Tag: Alek Wek

Lupita Nyong’o Speaks on Colorism and More Opportunities for People of Color

Lupita Nyong’o (Photo: Courtesy of Vogue)

article by Erica Schwiegershausen via nymag.com

In the October issue of Vogue, three-time cover girl Lupita Nyong’o talks about growing up in Nairobi, and her desire to see more African narratives represented in Hollywood and beyond. “I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that,” she said.

Recently, Nyong’o starred in “Eclipsed” on Broadway, playing a 15-year-old girl held captive by a rebel officer in Liberia. In her latest film, “Queen of Katwe,” she plays the mother of a Ugandan girl who becomes an international chess master. (The film opens next week.) And she’s also working on the forthcoming film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah“— a love story that centers around two Nigerians.

“Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice … I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful,” Nyong’o said.  She was drawn to “Queen of Katwe,” she said, because it was “based on a true story, an uplifting story out of Africa.”  Nyong’o also reflected — not for the first time — on the significance of seeing darker-skinned women represented and celebrated as beautiful.

Alek Wek changed how dark people saw themselves,” she said. “That I could do the same in a way for somebody somewhere is amazing.” She added, “The European sense of beauty affects us all. I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.”

Working on the set of “Queen of Katwe,” Nyong’o said a young Ugandan-British woman came up to her and said: “I’ve never had so many people call me beautiful until you showed up. I get called to auditions I never would have been called to before. I know it’s because you exist.”

Source: Lupita Nyong’o Wants Opportunities for People of Color

Phenomenal African Women Celebrated in Posters for South Africa’s National Women’s Day

Lupita Nyong’oMiriam MakebaAlek WekChimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Wangari Maathai are just a few of the dynamic women featured in Ruramai “Rudo” Musekiwa‘s Sibahle poster series. The Zimbabwe-born, Johannesburg-based artist and activist created the collection to acknowledge the contributions made by both well-known and unsung heroines from the continent in time for South Africa’s National Women’s Day on August 9th.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning Nigerian novelist
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning Nigerian novelist

The Sibahle Poster Series is an ongoing body of work paying tribute to phenomenal African women,” Musekiwa said in a press release. “The statement it seeks to make, is that our young girls can and should find inspiration right here, within the continent, within our context as a people. Women are the pillars of our society and it is imperative that we pay homage to inspirational women that not only radiate authenticity and passion within their respective crafts, but also understand how their purpose is connected to others (Ubuntu).”

Also spotlighted in the collection are LiraMpho SebinaAlbertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela MandelaNoni GasaSimphiwe DanaClaire MawisaLebo MashileLufuno Sathekge and Nandi Mngoma. “These are some of the most exceptional and influential African women of today,” Musekiwa says.

The posters are part of Musekiwa’s larger Sibahle movement, which you can learn more about here and via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

See more at: http://www.okayafrica.com/news/african-women-poster-series-ruramai-rudo-musekiwa-south-africa-womens-day/#slide3

Fashion Week: Meet Models Committed to Making a Difference

Liya Kebede's Liya Kebede Foundation engages in a range of charitable projects that help improve maternal healthcare in her native Ethiopia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Liya Kebede’s Liya Kebede Foundation engages in a range of charitable projects that help improve maternal healthcare in her native Ethiopia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Fashion Week isn’t only about glitzy runway shows and star-studded front rows; nor is the industry solely about dreamy designer pieces most of us can’t afford and rich, skinny models. Some of those beautiful mannequins and marquee names are as much about substance as style.

As New York Fashion Week entered its fifth day on Monday, supermodel Liya Kebede explained to theGrio how she used her fame gained walking runways to raising awareness about maternal health. At an intimate gathering in the rooftop bar at Manhattan’s SoHo House, hosted by La Phête, a new online destination focused on spotlighting fashion’s philanthropic stars, Kebede shared her journey.

Continue reading “Fashion Week: Meet Models Committed to Making a Difference”