As the month of February approaches people of African Heritage in North America and Canada, seek out opportunities to connect with and celebrate their historical past. While there is much debate about the need or relevance of Black History Month, one hopes that during this time, true meaningful reflection is happening. That those of us who are descendants of Africans brought across the waters take the time to honor our past, evaluate the present and re-imagine with a focus of action a greater future. Call it our cultural new year if you will. Like every new year Black History Month is celebrated with great fanfare and many remarkable events. This year is no different, and there is one event that the Traveling Black Chicks are particularly excited about.
On February 4th African History and Culture will come alive in a wanderland of ingenuity and fashion brought seamlessly together through the creative vision of fashion designer Chinedu Ukabam of Chinedesign.
The show dubbed Afrotropolis Wanderland, “will be a creative experience merging the worlds of visual arts, fashion and film to create a universe that commemorates different periods in Black history and celebrates the achievements of people of African origin“. It is set in the beautiful gallery space of 99 Sudbury in downtown Toronto.
While Afrotropolis Wanderland was conceptualized by the Chinedesign founder and head designer, his vision has been brought to life by a remarkable team of artists from all arenas. We are told that these players have put in great effort to make this experience a sensual feast for the audience. We of course had to find the brilliant ‘black chicks’ in the crew to get their take on the journey through Afrotropolis Wanderland.
First we chat with the show’s producer Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu (an accomplished theatre director and producer with a number of acclaimed productions to her name) about her journey in getting this mammoth project off the ground.
TBC: What attracted you to this project?
MTO: Chinedu’s vision of using art, film and fashion to explore Black History. I mostly work as Theatre Director/Producer and I am mostly interested in creating work that is interdisciplinary in nature. For this reason, i have a keen interest in learning about other art mediums and worlds. I therefore wanted to produce this project as it would enable me to explore artistic territories that I was not used to working in.
MTO: Money! We have been pretty fortunate to have TD Bank and 99 Sudbury sponsor the event.
Short of that, we have a team of extremely talented and resourceful artists that have worked overtime to find resources to make the show happen. We also have many friends and artists who have donated their time and resources because they believe in the project.
MTO: To be honest, i am looking forward to Monday, Feb 6. I am craving the feeling of knowing everything went smoothly, everyone was happy and nothing was lost, stolen or damaged and everything was returned on time. It’s a lot to hope for, but I won’t really relax until all of this happens.
Our thanks to Ms. Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu for taking the time to share her thoughts on this amazing journey. Later this week we get some sneak pics of Aftotropolis Wanderland and chat with the show’s Publicity and Social Media Manager Rehema Vuo about getting the word out about this project! Click on the flyer below to purchase tickets and learn more about this fascinating celebration of Black History!
Till then we are yours
The Traveling Black Chicks