Events

OkayAfrica and The Narativ Present The Fresh + Festive Holiday Pop-Up Shop

We've curated a group of our favorite black-owned vendors for a festive holiday pop-up in Brooklyn.

The holiday season is officially upon us and you know what that means: it's time to shower friends, family—and yourself—with precious gifts.

While holiday shopping can sometimes be a task, it certainly doesn't have to be. OkayAfrica has teamed up with global luxury design platform The Narativ for The Fresh + Festive Holiday Pop Up Shop to bring you a fun, colorful and chilled out retail experience.

The Fresh + Festive Holiday Pop Up will be a one-stop shop, featuring items from some of our favorite black-owned clothing, jewelry, home decor, food and beauty brands.



It's all going down this weekend, on Saturday, December 15 from 12 PM to 9 PM and on Sunday, December 16 from 12 PM to 7 PM, at our Okay Space in Brooklyn. You don't want to miss out on this uniquely curated group of retailers.

Read on to learn about more about some of the brands and vendors that will be featured at the pop-up.

Nroda Eyewear

This eyewear brand, owned by Samantha Smikle sells truly one-of-a-kind pieces that are perfect if you're looking to make a statement with your specs. It's no wonder why everyone from like Snoop Dogg to Rick Ross are fans.

Image courtesy of Nroda Eyewear.

River is Wild

This lifestyle brand, created by Akinwale Akinbiyi is not only dedicated to providing quality threads, it's also committed to helping provide clean water to communities in need across the continent. From wax print bucket hats to tees featuring graphics of Nelson Mandela and Fela Kuti, River is Wild is a go-to for African-inspired streetwear.

Image courtesy of River is Wild.

Shaun Leon Bath & Beauty

This artisanal natural beauty brand offers fragrant oil blends, salt soaks bath teas and more that will fulfill all of your pampering needs. Their products are created with simple ingredients that will go a long way in boosting your grooming regimen in the new year and beyond.

Image courtesy of Shaun Leon Bath & Beauty.

Sewit Sium

Sewit Sium's stunning jewelry designs making for bold conversation pieces that can add flair to any look. They're more than just stylish, though. Her carefully crafted rings, necklaces, bracelets and more are wearable symbols of black history culture that work as individual statement pieces or stacked and layered together.

Image courtesy of Sewit Sium.

Jamila Mariama

This womenswear brand by Jamila Jones, offers rich designs that make use of various fabrics and colors that pop against melanin-enriched skin. Jones "oversees all of her designs from the pattern making to print artwork and construction of the garment. Her creations empower and connect women through design; highlighting women of color and their beauty and strength," reads the brand's website.

Image courtesy of Jamila Mariama.

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Our vendor lineup also includes: Unisa Eurani, Touch of a Queen, Izu and Vash, Autotelic, Ultraviolet, Ivy's Tea, Crown and Candle, The Dapper Dude, Gold Coast Trading, Brooklyn Kettle, and Be.En High.

News Brief

Prominent Zimbabwean Activist  Sheds Light on Current Crisis

Doug Coltart, a vocal activist and human rights lawyer based in Harare, speaks to Okayafrica about what's currently happening in Zimbabwe.

A few days ago, the Zimbabwean government issued a directive to major cellular network providers Econet and TelOne to disable the internet and all access to social media. The directive was an attempt to prevent any information from spreading outside the country's borders with regards to the nationwide protests which have led to the deaths of at least five people and the injury of at least twenty-five others.

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The front page of The New York Times on January 16, 2019

Kenyans Are Furious at the New York Times for Posting Photos of Terrorist Victims

After the the deadly attack on Tuesday, many are accusing the American newspaper of having a double standard on which dead bodies they allow into the paper

Is the New York Times guilty of a double standard when it comes to publishing images of dead bodies?

Kenyans, and others fed up with the coverage, took to social media in the hundreds to denounce a Times article that included an image of victims of Tuesday's Nairobi terrorist attack, bloodied from bullets, and lying hunched over their laptops, dead.

It has cause enough debate online to where the Times' incoming East Africa Bureau chief Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura felt the need to explain their photo policy, which is to show the dead only if their faces cannot be seen in the image. The photo in question fits the policy as the faces are facing away from the camera. She would later apologize before posting the official policy to her Twitter account. The photo remains up.

The Times' official response, as those tend to do online, has only created more anger. But unlike many unruly Twitter mobs, those responding to the official statement have a rather coherent message—"you wouldn't do this with photos of the American dead."

Some of the responses to the Times' official statement.

In a response to the controversy from the Poynter Institute, a typically astute observer of journalistic practice in the United States, they run through the typical American journalism school approach to publishing photos that might shock or offend. They write:

Should the Times have run the photo?
There is no easy answer.
The first question any news organization must ask when deciding to publish violent images is: WHY show it?
In other words, what is the news value? Does the public need to see such an image to fully grasp what happened? Does the public need to see such a photo to confirm or disprove the official account of the events?
An argument could be made that a writer's words could accurately describe the scene without being as disturbing as the image. In addition, when it comes to an act of terrorism, might publishing such a photo actually advance the cause of the terrorists, showing the damage they caused, thus fueling dread and panic?
Also this: The photo on the Times website came without warning. As a reader, you didn't know you were going to see a photo of dead people until you actually saw it.
Those are arguments to not run such a photo or, at least, warn readers of its graphic content.

While it's a fine analysis of when to show a violent image, it misses the central issue at play for those aggrieved by the Times' posting—that the American news-gaze values certain lives differently. Black, brown, foreign, poor—American journalism organizations, including the New York Times, cannot escape a base ethnocentrism in their coverage. It's so embedded into how these institutions operate, and the gap in understanding is so wide, that to much of the world, the Times' official response is laughably wrong at first glance.

"We take the same approach wherever in the world something like this happens--balancing the need for sensitivity and respect with our mission of showing the reality of these events"

And while there are examples from the Times that complicate this feeling, like these images of the dead in the terrorist attack in Nice, France, it doesn't discount the wider and correct feeling that the white victims of American mass shootings are treated differently than their African counterparts. And while there are complicated and systematic reasons for this which will always make discussing it difficult, to simply deny that different standards exist, does not increase the Times' credibility with Kenyans or the newspaper's growing online audience which will only become more vocal about how they're portrayed.

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Falz 'Moral Instruction'

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Falz, King Monada, Zlatan, Yemi Alade and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.

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