In September 2016, Afro Hub, a platform promulgating African-Australians launched in Melbourne.
Afro Hub is the brainchild of Melbourne entrepreneur, Saba Alemayoh and showcases artwork, film, live music, fashion, food, design, poetry and photography by Melbournian artists who hail from the African continent.
The multi-purpose venue is located on Nicholson Street in Carlton North and is a combination of a bar, gallery, retail space and cafe.
Recently Milk Bar Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with talented 26 year old Saba Alemayoh to discuss the recent opening of Afro Hub and to find out more about how it came to be.
You recently launched Afro Hub, a platform for creative African-Australians. What inspired this idea? And what work was required to bring it to fruition?
The inspiration for the launch of Afro Hub is twofold. Firstly, after opening Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant, I found that people were asking me questions about all elements of African culture – there is a curiosity a desire to get to know African culture. Secondly, I found that there were limited platforms for African-Australian talent to exhibit their skills. It took a lot of collaboration with African artists and communities to develop the ideas further. There was a lot of discussions and advice sought to ensure we are culturally diverse and encompassing all cultures.
Last week on October 27, Afro Hub hosted their first poetry slam. How was the evening received? And has a second slam been scheduled yet?
Our first poetry slam was a hit! It was great to see many emerging talent feeling comfortable enough to take the stage. We shared the evening with one of the greatest Oromo storytellers in the Melbourne diaspora community – Soreti Kadir. We also had an unexpected guest – HON Tony Burke. The next poetry slam will be the 17th of November.
Let me get this right. You’ve done a double degree in business and arts, two certificates in fitness, you had a business specialising in health foods, you opened an Ethiopian Restaurant on Brunswick St, Fitzroy and now you’ve launched Afro Hub. What’s your secret Saba? Help us mere mortals. Are you super-human?
My secret is simple – work ethic and support. I work about 7 days a week – but what do they say: “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life”. Also the support I receive from my family, partner and friends cannot be underestimated. At the risk of too many clichés, no woman is an island. It is not surprising for my family or friends to come to an event I am running and find themselves behind a sink washing dishes as we have been overrun.
Every Sunday from 6pm, Afro Hub will host Sunday Sessions. What can punters expect from these evenings and how can they get involved?
The Sunday sessions get different soul singer residency. Anyone can just pop in from about 6pm and listen to some live soul music.
Milk Bar Magazine thanks Saba for speaking with us. Afro Hub celebrates the culture of countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. Its mission is to promote the work, artistry and varying talents of African-Australians.
727 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
Open Tuesday-Thursday 8am-6pm; Friday-Sunday 9am-11pm