Africa is home to over 200 million young people, all of which have the power to enhance or hamper the holistic development of our continent. Magents Lifestyle Apparel is a great example of the contribution to Africa’s enhancement. Not only through enhancing their own lives in running a business, but spreading the message of Pan Africanism in what people wear casually, and growing themselves to having other public figures endorsing their brand such as South Africa’s J Something and Khanyi Mbau.
Our Afrolutionist Boitshepo Motsamai spoke to Didier, Magents Founder and Creative Director about the power of his brand.
What inspired the inception of Magents Lifestyle Apparel and what inspired you to name it such
Back in the day, we always wanted to open a store that catered for us. The idea eventually grew into a brand called “magents”.
At this years Ideas Expo you mentioned that Africa needs to create its own history and identity. Do you believe that your brand is a part of doing so?
The issue is that the African “story” or history needs to be told or be written from an African perspective. It is not so much that Africa needs to create its own identity but that we need to express ourselves the way we feel best represents us. We study about our history in text books and learn from others but the sad part is most of what we learn is from a western perspective. This would not change untill Afrika drinks DEEPLY from its own rivers instead of western perspectives. If we are filled with a western view of Afrika then that is what we will write,design,film etc “What is not inside can not come out” – Western perspective inside, western perspective flowing out. There is nothing wrong with a Western perspective but you can not raise your child on what your neighbours thinks to be right or wrong. Take ownership of your own story.
We certainly do what we can in our own field of play and are very passionate about what is currently taking place in the consciousness of Afrika. We are all retelling our story. We are part of that and excited to see how this unfolds.
Most people see Pan African values related to colour, your diversity is a living proof of otherwise. What do you think creative Africans need to do more of to reach the path of unity
The mere idea that a human being is classed by his colour is pathetically limited to say the least. One of our designs is called “brownskin” where we celebrate all the different shades of brown. To be African is far more than being a certain shade of brown. As Afrikan creatives we need to drink deeply from our Afrikaness and learn how to celebrate that in all we do. In our daily interactions with fellow brothers and sisters we find common but yet amazing attributes like humility, forgiveness, patience etc
Just spend a day in London and count how many times you found this around you vs a day in Gaborone. We need to fill ourselves with that which makes this continent such a powerful place. These positives in itself will create patriotism and a love for all. We are certainly diverse but we are one. Things that makes visitors fall in love with Afrika, are at times overlooked by ourselves.