Mario Epanya had a dream, and did his best to make the dream become a reality. The dream was Vogue Africa.

Epanya – a photographer from Cameroon, who is currently based in Paris – shot a number of beautiful covers. His goal was to prove that Vogue Africa could be viable, vibrant, and admired. On July 16, Epanya announced on the Vogue Africa Facebook page that Conde Nast turned down the idea.

I am a big fan of Mario Epanya’s work – the Vogue Africa cover photographs are stunning and inspiring. A number of amazing posts have been written about this issue, on some of my favorite blogs. So I will let those links speak for themselves:

An earlier post on Jezebel – Fashion Enthusiasts Ponder Vogue Africa.

Vogue Africa Rejected By Conde Nast on Coco and Creme (check out Clutch Magazine’s new beauty site Coco and Creme! It ROCKS!)

Can Vogue Africa Be Economically Viable on The Black Socialite.

Conde Nast Gives Vogue Africa The Thumbs Down, from Black Voices.

Surprise, Surprise – Conde Nast says no thanks to Vogue Africa on Madame Noire.

Why Africa Vogue Is Considered Out Of Fashion on The Grio.

Mario Epanya has indicated that while this door may have been closed, a window seems to have been opened – meaning this may just be the beginning of a new chapter for the dream that was once Vogue Africa. He has proven that images of beautiful black women and fashion news from Africa would be readily embraced and beloved throughout the diaspora. He has proven that there is a global market for this vision.

And if I’ve learned anything in this topsy-turvy adventure that I might call a career, it’s this. Don’t depend on a corporate entity to make your vision a reality. Go forth, do the hard work, build your own platform. And those same corporate entities will come around eventually.

I wish Mario Epanya ALL the best, and here’s to his vision of African beauty and fashion finding the avenue of expression it truly deserves! Click here to follow him on Twitter, and click here to visit

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KB says:
July 21, 2010, 11:32 am
Those pics are stunning, especially the last one!
Stephie says:
July 21, 2010, 2:08 pm
I am over whelmed by the beauty in the pictures. I am currently pregnant with my first child and its a girl. I want so desperately for her to know that she is beautiful and seeing girls just like her on the Cover of well known mags will definitely help the process. I am sadden that the idea was rejected. But i will support any business that promotes black beauty in a positive light. Keep me posted!
vonnie says:
July 21, 2010, 2:09 pm
wow, what a stunning collection of images. Better to start something there themselves because all that Conde Nast will do is plop Gemma Ward in the middle to take over the cover like they did with the Chinese one (I think it was Chinese, it was east Asian) and the Vogue India
Cheekie says:
July 21, 2010, 2:32 pm
Beautiful pics!! Conde Nast, unfortunately, don't know what they're missing. :(
sandra says:
July 21, 2010, 2:44 pm
ok....yes...I will be subscribing! Thanks Afrobella. And I love your message about not waiting on someone to implement part of your dream. The journey of doing something is the reward.
mrembo says:
July 21, 2010, 4:10 pm
Hi, Just a quick one to say that there is a strong presence of African magazines for African women across the continent espeically Eastern Africa where I am from. Two of the magazines I read religiously are -African Woman ( -True Love Kenya ( What I find that happens with a magazine targeted to "the African woman" is that it is not local enough for the readers. We are a continent of 50+ countries.. so the content has to be rather specific to its market inorder for the magazine to survive
WriteBlack says:
July 21, 2010, 7:11 pm
Those pictures are gorgeous. That said, I'm with mrembo: Vogue *Africa* is kind of a silly idea. Vogue Nigeria or Vogue Senegal or Vogue Ghana or Vogue South Africa, though? Heck, yeah.
Citizen Ojo says:
July 21, 2010, 8:39 pm
A real Vouge Africa would have so many women of different colors. Visually it would be a beautiful sight....
Sasha-Shae says:
July 21, 2010, 11:29 pm
It was a beautiful start, and I am sure his dream will continue to shine some way, some day. I love all the images posted here, just gorgeous.
dgh says:
July 22, 2010, 7:06 am
My, my my. Something's in the air. I've been jonesing for a Vogue Africa for some time. Surely the publisher considered how successful "the Black Issue" of Vogue Italia was in July 2008. Keeping up with the momentum, VI followed in July 2009 with a special tribute to black Barbie. In July 2010, I suppose, nothing special hit the streets (not that this once-a-year quota was the best approach anyway). Are we no longer the flavor of the month? I would be more than surprised if a strong business case couldn't be made for highlighting Diasporan culture and beauty. Come on, Conde Nast! In the meantime, I'll be checking for Aspire magazine.
Wizzythestick says:
July 26, 2010, 7:28 am
I no longer buy beauty magazines of any kind as I feel very strongly about the false idea of beauty they portrayed therein. My money will not support an industry that ultimately tells me that my size 16 body is ugly. I would however have supported a Vogue Africa but only if women of all sizes were represented
flygyrl72 says:
July 29, 2010, 2:19 am
Those photos are FLY! Really gorgeous! Makes me wistful in a "what if" kinda way. Kinda like that campaign that DIESEL ran several years ago, that depicted Africa as this super rich continent & all its people were ridiculously wealthy & fabulous? Anyone remember that one? That campaign always was bittersweet to me, because, the truth is, Africa is SO rich in natural resources, that if that wealth was used correctly, it would be RIDICULOUS what could be accomplished over there. One can always dream...sigh...
V says:
July 30, 2010, 7:02 pm
I do not like the idea of a "Vogue Africa" and here's why; Africa, like Europe, is a continent with many countries,tribes and 'looks', to have a vogue Africa is not only lazy but harmful. It is to say that 'Africa' is not worthy of being mentioned by countries like Europe who have Vogue Italy, French Vogue etc etc. World Cup alone has made it seem like Africa is a big fat country where everyone speaks "African". So please, if there is to be a Vogue "Afica" give us the decency and respect to name it by each African country where you would want to have a Vogue magazine...
Lala Mariposa says:
August 3, 2010, 7:24 am
We've had a VOGUE imprint in South Africa for decades. Vogue Africa is indeed a silly concept. Being a fashion mag, where would the readers in Cairo & Cape Town be expected to shop? Somewhere in the middle like the DR Congo?
Devon says:
August 14, 2010, 8:55 pm
Those picture are stunning! I just found out today that Italian Vogue has a site for black people and curvy women. Who knew? For shame that i'm just finding that out!
Jasmin says:
September 21, 2010, 7:15 am
AMAZING!!! these are so inspirational....
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