Adornments for the mighty

Published: The East African Nation media 26 October 2019

I stared at myself in the mirror, transfixed and let out an audible gasp.  The beaded collar copied from the Egyptian queen dating more than 4,500 years, adorning my skin was the single most beautiful thing l had ever worn.  It held me mesmerized, entrenched and enchanted me into the world of beads, that l had until hereto little interest in.

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African Twilight

The Vanishing Rituals and Ceremonies of the African Continent

Above: African Heritage House bathed in morning light. Copyright Maya Mangat

Published: The Star newspaper, Kenya – 2 March 2019

“It’s my dream to set up a pan-African centre where artists from all over Africa can come and see the creativity from all parts of Africa,” said Joseph Murumbi, Kenya’s first foreign minister and second vice president.

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African Twilight images – Courtesy Alan Donovan

He never lived to see his dream for his house that had one of the most extensive and valuable collections of all things African, was allowed to fall in ruin after he sold it to the government on condition that it would be turned into the Murumbi Institute of African Studies. Murumbi died shortly after that in 1990 when he saw his once cherished house and indigenous garden in Muthaiga, Nairobi bulldozed away. Continue reading “African Twilight”

Searching For The Beauty of Africa – Step In At The Nairobi Gallery

Above: Sculpture by Francis Nnaggenda at Nairobi Gallery – Copyright Rupi Mangat

Published: 27 October 2018

After an exhausting and stress-filled morning spent in the government office to renew a passport, l needed an energizing boost. The answer lay in the neighbouring Nairobi Gallery, built in 1913 as the PC’s office and dubbed ‘matches, hatches and dispatches’ where all marriages, births and deaths were recorded.

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A Nigerian Fest in Nairobi

Alan Donovan Celebrating half a century in Africa with the arts

Published in The East African Nation media – 23 – 29 September 2017

Above: Oshogbo King wearing beaded crown.  Photo by Alan Donovan

It was in 1967 and the director of USAID in Nigeria was being installed as an honorary chief, riding on a white horse through the city of Oshogbo amidst pomp and glory – and in the crowd was Alan Donovan, young and recently posted to the country by the US government just before the devastating Biafra war broke out.

Alan Donovan buying his first work of African contemporary art from Nigerian artist Muraina Oyelami in Oshogbo Nigeria, in 1967. The Oshogbo group of artists celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with Alan Donovan who arrived in Africa in 1967, during a mammoth city wide Nigerian Festrival in Nairobi during the months of October and November.
Alan Donovan buying his first work of African contemporary art from Nigerian artist Muraina Oyelami in Oshogbo Nigeria, in 1967. The Oshogbo group of artists celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with Alan Donovan who arrived in Africa in 1967, during a mammoth city wide Nigerian Festrival in Nairobi during the months of October and November.

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