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AfriTribe's 'New Diaspora' Streetwear

Nigerian-born, Maryland-based designer Ayo Omolewa shares the second part in 'The New Diaspora' streetwear collection.

AfriTribe is an emerging, Maryland-based clothing label that fuses streetwear with culture and tradition. Nigerian-born designer Ayo Omolewa says he founded the brand with the intent of bridging the gap between Africa and the Diaspora. Each of their pieces comes with a larger message that the label hopes will show the continent in a "different light."


Their latest project is a two-part collection entitled The New Diaspora, which Omolewa says was inspired by "a certain lack of options of showing ownership of being African by those living in the Diaspora, 'forgetting where you came from' in a sense," he told us over email. "I wanted to make products that gives the option to portray where we came from, but making it modern and giving it a streetwear look. There are more ways to portray African Culture than wax fabrics and animal print, and I wanted to show this side as well."

The label says they intended for the socks, hats, shirts and tank tops that make up their latest collection to have stories attached to them. There's the Naira Cap, for example, which they tell us was released on 4/19 to reclaim an otherwise stigmatized number (419) for Nigeria. The Finegal Tanktop was inspired by the Nigerian slang "finegal no pimple." The Chale tee is of course a nod to the Ghanaian expression of the same name. Their African Renaissance Sleveless tee portrays Senegal's African Renaissance Monument.

Part two of AfriTribe's The New Diaspora collection is available as of May 5th. Keep up with the label on Twitter and Instagram.

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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