Travis Gumbs: As many of you know by now, we were lucky enough to travel to Africa twice this past summer. The first trip being the eclectic, culture filled city of Angola called Luanda. This trip was very important to me for various reasons, specifically because it marked my first time touching down on the continent of Africa.There’s so much to be said about this place, many stories to be told and many people that will always be remembered.
On behalf of OS Kuduristas, we got this amazing opportunity to travel to Angola and experience the everyday life and culture of the locals. One word that sums up the culture of Luanda is Kuduro. Kuduro is to Angola what HipHop is to NYC or what dancehall is to Jamaica. It is a form of music, style and dance that speaks to everything around it. While being there everything, even the mundane, seemed to spew a sense of Kuduro.
What I took back from this trip was how similar we all are across the globe. Though things may have at times looked foreign, the energy emitted was not at all unfamiliar. The story of taking struggle and hardship and using it as inspiration to create is something that holds a common thread all over the world.
This time around, we were lucky enough to shoot a ton of footage that enabled us to bring you guys the series of short videos above that shows what an amazing trip we had.
Market Life- Believe it or not this footage was shot on our first day in Luanda. To start the trip on this note set the momentum for the rest of the trip. This market was not quite like everywhere else in Luanda. Being on the more rural side of things, it felt like a detached city buzzing with pride, culture and passion. At its core it was simply just a market where locals buy and sell everyday goods but it gave a feeling of so much more.
Barbershop- Josh decided early on that inorder to really experience all that Luanda had to offer, he had to get a his haircut by a real, Angolan barber. It is easy say why barbers make up a big part of the culture they operate in. There is something about getting your hair cut in a foreign place that tells a story about so much more than the haircut. While only using a comb and a double sided razor, this barber was able to do a taper and shapeup with pristine precision.
School Day- The day we visited the school was exuberating to say the least. As stated in the video, the kids were a pleasure to be around. One obvious thing that stands out is where the school was located. The school was centered in the middle of a beautiful color-coded condimium complex. Being at the school was a definite highlight of the trip, we enjoyed beating the kids at basketball and losing to them at soccer. Looking back, talking to the kids was some of the most fun we had. The kids were nothing short of fascinated to hear our story as a muse to practice their English on, in turn we got to practice our portuguese.
Nightlife: I always say that you can never fully experience a city until you experience what it’s like when the sun goes down and the lights go out. Man, Angolans can party! In the video above, we started the night at Kasta Lounge which is a pretty westernized nightclub, great music, superb dancing, beautiful women, all the proper essentials. We ended the night at a Quintal which is pretty much a nighttime BBQ on steroids. Food, music and the night sky above. Parties don’t stop here, needless to say, these people know how to enjoy life. In order to keep this post PG, I will refrain from commenting on women of Angola but you catch my drift.
Joshua Kissi : Our Travel Etiquette series was started on the notion of “How do you live in your clothing/style?” rather than the clothing itself. I’m quite ecstatic that our Travel Etiquette series ended up taking place on the continent of Africa, with so much to dispel and add on, it was a great opportunity to touch down in Angola. Being from Ghana, West Africa it was a very similar cultural experience but obviously a different language barrier. We saw, heard, smelled and felt familiar things in a distant place and that’s a big part of Travel Etiquette. We hope this is just the very beginning of an continuous awesome project series where we will travel the seven seas via the interwebs to bring you guys great culturally diverse content and hopefully you will have the opportunity can do the same.