Arts + Culture

NextGen: WAFFLESNCREAM Leads the Way in Expanding Nigeria's Urban Youth Experience

Nigeria's first skate crew rethinks what community building looks like among the creative youth.

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 12th edition, meet Nigeria's first skateboard collective, WAFFLESNCREAM.

In many ways WAFFLESNCREAM embodies what it means to shape the future of community in Africa. As Nigeria’s first skateboard collective and store, they are creating spaces for young people in Nigeria to explore their skills and embrace their creative selves.

Photo by Amarachi Nwosu.

Originally founded in 2010, WAFFLESNCREAM is made up of a community of passionate skateboarders, BMX riders, graffiti artists, photographers, musicians, and directors that aim to expand the urban youth experience in Nigeria and connect street wear, skate and social impact. Beyond being the country's first in this creative space, their team is working towards building the Nigeria's first skate park. They want to help skaters develop their skills and shape a better future for kids who want to join action sports.

Photo by MAJDEL.

The collective has also been recognized by publications like CNN Africa, Al Jazeera and VICE. In order to connect to their international audience, they have also curated pop ups in cities like New York and Accra, and worked with brands like Red Bull and Vans. When speaking with 16-year-old member and artist Leonard Iheagwam on his perception of Afrofuturism, he mentions that “Afrofuturism to me is simply the future of black people and where the future of black culture and art lies. That is me and my friends doing things to make black or African culture progress into a very rich cultural future.”


In many ways WAFFLESNCREAM has been able to help young people who are interested in activities outside of Nigerian traditions have an outlet to express themselves. “As a skater and artist, I want to shape the narratives of African people by shedding a light on how African kids can be involved in something like skateboarding or creating of any form without relying on the western world for recognition. Essentially, for Africa by Africans,” he says.

While this notion will take time to develop, what we do in the now is what shapes the quality of our future and the kids at WAFFLESNCREAM have surely set the tone.


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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