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continentcreative:

South Sudanese model Tina J.

WATCH:South Africa’s Motswako Originator Khuli Chana Spends A Day Out In NYC With Okayafrica TV

South Africa’s Khuli Chana (a.k.a. Khulane Morule) is the “Originator” of Mostwako, a clan of proudly Mzansi rappers that rhyme in a mixture of Setswana, English and a number of other vernaculars. The Mafikeng born and bred emcee recently set out on a trip to the US to collect his first international award (for Best Male Southern Africa) at the African Muzik Magazine Awards in Dallas. When we found out he’d be making a stop in NYC we knew we’d have to document the Maftown King’s New York minute. Thankfully Okayafrica TV had the chance to spend a day out with Chana as he embarked on a cross-borough photo shoot with NY-based photographer Gugu Lethu. It was a day filled with firsts– from his first time in an American diner (where he shared his New York dreams, like meeting Jay Z), to his very first encounter with Times Square (you can’t even compare it to a “Joburg on steroids,” he says). The cameras were also rolling when Chana opened up for the first time about his “situation” with South African police last October. Watch this and more in a Day Out With South Africa’s Khuli Chana on Okayafrica TV below.WATCH:South Africa’s Motswako Originator Khuli Chana Spends A Day Out In NYC With Okayafrica TV above.

VIDEO:Introducing French Afro-Cuban Twin Sisters Ibeyi & Their Yoruba Doom Soul

Ibeyi, made up of Cuban-born, Paris-based twin sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, is an electronic doom soul duo who are forging a new spiritual sound with their debut EP Oya. The 19-year-old musicians are XL Recordings‘ newest signees, and their introductory singles “Oya” and “River” possess a hypnotic blend of hip-hop, electronica, and blues infused with Yoruba prayers and folk songs that will transport you to a higher realm upon first listen.

Singing in French, English, Spanish and Yoruba, Ibeyi count among their primary influences Nina Simone, Meshell Ndegeocello, James Blake and their late father, the celebrated Cuban jazz percussionist Miguel “Anga” Diaz. Ibeyi’s vocal range, which wavers from the raspy and wraith-like to the sonorous and divine, is ideal for their sonic palette which revels in the phantasmagorical groove of liturgical Yoruba songs. Besides singing in Yoruba–which was brought to Cuba by West African slaves–Ibeyi honor their father’s legacy and Afro-Cuban heritage through their percussive production and use of live instruments. Beatsmith Naomi plays both the cajón and the batá while Lisa-Kaindé remains more in tune with the musical mythos of Ibeyi’s sound by weaving Yoruba lore deeply into their lyrics. “River” is dedicated to the goddess Oshun (the mother of the Ibeyi, and their first single and EP are both named for  Oya (the benevolent orisha who took the Ibeyi in after Oshun was accused of witchcraft for birthing twins and kicked them out).

GALLERY: Awol Erizku Gives The Great Art Masters 21st Century Updates In ‘The Only Way is Up

Lalesso Unveils Resort Collection 2015

Lalesso recently showcased their first ever resort collection Sultan’s Parade at Cape Town Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.The exclusively summer label, which was recently nominated for this year’s Kenya Fashion Awards as Established Designer of the Year, describes itself as a luxury fashion & lifestyle brand that “supports transparent, sustainable, eco and ethical fashion.” Inspired by the East African khanga cloth of Kenya, co-founders Alice Heusser and Olivia Kennaway launched Lalesso in Cape Town in 2007 by releasing 100 of their trademark Lalesso skirts. Now having expanded into a resort collection, Lalesso unveils more of Kenya’s vibrant prints and patterns in easy, free-flowing silhouettes. From kaftan dresses and rompers to two-piece beach-ready ensembles, looks from the Lalesso resort collection retain an elevated sophistication even when paired with summer’s most comfortable outdoor footwear. Take a look for yourselves in the above gallery, featuring South African model Aluad Deng Anei in Lalesso.

Photographer: Kope|Figgins

continentcreative:

Kenyan model Yaya Deng | photography by Cybele Malinowski 

GALLERY:The Larger-Than-Life Puppetry of South African Designer Macdonald Mfolo

The work of South African costumer and puppetmaker Macdonald Mfolo caught our eye after a recent interview with Another Africa highlighted the large scale puppets he created as part of the collaborative fashion and photography exhibition NOT x Chris Saunders. The cross-cultural project fuses the work of South African artisans and designers together with that of Jenny Lai, a New York-based experimental womenswear designer, and Chris Saunders, a photojournalist living and working in Johannesburg. The exhibition puts a spotlight on the social and cultural climates that creatives from New York and South Africa find themselves inhabiting while showcasing the viability of global collaborations in this digital age.