Photos by Florence Ngala

This Week In Photos: Florence Ngala

New York-based photographer Florence Ngala shares stunning portraits with Okayafrica.

This is the first installment of our new weekly photo series, featuring the work of African photographers.

Running into Florence Ngala's Tumblr page gave me some serious nostalgia of the many hours I used to spend scrolling through beautiful, original content from young Africans.

Entitled, “Stuff I See," the simplistic page with minimal frills and fanfare gives you the breathing room to focus on her raw, honest portraits. The 20-year-old New Yorker is passionate about photography, but also dabbles in graphic design and attends the City College of New York studying advertising, public relations and digital design.

Her compositions are a reflection of going back to the basics. As she says in her artist statement on her self-portraits:

This was also a way I grew to better understand who I was, and when reflecting on these images I saw myself in different lights, and noticed specific themes and connections in my portraits. Some images hint at isolation and depression, while others reflect happiness and joy.

Ngala graciously let us share some of her best work with you.

You can also keep up with her on Instagram @flongala.


Interview: Mau From Nowhere Reinvents Himself

The Kenyan artist goes soul-searching with his new MFN EP.

Movement is the crux of mau from nowhere's music—the hip-hop and afropop undertones that dominate his work present a well-traveled artist.

Born in Kenya, Mau spent his life oscillating between the East African nation and England, followed by a short stint spent furthering his studies in New York. In a full-circle moment, mau uprooted his life in the big apple amidst the madness pandemic and made the move to Nairobi.

Listening to the MFN EP feels like diving head first into a pool of Mau's consciousness. He once spoke about the conflict between telling his fans to share their grief while withholding his own, but his latest offering MFN is far from stoic. The project marks his evolution from Kamau Wainana, the soft spoken kid with loud ambitions to mau from nowhere, a trailblazer defining music within 'Nu Nairobi.' As he gets less attached to being defined by a certain space, it's entrancing to watch him find comfort in his craft instead.

In this interview below, we demystify the man behind the music by discussing love, growth, disappointment and the recurrent themes of familial and romantic relationships.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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