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"Not Black Enough For Brooklyn Not African Enough for Accra": A Ghanaian-American Artist Explores His Dual Identity

Citizins explores his Ghanaian-American identity in his debut solo exhibition, 'Not Black Enough for Brooklyn Not African Enough for Accra.'

Reign Apiim becomes the human canvas of Citizins at Everyday People & Okayafrica's brunch party in NYC. (Image courtesy of Pinc)


Kojo Owusu-Kusi, AKA Citizins, explores his Ghanaian-American identity in his debut solo exhibition Not Black Enough for Brooklyn Not African Enough for Accra. Opening over the weekend at New York’s Stuyvesant Mansion, the exhibit includes art and photographs from Citizins’ recent trip to Ghana.

"Outside I was embarrassed and fearful to show my ‘Africaness,’” says Citizins in a press release. “Then at the same time, fearful to show too much of my Black British and African American side at home.... Then I came across Nkrumah, Fela, Sankara, Dubois and many other Pan-Africanist leaders and then I understood that my burden was a blessing and that I had a mission. I'm stuck in this limbo and I know now that I'm here to bridge the gap.”

Not Black Enough for Brooklyn Not African Enough for Accra, curated by Pinc, is on view and open to the public at the Stuyvesant Mansion in Brooklyn (375 Stuyvesant Avenue) now through December 20. Preview a selection of works featured in the exhibition below.

Keep up with Citizins on Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr.

Artwork by Citizins. All images courtesy of Pinc.

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Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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