BY D.L. Chandler, 5:23pm April 17, 2014,

Zandile Blay on Upcoming #Blaystudio Event: ‘We’ll Help Audience Cultivate Talent’

zandile blay #blaystudios

The need for creative minds to come together as a collective is a concept that few utilize, but Zandile Blay (pictured) aims to channel that energy by launching a new venture: The HELLO! Nigeria editor-in-chief has created #blaystudio, a workshop series aimed at working with aspiring creatives involved in media, fashion, and beauty.

Blay, who has worked previously for publications such as Seventeen, Essence, and Paper Magazine, spoke with Face2Face Africa about #blaystudio’s upcoming “Made in America: Success Stories from the Diaspora,” which takes place this Saturday, April 19th, in New York. The event features industry leaders born in Africa that honed their talents and found measurable success in the United States. In Blay’s words, the event is “designed to inform and inspire the tremendous budding creatives.”

SEE ALSO: Face2Face with Notable African Designer Korto Momolu

Keep Up With Face2Face Africa On Facebook!

Face2Face Africa: Explain to our readers the concept behind #blaystudios, and what are your future goals with this initiative?

Zandile Blay: #Blaystudio is a workshop series targeted at aspiring creatives. Our tagline is “concepts for your craft” and it means to do just that: help our audience cultivate their talents through a series of workshops and dialogues.

F2F Africa: There has been strong evidence that Africans who arrive in America find success by virtue of strong academics. Could the same be said of the creative sphere?

ZB: I believe education is fundamental to any level of success for creatives or otherwise, but learning need not always be within the walls and confines of an academic institution. Leaders in the field, close mentors, and successful acquaintances are all sources of learning. That’s the ethos behind #blaystudio, creating an alternative space and community where the creative class can learn and grow.


F2F Africa: Is there an attribute contributing to the success of creatives who go forth in to the Diaspora that can easily be shared with a layperson or person at an apprentice level?

ZB: Two words: work ethic. That’s something exemplified by the dynamic professionals on this panel — and the majority of creatives on the continent and in the diaspora in general. An unceasing and unfailing dedication to working hard and staying the course is the tie that binds — and that is the recurring theme in their success.

F2F Africa: Tell us more about “Made in America: Success Stories From The Diaspora.”

ZB: It’s an intimate, curated learning experience, which positions leaders in the creative industry in front of an audience of both established and aspiring creatives. From Stanley Lumax, brand director for Nike Basketball, to Memsor Kamarake, stylist for Wendy Williams and former fashion director for VIBE magazine — these individuals have a lot of lessons to share with their audience from their journey.

The day will culminate in a dinner and dialogue series with Zeba Blay and Dr. Yaba Blay (both of whom recently found out they were related) to discuss how to support your creative family. Overall, it’s a day of — and for — learning organically about how to position yourself for success as a creative.

Face2Face Africa: For this Saturday’s workshop and dinner, you have representatives from the prominent nations of Ghana, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. Will other nations be represented in future workshops?

ZB: “Made in America” is a signature series that will focus on other demographics in the future. I’ll let that be a surprise, though.

F2F Africa: Lastly, what can we expect next after the “Made In America” workshop?

ZB: We will harness the energy and the enthusiasm from this event into our digital site,, where lessons from this workshop will be posted.

To learn more about the “Made In America” workshops and dinner, please visit the Blay Studio homepage here.

The workshops are now $50 for the entire day and $100 for the workshop and dinner.

There is also early bird specials and readers of Face2Face Africa will enjoy discounts as well. Please visit Blay Studio for more information.

 SEE ALSO: Wale Oyejide on His Ikiré Jones Line: ‘Color Is Not Something African Men Are Afraid Of’

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: September 15, 2018


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