Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images.

D'Banj arrives at the 2019 WildAid Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 09, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. .

Nigerian Police Drop D'banj Rape Case

Seyitan Babatayo and D'banj will reportedly settle the rape case outside of court as the two-year investigation now comes to an end.

Nigerian police in charge of D'banj's ongoing rape case have decided to discontinue the investigation into the rape allegations made by Seyitan Babatayo. The decision comes after family representatives of both Babatayo and D'banj reportedly held a meeting to discuss the matter. Babatayo, who is "Aunt Seyitan" on Twitter, recently released a public statement in support of the case closing.


The 2018 case against the Nigerian Afrobeats star dominated headlines in international news The Guardian and BBC. Babatayo alleged that D'banj raped her in a hotel in Lagos but the artist denied that the event had taken place and even went on to sue for defamation of character. In a bizarre turn of events, Babatayo recently claimed through a series of tweets, that she had been arrested by undercover cops dressed as delivery men and harassed for 48 hours before her release. The tweets were then deleted.

Babatayo's case reportedly moved Nigerian artist Tiwa Savage, who voiced her concern online against the rising rates of gender-based violence. Countrywide protests then rippled through Nigeria with protesters demanding that the government take action in the growing number of murders of young women such as university student Vera Omozuwa. Babatayo now states she accepted the out-of-court settlement because all she really wants is 'peace'.

Read: Nigeria Declares 'State of Emergency' on Rape

Gender-based violence has been on the rise across the continent during the global lockdown. South African police case reports have also increased sharply during the continued lockdown as many women and victims of abuse have been forced to quarantine with their abusers.

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(Photo by Fatma Esma Arslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Dak'Art Biennale Returns

The Dakar Biennale, one of the continent's largest cultural events, is back after the pandemic for its 14th edition.

The 14th edition of Dak’Art opened last Thursday, after a four year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, every two years, members of the international art world descended upon Dakar for its month-long Biennale. This year, Senegal’s teranga, or culture of hospitality, welcomes close to 300,000 visitors back and the city of Dakar serves yet again as a colorful backdrop for a meeting of minds.

The Dakar Biennale, dubbed Dak’Art, is one of the continent’s largest cultural events. Created in 1989 to celebrate literature, crafts, and visual arts, this form of the Biennale centered around contemporary African art has existed since 1996. Dak’Art has two unique parts: an IN, comprised of artists who adhere to the year’s theme, and an OFF, for those who do not. Where artists who show for the IN have works that can be found in national buildings like the Ancien Palais de Justice, Museum of Black Civilizations, Museum of African Art, and National Gallery, the myriad of artists who partake in the OFF show their off-beat works everywhere else in locations from hotels to restaurants to embassies to libraries to bus depots to beaches to galleries.

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Photo Credit: David Malan for Getty

10 Ethical African Fashion Brands to Support This World's African Day

For World’s Africa Day, OkayAfrica spoke with a number of ethical brands that are pioneering sustainability in the African fashion industry.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a push for fashion brands to be more sustainable and ethical with its practices. Although ethical fashion brands have continued to emerge across the American and European continents, many would argue that sustainable practices have been a part of the African fashion industry since before it became trendy. Crocheting, recycling and upcycling, sustaining of traditional crafts, hand weaving, and more have been a part of the African fashion industry for years.

Before now, a number of African brands have been doing its due diligence and putting in the work to ensure that their production and manufacturing follows a more ethical and sustainable route. For World’s Africa Day, OkayAfrica spoke with a number of these ethical brands that are pioneering sustainability in the African fashion industry.

Ajabeng Ghana (Ghana)

Ajabeng Ghana is an ethical fashion brand founded in 2018 by Travis Obeng-Caster. The brand's regular ethos follows Afro-minimalism and the creation of clothes that are easy to wear. The brand caters to people who associate wholly with minimalism, African arts, and culture. “Ajabeng is a Ghanaian unisex brand birthed at the crossroads of minimalism and contemporary African art and culture," Travis-Obeng tells OkayAfrica. "We use these two seemingly unrelated themes to create an aesthetic that conveys both the purity of minimalism and the vibrancy of African culture. We experiment with both feminine and masculine design elements to create an aesthetic that is as experimental as it is conservative."

Margaux Wong (Burundi)

Founded by Margaux Rosita, Margaux Wong is a sustainable jewelry brand based in Burundi. Since 2001, the brand has continued to use materials such as cow horns, brass, and other locally sourced sustainable materials to innovative accessory designs. “The Margaux Wong is an experimentation of my lifelong experience on this earth. It showcases the beauty and opulence of something that is beautifully handmade," Rosita said. "I love a timeless piece of jewelry, and it’s what I’m trying to share with the world. We basically showcase artistry, longevity, timelessness, and a new perspective on luxury."

Vanhu Vamwe (Zimbabwe)

“We do refer to ourselves as a brand, but we’re more of a revolutionary community that embodies creatively through the eyes of the most honest parts of ourselves," Zimbabwean founder Vamwe tells OkayAfrica. "We have often identified our works as objects rather than handbags, as we’re interested in the idea of our community having their own interpretation of what their purchases are."

Nkwo (Nigeria)

“We are mindful of the harmful impact that running a fashion business has on the planet and on the people."

Nkwo is a Nigerian sustainable brand founded by veteran designer Nkwo Onwuka in 2007. The brand is known for resource recovery and transformation of material waste into reusable products. “We use innovation as a tool to guide us as we work our way towards total zero waste garment production," Onwuka said. "Our methods of waste reduction pay homage to Africa's rich textile craft tradition and so it is a means of promoting our culture and heritage in a way that also respects the environment and is relevant to the world we live in today."

Abiola Olusola (Nigeria)

Eponymous label Abiola Adeniran-Olusola is a Nigerian sustainable brand founded in 2017. Adeniran-Olusola has worked with major fashion houses like Givenchy and Lanvin, since graduating with a BFA in fashion design from Istituto Marangoni Paris in 2015. “We focus on using sustainable materials in making our clothes, so we mainly use just cotton, silks and linens," Adeniran-Olusola said. "We work with craftsmen and women across the country in bringing our ideas to life. Our brand is easy, fresh and makes you feel cool."

Shekudo (Nigeria)

Founded and refocused by Nigerian-Australian Akudo Iheakanwa in 2017, Shekudo has become a household name for artisanal crafts and accessories in the continent. It’s become a brand that encapsulates culture, craftsmanship, heritage, sustainability and empowerment. “We try to showcase our local traditions and techniques through our fabrics and local resources like metals, leather, glass and bronze," Iheakanwa said. "We utilize what we can from our local environment into our designs and create products that can be appreciated not just locally, but across the world."

Maliko (Nigeria)

Maliko is shoe brand that uses handcrafted techniques of production. "With Maliko, we’re exploring different artisanal techniques that we can find in the continent,” Ebuka Omaliko, founder of the Nigerian footwear brand, tells OkayAfrica. “Our shoes are made in small batches. They’re ethically made. We focus duly on fair wages and ensure that people get the value of what they do.”

Hamaji Studio (Kenya)

Hamaji Studio is a brand inspired by everyday East African charm, nature, and people. The Kenya-based Hamaji, which means "nomad" in local Swahili, was founded by Louise Sommerlatte in 2017 and has since grown to be one of the continent’s most sought ethical brands. “Hamaji is a brand created around preserving ancient textile traditions and nomadic handcrafts. It’s a narrative of different stories and threads interwoven together to give clothing that tells a story, and supports local crafts people,” Sommerlatte tells OkayAfrica. “We only use natural fibers on our textiles and natural ingredients on our dyes."

Larry Jay Ghana (Ghana)

Ghana-born Larry Jafaru Mohammed first started the Larry Jay brand as an accessories line in 2012, before rebranding into a clothing line in 2016. Larry Jay caters his clothes for the fashionably conscious and individuals who have love for indigenous African fashion. “The brand is generally inspired by Nature, Various African Cultures and Arts," Jay said. "Our designs exude an understated style and emphasizes ‘tradition and comfort’. It is vintage, with details and innovations that echo our West African heritage.”

Viviers Studio (South Africa)

Based in South Africa, and founded by Lezanne Viviers, the Viviers Studio brand — which was founded in 2019 — has gone on to be one of the most sought after ethical brands emerging from South Africa. Their pieces are grounded in quality and integrity, intended to become unique heirloom pieces. “To us, the energy of the hand involved in the making of each item, is the highest form of luxury,” Viviers tells OkayAfrica. “We always attempt to sustain the ability for our team to continue with our work in a beautiful way, by having a positive impact on humanity, as well as on Mother Earth. Sustainability is a day-to-day approach."

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The 10 Best African Netflix Original Films

We sat through all of the African originals commissioned, produced or distributed by Netflix and bring you a list of the very best titles.

It can be a tricky preoccupation penciling down what exactly a Netflix Original means. Is it a project commissioned, and executive produced in house by the world’s biggest streaming giant? Yes. But it can also be applied to films funded independently and picked up later by Netflix at film festivals or licensed exclusively through other sources. In any case, films branded as Netflix Originals are usually branded with the streamer’s logo and distributed exclusively on the platform. In the spirit of Africa Day, we sat through all of the African Originals commissioned, produced or distributed by Netflix so far and bring you a list of the very best titles. In ascending order.

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Photo Credit: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Image

5 Artists We Discovered at Frieze New York

From Ludovitch Nkoth to Cassi Nomandi, here are five amazing artists we took note of at the 2021 Frieze New York festival.

The best way to start Summer in New York City is with Frieze New York.

Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in New York, with a legacy partner Deutsche Bank, the three day art extravaganza brings artists, collectors, and cultural purveyors from all over the world to Midtown Manhattan at the Shed to enjoy the various mediums of art on display.

We took some time to uncover the fair, noticing the artists with rich cultures and poignant narratives that drove a resonating message for the audience.

Here are five amazing artists we took note of at the 2021 Frieze New York festival.

1) Ludovic Nkoth

Young and talented, Ludovic Nkoth, 28, is a trailblazer with the eyes of an old soul. His work was carefully placed next to Cassi Nomandi, bringing forth rich textures and deep colors ranging from reds, blues, and yellows. Originally from Cameroon, Nkoth is inspired by his immigrant experience, using his wand to paint pictures of the black immigrants crossing overseas in the water pulling inspiration from family history, tradition, and the legacy of colonialism. Success is here for the young artist with most of his work sold out and exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

2) Luiz Roque

Paying tribute to marginalized cultures, Luiz Roque’s film, S, was an outlier at the fair. A film encapsulated in a dim lit room at the corner of the walkway, it created a mysterious darkness that resonated with a few viewers, though many were jaunted by the artist’s rawness of sexuality and queerness. The film kept us curious on what the voguing and vivid imagery meant to Roque. The artist’s 20 year tenure is an exploration of race, class, politics, ecology, modernism, and science fiction.

3) Cassi Nomandi

Originally from Mozambique, Cassi Nomandi, 34, is a woman with a sharp vision yet subtle hands. With her work, she creates a trance of raw emotion and pleasure. Nomandi studied Cinematography at the Academy of Art University San Francisco. She exhibited her first show in 2017 which put her on the map. In 2020, Cassi was commissioned by Vogue Italia to create the cover art for the magazine’s January 2020 Issue, fusing her love for fashion, photography, film, and cultural anthology.

4) Sydney Cain

San Francisco native Sydney Cain, 31, is a mythical being with over a decade of experience creating and expressing herself through art. We spoke with Sydney briefly to learn how it feels to show at a big fair such as Frieze. “It’s exciting to share work in the east coast being from the Bay Area. I want the work to resonate across the diaspora,” Cain said.

Cain drew on her bloodline and ancestry tapping into the things unseen leaning from lightness to darkness, erasing, subtracting, shifting dust away to define clarity for what she wants to convey in her art. Her energy, while drawing her pieces comes from her courageousness to dive into beings of mortality, expressing things that are stuck here in America, spirits that have our back. She is set to start at Yale studying her MFA this fall.

5) Barbara Wagner

Walking into the fair is the beautiful photo compilation by Wagner, hailing from Brazil. The installation catches your eye because of the humans in the shot, real and authentic, Wagner does a great job of bringing the essence of brazillian culture into the person cast. The installation, In Search of Fifth Element, was a show stopper and gave viewers a real glance at the real people of brazil.

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The Stars of 'Blood Sisters' Talk About Becoming Netflix's Biggest Hit

We sat down with Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime, the actors who brought life to Sarah and Kemi, to talk about shooting Blood Sisters, acting in Nollywood, what's next, and more.

The 4 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Mavin Records, L.A.X, Moonchild Sanelly, Nissi, Major League and more.

Spotlight: Timi Nathus Is Making Digital Art Mainstream

The Nigerian artist NAZQUIAT is on a mission to make his futuristic collection of NFTs the norm in his home country.

Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga Sets Historic Sights On FIFA World Cup 2022

The Rwandan official has been named as one of the first female referees in history to officiate at the men's FIFA World Cup.

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It’s A New Dawn for Young Jonn

Young Jonn tells us why he switched to singing, dishes on his relationship with Olamide and provides all the details about his debut project Love Is Not Enough.