Ogazielum Mba

Ogazielum Mba is a Nigerian writer in London.

This is how you smile: On Jamaica Kincaid

Ogazielum Mba, 8 February 2024

Elaine​ Potter Richardson changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid in 1973. She was 24 years old and had decided that ‘Jamaica’ was more stylish. More important, a new name would allow her to publish without attracting the attention of her mother, Annie Drew – no matter that Annie was living in Antigua and Kincaid in New York. She had been sent away from home at sixteen to work...

From The Blog
23 May 2023

The Aylesbury estate in Walworth was built between 1963 and 1977 and has since been left to rot. It is now being regenerated or socially cleansed, whichever word you prefer. Described in the Times as ‘one of the most notorious estates in the United Kingdom’, it may seem an unlikely venue for an exhibition. Going in you felt as if you were visiting someone’s home, because you were.

At the V&A: Africa Fashion

Gazelle Mba, 1 December 2022

On​ 9 June 2020, two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, a photograph appeared on my Twitter feed of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. She was wearing a stole made of Ghanaian Kente cloth, its bold yellow and black geometric design set off by her red suit and heels. She was surrounded by a group of Democratic congressmen and women, including Chuck Schumer and...

On Roy DeCarava

Gazelle Mba, 7 April 2022

Two walls​ and a lightbulb, that’s all it took. For any other photographer, a subject so simple, seemingly lacking the high-stakes drama and political critique associated with American documentary photography of this period (Gordon Parks’s protest shots, Robert Frank’s The Americans, Diane Arbus’s weirdos), wouldn’t be worth the film it was shot on – but...

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