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Emirates launches new campaign with original anthem for Africa

Emirates has launched a new pan-African brand advertising campaign that celebrates the talented 'pioneers' who are rewriting the narrative of Africa and presents an original anthem for Africa.
Model, Shanelle Nyasiase.
The new campaign pays tribute to a new generation of African disrupters who are making their mark globally across music, fashion, literature and the arts, celebrating the cultural renaissance taking over Africa. Poised to become cultural ambassadors for Africa to the world, they share a common passion to bring their global exposure and influences to their own local journeys, as they discover what it means to be ‘home’.

The series of short films are produced by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) for Emirates, to take the message of a ‘New Africa’ to the world. Emirates is using the series to join the conversation and celebrate amazing, inspiring stories of people constantly pushing boundaries and challenging African stereotypes and promoting the brand at the same time.

The stories of the pioneers who represent today’s Africa, include:
  • Nairobi-based ‘Blinky Bill’ Sellanga, Kenyan musician, producer and DJ, who is the embodiment of a renaissance in African music.
  • Shanelle Nyasiase, a 21-year-old South Sudanese model, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Kenya.
  • Abiola Oke, who left New York and a career on Wall Street, to return to his hometown Lagos, Nigeria, as the CEO and publisher of OkayAfrica, a digital media platform, dedicated to African music, film, culture and entertainment.



“It is impossible to ignore the energy and talent coming out of Africa today, whether in music, fashion, sport or art. We’re seeing a greater awareness of a strong, proud African identity – while being very connected to a broad, global culture. We wanted to join the conversation and celebrate amazing, inspiring stories of people constantly pushing boundaries and challenging African stereotypes. To us, that is what travel is about, to find a common ground that helps us connect, to question, to be curious, and I believe this campaign does just that in taking Emirates closer to the heart of our audience in a way that is authentic,” said Boutros Boutros, Emirates divisional senior vice president: corporate communications, marketing and brand.

Richard Pattinson, head of BBC StoryWorks said, “This new series taps into the deep creative strength of the BBC to deliver a campaign that will capture the attention of our extensive and premium audiences in a way that no other publisher can.”

The series gives us a closer look at the inspiring stories of pioneers who represent today’s Africa.

‘Blinky Bill’ Sellanga, is part of the renaissance in African music: as part of the Kenyan art and music collective ‘Just A Band’; he has been redefining the modern African musical identity and has performed his music all over Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.


Model Shanelle Nyasiase dreamt of becoming an air hostess, but her journey took her to the international catwalks in Milan and New York instead, where she has worked with some of the biggest international fashion brands.


Publisher Abiola Oke’s business is dedicated to African music, film, culture and entertainment.


The campaign also features an original song with energy-filled music and inspiring lyrics that reflects the beats of contemporary African electronic club music. Produced by Blinky Bill, the song has popular sounds and rhythms that are currently dominating the radio, blasting out of taxicabs and on the dancefloors across the continent.

Music is a unifying language not just across Africa, but around the world, and the song does away with cultural clichés, instead celebrating the vibrant energy of contemporary Africa.
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