Photo courtesy of Dunnie Onasanya-Hasan.

Dunnie OH Is the Proud Nigerian Powerhouse Carving Her Own Lane in the Creative Business

We catch up with Dunnie Onasanya-Hasan, the businesswoman behind Olori Swim, on the purpose behind her new art and design gallery.

Nigerian creative Dunnie Onasanya-Hasan, popularly known as Dunnie OH, has amassed quite the following over the years serving #BodyGoals, #CoupleGoals and #MotherDaughterGoals. The Tuskegee University graduate who has always been a social butterfly got her start event producing and has gained a great reputation working on events like Facet Fashion Week and the Hollywood Confidential Series, a free event for individuals pursuing careers in entertainment to hear A-list talent speak on their trials and tribulations.

Today, Onasanya-Hasan is at the heart of Olori, a luxury swimwear line that blends American and Nigerian cultural influences and celebrates melanin rich queens. Her work, including the popular KenteKini, glorifies curves on women of all shapes and sizes and her muses are to die for.

Dunnie is doing more than "making women feel good and empowering them," as she puts it. She's an entrepreneur at the helm of a growing business. Olori Weekend, which took place at the end of September, was momentous for her as she celebrated her birthday, Nigerian Independence and the grand opening of the Olori Gallery of Art & Design.

The gallery, which she and her husband, Ibrahim Hasan, acquired in May is a work in progress, but Onasanya-Hasan hopes it will be a haven for all things African fashion and art. She's certainly off to a good start because it is currently home to abstract murals she created with her own hands. The murals comprised of stones, beads and gold pieces are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

She speaks candidly about what inspired the courage to create the murals."To be honest with you, as a kid I always liked drawing and painting," she says, "and my parents would say, 'You need to do your math and science.' They tried to sway me in that direction because this is what's going to make you money and you will have a career to be able to support your family. This isn't a bad way to think, but as a child I really wanted to explore being an artist."

Her husband, who is also a creative, has encouraged her to express herself through visual art. He told her to go for it on the gallery walls. "Over the years he has pulled a lot of that out of me," she says. "The murals are years of suppressed creativity. You are looking at liberation."

The gallery houses Onasanya-Hasan's personal collection of African inspired designs for stylists to pull for special events. She prides herself on being LA's go-to girl for such pieces and hopes the collection will expand. Finally, it's there that the Olori "small but mighty" team sews swimwear and custom ankara pieces of all kinds.

It should come as no surprise that Dunnie has chosen the path she has. "I am a Delta. I became student government president before I left Tuskegee University," she says, describing her college career. "I loved being involved and being a part of student life. Naturally, I am a social person, someone who likes to plan things for people, likes to make people feel good."

Onasanya-Hasan spends nights staying up until 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. ensuring her business is running smoothly while her husband serves as an incredible support system. Her 2-year-old daughter, who shares a middle name with the brand, holds her own as she supposedly "runs things around the gallery." I inquire how she balances her work as well as being a mother/wife. "By the grace of God, I have been balancing my work and personal life," she says. "I am learning every day. There are days I will sit down and think I suck. I think having a supportive partner is the key. Do you have someone that gets you and allows you to make strides towards your goals? I take things one day at a time and try to prioritize. I try to make sure they are clothed and fed."

Olori flourishes in a retail space that is more accepting of cultural diversity. "I am a proud Nigerian," Onasanya-Hasan affirms. "Both of my parents are Yoruba. I love the fact that people are now embracing African culture and heritage. I remember when I was a kid it wasn't cool to wear African print. I was called African booty scratcher. I hated having braids and now you can't catch me without them. It's just very funny how things flip flop. I'm glad that I can really be myself and really do what I love."

There are times where she is apprehensive, but she is confidently pushing forward in the direction of her dreams. "It is okay to be wrong sometimes," Onasanya-Hasan accepts. "I can't be too hard on myself. In regards to the retail business, you are not going to be able to please everyone."

There is a lot in the pipeline for the brand. Onasanya-Hasan has learned to shoot and film models for her business' Instagram page from her film-producing husband. She plans on releasing six, new full-coverage prints on the way and the launch of headwear pieces to compliment swimsuits that are already out. Even though women are at the heart of her business, she wants to make pieces for babies like her daughter Zion and their daddies. She refers to it as a "Mommy and me slay" and says, "Mom can't be the only one looking fly on the vacation or bae-cation." On the art side of things, Her gallery will soon house a portrait series, as well.

Keep up with Dunnie Onasanya-Hasan on Instagram and Olori Swim on their website and Instagram. If you're ever in LA, visit Olori Gallery of Art and Design at 965 E. 31st Street, Los Angeles, CA.

Tay Iwar. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tay Iwar Is Nigeria's Hidden Gem

In a rare interview, the reclusive Nigerian singer and producer talks in-depth about writing and producing his new EP 1997, his forthcoming album Gemini and Nigeria's 'Alté' movement.

Tay Iwar wants some space. The word is the title of one of three songs on his new EP and also one that comes up during our interview, conducted via voice notes and texts on Whatsapp from his base in Abuja—a long way from Lagos which remains Nigeria's music hub.

The choice of the nation's quieter capital over the bustle of its music metropolis is a deliberate one for Iwar and one which fevers his reputation as a recluse and cult figure in Nigerian music circles. This especially happens among the subculture referred to as "alté"—an abbreviation of the word alternative which is used to denote the independent movement that is free from the flash and perceived vacuity of afropop. Precise definitions of the word vary but common denominators include introspection and melancholia, as well as trap and R&B.;

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Photo: Dancers of the Asociación Cultural Afro Chincha Perú via Wikimedia Commons

After Decades of Erasure, Afro-Peruvians Will Finally be Counted in the National Census

Despite an Afro-Peruvian cultural resurgence not a lot has been done to increase the population's visibility on a political level.

In 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country to issue an official public apology to its afrodescendiente population for centuries of "abuse, exclusion, and discrimination." Since then, many have criticized it as more of a symbolic gesture, especially for its failure to mention slavery. It was also seen as a way for the government to highlight Afro-Peruvian culture over making any substantive improvements to the material conditions of Afro-Peruvian communities.

Enter the census, which can play an important role in compelling the Peruvian government to address systemic inequality related to education, poverty, and health. Unfortunately, the last time Peru made a formal attempt to keep track of its African descended population via the census was in 1940.

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Watch Kuami Eugene's Vibrant Music Video "Meji Meji" Featuring Davido

This Ghanaian and Nigerian link up will make your day.

Ghana's Kuami Eugene has been an artist to watch—especially as he shows himself to hold his own on collab tracks.

The music video for his latest, "Meji Meji" featuring Davido, is here. Its upbeat vibe shines through as the two crooners go about their day in Ghana, singing sweet nothings to their love interests.

"Meji Meji" was produced by Fresh VDM, with the video directed by Twitch & Rex.

Take a look at the vibrant video below.

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