Photos

Prêt-À-Poundo: Top 12 African Faces

These are the current Top African Models. Here are our 12 African Faces for 2012.


*Famous Somali model Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid

The fashion industry is keeping its finger on the pulse of contemporary society by never ceasing to reinvent itself through new shapes, forms, materials and faces. Models form an inherent part of the fashion landscape and are rich in diversity. The more time passes, the more top African models take space in catwalks and magazines. Beyond physical beauty, fascination and cultural exploration, the faces that go along with their features are not only unique but extremely strong.

*Model Alek Wek                                 *Model Ajak Deng                              *Model Nana Keita

Taking a step away from the stereotypical images of "African dark skin," one discovers a magnificent range of faces which bring a different, unique expressiveness and physical attractiveness. The standards of beauty set by our society are constantly changing towards a greater involvement of diversity — beauty is abstract and in the eye of the beholder, according to Oscar Wilde. There's clearly not a unitary African aesthetic but we can still profit from the wide range of faces. It wasn't easy to choose our top picks for models from the diaspora, but we narrowed it down to 12 top African models. They're listed in no particular order, we'll leave that for you to decide.

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Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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