We Are Dressed Up in Conflict and Appropriation, Colonial Legacy

The history of (West) Africa’s most famous, loved and easily identifiable fabric – the Ankara – is a book written with half-truths, missing many scripts and authored by interlopers. Their version of the story begins once upon a time, in the Netherlands where ‘African prints’ (which Ankara is sometimes also called) was first manufactured. Conveniently… Continue reading We Are Dressed Up in Conflict and Appropriation, Colonial Legacy

Art Forum: Fair and Folly – Ayodeji Rotinwa on the 11th Joburg Art Fair

As I was rounding up my tour through the fair on its last day, a shot rang out. A bulb had exploded. I thought it was a gunshot. I had just read some information on Kupa’s work that mentioned the Marikana Massacre, police violence, gunshots. I had ducked reflexively on hearing the bang. I looked… Continue reading Art Forum: Fair and Folly – Ayodeji Rotinwa on the 11th Joburg Art Fair

VOGUE: Meet the Nigerian Product Designers Behind a New Brand of Minimalism

About a week ago, Nifemi Marcus-Bello, a 30-year-old Nigerian product designer, walked into a high-end lifestyle store in Victoria Island, Lagos’s central business district. He asked if they might stock his “LM Stool,” named after a dear friend. The two-legged stool—created by bending, welding, and laser-cutting metal—looks weightless, and comes in two colors.  It’s currently on… Continue reading VOGUE: Meet the Nigerian Product Designers Behind a New Brand of Minimalism

Evening Standard: How Lagos became the home to a new world of leather

“Made-in-Nigeria goods are taking on a new shine,” says Femi Olayebi, founder of the Lagos Leather Fair and the designer of an eponymous handbag label. “In the past few years a surge of designers has conscientiously made grand efforts to offer beautifully made goods.” Now everyone wants a piece. Read more HERE

OZY: Africa’s New Satirists Draw Political Fire

Michael Soi was hard at work in his Nairobi studio, speckled in acrylic paints, when four unidentified Chinese men and women walked in, demanding to see some paintings. It was July 2015, and Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting Kenya. Soi’s visitors didn’t wait for him to respond. They moved around the studio, shifting cans… Continue reading OZY: Africa’s New Satirists Draw Political Fire

Devex: Uncertainty over PEPFAR support prompts concerns from HIV advocates in Nigeria

Dr. Bola Oyeledun arrived at General Hospital in Kafanchan, Kaduna State in 2005, during the peak of Africa’s HIV and AIDS epidemic. Scores of patients awaited her. An emaciated, possibly HIV-positive baby was rushed to her attention by a distressed head nurse and the mother who, sobbing, begged Oyeledun to save her child. She couldn’t. Read more… Continue reading Devex: Uncertainty over PEPFAR support prompts concerns from HIV advocates in Nigeria

Artsy: Florine Demosthene Is Conjuring the History of Black Heroines—and Creating New Ones

Florine Demosthene imagines a new kind of black heroine in “The Stories I Tell Myself,” on view through May 6th at Gallery 1957 in Accra, Ghana. The exhibition, which includes work created during a four-month residency with the gallery, incidentally arrives at the same time as the record-smashing Marvel Studios film, Black Panther. That movie presents a… Continue reading Artsy: Florine Demosthene Is Conjuring the History of Black Heroines—and Creating New Ones

OZY – The Artist as Alchemist: Turning Coins into Precious Art

On March 6, Ghana’s Independence Day, artist Yaw Owusu was crouched on his living room floor, putting the finishing touches on a new piece. Stretching over most of the floor, the work sparked silver and copper as the sun bounced off the carpet of pesewa coins — the country’s least valuable currency and Owusu’s preferred… Continue reading OZY – The Artist as Alchemist: Turning Coins into Precious Art

THISDAY – Young girls in Northern Nigeria are getting empowered in a new way: Picking up the phone

Binta Abdullahi had gone through labour a few days before we met but she decided to forfeit some hours of rest to tell me about a lecherous neighbour. The neighbour had been making advances to her teenage daughter, Salamatu* when the girl was enroute evening lessons at her Islamic school. Abdullahi and I met in… Continue reading THISDAY – Young girls in Northern Nigeria are getting empowered in a new way: Picking up the phone

Newswire NG: Is the Nigerian Customs trying to suppress the memory of the Ogoni 9 executions?

by AYODEJI ROTINWA   On September 8th 2015, a sculpture created in memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other members of the Ogoni 9, a group of environmental activists executed by the Nigerian military government, was seized by the Nigerian Customs Service and has since been in their possession. The sculpture was created by Nigerian-British… Continue reading Newswire NG: Is the Nigerian Customs trying to suppress the memory of the Ogoni 9 executions?