The African continent is abundant with talent, and now more than ever before, creatives are finding new and exciting platforms. 2018 will be the year for Africa’s creative minds, as they build and expand their crafts; and we’ll be watching every step of the way.

Tony Gum – artist 

2017 was undoubtedly Tony Gum’s year, not only was she named as one of OkayAfrica’s Top 100 Women of 2017, but she also gained significant international acclaim, including winning the Miami Beach Pulse Prize. This year can only bring more exciting work from Tony.

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Delphine Diallo – photographer

Contemporary, yet nostalgic. It’s rather difficult describing why Senegalese-French photographer Delphine Diallo’s photography is as moving as it really is. Some of her exhibitions have taken place in New York, Paris and the UK, and there’s no slowing her down either. Explore some of her art on her website and social media.

Richard ‘Richie’ Akuson – editor of A Nasty Boy 

Out of nowhere last year, A Nasty Boy blasted onto the scene. This Nigerian-based online magazine set out with one goal in mind – to challenge the social status quo of Nigeria. In a still deeply conservative country, a magazine like this is revolutionary for many people, and Richard Akuson is at the forefront representing the different, the queer and the beautiful. To date, A Nasty Boy has been featured and celebrated by The Economist, The Guardian and OkayAfrica.

 

Photography by @lesedi_mothoagae Styling @naoserati x model @hakimnkengurutse

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Pap Culture – vloggers

Videos to make you laugh, think and get you talking about what it means to be young and a woman in South Africa. We’ve had our eye on Pap Culture for a while now and can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for them.

 

Kirsten Beets – artist

When we saw Kirsten Beets’ exhibition in Cape Town last year, it was love at first sight. Her work feels current and fresh, but exudes a romantic quality that we just adore. Most of her work focuses on the relationship between people and nature.

Sho Madjozi – rapper

After rapper Sho Madjozi dropped her latest single and music video ‘Dumi Hi Phone’, we knew big things would come her way in 2018. She is much like her image: fresh, bold and exciting, and gained considerable recognition during 2017. The fact that she is one of few musicians out there bringing XiTsonga music to an accessible platform makes us love her that much more.

 

@sensitive_black_dyke and @it’s_leal from What Makes Us Girls – Zine

These are the handles you should know and follow… right now. They’re the creators of one of the best local zines to come out of 2017. Fierce, honest and beautifully curated, What Makes Us Girls was one of our highlights last year, and we’re sure the creators will continue great – and beautiful – things this year.

An excerpt from What Makes Us Girls

 

Athi-Patra Ruga – visual and performance artist

Athi-Patra Ruga’s art has been around the world and back. He has previously exhibited in New York, San Francisco and Venice. He can also be found in Phaidon’s Younger than Jesus – a stunning compilation of 500 of the best international artists under the age of 33. Most recently, he exhibited a moving body of work titled Queens in Exile at the WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery in Cape Town.

A still from Queens In Exile by Athi-Patra Ruga. Courtesy of WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery.

 

Jody Brand – artist and photographer 

After two phenomenal exhibitions, namely the Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at the Fondation Louis Vuitton and You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down at the Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town-born Jody Brand is making a name for herself due to the charged narrative in her work. In the latter exhibition she created a tableau inviting the worship of black, brown, queer and femme bodies in an effort to document alternative African realities.

Say Her Name: Queezy by Jody Brand

 

Mmuso Potsane and Maxwell Boko – fashion designers and creators of MmusoMaxwell

These two talented designers made waves at SA Fashion Week when they nabbed the coveted top spot in the Sunglass Hut New Talent Search last year. The duo have created a chic womenswear brand called MmusoMaxwell that’s inspired by a marriage of African heritage and modern contemporary culture.

 

Let us know which creatives you will be keeping your eye on this year and that you think should be added to the list..