Monday, June 13, 2011

Odunde.

Khal Drogo of HBO's Game of Thrones is not only committed to a newly betrothed Khaleesi, but the actor who portrays the warrior King, Jason Momoa, is married to Denise Huxtable Lisa Bonet, a real-life High Priestess. ijoke! 
Bonet, the former wife of rock/soul artist Lenny Kravitz is the mother of burgeoning film actress and Prairie Princess Zoe Kravitz.



This weekend marked the 35th Annual Odunde Street Festival in South Philadelphia and I can aver that every other couple was a Momoa and Bonet replica. Uncanny.

but beautiful.

The festival was rich in it.

Odunde, held every second Sunday in June, brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street in one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods. The festival begins with a procession to the Schuylkill River, where prayers are offered and blessings bestowed upon Oshun, the Goddess of the River in Ifá. The procession then returns to 23rd and South Streets for the start of the street festival. This year, as the landmark festival enters its fourth decade, it becomes a three-day abundance of cultural, historical and family-friendly events. Odunde is the creation of its South Philadelphia founder, Lois Fernandez, who launched the festival after visiting similar celebrations in Africa. The concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, and celebrates the coming of another year for African-Americans and Africanized people around the world. ODUNDE, Inc. is an educational and cultural organization that sponsors year-round programs featuring the African Diaspora as well as the annual Odunde Festival (Visit Philly).

This was my first time attending. A friend who works at Wurd 900 AM extended an invitation to a social gathering hosted by a DJ and radio show personality at the station who lived in the neighborhood.

It felt like summer with Jill Scott and Tabi Bonney.

I wore a floor dusting white lace skirt.

Everything was cool. Copacetic.


Five video clips I captured during the festival. 

Dancing, vibing and spirits, a lyricists' freestyle... some free style... in street scenes snapped here and here and here.










A cultural jewel to Philadelphia, Odunde is an inclusive festivity that elicits a dervish return to gaiety and fruitfulness.

I left the festival ready to try my hand at Capoeira. But I lack grace. Mia Michaels wouldn't hire me.

Mozambique's Tofu Tofu would consider it.

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