>The Afro’Lick Trick

> I was at a thing for professionals in Ghana last week. It was a network meeting including the beautiful people of Accra and the businesses who want to brand themselves to this group.

Among other things a magazine called Canoe was distributed. The background to the name is according to the editorial:

Canoe is simply Canoe; one of Ghana’s main modes of transport some golden years back. The carted everything; luxury items, alcohol, grocery, livestock, waxprint, tradestock, weapons and ferried people across seas and villages linked with rivers.

And fair enough, the mag Canoe brings to us articles on luxury items like cars and technology, imagery containing alcohol and fashion and ads for expensive hotels and boutiques. But also, and more interestingly, the magazine uses a positive language when speaking of African things. When I flipped though the glossy pages these words really popped out, probably because “African-ness” is rarely spoken about in such a way. Some examples:

InnoNative Housing (on environmentally friendly Ghanaian architecture), Afro’Lick (about latest trends), Afroluxe (about latest gadgets), African Values (in an ad also stating “proudly Ghanaian”) and Afrosexual (in a fashion reportage to describe the black models sexual orientation as preferring African partners? Usage not entirely clear).

So will a publication showing that Africans also like to indulge in champagne and fast cars change the image of Africa? Surely not, the focus on consuming luxury items to display success isn’t new, constructive or even interesting (yawn!)at all. But I find that the use of Afri-positive language gives a juicy Afro’Lick on InnoNative Afrique-futures.

In the pic some beautiful people at the launch of above described magazine borrowed from exopa.de, Ghanas only model agency – seemingly highly involved in the CanoeQuarterly.