Once again I have created the graphics for Waaw Africa Festival in Finland. I started working with Waaw Africa brand last year, when I met Pape Cisse during my Erasmus in Jyväskylä and it was one of the best things that happened in my life.

In 2013 the Waaw Africa Festival undergone a serious identification change and I played the key role in it. I created the logo, posters, flyers and all of the other promotional material. I also took care of PR and advertising and together with Pape’s musical talent, directional skills as well as positive attitude it all turned out to be a big success. I am no longer in Finland, but I continue to work very closely with Waaw Africa Productions and past April we’ve seen Waaw Africa Festival come to life once again. I created the new graphics for this year’s edition which was special especially thanks to new musicians that Pape brought to Jyväskylä. On of them was Jalimadi Kanuteh, a very talented singer from Gambia, who’s debut album was released just before the festival.

Waaw Africa 2014 poster

Once again, the festival was a big success. We had concerts, workshops, children-oriented events, Senegal’s Independence Day celebration and more. The main concert lasted for around two hours and saw the audience dance, sing and shout as dancers, drummers and other performers took the stage. As always Mama Africa Senegal band performed and proved once again to be an amazing entertainers’ group of talented and creative musicians. Since people on the stage were not only Africans (Senegalese, Gambian, Tanzanian) but also Finns, the whole concert was a great celebration of friendship between people from different countries situated in two very different continents. I really hope I will be able to come back to Finland next year for Waaw Africa Festival 2015!

Photo: I. Liimatainen
Photo: I. Liimatainen

Lately I have also been working on some other projects of my own. One of them is a cultural project called Fanga, which is basically a school of West African drumming. Every week I teach people of my city to play the djembe while telling them also about the West African culture. The project started in 2013, but this year we are expanding by taking part in city events such as International Music Day or ReggaeOn Festival.

Soon I’m hoping to take another big step in my career life, which appears to be even more exciting than the things I already did. I don’t want to jinx it, so I won’t say anything for now, but… fingers crossed!