Emilia Luyindula grew up in Tottenham, but it is only since she's become an adult that she began to feel more connected to the area. As such she launching her new club night in Tottenham, AFLO an African rave that helps her and others to get in touch with their heritage and bring it to a wider audience. When Emilia reached out to Women in Tottenham to let us know more about her new venture, Rachel Ho was intrigued to find out more.
Photo supplied: Emilia Luyindula, founder of AFLO
Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?
I was born in Crouch End and moved to Tottenham when I was five and have been here for about 16 years. My dad worked for Royal Mail and my mum looked after my siblings and then trained to become a pastry chef.
Describe your relationship to Tottenham.
Growing up, I didn’t feel much about Tottenham, for me it was just where home was, nothing more, nothing less. I went to a school in another borough and all of my friends were there. My home was too far away so they never came over. I didn’t really know anyone from the area, but now that there are many new businesses and hangout spots in Tottenham, I enjoy exploring the area and my friends are happy to visit.
Tell us about AFLO and how it came about.
AFLO is "your new favourite club night"! We take tracks from the motherland and bring them to the west, includinge Hip-Hop, Trap, Grime and other popular Western sounds that are dominated by Afro (& Caribbean) artists.
It started with me wanting to get more in touch with my Angolan culture after my Grandfather died and I'd never got to meet him. I've never been to Angola and I don't speak Portuguese, which has made me and still makes me feel really embarrassed. Despite being Angolan, I don’t feel it it, so I've been trying to connect and AFLO is helping me to do that.
Music is something I’ve always known. I learnt the the piano at school and loved finding hidden gems on You Tube. When I discovered Kuduro (a type of music and dance originally developed in Angola) my mind was blown. It allowed me to dance all night and I've loved it ever since.
Through AFLO I wanted to create a night where people of African heritage can come and enjoy songs they grew up listening to at family functions or that their parents played for them when they were younger. It's also a chance to open everyone's ears to the sounds of Africa. Our launch is being held locally at Bones & Pearl on Markfield Road on 27th April. I'm really pleased it's taking place in Tottenham, plus they have a really cool barbecue made from the end of a car which looks awesome!
As a woman, how do you think Tottenham has changed? What would you like to see change?
I believe that Tottenham has always been changing for the better. This hasn’t always been properly represented, which does upset me. There are still a few people whose faces turn when I tell them I live in Tottenham, which is understandable to an extent; some people reject what they don’t know or have heard bad things about.
However, Tottenham has an amazing community with an array of cultures who come together during times of need. It gives me hope knowing that there are people right on my doorstep who want to spread unity and positivity within the community.
Favourite thing to do in Tottenham?
Long morning play dates with my nephew at Bruce Grove Park and the cheese toasties at Craving Coffee. I can never get through a slice without my nephew stealing the ham!
There are also quite a few child friendly spaces in Tottenham such as Tottenham Green Market and Skidaddle Kids, which is perfect for when I want to get away from work as they’re so close by.
Anything you would like to add?
Everyone is welcome to join us at our immersive Afro-Centric rave - We’re looking forward to dancing the night with you all at AFLO!
Find out more about AFLO: