Interview
Tobe and Fat Nwigwe. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Tobe Nwigwe Is the Southern Rapper 'Making Purpose Popular'

Tobe is one of the best things smokin' from the south.

Nigerian-American Tobechukwu "Tobe" Nwigwe is a rising star coming out of Houston, Texas.

Tobe, his wife, Fat, and producer LaNell Grant—who work together in a creative partnership—have crafted a sound and visual aesthetic so unique that they're turning heads all over.

The collective is consistently pushing creative boundaries and has caught the eye of Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Chance the Rapper and Michael B. Jordan, to name a few. Tobe's been heard on radio and news stations in Texas and recently featured in a cypher from the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

It's tough to pinpoint exactly where his strength lies; it could be the undeniable bond he has with the two women on either side of him, his southern twang, the unwavering faith in God that often finds itself in his verses, or his fervor in educating the youth in a way he wasn't.

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Style
Photo courtesy of Shekudo.

Made In Africa: Shekudo Is the Accessories Brand Putting Nigerian Craftsmanship & Artisans First

Shekudo founder Amy Akudo Iheakanwa speaks in-depth on the challenges of relaunching her brand in Nigeria and more.

Shekudo is the brainchild of Nigerian-Australian designer Amy Akudo Iheakanwa. She uses textiles to create luxurious accessories that draw women in. Where Nigeria offers her her aesthetic, her Australian background contributes to the way she markets her free, easy-going products. Produced in Lagos, Shekudo prides itself on local artistry and social responsibility. It's purpose is to employ artisans and expose the craftsmanship that is alive and well in Nigeria.

Iheakanwa co-founded the brand with Shetu Bimpong but is now the sole creative director, and the February repositioning of the Shekudo has been critical. The brand is now backed by inspiring and necessary narratives of all sorts. It is the story of a founder who has embarked on a journey of self-discovery. It is the story of finding inspiration in the kaleidoscope of colors found in the bustling city that is Lagos. It is the story of Nigeria's 500-year-old aso oke process. It is the story of the number of hands that contribute to making a shoe, bag, or earring from scratch and a community of weavers, silversmiths, shoemakers and carpenters.

Though in its early stages, Iheakanwa has great plans to expand her production and incorporate community through training and capacity building for destitute women with limited options and skills available to them. With today's African diaspora serving as the frontrunners of cultural influence, brands like this one can only shine.

We sat down with the founder of Shekudo to learn more about the brand.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo by Adebayo Jolaoso.

First Look: Feast Your Eyes On Aremo's Sleek Debut Collection, 'OJUMO'

"Aremo is a brand designed for the man who defines his personality, knows who he is, what he wants and goes for it."

Ayobamidele Majekodunmi, better known as Josh Majek, is the Nigerian creative director and designer behind menswear label, Josh Amor and the new diffusion line, Aremo.

For over 4 years, he has headed his premium contemporary brand comprised of bespoke suits, pants, shirts, native attire and ready to wear. The brand has come a long way from its beginnings of Majekodunmi simply dawning clothes he designed for himself while he was studying chemical engineering at Covenant University. Today, his in-house tailors make clothing renown for its crisp and clean aesthetic.

Majekodunmi's approach, though diversified, boasts impeccable craftsmanship and thoughtfulness. There are great stories behind the garments not made for the sole purpose of being worn at the events his countrymen are so known for throwing and partaking in. His 2017 The Exhibition or Wet collection was designed with the intent of calling to mind museum-worthy suiting. His Yin Yang collection played with darkness and light. His Noir or Rain collection was made up of powerful, all black pieces meant to exude the duality in a man's personality.

This week, Majekodunmi embarked on a new adventure—launching a new brand. He had gained recognition for his remarkable efforts under Josh Amor and yearned to express more of his artistic side, while catering to the needs of what he calls, "the modern African man." Enter Aremo.

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Listen to MHD's New Album '19'

MHD's second album is brilliant and reveals of a side of the young artist we haven't seen through versatile production and features from Wizkid, Salif Keita, and Yemi Alade.

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