Photos

Prêt-À-Poundo: SUPAFRIK In Paris!

This is a recap of the opening night of the pop-up shop boutique SUPAFRIK, created by designer Chinedu Ukabam.


*Kévé/ Chichia London/ 3. BLKKAnGARoo/ [center] Ann & Arayata/ MyriamMaxo/ Chinedesign/ Heart365 Emporium (Left to Right / Top to Bottom)

SUPAFRIK is a contemporary diaspora-inspired art, fashion, music, and food pop-up shop & gallery. After stints in Toronto, Washington DC, and London, it was the turn of the city of lights: Paris. Created by designer Chinedu Ukabam of the label Chinedesign, this innovative concept offers a melting-pot of various types of art featuring fashion. "SUPAFRIK is a traveling “pop-up” experience that features artists and designers that re-contextualize African aesthetics and culture in a contemporary manner." We love the concept and the fact that this community is getting together to spread the word in an international setting. It allows the artists to get their work showcased in major cities and also build a stronger network. We were in Paris and loved the layout in the stunning Parisian spot La Crémerie, which is a historic place where the Great Louis XIV used to play as a kid in the courtyard.

*Painting by Komi Olaf

SUPAFRIK got a big turnout and he lively and jolly atmosphere of the public was noticeable. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Chinedesign label, we discovered the brand's trendy pieces alongside other talented designers including Chichia London, Ann & Arayata, Myriam Maxo, Heart 365 Emporium, BLKKAnGARooOhiri Kreation, Nefer by Daniel Touhou, Eloli, Les Enfants Sauvages, Enzi and Jodi B. On top of this, there were paintings from visual artist Komi Olaf, photographies by Kemi Bassene and pieces from Mahatsara for our viewing pleasure. Of course, what would be an event of this magnitude be without live music and food? Ukabam introduced us to singer Laetitia Dana who provided a intimate acoustic set accompanied by a guitar player and later on there was Shirley Mpagi, Danilo and Edem Allado. Chef Dieuveil Malonga, a name to remember, excited our taste buds with a mix of food, getting along perfectly with the SUPAFRIK ethic. This event was an ideal illustration of the contemporary diaspora arts getting together.

Interview
Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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