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Wallplay Presents NOT x Chris Saunders In NYC

Jenny Lai and Chris Saunder's 'NOT x Chris Saunders' SA fashion/photography collaboration will by showcasing at Wallplay Gallery in NYC.

Words by Toni Oluwatoni Y. Akindele & Alyssa Klein


In January of 2014, New York-based designer Jenny Lai traveled to Johannesburg to collaborate with South African photographer and filmmaker Chris Saunders, the same director behind some of this year's most striking music videos (including Nozinja's "Tsekeleke" and Okmalumkoolkat's recent "Allblackblackkat"). Lai is the founder of womenswear brand NOT, an experimental label that defines itself by its own definition of the word "not"–  "the space around the solid and tangible, the hidden spaces within the folds of the clothing, and the open spaces where you reveal yourself surprisingly," they say. "It negates the solid and tangible in favor of space, imagination, and movement." Together Lai and Saunders set out to showcase "cultural reinvention" through a fashion/photography experiment entitled NOT x Chris Saunders. Moving across Joburg, Orange Farm, Soweto and Cape Town, the collaborators linked with four South African hyper-creatives to creatively interpret Lai's NOT garments. The group included accessories designer Dennis Chuene (who founded Vernac Bags), vintage clothier Dr. Pachanga, menswear designer Floyd Avenue (from the Smarteez in Soweto), and Pantsula dance costumer/puppeteer Macdonald Mfolo. "Each collaborator was chosen for the unique perspective they offered in the South African fashion scene," Lai explained on an Indiegogo page to raise funds to show their work in New York. She writes:

"In each collaboration, I immersed myself completely into the working style and process of my partners, whether it was working from a backyard shack or sourcing from the local upholstery stores. Together we created one-of-a-kind garments: a hat made by a local milliner, the joints of a puppet hand ingeniously created from overlapping recycled water bottles, a reengineered garment from 2nd hand clothing donated from the West."

NOT x Chris Saunders will be on display from September 10th to September 17th at NYC's "global art campaign space" Wallplay in the LES. The exhibition features a selection of re-interpreted NOT garments along with Saunders' images and final cuts documenting the collaboration. Lai and Saunders will be speaking at an artists' talk moderated by Wallplay, Monday, September 15th, at 7:30PM (To attend, RSVP to RSVP@wallplay.com). Visit Another Africa for their exceptional coverage of the project, including interviews with Lai and Saunders, Floyd Avenue, Macdonald Mafolo, Manthe Ribane, Dennis Chuene, and Dr. Pachanga.

>>>Details On NOT x Chris Saunders At Wallplay In NYC (September 10th-17th)

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Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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