News Brief

Watch Iman Speak on Her Youth as a Somalian Refugee For Kenzo + H&M's Upcoming Collab

“I am the face of a refugee,” the 61-year-old model-icon says.

Iman epitomizes the adage, “Black don’t crack.”


And the 61-year-old model-icon continues to glow as the lead campaign for Kenzo and H&M’s collaboration arriving in stores Nov. 3.

Ahead of the full campaign photographed by Jean-Paul Goude that also features Chance the Rapper, actress Rosario Dawson, Vietnam’s “Queen of Rap” Suboi, and others decked out in coveted dynamic prints from the collection—rolling out on Oct. 17—Iman opens up about her Somalian background as an ambassador’s daughter, and how her life changed dramatically overnight.

Iman for H&M

“We left Somalia on foot, literally, from Somalia to Kenya and the Kenyan government took us in as refugees. So, I have never forgotten the non-government organizations that really helped me when I was a teenager," she reveals. "I just wanted people, really, to understand, when they think about refugees, cause, you know, I am the face of a refugee.”

The founder of Iman cosmetics and wife of late music legend David Bowie mentions that she may have had a career in politics instead of modeling and entrepreneurship, until she realized that being a private citizen has its benefits.

“I wanted to major in political science,” she says wearing a multicolored, off-the-shoulder design from the forthcoming Kenzo and H&M collection. “I wanted to become part of the politics of in Somalia, but boy am I glad that I didn’t because I really feel if you are within a government, obviously you don’t have your own voice. But as citizen, I find that I have more freedom to speak about anything I feel passionately about.”

You can watch the ever-graceful Iman speak firsthand about her experience below:

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.