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Do Black Covers Sell?

22 Jul

Such was one of the headings on the 14th anniversary April 2010 issue of ELLE Magazine South Africa.

Alek Wek on cover of ELLE South Africa

Well I bought it, didn’t I? As did thousands of other South African consumers, I hope! In fact, I gravitated toward april’s issue of ELLE with magnetic-like determination – I was drawn to the magazine by a force I can’t easily explain. Amidst a sea of white, Wek’s dark brown complexion was the answer to my subconscious prayers.

I’m an avid reader of fashion and lifestyle magazines, but over the numerous years I’ve been purchasing and perusing various publications, I can count on my digits all the covers I’ve come across sporting women of a hue similar to mine – and that’s a very disheartening fact.

Though the numbers still aren’t where [I think] they should be, one thing I do appreciate about being in South Africa is seeing positive portrayals of people of color more often than I do State-side. I came across an old issue of a (now defunct) South African magazine called THE DEAL from August 2007 and I became more impressed with each passing page. 33-year-old Ghanaian multi-millionaire Kenny Andam is featured smiling on the cover (with good reason haha) and inside are inspiring tips and success stories from different African countries.

Kenny Andam on cover of The Deal magazine

I salivated over an article on another Ghanaian named Fred Swaniker, who is the CEO and co-founder of Jo’burg-based co-ed independent boarding school – African Leadership Academy (ALA). ALA’s mission: to create and develop a generation of African leaders who will dedicate their various areas of expertise to improving their continent.

Sounds like the perfect medicine to some of the continent’s maladies.

– Let me know what you think –

Are there enough people of color on magazine covers? Do you think it matters?

What do you think of the ALA school and its mission?

Until next time,

-Mbali-

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