mainstream British Media and local conversations that shaped my thinking. I know i’m not the only one.

So just for those that didn’t have the opportunity to read and disagree; Here are 5 common factors in parents contribute to giving a bad of image of their country outside their country:


1) If my parents say:

“We’ve had terrible experiences back home. No chance.”

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Whether it is because one has fled from civil war, famine and other terrible experiences. Many African parents in the UK dislike home and transfer this knowledge onto their children. Before I went to Tanzania and Nigeria for the first time – I was certainly anxious because of the many things I heard from both the mum and dad – some of these things were not even mentioned to me but I heard in various conversations on the phone, at the local black barber shops in Newham and even during the secondary school banter amongst black British students in the playground.


2) If my parents say:

“You know how our people are. I don’t trust them.”

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It’s the age old saying that a prophet is despised in his home country. It’s also an age old misbelief that everyone trusts their countrymen. Some people are sensitive to trade with and work with fellow kinsmen of the same country and tribe. I’ve heard many Kenyans here say they don’t like to work for Kenyans just like hearing the few Yoruba spokesmen complain of the difficulties of working with Yoruba people back home. Is this a practice of Self-hatred? Or a common practice amongst people of all culture and races? Regardless, it still feeds into the ears of young people alike and may resent us from not only our own country but our own people.


3) If my parents say:

“I’m a proud African!” (But don’t ask me questions as why I don’t live there)

Nigerian immigrants, London Airport, 1 July 1962.
UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 02: Nigerian immigrants, London Airport, 1 July 1962. (Photo by Daily Herald Archive)

It’s usually a 1st generation African migrant problem: To go home or not to go home? Whilst many 2nd and 3rd generation black migrants in the UK question what it means to be British – the concept of #BlackBritish is becoming more and popular amongst the younger folks. Added to this; there are some parents that do acknowledge the fact that the longer they go on speaking before their kids about the ‘wonderful things’ of Africa away from Africa; the more their kids will interpret that to mean ‘I love home enough to stay away from there and I hate London enough to still want to live here.’ In more simple English; if one proclaims his or her love for Nigeria (before their children) in mere words – then the actions ‘of not living nor wanting to live in Nigeria’ will speak louder. Not desiring to return home is more than enough to illustrate that our parents (in particular those who migrated from Africa to the UK) endeavour not to return.


4) If my parents say:

“Home is where you lay your head”

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Peter Tosh once said “If you’re a black man; you’re an African.” However; there is still this colonial belief that the land of the ‘mzungu’ is better than home – regardless of how they treat us here. The Hausa elders in Niger say ‘Zaman gida ti fi tafiya’ (Staying at home is better than travelling) – I’m not too sure where that proverb will be sandwiched between our parents that may interpret this proverb and ‘home’ to mean the UK or Africa. I guess it’s the personal concept of where one calls ‘home’. Not that there is any shame if one chooses to call home the UK or Scotland or anywhere else – but whether one feels any guilt if the continent or African nation that they born and brought up in is of no sincere cultural or personal to their children.


5) If my parents say:

“I don’t speak my language with my kids because I want them to improve their English”

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Fela Kuti once said in a famous song titled: ‘Mr. Grammarticalogylisationalism Is the Boss’ that: “The better oyibo you talk – the more bread you go get” which means (the belief that Africans have that one can only advance in this life if they fully appropriate the English language and culture). And that seems to be the underlying factor in why many of our African parents (here in the UK and Europe) are comfortability forfeiting thier mother tongues at the expense of their children’s ‘English’. And whilst it can be argued that it is not a bad thing if they want their children to excel at this language – does this act as an expensive cultural currency exchanged for their children’s linguistic heritage and appreciation for African culture and languages?


 

*** If there are other there suggestions that you’d recommend as to how parents contribute or don’t contribute to ‘negative’ stereotypes of our countries; feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter@AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

Africans in Athens: Social Dilemmas, Demographics & Divisions

Athens. Athens. Athens. What a city! I’m here in the Late June/July heat of weather that reminds me of Niger and Nigeria. It’s 40° and I must say this is without doubt the hottest European city i’ve ever been to. Clean metros, electric cable trams, sunny weather and a great night-life scene make this mellow-chillax-and historical city incredibly popular with tourists, migrants and even destination weddings.

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Athens has an amazing and different feel to it as a tourist with your eyes; but as an African people – the plight and welfare of our people is right underneath your nose.

The number of beggars on the city metro (M2 and M3 respectively), Entrepreneurial Bangladeshi shops and religious Eritrean and North African communities caught my eye along with Policemen that with short sleeved vest like shirts (I don’t blame them).

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A Sunshine city in a country going through incredible economic changes and a very diverse and large refugee community: Welcome to Athens

There’s another side to Athens though; and that’s the community mix of African, Arab, Filipino, Eritrean and Bangladeshi migrants, UN Humanitarian granted Syrian Refugees and Tourists. It feels like a very well balanced and mixed city. Furthermore, quite a few American tourists ventured through the Oscar Hotel (Not a sensational hotel but very reasonable for the price you pay) where I was based. If you walk heading to the acropolis you’ll have to cross the Athens junkyard of thieves and drug-dealers (as the actual receptionist told us), but fear not, it’s very quiet. Avoid the salty croissants option at breakfast. Otherwise it is well.

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I had this handed to me at Omonia Square :\ My Greek is minimal but I knew exactly what this was. It’s very common to find Malian and Senegalese ‘traditional healers’ not just on Gumtree in London but on the streets of Athens! Not my cup of tea however =)

Ethnic Demographic of African Migrants in Athens:

Back to the flow. Africans in Athens. You have the North African and sub-saharan divide. I have been very cheeky and not included included any statistics in this particular post. I’m going partially on what I saw venturing under the sun through various streets Larissa, Omonia, Victoria, Katachaki and Parepistimio and more, conversations I had with strangers asking about the ‘African Community in general’ and the handful of community groups you see on Facebook. The latter goes something like this:  Somalians represent (in my opinion) the second largest East African Refugee Community in Athens behind Eritreans and Ethiopians.

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The Igbo (predominantly) and some Yoruba speaking Nigerians outnumber (ever so slightly) the Congolese but I would say French speaking West Africans (inclusive of those from MaliCôte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea, Senegal et plus) make it a balanced affair with the pendulum swinging to the former – no surprises there. I met (and spoke with) French speaking Africans more than I thought I would; and even surprised to walk past a rather loud ‘happy clappy’ Eritrean church (singing Tigrinya praises). I also saw ‘Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries‘ local branch near Panepistimio Square. Congolese French speaking gatherings are also common. This is confirmed by the recent UNHCR Data Refugees/Migrants Emergency Response statistics last year. There is also a small community of Zambians and Angolans in wider Greece.

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Of course racism and discrimination exists in Greece; Farmers shooting Bangladeshi strawberry pickers, African groups rebelling against racism from authorities.

However Egyptian, Algerian, Tunisian, Moroccan represent the larger of the two communities (between Sub-Saharan and North African). Cafes, Local restaurants and stalls are littered across the central suburbs whether you’re in Irini or Evangelismos; the rather colourful and pleasantly ‘noisy at night’ Arabs are seen throughout.

I’ve been here 26 years. Greeks are racists, full stop. I’ve seen lots of examples, from kids going “ching-chong-ching-chong” to a Korean on a bus, to spectators in sporting events imitating monkeys whilst they mock black players. But it’s not because Greeks are bad people. It’s a matter of education. When I came here Greece was mostly mono-cultural. Now there are a lot of refugees here. They need to learn to be more tolerant of people of color, especially. I’m sure that will happen as time goes by.” (Wemedge, Greek Reporter)

Coffee Conversation with H. Abdullah (Egyptian-Greek) Migrant:

Differences amongst Arab speaking communities: Tunisians, Algerians and Moroccans are different from Egyptians, Syrians and Iraqi. The latter three communities (here in Athens) are a lot more family focussed and content than the former. Due to colonial influences of French and British military regimes in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in the past; violence has been instilled and is passed down. This is reflected in many (but not all) of the Tunisians and Algerians here (in Athens) in particularly the men. Free Greek Language Courses exist; but many African refugees and immigrants pick up Greek on the streets. Due to the fact Syrians and Iraqi have their children nationalised (and first priority to citizenship) ahead of other African and Asian immigrants (due to their status of UN Humanitarian Refugees) since they are not arriving on the island of Lesbos and/or the country’s northern borders from the war in Syria; now in it’s Sixth Year.  This causes tension.

Social Dilemmas of Preferential Treatment in NGO Aid groups: Afghan, Iraqis and Syrians appear (in the eyes of others) to get everything. African Migrants get nothing. As a result, many Aid organisations and volunteer projects work closely and directly and at times even solely with Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani individuals. On the other hand, Doctors without Borders have been of good help to these Syrians along with many other organisations and local churches. One of the reasons why Egyptians and many Africans change their name is to accepted upon arrival.

Racism, Identity and other things:

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Yes it’s real: There’s a growing Black Panthers moving in Greece and Athens

There isn’t much to say on racism in Greece. It is present and certainly exists. The influx of  the many 120,000+ immigrants into Greece since 2014 has meant security and patrol measures against non-Greek looking migrants  have increased. And many times; black and/or African-American tourists can be harrassed and even locked up by authorities if you’re without ID (make sure you take your passport or photocopy of passport with you at all times). Video Footage of an incredible incident showing clear and open xenophobic and racist security harassing an African man on the train was recorded by a fellow young woman went viral on Greece on YouTube sparking debate and proving why the guys in the above photo need to exist to fight for their rights. Nothing happened or has happened to me so far though.

Stay Tuned for Part II.

 

Best 20: African Wedding Photographers in London (2016)

African Weddings. London. Venues. These three words are a visible sight during a London Summer and Winter as Newlyweds, Anniversaries, Memorial Services and Inaugurations take place amongst London’s colourful African Community. Last year’s notes on the Top 10 African Wedding Photographers in London needs updating and and expansion: so out with the old and in with the new! I guess this can only be a progression from the rigorous yet awarding research that was involved in the Best 50 London based African Fashion Designers and Tailors article last month.

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Just in case you’re looking for a good and reliable London based Make-Up and HeadTie specialist, contact Remsco Creations! FB: /RemscoCreationsMua | Insta: /RemscoCreations | Email: info@remscocreations.com | Phone: 07908216206

Many may want multiple photographers for their special occasion; others are looking for stunning photography whilst others want the best value for money. Here we suggest the best African Events Photographers that provide a great service for those wedding planners, partners to be and events organisers that need an efficient, reliable and quality service with no African timing! As usual this is split into three parts:

  1. Special Feature: Slick Photography
  2. Top 5: (Highly Recommended London-based Photographers)
  3. Best 20 (Yes. I assert that all the photographers here are worthy)

Special Feature: SLICK PHOTOGRAPHY

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Insta: /SlickPhotograph | FB: /SlickPhotography | Twitter: @SlickPhotograph | Phone: +447 5387 09730

Based in London, Slick Photography are a source of inspiration. There’s something elegant, distinct and almost divine about their photos. Well reviewed on Facebook and Followed on Instagram. Kudos to the them and the rather low key yet gifted dude behind this label. Check them out here


Top Five: (London based Photographers, Recommended)


1) AANUFAMO PHOTOGRAPHY

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Insta: /AanuFamo | FB: /AanuFamoPhotography | Blogspot: /AanuFamo or /AanuFamoStudios | Email: aanu_famo@yahoo.com | Phone: +447459490312

Certainly one of London’s Best Destination Wedding and Lifestyle Photographers. Very popular amongst circles in South East and East London and worldwide. This guy did an excellent Job at my cousin’s wedding in Hayes last year. Very patient, comfortable and attention do detail in all his photography. Find out more about Aanu Famo here


2) ADEBAYO DERU

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Yes! The Photo above was taken by Adebayo Deru. One Word: Priceless.

Insta: /AdebayoDeru | FB: /AdebayoDeruPhotography | Twitter: @AdebayoDeru | Email: contact@adebayoderu.com

Adebayo Deru is a creative & inspirational wedding photographer.  Exquisite, Seasoned and International Luxury Wedding and African Wedding Photographer is an established name. I’ve seen this guy around at a few events and His all round service is on point. I know i’ll still see him at another two weddings this year. Checkout SD Weddings MGT who provide Wedding Planners & On the Day Wedding Coordinators or via Instagram here. He provides an excellent,  has numerous awards and reviews and very well known amongst many circles. Find out more about Adebayo Deru here


3) KEVIN OBOSI

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Insta: /KevinObosi | FB: /Kevin-Obosi-Photography | Email: info@kevinobosi.com | Phone:  (+44) 07961-156447

Okay – I’ve followed this guy for more than two years now. I know this will become a rather repeated comment in this post – but RealTalk: This guy’s photos are on point. Whether this guy is self taught or professional – I don’t know. But I do know his work stands out from the rest of the photographers because of his usage of mellow hues and facial portraits. As I mentioned before: “Unless you CHANGE DIRECTIONS you are LIKELY to end up where you are HEADED” (Chinese Proverb) – Change direction and head towards this talented photographer. Find out more about K.O. Photography here.


4) PHOTOGRAPHY BY ABI

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Insta: /PhotographybyAbi  | FB: /PhotographybyAbi | Twitter: @PhotosbyAbi | Email: info@photographybyabi.net | Phone: +44 7940 295 291 | 0208 279 0579 (daytime)

Boom. Photography by Abi. Deserving clients will only be put in touch with deserving photographers – and these guys – or should I say this guy is certainly one of them. Abi Rotimi is the Principal Photographer of Index Photography and Photography by Abi. With one of the largest followings on Social Media; This  award winning photographer has covered Nigerian, Ghanaian, Angolan, African Caribean Weddings. Truly pan-African indeed. Find out more about them here.


5) SAMUEL FALUSI PHOTOGRAPHY

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Insta: /Flyusi | FB: /SamuelFalusiPhotography | Twitter: @Flyusi | Email: samuel.falusi@gmail.com | Phone: +44 (0)7939052698

From Barking to Blackheath to Bristol and beyond. Not many have heard of Samuel Falusi before but they have now! Great photographer. Professional. Affordable. Punctual and well travelled. This guy travels all over the city and country. Apart from being a well sought after photographer in the Newham and South East London area; Samuel’s photography has been featured on BellaNaija, LoveWeddings.NG and more. Find out more about this #GoodMan here.


6) FJ VISUALS

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Insta: /FJ_Visuals | Blog: /fjvisuals_blog | FB: /FJ_Visuals_Photography

Abigail is an amazing photographer concentrating mostly in weddings, church events and conferences and fashion. Her social media presence does not do her justice but attention to detail, client photoshoot consultation and a great listener make her a stand out. A good quality of service at a good price is enhanced through the fact Abigail has a limit on the number of clients she entertains and provides service for each month. So if you’re looking to have a decent and professional photographer at your Traditional Engagement or Wedding at a great price; book FJ Visuals within a good notice period, get in touch with her here.


7) A O MEDIA

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Insta: /ao_media | Twitter: @AO_Media | Email: contact@a-o-media.com | Phone: +44 7983331883

More than A London-based Wedding. Lead Photopgrapher Ayo does Portraiture, Commercial Photography studi, Lifestyle photography, pre-wedding, traditionals en plus. Ago can capture your beauty, personality, uniqueness, and your feelings on your very special day. The best way to develop a really great rapport is to have an engagement session before your wedding day – which he provides.


 8)  OLAMINT PRODUCTIONS

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Insta: /OlamintMediaPhotography | FB: /OlamintWedddingPhotography | Twitter: @OlamintProductn | Phone: 07951911126 | Email: info@olamintproductions.com

“Olamint media Production is one of the best if not the very best in England now, the production is second to none, with great technology nd modern day equipment. I feel truly proud to patronise this great company. It’s simply amazing! !!!!!!!!!”

Probably the best reviewed photographer in London. Olamint are growing and there portfolio show only one reason why: Quality! These guys provide services in Wedding Planning, Toastmaster, Cinematography, Fashion, Portrait, Studio shoot and more. Find out more about them here.

 


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Advert: For all your event planning; do get in touch with the East London and Romford based ‘Spot On Decor‘ on: 07986222506 or 07951202220

9) SIOBHAN AND CO PHOTOGRAPHY

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Insta: /SiobhanandCoPhotography | FB: /SiobhanandCo | Email: siobhanandcophotography@gmail.com

#GoodLady and #GoodFriend Siobhan leads this very interesting and culturally diverse portfolio photography site. Asian, African, Latino Weddings are included within her portfolio amongst others. Very well reviewed, reliable and London based lady is talented and a camera pro. Whether your business is holding a conference, getting married, or would like some professional photos Siobhan and Co are here to help you from start to finish. Find out more about them here.


10) BRIDGE WEDDINGS

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Insta: /Bridge_Weddings | FB: /BridgeWeddings | Twitter: @BridgeWeddings | YouTube: /BridgeGapMedia 

I’ve been following these guys for a while also. And haven’t regretted it.  Experienced Team of 5 were formed more than three years ago and haven’t looked back since. They offer the ultimate wedding experience with Photography and Cinematography. If you love weddings or are a bride to be, check out their blog page. If you desire artistic pieces that capture and story-tell the day of your wedding so well that you relive the moment EVERY TIME! BridgeWeddings aim to do just that and have been doing this for more than 5 years!

 


11) TOKS MEDIA PRODUCTION

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FB: /Toks-Media-Productions-Ltd | Twitter: @ToksMediaProd | Phone: 07930601587 | Email: info@toksmediaproductions.com

Okay. If you’re in need of a wedding booking, require a professional Wedding Photography and Filming Company then checkout Toks-Media. Toks Media Productions Ltd is a creative media production company that specialized in filming, photography and other multi-media productions. They are engaged in the development and production of motion picture films including photography. Find out more about them here.

 


12) ADAMS PHOTO ART

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Insta: /AdamsPhotoArt | FB: /Adams.Photo.Art.Photography | Twitter: @AdamsPhotoArt | Phone: 07944 581986 | Email: info@adamsphotoart.co.uk
No he’s not Nigerian but he has done quite a few Nigeria + African Weddings too. Adam Szczepanski has been lucky enough to photograph a number of Nigerian wedding celebrations. Nigerian weddings are bright, colourful and lots of fun and provide plenty of opportunity for breathtaking wedding photographs. So whether it’s Destination, English, Jewish, Nigerian, Asian, Greek, Tamil, Chinese, Polish… Book him at: adamsphotoart@hotmail.co.uk or Check him out here.

13) JUST TWIST PHOTOGRAPHY 

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Tumblr: /TwistPhoto | Insta: /Just_Twist | FB: /JustTwist | Email: twistphotography@hotmail.com

The Bristol and London based Ghanaian Photographer Sean Markwei has describes his eyes  as shutters and his mind as the lens. Day in day out, JustTwist Photography employ filters intentionally or unintentionally that limit our view of life. Somewhere in that gap, Sean’s camera skills captures The Way I See Things (T.W.I.S.T).

“Through my lens I capture the little things others may have missed that add a little TWIST to my perspective.”


 14) OBI NWOKEDI PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Insta: /MyNameisObi | FB: /PhotographybyObi | Twitter: @MyNameisObi | Email: mynameisobi@gmail.com
Excellent portrait and wedding photographer of Nigerian and African weddings. Both in the UK and Nigeria. Widely reviewed on Facebook, followed on Instagram and regarded abroad.

 15) SOTTU PHOTOGRAPHY

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Insta: /SottuPhotography | Twitter: @Sottu | FB: /SottuPhotography | Phone: UK: +44 753-847-6088, US: +1 401-952-8675,  NIG: +234 805-319-8619 | Email: info@sottuphotography.com
Since 2010, SOTTU’s work has been phenomenal. Through documentary photography, they provide wedding documentaries to clients across US, Europe, Africa & rest of the world. Segun Olotu is the main man and he specialises in a Documentary style photography that captures life’s important moments and His Photographs are visual treasures prized by clients.

16) PHILLIP PARNELL PHOTOGRAPHY

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 Insta: /Philliparnell | FB: /PhillipParnellPhotography | Twitter: @Phillparnell

This guy is actually based in Birmingham; it would seem bizarre for me to include someone so far away but Phillip is also nearby. I’ve been following him for a while and his gift in picturesque photos are the reasons why. If you;re looking for photographers that are very skilled at capturing the more unstructured, natural and random faces and moments of the day away from the usual staged shots – then this guy is the way forward. Phillip doesn’t only do weddings but his vintage collection on African weddings so far does not disappoint. Mr. Pharnell has continued to create, grow, evolve, hone and expand himself and skills as a photographer from day to day, from project to project.

“We got married last month & Phillip captured our day beautifully. I had no idea what happened before I arrived at the venue but seeing the photos has given me the whole story. Aside from the staged family & friends shots, all of the photos are natural and chart our day in gorgeous pictures. We can’t thank you enough, you have given us amazing photos to remind us of our wedding day.” (May 2016 Review)


17) ABI OSHODI PHOTOGRAPHY

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FB: Abi.Oshodi | Insta: /ao_photography | Twitter: @AO_Photography | Purpleport: /ao-photography |  ModelMayhem: /ao_photography

Potrait, Fashion, Event, Commercial, Digital, Studio, Fine Art, Magazine photography – Abi Oshodi does it all. But since we’re focusing on Weddings here – Wedding Photography on his portfolio is magnificent. Had it not been for the gb storage on this blog; more would have been uploaded like his Bella Naija featured work. Look out for the Principal photographer Abi. Quality, Classy and well finished photography from a person that believes “anything you want to learn about her photography can be learnt by view my Images.” Find out more about Him here


18) YOUR AFRICAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

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Phone: 07415 098328 | FB: /YourAfricanWeddingPhotographer | Twitter: /DelPierroPhotos | Email: marc@yourafricanweddingphotographer.com
Certainly the photographer with the Best Logo out there! And yes – that is the name. YAWP = Your African Wedding Photographer. Marc is a wedding photographer living in London. He creates wedding photos that tell your story in an artful and unique way. Marc creates emotional and whimsical stories through his images. He captures people in dream-like scenarios, adding natural environments to the piece, where he juxtaposes dreaming and reality. Find out more about him here

JotPhotography
Insta: /JotPhotography | FB: /JotMMS | Twitter: @JotPhotography_ | Email: info@jotmms.com | Phone: 07951828503
There’s a maturity, a certain swag and finesse that JotPhotography have. This International Photographer specialises in weddings, events & portraiture. They are the last but certainly not least. Their portfolio is full of inspiring African Weddings in London photos with bright colours and striking photographs reveal an unexpected (or should I say expected) interior world of colour. Find out more about them here.

20) JOE MENSAH PHOTOGRAPHY

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FB: /JoeMensah | Phone: 07950 34 00 55 | Email: info@joemensah.co.uk
Joe Mensah Photography specializes in Fashion Events Photography as well as, Beauty, Weddings, Studio, Destination Weddings, Events, Conferences and more. #Ghanaian and Proud Joe Mensah is recognised for his works & providing photography services for cliental in Portraits & Special Events. Some of the most recent works & photography projects have included – The Top Model of Colour Show, African Fashion Week London, & The Beffta Awards.


 

Agree with what you see on this list? Do you know another Photographers skilled and gifted with the lens? Drop a comment below or tweet me at: @africanCB