VIVA Africa, in Dubai.

Once upon a time, an established entrepeneur by the name of Lukman Akanbi decided to move to the United Arab Emirates.

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Lukman was from Nigeria. Fiercely proud of both his nation and mother continent, he went about a vision to solidly implement an African precense in his new Middle Eastern home.

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KIZA was then born in Dubai, a beautifully decorated restaurant/lounge, deliciously depicting all 4 regions of Africa through a seasoned menu of what I like to call the best in ”mama food” . Try it, then say thank you, for the reccomendation.

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Mirroring Lukman’s fine taste in African inspired cuisine, interior design and business, was a love for music…and here, is where VIVA AFRICAcomes into play.

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In December 2012, and for the first time (ever), an annual music festival debuted in Dubai celebrating the motherland - in its entirity. Like KIZA’s menu, VIVA AFRICA highlighted all 4 corners of the continent, in fantastic musical form.

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I always say that unification amongst a people tends to be best displayed when a car breaks down. The same would apply to music, of course, but only when legends come along, unafraid and unabashed in fulfilling their roles as modern day prophets.

VIVA AFRICA’s vision met with a likewise legendary status, in the middle of the Middle East. From Ethiopia to Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya, we witnessed a beautiful emalgamation of music set in a production, stage and show where absolutely no expense was spared on superb delivery…

Correct barbeques… aka [very good] chicken

Correct barbeques... aka [very good] chicken Correct hosts... aka Nigeria's Basketmouth Correct stages, lights, production... aka everything.

Correct Ghana… aka Castro & Asamoah

Correct Ghana... aka Castro & Asamoah

East and West coasts… aka the Sir D’banj & Rozan

East and West coasts... aka the Sir D'banj & Rozan

Ethiopian glory… aka Gossaye

Ethiopian glory... aka Gossaye

Without Shakira playing face… aka South Africa’s Freshly Ground

Without Shakira playing face... aka South Africa's Freshly Ground

Correct ways to attend a concert… aka VIVA AFRICA

Correct ways to attend a concert... aka VIVA AFRICA

‘This has never happened before’ said Uganda’s Chameleon, ‘as you know Africans have a precense all over the world, our influence is massive, and it’s a beautiful thing to see us celebrating together in a new territory’. ‘I’ve performed in Dubai before’ continued Nigeria’s D’Banj, ‘but never on this level of African focus outside of the continent, I can’t wait to see VIVA AFRICA go global’.

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So, a big and bougi kudos going to the visionary, the talent and the country host. Lukman Akandi, Africa’s music, and Dubai. Onto 2013.

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