‘Mbiu’ is a ‘Kiswahili’ term, which translates to horn. Traditionally in African societies, a horn was blown to call people to a single location to notify them about any news in the village and a time for storytelling. Afrikan Mbiu strives to do just that; bringing together a collective of stories from around Africa celebrating the continent.
“My dream is to have one united Africa, whose brand as a continent is strong and positive”
‘Mbiu’ is a digital lifestyle magazine that showcases innovation and creativity in the African lifestyle space aiming to show what Africa has to offer to the whole world. The magazine is the horn and it’s the medium used to call the rest of the world to come and witness what Africa and its lifestyle culture is all about. Afrikan Mbiu is a platform that can unite Africans in which we can learn about different African cultures. This ensures that you, as the reader, will always up to date with what is happening in Africa.
From the Editor, Julianne Obonyo, this is what she had to say about the magazine and her goals:
“My dream is to have one united Africa, whose brand as a continent is strong and positive. Proof that there is so much more to Africa than the negativity we see or associate with Africa. I am trying to reach the things I cant see yet. A positive outlook to Africa. A strong positive brand that is Africa.”
We can all relate to her hopes and sentiments for this is the time that as Africans we begin to tell our own stories and celebrate this continent. Afrikan Mbiu is a great initiative simply because it strives to lend its voice to the world and show the positive bountiful cultural diversity and innovation on the continent feeding into the positivity and over time blurring the barrage of negativity.
“The narrative will always glorify the hunter until the Lion itself learns how to write. Its not so much about what the international media does but what you write about yourself.” Komal Afeke Dumor
In this TEDxEuston Talk entitled “Telling the African Story“, Komal Dumor takes us through his ideas, principles and values concerning a balanced representation and coverage of Africa. His TEDxEuston 2012 talk challenges the conventional wisdom of having others speak for us. It challenges Africans to tell African stories, the way only Africans can. Forever influential, watch Komal Dumor give this thought provoking and humorous talk below.
Shown below is the table of contents clearly demonstrating their goal to unite Africans and learn from each other. Cleverly done, each section in the magazine is a given a title in a different African language. You have Kiswahili “Sauit Yako” (opinions); Igbo “Mkpuru obi nri” (soul food); Portuguese “Viajar e comer fora” (travel and eat out); French “Evenements” (events); Amharic “Guzo” (Travel) giving the reader the opportunity to learn something new, in this case a new phrase or word. With each issue, the words change so it would appear that after reading 5 of their issues, you will be well versed in some languages; well phrases.
The magazine publishes once every two months and so far has two issues for June-July and August- September. In the latest issue, it focuses on the beauty of the African culture with each page showing the reader the continent’s uniqueness and diversity. As Julianne Obonyo states despite said diversity and vastness “there is so much unity in our beautiful continent. We aim to bring Africa to you, our readers, to show you what Africa has to offer. The beautiful Africa and its people.”
The writing unfortunately needs tweaking as the colloquial terms/phrases and ill phrased paragraphs at times does lend itself to sound less serious and professional than it should. We do however applaud the effort and the magazine’s initiative to include upcoming writers to lend their voice to the magazine bringing light, humor and thoughtful pieces. Having said that, the articles do illuminate and celebrate the unique elements that make us African such as the communal upbringing. In an article by Stephanie Wanga titled “Uniqueness in the African Beat” she states:
“There is a movement across Africa, a wind of change, I dare say. We are starting to embrace our cultures and starting to embrace our hair, we are starting to embrace our music and we are starting to embrace our skin.”
How true that statement is and this magazine is a testament to that wind of change, a cultural and mental revolution, as it were, in all of our hearts to appreciate our own and tell our own stories covering the continent.
Reading this magazine is like taking a trip around the continent without the hustle and bustle of making time to travel. From reading about a Nigerian actress to the open-air markets of Ethiopia, there is truly something wonderful to learn in each issue. We will definitely keep an eye on Afrikan Mbiu and keep reading because with every page, you will become more proud to be African and isn’t that the whole point? Bravo! Hongera! Parabéns!
Find out more and read their issues from their site: click here.