African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.

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Posts tagged "style icon"

Style Icon: Mafikizolo’s Nhlanhla Nciza.

I just can’t let the month of August - Women’s Month in South Africa - go by without dedicating a few posts to my favourite women of Mzansi.

After a year of some serious hit-making with fellow artist Theo Kgosinkwe under the moniker ‘Mafikizolo’, in what I believe to me one of the best musical comebacks of all time, singer, songwriter, wife, mother and one half of one of the continent’s most popular groups, Nhlanlha Nciza is also a certified style icon. To call her any less would, at the very least, be an understatement.

Much like the genre of music Mafikizolo makes, Nciza’s style is a unique blend of various traditional African influences mixed with bits of contemporary African and Western fashions.

Although the band have always had an air of glamour and sophistication about them dating as far back as their Kwela, Van Toeka Af and Sibongiledays, where they channeled Sophiatown and took inspiration from other 20th century fashions, Nciza’s style has never been so bold, with her adoption of beautifully loud colours, and so distinctly representative of parts of the African continent - whether she’s wearing a gele, ankara styles common in West and Central African countries, jewelry inspired by East or Southern African cultures, silhouettes, prints, patterns and textiles from all over Africa. Not to mention how consistent her looks have been in all of their recent music videos, live performances and red carpet appearances.

But the best thing about Nhlanhla Nciza’s style has to be that, aside from looking flawless all the time, no one else can pull off what she does in the way that she does it.

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STYLE ICON: Jackie Burger.

She’s the South African creative behind the country’s very own edition of ELLE Magazine so naturally, Jackie Burger is an incredibly stylish woman. Her style is classic, chic, elegant, a mixture of feminine and small doses of masculinity and, most of all, timeless. Never seen without her frost-coloured signature hair, as much as it stands out, Burger never lets anyone part of her aesthetic outdo another. You can’t help but pay attention to every single detail of what she wears.

Jackie Burger is by far one of the most stylish women in South Africa and perhaps the most recognizable fashion face in the business.

Can someone at ELLE SA please get her on instagram?

STYLE ICON: Lupita Nyong’o

Whether you first caught sight of her as a leading actress in Kenyan-based MTV Base Africa’s original hit show MTV: Shuga, or have have recently become aware of her incredible talent following her US movie debut alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Michael K. Williams and Adepero Oduye, there’s no denying just how mesmerizing Ms. Nyong’o is - and her style equally as flawless.

Currently swimming in a sea of well-deserved hype and intense Oscar buzz surrounding her performance in Steve McQueen’s ‘12 Years A Slave’, the Kenyan actress continues to stay fresh-faced and flawless with her cropped ‘do and bold eye-make up and even bolder lip colours whilst gracing many red carpets, attending press events and conducting interviews.

Her wardrobe is nothing but chic and sophisticated glam - whether she plays it down with a one-piece all black jumpsuit, or dawns an all-white classic Prada floor-length gown with intricate gold detailing.

STYLE ICON: Sarah Diouf

Seriously can’t get enough of founder and editor-in-chief of Ghubar Magazine, a Paris-based fashion and culture magazine, Sarah Diouf's fun, flirty, flawless and feminine aesthetic.

Ghubar celebrated it’s fourth anniversary this year, and also reached a milestone of over 40 issues.

Get more inspiration from their tumblr or follow them on twitter and instagram.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

STYLE ICON: Oumou Sangaré (pt 2)

Whether dressed in the staple West African styled Boubou, or a two piece wrapper and matching top, her looks are never complete without her signature statement jewelry and accessories, and of course her flawlessly manicured nails and perfectly applied make-up usually consisting of a dark lip colour, contrasting eye shadow and a striking brow. Malian singer Oumou Sangare’s timeless head-to-toe looks are nothing short of breath-taking, and though I’ve never seen her in person, I can’t help but think that upon entering a room, all eyes would surely be upon her in admiration.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

STYLE ICON: Lebo Mathosa

Today would’ve been Lebo Mathosa’s 36th birthday.

The former Boom Shaka member and highly successful solo artist, who began her professional music career at the age of 15 and was able to forge her way through an industry dominated by men, passed away in 2006 at the age of 29 after her driver lost control of the vehicle they were in.

After leaving her kwaito group Boom Shaka in 1999, starting out as a member of the four-piece in 1994, she went solo and her debut album Dream achieved gold status after only four weeks. At the 2001 South African Music Awards (SAMAs) Mathosa went home with the Best Dance Album award for Dream, Best Female Vocalist award, and Best Dance Single award for her first release, Intro, off of the same album.

She was also nominated for a British MOBO Award in 2006.

Known for her signature dyed hair, charming and outspoken attitude, Mathosa was openly bisexual - all characteristics that often saw her being compared to the late Brenda Fassie.

RIP Lebo Mathosa, you are missed!

STYLE ICON: King Sunny Adé

All hail King Sunny Adé (born Sunday Adeniyi on September 22, 1946 in Ondo) - Nigerian king of Yoruba juju music, an Omoba of the Yoruba people, and part-time bubu wearer.

STYLE ICON: Dobet Gnahoré

Grammy Award-winning and World Music-nominated Ivorian musician and singer Dobet Gnahoré’s style is beyond your wildest Afro-punk dreams.

With a band consisting of her percussionist father Boni Ngahoré, as well as several French and Tunisian acts, both the 29-year-old singer’s musical sounds and aesthetic mirror various elements of Pan-Africanism that can often be seen in the jewelry she wears and the infusion of Bété, Baoulé, reggae, rumba and Manding influences in her music.


Mrs Bisola Adenike Adebajo (nee Owolabi), taught Mathematics and Physics in various secondary schools in Ijebu-Igbo from Nov 1966, and retired as a Vice Principal in Dec. 1994.

More Vintage Nigerian photos


American-born Rwandan-Ugandan singer-songwriter and “new African jazz” artist Somi is a worldly woman with an incredibly romantic and color-filled wardrobe that mirrors both her personality and vocal style. 

Born in Champaign, Illinois in 1979, at the age of three Somi moved to Ndola, Zambia with her family but returned to her birth state in the 80s where she would spend the rest of her childhood. After graduating high school, Somi went on to earn undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and African Studies from the University of Illinois, and now holds a Masters degree in Performance Arts from New York University's Tisch School of the  Arts. 

Signing a record deal with an independent label in 2009, Somi released her debut album If the Rain Comes First that same year which debuted at #2 on Billboard Magazine's World Music Chart. She has since toured with the likes of legendary South Africa jazz artist Hugh Masakela (who's featured on her debut album) and Afropop sensations Freshlyground. 

In 2011, Somi was named a TED Global Fellow and an inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow. She is also the founder of the award-winning non-profit organization New Africa Live that “aims to carve out a cultural space of belonging for contemporary African artists”. 

She currently lives between Lagos, Nigeria and New York City.

STYLE ICON: Oumou Sangaré

Mali is home to a number of incredibly talented musicians that have gone on to garner fame and success worldwide.

Referred to as “The Songbird of Wassoulou”, Sangaré began sing around the age of 5 with her mother in order to support their family as her father had abandoned them. At the age of 16 she went on tour with the percussion group Djoliba and by the age of 21, Sangaré had recorded her debut album Moussoulou (women), which sold over 200, 000 copies, and signed to the music label World Circuit.

Since then, she’s released four follow-up albums and won several awards including a IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize in 2001 and a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals with Herbie Hancock.

Throughout her flourishing career, Sangaré can almost always be seen with her statement jewelry and flawless make up - no matter what she’s wearing.

STYLE ICON: Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou

The sometimes coordinated and almost always immaculately dressed men of iconic Benin Afrobeat supergroup Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou provide endless inspiration for anyone wanting to channel some of that West African 70s traditional-influenced funk styles.

STYLE ICON: Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and Iran

Now 91-years-old and currently residing in Alexandria, Egypt, Princess Fuad was an Egyptian princess who became Queen of Iran as the first wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Having remarried  Colonel Ismail Shirin Bey in 1949, she is also known as Fawzia Shirin.

Although her royal titles are no longer recognized by the Egyptian government after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 international protocol dictates that former monarchs and members of former ruling royal families still retain titles obtained whilst a member of a reigning monarchy.

She is the oldest member of the deposed Muhammad Ali Dynasty residing in Egypt.

Yesterday, we featured his wife as our style icon. After glancing through various photos of the former Ghanaian leader, it seemed only right to make him the next style icon on Dynamic Africa.

Whether in army uniform or camouflage, traditional western attire (aka a suit) or draped in various Ghanaian nwentoma (kente) - depending on the occasion, of course, former Ghanaian president Jerry John Rawlings is dapper personified.

There’s just something about the way Rawlings carries himself that gives him the aura of a natural born leader, at least as far as photographs are concerned.

Perhaps it’s because he narrowly escaped death or help form the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) that conducted a ‘housecleaning exercise’ that aimed to retrieve large sums of stolen government money and stabilize inflation.

Either way, to deny that this man is consistently sartorially dashing (and handsome, might I add) would be a more than serious lie. I’m not saying his two-term presidency was perfect, I’m just saying that his style is.

Former Ghanaian first lady Dr. Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings could potentially be Ghana’s first ever woman president.

After announcing, on Saturday, that she had split from the ruling party that her husband - former president Jerry Rawlings - founded, she also stated that she would be running for president in Ghana’s next elections.

She’s also our latest featured style icon.

P.S. I’m pretty sure the Rawlings are Africa’s cutest couple.