Hi Oroma, what’s the story behind Pop’ Africana?
On a personal level, Pop’Africana came about because I had found exactly what I wanted to do forever, design, ideas, photography, personal style, and an all round love for the arts. All this is being put to work effortlessly so as to realize Pop’Africana. Secondly, Pop’Africana also came about because no magazine out there quite understood how to interpret Africans. Imagery on Africa still lacked creativity and seem repetitive. I just wanted a magazine that would reach every African, everywhere, one that will depict who we were, what we did, and how we live in a non-cliché manner. Taken together, I was ready to explore my ideas and thoughts, I was ready to be who I am.
What are your goals for the magazine?
I want Pop’Africana printed and everywhere! I want it to be the style standard for fashion magazines coming out of Africa.
What are you working on right now?
Pop’Africana is what’s on the table right now. But I have plans to visit and work in some cities in Africa real soon. I’m also digging through my photo archives and prepping myself for visits to some agencies. I want to be represented and assist or work with other amazing and talented people. Music is coming into the fold too – hey, you never know like lotto.
Tell me about your collaborations.
The photographers I have worked alongside include Jaime Nelson, Luke Abiol and Mike Brown. I think they capture some of my ideas better than I would so I direct for the most part and they shoot. I admire a lot of people, but I haven’t had the chance to work with them yet. I have produced look books for a few designers, but I definitely plan to establish more photo and editorial collaborations.
Has there been a specific highlight since the start?
Highlights…none so far since the start of Pop’Africana. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate the reactions to the magazine, but the ultimate feeling would be sitting across from someone on the subway, watching them read Pop’Africana or getting a request or a second shipment order from a major store because it sold out. The point is until its printed and in the hands of the people I created it for, there isn’t yet a sense of accomplishment.
What drives you to do what you do?
I would say the freedom to express myself, personal happiness and selflessness because, from the bottom of my heart, I want to contribute to Africa’s creative industries, it means the world to me to inspire!