News Brief

Studio 189 Wins CFDA x Lexus Eco Fashion Initiative Award

Ghanaian/Ivorian-American fashion business woman, Abrima Erwiah, and actress, activist, Rosario Dawson, claim the prize from one of the most difficult fashion brand competitions.

Studio 189, run by Ghanaian/Ivorian-American, fashion business woman and OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree, Abrima Erwiah, and activist, actress, artist, singer and producer, Rosario Dawson, champion the 2017-2018 CFDA x Lexus Eco fashion Initiative.

The Initiative was "to facilitate steps to measurable progress thereby furthering American fashion's journey to sustainability." It provided mentorship, and gave its participants the opportunity to grow as a fashion business as a leader, and inspire change and innovation. Erwiah and Dawson's Studio 189 proved it was able to be a platform to do just that and more.


Headquartered in Ghana, USA and throughout West Africa, the company showcases and sells fashionable items while spreading African pride and female empowerment.

According to the initiative, Studio 189 has managed to "target aspects of their design and business strategies to define actionable goals in areas such as consumer consciousness, bespoke product and service innovations, and ethical methods."

"What we're trying to do is make change," Erwiah says in an interview with OkayAfrica back in March regarding her collaborations and work with Studio 189. "What we're trying to do is put together and create a space where all the different players are doing something really interesting and we're creating larger connections."

We're proud of our indicted 100 Women honoree, Erwiah for such a great accomplishment. The announcement of Studio 189's award presented by CFDA x Lexus Eco not only speaks for the company, but also says that African fashion and cultural influence is in fact rising higher in America, within the fashion industry and beyond.

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Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of Darey.

Meet Nigeria’s All-Female Bikers Club, Featured In Darey's Latest Video

Darey collaborates with all-female bike riders to reimagine a pandemic-free world in the new video for "Jojo."

In 2017, when Jeminat Olumegbon, an events manager in Lagos, set up the Female Bikers initiative (FBi) with her friend, Nnenna Samuila, the objective for the organisation was to facilitate some form of education for Nigerian women. "A bunch of us, bike riders, came together because we knew when we ride we draw attention to ourselves so we used that as a form of communication starter, especially in rural areas," Olumegbon, code-named Speed Diva, tells OkayAfrica via a phone call. In the three years since the initiative has been in operation, it has started a number of programs aimed at confronting socio-cultural barriers set against women in Nigeria but none is more resonant than the group's campaign against breast and cervical cancer.

"We found out that a lot of women die of breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and they shouldn't be dying because there are preventive measures but lack of knowledge is what is really killing us," Olumegbon says. According to Nigeria's Cancer Control Plan, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent forms of cancer in Nigeria, disproportionately affecting women. And the Female Bikers initiative, a scion of D'Angels Motorcycle Club, Nigeria's first all-female bikers club, is working hard to get women tested early.

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(Youtube)

Watch Wizkid’s New Music Video For ‘Smile’ Featuring H.E.R.

The Nigerian star dedicated the new video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

Nigerian musical heavyweight Wizkid released his latest track today. The song, titled "Smile," features Grammy award winning US singer/songwriter H.E.R.

The track coos sounds of unconditional love and the things we do for it. It features Wizkid and H.E.R. going in over an infectious beat.

This comes as Wizkid fans await the release of his delayed fourth album, Made in Lagos. We're sure they'll be more excited than ever after getting this new single.

"Smile" follows Wizkid's latest release Soundman Vol. 1 EP, which came out late last year and featured the likes of Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more.

Listen to Wizkid and H.E.R.'s "Smile" below.

Update: Watch the newly released music video for "Smile" below. The Nigerian star dedicated this new Meji Alabi-directed music video to his three sons: Bolu, Ayo and Zion Balogun.

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Interview: Sam Soko is the Kenyan Director Behind Sundance Hit, 'Softie'

We meet filmmaker Sam Soko who has made a stirring documentary about the Kenyan protest leader Boniface Mwangi