As part of Africa Day and the Africa Union’s celebration of African ‘Arts Culture and Heritage’, Facebook’s ‘Made by Africa: Loved by the World’ campaign chose to celebrate Africa’s growing cultural impact on the world. This initiative aims to highlight outstanding Africans whose efforts have served to place Africa on the global map as a whole. The campaign gives a glimpse into the global triumphs of African creatives and enterprises from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, and Gabon, among others. These Africans are telling better stories by drawing inspiration from their immediate environment and other resources around them.
“Africa Day is an opportunity for Facebook to spotlight and celebrate just some of these creative talents, people who are telling rich, creative stories through their music, fashion, content creation and businesses,” Oluwasola Obagbemi, Facebook’s Corporate Communications Manager for Anglophone West Africa said while speaking more on the essence of the campaign. “This will be done through a series of short films focused on showcasing their work, talents, inspirations and successes.” Obagbemi said.
The three Nigerians spotlighted in the recent Facebook campaign are Mai Atafo, globally recognized fashion entrepreneur, bespoke tailor and founder of the ATAFO brand; Mark Angel, the popular comedy brand whose videos has brought laughter to people in virtually all the continents of the world; and Lola Pedro, the innovative founder of Pedro’s Premium Ogogoro, a brand that has taken the Nigerian cultural liquor ‘ogogoro’ into the homes and bars of countries across the world, ranging from Ghana, Kenya and London.
These creatives have successfully leveraged social media to reach a global audience. The ATAFO brand, for instance, has a strong followership on Instagram, showcasing bespoke suits and traditional outfits for both men and women, with special focus on wedding and evening dresses. Unsurprisingly, the brand has unveiled collections at various fashion weeks around the world including the J Spring Fashion Show Paris, Glitz African Fashion Week Accra, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, Arise Fashion Week and Lagos Fashion Week both in Lagos.
Across several continents, the Mark Angel Comedy brand has become such a strong force to reckon with in the comedy industry today. However, this brand did not always have the popularity it now has. With persistence, however, Mark Angel has used Facebook and Instagram to reach Nigerians, Africans and the world at large, receiving accolades and recognitions worldwide. Today, the brand boasts over 16 million followers on Facebook alone, making it the most popular brand in Nigeria on Facebook. The brand has also gone on to win awards such as the 2019 Streamy Award for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa category, fending off competition from both French and Spanish content creators.
The ingenious Lola Pedro, who founded Pedro’s Premium Ogogoro, a local liquor, made from 100% Palm Spirit – enjoyed in high-end restaurants all over Africa and Europe has also leveraged Instagram to show that the ‘ogogoro’ drink can be premium and can also be compared with Western alcoholic drinks like vodka, whiskey, brandy, etc while still retaining the culture that runs through the spirit drink.
Some of the other Africans spotlighted include fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo from South Africa, whose clothing brand ‘Maxhosa’ has been worn by global names such as Beyonce and Alicia Keys, and most recently had his designs featured in the Box-office hit movie ‘Coming to America 2’.
Also featured are Sauti Sol, a collective Afro-pop music group hailing from Kenya who have gained international recognition with nominations and shows in Europe and the US, and Gabonese Jessica Allogo, the founder of Les Petits Pots de l’Ogooué Garmout Food brand, a gourmet food brand that is well-known and is taking Africa and the world by storm.
Other notable creatives that are featured in the campaign are Kenyan musician, DJ, rapper and producer, Blinky Bill who has performed all over the world and is transforming the way the world sees African music and creates music that crosses borders; and Ivorian fashion designer and visual artist, Lafalaise Dion whose spiritually inspired works of art have been worn by international stars and muses all over the world, including Beyonce.
Watch our exclusive interview with Kezia Anim-Addo, Facebook’s Head of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa, as she reveals more on why this technology conglomerate decided to celebrate these creatives.
Over the past two decades, the course of trade and globalization has been spiked greatly by technology and human responses to crises. Nearly 8 billion of us are now more hyper-connected than ever. Intercontinental trade, cultural export and assimilation have been a dominant theme. As a result, the diversity of African creativity is gradually gaining more attention not just in Africa but all over the world. We have seen African celebrities shake up the global scene and products made in Africa, by Africans, have found relevance on the global scene, making it to shelves across Europe, Asia and America.
“We know there is immense talent and creativity all over the continent. Every day, we see creatives using Facebook’s family of apps to share their stories, express themselves, bring people together, speak out, build communities, make economic and social impact, create movements and more. The people featured are just a small representation of this”, Obagbemi added.