Style
Photo courtesy of Afua Rida.

The Influencer's Insight: Afua Rida Is the Stylist Passionate About Telling African Stories Through Fashion

Our second feature in this four-part series highlights Afua Rida—the Ghanaian fashion influencer who wants the world to recognize Africa's impact on fashion.

"The Influencer's Insight" is our four-part series for April's theme "The Hustle." The series features women content creators who've achieved influencer status through their social media platforms. These influencers will give their insight on how they built their brand, challenges they've faced, influencer marketing tips and more.

The second part of the series features Ghana's own fashion influencer, Afua Rida of Styled by Rida. ICYMI, read part one here.

Afua Rida of Styled by Rida is the Ghanaian fashion influencer, stylist and consultant thriving in a world where Africans are excluded from global fashion conversations. She's a force behind her nation's fashion industry and has partnered with Christie Brown, Mina Evans, Meena Official, Mythhouse, Maxhosa, and Lanre Da Silva. The impact of Rida's reach on social media even landed her a feature on CNN's African Voices.


Rida recognizes the continent's influence on fashion "through its colors, animals, water, prints and patterns." She has a fervor for fashion in Africa and is excited to share it's stories. She says she lives life in color and style. "Fashion is a money making industry," she states. "Fashion is culture and culture is life."

Photo courtesy of Afua Rida.

The start of her blogging journey began in August of 2015, where she was on vacation and then returned home to start shooting content for her platform. The first dress she dawned was from Lisa Folawiyo. She says she had no expectations and certainly didn't think her audience would grow to her current 95,000 followers.

Today, Rida continues to be enamored with what she does—to shine a light on the creativity coming from her home. Her blog is centered around fashion, "how to wear" tutorials, and self-confidence. Rida explains that in a typical work week, from Tuesday to Sunday, she's in meetings with designers, styling, breaking news regarding new collections, and is in and out of showrooms pulling clothes. Before sundown she takes full advantage of the lighting to shoot looks. She finds her fresh content through research, designer platforms, and audience feedback. To deal with people's short attention spans, Afua advises content creators to "understand technology, use short and concise posts, implementing photos with color, videos or boomerangs."

It's important to note her family frowned upon her career at first and despite it, she's forged a notable path for herself. We all know first hand how weary our families are of "relaxing and trusting you can make a living in the arts."

Photo courtesy of Afua Rida.

"Styling and blogging is a new concept in Ghana," Rida adds. "Education is important. I'm constantly proving myself." People have to understand and believe you can sell their product and Ghanaians are definitely taking notice. In 2016, she won the Fashion Blogger of the Year award at Glitz Style Awards.

Rida wants to tell vivid stories from every corner of Africa and hopes to partner with Mozambique's Taibo Bacar, Chloé and Australia's Zimmerman. The bombshell is well on her way.

Afua Rida leaves us with three tips for those who are looking to revamp their wardrobe below:

  1. Adapt your style to your location: "My style evolves depending on where I am," Rida explains. In Montreal, where she schooled, her color palette was simple: white, black and grey. In Nigeria, she dawns jewels. In Ghana, wax prints reign supreme. In Italy, the shoe on her foot is critical.
  2. Don't knock it until you try it: "So many questionable trends come out but you won't truly know if you like them unless you try them."
  3. Discover the best gems where you least expect it: "A one-of-a kind piece can appear at the market, a souk or an unknown boutique."
Audrey Lang is an alumna of Northeastern University and a Boston-based site merchandiser. A surveyor of life who's enamored with all things fashion, art and Africa, keep up with her on Instagram and Tumblr.
Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

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.