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This Streetwear Brand Just Released A Dope Jersey For Mansa Musa, "King Of Kings" Of The Mali Empire

Streetwear brand Modern Pharaoh releases a jersey dedicated to Mansa Musa, the 14th century "King of Kings" of the Mali Empire.

All images courtesy of Modern Pharaoh


California/Massachusetts-based apparel and lifestyle brand Modern Pharaoh is back with a crisp, black-and-yellow jersey detailed with their signature emblem of a female pharaoh. The item is the first in a collection of jerseys dedicated to "great figures of African history." Its inspiration and namesake is Musa Keita (Mansa Musa I) the tenth Mansa– or "King of Kings"– of the Mali Empire, and the richest human being in history according to this study. "From Mansa Musa, we take the hope for progression amongst our people, and humility in every success," the label writes in an introduction to the release.

Founded by Liberian-born creative Adam Smarte (a former MLS player who spent his childhood between Accra, Ibadan, Côte d'Ivoire and Sacramento, California), the brand released a line of t-shirts commemorating Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon's World Cup bids in 2014. Earlier this year they launched a series of Rugby Collection snapbacks for Kenya and South Africa.

Head to the Modern Pharaoh website to shop their new Mansa Musa Jersey. For more, keep up with the brand on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram.

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A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

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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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