“The last thing I want to do is tell a story that was never my story to tell.”
It echoes throughout my mind each and every time I gather my equipment and make my way to a location. Arriving in Ghana was no different. I’m intrinsically aware of the miss-told stories across the continent because as a foreigner myself, these are the same stories I was fed before arriving in South Africa almost 10 years ago yet my experience was quite the contrary.
In the years that proceeded my move from the UK, I began to intentionally search for truth through storytelling and in doing so became more and more aware of the injustice as well as the lack of ownership in African stories. We have a great opportunity to show the world a new narrative that can only proceed with the acknowledgment that the current narrative is at best incomplete. Art and politics will forever be intertwined and my greatest hope is that as we document greatness throughout the continent, we will learn to love ourselves, pursue truth, justice and have a deeper respect for the land in which we live.
Our body of work must become a vessel for change so I am conscious to remove myself from the story wherever possible, partnering with those who understand the context and culture better. Through close friendships and networks, I’ve been exposed to a rising generation of young creatives who are determined to tell their own authentic story with the honour and dignity that was stolen from them.
‘Take Me Home’ is an embrace of things forever unsaid, a ripping apart of an old narrative to build a new one. For this editorial, I collaborated with some incredible creatives across Accra from set designers and models to a very successful Ghanian fashion label, Atto Tetteh. ‘Take Me Home’ captures three main elements: an acknowledgment of the past; respect for the present and finally the dream of a greater future.
The talented Jojo Temmeng and his team designed a simple set from palettes, fabric, and starch to create a stark platform representing a ‘clean slate’; starting over; something new. We combined props that hinted towards a rural upbringing and contrasted with the afrocentric modern garments. Felicia (MUA) and I drew on elements from Atto Tetteh’s latest collection, ’S Theorem’ to speak into the simple but profound idea that we are the storytellers, that the time to own and embrace our past, present, and future is now.
This is the story we will tell. It’s our time.