Adenrele Sonariwo – Founder of Rele Gallery and the Rele Arts Foundation

Adenrele Sonariwo is a Nigerian art entrepreneur, curator and founder of the Rele Art Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. She was the lead curator of the first Nigerian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.

Sonariwo was educated, and has a former career, in finance, and also founded the Rele Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organisation designed to improve access to the arts for young people.

Rele Gallery represents a host of international artists, including Victor Ehikhamenor and Kelechi Amadi-Obi.

Helen Jennings – Editorial Director and Founder of Nataal magazine

Helen is co-founder and editorial director of Nataal, a new magazine and media platform focussing on global African fashion, visual arts, music, travel and society.

For over a decade, Helen’s work has appeared in titles including: AnOther, Dazed&Confused, El Pais, Fader, Grazia, Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, iD, LULA, Neo2, NeverUnderdressed, Nova, Oyster, Russh, Sunday Times, Time Out and Trace.

Helen was editor of Arise, the large format global African fashion and culture magazine, for five years. Cover girls included Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Kerry Washington and Tyra Banks plus she landed interviews with luminaries such as Franca Sozzani, Idris Elba, Grace Jones and Femi Kuti.

Helen is author of New African Fashion (Prestel), the first coffee table book to celebrate contemporary designers, models and image makers from the continent. She’s also contributed essays to three further books, Fashion: The Whole Story (Thames&Hudson), Haute Africa (Lanoo) and Fashion Cities Africa (Intellect).

Martin Barnes – Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Martin Barnes is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, which he joined in 1995. Previously, he worked for the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, after studying at the University of Leicester and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

He has worked at the V&A Photography Gallery since 1997, curating numerous exhibitions including Diane Arbus Revelations (2005-6), Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (2006), Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography (2010) and Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (2011).

Rakeb Sile – Founder of Addis Fine Art

Rakeb Sile is the founder of Addis Fine Art, the very first gallery space in Ethiopia dedicated to focusing on fine art from the Horn of Africa region and its diaspora. Since its inception in 2013, Addis Fine Art has provided a gateway to a diverse range of modern and contemporary artists from Ethiopia and the diaspora.

In October 2016, the AFA Project Space was opened in London, to provide an additional international platform to the gallery’s programme. As one of the first to be accepted to Cromwell Place in London, AFA will move to its permanent international home in September 2019.

Salimata Diop – Artistic Director of the Musée de la Photographie de Saint-Louis

Salimata Diop is the current Artistic Director of the Musée de la Photographie de Saint-Louis, the Sénégal-based museum, and one of the leading photography institutions in West Africa, and the former the AKAA Africa art fair, the first art fair devoted to African contemporary art and design in Paris, France. She holds qualifications in art history and collecting from La Sorbonne Paris IV University, Warwick University and Institut d’Etudes Supérieures d’Art.

Advisory Board

Ayo Adeyinka 

Ayo Adeyinka is the founder and director of Tafeta, an African-focused visual arts-agency and gallery in Fitzrovia, London, and Lagos, Nigeria. With a background in finance, Adeyinka works on behalf of a number of important private and corporate collections of contemporary African Art. As an art dealer and collector, Adeyinka has supported some of the important 20th century artists of African descent, including Ben Enwonwu MBE, Ablade Glover, Susanne Wenger, Muraina Oyelami and Gebre K. Desta.

Bimpe Nkontchou

Bimpe Nkontchou is a lawyer and wealth management advisor  (of 30 years experience) at W8 Advisory, an asset management practice focused on African entrepreneurs and their families. Her work involves advising affluent African business owners about important issues concerning asset and wealth management, as well as family business succession planning.

She views African art as  an important legacy of the African continent, and a valuable asset class.

She is a keen enthusiast and collector of modern & contemporary African art.

Buki Koshoni

Buki Koshoni is an award-winning photographer and contemporary artist.

His portraiture has appeared in publications including Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Independent and The British Journal of Photography.

He’s shot advertising campaigns for clients including Panache Lingerie, JD Sports and OKUN Beachwear. As a commercial filmmaker, he’s produced films for Adidas, Sony Music, BMG Music, Universal Records, and FHM. He describes his work as a “an amalgamation of his cultural diaspora, pan-african identity and cultural activism.”

Juliana Olayinka

Juliana Olayinka is an award-winning broadcast journalist and lead presenter on Africa MediaWorks’ flagship broadcast channel Yanga!

Olayinka has previously worked for media organisations including Bloomberg, MTV, BBC and Thomson Reuters. Olayinka studied journalism at the University of Arts London and is currently studying for a post-graduate Global Diplomacy degree at SOAS, University of London.

Ugo Arinzeh 

Ugo Arinzeh was born in Nigeria was raised in the United States, and now lives in London.

She began her career as a real estate investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before moving to London to work for an international architecture practice.

She has since launched her own business,  Onyx Property Consultants, an independent property agency.

Samson Soboye

Samson Soboye  is the founder of SOBOYE, a London-based African fashion, design and lifestyle brand.Soboye graduated from Central St. Martin’s 1994 and worked for Lucinda Chambers at British Vogue, before working as a freelance stylist for media publications including The Guardian, The Times and The Evening Standard.

In 1999, Samson launched his own textiles and interiors label, Samson Soboye Home Couture, and launched a boutique jewellery collection in collaboration with Sidai designs and jewellery designer Sheena Bulsara. In 2013, Soboye opened Lagos Fashion Week. He is the founder of African Streetstyle.