International African Arts Festival 2009-2013. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2013 v7n2 p0704
My 2 favorite vendors at the International African Arts Festival are shown above in pictures I took in 2011. They have been there every year since I first was directed there by an Igbo lawyer in 2009. They are there now. And they sell great things, made in Africa, by Africans, no foreign investors or governments get a piece of them. John Kaku is a son of Ghana, second man from the left. He imports shea butter from Ghana, his company is Sankofa Trading and Development. The best shea butter I have come across. I bought some shea butter soap, called black soap, in Crown Heights last year and took it with on a family visit to Australia. Within a few days I developed a horrible rash. John's soap doesn't do that. Pure, clean.
In 2009, John explained shea butter to me, nearly 4 years after I first turned my attention to African communities. I had never heard of it. He explained it, and I bought some to be polite. He remembered that, and laughed about it with me today on a sunny July 4th. The shea butter I bought in 2009 sat in my closet for some months before I used it, and have been using it all over my body every day since. It makes my skin feel good. Looks good? You tell me.
The picture on the right is Calabar Imports, which has gorgeous clothers, jewelry, art, bags, shoes selected in countries of Africa and all over and sold in 2 stores in Brooklyn. I have written about them, and I am sure I will again. Dynamic entrepreneurship with the goal of creating jobs in African communities. And succeeding. Spectacularly. Story I wrote last year about the mother-daughter partnership, click here