Arts + Culture

NextGen: Temi Otedola Is the Young African Fashion Ambassador to Watch

Meet the Nigerian fashion blogger who's putting African designers and culture on the map, Temi Otedola, in our latest edition of 'NextGen.'

DIASPORAOver the course of July we'll be publishing short profiles, essays and interviews on the theme of "Afrofutures." Together these stories will be a deep dive into the way African and diaspora thinkers, technologists and artists view a future for Africans in the world and outside of it. 


Take a look at our introduction to Afrofuturism here.

Throughout this month, we'll also highlight and celebrate young, leading talents who already put into practice what a future with black people look like through their work in our daily profile series, 'NextGen.'

In our 11th edition, meet Nigerian fashion blogger, Temi Otedola. 

Temi Otedola of JTO Fashion is a blogger, presenter and overall culture enthusiast who is using her brand to put Africa on the map. Her passion for blogging came as a result of not seeing African bloggers and designers represented in the mainstream media. Rather than settling for frustration she decided to fill a much-needed gap in the multi-million dollar blogging industry.

With recognition from publications including British Vogue and CNN Africa, Otedola’s mission of shining a light on the future of African design is coming to fruition with only three years of blogging under her belt. She's not only focused on educating people on fashion designers, she is also passionate about curating events that allows people to learn from the industries most noteworthy figures. “Specifically, my aim is to help build the infrastructure of the Nigerian fashion industry," Otedola says. "We undoubtedly have the talent, but our shopping culture and desire to support homegrown talent still has a way to go. I've already started an initiative called ATIA to begin my initial steps, by offering advice and key information to aspiring African creatives across the diaspora.” From art shows to curated tea events and panels, Otedola is using her platform to shape the future of African fashion.

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“Black millennials could be the face of future decades," Otedola says when asked about Afrofuturism. "Although previously undermined in creative industries, but often appropriated from," she continues, "a large proportion of art, music and design is rooted in black culture. How is it that we are often the innovators of popular culture trends but left behind in the monetization of such trends? I can slowly see black entrepreneurs and creatives taking a hold of our own ideas. It's incredibly exciting to spectate, and I can only hope to be a part of it.”

Her aim to show other young Africans to view fashion and artistic fields as credible career paths can only be executed through leading by example and she is not afraid to actively turn her dreams into a reality.

Interview

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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