The Marie Claire Discovery Issue

From overflowing suitcases to overflowing pride, my experience with African-made products has come full circle.

Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, the West heavily influenced my exposure to consumer goods. My mom, a resourceful entrepreneur, filled her suitcases with imported items to sell. This habit continued for me – my constant travel companions were two bulging suitcases. But then, a remarkable shift occurred. I began to discover a wealth of high-quality, locally-made products right here in Lagos. This transformation is so profound that I’m incredibly honoured to introduce Marie Claire Nigeria’s Discovery Issue dedicated to “Exploring New Frontiers in African Culture.”

Africa, a kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions, has always been a breeding ground for groundbreaking creativity. Now, we’re seeing a remarkable renaissance on the precipice of a new age. It’s a movement that shatters stereotypes, pushes boundaries, and reshapes the cultural landscape on a global scale.

I find the word “Discovery” to be an inspiration. It compels us on a quest for understanding, rewarding us with knowledge and a profound sense of fulfilment. This insatiable thirst for discovery is the very essence of the current wave of exploration and innovation sweeping across Africa. From filmmakers, artists, and tech entrepreneurs, to beautyprenuers, and fashion designers, Africans are shattering barriers and redefining excellence. Their contributions, their desire to discover new ideas, new ways to do things, and new perspectives are shaping Africa– not just its physical landscape but what it means to be African in the 21st century. This, in turn, fuels societal progress on the continent.

I think we can all agree that African culture is undergoing a renaissance—or a rebirth. Perhaps a revival? This rich tapestry of traditions, languages, and artistic expressions is being vibrantly woven with new voices and fresh perspectives, which are dismantling stereotypes, propelling progress, and fostering innovation. From the burgeoning tech hubs in Nairobi and Lagos to the electrifying art scenes in Dakar and Lagos and the pulsating music festivals of Accra and Johannesburg, a new wave is cresting. Our “discovery” issue will illuminate the individuals and movements pushing boundaries. They’re seamlessly blending traditional motifs with contemporary influences, crafting works that resonate deeply on both a local and global scale.

From creatives and entrepreneurs to major corporations, a powerful movement is taking hold. It’s not just about preserving Africa’s rich heritage but about redefining it for a new generation. I mean, just look at what Afrobeats has done to the world– its infectious rhythms have taken the world by storm! We’re finally leveraging our cultural wealth to contribute significantly to the continent’s economic growth, not just through tourism but across various sectors. I beam with pride anytime I travel and hear afrobeats; I find myself wanting to scream, “I am Nigerian” with pride. Fashion, beauty, and food – the possibilities for our next cultural export are endless.

The digital revolution has been a game-changer, acting as a powerful catalyst for this cultural resurgence. Social media platforms, streaming services, and digital marketplaces have empowered African creatives to reach global audiences like never before. Africans abroad are no longer isolated; they can influence and be influenced, fostering a cross-pollination of ideas and experiences creating a vibrant tapestry of shared human experiences.

As we explore these new frontiers in the discovery issue, we are reminded that culture is not a museum relic but a living, breathing force in constant evolution. The stories and features in this issue celebrate the dynamism of African culture and its capacity to inspire, transform, and unite us all.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of discovery. We hope that these pages ignite your curiosity and deepen your appreciation for Africa’s extraordinary cultural tapestry. Most importantly, don’t forget to engage and contribute because we are all responsible for this movement!


Tobi Hamilton

Guest Editor