Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

This Stunning Photo Series Re-imagines What Cities Could Look Like in the Future

As Accra undergoes massive urbanization, buildings 'in limbo' are providing an alternative space for creatives and the youth.

Unfinished buildings are commonplace in Accra, Ghana, a city whose landscape is changing every single day. High-rise structures and concrete worlds are overtaking traditional neighborhoods and leaving urban spaces in a state of "limbo"⁠—the future of the city fossilized within the fragments of its past. One of these many unfinished buildings is an estate in the neighborhood of East Legon, and is now the site of a provocative art exhibition, the first of many that will be showcased in unfinished properties across Accra.

Dominique Petit-Frère and Emil Grip are the co-founders of LIMBO ACCRA, an art platform that is dedicated to re-imagining public spaces in Accra. The maiden exhibition, an art installation within an incomplete estate in East Legon, contains several rooms which have each been uniquely set up through the different perspectives of local artists, designers and cultural critics. Petit-Frère worked with the likes of Serge Attukwei Clottey, David Alabo, Patrick Tagoe-Turkson and Adjoa Armah, among other local talent.

Speaking about her recent exhibition, Petit-Frére says that she wanted it to encourage creatives and the youth in Accra to imagine what future cities can look like. She says, "We see the changes everyday, luxury shopping malls and concrete apartment blocks replacing older, more traditional neighborhoods throughout Accra. Yet many of us do not often stop and ask ourselves what this means and what we are losing in the process of modernization." Petit-Frère asks even more pointedly, "What happens when we do not have the power to create our own spaces through our own aesthetics? What happens when our city does not belong to us?"

Describing what her ultimate hope is for various spaces "in limbo", Petit-Frère says that, "We often find ourselves playing with this imagination of driving through the city of Accra and seeing a sparse set of uncompleted concrete structures occupied by dense botanica and activated through a series of creative-cultural programming. She adds that, "We want to change the narrative from being unused/unwanted sites to hubs for innovation and coexistence."

View the stunning photo series below:

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

Image by Anthony Comber.

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

Image by Anthony Comber.

Image by Emil Grip.

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

Image by Anthony Comber.

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

Image by Ofoe Amegavie.

(Nana Fofie/YouTube)

Nicki Minaj Signs Nana Fofie to Her Record Label

During her latest Queen Radio show, Minaj announced the roster of her new record label.

Nicki Minaj has signed Afro-R&B singer Nana Fofie to her record label.

During Minaj’s latest Queen Radio show, which aired on March 3, the American star announced that she had launched her own record label, teasing that the label's name would be revealed at a later date.

While the name of the record label is still unknown, Minaj shared the names of the first set of artists who would be on her roster—and they include Dutch-Ghanaian artist Nana Fofie.

Joining Fofie on the line up are Tate Kobang, Rico Danna and London Hill. During the announcement, Minaj stated hat her record label would sign other genres of artists outside of hip hop.

According to Minaj, she first discovered Fofie on YouTube, and became a fan of her effortless voice after listening to some of Fofie’s mashups to Davido’s songs on the platform.

Fofie joined Minaj on the Queen Radio segment, where the rap icon gave her her flowers, and noted that she originally thought Fofie’s mashups were her original songs.

“Because I thought they were her songs and then the Nigerians came on my comments after and said ‘That’s Davido!.’ Speaking of Nana Fofie, Nicki Minaj mentioned: “ I’ve been obsessed with you for a very long time, and I always promised you when I started … but I didn’t want to, you know, lock you into anything and if I wasn’t ready to do what I needed to do with you, what I think you deserve. You have one of the most beautiful singing voices. One of those effortless, warm voices.”

Hailing from Rotterdam, Netherlands, Fofie has carved out a niche for herself in the genre of Afro-R&B, where she has been making the rules. It will be interesting to see where the ride takes her.

Fofie has released a new single called “Selling Dreams,” a poignant song about love gone awry and the heartbreak that follows. The Dutch-Ghanaian's EP EMDR is slated to be released later in March, 2023.

Watch the music video for “Selling Dreams” below.

News Brief
Photo Credit: Savannah Falzarano

Ghanaians Flock to Social Media to Celebrate Independence Day

Ghanaians worldwide are celebrating the country’s independence day— a day that represents the 66th year of Ghana’s independence from Britain’s rule.

Ghanaians worldwide are celebrating Ghana's 66th Independence Day. In Ghana, thousands of residents converged at the Adaklu Sports Stadium to celebrate the occasion and listen to President Nana Akufo-Addo address the nation. Esteemed dignitaries from other countries also attended the event to commemorate the occasion.

On March 6th, 1957, Ghana, which was formerly known as the Gold Coast, made history as the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from Europe’s colonization rule. Kwama Nkrumah spearheaded the movement and was a significant power player in leading the West African culture hub out of colonization from Britain’s rule. After the celebration kicked off, President Akufo-Addo made a speech where he started off by thanking the dignitaries in attendance before praising the efforts of Ghana’s fore-leaders, who paved the way for its independence.

“Our forebears were united and strengthened in realizing one common purpose – the attainment of independence. It did not matter where they came from; it did not matter which tribe they belonged to; it did not matter which religious persuasion they subscribed to; and their standing in society certainly did not matter,” said Akufo-Addo. “

They recognized the fact that colonialism did not inure to our nation’s collective benefit, and they were determined to end it, and, indeed, they did.”

Ghana’s independence theme for this year is Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose,” a theme that serves as a clarion call for Ghanaians to continue to seek out progress for the nation, according to President Akufo Adoo.

For the entire day, Ghanaians have been flocking to Twitter and Instagram to celebrate the occasion.

Ghanaian celebrities and influencers also shared some of their tributes on social media.

Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Post-Election, Young Nigerians Wonder What Comes Next

The presidential election outcome has left many of the country’s youth feeling more anxious than ever.

As opposition parties in the country contest the election results, many young Nigerians say they’re worried about their future and are considering opportunities to live and study abroad. “Inquiries have maximally increased," Lagos-based serial entrepreneur, Goodluck Raphael tells OkayAfrica. Raphael runs an agency, Eddykurrent, that specializes in study abroad and international travel. “The inquiries have definitely increased by over 200% since the announcement of the president-elect. We have [people] who now want to leave.” In the past week and a half, Nigerians — young ones, especially — have goneon social media to express their displeasure at the recent announcement of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president-elect and Kashim Shettima Mustapha, as his vice president, by what was seen as a very slim margin.

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Arts + Culture
Image courtesy of Mawema

Thembi Mawema Holds Her Shade With Honor

We spoke with the Zimbabwean Social Media Director of the infamous IG hotbed The Shade Room on the world of media and how African women are centering themselves in it.

Social media, according to researchers, came into fruition too, “facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks.” As humans do, we took it and ran. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and the rest of the App store’s children have bred community engagement out of the wazoo, invigorating a newly formed global community where everyone is involved in everyone else’s business.

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