British-Nigerian model Ty Ogunkoya on the February 2014 cover of Italian magazine Rivista Studio for their ‘Cool Nigeria’ issue.
Whether or not this is simply part of the ‘Cool Africa/Africa rising’ trend we’re seeing a lot of in Western pop culture publications, where usually Italy and Nigeria are mentioned together, racism, (im)migration and human trafficking are usually the words that follow, it’s both interesting and refreshing to see an Italian magazine highlight the complexities of Nigerian identity, fleshing out the one-dimensional relationship Italian media has with both Africans and black people.
Citing Nigeria as a ‘country to watch’, the issue features new Nigerian creatives, entrepreneurs and young achievers such as writers Teju Cole and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, media entrepreneur Chude Jideonwo, editor and magazine founder Uzoamaka Maduka, businessman Tunde Kehinde and international footballer Victor Moses.
And just why does this magazine think Nigeria is ‘cool’? Because in areas such as cinema, technology, literature, sports and art, “many of the protagonists of the most interesting stories of this period are Nigerians”.
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All Africa, All the time.