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Inspired By An Accra Slum, Streetchief Blends Streetwear & Hair Art

Ghanaian designer Jesse Frimpong's Streetchief blends modern streetwear and traditional threaded hairstyles in the label's latest collection

Images courtesy of STRETCHIEF


In 2013, Ghanaian fashion designer Jesse Frimpong launched the streetwear brand STREETCHIEF to bridge a specific disconnect he noticed within himself and among his peers.

"The brand is a reflection of many African youth in the diaspora who are [torn] between traditional principles of the African culture and the hip hop influenced urban culture of Western world," the Canadian-based designer told Okayafrica via email.

The most recent STREETCHIEF collection pays homage to Nima, an Accra slum where Frimpong spent most of his childhood years. In the Nima Girls lookbook, photographed by William Ukoh, each colorful item is brought to life thanks to model Jessica Bentu's effervescence and Philippa Frimpong's fresh hairstyling talents. The traditional threaded hairstyle worn by Bentu—and famously photographed by J.D. Okhai Ojeikereperfectly reflects the duality that Frimpong is aiming for with his brand.

"As the mission also implies, STREETCHIEF is definitely dedicated to a certain demographic usually ignored in fashion, music and art, even though they offer artists so much inspiration," said Frimpong.

To shop the 'Nima Girls' collection and to learn more about the brand, visit STREETCHIEF's website and Instagram page.

Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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