Inspired by You (and Africa Of Course)

For this post I got inspired by Alison Nicholls who wrote about the circumstances how she became an artist (it’s story that includes Africa). Along with photographing I also love to paint and do different kind of art projects as my hobby. Many times my source of inspiration is Africa. Or it would be if I’d be able to get my art done. I have many ideas and I have done preparations for some projects but the actual painting or what ever the project requires awaits. I have been able to finish two paintings since 2009 but now I haven’t painted in three years. I would love to paint but some how I’m not able to start. When I just would get started I’m sure I would also get finished. So I need to work with that starting thing. But let’s get back to the inspiration.

In Africa a part of the inspiration comes from the nature and animals and a part comes from the people. But I’m also inspired by presumptions, visions and images that non-African people have about Africa. In my art as in my blog I want to shake those a little bit and open new perspectives. That’s why I would like you (if you are not African) to answer a question: What comes first to your mind when some one mentions Africa? If you are African please answer to this: To what kind of assumptions about Africa you have bumped into?

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Liebster Award


Ok I got my first Liebster award nomination. Thank you Toolan22! I appreciate it.

I had no idea what Liebster award is but now I know thanks to Lorraine at Wording Well. So if you want to know some more, like I did, just click the link above.

First here is eleven random facts about me:

  1.  I have had acupuncture for the first time in my life in Africa. So far it has also been the last time.
  2.  I have shared accomadation with four clowns in Swaziland (you will here about them later on so keep following).
  3.  A friend let me to drive a car owned by his friend during a rush hour in Mbabane. I had never before been driving on left-hand traffic.
  4.  I have nearly been in Ethiopia. We had to change flights at Addis Ababa airport on our way to Zambia.
  5.  My favorite African animals are elephants and giraffes.
  6.  From the Big5 I have seen all the others (lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino) except a leopard.
  7.  I have climbed twice to Sibebe Rock in Swaziland.
  8.  My husband and I got engaged in Africa.
  9.  I haven’t been on a top of Table Mountain even though I have stayed several days in Cape Town.
  10.  I like to paint and Africa is a great inspiration to me.
  11.  And finally: I love Italian food.

And then here are my answers to Toolan’s questions:

  1. What did you feel when you are informed you got nominated for the award? I was surprised and flattered.
  2. What is the best achievement you can have in your life? In future? Well I guess the best achievement would be a life well lived. A life that I can be happy about.
  3. Do you play any musical instrument? If yes, what instrument?    I don’t. I’m not a musical person. Though I might be able to play a tambourine because I have sense of rythm.
  4.  How do you value life? I value it very high. Mine and others.
  5. What country do you want to spend your life? Oh… I can’t choose just one… I would love to share every year in my life between Finland, Swaziland and Italy. And of course travel a little bit in other countries too.
  6. Do you believe in reincarnation? No I don’t. I believe in afterlife.
  7. What is the best blog (not post) you saw? This one is difficult. I haven’t been reading many blogs. There is one blog that I have been admiring because I consider the writer is a brave person. Unfortunately he stopped writing that blog three years ago.
  8. Do you like history? Yes. I’ve always been a fond of it.
  9. When the last time you went to church? It was last week. I work in a church and I’m on a holiday this week. But if you ment a service or a mass then it was two weeks ago.
  10. Do you believe that aliens really exist? No.
  11. Why do you blog? Because Africa. You can read more from my post Why Am I Blogging?

Last but not least my own nominies and questions for them. Enjoy!

Dear matinamk, Charlisa Goodlet, Robin Wood, Annette, Faith, Lisa, Greenberry Street, Alison Nicholls and Ann-Marie here are my questions to you:

  1. What is your favourite boardgame?
  2. What is the most likely place where people would found you on a Friday night?
  3. Do you like 80’s pop music?
  4. Where would you like to travel?
  5. What is the last book you read?
  6. Who do you admire?
  7. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
  8. What type is the house you live in?
  9. How do you see the world?
  10. Are you able to use a hammer?
  11. What is your favorite joke?

My African Playlist – Part 1


I would like to introduce to you some intresting singers and bands from Africa that I have come across with. Hope you enjoy this small tour to African (mostly South African) music.

Youssou N’dour (Senegal) was the first African singer whose song I’ve ever heard. I guess that same applies to many other Europeans born in 1980’s. The song was of course 7 seconds which he had recorded with Neneh Cherry. That beautiful song was a part of my childhood.

Maybe the most well known South African artist is Miriam Makeba aka Mama African. She made a career in United States and sang at John F. Kennydy’s birthdayparty.  Her fight against apartheid cost her a passport and citizenship. She couldn’t go back home South Africa for thirty years. Pata Pata is her best known song.

Durban (South Africa) based group of DJs – DJ Sox, Smallz, DJ Bobo and DJ Menace – released Money Maker in 2008 and it sold platinum in South Africa. I’m not so in to housemusic myself but this song brings to my mind my co-workers 4-year old twins who used to sing the chorus and dance to the beat. They made it so cute way. Because of great memories this is on my playlist.

My personal favorite is South African Johnny Clegg. I have seen his liveshow once and it was fantastic. I danced every song even though I hadn’t heard any of them before. Johnny Clegg is a singer and a songwriter born in England. He has lived most of his life (from the childhood) in Africa. He combines Western and African rythms intrestingly and sings in English, Zulu, France and Afrikaans. Before solo career he made music with two bands: Juluka and Savuka. During the apartheid era mixed race bands like those were not approved in South Africa but they still managed to find they audience. Here’s few great songs from Johnny Clegg: Great Heart, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World and The Crossing.

Why Am I Blogging?

I started blogging just over two months ago for the first time in my life. Now I’m taking a part to the Zero to Hero -challenge for new bloggers. The first mission we got in that challenge  is introducing ourselves. You can read a little bit about me and my relationship to my topic, Africa, from About Me -page. But let’s get back to the question at the topic. Why am I blogging?

That’s actually an easy question. I love and adore Africa and want to share my love to you but I also want to show all the different aspects of the continent. From the news we often see just conflicts from Africa. From TV we see documents about nature. From the internet we can read about violence and hunger. Sometimes we might get lucky and hear common people stories. In here I want to share with you all that: stories from everyday life, pictures of beautiful animals and sceeneries, problems and struggle, love and hope, pain and joy, beauty and trouble. I myself haven’t seen everything, I haven’t seen all the different faces of Africa, but I’m working on it and in the meanwhile I share those things I’ve already seen and experienced.

How do you think I’ve managed this far? I would love to get some feedback from you.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

South Africa

The monument I want to show to you is Robben Island. It’s a symbol of fight for freedom and equality.

During the apartheid (and even before) many political prisoners were sent to Robben Island to serve their sentences. One of the prisoners was Nelson Mandela who spent 18 years there. You can only imagine what it’s like to spent a decade or two in a place like that just because you want that all the same rights (to study, to vote, to live where you want) belong to every one.

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In their song Asimbonanga (Mandela) Johnny Clegg and Savuka call for some of those anti-apartheid activist who were in Robben Island in 1987 when the song was released. You should check that out.