Style
Photo by Joshua Kissi, courtesy of Kente Gentlemen.

First Look: Kente Gentlemen’s Latest Collection, ‘Sodade’, is a Vivid Ode to Emotion

Ivorian designer Aristide Loua shares his newest, colorful kente threads with OkayAfrica.

Côte d'Ivoire's own Aristide Loua is the mind behind the brand, Kente Gentlemen. Launched in 2017, the brand's story is one of a young man who fell in love with kente—the traditional material native to the Akan ethnic group. Where kente cloth varies in design and patterns, Loua fittingly draws inspiration from poetry, cultures and colors. Having lived in Côte d'Ivoire, India and all over the United States, Kente Gentlemen is Loua's passion project that encompasses everything he has experienced in his travels.

"In such an interconnected world, Kente Gentlemen is a means to discover, value, celebrate, and foster our diverse sociocultural heritage and identities through fashion, aesthetics, photography and other visual arts," Loua says.

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Bombino, the First Nigerien Artist to Be Nominated For a Grammy

The electrifying musician talks to OkayAfrica about wielding the Tuareg weapon of peace: a guitar.

Omara "Bombino" Moctar, 38, is the Nigerien guitarist who has recently been nominated for a grammy.

His electrifying, acoustic sound and Tamasheq lyrics that touch on his Tuareg heritage and connection with the desert have become a hit. His music is boundless. It is comprised of traditional Berber sounds, the blues, rock & roll and reggae. What is just as unique as the above is his story.

His people, the Tuareg, descendants of the Berbers of North Africa have long been nomads, traders and warriors within the Sahara Desert.

In his early years, Bombino grew up in an encampment in Agadez with his seventeen brothers and sisters and rebelliously refused to go to school. He would attend a French-Arabic school until the age of nine then leave and be taken in by his grandmother, who would instill in him Tuareg moral code.

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Interview
MHD. Photo by OJOZ.

MHD, France's Afro Trap King, on His Latest Album '19'

We talk to MHD about his sophomore album and what it's like to be such a prominent figure in both France and Africa's music scenes.

Mohamed Sylla, better known as MHD, 24, is the French phenomenon taking his sound inspired by a love of afrobeats, hip-hop, and trap around the world.

His most recent album, 19, has gone gold and introduced a side to the artist unknown to his loyal fans. The album's strength lies in it being an open letter to the fans that have been with him over the course of the past few years. It's the story of a life pre and post fame.

We got to speak to MHD last month. Although he's notorious for non-stop touring and just sold out London's O2 arena, it was a calm moment before the storm that was to come. He's already on another multi-country tour, as we speak.

This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.

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