Happy Africa Day!
We're living in the age of the African renaissance, where the rest of the world is looking within Africa and the diaspora for inspiration. Not that we as Africans have ever needed any kind of validation, but this recognition means that more and more creatives from Africa are creating work that is infiltrating into the global market, exploring our rich cultures with an undeniable authenticity.
But what is Africa day? Africa Day commemorates the day the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was formed by 32 independent African countries in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, in 1963. This is significant because large parts of Africa were colonized by Europe and although the remnants of this era are still prevalent in many aspects, Africans have taken back their identity, embrace it and collectively looking to creating a better future for all its inhabitants, one that is built on freedom and togetherness.
President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa said:
“In the interconnected world of today where we as Africans assert ourselves as equals - not subjects - in the global governance system and the globalised economy...this future must be the outcome of a shared vision in the same way that our dismantling of the shackles of oppression and colonialism relied on solidarity and unity in resistance,” he said.
“The magnificent pyramids of Egypt, the sculptures of the ancient kingdoms of Ghana and Mali and Benin, the temples of Ethiopia, and the rock paintings of the Kgalagadi all speak volumes about Africa’s innovation and contribution to human development...our task is to create the conditions for this new generation to grow and thrive and to build a continent of hope and progress," he added.
To commemorate the day in our way, the ELLE team is celebrating African designers who they love and that you should look out for.
Thebe Magugu - South Africa
Chosen by Lufuno Ramadwa, Multimedia Content Producer
NKWO - Abuja
Selly Raby Kane - Nigeria
Chosen by Ntombenhle Shezi, Assistant Editor
Lisa Folawiyo Studio - Nigeria
Chosen by Kelly Fung, Editor-In-Chief
SEVEN - South Africa
Chosen by Sithasolwazi Kentane, Fashion Assistant
Duro Olowu - Nigerian born, London based
Chosen by Dimeji Alara, Acting Fashion Director
Tongoro Studio - Senegal
Chosen by Palesa Kgasane, Digital Content Producer
Who makes it onto your list?