Metasebia Yoseph Wants To Make Addis Ababa A Global Design Capital

Design Week Addis Ababa founder and director Metasebia Yoseph wants to transform the city into the epicenter of design, commerce and trade.

Photo courtesy of Metasebia Yoseph

The first-ever Design Week Addis Ababa (DWAA) aims to transform the Ethiopian capital city into the epicenter of design, commerce and trade.

Metasebia Yoseph, owner of Gallery26 and founder of DWAA, has been planning this ambitious cultural and commercial event for the past year. A large part of her process has involved convincing others of the growing need for design-centered thinking in developing countries and its economic viability, Yoseph told Okayafrica. She pointed to Ethiopia's absence of a robust arts infrastructure as a possible reason for the indifference and lack of financial support that she's encountered.

"When we’re talking about design, we’re ultimately talking about problem solving, and there are lots of problems to be solved that could resonate more through a design-centered approach,"said Yoseph. "As a society we need the right tools to envision our future. We need the agency or confidence to actively “design our own development”, hence the “developmentXdesign” tagline and hashtag."

Scheduled to take place December 7 through 13, the full itinerary will feature showcases, lectures, exhibitions, workshops, live performances and demonstrations, all spanning several industries including technology, architecture, gastronomy, art and industrial design.

"This event could be a catalyst for re-thinking African development," said Yoseph. "Applying a design-centered approach to African challenges forces us to confront old models and innovate towards more inspired solutions."

Follow the Design Week Addis Ababa Facebook page  and website for more updates.

**Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Metasebia Yoseph is 26.


Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.