Lounge keeps the African beat going in rough ride through four years

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2009, 12:00am

While higher-profile food and beverage outlets come and go, Amina Lamarre-Delafoulhouse's African lounge Makumba has survived to its fourth anniversary, and she's celebrating tonight at the Peel Street cul-de-sac club. Not that it hasn't been a struggle to bring in a clientele interested in, or at least curious enough about, African culture to keep returning weekly.

'As a bar, given the economic situation, the difficulty is just getting people to go in,' she said. 'Running the bar isn't hard, getting them in and keeping them is. The new people we do see, it's something completely different for them, a different experience. They say: 'Oh, it's like we're somewhere else travelling.'' The Cameroon native (pictured) has periodically brought in musicians, dancers and performers from Africa. Tonight, Lamarre-Delafoulhouse will feature traditional griot music from Guinea and African-inspired fashion designed by the club owner herself. 'The fabrics are not only traditional but you can twist them and wear them in a modern way. It's what I'm creating and thinking about. I don't want to say it's modern, but it's what African ladies wear today to go to the office, parties and receptions.'

Makumba's doors open at 7.30pm, no cover. 'I want to treat my friends.'