Jidenna is nothing short of royalty in his latest photoshoot.

The “Classic Man” teamed up with All Things Ankara — a style site that highlights West African ankara print fashions — to promote “Nigerian Renaissance,” the website’s Nigerian Independence Ball. The photos from the shoot are breathtaking.


Jidenna will serve as the ball’s co-ambassador, taking place Oct. 17 in Maryland, along with philanthropist and model Jessica Chibueze. The clothes were designed by the website’s founder Nikki Billie Jean who, along with others, made the designs to reflect a mix of their African heritage and the French Renaissance. Jidenna, Chibueze and a few models flaunt their vibrant West African attire in front of a backdrop fit for 16th century royal monarchs.


Earlier this year, Jidenna, whose father is from Nigeria, received backlash for making comments about his negative experiences in Nigeria due to his fair skin. He responded with anopen letter expressing his cultural pride:

There is no question that Africa is playing a pivotal role in the future of our planet and that Nigeria, with it’s booming economy and burgeoning middle class, is a driving force. I will continue to play my role in the Renaissance taking place in Nigeria and Africa at large.


Jidenna’s pride is certainly evident in this spread and if the photos don’t convince you, the video will. Watch below.

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Sunday’s wondrous supermoon — seen across the world as a remarkable, historical red lunar eclipse — was actually a deadly force for iconic wildlife in Africa.

“Full moon periods are known as the dreaded ‘poachers’ moon,’ said Simon Bloch, a freelance journalist in South Africa, who recently reported on a white rhinokilling spree that left eight rhinos dead in one regional park.


The threatened animals were slaughtered between Friday and Monday morning inside the KwaZulu-Natal’s flagship Hluhluwe-Imfolozi wildlife reserve, Bloch told The Dodo. He said at least six of those killings took place over the exact period of the supermoon lunar eclipse, which lasted from sunset on Sunday to sunrise on Monday.

At least six of the rhinos had their horns hacked out of their faces. Four died from lethal chemical darting; two others were shot by a rifle.

In his story for South Africa’s Times newspaper, Bloch said 86 rhinos have been slaughtered in that area in 2015 already. Ninety-nine rhinos were killed in all of 2014 in the same region.

Bloch noted that massacres are often heightened during full moons and brightened skies, because it allows for high visibility, “thus eliminating the need for unnatural light sources such as flashlights in the bush, which could give their positions away to watchful eyes — it makes it easier to see one’s quarry/target.”

Some of the carcasses were found less than one mile from the memorial entrance to Hlhuluwe. Bloch says that despite the park’s efforts to combat poaching, it’s a losing battle on many levels: “There are some exceptionally dedicated and skilled anti-poaching rangers,” he says. “However, insufficient man-power and budget expenditure makes it difficult to keep rhinos safe from criminal syndicates that operate with inside information, and have the bush-craft skills and weaponry to infiltrate the expansive reserves, which are protected wilderness areas.”


According to Oxpeckers, an investigative environmental journalism project, from 2010 to 2015, 4,714 rhino deaths have been reported in South Africa.

In a slight sliver of respite in lunar eclipse killing, one wounded adult rhino was found with his horn cut off but still alive. “The animal had been chemically darted, but perhaps the dart fell off, or he was not hit with a lethal dose,” said Bloch.

The rhino is expected to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately, the winter cold is leaving, and longer days are ahead: “We are now going into summer months, where it gets light at 4:30 a.m. and only dark after 7:30 p.m. now to January,” explained rhino conservationist Dex Kotze, founder ofYouth 4 African Wildlife and one of the strategists for Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions in Johannesburg, which is taking place around the world this weekend.

“The extra light really assists the poachers,” Kotze told The Dodo. “There is just so much more time for poachers to be in out in the veld/bush with weather conditions playing in their favour.”


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Bloggers can seriously influence the way industries think — in fashion and beyond. It’s not for nothing that famous brands, big and small, enlist the services of these bloggers like crazy. These trendspotters, on top of the latest innovations, can ramp up sales of some brands and make others better-known.

In the universe of African fashion, this phenomenon is equally well-known — but it goes beyond direct influence on transactions and sales. We must be equally aware of the influence that is not as palpable and material: bloggers are able to make their interests the flavor of the day, resulting in a globalization and democratization of African fashion (via the trend of wax print fabric).

Globalization comes about when prominent bloggers have an influence that goes beyond the framework of their country of residence. Their blogs and social networks are followed internationally by people like you and me, but also by industry professionals such as fashion journalists, stylists and some even by professional buyers.

There’s democratization because the bloggers’ takes on fashion impact very large audiences, who do not necessarily know African fashion.

It’s undeniable that African fashion, boosted by the trendiness of wax print, has had a more than positive turn in recent years. Lately, it’s been featured in top venues and even in the mainstream press. But if a craving for African prints is on the rise among celebrities and stars, don’t forget the important contribution that bloggers have made and continue to make in this evolution and the industry in general. Here is a small, non-exhaustive selection of bloggers, located all around the world who, in my opinion, are contributing to boosting this fashion.

PS: I chose bloggers who don’t specialize in wax or African fashion, but I won’t forget about all my colleagues, like Kukua from the blog African Print in Fashion or Mary from Pagnifik.

In France, Fatou N’Diaye from the blog Blackbeautybag hardly needs an introduction. Between multiple collaborations with leading brands such as L’Oreal and Kookai, Fatou also the time to ask for smaller brands such as By Natacha Baco or sophisticated, urban African online shops like Moonlook and Inyu.

Fatou N’diaye en By Natacha Baco

Fatou N’diaye en By Natacha Baco

Fatou N’diaye pour Inyu

Fatou N’diaye pour Moonlook

Another French blogger is the beautiful and sparkling Gaëlle-Vanessa Prudencio of the blog The curvy and curly closet. In July 2014, Gaëlle-Vanessa partnered with the Senegalese brand Belya to launch a capsule collection dedicated to large sizes, all made of wax print and woven cloth.


Gaelle- Vanessa Prudencio en Belya


Gaelle-Vanessa Prudencio en Belya

Folake Kuye Huntoon is a famous fashion blogger who runs the site Style Pantry. Her refined look, feminine and full of finesse, made her famous internationally. She’s spotted several times with pretty outfits in wax print, including clothing from the brand Demestiks New York.

Folake Kuye Huntoon en Demestiks NY

Folake Kuye Huntoon en Demestiks NY

Folasade Adeoso is one of the queens of the head wrap. Her site Art by Fola invites you along on a floral, artistic and colorful journey. In October 2014, she opened her first pop up-store in New York to promote the launch of a brand of accessories and wax print jewelry called 1953.

Finally, bloggers Vanessa and Luna of Project Tribe adorn their Instagram account: colorful looks, rich in wax and Aztec prints. This summer, we saw them wear beautiful outfits from the brand Chichia London.

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As more people Rwandans continue to embrace the use of social media to communicate, more young entrepreneurs in various sectors are using Twitter to engage their followers and spread the word about what they are doing.+

Here’s a list of top 10 of the most interesting young Rwandan entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter:+

1 – Edwin Mukizawabo

Very engaging and conversational, Edwin tweets is your bet when it comes to straight comments on topics of current affairs. He’s the major shareholder in Union Trading Company, a business that employs over 200 people.+

2 – Innocent Kaneza

A tech addict, Kaneza is among Rwanda’s most respected coders. His company, Esicia, has been a leader in software development, web design and development, mobile applications solutions over the years, working with government, telecoms, banks, insurance companies and NGOs. Kaneza dropped out of college in 2004 to become one of the most successful young business leaders.+

3  – Akaliza Keza Gara

Currently pursuing her post-graduate studies, Akaliza is a “serial entrepreneur” who founded Shaking Sun, a company that offers services in web development, graphic design and animation. Her recent adventure is Yambi Animation Studios. Akaliza pioneered the ‘Rwandans on Twitter’ (#RwOT) hashtag.+

4 – Clement Uwajeneza

Formerly CEO of software company AxIS, Uwajeneza is currently leading the implementation of the Rwanda Online platform, an integrated platform that will exclusively offer Government services in Rwanda, via web and mobile.+

5 – Gael V. Ruboneka

Co-founder and CEO of illume Creative Studio, Gael is Rwanda’s leading photographer. A biologist who spent much of his childhood in the Akagera National Park and lived in Gabon for 10 years doing research, he’s the author of Butterflies of Gabon (2010).+

6 – Diana Mpyisi

Diana co-founded Spoken Word Rwanda with aim to bring people together to celebrate the expression of self mainly through poetry, spoken word, and music. She is also the founder of Blue Oceans, a consultancy firm that specialises in media, communication and creative arts.+

7 – Gilbert Rwabigwi

A social entrepreneur, Rwabigwi is Rwanda’s top youth literacy advocate. He is the founder of YouLI, a nonprofit that helps young Rwandans enhance their literacy and writing skills. He is also one of the people behind Ejo Group, a business that specialises in social media and content marketing.+

8 – Matthew Rugamba

Founder and Creative Director of House of Tayo, a fashion house which “aims to showcase this African Sophistication, Style and Flavor through contemporary, locally made clothing and accessories.”+

9 – Clarisse Iribagiza

CEO at HeHe Labs, Clarisse has been Rwanda’s most celebrated young entrepreneur since her 2012 Inspire Africa win. Early this year, Forbes featured Clarisse among Africa’s top 30 most promising young entrepreneurs.+

10 – Aphrodice Mutangana

A social entrepreneur who initiated the Incike project, Aphrodice is the founder of FOYO Group, a tech company that offers e-health and advertisement solutions. Earlier this years, he launched Napteker, a pharmaceutical directory that provides information on important issues pertaining to drugs in Africa.

(Courtesy of :http://www.thekigalian.com/socialmedia/2015/05/10-young-rwandan-entrepreneurs-you-should-follow-on-twitter/)

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Kgomotso Mogapi, founder of the A’dare Women Wellness Centre, was not born an entrepreneur, but rather became an entrepreneur to solve a problem.

Graduating as a doctor from the University of Cape Town in 2005, Kgomotso thought she would spend her life working in hospitals, saving lives. “Only four years later I had left the practice of medicine having felt that I was not really contributing to the quality of life of the people I was serving.”


In 2009, frustrated that she was not making a difference as a doctor in the live’s of people who continued to suffer from preventable diseases, she chose to create a company that would find a solution to the problem of healthcare and in 2010 started the A’Dare Women Wellness Centre with a few other young women.

“We offer preventative healthcare, wellness and lifestyle solutions to women, with focus on keeping women healthy. Our centre is located in Mabopane, Tshwane and our services include:  lifestyle intervention plans , screening services, general and women specific consultations. We also provide support services such as women’s products and Veggie Pharm,” says Mogapi.

Whilst doing her locum, Kgomotso realized that 80% of her consulting database was women and children under the age of 12. Her turning point was when she consulted with a 23-year-old woman with cervical cancer who had been turned away from the government hospital when she was 21. “Cervical cancer is a preventable disease and it our offering through A’Dare Women Wellness Centre could have helped not only that young women, but many more like her!”

The A’Dare Women’s Wellness Centre identifies potential life-threatening diseases (with focus on cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension and obesity) and treats and, sometimes, reverses them. 

“We are actively reducing the burden of disease by identifying risky lifestyles, medical conditions in their early phase and thus we are able to change the course of health of our clients. Through our education programme we also empower our clients to take the health of their family into their hands. We are thus contributing to a healthier, productive community,” she says.

They empower women in the community by employing and training them to work in their Centre and they aim to empower young girls by supporting them in two healthcare education programmes: South African Women in Aviation and Kula Youth Networks Girl Power.

It took Kgo otso five years to develop the preventative model of healthcare for women in a country where healthcare is primarily curative.

“I realized that my knowledge of medicine and my passion for the work would not be enough to get the business to where it needed to be. So I went in search of a place that would teach me about business,” she says.

The Branson Centre helped her learn the language of business, to understand the importance of a business model and to believe it was possible to build a business that was a force of good.

“I’ve learned so much, but this stood out for me to make me resilient in tough times: Life and building a business is like climbing a mountain; sometimes, often, you may need to return to base camp (the bottom) to recharge, and sometimes, you may not even reach the summit, but, never give up and keep training,” says Mogapi.

The A’Dare Women’s Wellness Centre is now financed by Nedbank, has exposure in the media and is looking to grow by using technology to make the healthcare model accessible and to have this model as the primary healthcare model in South Africa.

(Courtesy of :http://bransoncentre.co.za/entrepreneurs/dr-kgomotso-mogapi/)

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After four years and two failed businesses, with thousands of rands of debt, Ndzalo Mpangana is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, with his social App “OYah”.

Having read many biographies of successful entrepreneurs such as the “The Greatness Guide”, by Robin Sharma and Richard Branson’s “Screw It, Let’s Do It,” Ndzalo co-founded his first company “ Explosive Entertainment Events” in 2011.

Armed only with technical know-how and passion, Ndzalo and his partner bought thousands of Rands worth of equipment without having an active client list.

They loaned money in their personal capacity and the interest just kept piling up. With no previous business experience or marketing plan, the business collapsed leaving them with debt. Not to be deterred, Ndzalo decided to study Entrepreneurship at Varsity College.


While studying part-time Ndzalo decided to start his second company “Entertainment Hub”. He continued with the same service and performed just as badly as he did not have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in a very competitive industry. After failing a second time, Ndzalo decided to sell all his equipment and venture into a new service.

One night after returning from one of his freelance jobs, Ndzalo wanted to go out but had no idea what was on in his area. This frustration lead to the decision to develop of lifestyle social app that would list all events happening in your area, that you could access from your smart phone. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for him and soon  he lost his car and apartment.

Never giving up, Ndzalo decided to apply to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship to complete his foundation and advance course before embarking on the next stage of his entrepreneurial journey.

This time, armed with a business plan, a USP, marketing strategy, business model, compliance, finances and systems in place to run the day-to-day business operations, Ndzalo started developing a mobile application called “OYah”.

OYah was developed on IOS as the technology was more affordable and only needed one platform. OYah is an app that connects users with events in and around their area. Oyah connects people with events of interest to them, connects them with like-minded interest groups and allows people to tailor their experience the way they want it .

You sign into OYah with your details and on registration you can choose from the following categories: Arts & Culture, Outdoor Adventures, Paint the Town (nightlife and clubbing) and Get Smarter conferences and seminars.

The App was submitted to the Apple App Store, approved on 14 April and will be available from 1 May 2015. The first month will include all events in Johannesburg but will expand to Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

OYah is free to download and because it is an advertisement free app, it only offers premier listings to their clients, promoters, venue owners and brand managers.

Entertainment Hub is in the process of adding a payment system to OYah so people will be able to buy tickets directly from the app. They are also developing an android version to increase their user base.

The App will pave the way for new entrants into the events promoters market and small business owners will be afforded the opportunity to grow their business through engaging directly with their customers.

“I’ve learned to surround myself with like minded individuals who share in the same vision as I do. I have learned to build a strong network of business leaders who can support my business when needed. My business vision is to see OYah operating in more than 50 countries and 100 cities worldwide,” says Ndzalo.

(Courtesy of:http://bransoncentre.co.za/entrepreneurs/ndzalo-mpangana/)

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profile image of neo ntsoma“For me, photography has been a way to see my world in different ways. Being behind a camera allows me to be creative and open-minded. I get to jump between very bizarre worlds all the time, from shooting in slums one day to hanging out with celebrities another. I get an insight into people’s lives that other people don’t – and maybe wouldn’t want to.

“Photography is the art of observation. It’s not just how you hold a camera and snap a picture but a way to see life in an extraordinary way. It allows me to feel and to share that feeling with others. I like to try new things, to deepen the way I see hence I don’t believe in having only one style.

“There is always something new to learn and plenty of room to grow creatively. I believe in having a vision, and that vision can manifest itself in many different ways. With photography, I feel like I can make art out of anything.”

Image of HIV sufferer by Neo Ntsoma


image of South African social documentary photographer Heidi L Augestad“Photography is a wonderful way of seeing and sorting out a complex reality. Through frame and focus I am looking for specific details, human stories, the decisive moments to capture in order to make an image that speaks of more than its motive, somehow speaks for something larger than itself.

“Within the social documentary genre, I find this to be my biggest inspiration – as well as challenge. In addition, to portray someone’s story or situation, respectfully and honest, does not only speak to me as a photographer but also as a human being. Maybe that’s what I love most about it.”

Photojournalism from South African photographer Heidi Augestad


Photograph of Dillon Marsh“During the course of my studies in fine art I was drawn to photography and I’ve remained passionate about it ever since.

“I also love to explore the world around me and photography is a great means by which to capture and reveal the things I discover along the way.”

Nababeep Mine South Africa image


profile image of South African photographer roy bannister“What I love most about being a photographer, and in particular a photographer in South Africa, is that on any given day you can meet a diverse range of people, chat to them and capture their uniquely African spirits with your photographs. From the indigenous San people, who are believed to be one of the oldest cultures on earth, to the distinctive people from different cultures that have been brought to this country over the centuries and shaped by this beautiful land and its sometimes turbulent history. From the Dutch, English, Malay and Indians brought here by colonisation to the various indigenous African tribes like the Zulu and Xhosa, South Africa has a rich wealth of culture and peoples, all set against a backdrop that offers some of the most picturesque and breathtaking African vistas. I try to capture this distinct African spirit in my portraits.”

Photography by Roy Bannister


profile image of photographer leon marais“Photography is a process of creating, of documenting and illustrating life around us, and using all the skills and knowledge you possess to do this lends extra reward to being out in the field showing clients birds, animals and other creatures. Yes, as a safari guide one get’s to spend a lot of time in the wild, and photography only enhances the enjoyment you get out of the job. Of course one is also limited by the attention one needs to lavish on the clients and their paid-for experience, so your photography has to be secondary to the job of guiding. Sometimes you just need to get out on your own to concentrate on creating the images you have in your mind, but either way, photography is immensely rewarding and helps me fill that creative void.

“Not many countries can compare with South Africa for sheer variety of landscapes, peoples, birds, wildlife and so forth, and for this reason being a photographer here is an absolute dream. Many photographers concentrate on wildlife, and that’s a great genre, but there’s so much more than long lenses and great portraits of Africa’s iconic large mammals or close-ups of colourful birds. I for one like animals in context, using an extremely versatile (but old!) Canon EF 35 – 350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L series lens for many of my trips into South Africa’s wild places. I also like capturing the essence of what we in the safari industry do, as illustrated in the photo. Feel like getting up close and personal with a full grown African Elephant bull?”

photograph om safari of an elephant bull


image of photographer“What I love being a landscape photographer: The privilege of spending time in nature, watching storms pass and moons traverse the skies.  Seeing sunsets and sunrises change a dull landscape into a painting.  Hearing the almost audible breath nature takes with every sunset and sunrise; that quietness which comes with dusk.

“I count myself extremely fortunate to explore and experience landscapes which very few people ever get to do.”

south african landscape photography by liesel kerhoff


profile image of nikki meyer“What makes wedding photography so special to me is that as a photographer you work with real people in a natural setting (not models in an artificial studio setup). You meet a wide array of interesting people and have the special opportunity of creating a reflection of what is one of the most special days in a couple’s life. Peering through my camera’s view finder is where the ordinary can become extraordinary and this delights me endlessly.”

south african wedding photography


profile image of south african photographer paul godard“As an adventurer animated by a profound desire to explore beyond the boundaries of the finite, I listen to the silence of the landscape and its natural inhabitants.  The scenery that surrounds me then becomes abstract, inevitably leading to meditation. Only then, do I use my camera to capture the essence of nature.

“Like an artist of the Romantic movement, I capture the beauty of the natural world in my painting-like photographs. Each image becomes a universe on its own, capturing the essence of how the exterior affects the interior. Each image expresses a daily reflection, a soul search of the restless traveller. The message I deliver is one of purity, serenity and above all humility for the natural beauty that surrounds us.”

“But what is most important to me is to touch people’s souls with my photographs. By sharing my emotional connection with nature, I wish to contribute to global awareness about the natural beauty that surrounds us, to inspire and raise more conscious recognition and respect for the planet.”

photography example by south african photographer paul godard

With great landscapes, wildlife, people and lighting, it’s little wonder that South Africa has flourished into one of the finest places in the world for photographers to practice their trade. With more people taking up photography every day, we can expect to see many more talented South African photographers gaining the attention of a global audience as time goes by.

(Courtesy of :http://www.idesigni.co.uk/blog/top-south-african-photographers-2015/)

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