Yagazie Emezi


Cultural Anthropologist & Africanist

None of the images posted here belong to me unless stated otherwise.

Clicking my heels for Allen and Fifth.

A throwback to a cold winter day supporting my fellow Nigerian with her amazing t-shit line (Go to store to see the new designs!)

"Allen & Fifth represents two distinct cultures, Lagos (Allen Avenue) and New York (Fifth Avenue), both fast paced cities with so much life and energy to tap from. My tees are designed to strike a chord of nostalgia and curiosity but more importantly, to enlighten people about what Africa and Africans have to offer."

Forever supporting my people in all their endeavors. We should always uplift one another. - Yagazie

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

(via derachi)

Meet Your Photographer: Jjumba Martin

Meet Your Photographer, a short series that will be introducing you to the contributing photographers of yagazieemezi.com over the next couple of weeks. You will be seeing their work on here fairly often so this is an excellent way for you to get familiar with these talented folks. 

My name is Jjumba Martin and I am a freelance Ugandan photographer.

In 2009, I was inspired to do photography after learning that Uganda does a lot of importation with regards to photographers who do different kinds of documentation. I am a simple man who loves making photographs and spending time with my little god-son.

Read + see more

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

(via summertime-gladness)


During the hot summer days at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, locals frequently come to the beach to “verkoel“, which means “to cool off” in Afrikaans. A resident of Cape Town herself, BRANSCH artist Thirza Schaap shot this personal series documenting the sunny daily life of South African youth having fun at the beach.

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

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as I mentioned before, I didn’t really get a chance to delve into the topic like I wanted to. I just briefly mention that I didn’t consider myself “natural” or a “naturalista,” whatever my words were, in the few questions about my hair that I was asked.

but if you read the comments below, it definitely didn’t stop people from “feeling some kind of way,” as expected. 

give it a read and lets discuss!

(special thanks to my interviewee Meosha!)

it’s very true that certain textures are privileged over others, I still hear the words “good hair” within the natural community and cringe internally. Hearing some comments about black women in regards to their hair is so fucking sad and depressing and the “movement” does nothing to bolster them at all, just reinforce tired tropes. I’ve heard my stepmother, who has relaxed so aggressively for years say, “I can’t have those nigger naps” and I felt so fucking sick…it was that same attitude that went towards myself when I was forced to relax my hair as a kid. I think representation is what matters, more women with all textures feeling comfortable about their hair, and being given a space where they can feel that. Within the natural hair community issues of colourism are easily glossed over (And instead reinforced)forgetting that they  influence our perceptions of our natural hair and react badly to those not ready to take the plunge.


Fuck ‘em. When I was featured, the commentary got disabled due to the amount of negativity coming in stating that I was ‘just a pretty face’ and that I didn’t give any ‘hair care advice’. Bear in mind that I stated that I just don’t care for my hair the way that some do. It’s all fucking bullshit. Set aside my boo Sarah’s explanation on why she excludes herself from the ‘naturalista’ click, it’s bloody ridiculous that people can so readily jump down her throat because she’s beautiful AND clearly, strongly opinionated. It’s a hair blog. And it addressed her hair. Period. The fact that an explanation had to follow her statements to put readers at ease is farty bird crap. The fact that people addressed her body and her looks is an even bigger pile of warm shit. People like that can go suck on each others’ natural poof until it’s nice and moist. *takes last drag from cigarette, throws on ground, snuffs out with shoe and walks away*

Akwaeke Zara Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria. Her first full length novel, Somadina, was selected as a finalist for the New Visions Award by Lee and Low Books.

Published by The Sable E-Mag, her latest short story:


I took one of my taxis to the estate so that no one would recognise the car. The security at the first gate waved us in with a cursory flick of their torchlights, not bothering to bend to the window. After all, the taxi was only a common yellow, not the oil black that would tell them they could smile with expectation and not the shiny sugar red that would merit at least a curious glance through the glass. I did own cars like those, but I’ve long found the poor man’s yellow to be the most useful. I inherited them all with my father’s company when he stumbled to his knees and quietly died during a morning jog two years ago. My mother became a muted and folded woman after that, thinning out until I grew concerned about her fragility. Every time she blessed me, her palms felt like spun paper about to flake gently over my scalp. It had been nothing to do my duty, to ease her mind, to come home and take over.

As we pulled through the second gate, I turned over the invitation in my hands, feeling out the weight of the heavy paper. The driver spun the steering wheel slowly and drove the taxi into a corner of the sprawling parking lot. He was one of the few that I trusted, a sour old man with sharp ears, selective hearing and he was a beast behind a steering wheel. I handed him a fold of thousand naira notes and he handed me a mask in return- soft leather, made in battered oxblood. When I held it briefly against my face, it felt like another skin.

Aima had left me five weeks ago, after I watched her crumple against a wall while sobbing that I would never marry her. I didn’t mean to just watch, I knew I was supposed to pick her up, cradle her against me and tell her that I loved her, that of course I would marry her, but the raw bitterleaf truth was that I didn’t recognise the hysterical woman she had become. The things she said sounded like another woman’s mouth had eaten hers. When she finally stood up and looked at me with completely betrayed eyes, I didn’t recognise myself either. Tonight, my intent was to forget about both of us, the interminable drive to the airport and how she didn’t even turn around for a last look … (keep reading)

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

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Africa Yoga Project is a grassroots 501c3 Not-For-Profit Organization that has introduced thousands of students in Kenya to the practice of yoga, as well provides educational scholarships, job training, food stipends, temporary housing and health services.

The poject offers financial support to 38 teachers in exchange for teaching yoga in the communities of Nairobi providing a healthy, motivational venue for young adults to engage with their community, build support systems and change lives. 


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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic

(via childofthechakras)




Hidden Magic: Katlego Kgabale

As kids, we grew up with our imagination running wild though our minds. As least I did! I would spend hours bent over a book, flipping recklessly through pages for words and images to feed my daydreams. Kgabale illustrated work offers up little brown girl dreams that I would have loved to come across as a child. But even as an adult, I can still appreciate and admire the creativity behind each piece.

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic


I would frame these and place them on my wall, love them that much.

Asker femmeneu Asks:
Do you think it's possible to be in love with someone after only being with them for less than a month? I'm a very big fan btw. I follow you everywhere, Instagram, tumblr, anywhere. I think you are amazing and you are one of the reasons why I'm experimenting with natural hair styles.
yagazieemezi yagazieemezi Said:

Aww blessings, thank you!

I aboslutely believe so. One of my closest friends met and married her present husband in a month and they’ve hit their 2nd year anniversary. Love is beautiful and when you feel it, you’ll know. And if shit crashes and burns a week or 10 years later, you still went through the real thing.


Nigerians Abroad

Interesting reality show featuring Nigerians in Los Angeles. Have to admit we were skeptical but this is not bad at all

Source: Bellanaija.com

Asker prosperdon Asks:
Very powerful video you posted. I don't know much about Nigeria, but one day I could visit and explore its culture more in depth.
yagazieemezi yagazieemezi Said:

Please do!

Asker walkaabouttt Asks:
Adore you
yagazieemezi yagazieemezi Said:

*slurpy kiss*

Asker gidihyper Asks:
Hey Yagazie, I'm in love I with your personality. I want to meet you.
yagazieemezi yagazieemezi Said:

Thank you! In due time, who knows?!!?



Lagos Night

Briefly recapping my night out in Lagos, Nigeria and watching the interaction between a Nigerian prostitute and a foreigner. It’s not an uncommon sight, but I suppose having interacted with the man first hand (he works for my friend’s father) and him revealing his viewpoint as a white man clearly still feeling superior in a black man’s land; it was just left a very bitter taste in my mouth to watch this beautiful, young black woman be handled by him….

Similarly in the Port Harcourt area where there are a lot of oil refineries and where there are white expat enclaves, this is standard. Many young girls are sadly trying to land a rich white man so they can be taken care of. There are also some who become housegirls, cooks or cleaners for them, but there is a sexual arrangement in exchange for providing them with employment, food and shelter. It’s desperation and crippling poverty. School fees are expensive, and you know in Nigeria, some parents can’t afford to send all their children to school, so it’s usually the oldest who gets an education. If it’s between a boy and a girl, then the boy will be the one sent to school. With the girl, they figure she will find someone to marry her.

It’s a double whammy really. The multinationals these white expats work for like Shell, Chevron, Agip etc have destroyed the Niger Delta with oil exploration. The way many supported and sustained themselves is gone because of pollution. People are desperate, and desperate people will do anything. So after the employers of these expats have decimated these places after decades of exploitation, they now come for cheap sex. No matter what the sex workers are getting paid in Naira, it is cheap when compared to the Euros and Dollars expat workers get paid in. The rate for sex is always affordable for a white expat. This is why they are there.

Most of these girls start out young. Some places are worse than others. I’m sure you know that Calabar is pretty popular with white tourists. They love talking about the scenery, the culture and beaches. The new thing is the Calabar Carnival. Yes, that’s it, old white men are coming to Nigeria for Carnival. I hope no one believes that. If anyone believes old white men are flocking to Calabar for beaches, resorts, nature’s wonders and to take in the culture, then I don’t know what to tell you. Many are there for young girls. If they are sent there for employment, then the cheap sex is a bonus. It’s a well known thing that people don’t like to discuss openly, in part because many parents are complicit. Some sex workers got their start by being coerced by their parents and guardians, but again, it’s a thing that is taboo to discuss. They will deny it, and Nigerians don’t openly like to discuss anything relating to sex. Here Nigeria is, the largest black population in the world, but they like to pretend that sex isn’t happening. Everyone is “pious” and “moral”. In Nigeria, they knack like rabbits, but it’s always in secret.

A lot of press has been given to places like Thailand and the Philippines with regards to sex tourism in the last decade. African countries are slowly becoming a destination for many Europeans because of the lack of scrutiny and the way people turn a blind eye. These white guys are pretty open and brazen about it because Nigerians treat oyinbo people with respect, and are generally deferential towards foreigners because of their economic situation. In turn, these expats have free reign to run wild and do whatever they like, and they are doing just that.

Thank you for your amazing input, as always!





Women Friendships

I don’t want to hear ANYTHING about my editing skills lol. Of course this video isn’t to discredit or cast negativity towards women who do have meaningful, platonic friendships with men! (Those married to their best friends, you know this video isn’t about you lol) 

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Female friendships are golden. 

lol her Nigerian-ness gladdens my heart, I partly listen to her just to hear that brash accent when I’m missing home.

Love this.

My relationships with the women in my life have been so important to me and all of our personal growth. We learn from each other’s mistakes, support each other no matter what in a way that is rooted in understanding of the similar obstacles we all face.

That’s a large part of my artwork and why I only really paint my friends/women who inspire me. It is also my way of showing my support of them and immortalizing the things I find beautiful and impressive about them.

Don’t ever sleep on those relationships. They are extremely valuable and important.

Pictures forming an ongoing project of the artisans and landscape of Central and Eastern Africa that provide goods for the fair trade organisations.

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Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic