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Ghanaian Artist Reimagines Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Other Black Celebrities in Traditional African Dress

Avatar • Jan 22, 2016

African immigration to the United States is on the rise, and first-generation African Americans are engaging with black American culture in new and interesting ways.

Enter 26-year-old Ghanaian-born New York artist Dennis Owusu-Ansah. When he witnessed a friend being teased by a group of men for wearing a kente cloth, he decided it could be an opportunity to educate;

I figured something must be done to change the perspective of people who are not familiar with the African culture… They had no idea what my friend was wearing. One of the guys shouted ‘That man has a blanket wrapped around his body like it’s winter time.’ I saw this incident as an opportunity to educate people about who we are, and what we stand for through my art… Africa isn’t only about what the media portrays on television [it is] a continent rich in history, diversity and traditions.”

Owusu-Ansah reimagined top black American entertainers in traditional African dress and gave them traditional African names. The drawings have been liked thousands of time on his Instagram account and shared thousands of times on social media.

Chris Kofi Sarpong Brown

Chris Kofi Sarpong Brown

Aubrey Drake Abdul-Salam Graham (PALMWINEPAPI)

Aubrey Drake Abdul-Salam Graham (PALMWINEPAPI)

Chief Shawn "Ugonna" Jay Z Carter

Chief Shawn “Ugonna” Jay Z Carter

Meagan "Omotola" Good

Meagan “Omotola” Good

Nicki Maame Akua Amponsah

Nicki Maame Akua Amponsah

Sean Puffy Nana Antwi Combs

Sean Puffy Nana Antwi Combs

Mazi Odinnaka Rosey

Mazi Odinnaka Rosey

Robyn Rihanna Amahle Fenty

Robyn Rihanna Amahle Fenty

Beyonce Lankenua Carter

Beyonce Lankenua Carter

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Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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redpaperlantern
redpaperlantern
4 years ago

These are wonderful! I especially love the re-imagined image of Rihanna.

CocoaGoddess
CocoaGoddess
4 years ago

Africa the center of the world ???!!!! These are so cool, glad he’s doing this. African culture rocks!

beabrezzy91
beabrezzy91
4 years ago

very cool!

Dee
Dee
4 years ago

I love his re-imaginings!! I can’t wait to buy some traditional African clothing.

Elodie Careme
Elodie Careme
4 years ago

This initiative is really interesting and so meaningful. I hope it will get the echo it deserves. I loved it so much that I forwarded it to many of my friends and one of my male friends felt a bit vexed on the “ladies what are you thoughts” as he was willing to comment too. Maybe something more neutral like “people” would be more appropriate especially as more and more articles are on broader topics than hair.

Coffee is for Closers
Coffee is for Closers
4 years ago
Reply to  Elodie Careme

My thoughts also!

Bkmews
Bkmews
4 years ago
Reply to  Elodie Careme

Black GIRL long hair has a clearly defined target market, and don’t need to “neutralize” their voice to accommodate folks who are not within that demographic.

MJ
MJ
4 years ago
Reply to  Elodie Careme

Nothing stops your male friend commenting, so I’m a little surprised he would be genuinely vexed. The website is Black GIRL, and the main demographic are Black women and women of colour. It’s not that deep.

Jewell Singletary
Jewell Singletary
4 years ago

BEAUTIFUL!

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[…] –Black Girl Long Hair […]

alasia min
alasia min
4 years ago

this is stupid since many of these people are mixed.

Tokunboh Olisemeka
Tokunboh Olisemeka
4 years ago
Reply to  alasia min

News flash…some Africans are mixed too

TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

True, no one is pure, we are ALL mixed!

Guest
Guest
4 years ago
Reply to  alasia min

What does being mixed have to do with wearing African garbs!?!?

Is it stupid when they wear European style clothing ’cause they’re mixed!?!?

What a dumb comment.

Charlie.
Charlie.
4 years ago
Reply to  alasia min

What a stupid and ignorant comment. Get some education.

kia
kia
4 years ago
Reply to  alasia min

when trying to say something smart goes wrong…

BigO
BigO
4 years ago
Reply to  alasia min

Alasia, so are you saying that there are no “mixed” Africans, and they all are pure? Some whites are Africans, and some blacks are Europeans because they live on those continents. The fact is that there are no pure races anyway.

Georgette E
Georgette E
4 years ago

Beautiful!

trackback

[…] an artist from Ghana was mocked for wearing traditional African garb, he decided to take the opportunity to teach the world something about African culture and how it […]

trackback

[…] an artist from Ghana was mocked for wearing traditional African garb, he decided to take the opportunity to teach the world something about African culture and how it […]

ebaiden
ebaiden
4 years ago

dennis-ohhhhh! my broda! eh! you even performed the ultimate libation by giving them a name. My broda, fine ting dey come yo way.
I LOVE THIS!

Guest
Guest
4 years ago

I LOVE THEM!!!!! Wow! NM was and CB were definitely my favorite.

TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

Wow! Beautiful! I.love it! DON’T hate EDUCATE!

Taylor Downing
Taylor Downing
4 years ago

I think they are great!!!

Tammie Thomas
Tammie Thomas
4 years ago

Whether digitally created or manually done, this is so awesome!!!! If only they could embrace and proudly reflect physically their African roots like this everyday!! Ase‘

MJ
MJ
4 years ago

The best part for me is the authentic African names he gave them. The palmwinepapi moniker got me laughing!

kia
kia
4 years ago

this is pretty awesome. complete with names and everything. i like it

Claudette UK
Claudette UK
4 years ago

I’m English born but I am definitely not European.

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago
Reply to  Claudette UK

Same here. Blacks are not European neither are whites African.

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
4 years ago

Wonderful. I love them all.

creegal
4 years ago

Are these works created digitally? The clothing appears more as an illustration…cool concept though…could lead somewhere more interesting socially.

Mani Simone
Mani Simone
4 years ago

I’m so proud to be a Ghanaian!
I only saw 3 of these. They all are nicely done!

newsrants
newsrants
4 years ago

Should be an art exhibit.

Lolalao
Lolalao
4 years ago

Beautiful!

Doliza1
Doliza1
4 years ago

Stunning!! Love the names too they are honorable!

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