There’s a dynamic change in what it means to be a creative from Africa, the world is feeding on our culture as they’ve always done only this time it’s so prominent and we’re ready the ones at the forefront actually controlling this. We’re way more expressive than we’ve ever been, we can’t be held back or limited. We’ve learned to take our own beauty and revolve a new age across all forms through tools, but mostly our aesthetic view as African which has been suppressed and stolen from us for years. We’re rebellious against anything that will keep conforming our way of showing the world through our arts, craft, and ideas.
I’m a fan of the arts myself cause it’s always been man’s first way of showing expression, music, art, fashion, visuals, all these creative functions are major social tools that help generation after generation of humanity to expose how the feel and navigate their world.
It’s really important they exist in every society and era, the new age of Africa is being bold and holding this tools captive by taking these times and projecting their own surrounding and thoughts. This is giving us the confidence to be us, It’s giving the world more understanding of what we are, no one will shut us out from being proud of what Africa can become. To showcase this in our art is the first way of setting us free and leading the revolution of new age Africa.
Meeting minds dabbling in any form of artistic content is always magical cause they are the kids helping explore narratives, educating fellow Africans and the world on issues putting more consciences into our minds.
Inspiration is all around them, they seek it out and feed us, “Primarily what inspires me is the streets. The streets tell a different story every time, I feel that unconsciously, I was drawn to its storytelling, the way people hide their true intentions, how colors and people create an intoxicating expression is really exciting. I wanted to tell a story. One of a personal nature, expressive, often ignored but it’s the truth. Telling this story through fashion and photography is more of necessity, it’s a definite medium. I have been blessed with a great imagination so when ideas come to me fashion and art is my way of bringing it to life.”
Daniel Obasi said about his inspiration, Daniel Obasi is one of the creative I speak of leading this new future using his art of photography, fashion content and short films as his flame through the darkness that has covered Africa. These forms have become his way of speaking to the culture being formed, of having striking thought-provoking conversations about issues we won’t let out which is a brilliant way to share the light.
The New Age is Africa becoming a source of hope to dreams, it’s still dim amongst the hearts of some souls, the arts are more important than ever but are we participating, is it real enough to actually call our growth in African something to push on,
“To be honest I don’t think any new age really exists in Nigeria. Fine, there are new talents doing more interesting works doesn’t make any of it new cause unless any of these new works are having an actual impact on the real society then it’s all virtual talk. In Africa you hear of people whose works act in form of aggressive activism to cause actual change within their communities, you can’t say I want to change this or that because it’s a new age and all you do is tweet or post on Instagram. It’s like you looking for some form of gratification were people who you know nothing of how they live are cheering you. Now there is nothing wrong with sharing beautiful works especially in a digitalized era, but I won’t be a part of a new age that isn’t ready to put in actual work. The pioneers of the fashion and art industry did a lot to get us here, their works caused remarkable changes if you want to pioneer a new age. Then we should be humble and learn.”
Words from Daniel which emphasize the fact that we should let our actions speak, take our art from small talk in our minds to reality, making these interactions with our world by creating into that sphere will help shape our growth more profoundly, making the new age vision real and I couldn’t agree more. We can’t change anything if we don’t act on the reality we plan on inspiring, a big wake up call as the young minds in Africa advance.
Our first way of reaching out to the world was not only via our brilliant content but the internet which helped connect us to humanity’s core but so much can be done digitally, Daniel saying
“It’s all personal, to be honest, we need to become more persistent especially for change, let our works reflect the kind of society we live in, we need to highlight the corruptions, we need to let go of self-induced ego and come together, get involved in community development, educate our fellow youth on how they can actual cause a change, speak up against certain vices within the society. Let’s use our platforms better to engage the world on things that we want to see changed. It’s a lot of work.” puts this at its roots.
Africa as a continent has somewhat always downplayed how important and influential the art is when paid attention to well enough the cracks leak out wisdom,
“If you have been following my works closely you will notice a sort of gender conflict. There are things we are often told in the society that shouldn’t be. For me, it’s a gradual and more of a mental play the images are seductive with a certain kind of rebellious ideology behind it. That’s the ideology I want people who come in contact with my work to feel. You can question anything, the law, even existence. Am not making art just for the fun of it. No! I want things to change and I think that’s what the ‘new age’ should actual be about art that really causes a change.”
Daniel’s enthusiasm is invigorating, to say the least and we should all hang on to this, pushing people to come out of their shell and knowing that this art forms and it’s different concepts shape lives especially in young new age minds finding themselves as Africans, the youths face a lot and they need to be projected,
“Personally I feel issues that relate to the youth and often stereotyped perceptions of what African imagery should look like – basically trying to draw conversation on sensitive topics like sexuality, gender, masculinity and inspiring more nonfiction narratives about Africa.”
Fashion, the loudest way of showing oneself.
It’s a big way of broadcasting an entire subject on how one feels, is currently reacting to his environment, it’s a way of showing art raw on the skin. I’m very happy Africa is growing in its art culture, we’re finding what we are by wearing it on our skin. The new age is approaching how they garb themselves differently, creating pieces that live in the moment but show what our generation and new age will mean for a lifetime, Daniel shared his view on the new fashion scene saying, “I happen to be a huge fan of the creators of the project, individually they all have different aesthetics that when pulled together to create something of that magnitude, was bound to be jaw dropping, fashion has transcended glam and artificial beauty but is leaning towards actual depth, and expressing honesty and reality. How you as a viewer chooses to see it is entirely up to you. As an artist I don’t think we owe any explanation to anyone for what we choose to represent, I applaud the team for taking such risk to visual represent a country as judgemental as Nigeria, unable to challenge ourselves to look beyond the surface and question certain things within our society. One of the best parts about working with emerging brands is the uncertainties there is no laid down procedure, it’s all often an experiment especially for me, the Nigerian fashion scene has a long way to go we have accomplished a lot in terms of attracting international press, and creating a community, but now for us to continue and for us to grow… We need a structure! a structure that works, one that lets you grow through the ranks. we need to look beyond sole ownership and start planning for the future of these existing brands and how to sustain them. We don’t want to have brands that end with just their pioneers. For that to happen more people need to take the business of fashion seriously.”
To see such growth was inspiring, we should be ready to follow up on the new market we’re creating for ourselves by doing more in our art and other crafts.
Daniel pitched into this to and said “I feel as young creatives we need to careful how we use words and how we perceive things, the truth remains we don’t have as much experience within the industry. More than ever before we seem to be having more of an export rather than an import of fashion goods and talents, publicity is a precious part of fashion because what we need are buyers and investors ready to invest within the growing market here. Whether the intention is to take over our market, it’s quite irrelevant as long as the economy grows, and our fashion houses are strengthened on a global stage. I have heard people call this a phase, or a temporary interest, I don’t think that matters, if you haven’t noticed there is a movement that has Africans at the forefront, we need to key into that and allow ourselves to grow.”
We need to take advantage of what we represent and what we’ve created.
Nothing can stop the new age seeing fruition but it needs us to keep working hard and giving our all in creating more ideas of artistic, cultural, social, and innovative foundations.
“The fact that we are adventurous and slightly too competitive. I expect we would have to raise the continent higher through amazing accomplishments and not need western validations.”
Daniel ended it perfectly.