‘Mtindo is a Swahili word that means style but can also mean the way one moves or the way one projects himself or herself,’ explains Daniele Tamagni, the photographer of the new book Mtindo: Style Movers Rebranding Africa which is coming out May 17 .
The Italian photographer has documented a broad range of African style. He’s taken photos of the Nigerian British rapper Tinie Tempah for the style magazine Rolling Stone Italia. He’s done series on the Congolese sapeurs who appeared in Solange Knowles’ Losing You video and on heavy metal fanatics in Botswana.
Mtindo was the idea of Waridi Schrobssorff, author of the book, and owner of FA 254 a platform that promotes the development of African fashion industries. It is a showcase of the young generation of creatives in Nairobi who want to ‘rebrand Africa’s future’.
The first part of the book showcases fashion while the second celebrates the ‘style movers’ chosen by Waridi. They may not be the most famous of Kenyan celebrities but they are the emerging talent at the forefront of change. They are not just designers, but stylists, musicians, artists, social-media entrepreneurs, architects and fashion bloggers. Tamagni calls it ‘a different perspective of Kenyan society.’
And that different perspective is due to the rise of social media, which has, says Tamagni, created a ‘conducive environment for those style movers to thrive in their chosen fields.’ You’ll find some familiar faces including Velma Rossa and Oliver Asike of 2manysiblings fame, the stunning clothes brand Anyango Mpinga, rapper Muthoni the Drummer Queen and the satirical contemporary artist Michael Soi.