There is an authentic cultural revolution happening in Africa that is transcending through fashion, music and youth culture and it is steadily gaining visibility all over the world. Social media and the internet have been able to bring Africans together from all corners of globe; from London, New York to Lagos and help push the culture in ways that weren’t possible before. People are recognizing that it’s not only about connecting online, but also about creating spaces where people of all backgrounds can connect in Africa in real life.
A prime example of this took place last week during Easter at Skepta’s 'BBK Homecoming' Festival in Lagos, Nigeria, curated by the grime talisman, his manger Grace Ladoja, and BBK Africa's Greatness Dex. The event was about bringing young Africa and its excellence to light by exposing a narrative of music and culture that is often overlooked by mainstream media. I went back stage and captured some of the noteworthy figures who are shaping the culture in Nigeria - from fashion to entertainment and beyond - to show the tastemakers who are setting bars not only in Africa, but all over the world.
The concert had performances from artists such as J Hus and Wizkid and was attended by figures like supermodel Naomi Campbell and actor John Boyega. They also curated an exclusive fashion pop-up that brought brands like OFF-WHITE, Patta and Nigerian labels like WAFFLESNCREAM and Vivendii together, which even included an exclusive Nike jersey customization and a tournament hosted by THE NATIVE, a Nigerian based youth culture magazine and festival. While many people are aware of the impact of the ubiquitous Virgil Abloh, few know that he is of West African descent with parents from Ghana. By bringing Virgil together with Nigerian labels like Vivendii for an exclusive soccer jersey customization, it allowed light to be shed on the brands shaping African youth culture. If an exclusive OFF-WHITE piece can sell out in Lagos in hours just as it would in London or Tokyo, it seems fair to say a streetwear revolution is on the rise.
With Nigeria having a unique demographic makeup of 60% being under the age of 30 and with one of the fastest growing populations in the world, there is no doubt that there is more to come from the developing creative and entertainment industry in the country. 'BBK Homecoming' was was the start of something much bigger and one for the books. With the success of events like this one and the recent 'HomeComing Africa,' the start of more visibility on what young African people around the world are creating will only continue to grow. From fashion to music, we all play a unique role in shaping the culture. When more and more kinds of art and culture collide with such a large audience, the more diverse our world becomes.
Browse shots of the festival and the artists involved in the gallery above and head here for our recap of the festival's style.