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Black Royalty, illustrated by Daryl Rainbow

 Black Royalty

“Black Royalty” is a new and unpublished series by Studio PI illustrator Daryl Rainbow, where he reimagines stars Daniel Kaluyaa, Michaela Coel, Little Simz and Stormzy as members of Royalty from their individual African heritages.

 

The collection aims to highlight and celebrate contemporary Black British icons that have worked hard to gain huge success in their respective industries, becoming important figures in changing the narrative for those with African roots across the media landscape. Through these pieces, we see how their celebrity status parallels them to members of royalty in modern day Western culture.

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Daniel Kaluyaa as Muwenda Mutebi II

Daniel Kaluyaa: Is a British Actor (Judas and the Black Messiah (2021), Queen and Slim (2019), Get Out (2017) with Ugandan heritage, re-imagined here as Muwenda Mutebi II, the reigning Kabaka (king) of Buganda, a kingdom within modern day Uganda. He was appointed as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Ending AIDS among men in the Eastern and Southern Africa with a special focus on Buganda Kingdom.

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Michaela Coel as Yaa Asantewaa

Michaela Coel: Is a British Actress, screenwriter, director, producer and singer (I May Destroy You (2020), Black Earth Rising (2018), Chewing Gum (2015 - 2017). Michaela is of Ghanaian heritage and re-imagined as Yaa Asantewaa, Queen Mother of the Ejiso in the Ashanti Empire. On top of being royalty, The Queen Mother was a successful farmer, an intellectual, a politician and human rights activist and warrior, who led the Ashanti war against British Colonialism in 1900, to defend the Golden stool.

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Little Simz as Moremi Ajasoro

Little Simz: Is a British-Nigerian rapper, singer and actress of Yoruba heritage. Her fourth album, Sometimes I might be introvert, released this year, has received critical acclaim. She is depicted here as Moremi Ajasoro, the legendary Yoruba Queen from the 12th Century, fabled to have assisted the liberation of the Yoruba Kingdom of Ife from the Ugbo Kingdom.

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Stormzy as Osei Tutu II

Stormzy: Is a British rapper of Ghanaian heritage. In addition to his major contribution to the UK Grime scene, he has also launched an award winning imprint with Penguin Random House called #Merky Books, which exists to publish books that will own – and change – the mainstream. He is pictured here as Osei Tutu II, Ruler of the Ashanti Kingdom, a region in modern day Ghana. Osei Tutu II was awarded the ‘Pillar of Peace’ in recognition of the effort he put into restoring peace to the Kingdom of Dagbon, which spanned nearly two decades.

The Art of Solitude is

a powerful photo-essay by London-based fashion and documentary photographer Ejatu Shaw, that featured in The Sunday Times Magazine. Perfectly capturing