News Brief

This Video Commemorates the Life and Work of Grenfell Tower Victim, Khadija Saye

A new video from BBC Three commemorates the life and work of Khadija Saye, the rising British-Gambian photographer whose life was claimed in the Grenfell Tower fire.

A new video from BBC Three commemorates the life and work of 24-year-old photographer Khadija Saye, who tragically died in the Grenfell Tower fire in June of this year.


BBC sat down with the young artist in her home on the 20th floor of the tower, ahead of the 2017 Venice Biennale art exhibition in Italy, where Says had the distinguished opportunity of debuting her latest work.

She spoke about her Gambian upbringing, her faith, and her passion for photography, which developed after she received a scholarship to a prestigious arts academy at the age of 14.

"That was an extreme contrast to my area in Ladbroke Grove," she remarks. "So it was a big culture shock trying to adapt to a very different lifestyle that I felt very much on the outside of, because everyone sort of grew up in this 'opulence and opportunities, and 'the sky's the limit.'"

With the support of her teachers, the artist decided to pursue a career in photography.

The video ends with footage of Saye displaying her work at the Venice Biennale, where three buyers bid on her work. She described the experience as surreal, "One of my friends said 'you're an artist' and I was like 'I am now.'"

The video is poignant reminder of the unfair power dynamics that exist, which allowed for the Grenfell Tower fire to take the lives of people like Saye, her mother and the approximately 80 other people who were lost. Watch it below.

Inquests into the deaths of 58 victims of the fire have been opened and suspended by the Metropolitan Police. Prince William and Prince Harry met with survivors and first responders on Tuesday to address mental health concerns amongst those impacted by the fire.

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.

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