Hi ASA fam
Apologies for going MIA & hope you had an awesome week-end! Truth is, things have changed recently: I moved cities and am still adjusting to the new environment… Today’s post is about career options in the creatives which does not always seem sensical to African parents (#Africanparentsproblems). Deciding what to study is a challenging process in an African home especially because the only welcomed choices often are: doctor/medical field, engineer (not even sciences, it’s too broad…lol!), lawyer and finance/economics. While it comes from a good place (parents assume these courses will lead to a good job and stable income), the job market dynamics are completely different nowadays and one can make a great living in the creatives. Whether you decide to pursue this full-time/part-time, there is no lack of examples of Africans who have excelled in the creatives. I decided to write about this based on people whose work I admire…hopefully, this helps you if currently exploring your career/study options to follow your passion.
Anyone interested in the fashion industry will know that African fashion is DEFINITELY on the global radar, and the last 10 years have seen a surge of very successful designers from the continent (from self-taught designers to those who studied fashion design). All are not only making a very good living but also a positive impact in their communities since most designers have their workshop in their home countries if not based there. Some of my favourites are:
- Aisha Ayensu, Ghanain psychologistist turned designer of the exquisite brand Christie Brown
- Jewel by Lisa, lawyer turned designer who has graced many international runways
- Mina Evans, studied fashion design in South Africa at the Design School of Southern Africa and went back to Ghana to set up her brand
- Andrea Iyamah, of Ghanaian origin living in Canada. You have been living under a tree if you do not know these designer…her incredible swimsuits have many celebrities rocking her pieces
- David Tlale, South African accountant turned designer-what a powerhouse!
- Remi Adetiba. A powerhouse who moved away from a career in advertising, to being a photographer. He is also Africa’s version of “Nigel” for Africa’s Next Top Model.
- Tariro Washe, a friend of mine who studied Sport management and later photography now based in Zimbabwe
Blogger/Youtuber/social media influencer
This is probably one of the newest careers on the map but MANY people have found their fortune through Youtube. I almost want to bet you will never convince an African parent not to go to school to do Youtube full time, but you can do it part-time and see how it evolves. My favorites Youtubers are:
- Cynthia Gwebu, a South African beauty Youtuber-her tutorial and channel are simply flawless
- Sharon Mundia, Kenya’s sweetheart in the beauty space who runs both the blog and Youtube channel called This is Ess
- Overcoming the odds, Dr Antonio Webb is a US based doctor who documents his journey through medecine to encourage others
- Shirley B. Eniang, UK based mathematician turned beauty and lifestyle guru….Shirley has won the hearts of many and is making a comfortable living from her creative side
- Patricia Bright, used to be called Brit Pop Princess for a reason and recently reached the 1 millions suscribers mark-seen as a huge achievement esp. as a woman of colour. I absolutely love her easy going attitude and how relatable she is.
- Fight Mediocrity, I use this to get summaries of books I like and also kick my ass into gear on a lazy day
Graphic designer/Fashion Illustrator
- Peniel Enchill, a Ghanain living in the UK who graduated with first class honour with a degree in Economics and Business Management, and later decided to pursue her passion as a fashion illustrator. Her drawings have “broken” the internet more than once.
- Aamito Lagun, the first winner of Africa’s next top model cruising the US runaways currently
- Adera Hinson: Ugandan , Currently studying and modelling thanks to a deal she made with her parents. Read more about her story (here)
- Philomena Kwao, Ghanaian living in the UK the winner of British’s top model plus size edition with a masters degree. She also has her own blog called The Philes.
I hope you enjoyed this article and would love to hear from you whether you are in the creatives and/or considering starting your own side project.
Until the next time 😉