Let's get inspired by a few African Creatives who are not just making an impact but are embracing their rich African cultures while doing so. Today's blog will focus on 4 African creatives making empowering and inspiring statements with their art as they simultaneously climb to the top and tap into their full potential.
Daily Paper ( Abderrahmane Trabsini, Jefferson Osei , and Hussein Suleiman)
Daily Paper is a brand I am sure most of you are familiar with. Did you know this fast-growing luxury streetwear brand, which started as a fashion, music, style, and African Influencer blog by three friends in Amsterdam, is now a €30 million brand, with three stores in Amsterdam, New York and most recently, London? Their brands have also been stocked in upmarket stores like Selfridges, Galeries Lafayette, and Flannels and are one of the few Black-owned and African-inspired brands to reach the luxury market. Daily Paper has also had high-profile collaborations with Virgil Abloh's Off-White and Puma. Abderrahmane Trabsini, Jefferson Osei and Hussein Suleiman were born and raised in Amsterdam but are originally of African descent. Abderrahmane Trabsini is from Morocco, Jefferson Osei is from Ghana, and Hussein Suleiman is from Somalia. Their African heritage is showcased in their brand's unique prints, patterns and strong visuals, enabling them to tell the story of their clothing journey while remaining exclusive. Daily paper is a promising and authentic brand, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for them.
Hanifa (Anifa Muvemba)
Who remembers the first-ever 3D Digital Fashion show, which made numbers on Twitter in 2020 during the pandemic? I had never seen anything like it. I do not think anyone had. Anifa Muvemba, the Washington-based Congolese designer, is the creator and brains behind that innovative and spectacular Hanifa virtual fashion show using 3D headless and floating models strutting down a runway to launch her collection; "Pink Label Congo" via Instagram live. The first of its kind. The collection was inspired by her Congolese roots, which she portrayed using the country's colours. Anifa made a name for herself by growing an independent Black-owned brand featuring only black and brown models and being inclusive and body positive by sizing her clothes from 0-20. Her brand Hanifa has been making strides ever since, with the likes of Beyonce, Gabrielle Union, Zendaya and Issa Rae rocking some of her designs. Anifa stayed true to her mission which enabled her brand to rise to the top.
Sungi Mlengeya is a self-taught female Tanzanian painter whose work consists of black or brown figures, mostly women against perfectly white backgrounds. Her work is notable for being minimalistic with a black-and-white aesthetic. Sungi’s creative pieces are inspired by the women who surround her living honorably, without fear and in their truth.
Sungi tells the stories of Black women in her paintings with an emphasis on the modern-day women who are standing up for themselves, declaring that their voices are heard. The white spaces symbolize the freedom and full potential her muses desire to reach without the constraints laid down by society. Sungi Mlengeya left her banking job to pursue her dreams of making art. Not only has she found fulfillment but was also given her flowers in 2020 where she was honoured in "Apollo 40 Under 40 Africa", a selection of the most inspirational young people in the African art world. She has also held many exhibitions that give back to society. For instance, A Force to Be Reckoned with by UN Women in 2021, an art exhibit and auction benefited black women across the world. Sungi Mlengeya is the true definition of daring to dream.
Joshua Kissi is a passionate and talented New York-based Ghanaian creative director, photographer, and filmmaker who has shot City girls, Michael B Jordan, Colin Kaepernick, Jaden Smith, Lupita Nyongo and many other high-profile Hollywood celebrities. He has also collaborated with, and headed the direction of Google, Beats by Dre, Time Magazine, Apple, Hype Beast, GQ, Essence, and other notable brand campaigns. Joshua Kissi's work celebrates the undermined or underrepresented communities showcasing them through a cultural lens. He empowers people of colour through his work while defying stereotypes in the images he captures. Joshua Kissi's work is very distinctive, soulful and captivating, embodying an artistic perception of how we view the world. Joshua Kissi's work certainly speaks for itself, and we hope to see more creatives like him emerge and embellish the world with their art.
That brings us to the end of this blog. We hope this inspires everyone who reads this to not just believe in their creative dreams but also keep persisting and pushing through all the challenges because it will all be worth it in the end! Till next time.