Twenty-eight pages into the inaugural issue of F2FA magazine, you meet Mr. and Mrs. Edward Osefo. It’s their wedding day and there’s a photo spread of their happy day. There’s one of the smartly suited grooms’ party, one of mother and bride en route to the wedding ceremony, one of the groom waiting for his bride to arrive and one of couple kissing at the altar. Throughout, the bride is in a traditional sweetheart-style white wedding dress. That’s until you get to page 8 where the tulle veil is swapped for a bright green and orange gele (head tie) and chandelier-drop earrings swapped for circular orange beaded ones. Turn the page and the bride is back in her traditional white wedding gown, standing in the middle of the dance floor being showered with dollar bills as per Nigerian tradition. It’s the perfect example of the fusion of identities. Each acknowledged, each celebrated.
We meet many others in the magazine.
From 25-year old Malian Boubacar Thiam, a “Young African on the move” who works as a financial analyst for an investment bank in New York – to Liberian Macdella Cooper, tagged as going “From a War Refugee to a Renowned Philanthropist and Trendsetter”. We learn about her stint at a refugee camp in the Ivory Coast, her athletic scholarship to the College of New Jersey, her time working for Ralph Lauren, and her MacDella Cooper Foundation that aims to help kids in Liberia. There’s also the story of legendary Ghanaian boxer Azumah Nelson, one on Cameroonian Ghyslaine Tchouaga who is the reigning Miss Africa USA, and a spread on South African singer Lira. These stories are all different, yet they’re the same in that they are real stories. Stories of Africans.
On the Editors Page, Sandra Appiah (a Ghanaian who spent her teens in Italy and now lives in New York) describes her own personal journey of struggling with her identity, and how a trip back to Ghana a few years ago partly inspired her to start the magazine:
“These days it is not easy to find a magazine to relate to; one that will remind us of who we are in spite of the influences of pop culture and the recent phenomenon of globalization.”
It certainly reminds the readers of reality. There’s the Agony Aunt-type section, featuring Relationship Expert Lady G who’s there to answer questions about your lady or man. Don’t know what cervical cancer is? Dr. Anyanwu tells you and even offers some healthy tips after you’ve had a pap smear. Yes, F2FA is thorough. It has the right mix of intelligent commentary, fresh fashion spreads and pop culture trends.
In Publisher/CEO Isaac Babu-Boateng’s “Last Words” at the back of the magazine, he writes:
“There has never been a dire need to contemporary African medium like F2FA Magazine that will inspire many Africans across the globe like now; a platform that will motivate us to take pride in our heritage and to be aware of the immense potential within the motherland”.
Platform. Pride. Potential. Three words that can as easily describe the first Issue of F2FAfrica and makes one eager to read the next.