What does it mean to be African now? Being African may refer to a broad range of identities and experiences, reflecting the continent’s rich cultural diversity.
To be African is to identify with the continent and all that it entails its triumphs and tragedies, beauty and vibrancy. Being African often entails having a deep connection to ancient beliefs and behaviors and a strong feeling of community and solidarity.
As a community, we praise and clap for an African who takes a risk and goes public with their artistic brilliance. Earlier in 2022, the Keep Walking Africa Top 30 list was given by the award-winning whiskey brand Johnnie Walker, powered by Trace Africa.
They’ve worked together to recognize the pioneers of African music, art, fashion, media, and cinema who are changing the cultural landscape with their bold, visionary steps. It seemed only right to ask the Top 30, “What does it truly mean to be an African now?” since they have all helped pave the road for Africa. Get the facts! A native of Man, a town in the Northwestern area of Ce d’Ivoire, I am happy to be a member of the Dan/Yacouba people,” says Lafalaise Dionn, an Ivorian journalist turned fashion designer, illustrating the profound impact Africa has on our own identities. Being near my grandmother allowed me to absorb Dan’s values; I was often at her side and ultimately took my name, Lafalaise, from her. Her surname, “the cliff,” alludes to her fondness for the highlands, where she would go fishing and regale me with tales of my ancestors.
Lafalaise didn’t stop there; she also uses several of Africa’s precious stones in her artwork. Because of their significance in my backstory, cowries are my preferred medium. Years ago, this all began when I first became curious about African mysticism. Due to my lack of emotional investment in any one faith, I felt compelled to investigate the meaning of spirituality for myself. Whether you like it or not, I proudly display my history [by wearing the Cowries necklaces]. With great pride, I say, “I am African.”
Fanuel Leul, an Ethiopian digital artist, is another innovator who draws inspiration from his African heritage. To him, Afrofuturism is the creative vision of an African vision of Africa’s future. My interest in the fantastical notion of a utopian future found an outlet in afro-futurist art. Most of Africa’s artists probably share my sentiments. Fanuel spent most of his final years in the city of Dire Dawa, shown in many of his art.
Fanuel’s works attempt to raise the profile of Africa and African culture worldwide. A young African like myself can communicate my experience via [digital art],” he continues, “since [the tale of Africa] works in whatever media. Now, I can take pride in my heritage, make meaningful contributions, and help other African artists break through barriers to fulfill the important job I and my peers have begun.
Connecting with Fanuel’s observation, I believe that every media has the potential to ex accurately. Press Africa and the African experience. Jenny Muigai, a Kenyan filmmaker, has opted to work in movies. Jenny is a seasoned freelance writer with extensive expertise in the media production sector, and she has contributed to several works that explore the history of Kenya. Kang Quintus is another filmmaker who has taken a similar path. Kang is a Cameroonian director, writer, and actor who has received widespread acclaim for his groundbreaking contributions to the film industry and for inspiring a fresh new direction in African filmmaking. His movies have a universal appeal since they include stories and concepts that almost every person in Africa can identify with.