To say that the weather was absolutely perfect for Afrofest on Sunday is an understatement. The cool breeze that blanketed Woodbine Park was just enough to hold back the sweltering heat from the blazing sun. African rhythms came at you from every corner of the park. Regardless of where you were situated, there was something for you on either side – from the main stage or the smaller stage at the entrance of the park. Drummers, dancers, singers – you name it. If the rhythms didn’t pull you in, you do not walk among the land of the living!
I had a great time! I got a chance to cultivate friendships with a few vendors, take in the sights, eats and sounds, meet some Twitter friends, shop, and spread the word about Curls, Coils & Cocktails to some very fashionable naturalistas! I was able to see Umirisho from Burundi, and Amara Kante from Guinea. What fantastic performances by both. You felt both Amara Kante and Umurisho’s drumming right in the pit of your stomach, delivering spectacular soul-stirring beats. If you ever get a chance to see them around your city, do so. It`s a feet-stomping, hip-moving celebration. Trust when I say, it was definitely all about the drums.
I have to send out a few quick shoutouts:
Annalay Accessories: I follow this lovely lady on Instagram, not even realizing until this morning after I spent a whole lot of time at her table yesterday, that she was one in the same as my Instagram buddy. Annalay and her lovely partner in crime Joy were a pleasure to chat with! May I add that Annaly’s pieces are absolutely insane?! Anyone who knows me well should be aware of my accessories fetish. This lady here will set you up right! I was supposed to take a picture of her fabulous table, but instead got wrapped up in conversation. Of course, I would, that`s how I do. 😉
Mach98: This lady here is stunning. She sat behind her table all calm, cool and collected looking FABU. Her headwrap was everything and I lived for her cat-eye frames. My sister bought a lovely chunky necklace from Maria’s selection, and she is very happy with her purchase. Maria’s style and smile made the exchange even more of a pleasure. Check her out!
I have been on the hunt for a large summer brim for the longest, and I found my baby (which you will see in the pics below)! I, unfortunately, didn’t get the name of the young lady behind the table, but she was the only hat vendor there as soon as you walked into the park. She had the brightest smile and was very helpful. Cheers to her and I hope she did well with her sales. In that sun, almost everyone was looking for a fashionable piece!
There were a few setbacks for me though: This was my first time attending Afrofest at Woodbine Park, and it wasn’t as inviting as it used to be at Queen’s Park. It lost a bit of its charm for me. I’m thinking perhaps space is actually a little too big. Also, the vendor section felt a bit disjointed. It cut off abruptly on one end, only to resume on another. There was still a lot of space to be used (always room for more vendors in the upcoming years), but something was surely missing that I just couldn’t place my finger on. However, on a positive note, I am happy that Afrofest continues to celebrate on an annual basis, and is able to bring us a festival worth visiting every year.
Here are a few pics from yesterday: