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This Extravagant League Of Kenyan Grannies Is The Ultimate In #SquadGoals

Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia is about to break the internet with his photos of retro grannies bringing straight fire to Somalia.

Photo by Osborne Macharia: "MRS. KAMAU NJUGUNA - FORMER GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF KENYA (1980-1985)"


Big up to African Digital Art for putting us on to Kenya’s League of Extravagant Grannies. NYANYE, the latest editorial from Kenyan digital photographer Osborne Macharia, tells a fictional story of badass grandmas bringing straight fire to Somalia. In other words, it's the ultimate in #SquadGoals.

As Macharia explains:

“This is the story of Kenya’s League of Extravagant Grannies who were once corporate and government leaders in the 1970’s but are now retired. They now live the retired high life travelling to exotic and remote areas within Africa to explore, party and enjoy in exclusivity.

We managed to catch up with 3 of them in Somalia soon after they landed. Little is know about them till now…..”

In a making-of video, stylist Kevin Abbra says he was going for "retro-vintage."

Born and raised in Nairobi, Macharia began his career in architecture before switching to his true passion, photography. He’s worked as a commercial photographer ever since while also carrying out personal projects, like Extravagant Grannies.

Okayafrica previously spoke with Macharia about his playful Kenyan schoolyard-inspired photo series, Afro-Juba. “I honestly have no words to describe my style,” he admitted. “Some say it’s ‘a mixture of CGI and photography’ while others say it’s ‘photography with a painted effect bordering on illustration,” he told us.

Keep up with Macharia on Behance and head here for a full portfolio of his work.

Osborne Macharia: "MRS. S WERE - FORMER ECONOMIST AND PERSONAL ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT (1972-1992)"

Osborne Macharia: "MS. M ADHIAMBO - FORMER MINISTER OF TRADE & INDUSTRY (1972-1980)"

STYLING / PRODUCTION: Kevin Abbra

MAKE UP: Valary Mdeizi

HAIR STYLING: Richard Kinyua (Strand Africa)

CONCEPT & PHOTOGRAPHY: Osborne Macharia

Interview
Courtesy of Osborne Macharia

In Conversation with Osborne Macharia: 'There is no excuse to creating sub-standard work just because it’s from ‘Africa’.'

The Kenyan photographer talks about his Afrofuturistic photoshoot for Africa's biggest horse racing and fashion event—the Durban July.

Osborne Macharia is a Kenyan visual artist and fine art photographer with an exquisite eye that is committed to capturing the unique and endless creative realities of the African continent. Back in 2016, Macharia created NYANYE, a stunningly refreshing editorial that photographed badass grannies "who were once corporate and government leaders in the 1970s but are now retired" and are now a part of Kenya's League of Extravagant Grannies, according to Macharia.

A few months later, he followed that body of work with a collective entitled Kabangu which captured eccentric hip-hop grandpas. Then last year, Marvel commissioned Macharia to create exclusive artwork for Black Panther wherein he introduced the world to the three "Blind Elders of Wakanda".

This year, Macharia is back with an Afrofuturistic photoshoot with Vodacom Red and South African designers Laduma Ngxokolo, Sindiso Khumalo and Rina Chunga Kutuma for this year's Durban July—South Africa (and Africa's) biggest annual horse racing and fashion extravaganza. The Durban July is currently underway and this year's theme is "Once Upon an African Future". The photoshoot seeks to create materials that personify Afrofuturism through combining historical elements, the present culture as well as the future aspirations of people of color whilst simultaneously creating universes that one wouldn't normally see.

We caught up with the visual artist to find out what Afrofuturism means to him as well as how he and his collaborators hope to shake the space up at this year's Durban July.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Art
Image courtesy of Osborne Macharia

Osborne Macharia Introduces the 3 Blind Elders of Wakanda In Exclusive 'Black Panther' Artwork

The Kenyan visual artist was commissioned by Marvel to create original artwork for the film.

Kenyan artist and fine art photographer, Osborne Macharia, is a master at creating alternate black universes. Macharia envisions a world where Kenyan women freedom fighters with opulent hair and hip-hop grannies reign supreme. That's perhaps, why the folks at Marvel, commissioned the artist to create original artwork for their afrofuturistic masterpiece, Black Panther.

"When I was approached by Marvel to create an exclusive art piece for Black Panther, I was excited at the fact that finally the world is seeing what we are doing in Kenya and Africa in general," the artist tells OkayAfrica.

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(Photo Courtesy of DIARRABLU)

Meet the Senegalese Designer Making Math Chic

Diarra Bousso uses algorithms to create designs for her line DIARRABLU.

Who knew that math and fashion could work together so seamlessly? Apparently Diarra Bousso did, the self-described "Creative Mathematician" and mastermind behind DIARRABLU. The Senegalese serial entrepreneur and multidisciplinary artist left a career of trading on Wall Street to pursue design and it paid off. She has just been awarded a coveted spot as the Designer in Residence at the San Francisco Fashion Incubator for her innovative use of equations and algorithms in her beautiful designs.

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(Photo by Emma McIntyre/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing a Live-Action 'Barney' Movie with Mattel

Yes, you read that correctly.

In a move that absolutely no one saw coming, Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya is set to produce a live-action Barney movie in conjunction with Mattel Films. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story.

Kaluuya will co-produce the film as part of his 59% production banner, which signed a first-look deal with Paramount back in May. Speaking on his involvement with the project and the impact of Barney & Friends, Kaluuya had this to say: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

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