Instagram ? 2018: Rihanna spots Lagos dancers – and more African hits

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Instagram ? 2018: Rihanna spots Lagos dancers – and more African hits

Image copyright The Ikorodu Talented Kids
Image caption The Ikorodu Talented Kids found fame after appearing on Rihanna's Instagram account

Whether it is to promote new talent, share a discovery or make a statement Instagram is becoming increasingly important in Africa.

"It's growing really fast," Diaby Mohamed, founder of digital services start-up Authentic Africa Group told the BBC.

"Instagram is the hype journal for teenagers and a marketplace for designers and creatives. We have seen people building businesses from scratch with Instagram."

In 2018, the platform has become a place to make, and break, reputations and share important news. We take a look at some of Africa's most memorable Instagram moments:

1. Rihanna propels Lagos street dancers to global fame

Instagram post by badgalriri: when I found out that I was the first female artist to cross 2 billion worldwide streams on Apple Music!  God is too lit!!!! Image Copyright badgalriri badgalriri Report

In March, Rihanna shared an Instagram video of a group of young Nigerian girls dancing to the song "Nowo" by DJ Spinall and Wizkid.

The post earned almost three million likes and generated curiosity about the identity of the young dancers.

They were soon revealed as the Ikorodu Talented Kids – a troupe of under-privileged children from the Ikorodu neighbourhood of the commercial capital, Lagos.

Instagram post by dreamcatchersda: All Areas are important! Ikorodu is importanter!! Never going to forget our roots. Coming out of a town where all people talk about is negative news! We are very proud to be one of the best things and need to come out of Ikorodu!  Don’t forget to keep that smile on our face with your donation! Nothing is too small (link in bio) ???????? We can’t wait to start touring different countries and the world! ?????? #ikorodutothe? #love #family #DreamCatchersdanceacademy #photos #importanter Image Copyright dreamcatchersda dreamcatchersda Report

The troupe was formed in 2014 to get children from poor backgrounds off the streets.

Filmmaker and choreographer Seyo Oluyole, 26, founded The Dream Catchers organisation to give the children a home while teaching them to dance.

"We've tagged [posts] and tried to get the attention of so many people, it never worked. But this one just happened," Ms Oluyole told the BBC earlier this year.

2. Meet Ghana's award-winning DJ – aged just 11

At the age of 11, Erica Tandoh, also known as "DJ Switch", has blazed a trail in Ghana. In June, she became the youngest person to win the country's annual DJ award.

With 140,000 Instagram followers, she uses social media to talk to her fans and publicise what she does:

Instagram post by djswitchghana: full video on YouTube for of my inspirational speech @djswitchghana and  rocking it with @maroon5 #girlslikeyou and many more.... ?  @unfpa_ghana @unfpa @unfpayapke #noyouthnofuture @djswitchglobal @theswagdj.. @djswitchtotheworld Jingles credit @kwameadugh @team_djswitchghana with @fonelum #saynotothedeceiver #sayrockandtwistit Image Copyright djswitchghana djswitchghana Report

She has also shared more socially conscious posts including campaigning against child marriage:

Instagram post by djswitchghana: GIRLS ARE NOT BRIDES. In another comfort zone of talent; ACTING and felt so emotional. LET'S END CHILD MARRIAGE NOW!! @gpchildmarriage thank you @unfpa for this great opportunity, @UNICEF @preventchildmarriage e @girlsnotbrides1 @ @child.marriage_mhjc ?? Image Copyright djswitchghana djswitchghana Report

In September, she performed at the Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation's annual Goalkeepers event in New York where she was the warm-up act for French President Emmanuel Macron.

A video profile of DJ Switch on the BBC Africa Facebook page earned over 15 million views earlier this year, becoming one of its most watched videos of all time.

3. Kenyan lesbian film makes history at Cannes

Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu made history in May when her film Rafiki became the first Kenyan feature to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

The feat had all the more impact because Rafiki was banned by the Kenyan government a month earlier for "promoting lesbianism".

Ms Kahiu made the announcement on Instagram and posted congratulatory messages from Kenyan Hollywood actress Lupita Nyong'o.

Instagram post by wanuri: @lupitanyongo THANK YOU! For the support and love. So proud of this little corner of the world we live in and the immense talent coming from it! ???????? Image Copyright wanuri wanuri Report

The Kenyan ban was lifted for a week, to allow it be eligible to be nominated for an Oscar, a moment that was celebrated on Instagram:

Instagram post by wanuri: What an amazing couple of days it has been. First... look the size of this poster in France!!!! We opened in theatres in Paris. My first ever theatrical opening of a film!!!!! It’s amazing. Then... the Kenyan ban gets lifted for 7 days!!!! ???? So so so grateful that Kenyans get to watch the film AT HOME!!! I was told this is my week for crying so I guess I may as well buy extra strength tissue (5 ply). Xx Image Copyright wanuri wanuri Report

4. Naomi Campbell gets caught out?

Image copyright Instagram

In March, British supermodel Naomi Campbell caused a social media stir in Nigeria after a post on Twitter and Instagram in which she claimed to have been personally invited by President Muhammudu Buhari to the launch of Eko Atlantic City, a new coastal real estate development in Lagos.

After Nigerians took to social media to query the supposed invitation, a representative of the Nigerian government posted a message on Twitter contradicting Campbell's claim.

Skip Twitter post by @BashirAhmaad

For the sake of clarity, President @MBuhari didn’t invite Ms. Naomi Campbell to any event during his 2-day visit to Lagos State. They only met at the Eko Atlantic City while Mr. President was touring the project, and she requested to take photos with him.

— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) March 30, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @BashirAhmaad

The supermodel subsequently edited her Instagram post to emphasise that she was in Lagos for Arise Fashion Week.

Instagram post by naomi: Was a pleasure to meet  His Excellency The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to the  launch of Eko Atlantic.  HERE FOR ARISE FASHION WEEK ??????? Image Copyright naomi naomi Report

5. Shudu – the 'South African digital supermodel'

Instagram post by shudu.gram: @dazed X @balmain x Shudu . . In collaboration with @itsclo3d and @_sunshineco . . Chain modelled by @mimic_productions . . #3d #3dart #cameronjameswilson #digitalsupermodel #thediigitals #shudu #balmainarmy Image Copyright shudu.gram shudu.gram Report

In February, British photographer Cameron-James Wilson came forward as the creator of Shudu, a digital "supermodel" designed with the appearance of a slender dark-skinned African woman.

Shudu, who is supposed to be South African and in her late twenties, has more than 150,000 followers on Instagram, and is part of a growing trend of "digital influencers".

Instagram post by shudu.gram: Shudu X @wwd X @itsclo3d . . For the past month I’ve been working on a piece for WWD; Shudu’s first editorial. Alongside these incredible images I talk about 3D, creating Shudu, the future of fashion and the future in general. Using a program called @itsclo3d we created digital versions of real life garments. Without @itsclo3d I’m not sure how the ‘shoot’ could’ve came to be! Thanks to all involved! . . Styled by @thealexbadia  Dress by @noonbynoor  Article by @hernameislex . . #boomerang #3d #clo3d #digitalart #shudu #digitalsupermodel #thediigitals Image Copyright shudu.gram shudu.gram Report

Many have congratulated Mr Wilson on his portrayal. But critics say Shudu is merely a white man's idealised projection of African womanhood, and that his creation takes away work from real models of colour.

Mr Wilson, meanwhile, maintains that he created Shudu to bring more diversity to the worlds of fashion and gaming.

6. Swedish 'slum girl' post goes viral

Image copyright Instagram

Kenyan Instagram users were incensed earlier this year, when a Swedish tourist posted a comment about a Kenyan girl she met in a Nairobi slum.

Jossa Johansson was accused of having a "white-saviour complex" after writing that "one of the happiest moments" of the girl's life "was probably when you met me and my friends".

She suggested that the girl could grow up to be a prostitute to support her family.

"In two years you are going to meet a grown up man that you have never met before, you two are going to have a child," she wrote.

"But he will probably leave you alone with your child in your small home made of mud and trees. You will probably sell your body to someone else to earn money for your child."

Dozens of people criticised the post and "cruel" and "racist". Ms Johansson eventually deleted the post and issued an explanation of her comments.

Image copyright Instagram

"I didn't mean that… was exactly what her future would look like," she wrote.

But addressing her critics she added: "We've been travelling all over Nairobi… We have spread knowledge of human rights and spread hope to people living in the worst living conditions.

"So yes, I'm probably more hero that some of you are."

7. South Africa's 'favourite' constable

Instagram post by sanelberry: ??????Andile&Sanele?????? Image Copyright sanelberry sanelberry Report

South African police officer Sanele Sophazi was used to getting attention on her Instagram profile. But after the Durban constable started posting pictures of herself in her uniform, she noticed a marked increase in her number of likes.

The Sowetan newspaper ran a front-page story with a picture of her and a fellow police woman saying: "Police beauties break the net."

Ms Sophazi said scores of admirers flocked to Pinetown Police Station in Durban where she works.

Instagram post by sanelberry: 06/10/2011?? Image Copyright sanelberry sanelberry Report

"When I am out with my friends or even when I am working, I get people looking and pointing at me and asking each other if it really is me," she told South Africa's Sunday Tribune newspaper.

"Even during roadblocks, I find people staring and some even scream out: 'Its her!'"

8. Nigeria's 'most beautiful girl'

When Nigerian photographer Mofe Bamuyiwa posted a picture of five-year-old Jare on Instagram in July, the young girl earned thousands of fans and was instantly crowned "the most beautiful child in the world".

"I want to portray the interception between her childhood and adulthood so both stay timeless," the photographer wrote.

Instagram post by mofebamuyiwa: Oh yes she’s human ! She’s also an angel ! “J A R E “  I want to portray the interception between her childhood and adulthood so both stay timeless !  I could have made her smile and make her laugh out loud but I put her in their natural moments for us to see through their eyes !  Posing them as adults ! Was my trick to create it a timeless portrait !  J A R E , when you clock 21 remember to do same pose and style  TEAM  Muse   @the_j3_sisters  Make up by Dammy of @iposhlooks  Creative style direction @mofebamuyiwa  Hair by @totalshopwigs  Hair styled by @hairkarved  Styled by @styledbyseun  Assisted by @adebimpe_aj @ernest_chuxx @official_bigjosh  #bmbstudio #bmbphotography #mofebamuyiwa #kids #kidsphotography #artsy #love #light #childphotographer #familyphotography Image Copyright mofebamuyiwa mofebamuyiwa Report

But the photo did come in for some criticism for sexualising a child.

"I'm sure she's a lovely little darling girl without the the wig, make-up and filters… not a good message at all," one person commented on the photo, which has racked up more than 50,000 likes.

Ms Bamuyiwa said she inspired Jare's mother to set up an Instagram page for all three of her daughters – Jare, Jomi and Joba.

The "J3 Sisters" have already gained 108,000 followers.

Instagram post by the_j3_sisters: The J3 Sisters??? @the_j3_sisters Outfits @ms.izellakidscouture  Captured by @m12photography Hair styled by @dynamic_dakore Image Copyright the_j3_sisters the_j3_sisters Report

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