Arts + Culture

Africa Is The Future's 10th Year Anniversary Campaign

Africa Is the Future launched a campaign on Kiss Kiss Bank Bank to raise money for a new project highlighting a 2035's new and dynamic Africa.

'Imagine Africa in 2034, as the first world power, through the covers of a fictitious magazine.' - AITF 


Started in 2004 by Nicolas Premier and Patrick Ayamam, Africa Is The Future is an organization focused on promoting a positive and real image of Africa. We're talking about that vibrant Africa we know, that's more often than not underrepresented in all media.  In 2004, AITF released a t-shirt with bold capital letters that simply stated "AFRICA IS THE FUTURE." Fast foward ten years and you can still spot many people proudly sporting the tee, some are talking of a pop culture phenomenon. "AITF is an art intervention. Over a decade we have used all the communication tools of a "real brand" to smash and upset media cliches by ingraining this provocative slogan in the public sphere," states the company's website.

Today, to celebrate their 10 years, Africa Is The Future launched a campaign on Kiss Kiss Bank Bank to raise money for a new type of communiqué. The topic, in their own words,

"Imagine: it’s 2034. The African Continent has been renamed "The United Republics of Africa" (U.R.A) and has become the dominant global power. The U.R.A is a leader and driver of technology, space travel, art, film, fashion, architecture and more. U.R.A’s most widely read, most profitable publication is AITF Magazine. As the iconic Life Magazine covers illustrated American growth post-World War II, AITF Magazine covers relate the economic and political rise of the United Republics of Africa. The familiarity of Life covers, emblematic of the American Dream, beautifully suit this parodic diversion. This is no Nostradamus inspired effort to predict the future. AITF covers are an ironic transposition of the World as presented in the international, traditional and dominant media landscape."

The initial mockups present a general idea of what AITF is trying to accomplish in order to promote the creative and trendsetting Africa. Scroll through our gallery above to see the visuals and if you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #africaisthefuture.

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Image courtesy of Daily Paper.

Daily Paper Enlists Ghanaian Artist David Alabo For New Tarot Card Capsule Collection

The streetwear brand's new line of t-shirts feature striking, Afro-Surrealist designs by Ghanaian artist David Alabo.

Amsterdam-based, African-owned streetwear brand, Daily Paper has released a new limited edition capsule collection in collaboration with Ghanaian visual artist David Alabo.

The Tarot Card collection of high end t-shirts is part of the brand's Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Each t-shirt features a unique design by Alabo "highlighting an Afro-Surrealism tarot card providing insight and guidance through symbolism and spiritual wisdom," according to a press release from Daily Paper. The designs reflect Alabo's artistic vision of using elements of fantasy and mysticism to critique African society.

"Daily Paper is dedicated to promoting African culture by honoring the past and its influence on their vision of the future," said the artist. "They push the boundaries and challenge the perception of Africa in the fashion world which is what I aim to achieve in the art world too. It just makes sense that we work together and inspire each other."

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Image courtesy of the artist.

In 'Aba Women Riot' Nigerian Artist, Fred Martins, Reinterprets a Groundbreaking Moment In African History

In a new series of prints, the artist celebrates 'the women who lend their voices and stood strong against the oppression of Africans.'

March marks Women's History Month, and for African women, one event that epitomizes the will and tenacity within our community is the Aba Women's Riot, also known as The Women's War of 1929, in which thousands of predominantly Igbo women in eastern Nigeria mobilized to challenge British colonial rule and the barriers placed on women's civic life.

This paradigm-shifting moment in history is the center of the latest series from Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins, who began conceptualizing "Aba Women Riot" in 2019, while reflecting on the invaluable contributions women have made throughout history. "I reflected on the power of femininity and how it has affected history on every stage and era of human civilization," said the artist in a statement.

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Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach.

South Africans Condemn Police Brutality During National Lockdown

A number of videos have emerged on social media allegedly showing the intimidation and assault of several Black South Africans by law enforcement.

South Africa recently began a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed across the nation to aid the police in ensuring that the rules of the lockdown are upheld. However, disturbing footage has emerged on social media allegedly depicting law enforcement agents assaulting Black South Africans.

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Image by Sabelo Mkhabela.

This Is What It Takes for South African Musicians to Succeed Abroad

Jeremy Loops, Shimza, Moonchild Sanelly and GoodLuck discuss what it took to build their names overseas.

Disclaimer: The conversation which this piece makes reference to took place before the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa.

"I said it for 10 years that I'm going to work with Beyoncé, and everybody laughed for those 10 years. And I said it with conviction. Today, I'm on a Grammy-nominated album [on a song] with Beyoncé right now," says Moonchild Sanelly referring to the song "MY POWER" in which she's featured in alongside Busiswa, Nija, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and of course Queen B herself. The track is a fan-favorite from the Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé. Moonchild is pulling out these receipts to elaborate a point she just made about self-belief which helped her build a career that's recognized globally, a feat very few South African artists have achieved.

A few of those artists— Jeremy Loops, Shimza and Juliet Harding (a member of the versatile electronic band GoodLuck)—are on the podium alongside Moonchild during the Midem Africa Conference in Langa, Cape Town towards the end of February. The four musicians are in conversation with Trenton Birch, musician and founder of Bridges for Music Academy, sharing their secrets to breaking into the highly competitive and advanced music markets of mainly Europe and the US.

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