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“I do what I do for myself and whoever gets influenced by it; that's a blessing.”- Africanjawn

Updated: Mar 5


Happy-smiling-young-black-girl

We weren’t drawn to Buchi’s work only because she represents Black women, but she does so with much love and passion for precision. We love to see the happy faces of Black women to overthrow the ‘angry Black woman’ narrative. Similarly, the faces of fierce-looking women remind the world that Black women are beautiful and mean business.

Buchi has photographed male models as well, but we were immediately captivated by the storytelling of her Black female portraits.


Read on to find out why portraits of Black women are dear to her and how she fell in love with photography.

Buchi-ibeabuchi-aka-Africanjawn
Model, Creative Director and Photographer, Buchi A.K.A Africanjawn

Nneka Ibeabuchi, also known as Africanjawn and Buchi, is a model, creative director, and photographer from Lagos, Nigeria, currently residing in LA.


She started photography after she moved to LA from Jersey back in 2018. She worked with photographers who couldn’t bring her vision to life. And so she decided to start taking her photos because she doesn’t like to bother people. In her words, “That has been the best decision ever. I can only be mad at myself when things don't go right, and I can reshoot at my own time and perfect it.”


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We were eager to know what makes Buchi stand out as a photographer, how she makes her models feel comfortable, and why photographing Black women is significant to her art; here’s what she had to say:


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I will say being a woman in photography. I stand out, and we stand out. Secondly, Knowing how to capture Black people in the proper lighting is equally important. I like to make my models feel comfortable to do their best on camera. I am a hilarious person, so my jokes keep them in the mood.



These portrayals of Black women on my Instagram page are significant in my art because we are beautiful. Our distinct features are so unique that I want the world to see us more through my lens. I like to put my people on.


Black-girl-fashion

I can’t say my art has influenced people. I get a lot of positive feedback in my DM from people telling me how much I've impacted them. I do what I do for myself and whoever gets influenced by it; that's a blessing.


I posted on my IG story the other day about a shot of Julia Fox, she did an interview with The Cut, and the pictures were ridiculous. It was a slap in the face to photographers, especially Black photographers. No way a black man shot that, no way a black man would have gotten paid for that. We have to work 100 times more complicated in anything just to be noticed and considered.

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These companies or brands will pick an “I'm here for the money white creative over an “ I love what I do, and I want to get paid for it’ black creative. It's black history month, and it just felt right at the moment.


Last but not least, we couldn’t end the interview without asking her a question that borders on a contemporary issue amongst Black communities in repressive societies.


“Buchi, What is your advice to Black photographers who feel scared to reflect their Black roots in their work?”


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Man, just do you! Keep going no matter what; consistency is key! You really can not give up if you want to win. Be bold, take bold steps, and make bold moves.


That is right! To the talented individuals reading this post, be bold and just do you!

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