Dear reader,

I have been entrusted with many great things in my life, some of which have led me to failures and others to victories. A few months ago I was appointed editor-in-chief of a magazine shortly before my appointment at Universal Music Africa, my trip to Italy and then a few weeks ago on Madonna’s latest tour. That’s a lot, but here I am in my heart of hearts, music and fashion together, in Africa, hand in hand.
It took me more than two months, seven planes, several hours and posts-it to finally just tell me that this number should be mine just like me. This number will be the pinkest Hamaji! An issue that will tell you about the Congo, without war and rape, not out of fear of denouncing what you already know, but out of a desire to reveal what you don’t know (yet). This issue is like the famous photo-graphs by Richard Mosses. I wish to put a pink light on this dull world, plunged in a darkness some-times without electricity, in which a festive atmosphere bathes without having running water.

The images of a future Africa are pretty clear in my head, but to express it through this issue is a privilege. During my research, I then turned to several African artists who embody in their own way “La Vie En Rose”. A state of mind that I continually embrace. A state of mind advocating love, life, dreams, the correlation between one’s soul, body, brain, good mood, pleasure and joy. This issue has been built like each of my projects, via a current mood board that I want to share with you. I am fortunate to be surrounded by different artists from the African continent, they all embody a part of the change we are currently witnessing. The various themes covered in this issue are simply synon-ymous with excellence. Naija excellence, Diane Audrey Ngako Co-Founder of the platform “Visiter l’Afrique” or DJ Jeune Lio, a DJ from Francophone Africa with an extraordinary mindset. A united youth here is another message I wish to carry. Each of the articles represents a part of me. Each of the selected contributors nourish my artistic soul so that through his pages you will also find my in-terpretation in photo as well as, this man who had also approached this theory of “La vie en Rose”. He went to social events, neighbourhood parties, took photos of various subjects and then exhibited them. The next day it was then possible to meet and identify oneself on this wall outside one’s studio. It highlighted the enthusiasm and emancipation of a young post-decolonization generation. And that evening, lying at home in Kinshasa, a book among mine winked at me. This book that I will never part with is called “La vie en Rose” by Malick Sidibé. That’s when I realized what my thread was going to be.

Life in Rose, is a state of mind. The Congolese have this state of mind, the same one that we find in the eyes of Mr. Sidibé’s subjects, these people in love with one thing, LIFE, above all. The music, the love of the times together, the party, the sport, the clothes, the laughter, the love again, this time to-gether, the friendship, the freedom, a solo photo, the love again and again, but this time towards oneself.

I have gotten into the habit of sharing with my readers my various sources of inspiration, my nomadic life through my eyes and my words. To be honest, I experience Hamaji on a daily basis. So I hope the following pages will take you on a journey across the continent, make you forget its evils, be-cause as John Hemingway said “If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.”

Happy reading.

Letitia KANDOLO
Editor of Hamaji Magazine