Posts tagged with "Africa"

business brief case illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Celebrity-Designed Bag Auction for Chema Vision Children’s Center

Big Hearted Celebrities Act Fast to Help Children from Kibera Slum Go to School

Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz, Usher, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Evan Ross, Maggie Q, Raquel Bitton, Chrome Hearts and more come together using art and fashion so that students at Kibera’s Chema Vision Children’s Center can receive a quality education and a daily meal.

LA’s art and luxury fashion retailer to the stars Church Boutique and the eco-fashion house Ministry of Tomorrow (MOT) have teamed up with Christie’s and their charity auction partner Charitybuzz to produce “Art for Education”– the inaugural celebrity art auction fundraiser to benefit the Chema Vision Children’s Center (Chema) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Chema School is situated in the midst of Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum. The Chema School was established to provide quality education for some of Kibera’s most vulnerable children. Many of the students are orphans or children of single parents without income to pay for school fees.

Just before the pandemic, Chema was forced to relocate because the school structure was not up to code.  MOT’s vegan bag production facility is located near the school and Julian Prolman, president of MOT heard about the school’s dilemma. Through an initial fundraiser orchestrated by MOT, Chema was able to relocate to a safe building. However, Chema is currently lacking much needed funds to pay its teachers and cover its operational expenses that includes a daily meal for the students.

When Church Boutique’s founders Rodney Burns and David Malvaney learned about the urgent need at Chema from their supply partner MOT, whose branded bags are featured at The Church Boutique, they quickly reached out to their celebrity friends to request their support. Celebrities will be painting their artistic expressions on MOT’s new organic canvas tote bags that will be auctioned online through Christie’s auction partner, Charitybuzz, starting June 1, 2021 with the final bid accepted on June 16.

Prior to the auction launch, the bags will be on display from May 19– 26 at Church Boutique in Hollywood, CA, and then brought to New York where the bags will be on display at Christie’s during the auction.

Without hesitation, Rodney and David’s luminary friends offered to help including Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz, Usher, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Maggie Q, Evan Ross and Raquel Bitton, with more mega stars soon to be announced. In addition, Laurie Lynn Stark, the creator of the international jewelry and clothing brand Chrome Hearts, has joined in to create her own unique MOT tote.

“We believe that luxury is a privilege that comes with the responsibility to care for others in need and therefore we are thrilled to collaborate with MOT to do what we can to make a difference in the lives of children born into challenging circumstances” said Rodney Burns.

The opening minimum bid for each one-of-a-kind celebrity designed bag will begin at $1,000.

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Chema to help fund the schools operating budget with a goal to raise $100k.

“Chema is a Swahili word meaning something good, and that is what we are trying to do with Art for Education” said Julian Prolman.

About Chema

At the heart of Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum in Nairobi, Kenya, is the Chema Vision Children’s Center, a school that offers quality education to some of Kibera’s most vulnerable children. Learn more at Chema Vision’s website.

About the Church Boutique

The Church Boutique, located in West Hollywood, offers mid-century modern home décor, exclusive high-end avant-garde fashion, fine art photography, art, jewelry, and more. Visit The Church Boutique’s website here.

About the Ministry of Tomorrow

MOT is a for-profit social enterprise that designs and produces high quality, eco-luxury, vegan bags and accessories that are sold directly to consumers on their website.

About Christie’s  

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries, providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international sale rooms and 61 representatives and offices. Christie’s website provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price – see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue. 

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees. 

TV2 illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

The Africa Channel Programming Expansion

The Africa Channel is Now Available to Millions More Xfinity TV Customers

Expansion Furthers Ongoing Commitment from Comcast to Increase Access to Best-in-Class Black Programming 

The Africa Channel (TAC), the longest running Independent, minority owned, media company focused on presenting pan-African content to global audiences, announced today that its programming, which includes scripted and unscripted series, films, documentaries, news and information programs, is now available to millions more Xfinity TV customers, in 60 new markets on Channel 1629, and also via the Xfinity Stream app. Xfinity customers with X1 can also say “The Africa Channel” into their Xfinity Voice Remote to access the channel. Sample content from The Africa Channel will also be featured, at no additional cost, on the newly-launched Black Experience on Xfinity Channel.

Launched in 2005, The Africa Channel’s mission is to introduce contemporary stories of Africa and the African diaspora to American audiences while presenting a more inclusive perspective on Black entertainment. The channel is a showcase for outstanding English language television series, feature films, documentaries and news about Africa and the global African Diaspora. It aspires to build bridges between cultures while reinforcing positive narratives of Africa through diverse content and programming.

“We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Comcast and are delighted to renew and expand our partnership with Comcast by reaching even more key markets across the US,” said Narendra Reddy, Executive Vice President and General Manager of The Africa Channel. “We feel that showcasing diverse content through the prism of contemporary Africa plays a seminal role in building cultural bridges, while connecting Black Americans to their heritage. We are particularly excited to partner with Comcast in their commitment to diversity through their Black Experience on Xfinity initiative.”

Through the programming and partnership with Comcast The Africa Channel aims to educate and connect all Black Americans to their heritage, and to specifically serve a fast-growing Black immigrant population who currently represent over 20% of the Black population in the US. The majority of TAC’s content has never been seen in North America. Now, with the network’s expanded distribution on Xfinity, millions of new viewers will be able to access this vast catalog of culturally relevant content.

“We’re thrilled to bring The Africa Channel’s unique, informative, and high-quality programming about African culture to an even larger audience than ever before,” added Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services. “Our mission is to continue to amplify Black voices and stories by providing a platform for the next generation of Black storytellers. Comcast currently offers its customers access to more than 100 independent networks targeted to deliver content that centers culturally diverse audiences, and The Africa Channel is an integral part of this content offering.”
More viewers than ever before will be able to catch TAC’s newest slate of programming including:

  • World Wide Nate – This destination adventure series follows larger-than-life Chicago native Nate Fluellen, who fears nothing as he explores Africa’s abundance of death-defying thrills. Nate proves to be an excellent example for other intrepid African Americans seeking adventure and a connection to the continent that created today’s African American population’s robust ancestors. Airs weeknights at 9:00pm Eastern.
  • Amah Knows Best – This show is driven by platinum-selling South African rapper; iFani, who travels to China to learn how to cook from Chinese grandmothers. The adventure is also a cultural learning experience, not just for iFani but also for the Chinese people who unquestioningly embrace their unique visitor. Airs weeknights at 9:30pm Eastern.
  • Lockdown – Viewers experience a different kind of “lockdown” in this new prison drama. Set in a fictional high security female prison, the stories of these inmates reveal the paths which landed them behind bars. The gritty prison drama features an all-female cast with African American actress Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris) joining the line-up in Season 3. Airs Wednesdays at 10:00pm Eastern.

Xfinity delivers the best entertainment to customers, including thousands of hours of diverse programming from more than 100 networks and streaming services, via its X1platform. X1 delivers delivers the most comprehensive library of entertainment on one voice-controlled platform­–aggregating live TV, On Demand, and popular streaming apps from a growing collection of networks and streaming services. The expansion of The Africa Channel is part of an ongoing commitment from Comcast to increase access to best-in-class Black programming by providing a platform for the next generation of Black storytellers.

Please visit The Africa Channel’s website for more information on how to watch TAC and follow TAC on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About The Africa Channel  

The Africa Channel and its production arm, TAC Studios, is a showcase for the African continent’s most outstanding English-language television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, music, biographies and cultural and historical content. The channel’s mission is to open a daily window into modern African life, and in the process, help demystify Africa for viewers globally. The Africa Channel with offices in Los Angeles and Johannesburg, South Africa is available in North America and the Caribbean on cable systems such as Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, Rogers Ignite and Bell Fibe (Canada), and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit Comcast’s website for more information.

Beyond Green illustration by Heather Skovlund (original photo provided by Beyond Green) for 360 Magazine

Introducing Beyond Green

INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD

Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well

Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package. 

“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”

“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.

Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information

Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed  global citizens on social media by following its newly launched FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.

I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits

As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.

Celebratory Launch Offer

Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:   

  • Private 1.5-hour Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy session at andBeyond Vira Vira
  • Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
  • Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
  • Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
  • Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio

With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:

  • Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
  • Europe – Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece); Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland); Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
  • Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)

Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.

About Beyond Green

Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.

About Preferred Hotel Group

Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred HotelsBeyond GreenHistoric HotelsPHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.

The Brando
The Brando – photo credit: Beyond Green
Rob Kenner book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rob Kenner × Nipsey Hussle

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip hop publishing and a founding editor of Vibe magazine. 

After meeting Nipsey Hussle in the offices of Vibe, Kenner spent the next ten years tracking the life and career of the hip hop mogul, artist, and activist. THE MARATHON DON’T STOP: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner (Atria Books; Hardcover; March 23, 2021; $27.00; ISBN: 9781982140298) ​is the first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy—before he was tragically shot down two years ago, on March 31, 2019 in the very neighborhood he was dedicated to building up.

Combining on-the-ground reporting and candid interviews with Hussle’s friends, family, and peers, THE MARATHON DON’T STOP traces the life and work of an extraordinary artist, placing him in historical context and unpacking his complex legacy.

Some details of Hussle’s life that Kenner can discuss in an interview include:

  • Ermias Asghedom, before he was Nipsey Hussle, was a brilliant, soft-spoken, and underestimated young man who loved hip hop with a passion and was determined to build his own successful music label and clothing business—as well as other businesses that would employ many members of his community.
  • His life in the Crenshaw District starting in 1985, placing Hussle in historical context within the evolution of Hip Hop, Los Angeles, and America.
  • Hussle’s genius as a teenager who built his own computers and went on to push the envelope of technology in growing his businesses as well as innovating new revenue models for independent musicians that have since been adopted by the mainstream music industry
  • Hussle’s life-changing trip to Africa to visit his father’s family in Eritrea, as well as his little-known first meeting with Afeni Shakur, long before he called himself the ‘Tupac of My Generation’ or even took the rap name Nipsey Hussle.
  • Hussle’s impact as an activist, and his efforts to re-align L.A. gang culture with the mission of organizations like the Black Panthers…AND MORE.

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip-hop publishing. A founding editor of Vibe, Kenner joined the start-up team of Quincy Jones’ groundbreaking hip hop monthly in 1992. During a nineteen-year run at Vibe he edited and wrote cover and feature stories on iconic cultural figures ranging from Tupac Shakur to Barack Obama as well as writing the acclaimed column Boomshots. Kenner’s writing has appeared in ComplexGeniusMass AppealPigeons & PlanesEgo TripPoetry magazine, The New York Times, and Billboard. He’s also produced and directed documentary shorts on the likes of De La Soul, Nas, and Post Malone. As an editor at Vibe Books, Kenner worked on the New York Times bestseller Tupac Shakur and contributed to The Vibe History of Hip Hop. He went on to co-author VX: 10 Years of Vibe Photography and produced the book Unbelievable, a biography of The Notorious B.I.G. by Cheo Hodari Coker Jr., which was optioned for the motion picture Notorious.

Essence Magazine article for 360 Magazine coverage for Coming to America

Coming 2 America

ESSENCE MARCH+APRIL TRIPLE COVERS FEATURE STAR-STUDDED CAST OF THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED COMING 2 AMERICA – INCLUDING EDDIE MURPHY, ARSENIO HALL, JERMAINE FOWLER, KIKI LAYNE AND BELLA MURPHY 

Prepare the royal jet! Coming 2 America is finally arriving, with Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and an all-star cast of returning and new faces—including Jermaine Fowler, KiKi Layne and Bella Murphy. It’s been more than three decades since the beloved original Coming to America hit theaters and became a true cult classic that has spanned multiple generations and demographics. Now, in the ESSENCEMarch/April issue triple cover article, The Fresh Princes of Zamunda, Regina R. Robertson talks to the cast about why this was the right time to do the sequel, their fave moments and what the film means to the culture: 

  • EDDIE MURPHY ON WHAT THE FILM MEANS TO THE CULTURE: “Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture. People get dressed up as the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ So many people grew up with Coming to America and have a lot invested in it, so I didn’t want to taint that…Once the ideas started coming together, it took about four or five years to get the script all the way right. Once we got it right, I knew it was time…” 
  • ARSENIO HALL ON DOING THE SEQUEL: “A lot of people have posted about Coming to America and said things like, ‘Please don’t mess with my movie’ or ‘I don’t want no sequel!’ We’ve been pitched all kinds of ideas, but I remember reading the script in Eddie’s backyard and it was all making sense. That’s when I knew that this was going to be the sequel…”  
  • KIKI LAYNE ON PLAYING MEEKA: “Meeka is loyal to her family. I’m interested in showcasing strong Black women— and being a part of this film was an opportunity to play in such a classic world and also to work with straight-up legends, all the way around…”  
  • BELLA MURPHY ON PLAYING OMMA AND WORKING WITH HER DAD: “Omma is super-smart, a little bit of a badass, and she’s super-cool. Being able to do my first film with my dad is really special…I’m over the moon…”  
  • JERMAINE ON PLAYING LAVELLE—AND WATCHING HIS DREAM COME TRUE: “In some ways, Lavelle reminds me a lot of myself when I was growing up and trying to figure out life. As a fan of the original film, I was honored to be a part of this whole world—but when they told me how Lavelle becomes part of the story, I just laughed my ass off and thought, All right, let’s do it…” 
  • SHARI HEADLEY ON WHAT AUDIENCES WILL LOVE: “I’m as excited as the audience and have no doubt that this will be a film that people will love. I’ll venture to say they’ll love it even more than the first one…” 
  • WESLEY SNIPES ON JOINING THE FILM: “I was like, ‘Whatever the role is, I want to be in it.’ Later, I was told that I was going to be a General—but really, I could have played a zebra and been just fine…”  

For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com or pick up the March/April issue on newsstands next week.

Bas – Smoke From Fire × The Hics

Dreamville Sudanese-American artist, Bas, starts the year off with his first release, “Smoke From Fire” with The Hics, out today. The Deputy produced track acts as an affirmation and reminder to never lose hope when facing adversity. “’Smoke from Fire’ is about coming out a destructive space and rising above it,” Bas explains. “Out of this fire, this destructive force, we rise above and we rebuild, reinvent and keep progressing.”

Listen HERE.

“Smoke From Fire” is the official theme song for Bas’ new podcast “The Messenger”. It focuses on prolific Ugandan musician-turned activist, Bobi Wine and chronicles his transition from iconic musician to a fearless politician leading a movement to highlight and challenge the current oppressive regime over Uganda.

This series puts a spotlight on the political revolutions emerging throughout Africa, often on the backs of successful artists who are using their audiences to unite and dismantle decades of political oppression, violence, and corruption. The podcast comes just in time for Uganda’s pivotal election on January 14th, 2021.

“The Messenger” is a co-production between Dreamville Studios, Awfully Nice Productions & Spotify, and is executive produced by Candace Rodney (President of Dreamville Studios), Adam Roy, Ibrahim Hamad, and Jermaine Cole for Dreamville; Jesse Burton for Awfully Nice.

About Bas

Always balancing his bravado with a relatable sense of humility, Dreamville’s first signee, Bas, continues to solidify himself as one of the most respected and authentic artists in the world. Since his debut album Last Winter in 2014 and the acclaimed follow-up Too Highto Riot in 2016, Bas has cultivated a dedicated fan community, known as the “Fiends,” and has included both his heritage and a global perspective into his soundscape. #17 on Billboard ’s Top Rap Albums of 2018, Milky Way , Bas’s latest album, was deemed his strongest and most sonically ambitious album to date. A power player on Dreamville’s 2019 historical #1 album, Revenge Of The Dreamers III, Bas received Grammy nominations, including “Best Rap Album” and “Best Rap Performance” for the stand-out single, “Down Bad.”  Bas also earned his first Billboard Hot 100 placements with “Down Bad” and “Costa Rica.” Earlier in 2019, Bas branched out sonically with his EP, Spilled Milk I , which featured an outstanding supporting cast (Ari Lennox, Earthgang, J.I.D, Kidomminant, and Falcons) and strong collaborative projects like his single, “Risk” with French multi-instrumentalist artist FKJ. More of the unexpected is set to come from Bas as he prepares for his forthcoming album with longtime collaborators The Hics.

About The Hics

THE HICS are a London duo comprised of Sam Paul Evans and Rox Barker.  They fuse their unique musical backgrounds and vocal styles to form a  harmonic synergy, born from their love of Jazz, Soul, Electronic and Folk — THE HICS have become a one of a kind sophisti-pop soul duo.

Travel with Virgin Limited in 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been a year like no other and sadly for many of us travel plans were squashed and much of the travel industry was put on hold. Through the global grounding of so many travelers we saw new trends emerge and as we start to look ahead to 2021, Virgin Limited Edition, the luxury collection of properties owned by Sir Richard Branson, has rounded up the trends it has spotted from around the collection. With new vaccines around the corner, we can only remain optimistic that 2021 will bring back some normality and we can finally make up for those lost holidays, making next year one to remember.

NEW OPENINGS:

Necker Island – After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. With the BVI borders re-opening on 1 December, Necker is ready to welcome back guests. Those visiting in 2020 and 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.

Moskito Island – Early 2021 will see the much-anticipated launch of Moskito Island in the BVI’s, situated just two miles from sister island, Necker. Home to the Branson Estate which is newly available for rental, next year will see the full launch of Moskito Island in what has already been described as “the most exclusive homeowners association in the world”. As the island sets to launch with brand new uber luxury private Estates for rental, it is most certainly one to watch for 2021….

Trend – As well as commercial travel, both Necker Island and Moskito Island are accessible by private jet, a form of travel that saw a 27% increase in bookings in 2020 following the pandemic outbreak and is likely to continue in 2021 as passengers opt to travel exclusively within their bubble.

STAY FOR LONGER AND WORK REMOTELY:

Son Bunyola – Another trend that has emerged from the pandemic is guests looking to stay away for longer and take advantage of a work life balance with new surroundings as their remote office location. In light of this the much-loved Son Bunyola estate, located in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca with its three individual secluded villas set across a stunning 700-acre private estate, has created a long stay offer for guests looking to stay longer.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four weeks or more, will receive two free nights each week; a total of eight free nights.

This offer is valid on new bookings for arrivals from 10th April – 11th June and 11th September – 31st October 2021 in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja and Son Balagueret. Rates are from EUR 7,500 for a stay in Son Balagueret on a self-catering basis. Rates are priced per week and are calculated based on receiving two free nights, per week. A minimum stay of four weeks is applicable.

SAFARI AND CONSERVATION:

Safari is always one for the bucket list and Virgin Limited Edition offers two world-class game reserves offering some of the most spectacular game viewing there is; Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, located in the Western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Mahali Mzuri, situated in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy of the famous Maasai Mara.

Today though safari isn’t just about the thrill of a game drive, it is very much about education and long-term conservation and nothing is more important to the Rangers and Guides at both Ulusaba and Mahali Mzuri. Guests on safari can expect to learn in abundance about endangered species and help in the work being done to protect them for our future generation. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, visit the local communities that both  game reserves support and witness some of the hugely important work both camps are doing to educate, develop and protect the livelihoods of those communities.

Offer – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free.

Valid for new bookings for arrivals from 2nd January – 30th June and 1st September – 21st December 2021. Stays at Safari and Rock Lodge start from ZAR 12,000 and Cliff Lodge from ZAR 22,200. Rates are quoted per person, per night, based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, all meals and drink (including a top quality wine list and champagne), twice daily game drives.

Offer – Mahali Mzuri – All new bookings of three nights or more will be treated to the final night for free.

Valid for arrivals from: 1st August – 21st December 2020 and 2nd January – 15th June 2021, 1st November – 21st December 2021. Rates from US$ 945 per person, per night based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares, all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), conservancy fees and unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, visits to the local markets, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and all taxes and local levies.

A TASTE OF LOCAL CULTURE:

Kasbah Tamadot – Situated in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this award-winning Kasbah has gained a reputation for the incredible work it does to support the local villages that surround it. With 99% of staff locals of the surrounding villages, the hotel is renowned for combining luxury whilst immersing its guests in community culture. For a true cultural immersion, guests are invited to join the Authentically Berber Experience. This includes a 2/3 hour walking trek in the Atlas Mountains, tea in a local Berber house, one hour Berber cooking lesson, Berber bread baking and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation set up by the hotel and Eve herself in 2005.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free. Those looking to stay a little longer, will be offered two nights free when booking seven nights or more.

This offer is valid for arrivals from 15th October – 21st December 2020 & 1st May – 30th September 2021, subject to availability. Rates are from MAD 6,000 per room, per night based on double occupancy and include accommodation in one of the luxurious bedrooms, suites or Berber Tents, a daily breakfast of hot and cold dishes and all taxes.

PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

Mont Rochelle – 2020 saw an increase in demand for villa and private residence rentals, something that is expected to continue into 2021 as families look for privacy and seclusion away from the crowds. The stunning private Manor House at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard, set in the beautiful vineyards of Franschhoek, offers the perfect oasis. Made up of four deluxe suites, and a luxurious bunk room for children, as well as two private swimming pools, it offers all the creature comforts of a home while allowing guests to indulge in all the luxuries of a hotel stay. Groups of up to eight people are welcomed to kick back and relax while a dedicated team of staff take care of the rest; from arranging private dining and spa treatments to horse-back riding and wine tasting, no detail is overlooked.

Offer – Groups of up to eight adults and six children will be welcomed to make the Manor House their own for long stays of one month or more.

Rates start from 35,000 Rand per night based on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Rates are inclusive of accommodation and access to all the luxury facilities at Mont Rochelle including the spa and two restaurants Miko & Country Kitchen, a dedicated villa manager, daily breakfast and daily housekeeping. There is also the option for guests to have their own chef or stay on a half board basis. Terms and conditions apply.

The Lodge – Perched high in the Swiss Alps of Verbier, The Lodge will be re-opening this December as Switzerland relaxes its quarantine conditions across most countries.  Groups looking to make the most of the winter season can do so in complete privacy from their own stunning luxury alpine lodge.

Offer – Guests can book the nine impressive bedrooms and suites exclusively from CHF 150,000 for a seven night stay and for the first time The Lodge is also introducing new rates for smaller groups whereby guests can book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000, or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 for a seven night stay. Stays of less than 7 nights are also welcomed in selected weeks of the season, as another first for The Lodge in 2021.

Rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a 24-hour driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes. Not to mention full use of the indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs.

INTIMATE WEDDINGS:

Restrictions around the world saw wedding plans change drastically in 2020. Larger weddings were reduced to much smaller numbers, a change that has been embraced by many as they adapt their plans and look for a more intimate celebration. The Virgin Limited Edition collection of retreats lend themselves to privacy and seclusion; the ideal combination for couples celebrating their honeymoon or those looking for an intimate setting to say, ‘I Do’. From elopements and small ceremonies, to a private ceremony in the African bush, intimate nuptials in amongst the vines, or even a romantic soiree on a secluded beach of a private island, couples are sure to have a wedding that dreams are made of.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to re-open so many of our properties this year and begin to welcome back our much-missed guests. As we look ahead, we are very excited to be re-opening Necker Island and The Lodge as well as launching Moskito Island. While travel has been limited for so many of us in 2020, it is fantastic to see so many new trends and travel habits emerging. We hope that 2021 will see us welcoming the world back to our properties and our local communities; offering the opportunity to reconnect, celebrate milestones that have passed or simply just to get away from it all in a place that feels a million miles away from reality.”

No one wants to think that travel may not be an option next year, but if that is the case Virgin Limited Edition is offering guests the opportunity to postpone bookings for no fee, and refundable deposits so they can keep on planning and dreaming of their next escape with confidence.

Annie Lennox Christmas Album Artwork

Annie Lennox – A Christmas Cornucopia

One of the most successful, iconic and revered artists in pop music history, Annie Lennox is in the spotlight once again. Today, singer Annie Lennox announces she is releasing a digitally remastered version of her sixth solo album, A Christmas Cornucopia.

This wonderful collection of inspired interpretations of traditional festive songs will be released via Island Records on November 20th to mark the album’s 10-year anniversary. With this remastered edition, the album will feature a brand new unreleased track, “Dido’s Lament” and new artwork across the vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

According to Annie, “I’m absolutely delighted to be releasing the 10th Anniversary of A Christmas Cornucopia. 2020 has been an unprecedented year around the world… The carols on this album represent continuum –  harking back to a time before modern technology, climate emergency, global pandemics, pollution, forest destruction, species extinction and all the challenges our world must urgently deal with in terms of crisis in sustainability. I hope this recording will at least offer some comfort and nostalgia, but also an awareness that political leaders, religious leaders and everyone around the world must face up to the question of how many more Christmases we have left to spend on this blighted earth.”

The newest addition to the track list, “Dido’s Lament,” was written by Henry Purcell in the 17th century and arranged by Annie Lennox and Mike Stevens. This song references the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas as documented in Virgil’s legendary epic poem, “The Aeneid.” The release of this track will be accompanied by a music video.

This album will do more than just get listeners in the holiday spirit, it will also help people around the world. All proceeds earned from Annie’s original composition on the album, “Universal Child”, will be paid to The Annie Lennox Foundation. The Annie Lennox Foundation raises money for various charitable projects, primarily those supporting and educating women and children in Africa and people with HIV/Hepatitis C in Scotland.

Vibrant but vintage, classic and contemporary, glorious but with a polemical edge, Annie Lennox’s A Christmas Cornucopia is no ordinary collection of seasonal songs. Pre-order the re-issue of Annie’s Christmas classics here and prepare to be comforted by your favorite festive tracks.

Follow Annie Lennox: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Mosquito illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Preventing Mosquito Bites Around Your Home

By Dr. Craig Stoops

For many people, mosquitoes are a part of life in the summer. Their presence is annoying and can even threaten the health of people and pets.  

Fortunately, there are ways people can protect themselves against mosquito bites. Three effective ways to control mosquitoes around a house and limit exposure to their bites are: 1) Source reduction, 2) EPA-approved repellents, and 3) Hiring a professional.

Source reduction

Many mosquito species like to use water found in unattended bird baths or discarded items such as buckets, tarps, and children’s toys as locations to lay their eggs and continue the next generation. By emptying and cleaning bird baths and discarding items that can hold water (often called “tip and toss”) one can greatly diminish the mosquito population around their house and protect themselves from mosquito bites.

It is important to get your neighbors involved as well. What they do will impact you because mosquitoes will easily go from one property to the one next door seeking a blood meal.

EPA-approved repellents

There are numerous safe and effective insect repellents available on the market in a variety of formulations such as sprays, creams and wipes. The best and longest-lasting repellents contain the active ingredient DEET, but there are other active ingredients available such as picaridin, IR3535 and several botanical ingredients such as lemongrass oil and others. Visit the U.S. CDC website on mosquito bite prevention for additional information: https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/about/prevent-bites.html

Researchers are always looking for additional “tools for the repellent toolkit” and new effective active ingredients have been recently found. One example is nootkatone. The EPA has recently provided approval for this active ingredient developed by scientists and the U.S. CDC from the Alaska yellow cedar tree. It has shown in the laboratory to be effective at repelling both mosquitoes and ticks and is available for development by a company into a commercially available product. 

Not everyone will be comfortable using a repellent that contains DEET. And repellents are only effective if people use them, so having ingredients like nootkatone available is important in protecting people from mosquito bites. Here is the U.S. CDC webpage on nootkatone: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0810-nootkatone-registered-epa.html

Hire a professional

While people can do a lot to control the mosquitoes around their house by discarding and emptying containers that breed mosquitoes, there may be times that getting advice from a professional is necessary to effectively control the problem. Pest control operators specifically trained in identifying the mosquitoes in your yard and recommending an integrated control program can be a great way to provide season-long relief from mosquito bites.  

When considering using a pest control company, be sure to do your homework and make certain you are hiring certified professionals who understand the methods and limitations of mosquito control. These professionals will be able to identify problem areas and use both non-chemical and EPA-approved insecticides to control the problem.

Dr. Craig Stoops (www.mosquito-authority.com), LCDR (ret.) MSC USN, is a retired U.S. Navy medical entomologist and chief science officer at Mosquito® Authority, a mosquito control company. He has conducted mosquito control and research in the United States, South and Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has a B.S. in biology from Shippensburg University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from Clemson University. Dr. Stoops is board certified by the Entomological Society of America in medical and veterinary entomology.

National Geographic WILD’s – Jade Eyed Leopard

National Geographic WILD’S annual Big Cat Week returns next week and to celebrate, it is releasing a one-hour film from Dereck and Beverly Joubert called ‘Jade Eyed Leopard’ on 7th September.  Filmed entirely in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Kenya, home to among others, the luxury tented safari camp of Mahali Mzuri, the film is the fascinating story of a female leopardess.

Narrated by the actor Jeremy Irons, the film follows a young leopard named Toto born in the Maasai Mara, during the critical first three years of her life as she learns the skills to survive taking her into adulthood. The heart-warming film is perfect viewing for families and gives a real insight into the sheer beauty of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, proving there really is no better place to get up close and personal to the real thing.  

About Mahali Mzuri

Just like the film, Mahali Mzuri shares a ringside view to some of the most awe-inspiring wildlife viewing there is in the Maasai Mara and its expert guides are only too happy to share their frequent sightings of resident leopards in the conservancy, just like the story of Toto. Mahali Mzuri also happens to be right in the path of the annual Great Migration and where one of the biggest cat populations in the whole of the Maasai Mara can be found.

After nearly five months of closure, the luxury tented safari camp re-opened for guests at the beginning of August, just in time for the world-famous migration and as it patiently awaits the arrival of the migration to enter the Olare Motorogi Conservancy itself in the coming weeks, guests are once again being treated to  twice-daily game drives led by expert guides, and 12 luxurious tented suites that look out onto some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

Rates start from USD 945.00 per person, per night, during low season, based on double occupancy. Rates include twice daily game drives, all meals and drinks, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and much more.

As with all Virgin Limited Edition properties that have re-opened, or are expected to re-open in the coming months, Mahali Mzuri has put in place rigorous new safety and hygiene measures ensuring their guests and staff remain its number one priority, without sacrificing upon the magic of the Maasai Mara. Also, more information on all of its new measures can be found here: (https://www.virginlimitededition.com/en/mahali-mzuri/keeping-you-safe).

For more information on Mahali Mzuri, or Virgin Limited Edition:

Call T: 877 577 8777 (toll-free in the USA)

For bookings please e-mail enquiriesusa@virginlimitededition.com for more details.