Building upon the learnings from the successful 2018 Nigeria Collection, Nike undertook deep cultural immersions and collaborated with each federation to ensure the designs truly resonated.
In 2018, Nigeria changed the game with a collection for the ages that set a new standard for how Nike approaches federation design.
Last week we had a chat with Okiinshowara from Ivory coast, We continue our series of discoveries of African creatives. We are pleased to feature Derrick O Boateng from Ghana. He is a contemporary Art photographer who was born in Ghana and resides in Accra.
Portraying beauty is one of Derrick’s main aims, because he strives to change perceptions about Ghana and Africa in general through his Art.
Hi, can you introduce yourself to our readers… Who is Derrick O Boateng?
I am Derrick Ofosu Boateng. I was born on the 2nd of June. I attended Kumasi High school in the Ashanti Region of Ghana and I am currently a student at the University of Ghana business school. I am a fan of Soccer, music and watching movies.
How did your encounter with photography come about?
My encounter into Photography was quite Unexpected. I realized I was into photography when followers on Instagram kept commenting under my post that I had Good images and should keep it up.
How powerful is photography in changing people’s perceptions about Africa?
Photography has always being a Tool to interact with different people in different places. The stories told with photography are exceptional, emotional and live. Some Photographies portray Africa in a positive way and it strongly changes the perception and mindset about Africa. I have had so many testimonies on the fact that my photography has changed their perceptions about Africa and it feels so great.
Can you talk us through a specific example of a photo you have taken and its “back story”? What inspired you to take this specific image? What specifically about the situation you witnessed did you want to capture?
“The story about this man and lots of people I have listen, who have similar stories inspired me to
create this picture.”
I spoke to Baba Abdul Mohammed about his cloth business and why he came to Ghana. Baba Abdul Mohammed is from Niger and he is in Ghana to make a better living to reach his family in Niger. I asked him why he came to Ghana and he explained to me that making life better in His country is a bit difficult as compared to Ghana. He also said, aside from his cloth business, he does sell herbal medicine and beads.
He ended saying he finds peace and freedom living in Ghana.
Is there a particular story you are trying to tell with your photography?
Who or what influences you?
My main mission as a photographer is to change the bad perceptions and mindset about Africa. Also, I want my pictures to promote love among People. I also want to showcase the rich and extraordinary lifestyles and cultures of We Africans which the world has not recognized.
Where do you see the future of photography heading within the continent? What is the future?
Photography in Africa is growing with Time and it looks great. A lot of young people have started fond interest in it and they are changing the world with their images. I see African Photographers winning all big competitions and changing the lives of people.
What is your creative process like? Where do you start? Where do you get your ideas?
My Creative process is quite simple and easy. Firstly I find concepts and it normally comes from the environment, People, music, and imaginations. I search for the needed materials for the
pictures. I then look for preferable models and locations for the pictures. I personally direct the
models and shoot them. After the shoot, I sit quietly and edit
What is your particularity and your unique selling point as a Ghanaian creative?
I think my unique selling point is the type of images I bring out and the inspiration People get from. A lot of people see my uniqueness as clock blocks and others also think the use of children which are fine.
According to you, what is the way for creative Africans to make themselves known and make a living from their art?
I think the best way to get known as a creative person is to work hard and be very consistent on your work. I believe everyone should have a particular style as a creative in order for his works to be known everywhere. Branding and interacting with people who appreciate your works is also very important
What is it like to be a young creative in your country and what are your daily struggles as a young Ghanian creative?
The Problem as a young creative is no interest and value from the People in our localities. My struggles are difficulties in finding some needed materials for a project and a lack of enough capital to finish a project.
Ezinne KWUBIRI is a black woman, diversity leader, innovator, and ally. She is an Alumni of Howard University’s School of Business where she majored in Accounting and Business strategy. She started her career in Diversity and Inclusion at Viacom Media; Kwubiri earned a newly created position as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion for H&M North America.
1. Please tell us about your Nigerian roots.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, my roots are from Umuahia in Abia State (Nigeria) part of the Igbo tribe. My new Nigerian legacy will be from Imo State, where my husband is from.
2. Tell us about your profession and how you got into your line of work?
My career has transitioned over the years. I began my career as a consultant (auditing roles) at a (then) Big 4 accounting firm. I soon transitioned to the entertainment/ media industry in another auditing role. During my time there, I started my career in people management – specifically Change Management & Diversity & Inclusion. Now I lead D&I at one of the largest fashion retail companies in the world.
3. What is the most challenging part of your job ?
Every role has its challenges & successes. The size & global footprint of my current role creates various nuances on how you communicate, create, & resonate with various persons.
4. Tell us about your vision for H&M’s diversity and inclusion initiatives?
My vision as the Head of Inclusion & Diversity is to provide an intentional space that promotes, embraces and highlights the diversity of people & thought, where people feel they have equal opportunity to be seen and heard, where customers feel they can see themselves represented in our campaigns; attracting and retaining top diverse professionals.
5. What is the most common mistake in an organization’s thinking about diversity?
Companies should recognize that fostering a workplace of diversity requires intentional actions. It is not an overnight process. You have to be honest with where you are, what the people want, & how you will get there. It’s a true commitment that requires full buy-in from key decision-makers.
6. Your appointment means a lot to people of color, especially women of color. Any top tips for women trying to get into your line of work who wants to use her voice to change the narrative ?
Regardless of your title, line of work, or level of experience, you can use your voice to change the narrative. The way you show up in those spaces is how you begin that change. Always speak up, initiate, challenge, & provide solutions to areas that you see have gaps. It doesn’t always have to be a formal process.
7. As more women of color enter and thrive in the workforce, how will that impact the future of diversity and inclusion ?
Women of color, really all women, have been forces in the workforce for decades. Now their voices are louder & stronger. We are starting to be seen for what we’ve always been: leaders, resilient, empathic & visionaries. The future is keeping that integrity & strength and demanding equal pay & rights from our male counterparts.
8. H&M recently announced its first-ever collaboration with a South African Designer. Should we expect more collaboration with African brands in the nearest future?
We hope to continue to provide collaborations that will resonate with our customers & align with the brand’s aesthetics. I am excited about the future potential collaborations.
9. Do you have a philosophy that you apply to your personal life and your career?
What are your career commandments?
Staying true to who I am and living in purpose & integrity. Own your true & use your voice.
10. What do you see as the greatest Leadership Strength?
The ability to motivate others & make everyone feel heard & important. If your team is not rallying behind you, it’ll be challenging for you to lead them.
11. For those who work in the diversity and inclusion space, are there any tips you would recommend?
Be kind to yourself. Change is not going to happen overnight – it might take months or even years for you to see any progress. Be true to yourself & the work. Be sure there is a budget & resources to support your efforts. You cannot, and should not do this alone.
12. To what extent do you believe there are significant differences in how one should work with diverse cultures within the US/US minorities and diverse cultures from other nations? Are different strategies appropriate, and if so, what are they?
Even within the same continent, your strategy for diversity & inclusion should not the same. Everyone works, hears, & listens differently. We have to understand the complexities of the audience, the current culture, what you are trying to achieve. There is no “one size fits all”.
Also, understanding as much as we are different, there are still similarities, things that unite us as humans. Find that connector & go from there.
13. How does it feel being an African representing in the West at a time like this where the world is becoming more and more aware of the African continent and its POWER?
Africa to the WORLD! I am proud to be Nigerian. There is so much beauty & talent on the continent and it’s exciting to see the world recognizing that. There are many Africans that are the “first black” in their fields, that are trailblazers & representing well. I remember growing up, being from somewhere else was not the “cool” thing. Now our styles, foods, names, music, etc. are influencing the nations.
We’ve been here & been great… I’ll tell the rest of the world…WELCOME !
Sho Madjozi will be sharing the stage with Black Eyed Peas and Diplo as they are set to perform at BUDX during Super Bowl LIV weekend.
The Super Bowl LIV will take place on February 3rd at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, United States.
Along with Madjozi, two other South African “Kings of Culture” – Karabo “Poppy” Moletsane and Moonchild Sanelly – will join 200 influential creatives from over 20 countries in a curated jam-packed itinerary of imaginative activations including being a king of music, art, fashion and sports together with electrifying live performances and unforgettable collaborations.
“It’s such a privilege to be invited to show the world’s creatives the vibrancy of African music,” the starlet said in a press statement shortly after the announcement was made
In representing Mzansi’s creative voice, joining Sho Madjozi is Illustrator and street artist Karabo “Poppy” Moletsane. She will be stamping her unapologetic expression and her Afro-futuristic visuals at the official live BUDX Art activation by customising sneakers, coinciding with the biggest sporting event of the year: The Super Bowl LIV weekend
International influencers at BUDX are also in for an unfiltered taste of African Imagination from the innovative mind of Moonchild Sanelly as she curates content of her BUDX experience. Moonchild’s signature blue hair, poetry-turned-rap and spectacular stage performances have earned her 1000s of fans internationally, including Beyoncé who included Sanelly on her album “The Lion King: The Gift”.
“African creatives have a unique voice, style and edge with a worldwide influence. Budweiser “King of Beers” is excited to have identified exceptional culture shapers from the continent. We have created the BUDX platform for these Kings to claim the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage while sharing their inspirational stories,” said Thomas Lawrence, Marketing Manager of Budweiser Africa.
BUDX is taking over a hotel in South Beach with a series of curated events and performances for the “Kings of Culture” from around the world. Influencers and trailblazers spanning diverse cultural fields that include art, music, fashion and sports will join Budweiser’s global creator community BUDX. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity enables “Kings of Culture” to claim the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage, tell their stories of ambition and collaborate and network with the world’s top creatives to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to claim the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage.
TMZ was the first to report that Bryant was among those on the helicopter when it went down in the hills of Calabasas and a fire broke out. The crash occurred before 10 a.m. PT, and the fire made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to the Los Angeles Times.
You can add Grammy Award winner to Koffee’s accolades as the 19-year-old recording artiste copped the Best Reggae Album Grammy at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles.
She became the first solo female to cop the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album at the 62nd ceremony for the coveted music awards.
Do you know the Ankh’s power?
Ankh is one of the most common and important symbols of Ancient Egypt.
It represents life in the language of Ancient Kemet (Land of Blackface) and portrays both the mortal life and the afterlife. It also took an important place in many pharaoh’s reigns from representing faith, royalty during Amun’s and Sun during Akhenaton. Furthermore, it was believed that deities gave them Ankh to represent their power to sustain life and revive human souls in the afterlife.
The symbol was always associated with air, water (which was believed to regenerate life) and Gods because every of their representation was associated with an Ankh in their hands or as ornaments.
This powerful and spiritual device got many conflicting descriptions and has many interpretations.
It represents female energy with its crown and male energy with its shaft.
2- Divine female energy
It also for others, visually looks like the reproductive organs of a woman and validates its meaning of life, with the crown that represents the wombs to the fallopian tubes; to the shaft being the birth canal.
3- Symbol of technology and electricity
Many historians believe that electricity isn’t a nowadays discovery, Egyptians may have already used electricity years from now and the Ankh might have been in some way able to conduct electricity. Isn’t it crazy?
4- Portal of eternal life
For others, its circle depicts the sun God Ra and it represents the portal to many dimensions to eternal life.
5- Tuning fork
The Ankh is perceived as a tuning fork that can create a frequency or produce a sound that has healing or meditation attributes. It can also allow to connect ourselves with higher consciousness and raise knowledge in our minds.
6- One of the funniest theory is that it was used to open ancient beer bottles.
Where do they find this kind of inspiration?
Sometimes represented in gold or blue, its representation matured with time. It is also very popular in Western culture and by people of African descent in the United State to claim their cultural identity.
This symbol crossed centuries to remind us that we come from Kings and Queens, we come from Great Gods and fierceness, we come from knowledge, technology, and pride.
Being a historic symbol and spreading a spiritual message, some were calling it genuinely « The religion of Life », mother of all religious beliefs with a purpose to celebrate life and respect every form of life, whether its flora and fauna. It is a divine sign that didn’t lose its actual force but became more of a symbol for black identity, spiritual appurtenance, meant to express freedom and ownership of our own path.
Some purists are mad that its now sacred aspect isn’t respected, that anybody can get access to it, now it is «normal» or not «avant-garde» to wear one, even as a tattoo of an Ankh. Moreover, they want you to introduce it to your journey and how you see the world, what it teaches about life and afterlife, really embrace the sacred power of the sacred Ankh, also a form of getting back to our roots, to our ancestors. As some use it to sleep at night and hide it under their pillow for good energy and favorize sweet dreams about being lost in the middle of the ocean, the energy Ankh generates is infallible, powerful and needed for more generations to benefit.
Ankh is still a powerful tool, even if its actual purpose was maybe lost in hecatombs years ago. Indeed, people are still working on collecting pieces of information to bring its powers back. Nowadays, its energy is most of the time used in necklaces, ring, even inspiring artists through paintings and sculptures.
At the end of the day shouldn’t we celebrate life, as the Ankh does? Live and enjoy every day fully, embody every wrong, every right, drive the ancient energy of the Ankh to nourish your purpose, your strength!
Have you ever wore one? Tell us how does it feel and what do you want to express with your ankh.
Written by Yao Boni.