"The Weekend Read": Your Urban Africa, A Photo Series

By: Deonta Wortham

*This is a part of African: The Built Environment, an ongoing series that will focus on life in African urban centers

Noting the persistent neglect by international media outlets to focus on the aspects of African urban life in 2010 Tanzanian born, and London based, architect David Adjaye set out to establish a media platform that would illustrate the Africa of the Lagos and of Dar es Salaam: urban Africa. Adjaye desired to expose the bustling reality of in Africa’s countless major cities. Relying on the contribution of urban African dwellers across the continent Adjaye created “Your Urban Africa,” an online photo gallery that invites African urbanites to share photos of their African cities in order to highlight African cosmopolitan life.

In a 2010 CNN interview Adjaye noted that his efforts were in part caused by a realization that “there was a cavity in the collective consciousness of urban life in Africa.” A mismatch, of sorts, that has persistently prevented the urban African experience from fully authenticating itself, particularly on the world stage. 

I realized there was a cavity in the collective consciousness of urban life in Africa.
— David Adjaye, CNN Interview 2010

The following images are part of Adjaye's “Your Urban Africa.” They illustrate an Africa that is rarely acknowledged, and yet thy exemplify the immense potential that lies in Africa’s vast, and growing, urban centers. These photos, more importantly, tell the stories of countless African urbanites that are proud to call these urban centers home