Photos
Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

'The Hair Appointment' Is a Gorgeous Photo Series Showing the Beauty of Black Hairstyling

The latest from Josef Adamu and his creative platform Sunday School will leave you in awe.

Nigerian-Canadian artist Josef Adamu and his platform Sunday School have been bringing the heat with quality, stunning projects since we touched base with him in April.

The latest from Sunday School is a photo series entitled The Hair Appointment that was shot on location in a home and at Alima's Hair Salon and Slayed in Braids in Brownsville, Brooklyn. As Adamu says in his explainer, "The Hair Appointment was a visual series curated to demonstrate the beauty of hairstyling as a process, a lifestyle, and an overall experience. Our team used this opportunity to offer our visual perspective of hair braiding and everything that coincides."

He continues:

"Additionally, we captured an intimate hair braiding session from a family home, displaying the location flexibility of hair braiding and the emotions that come with it. As a team, we felt it was essential to show children as key components to the process. Whether they're physically learning the hair braiding routines, running around the shop, or simply getting their hair done, they add a strong element to the environment as a whole."


You'll notice that each time Sunday School drops a project, Adamu goes in detail about the creative process from beginning to end—and it's rightfully intentional.

"The feeling of transparency throughout the creative process is important because not only does it build trust amongst team members, it also inspires others to do the same," he tells OkayAfrica via email. "As a team, we actually encourage transparency because it keeps the process authentic. The vulnerability is known to make most feel uneasy, though it is often received as bold and respected by others because no creative process is free from flaws. Be open, be unapologetically yourself, it is all apart of the story!"

Take a look at our favorite shots from The Hair Appointment below, shot by photographer Jeremy Rodney-Hall. For the full visual series, click here.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall.

Credits: Director/Producer—Josef Adamu || Photographer—Jeremy Rodney-Hall || Videography—Sooflight || Co-Producer—Helena Koudou || Wardrobe Styling—Habibat Adetonwa-Julmat || Makeup—Ernest Robinson || Talent—Taylor, Yohana, Idayat, Aziza, Hamzia, Zakia, Jackie

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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Asa's 'Lucid" album cover

Asa Releases Her Highly-Anticipated New Album, 'Lucid'

Listen to the celebrated Nigerian singer's first album in five years.

After a five year hiatus Asa, one of Nigeria's most celebrated artists, has released her fourth studio album Lucid.

The 14-track album, includes the previously released singles "Good Thing" and "The Beginning" which the singer dropped earlier this year to positive reviews.

The singer and songwriter took to social media to thank fans for their ongoing support over the weekend, writing "I have looked forward to sharing this with you for sometime now but I wanted it to be special, that much I owe you. For being with me from the beginning, thank you from my soul. I hope this makes you happy, brings you joy and somehow, you can find yourself in these songs."

She also shared a live studio performance of the album's first track "Murder in the USA,' check It out below.

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Cellou Binani/Getty Images

Several People Have Been Killed During Protests in Guinea

Guineans are protesting against changes to the constitution which will allow President Alpha Conde to run for a third term.

At least five people have died during protests in Guinea's Conakry and Mamou after police opened fire on them, according to Aljazeera. The protests come just after President Alpha Conde instructed his government to look into drafting a new constitution that will allow him to remain in power past the permissible two terms. Conde's second five-year term will come to an end next year but as is the unfortunate case with many African leaders, the 81-year-old is intent on running for office yet again.

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(Screenshot from "Every Woman" video)

Check out Cameroonian Crooner Vagabon’s New Ode to Female Power

The singer dropped a video for new single "Every Woman" today, shot by fellow Cameroonian director Lino Asana.

Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter Laetitia Tamko, better known as her stage name Vagabon, has been spoiling us with delights as of late. First, the crooner teased us with two singles, "Flood" and "Water Me Down" from her forthcoming sophomore album, Vagabon, a work she wrote and produced herself. And today, she surprised us with a new single and video for "Every Woman"—a track Tamko claims is the "thesis of the album," as per a press statement reported by The Fader magazine

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