Style

Maki Oh Hits Hard With Its Ready-To-Wear Collection

Nigerian label Maki Oh by Designer Amaka Osakwe unveiled their Fall/ Winter 14 Collection.

Designer Amaka Osakwe recently unveiled her latest Maki Oh collection for F/W 14, once again proving her fresh eye and striking technique. The Nigerian-based designer routinely delivers quality designs that marry a contemporary fashion sense with her African heritage. As she tells Style.com, the inspiration behind her ready-to-wear collection was imagining a woman at her mirror, reciting the song lyrics: "Tell me, I'm the only one, even if you choke." Osakwe asked herself if the woman in the mirror was mad or not and was influenced by point-counterpoints like madness/un-madness and love/anti-love. There's a constant contrast in the garments between the graphics, how they combine with the structure and the overall femininity emanating from the looks. Osakwe accomplished this outstanding textile work by developing the traditional Nigerian aso-oke material with Lurex thread. She also translated said lyrics above into Yoruba then hand-applied the lettering onto her designs. Scroll through our gallery to view the collection and if you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #makioh.


 

 

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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