Image supplied.
  1. Untitled, Undated, Unknown, Senegal

'The African Lookbook' is 100 Years' Worth of African Women's Global Influence

Catherine E. McKinley's 'The African Lookbook' documents 100 years of African women in front of and behind the camera as well as Africa's unmistakable, yet often trivialised, influence on fashion as we know it today.

African-American writer and curator Catherine E. McKinley's The African Lookbook is a remarkable repository for African women's rich history, their influence on global fashion and photography spanning 100 years.

Published in January of 2021, the book comprises photographs collected during McKinley's numerous travels across Northern and Western Africa over the years. The African Lookbook is an extensive archive currently documenting the role of mainly West African women in fashion and how both the thriving textile trade from a century ago as well as colonisation, resulted in the fashion landscape we've come to know today.

In what remains an incredibly white-washed fashion industry filled with cultural appropriation, very little credit given to Africans and Black women who have (and continue to) contribute to the industry, The African Lookbook upends that reality within its pages. While popular designers, the likes of Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and more, have been at the receiving end of public backlash for appropriating Black culture, McKinley's book highlights just how far back many of the runway trends we see today were actually pioneered by African women whose contributions were simply erased over time. Take for instance Stella McCartney's controversial 2017 Spring collection which comprised vibrant ankara prints (from West Africa) but had very few Black women in the show overall.

In addition to fashion, The African Lookbook explores Africans behind the camera. It seeks to name image-makers, to give credit where credit has been so long overdue, and chronicle what McKinley thinks of as the African-Atlantic—the coastal countries that were trade centres reaching into the interiors.

And so we caught up with McKinley to talk about her growing collection of insightful photographs, how the concept originated and what the bigger picture (pun intended) is for the collection itself.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You go by a number of labels and titles. But how would you describe yourself to our audience as a creative, as a creator?

I think of myself probably primarily as a writer but I'm moving more and more into art. I'm thinking more about how the archive can be used for public exhibition, et cetera. Let's say writer and curator is probably the best thing. But you know, like most of us it's so fluid and a lot of different things going on at once.

How did the lookbook, as a concept and as an archive come about?

When I graduated from college, I made my first trip to West Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. And when I was traveling, people would give me photographs. When you leave, somebody would present you with a photograph and we kind of did the penpal kind of thing. And the photos, they were really lovely photographs. I think one of the first ones I got was from somebody's houseboy and he gave me a photo of himself in his Sunday best. He was holding a chicken and he cooked it when I was there. So that had a lot of meaning. I knew also that it wasn't a cheap thing for him. It's something he dressed and paid money to have a really nice photo taken of himself. I collected many others, and they were the root of the collection, though at that time they were just keepsakes.

Then I brought them home and this was in 1991. I was always interested in photography, but by 1997, we started to see Seydou Keita and a few others. They made their way to the US and a huge exhibition of African photography. I met Seydou Keita too when he was here. And it was just mind blowing to me to see his work.

I just got into all this stuff around the politics of what was being done, but I was also really in love with the photos. Every year I was going to Africa, mostly West Africa and I was looking more and more at photos and also doing fashion research. As time went on and there was more and more attention to African photographers, I started really asking questions, like, "What is this all about? What's this dynamic about? How does somebody's personal photo become an art object? And what does that mean historically and politically?"

2. Untitled, Undated, UnknownImage supplied.

Would you say that your personal connection with the continent is a result of your travels?

It happened even before them. I would say, even as a really young child. I was adopted by a white couple. It was like, "Okay, what does this mean?" But then it's like, "Oh, you are Black but you're Afro-American." So I was like, "Afro-American is African." And then I thought, "Okay, so I'm African." I started reading a lot of Pan-Africanist stuff very early because I was looking for Black books and there was a university nearby.

I was introduced really early to Pan-Africanism. Then the irony is that my biological father, when I did find him, is African-American, but his grandparents were from the Cape Verde Islands and he then married a Ghanaian. So I have all these Ghanaian half-sisters. I always felt myself as very much a part of Africa.

Do you still identify as being African now that you're much older?

I won't use it because people don't understand what I'm saying, but yes, in myself and at this point in my life, I probably have spent more time living in Ghana and traveling to Ghana in particular. So it's a big part of me. When I got there, I was like a fish to water. Some people go and they have all these conflicts and whatever. For me, it was like, "Okay, this is my corner of the world."

There are quite a number of photographs in this lookbook. Are there any ones in particular that really stand out for you personally and why?

It's hard because in selecting, I was talking to somebody about this yesterday, I never buy or take a photo that I don't really have a connection to. Sometimes I'd say, "The image is okay." But yesterday, I found something that was taken by a Senegalese photographer and I think it's in Gabon. It was 1911 and the photo itself was landscape. It's not a really remarkable photo, but I was like, "This is a Senegalese photographer in Gabon in 1911. So who's going to question that?" So sometimes I have that sort of response to things but every photo, I have some attachment to.

In the book, the spread at the back about independence. There's a woman at the back named Korama and she gave me some of her own pictures. They were pre-independence, so the '70s. They're just really brilliant. She's a stunning woman. She's so beautiful and the photos are beautiful. I think those are probably my favourites.

In what ways would you say, if at all, that this particular project is perhaps radical or revolutionary seeing as there is currently nothing like it?

It's really interesting. Especially because when we talk about Keita hitting the West in 1996 until now, it's a little bit shocking that nobody's done something similar. But I think it's revolutionary in the sense that nobody's looking at women in any way. They're just kind of saying, "Okay, women are looking back at the camera and there's a power issue." That's important, it doesn't go all that far. But this really is capturing the earliest images through. And the book doesn't go through contemporary images, but the archive does. So I think that in and of itself, positioning women in that way is absolutely revolutionary.

Women were the disproportionate part of the archive, of the colonial archive in particular. And then the African photographers, they were mostly photographing women. So how can anybody have skipped over this? That's a funny thing. People talked about fashion, but for the most part, they haven't really looked at women at all. And my little project right now is to figure out who were the earliest African female photographers. There's almost no evidence of anybody up until the independence era. There's one woman from Nigeria in the 1920s. I have to check the date, but I think it's the 1920s. And I think she owned the studio—a big deal.

3. Aunty Koramaa III, 1956, Dan. Minotla, Accra, GhanaImage supplied.

Looking at the fashion industry right now, it's very much whitewashed. And very few instances exist of Africa having been given credit. In what ways do you think that this lookbook challenges that reality?

I was looking at a magazine yesterday and I think people would argue that a blouse is a European form but I don't think so. Yes, a blouse in the way we know it came from Europe through the missionaries, but the way it's been Africanized, I don't think that people realise that. But if you look on any fashion page at the moment those are African sleeves, a Black woman's S-curve in many dresses. At New York University, I was doing an arts degree but I I did a lot of costume courses. They taught half-an-hour's worth of non-Western fashion and this is one of the leading costume programs in the world. There's just such huge ignorance, even in the way that people talk about what is traditionally African.

There's always been this idea of African women have always liked what's the latest fashion. As much as they like tradition, it's also like, "What's new?" They're always pushing the trends and that's been a historical reality. So the idea of, "Oh, she's a very traditional something," what is tradition? Tradition has always been extremely dynamic. I think we'll have to think way beyond that as well. And if you go back to West African traders centuries ago in particular, it was a cutthroat business to trade textiles. So, it's like, there's so much intelligence and agency in African fashion. It's not just like, "Oh, this tradition needs to put this on over and over and over again."

A lot of your photographs focus on the Western parts of Africa; countries like Niger, Morocco, Angola. Is there any desire to expand and add photographs from other parts of the continent?

Absolutely. I've done some writing about Namibian women's fashion, more contemporary fashion. And I want to do much, much more. The book goes from Morocco to Congo, mostly on the coast, and then it goes up into West Africa, but I had to do that because I can't do 54 countries.

It was exhausting. But at least there was a clear network because the photographers were moving along the same routes as the fashions. So it was really easy for me as I knew the trading routes and the exchanges whereas a lot of Southern Africa, I don't know so well. I've never been to East Africa. I've been to the West and the North. South African fashion, for example, is it's own culture. It's a whole other thing.

Before COVID-19, I was talking to people about doing some exhibitions in Ghana and Kenya. We were talking about doing exhibitions and the planning was in place. Part of the reason for having the archive and then the book is that I want there to be much more interaction around that stuff. I don't like the idea of the photo as this private art object that belongs to me. I really want to put them in places that make people interact and think about them.

4. Untitled, c. 1950s, Barthelely Kone, MaliImage supplied.

What is your biggest hope for this lookbook and I suppose for the archive as a whole?

The lookbook, it's a love letter to the ancestors and it's a love letter to us, who are the living and who come from the women that are in the book. Edwidge Danticat, in the intro, talks about it as a community album. I have that feeling like it belongs to all of us and that it's in some way for all of us. So I want people to have that pleasure in knowing. I also want to change the narrative of men and Black women, in art and history, etcetera. The potential is everywhere. We all have family pictures, and I think that it's really nice to be able to value them and to look at them differently.

I have friends that have seen the book and I know they have brilliant photos at home. They're like, "Oh, we have this same kind of photo of my grandfather, my grandmother or whatever." I think that it's possible that you may have looked at that image of your father and be like, "Oh, that's a dirty old photo." But it has the potential for so much more.

For anyone interested in knowing more about the lookbook and accessing it in some way, what are some of the avenues with regards to that?

Well, I'm hoping that we're going to get it to South Africa. That we're going to get a publisher that will buy it or somebody that will work with the US distributors and England. So that's wonderful. But I have a website and although it doesn't have everything, it has quite a bit. So people can access us either on Instagram or this site. And the other thing is that there are some images in the book by Frida Orupabo. She's Nigerian and she does collage work using photographs. She's really brilliant. She was in the 2019 Venice Biennale, and she's blown up quite a bit. But I asked her if she wanted to do something with the archives. So she went in and she made these brilliant collages where she just upturns everything.

Image supplied.

The African Lookbook can also be purchased here.

Editor's Note: Catherine McKinley is of African-American heritage. She was adopted by a white couple as a child although her biological father is African-American with grandparents of Cape Verdean descent.

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Photo by Cindy Ord for Getty

Trevor Noah Wins Prestigious Erasmus Prize

Trevor Noah is the first comic to win the prestigious Erasmus Prize since Charlie Chaplin in 1965.

Popular South African comic Trevor Noah has won the prestigious Erasmus Prize from The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation The award is named after Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus' most famous piece of work.

According to a statement from The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation, Noah was receiving the prize “for his inspired contribution to the theme ‘In Praise of Folly,’ named after Erasmus’s most famous book, which is filled with humor, social criticism and political satire.” (Desiderius Erasmus was a an influential Dutch philosopher from the northern Renaissance era.)

Noah is the first comic since 1965 who has been awarded the honor. The last comic to win the prize was Charlie Chaplin, who received the honor in 1965. Since 1958, The Erasmus Prize has been awarded to recipients who are recognized for a wide range of achievements, including literature, music, philosophy, and social activism. Some of the notable recipients who have received the award in the past include Jorge Luis Borges, Isaiah Berlin, Ingmar Bergman, and Amartya Sen.

The panel who selects awardees for the prize include a committee of scholars and cultural experts who review nominations and make a recommendation to the board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation after weighing in on the strength of each candidate. After the recommendation, it is then up to the board to make the final decision on the recipient of the award. The prize is typically awarded in the fall during a ceremony in the Dutch royal palace in Amsterdam.

Beyond his work as a comic, the former Daily Show host has been vocal about his social justice advocacy and has been a strong advocate for human rights issues on a general scale. While he was a host on The Daily Show, he consistently used his voice to highlight other prominent Africans. It is safe to say that the 39-year-old has indeed made South Africa proud.

Photo by Cindy Ord

The Best Style Moments of Tems

From normcore, Y2K-inspired streetwear, figure-hugging catsuits to high-fashion formalwear, the style of the alt R&B superstar has matured over the years.

With a Grammy win now among her accolades, Tems’ crossover campaign continues to hit spectacular highs. Selling out shows, collaborating with Future and Drake, conquering global charts, lending her voice to a Marvel movie soundtrack, and brunching with JAY-Z and Beyoncé are some of the things her star power has pulled.

Tems, whose 2019 breakout single “Try Me” locked down decent fame in Nigeria, was introduced to fresh ears overseas on Wizkid’s monster hit “Essence.” The Nigerian singer-songwriter has since begun her ascent into stardom. As such, her wardrobe has scaled up significantly. It has found a confident balance between upward luxury and cool-girl DIY-ness. The latter is a holdover from Lagos, bootstrapping as an artiste in the city’s alté scene.

Her stylist, Dunsin Wright, is the creative force behind her many statement looks, especially the hot streak of red carpet moments. Even so, Tems’ body is a marvel on its own, — shapely proportions that reward the camera. And therein lies the complicated relationship between an artist on the come-up and bodily anxieties. A female artiste, to be clear, who styled herself in plain, functional clothes, sunnies and sneakers, with natural hair swooped up or done in long box braids.

Sometimes a catsuit, but big shirts, jackets, and loose pants were a matter of practicality. Additionally, these wardrobe choices appeared to be a self-effacing maneuver around female objectification and to keep the focus on her music.

For corroboration: her Instagram photos were often captured in portraits. And when she stood in full view, a frontal pose was only offered. On social media, a viral appetite took hold, asking her to show more skin or give a back pose.

While Tems hasn’t explicitly addressed this, she’s currently cognizant of the demands of being a celebrity without straying too much from personal comfort. Her style journey is still ongoing. In the meantime, we select her best looks with all the style inspo it brings.

Tems Wearing Pleated Robert Wun

For her 2022 London tour that hit a stop at famous concert venue KOKO, Tems showed up on stage wearing Robert Wun. A custom teal matching set elevated by dramatic accordion pleats. Her long box braids, though the singer’s signature style, harmonized with the flowy pleated details of the look. The show of cleavage from the plunging neckline has been a continuing theme for Tems.

Wun, a London-based Hong Kong designer, had showed off the look in his studio before the concert. On Tems, it was a technical understanding of proportions. But what makes wearing Robert Wun such a big deal is that Wun’s couture debut in Paris was darkly gorgeous, and received praise from the industry.

Perhaps in the future, Tems can reunite with Wun in something decidedly couture to hit the red carpet.

Tems At the 2022 BET Awards

Tems won Best International Act at the 2022 BET Awards. She made history, becoming the first Nigerian female artist to be a recipient. On the red carpet, she made a show-stopping statement wearing a custom black bustier gown with a thigh-high slit.

From Dilara Findikoglu, it’s interesting to see Tems wear a creation from the rising Turkish-British designer. The gown is Tems’ first black formalwear on a huge stage, in strap heels and a Swarovski necklace to boot. For her glam look, her signature glossy ombre lips and wispy lashes were just right for the occasion.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: Tems poses in the press room during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images For BET

Tems at the 2022 BMI London Awards

Tems joined big winners at the BMI London Awards, taking home the prestigious Impact prize, in recognition of her artistry, creative vision and impact on the future of music. Holding a silver box clutch with an iridescent shimmer, hoop earrings, and stiletto nails polished in metallic chrome, her outfit for the ceremony merged her love for catsuits with a red carpet sensibility.

A white turtleneck gown in stretch silk crepe. London-based photographer Bet Bettencourt, who has been taking photos of Tems at events, showed another view of the gown on Instagram after the awards were over. A slew of sizzling snaps revealed a huge cutout at the back and a comfortable pose.

Tems on the red carpet in a white dress. LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Tems attends the 2022 BMI London Awards at The Savoy Hotel on October 03, 2022 in London, England.Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BMI London Awards

Tems at the 2022 Global Citizen Festival: Accra

Performing at the Global Citizen concert in Ghana, Tems slipped in a turquoise blue lace catsuit with front cutouts from Brielle. The satin wrap of a mini skirt was a nice accent piece, held together by a crystal clasp that could be mistaken for a brooch.

Cuffing her wrist was a diamond bracelet, feet in silver pumps. Given the outdoor concert atmosphere, it was a fun, playful attire. And it’s not surprising to see Tems accessorize with white sunglasses, an ever-present staple in her wardrobe.

Tems in a turquoise body suit and white sunglassesACCRA, GHANA - SEPTEMBER 24: Tems performs on stage during Global Citizen Festival 2022: Accra on September 24, 2022 in Accra, Ghana.Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Tems at Coperni's SS' 2023 runway show

Last year, Parisian brand Coperni grabbed headlines for spraying a dress onto Bella Hadid. This was their spring/summer 2023 show, and Tems was in attendance. Leaving the looming, Romanesque architecture of the venue, the Salle des Textiles of the National Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris, the singer was dressed in Coperni herself.

A jet-black stretch satin bodycon dress, with a twist and cutout detailing. The thigh-high slit, sheer socks in Coperni bridge platform sandals, and pin-straight hair brought edginess to the picture. A crystal-embellished ring pouch bag from the brand was a statement accessory, subtly contrasting the all-black ensemble.

The dark sunglasses gave a futuristic, techno-chic vibe, an aesthetic Coperni has been working into their brand to redefine the lexicon of French style. That night, Tems took a photo with the founders, Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer, showing a decent infiltration into the high-fashion circle.

Tems in Tommy Jeans

For this photo Tems posted on Instagram, she wore top-to-bottom Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans. The overlay of the colorblock windbreaker, triangle sports bralette, baggy jeans, open-toe heels, and chunky belly chain can only be described as streetwear chic. More importantly, it’s a delicate juxtaposition of the masculine and feminine dressing codes Tems had been embracing.

Anyone who followed ‘90s pop culture (think Aaliyah) and the renaissance of Y2K fashion will surely appreciate the look. Tems wearing a classic American brand isn’t a random occurrence. In late 2021, she announced she had secured a deal with the global clothing brand. And in 2022, we saw her lead a campaign for Tommy Jeans, the diffusion that targets a younger market.

Tems in Vivienne Westwood at the 2023 Grammys

With three nominations coming into the 65th Grammys, Tems bagged her first Grammy award in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category. It was for Future’s “Wait For U” featuring herself and Drake, making her the first Nigerian female artist to receive such honor.

Tems played up her femininity, styling her hair into space buns, wearing a gold-corseted Vivienne Westwood number. The bodice had the corset built in, with a draping from the waist that fell into a sweeping train. The nipped-waist silhouette flattered her curves. Layered pearl necklace and gold Tom Ford pumps, it was inarguably a moment of high fashion for the star.

Tems on the red carpet in a gold dress. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: Tems attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Tems on the Cover of Dazed Magazine

For Dazed magazine’s winter 2022 issue, Tems landed as the latest cover star. “Uncut Tems: the rise and reign of the queen of alté R&B” was the headline, and it remains her most provocative editorial spread to date. So much so that she was criticized by internet trolls for which she took to social media to defend herself.

With styling from Ibrahim Kamara, the photo shoot served up sultry images of the singer. Particular standouts: the form-fitting translucent beige dress from Dilara Findikoglu with a bodysuit underneath, strap heels and fringe-framing hair. In another shot: a Sportsmax faux fur coat worn over a Chloé leather dress, and vintage Susan Caplan gold necklace feels like a refreshing take on old Hollywood glamour.

Tems' Couture at the 2023 Oscars

Nominated for Best Original Song for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever track “Lift Me Up,” Tems arrived at her first Oscars in a sculptural, gravity-defying puff of couture. Even though she didn’t win (it was a tough category), she turned heads (literally).

By Ukranian designer, Lesya Verlingieri of Lever Couture, Tems was a commanding presence of sophistication on the sand-hued carpet. Further, it showed her maturing confidence as of late. Hand sculpted from gauzy nylon mesh, the bold and breathtaking silhouette newly placed her in the canon of celebrities to look out for at high-caliber events.

With no necklace on Tems, we aren’t sure if this is leaning into the “no-necklace” trend amongst celebrities on the red carpet. Not that the look needed one, anyway. Going bare was smart to maintain a clean focus on what she was wearing. Attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, the sculptural hood and elegant puff gave way to a slightly more stripped-down attire.

A cat ear-shaped bustier in black silk crepe, built into a full skirt with drape detail. Thigh-high slit? Of course, a repeated motif we are sure to see more of. For accessories, a transparent PVC choker with a cutout had dots of Swarovski crystals. Altogether, it had a smattering of kinky, a dip into the bondage aesthetic Tems can possibly dial up in the future.

Tems in a puffy white dress a the 95th Oscars carpet. HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Tems attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Tems in black dress on a blue carpet walkway. BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Tems attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.Photo by Cindy Ord/VF23/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

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Photo by Amos Gumulira

Malawi’s President Says Half the Country Damaged by Cyclone Freddy

The death toll in Malawi has reached 447 people, with 282 residents missing and close to 400,000 people still displaced.

It has been a month since Cyclone Freddy ravaged Madagascar and then made a downfall in Malawi and Mozambique. But the aftermath of the tragedy still rages on. As more officials work to uncover the devastating effects of the cyclone that led to the loss of many lives, more details are surfacing.

In an interview with The Guardian published on Monday (March 20th), Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera said that over half of his country has been damaged by Cyclone Freddy.

“This demonstrates that climate change issues are real and we are standing right in the path of it,” Chakwera told The Guardian. Chakwera also stated that the devastation of the cyclone could very well keep Malawi in the cycle of poverty.

According to reports from the country’s authorities, the death toll in Malawi has reached 447 people, with 282 residents missing and close to 400,000 people still displaced. (When you factor in Mozambique and Madagascar, there have been close to 600 confirmed deaths.)

Cyclone Freddy first mounted in Australia before traveling across the Indian Ocean and settling in south-east Africa, where it destroyed property and killed residents across Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and now, Malawi. This intense deadly storm has been dubbed one of the longest-lasting tropical cyclones ever recorded in history.

Chakwera also detailed the effects of the tragedy, stating that the country, which has a population of over 19 million people, was in dire straits.

“We need everyone’s help and support for this tragedy to be mitigated,” Chakwera said. “We are suffering and we can’t meet the needs. We have set up temporary camps and food is needed, shelter, yes, but must go past that and build stronger because of the damage.

There is also concern over an elevated cholera risk; since last year, there has been a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 1,700, making it one of the deadliest on record. Those numbers are now expected to go up.

“With the floods, people’s toilets have been washed away and most people have no access to safe drinking water,” Storn Kabuluzi, health services director, said.

Kengol DJ/Jailtime Records

Get to Know Kengol DJ’s Cameroonian Drill Music

The 32-year-old is blending drill and coupé-décalé—all from a prison in Cameroon.

Kengol DJ, born Magloire Noumedem, entered a world of suffering when faced with intense stares from the shadows of the notorious Central Prison of Douala—a place which operates more like a small walled city than a high-security jail.

"Arriving in prison is exactly as you might imagine — I can only laugh now, everyone half-naked, and the voices ringing out...it was terrifying." Kengol is an emotional man. Over two hours in his presence, he acts out his life experiences rather than recount them. It becomes an interview that is as much a performance, where Kengol lays himself bare—spitting bars wide-eyed one minute, singing his heart out the next, gesticulating wildly as tears run down his face.

The 32-year-old's latest single “Ca Va Aller' (It's Gonna Be Ok),” his cry of survival, is a fresh take on Drill that "Cameroon has never seen before--I call it Atalaku Drill,” Kengol explains, “I've crossed it with coupé-décalé." It was released this month on Jail Time Records, a label set up in prison to rehabilitate talent fallen to the wayside.

Noumedem was, by his own admission, lost to the streets when he was arrested for possession of drugs and sentenced to a term of 6 months: "Not many go inside to find the light, but I started to have visions. I could work day and night on my music, my God-given talents were no longer lost.”

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