My Berlin: Tanka Fonta

Every week, we ask an immigrant in Berlin to share their top five favourite things to do in the city. This week: Cameroonian artist and composer Tanka Fonta.

Food, art and trainspotting: Tanka Fonta knows where to get his fill in Berlin.
Food, art and trainspotting: Tanka Fonta knows where to get his fill in Berlin.Tanka Fonta

Berlin-Tanka Fonta, originally from Cameroon, moved to Stuttgart in the early 2000s and was later convinced to move to Berlin by its vibrant art and cultural scene. Since then, he has worked as an artist and composer. In 2017, he and three Cameroonian friends founded Radio Future Africa, Berlin’s pan-African radio station. Here are his top five Berlin highlights.

Savvy Contemporary – Reinickendorfer Str. 17, Wedding

A hub of human connectivity and conviviality, and an art space revolutionising and transforming discourses on  the presentation of art, music, performativity, literature, poetry and philosophical dialogue for public participation. Since its inception almost a decade ago, Savvy Contemporary keeps introducing intelligent and innovative ways to empower, to give voice to the voiceless, initiating and precipitating new and fresh ideas into reality. Wonderful curators with a human touch and abundant passion, not only to touch lives but to initiate changes in societies globally. 

Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände – Prellerweg, Tempelhof

An inspirational nature conservation space, far removed from the bustle of the city. Here one is able to witness and experience all the seasonal changes, in their manifold expressivity: when the exuberant summer begins to transition gradually into autumn, the harbinger of a multiplicity of colours with poignant intensity, eventually fading into winter with its meditative quality, sustained with pale white landscapes and intensely blue skies, until the sudden emergence and sprouting into life of springtime, as it growls its way into a new joyous phase of birdsong and the gradual awakening of life from the hibernating recesses of the winter.

Asia Time – Rheinstr. 49, Friedenau

Not very far from the Schloss-Straßen-Center, Asia Time’s Chef Tho brings the finest of Vietnamese cuisine into the neighbourhood. Roomy and spacious, Tho’s dishes are not only sumptuous on the taste buds, they are equally evocative of the variegated nature of Asian cuisine with a plethora of tastes and layered textures. Healthy and balanced, the dishes are exceptional at affordable prices. It is a restaurant any visitor in the neighbourhood has to visit. 

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Ebe Ano Nigerian Soul Food – Bamberger Str. 49, Wilmersdorf

Chief, as he is affectionately called by friends and visitors alike, is in charge at this restaurant. With an infectious and hearty laugh, humorous and generous with jokes or his cooking skills, he runs Ebe Ano, which translates roughly as “the place where everything is happening” in English. Chief is also an excellent chef, and serves some of the tastiest, spiciest and most excellent West African dishes here in Berlin.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

The confluence point which almost everyone arriving by train into the city of Berlin is bound to reach. An unusual space, since it is noisy with the noise of constantly moving trains and people in transit. Nevertheless, it evokes a deep sense of the importance of human migration and movements since the dawn of recorded history. It tells the stories of hope, dreams, aspirations and human resilience. If you are in the Bahnhof, try getting a cup of coffee at one of its numerous cafés and sit somewhere near the edges of the artificial canal that runs nearby and watch the trains come and go!