Almost 5,000 miles away from where she grew up, public health practitioner, designer and CEO Evelyn Botwe started her own New York based business intersecting fashion, health, and entrepreneurship from Ghana to the diaspora and beyond.
From the road, Kayes is the first city outside Senegal in neighboring Mali. It’s 12 hours north east of Bamako and 16 to 25 hours from Dakar, depending on whether the fruit sellers who board the public transport every other village actually get off. The dry, gritty red earth kicked up by the backs of sandals and motorbike tires gives the entire place an airbrushed effect. The city is divided in two by the Senegal river but Kayes is really a region spanning 28 communes.
A group of musicians in Mali are helping protect the their village’s past by teaching kids to connect with their traditional culture through music and using education to help them prepare for their future.
Under the mango trees in Kirina, a village about one hour outside Bamako, a group of friends and musicians have come together to teach the children of their village how to preserve their culture, and that through education, a successful future can be found beyond the hazards of the local gold mines.
Large trucks and buses roll through the only paved road connecting Dakar to Bamako, transporting passengers and merchandise to villages along the way. Every 50 kilometers or so, those trucks and buses stop – drawing women and children out from behind their red earth covered tables and roadside stands carrying bags of water in a bowl on their heads. In most of these towns, these bags of water are the only way to keep people safely hydrated since potable water is not common.