The Birth Of A Nation
Wekafore represents a new generation of creatives that are breaking glass ceilings and making their own rules.

Wekafore Jibril is 24, lives in Spain, and has a bunch of incredible projects going on. He embodies true creative energy, and everything he puts his mind into is executed impeccably. From his fashion brand exploring and evolving his Nigerian roots, highlighting afro-funk culture merged with the aesthetic movement Afrofuturism to his party Voodoo Club and his musical endeavors with the band Egosex where he acts as the frontman, Wekafore wastes no time. His extravagant style is a mix of his cultural heritage, self-awareness, and spiritual energy. A result of years of introspection and self-reflection, which ultimately brought him to shave off his head after sporting a top knot made out of luscious locks, simply to be replaced by a silver beaded headpiece he fiercely dons during his performances at music festivals and beyond.

His climb to “success” has been rapid and efficient, yet not smooth as it may seem from the outside. The 360-creative was born in Lagos but grew up in Dubai. A city he was forced to leave at 18 due to visa issues typical of the UAE. His first stop was Bilbao, where he enrolled IED (Istituto Europeo del Design) to study fashion design and then transferred to Barcelona, where he found a home and a supportive community of friends and associates that helped him flourish and fulfill his potential as an artist. The last time I saw him was in Paris while he was in town for Men’s collections in June 2019. He was trying to get the “Bird” app to work and make his debut on fashion’s seemingly most favorite means of transport lately: the scooter. Fighting the Parisian heat wearing a pair of black shorts and a technical neon polyester shirt, Wekafore didn’t miss the chance to be the face of his brand pairing the sporty outfit with one of his signature leather harnesses. At this moment, he had just finished teaching a jersey customization workshop in collaboration with Nike. He was preparing to showcase his new collection with a carefully studied presentation to the European fashion crowd.

Wekafore represents a new generation of creatives that are breaking glass ceilings and making their own rules. Individuals that are not afraid to tap into different categories and certainly feel claustrophobic when compartmentalized. They speak up and revolt against the “norm,” they are committed to change the outdated jurisdiction of an industry that is slow to improve. I spoke to Wekafore about his path, struggles, and what needs to be done to make it easier for underprivileged creatives to breakthrough.

What came first the music or the fashion?

Chronologically, the fashion came first. I became conscious of the way I look years before being aware of what I sound like. The music came in as a mean for messages that I wasn’t able to express with clothes. 

How has the experience of moving from your home country at a relatively “old” age impacted your thought process and vision later on?

It was an intense cultural shift, I came from street football and the danger of a city where anything can happen at any time. I witnessed a bomb blast with my grandmother and street fights, armed robberies or gunshots. I have climbed trees to pick fruits and I have gone on road trips to the zoo with my half-cousin who is half-Italian. Moving to an entirely different part of the world where so many different cultures mix, made me grow up, think, and become conscious faster than a regular surface dweller.

What was the biggest challenge in moving from Dubai to Europe and from Bilbao to Barcelona?

The biggest challenge in leaving Dubai was leaving all my work behind and starting afresh, being bold enough to say “Fuck all of you! I’m gonna go create something better somewhere else.” I moved to Bilbao all alone, couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. I dove into a new world, and found my purpose in that solitude and then came to Barcelona to build the foundation.

What made you choose those cities? 

I’m an African immigrant, I don’t have a choice in my final destination. I go where I’m allowed. Luckily, it just so happens that I can do great wherever you put me.

What are the developments/improvements you saw in your brand after enrolling school?

I became a little bit more abstract and experimental. I also grew more confident as I discovered that fashion students are even more lost than I was, and the professors couldn’t see the future.

How are all your creative projects connected? 

They are all connected at the root, which is contemporary Africanism and globalization from the African point of view. Everything boils down to this. It is the mother concept of my lifetime and these are its spawns respectively growing into their own full-blown entities.

What about your African heritage impacts your work the most? 

I think the politics of it and the absence of our history. The nuance of being a proud African in a world that strives off your demise. The modern world has created very complex systems to wash off African history and civilization so much that we have to retaliate with even more complex systems to awaken the African consciousness. It’s a spiritual and eternal fight for me, I can die for these principles.

What kind of support would you like to have in order to be able to bring your craft to the next level?

I think all a person needs to do is show the work to more people and it will speak for itself. We are creating and producing at a high level with a concept that has never been explored like I am doing right now. It’s only a matter of time before it explodes naturally. 

What are the pros and cons of social media and the internet for a young designer?

You could get lost in the numbers. A lot of people think that the attention you get on the internet is equal to impact but that’s a lie. These numbers lie and everything is inflated. Nothing on the internet can beat human interaction and real-life impact on people’s lives and trajectory as free thinkers in this consumerist society. In the few years of Wekafore, I’ve seen a lot of brands come and go so quickly, all with tens of thousands of followers. A lot of creative people unknowingly begin to create for Instagram. That’s an insult to your talent. 

What inspires you the most? 

People. Pain. Defiance. I find most of my inspiration in defiance.

Do you rely on anybody to help you bring your vision to life? 

Not yet, I set up my life in a way where I minimize my dependency on people. I’m hands-on with everything, but I do have a team, and frequent collaborators to delegate work. 

What do design schools lack in teaching? 

Real-life consequences. Students live in a bubble and don’t get to face the truth. Until you get out and realize that you are not special and no one cares about your ‘personal expression’. The truth will slap you in the face with a metal glove.

When did Voodoo Club begin? 

June 2018. 

How important is who you know in today’s fashion landscape? 

I think it’s maybe 70% of the work? But it won’t last if you don’t have something worth the while. There’s SO MUCH TRASH and we can all see it.

What do you wish “success” stories would show when talking about their career path? 

The people they knew – ahah – or the things they lied about. 

How do you juggle all your creative endeavors?

I’m a psycho, I really think I’m obsessed. Something reminds me everyday that if I don’t do it no one else will. There’s no other Wekafore. This will all stop one day though, I will hit delete again and go live in the Jungle. 

Do you ever feel stuck and not inspired?

I haven’t felt stuck in a while. My primary concept is so big and wide that you can find new information every day, new myths and legends, new historical figures, new things about my village you know. It’s a never-ending gold-mine of inspiration. 

What are your inspiration rituals? 

Playing Tetris on my trap phone. 

What does your workspace look like? 

A mess. Essentially I don’t have a workspace, how could I? I can’t sit in one place for too long.

What is your opinion on fake humble people?

I love them, Pharell Williams is a vibe. Most times you don’t have to talk about it, let it do the talking.  

How much time do you put into Ego Sex? 

1/4 of my creative energy. 

Who are the other designers in your generation you would like to work with?

Hender Scheme, Vega, maybe Acne studios?

Do your parents have anything to do with your cultural baggage? 

Oh definitely, African parents? We could write a book about that.

How does it feel to be away from family? 

It’s difficult. I wish I could spend more time the my parents. These are the points in our lifetime that we should cherish the most. 

What do you wish to achieve with your brand and Voodoo Club

We just want to help push a positive representation of Africaness in mainstream media and most importantly in the mainstream market, we need our market share, a new industry to empower the people.

How important is to share your creative space (figurative) with people that have similar minds? 

It’s very important to see things from different perspectives. Only a fool measures things from one side. A lot of people lose their touch because they get too comfortable in their own opinions, they need to let people in and hear new things. 

What about your personal style we can see in your collections? 

The 70’s silhouettes that I try to emphasize on the pants and the short shorts. That is me everyday. 

What is Afro-Futurism? 

It is the act of looking at and creating proposals for a global future from an African perspective as supposed to a European one. It is the progressive consciousness of blackness at an almost prophetic level.

What can you tell me about Spirit and The Machines?

Spirit and The Machine is a visual introspective into our imaginative universe. It’s set in an alternate universe where the future and the past coexist and the present is a myth. It’s a science fiction series based on primitive futurism, it looks like vintage national geographic and Star Wars mashed up with Negro fetishism and Afro-futuristic elements. Wild!

How did you choose the collaborators for Spirit 002?

I just naturally collaborate with people around me who are serious about creating new narratives and also possess a cut-throat work ethic.

You often reference black women in your designs, what is it that most catches your attention about them? 

I believe the world was birthed by a black woman. I think of their world. Dark skinned black women are held as the lowest race in our society, but still, they create all the trends and give birth to so much light and joy. Only God can create light from the darkness.

 White people often feel “left out” of your projects or are afraid their presence won’t be welcome. How does this make you feel and what do you have to say to them? 

It’s a pity sometimes when people feel like that because there’s so much to be shared. But most white people that I work and collaborate with understand the process and are allies in giving power to this new narrative.

Give me a brief summary of your life as a creative/brand/music artist. My aim with this piece is to show that good things come with patience and resilience and give hope to people that everybody faces challenges and failures in their path. 

My life has definitely not been a smooth ride and I have had my heart broken and failed multiple times. I have bled, sweat, and cried for this and still, I have a long way to go. I had other dreams and expectations that didn’t come true. Do not sacrifice your peace or your integrity for anything, My advice is to do you best and never ever worry about things that you cannot control, this is the only way to find peace.

The Birth Of A Nation
Wekafore represents a new generation of creatives that are breaking glass ceilings and making their own rules.

Wekafore Jibril is 24, lives in Spain, and has a bunch of incredible projects going on. He embodies true creative energy, and everything he puts his mind into is executed impeccably. From his fashion brand exploring and evolving his Nigerian roots, highlighting afro-funk culture merged with the aesthetic movement Afrofuturism to his party Voodoo Club and his musical endeavors with the band Egosex where he acts as the frontman, Wekafore wastes no time. His extravagant style is a mix of his cultural heritage, self-awareness, and spiritual energy. A result of years of introspection and self-reflection, which ultimately brought him to shave off his head after sporting a top knot made out of luscious locks, simply to be replaced by a silver beaded headpiece he fiercely dons during his performances at music festivals and beyond.

His climb to “success” has been rapid and efficient, yet not smooth as it may seem from the outside. The 360-creative was born in Lagos but grew up in Dubai. A city he was forced to leave at 18 due to visa issues typical of the UAE. His first stop was Bilbao, where he enrolled IED (Istituto Europeo del Design) to study fashion design and then transferred to Barcelona, where he found a home and a supportive community of friends and associates that helped him flourish and fulfill his potential as an artist. The last time I saw him was in Paris while he was in town for Men’s collections in June 2019. He was trying to get the “Bird” app to work and make his debut on fashion’s seemingly most favorite means of transport lately: the scooter. Fighting the Parisian heat wearing a pair of black shorts and a technical neon polyester shirt, Wekafore didn’t miss the chance to be the face of his brand pairing the sporty outfit with one of his signature leather harnesses. At this moment, he had just finished teaching a jersey customization workshop in collaboration with Nike. He was preparing to showcase his new collection with a carefully studied presentation to the European fashion crowd.

Wekafore represents a new generation of creatives that are breaking glass ceilings and making their own rules. Individuals that are not afraid to tap into different categories and certainly feel claustrophobic when compartmentalized. They speak up and revolt against the “norm,” they are committed to change the outdated jurisdiction of an industry that is slow to improve. I spoke to Wekafore about his path, struggles, and what needs to be done to make it easier for underprivileged creatives to breakthrough.

What came first the music or the fashion?

Chronologically, the fashion came first. I became conscious of the way I look years before being aware of what I sound like. The music came in as a mean for messages that I wasn’t able to express with clothes. 

How has the experience of moving from your home country at a relatively “old” age impacted your thought process and vision later on?

It was an intense cultural shift, I came from street football and the danger of a city where anything can happen at any time. I witnessed a bomb blast with my grandmother and street fights, armed robberies or gunshots. I have climbed trees to pick fruits and I have gone on road trips to the zoo with my half-cousin who is half-Italian. Moving to an entirely different part of the world where so many different cultures mix, made me grow up, think, and become conscious faster than a regular surface dweller.

What was the biggest challenge in moving from Dubai to Europe and from Bilbao to Barcelona?

The biggest challenge in leaving Dubai was leaving all my work behind and starting afresh, being bold enough to say “Fuck all of you! I’m gonna go create something better somewhere else.” I moved to Bilbao all alone, couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. I dove into a new world, and found my purpose in that solitude and then came to Barcelona to build the foundation.

What made you choose those cities? 

I’m an African immigrant, I don’t have a choice in my final destination. I go where I’m allowed. Luckily, it just so happens that I can do great wherever you put me.

What are the developments/improvements you saw in your brand after enrolling school?

I became a little bit more abstract and experimental. I also grew more confident as I discovered that fashion students are even more lost than I was, and the professors couldn’t see the future.

How are all your creative projects connected? 

They are all connected at the root, which is contemporary Africanism and globalization from the African point of view. Everything boils down to this. It is the mother concept of my lifetime and these are its spawns respectively growing into their own full-blown entities.

What about your African heritage impacts your work the most? 

I think the politics of it and the absence of our history. The nuance of being a proud African in a world that strives off your demise. The modern world has created very complex systems to wash off African history and civilization so much that we have to retaliate with even more complex systems to awaken the African consciousness. It’s a spiritual and eternal fight for me, I can die for these principles.

What kind of support would you like to have in order to be able to bring your craft to the next level?

I think all a person needs to do is show the work to more people and it will speak for itself. We are creating and producing at a high level with a concept that has never been explored like I am doing right now. It’s only a matter of time before it explodes naturally. 

What are the pros and cons of social media and the internet for a young designer?

You could get lost in the numbers. A lot of people think that the attention you get on the internet is equal to impact but that’s a lie. These numbers lie and everything is inflated. Nothing on the internet can beat human interaction and real-life impact on people’s lives and trajectory as free thinkers in this consumerist society. In the few years of Wekafore, I’ve seen a lot of brands come and go so quickly, all with tens of thousands of followers. A lot of creative people unknowingly begin to create for Instagram. That’s an insult to your talent. 

What inspires you the most? 

People. Pain. Defiance. I find most of my inspiration in defiance.

Do you rely on anybody to help you bring your vision to life? 

Not yet, I set up my life in a way where I minimize my dependency on people. I’m hands-on with everything, but I do have a team, and frequent collaborators to delegate work. 

What do design schools lack in teaching? 

Real-life consequences. Students live in a bubble and don’t get to face the truth. Until you get out and realize that you are not special and no one cares about your ‘personal expression’. The truth will slap you in the face with a metal glove.

When did Voodoo Club begin? 

June 2018. 

How important is who you know in today’s fashion landscape? 

I think it’s maybe 70% of the work? But it won’t last if you don’t have something worth the while. There’s SO MUCH TRASH and we can all see it.

What do you wish “success” stories would show when talking about their career path? 

The people they knew – ahah – or the things they lied about. 

How do you juggle all your creative endeavors?

I’m a psycho, I really think I’m obsessed. Something reminds me everyday that if I don’t do it no one else will. There’s no other Wekafore. This will all stop one day though, I will hit delete again and go live in the Jungle. 

Do you ever feel stuck and not inspired?

I haven’t felt stuck in a while. My primary concept is so big and wide that you can find new information every day, new myths and legends, new historical figures, new things about my village you know. It’s a never-ending gold-mine of inspiration. 

What are your inspiration rituals? 

Playing Tetris on my trap phone. 

What does your workspace look like? 

A mess. Essentially I don’t have a workspace, how could I? I can’t sit in one place for too long.

What is your opinion on fake humble people?

I love them, Pharell Williams is a vibe. Most times you don’t have to talk about it, let it do the talking.  

How much time do you put into Ego Sex? 

1/4 of my creative energy. 

Who are the other designers in your generation you would like to work with?

Hender Scheme, Vega, maybe Acne studios?

Do your parents have anything to do with your cultural baggage? 

Oh definitely, African parents? We could write a book about that.

How does it feel to be away from family? 

It’s difficult. I wish I could spend more time the my parents. These are the points in our lifetime that we should cherish the most. 

What do you wish to achieve with your brand and Voodoo Club

We just want to help push a positive representation of Africaness in mainstream media and most importantly in the mainstream market, we need our market share, a new industry to empower the people.

How important is to share your creative space (figurative) with people that have similar minds? 

It’s very important to see things from different perspectives. Only a fool measures things from one side. A lot of people lose their touch because they get too comfortable in their own opinions, they need to let people in and hear new things. 

What about your personal style we can see in your collections? 

The 70’s silhouettes that I try to emphasize on the pants and the short shorts. That is me everyday. 

What is Afro-Futurism? 

It is the act of looking at and creating proposals for a global future from an African perspective as supposed to a European one. It is the progressive consciousness of blackness at an almost prophetic level.

What can you tell me about Spirit and The Machines?

Spirit and The Machine is a visual introspective into our imaginative universe. It’s set in an alternate universe where the future and the past coexist and the present is a myth. It’s a science fiction series based on primitive futurism, it looks like vintage national geographic and Star Wars mashed up with Negro fetishism and Afro-futuristic elements. Wild!

How did you choose the collaborators for Spirit 002?

I just naturally collaborate with people around me who are serious about creating new narratives and also possess a cut-throat work ethic.

You often reference black women in your designs, what is it that most catches your attention about them? 

I believe the world was birthed by a black woman. I think of their world. Dark skinned black women are held as the lowest race in our society, but still, they create all the trends and give birth to so much light and joy. Only God can create light from the darkness.

 White people often feel “left out” of your projects or are afraid their presence won’t be welcome. How does this make you feel and what do you have to say to them? 

It’s a pity sometimes when people feel like that because there’s so much to be shared. But most white people that I work and collaborate with understand the process and are allies in giving power to this new narrative.

Give me a brief summary of your life as a creative/brand/music artist. My aim with this piece is to show that good things come with patience and resilience and give hope to people that everybody faces challenges and failures in their path. 

My life has definitely not been a smooth ride and I have had my heart broken and failed multiple times. I have bled, sweat, and cried for this and still, I have a long way to go. I had other dreams and expectations that didn’t come true. Do not sacrifice your peace or your integrity for anything, My advice is to do you best and never ever worry about things that you cannot control, this is the only way to find peace.

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