Germany and Beyond:Independent Journalist Jean-Jacques Dikongué

"Black history month in October?" was my unspoken thought as I listened to my good friend ramble about his day at the library, mentioning books he'd borrowed inspired by activities commemorating Black History Month in London.  If you live in Germany, the tendency would be to attach Black History Month only to I learnt something new: the USA and Canada celebrate BHM in February while Britain celebrates it in October. In Germany tribute is payed to black history in Febuary as well, most actively in Berlin and Hamburg:

Imagine yourself lost in the crowd at Trafalgar Square, by coincidence, your trip back home had been cancelled. The music on stage is infectious. Different musical genres including Krar Collective from Ethiopia, Abdul Diop from Senegal,  Muntu Valdo and Manu Dibango from Cameroon. The atmosphere is vibrant, young and old in joyful spirits, african prints, mouth watering food, lots of podcasters, bloggers, event organisers, paintings, carvings and a little too many flyers. You are at "African Weekender", one of many events backed by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, to celebrate Black History Month and 50 years of African independence.

Standing next to Eric Soul(pic above), presenter of "WAHALA" on Voxafrica, is this gentleman who is introduced to you in french, so he must be from France. You start to like London even more: international networking...The usual small talk is on until he learnts you too are not from London and automatically switches to a very fluent German.  As you get your questions answered "Okay...." is what you think to yourself "..rather amazing.."

His name is Jean-Jacques Dikongué (pic above). Independent Journalist and Editor in Chief of "Tribune2lartiste", an online magazine which focuses on african artists. He is originally from Cameroon and now lives in France after his studies in Germany. In my opinion people like Jean-Jacques are a relevant part of the socioculutural history of the african diaspora in Germany. What I sometimes playfully term the "Via Bundes". They contributed their bit while here and are still doing so on a larger scale after here. Intertwining their various influences with thier immediate contribution to the society.

Jean-Jacques is contributing his bit through media coverage of diversified subjects, mostly on francophone online magazines:
Watch Jean-Jacque's interview with Manu Dibango, saxophonist and founder of Soul Makossa (in French)

Eyum Anneh & Co: Breathing Art and Culture into Integration

Mülheim a.d Ruhr's strategic position in Germany's largest urban agglomeration and industrial zone automatically comes with a colourful history of immigration. Africans in this area and in Mülheim specifically, are an active part in the immigrant community and history. Since a little above three years, Eyum Anneh & Co cultural foundation has added through emphasis on cultural heritage and art to this rich diversity.

The name "Eyum Anneh" stems originally from western Cameroon and means "Voice of the people". As a cultural foundation they echo the people's cry in one voice for unity, love and prosperity for all irrespective  of age, class, gender or race. They commit themselves to foster Arts, Culture and Integration through seminars, organizing cultural/traditional dance competitions, sporting activities and as well as participating in other educative pursuits and conferences.

Their annual "Afrika-Kulturtag" pulls participants and spectators across the nation to their summer thrill of cultural heritage amidst sports, traditional dance competitions and other artistic performances for the entire family. A must-see flamboyance. Introduced this year was an african music award which if maintained will go a long way to add good flavor to folk music made in Germany.

As a group they are also very engaged in stirring awareness of discrimination against mentally and physically handicapped people.