Featured

Photos: Babes In Benin

Is the "Babes in Benin" feature article from the latest issue of Pigeons and Peacocks exploitative of "African Babes?"


Fashion week has come and gone but the words and images from "Babes in Benin," the feature article from the latest issue of Pigeons and Peacocks are timeless.

Issue #4 takes a look at "exploitation and excess" and asks: "where is the line to be drawn between inspiration and exploitation" when dealing with African culture, and European appropriation? Inspired by Daniel Laine's series, "Kings of Africa," Babes in Benin uses traditional prints, but takes the designs the opposite direction. Rightfully concerned with cultural translation P&P even questions whether it's detrimental to have their white European stylists depicting African iconography.

"It's nostalgia as exploitation: exploitation of the past; exploitation of the stereotypes forged in the past, and an exploration of when cultural stereotypes become iconography, and where iconography becomes inspiration, and when inspiration turns to exploitation...it is a cycle of pop regurgitating itself, reappropriating symbols and codes and inappropriately fetishizing and remixing different cultures. "

On the upswing, Natalie Lasance reports from fashion week in Lagos, Nigeria "Africa's second ever fashion week", and notes the rich local talent while claiming many Nigerian designers who studied abroad are returning home to "fuse technical excellence with the unique cultural history of Nigerian tribes." For young designers fashion in Africa is a fresh frontier that also includes social initiatives like female empowerment, voting education, identity empowerment, and the list goes on.

Visionary designers who are "using their success to make a difference" include, Kemmy Solomon, who uses design to celebrate femininity, as well as Autumn Adeigbo, who donates 5% of profits from each dress to Women For Women International. Terence Sambo, who blogs as One Nigerian Boy is behind the campaign, Vote, It's in Style," which promotes voting to the youth via fashion and media. Pick up a copy to read the full article including interviews with the models. Enjoy the photo stream!

Popular
Image courtesy of Chude Jideonwo

Nigerian Mental Health Advocate Chude Jideonwo Shares Practical Ways Of Coping During COVID

We speak with the founder of Joy Inc. about the mental health challenges facing Nigerians, how many have managed to find effective ways to cope, and the online resources available to the community.

Never in our lifetimes have we experienced a pandemic of this gravity. As COVID-19 cases rise in Nigeria, Nigerians aren't just worried about getting the virus, they are also concerned about a host of other challenges: our lack of efficient and effective healthcare—which is overwhelmed even without a pandemic—the lack of appropriate data, and the high levels of poverty and illiteracy in the country that make it difficult to enforce the strategies that will enable us to handle the pandemic and keep it under control.

In a bid to understand how Nigerians are dealing with mental health challenges now, on the ground, due to the pandemic—which has led to a lockdown restricting movement and also social distancing rules—we spoke with Nigerian journalist, lawyer and mental healthcare advocate Chude Jideonwo, who is the founder of Joy Inc. He shared insights from his experiences with The Joy Inc., which he founded in 2016 to help young people going through mental and emotional challenges. He aimed to help provide young Nigerians with tools to help navigate the world around them.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

'This Is One Too Many'—African Union Condemns the Murder of George Floyd

"The African Union is distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male."