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NXT: Africa Edition Virtual Summit Aims to Empower Black Creators Through the Lens of the African Diaspora

Antonio Ferme
·2 min read

Endeavor Impact has announced details for the upcoming virtual event series NXT: Africa Edition, a free program that explores opportunities in the global sports, entertainment and fashion industries, with a specific focus on the emerging African market.

The NXT Africa Edition program is focused on equipping current and aspiring entertainment professionals with actionable steps to advance their careers as executives, creators, artists and leaders, framed through the lens of the African diaspora. The program will feature panels with leading Black figures in the sports, entertainment and fashion industries, including Virgil Abloh, Opal Tometi, Zozi Tunzi, Aweng Chuol, Laolu, Amaarae, Amadou Gallo Fall and Kemi Adetiba.

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Romola Ratnam, Endeavor’s SVP of Social Impact, pilots the program, which sparked out of an idea from agency assistant Adeola Bakre. Ratnam previously spearheaded the NXT: Summer Series (which saw 1,300 students attend discussions with Marshawn Lynch, model Halima Aden, Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi & Miss USA Cheslei Kryst, and top Endeavor execs. beginning in June) and NYFW: NXT 2020 (which saw 10,400 students enroll for the 9 live classes, boasting talent like Rebecca Minkoff, Christian CCowan, KeKe Palmer and Chanel Iman, in late Sept.).

For the NXT: Africa Edition session, participants will receive reading and video materials to look over before they attend the sessions, which cover various topics, including the role and importance of African-led design in the global fashion industry; the impact of sports and how athletes and execs have used sport to uplift communities; building a bridge between Hollywood and African content; a workshop on talent representation and management in music; and influencers who are reshaping what it means to be African. There will also be live panel discussions, tutorials and a Q&A where panelists will answer participant’s questions.

Endeavor Impact collaborated with partners, including Afrochella, Afropolitan Group, Amplify Africa, Culture Custodian, Diaspora Rising, Melanin Unscripted, Nike, Empire, Studio 189, The Plug, Tongoro and Yard, on the NXT: Africa Edition project.

NXT: Africa Edition will run from Jan. 26 through Feb. 4 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with live sessions that run approx. 60-90 minutes each. Registration is free and open to all.

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