National Siblings Day may be over, but we at AfriPOP! think one day is hardly enough to celebrate our first friends, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorite African siblings that are #siblinggoals and killing it in their various fields together or on their own.
Peter, Paul and Jude Okoye
Peter and Paul Okoye of ‘P Square’ are one of Nigeria’s highest selling and best-loved musical acts. They say the family that plays together stays together and the brothers take that to a whole other level as they live in the same compound in Lagos with their wives and children, while their Atlanta homes are next door to each other. Their older brother Jude ‘Engees’ Okoye was their former manager and directed their early music videos. In March 2016, P Square made headlines when they temporarily broke up, with both brothers using their social media platforms to give their side of the story. Eventually, the break up didn’t happen and the duo has continued making music together.
Darlene and Lizzy Okpo
If you’re a fan of Solange, you’ve definitely seen her hanging out with the Okpo sisters Darlene, 26, and Lizzy, 30 (and featuring them in her music video ‘Losing You’). The sisters created their own label William Okpo named after their Nigerian father and opened their flagship store on Fulton Street in New York two years ago. Lizzy calls her older sister her ‘second mum’ and shared a story we can all relate to (borrowing your sisters clothes) in Vogue saying, “I just took it! I loved it, and I knew she would be so mad, so I took a picture confirming to let her know that I [was] wearing it. I took a really sloppy photo of it and sent it to her, because I knew she was miles away from my location and she couldn’t do anything and I wore it!” The duo is featured in the April issue of Glamour Magazine.
Ogo and Chichi Offodile
Ogo and Chichi Offodile make the rounds on the ‘Who Wore It Better’ posts of Nigeria’s many fashion and lifestyle blogs where they are snapped attending fashion weeks in Lagos, Milan and Paris. The stylists, business partners and best friends began styling company Poodle Pusher in 2009 where they provided editorial, celebrity and commercial styling. Last year, they relocated back to Nigeria from the United States to take their careers in technology and luxury fashion to the next level. On working together, they told Vogue, “Over the years, we have understood just how well our two personas create a successful working balance in business”.
Iman and Siham Hashi
Somalian born and Canadian based sisters Iman and Siham Hashi began releasing music as pop music duo FAARROW in 2007. In 2016, they released their EP ‘Lost’ and are working on a full-length album. They have also written for Rihanna and are spokespersons for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and have their own foundation Somalia Lives Again.
Nana and Essie Brew-Hammond
Ghanaian- American Nana Brew–Hammond was a copywriter for Nike Women, Target and L’Oréal and a Public Relations representative at Blue Fly. She wrote her debut novel “The Powder Necklace” which was released in 2010. Nana is also an avid fashionista who attends New York and Accra Fashion Week where she is snapped for her street style.
Essie is an English teacher at East River Academy on Rikers Island where she teaches inmate boys and girls.
Lola and Nikki Ogunnaike
Between them, Nigerian-American sisters Lola and Nikki Ogunnaike have worked at some of the top-rated media companies in the world. Lola is a journalist and television reporter who anchored CNN’s ‘American Morning Show’ from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that, she was the Arts & Leisure and Style editor at The New York Times. She is currently the host of “Entertainment Weekly”
Nikki Ogunnaike went the publishing route and is the Senior Fashion Editor of Elle Magazine. She says her sister’s connections “definitely helped get me through the door, but before my first internship, she said, “don’t embarrass me” and she meant it”. She clearly didn’t as evidenced by her solid résumé showing stints at other big name magazines like In Style, Vanity Fair and Glamour. Nikki says that Lola is her mentor and best friend. These sisters are #siblinggoals for sure!
Kemi and Remi Adetiba
If you’re a regular viewer of Nigerian music videos, you’ve seen videos by Nigerian visual artist and director Kemi Adetiba, from Banky W to Tiwa Savage. Her latest film project “The Wedding Party” released in 2016 is the highest-grossing film in Nigerian box office history according to Shadow and Act.
Kemi’s young brother Remi is a force in his own right. The photographer and creative director was seen on screens as a judge on Africa’s Next Top Model. Based in New York, Remi started out in advertising before making the switch to photography, which he credits his sister for getting him involved in. “My sister Kemi asked me to fly in once to produce and creative-direct a project she was working on. I’d just left my previous agency and had had a blast spending a month in Lagos for the first time in forever, so when she asked me to come back a month later to work on this project, I thought why the hell not?” Kemi definitely knew what she was talking about as Remi’s work has been featured on billboards in Times Square.
Danielle and Chantelle Dwomoh-Piper
Designers, models and bloggers, Danielle and Chantelle Dwomoh-Piper are known as the DPiperTwins. They were born in New York but spent their formative years in Ghana, where their father is from. Upon returning to New York, they graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Their label D Piper Twins was founded in 2010. Over the years, they have been featured in WWD, Essence and many other media outlets.
It’s hard to miss the duo behind one of Kenya’s most popular fashion blogs 2ManySiblings, since Velma serves some serious box braid inspiration with her signature almost floor length braids. The duo host Thrift Social, a monthly social event that brings together bloggers, musicians, expats and influencers in Nairobi to sip and shop from their closet and from local designers. They have been featured in US Vogue, Vogue Italia, Elle South Africa and in an exhibition called “Fashion Cities Africa” by Hannah Pool in the UK.
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Zain Ejiofor Asher Balham
British-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor began his film career in Amistad in 1997 and gained mainstream recognition for his role as Solomon Northup in the Academy award-winning 12 Years A Slave.
His younger sister Zain Asher is a news anchor at CNN International where she presents CNN Newsroom. Many of us didn’t even know she was Chiwetel’s sister until she shed tears of joy live on air after she discovered that ’12 Years A Slave’ was nominated for an Oscar, saying: “This is a day my family has been hoping and waiting for, for such a long time. He’s been acting for over 20 years, and so to finally see recognition for his work – I can’t even describe the feeling.”
Thandiswa and Nomsa Mazwai
Thandiswa Mazwai was the lead singer of South African Kwaito group Bongo Maffin from 1998 to 2004 when she embarked on a solo career releasing four albums, the most recent being Belede in 2016. She is an activist and is outspoken on various issues in her country, including the #feesmustfall movement.
Her younger sister Nomsa (known as Nomisupasta) also sings and performs regularly in New York (where she’s lived for a while) and does gigs in Europe as well. She said her sister Thandiswa “has an extensive variety of music that she listens to and I benefit from her song choices when we are at home”.
Eku and Kessiana Edewor-Thorley
Eku Edewor (born Georgina Chloe Eku Edewor-Thorley) is a British-Nigerian TV personality known for hosting 53 Extra, a lifestyle program aired on Multichoice’s DSTV platform. She is a red-carpet host and also an actress with roles in Nollywood films such as “Flower Girl.”
Her twin sister Kessiana Edewor-Thorley is a fashionista and is the press and marketing manager for Temple Muse, a luxury fashion retail store in Lagos. You may remember seeing the sisters featured in the Tatler Magazine piece titled “The Nigerians Have Arrived”, a piece featuring well-to-do Nigerians in London.
Tirunesh, Ejegayehu and Genzebe Dibaba
Ahead of the Rio 2016 elections, Tirunesh, Ejegayehu and Genzebe Dibaba as well as their four other siblings who are all long-distance runners were called ‘The Fastest Family On The Planet’ by Vogue. Tirunesh has three Olympic gold medals, Ejegayehu who is the eldest has a silver Olympic medal while Genzebe won her first medal, a silver, at the Rio 2016 games. These are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records.
Hélène and Célia Faussart
Hélène and Célia Faussart, known as ‘Les Nubians’ were born to a French father and Cameroonian mother and began their music careers in Bordeaux, France by performing in small venues. In 1998, they released their debut album ‘Princesses Nubiennes’. Since then, they have performed all over the world with artists such as Youssour Ndour, Blitz The Ambassador and more. On making music together, they have said, “The creative process between sisters is quite mysterious. Our voices complement each other. When we harmonize, we kind of know instantly where the other will go.”
Femi and Seun Kuti
Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti or Femi Kuti is the eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. He was born in 1962 in London and grew up in Lagos. He began playing in his father’s band Egypt 80, but later left to form his own band The Positive Force. He has collaborated with various international artists such as Mos Def and Common among others, and like his father, is an activist, regularly criticizing the Nigerian government.
Oluseun Anikulapo Kuti or Seun Kuti is the youngest son of Fela Kuti and was born in 1983. He performed alongside his father in his early teens, and when Fela died (Seun was 14), he was asked to take over the band Egypt 80.
Both siblings perform at the annual Felabration festival held at their father’s compound The Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos.