Friday, September 30, 2011

Our Uganda Friday: Raw Expression~Arts Night by Breakdance Project Uganda!

by Kate von Achen

I had the pleasure of meeting Abramz Tekya in January 2007 and was blown away by his then very young project, Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU). Abramz, growing up in a slum outside Kampala, wanted to provide a platform for disadvantaged youth to bring about social change through the arts. BPU started offering free breakdance classes to these youth in Kampala, and this amazing program has spread like wildfire around the country. I continue to be in awe of Abramz and his strength and passion for bringing about positive social change to his community.

"Raw Expression" is a unique new arts night that BPU has organized to showcase and celebrate different art forms in their realness. Their aim is to create a platform for creative, raw and unique arts/artists that the mainstream media hardly pays attention to.

This event is also one of BPU's income generating activites so by supporting this, you're helping sustain their non profit services as well as extending to additional locations in Uganda.

"Raw Expression" will showcase elements of hiphop including Breakdance (bboying and bgirling), Rap, Popping, Locking, Beatboxing, Dj’ing and Graffiti through live dance battles, visual art displays and performances. The first event in September also includes Street Basket Ball and live poetry. BPU will provide an old school hiphop, soul and afro funk vibe. Don't miss out on this unique hiphop/arts event!

VENUE: Open House, Buganda Road (next to Watoto Church)
DATE : Friday 30th September 2011
TIME: Doors open from 7pm. The show will run from 8pm until midnight.
COST: 10,000 UGX

You can keep up-to-date with all BPU events at To get involved, email!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Extraordinary: Significant Women of Uganda Book NOW Available Internationally!

Since arriving on the Uganda art scene in 2001, Daudi Karungi has become one of Kampala’s leading artists and entrepreneurs.

Daudi set off one year ago to discover the extraordinary women of Uganda, in hopes of eventually
publishing a photo collection that celebrated their lives. Sending out calls for recommendations, and having many in mind on his own, he was quickly overwhelmed by the number of phenomenal women his country clearly had within its borders. Unable to capture them all, this book, Extraordinary:Significant Women of Uganda eventually resulted in a cross-section of over fifty women from all walks of life, young and old, professionals, artists, politicians and activists, sharing their experience of going after their dreams and continuing their journeys, often in the face of great challenges. These women greatly inspire with their wisdom, tenacity and beauty.

The last page of Extraordinary provides a template to add a photo and words, adding your favorite extraordinary woman to the book, making this a fantastic gift for the extraordinary women in your life! We know what the extraordinary women in our lives will be getting this holiday season!

Published by Afriart Gallery Books, each book is hardcover and will be signed by the author.

Awava has taken particular interest in getting this publication out to an international audience because it provides a platform for all of the amazing women we have come across and have the privilege of working with in Uganda. Two of Founding Director, Kate von Achen’s personal sheroes, and major inspirations for her coming to Uganda, world renowned feminists and Africanists, Honorable Miria Matembe and Sylvia Tamale are also featured in this book, making us even more giddy about its arrival!

We also want to give great thanks to the Dutch Ambassador and his amazing wife for welcoming us into their home last night for the private launch of this book. It was great to be able to meet and talk with most of the women featured in this book, and we will cherish all of the beautiful notes and signatures we acquired in our copy!

In Uganda you can buy the book at the following retail outlets:

  • Afriart Gallery (Kenneth Dale Drive~Kamwokya)
  • Aristoc Bookstore (Garden City Mall and Kampala Road)
  • The Duuka (at Emin Pasha Hotel~Nakasero)
  • Uganda Bookshop (Colville Street)
  • Banana Boat (Kisementi, Garden City Mall & Lugogo Game)
Internationally, you can purchase this amazing book here on our site!

For international wholesale, please contact Daudi at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Awava Monthly Giveaway August Winner

(Drum roll...)

And we have a winner. It took us a little longer to get this to you guys but we finally have a winner for the Awava Monthly Giveaway for August where the prize is a lovely Omusana Yoga Mat Bag.

We changed things up a bit this time. Here you will see the names of the entrants laid out on the Eddembe Macbook Sleeve.

And here are all the names ready to be drawn in the Amaka Makeup Bag.

And here is a video of the draw. We changed up the location this time and held the draw at one of the coffee shops that the Awava ladies like to hang out at that also has a nice view of Kololo, one of the neighbourhoods in Kampala.

Congratulations to our friends on Twitter, @theopenarmsshop

Watch out for the September give away and good luck!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Random Happiness for Monday!

Awava's main tailor and trainer, Auma Lucy (aka Mama Lucy)!

Photo by: Paul Szynol

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our Uganda Friday: Daudi Karungi's new book and other Uganda happenings this weekend!

It's finally here! Daudi Karungi's new book, "Extra Ordinary: Significant Women of Uganda", has reached Uganda fresh from the press!

Karungi's book set off to publish a photo collection celebrating the lives of remarkable women in Uganda, quickly realizing there were so many extraordinary women "walking the walk" that it was impossible to capture them all. The book does capture over fifty amazing women in Uganda coming from all walks of life, from entrepreneurs, artists, activists, politicians and beyond. And our favorite part of the book, at the back there is space to add photos of descriptions of extraordinary women in your life!

The launch of this book will be taking place next week and is a private affair, but we will be sure to announce the public launch of this significant book, as well as how to acquire your own copy (in Uganda and internationally) as soon as details are announced!

MishMash is one of the monthly events we look forward to most here in Kampala, bringing together a fantastic fusion of the arts and culture. MishMash dives into myriad artistic fields, from fine arts, craft, dance and culinary delights.

This month's MishMash theme will focus on functional art from unique tables and chairs, mirrors, bowls, pottery, etc.

Exceptional music and dance is also a feature this MishMash. Sabar International will exhilarate you with their pan African percussion fusion, and the menu set by Abalimi Catering.

Located at
Ntinda View Crescent, Naguru, Kampala from 11am this Sunday, September 25th. Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Our Uganda Friday: Bayimba International Festival of the Arts!

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Well Bayimba has your entire weekend planned for you!

The BAYIMBA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS is an exciting three-day festival (Friday to Sunday) that takes place annually during the month of September in the capital of Kampala, Uganda.

The 4th edition of the Festival is scheduled to take place from 16th till 18th September 2011 at the National Theatre, located in the heart of the city centre, Kampala.

Entrance is FREE

Gates open from Mid-day till Mid-night.

Don’t miss performances from:
• Bayimba Street Theatre Performaz
• Your favourite local artistes, regional & international artistes
• Participants from the Youth Hip Hop workshops 2011
• Poetry by the Lantern Meet of poets, inspirational African movies by Amakula and Maisha Film Lab, drama by National Theatre
• Kids Corner, Silent disco, Comedy, VIP Party

• Fashion Designers Pamela Acaye and Visual Artists like Kas Wear Fashion, Xenson among others

Check out the amazing three day lineup here to find out when your favorite musicians, fashion designers, artists and movie makers will be showcasing their work!

See you at Bayimba!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

MORE NEW PRODUCT! Our Ekitanda Duvet Set

We're so excited about the newest addition to our housewares selection, the ekitanda duvet set! This set will transform your bedroom in no time!

Set includes one Full/Queen size duvet cover (86" x 94") and two matching pillow shams made of beautiful African wax print fabrics and contrasting solid cotton blend accent, with coconut shell button closures. Prints are very limited (some we only have 1 set available) so don't hesitate to grab your favorite!

*machine wash cold, tumble dry low

click images below to enlarge

NEW PRODUCT & PARTNERSHIP: The New Awava-Wasswa Ebitabo Bag

Our new ebitabo bags are the first in an exciting new collaboration Awava has with Ugandan artist, Wasswa Donald.

Awava's amazing tailors in Gulu, Uganda completed the bag construction and Wasswa transferred two of our favorite paintings onto these bags.

These specific prints are limited edition so if you love them as much as we do, don't hesitate!

"Prodigal Son"

"Evening Glory"

bag dimensions: W: 14.5", H: 13"; straps: 23"
image dimensions: 7.5" x 7.5"
machine wash cold, air dry

Monday, September 12, 2011

NYC Friends! Find our Goodies at Owl and Thistle General Store!

You can now find some of our beautiful goodies in Brooklyn at the amazingly unique Owl and Thistle General Store!

Owl & Thistle General Store is a modern take on an old-fashioned concept of a community oriented store offering a wide variety of products under a single roof.

Nestled in the heart of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Owl and Thistle specializes in local, sustainable, and fair trade items at a reasonable price. Theirr mission: help you to feel good about what you buy by giving you the piece of mind that it is made with love in an ethical and environmentally sustainable manner.

Proprietress, Keri Cavanaugh, is well acquainted with local products and fair trade. A long time independent clothing designer and former Peace Corps volunteer, she brings her love of practical yet beautiful things for yourself or gifts to Owl & Thistle General Store. You can be assured she will bring a collection of carefully chosen products that cater to all members of the community.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Awava August Giveaway list of entrants

The Awava August giveaway is the Omusana Yoga Mat Bag and below is the list of entrants.
*click on image to enlarge it.

If you mentioned Awava in your Facebook status, on your blog or in your twitter feed and your name is not on this list, please comment on this blog post or send an email to for inclusion.

The draw for the winner will be carried out on the Wednesday, September 7th, 2011.