Ismail Sherif, better known as Black Sherif has not only made headlines with his music, but also his extravagant and often flamboyant fashion choices.
BLACKO, as he calls himself, has debuted a fashion sense that is equally as bold and unapologetic as the lyrics of his music and his recent look while performing in Gambia, rose up to the task in equal measure.
November 25th was the VGMA Artiste of The Year’s first time performing in Gambia and he gave the audience their tickets’ worth.
Black Sherif’s electrifying debut performance in Gambia
Videos shared on social media showed Sherif performing to thousands, we equally returned the electrifying energy the artist brought to the stage.
However, it wasn’t just the performance that caught the attention of the audience – Black Sherif’s costume choice was just as bold as expected, but a far cry from his usual oversized trousers.
Which kind cloth be this naa🙄🙄— Nurse Precious 💉🩺🧑⚕️ (@preciouschinny0) November 26, 2023
Sherif wore what looked like a female attire and he was called out for it by his social media fans in Ghana.
But to the Gambian audience, Black Sherif could not have been even more respectful of their culture.
Kankurang, He's just like Yé— matthew (@matttbrew) November 26, 2023
Where Black Sherif’s costume and the Gambian culture intersect.
As it turns out, Black Sherif was paying homage to the culture of his Gambian audience by dressing akin to the Kankurang. The red fiber-like appearance of his costume apparently drew inspiration from this Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Kankurang is a spirit-masked figure that appears in Mandinka communities in Senegal and The Gambia.
It is a symbol of protection and order, and it is believed to possess supernatural powers. The Kankurang is typically impersonated by a young man who has undergone a period of initiation.
The Kankurang appears at ceremonies and festivals, and it is often used to teach young people about their culture and traditions.
The Ghanaian rapper is not the first to draw fashion inspiration from Gambian culture. The Kankurang has inspired modern fashion in a number of ways. Designers have incorporated elements of the Kankurang’s mask and costume into their clothing and accessories.
Some designers have created masks that are inspired by the Kankurang’s mask, while others have used red fiber and leaves to create clothing that is reminiscent of the Kankurang’s costume.
With his headline concert, Zaama Disco in Ghana drawing closer, one can only look forward to what Black Sherif would bring to the stage, both in the sense of fashion and of course his music performance.