Film

David Oyelowo on Nollywood at TIFF: ‘We Are Storytellers and We Are About to Be Number One’

David Oyelowo's excitement to share what Nollywood has to offer with the world sets the tone during the City to City: Lagos opening at TIFF.

Clad in slick, maroon and golden-yellow Angelina fabric, David Oyelowo is pretty hype that the City to City: Lagos opening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is like one big long-lost Nigerian family reunion.


"This is the first time, in so long, I've been in a room with people who can say my name properly,” he says to the audience. “So I stand before you today as DAVID OYETOKUNBO OYELOWO.”

The City to City spotlight seeks to bring international cities to Toronto audiences. All eyes will be on eight films coming out of Nigeria’s cultural capital during this year’s TIFF—as they should be. Nollywood has been a mainstay for Nigerian film, and festival goers (and the world) will have the opportunity to see a sampling of impressive work from the $3.3 billion film industry.

“I have no doubt that this is the start of something absolutely fantastic for us, because we’ve been doing this for a long time—telling stories traditionally, filmically, poetically. We are storytellers by nature,” he continues.

In the clip below, you will see just that as Oyelowo weaves in impersonations of his father lamenting how people butcher his last name, how our parents give us that side-eye when we tell them we want to get into acting and how his experience living in Nigeria as a child and his Nigerian heritage shaped him to take his career with the utmost confidence.

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Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

Influential Louis Vuitton And Off-White Designer Virgin Abloh, Dies at 41

The popular Ghanian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.

The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.

41-year-old Ghanianian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.

After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardian in a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.

A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"

Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.



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How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.