Past Event

A Quick Ting On Afro (1 + beats)

23 May 2021

Christian Adofo and Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy talk about The Black Girl Afro and Afrobeats

‘Go with the flow, my rhymes grow like an Afro’ – Big Daddy Kane

Black people in the diaspora have long been subject to curiosity – sometimes benign, oft times hostile – about elements of their appearance or culture. From the first day of school, the questions start flooding in: what's that you're eating? how does your hair grow? how do you move that way? does your colour rub off? The A Quick Ting series from Jacaranda Books addresses the more sensible of those questions with authority in a range of titles authored by Black authors intimately linked with the subjects, quashing long-circulating rumours to give answers direct from the source.

In this first-ever reading from the series, Christian Adofo and Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy unpack two subjects that are mathematically linked through the precision of numbers, with the language of Afros replete with 3Cs and 4As amidst its evolution as political symbol in the 20th century and statement of self-love in the Instagram age; and the fast-growing genre of Afrobeats moderated in 3-2s layered over 4/4 time. A Quick Ting on The Black Girl Afro and A Quick Ting on Afrobeats promise to be cultural landmarks, and, crucially, like the subjects they cover they should both grow on you.

Christian Adofo

Christian Adofo is a writer, journalist and curator, working at the intersection of heritage and identity in Music and Culture across the cultural landscape. With feature articles published by outlets such as the Guardian, OkayAfrica and Straight No Chaser and more, Christian is an engaging and vibrant commentator, who has been a guest speaker and host on BBC Radio, Worldwide FM and NTS Radio discussing Black identity and its impact on culture in the UK and beyond. As a screenwriter and actor, his scripts have been longlisted by the BBC and he recently featured in the BBC Drama series Black Earth Rising as well as the award-winning Damilola: Our Loved Boy. Given his wide-ranging cultural and social engagement, Christian is well-versed in the nuances of the Black experience and how it manifests creatively. In 2018, he played an Afrobeats-inspired DJ set at the Tate Modern as part of their Counterpoint series celebrating the rise of jazz-inspired musicians in London. 

Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy

Zainab is an award-winning Senior Digital Product Manager (Vice President) at Barclays, focusing on creating innovative features to keep enhancing the Barclays app. She is also Co-Chair of the Barclays Black Professionals Forum (BPF), championing diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace. A model and writer, she is currently writing a book on Afro hair as part of the 'A Quick Ting On' book series on Black British history and culture. Zainab holds a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Bristol.

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