News Brief

Brooklyn Teen’s Impressive Artwork ‘Uganda’ Wins a Spot at the Met

“I’ve been told that I’m inspiring young artists all around the world and that’s amazing.”

Little did 18-year-old Cliffannie Forrester know that a rediscovered photograph of a little girl captured during a mission trip to Uganda would help her accomplish one of her dreams.


Buzzfeed reports, one of Forrester’s teachers at New York’s High School of Art and Design encouraged her to transform the snapshot into this work of art, and enter it into the P.S. Art competition that selects pieces to be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC that has millions of visitors from around the world.

The teenage Brooklynite’s artwork Uganda has been selected as one of the winners, and has earned her a $1,000 scholarship.

Forrester tweeted about her accomplishment, and as Twitter always loves an inspiring story, it has gone viral, receiving more than 39,000 retweets and 85,000 likes, so far.

“Who just completed their life goal at age 18?” Forrester tweets. “Me. As of 6/14/16, my piece is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

I look like an egg

A photo posted by Coretta The Chef (@cliffannie) on

As if that wasn’t enough good news, she has received word that Uganda will be on display in Times Square as well.

:'-) so happy

A photo posted by Coretta The Chef (@cliffannie) on

“My next goal is to get another piece in a museum. I never want to give up my work,” Forrester says, who has plans to enroll at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she will major in Fine Art.

Interview
Photo: Jolaoso Adebayo.

Crayon Is Nigeria's Prince of Bright Pop Melodies

Since emerging on the scene over two years ago, Crayon has carved a unique path with his catchy songs.

During the 2010s, the young musician Charles Chibuezechukwu made several failed attempts to get into a Nigerian university. On the day of his fifth attempt, while waiting for the exam's commencement, he thought of what he really wanted out of life. To the surprise of the thousands present, he stood up and left the centre, having chosen music. "Nobody knew I didn't write the exam," Charles, who's now known to afro pop lovers as Crayon, tells OkayAfrica over a Zoom call from a Lagos studio. "I had to lie to my parents that I wrote it and didn't pass. But before then, I had already met Don Jazzy and Baby Fresh [my label superiors], so I knew I was headed somewhere."

His assessment is spot on. Over the past two years Crayon's high-powered records have earned him a unique space within Nigeria's pop market. On his 2019 debut EP, the cheekily-titled Cray Cray, the musician shines over cohesive, bright production where he revels in finding pockets of joy in seemingly everyday material. His breakout record "So Fine" is built around the adorable promises of a lover to his woman. It's a fairly trite theme, but the 21-year-old musician's endearing voice strikes the beat in perfect form, and when the hook "call my number, I go respond, oh eh" rolls in, the mastery of space and time is at a level usually attributed to the icons of Afropop: Wizkid, P-Square, Wande Coal.

"My dad used to sell CDs back in the day, in Victoria Island [in Lagos]," reveals Crayon. "I had access to a lot of music: afrobeat, hip-hop, Westlife, 2Face Idibia, Wizkid, and many others." Crayon also learnt stage craft from his father's side hustle as an MC, who was always "so bold and confident," even in the midst of so much activity. His mother, then a fruit seller, loved Igbo gospel songs; few mornings passed when loud, worship songs weren't blasting from their home. All of these, Crayon says, "are a mix of different sounds and different cultures that shaped my artistry."

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