SANKARA: “You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain kind of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. Besides, it took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen.”
RAPP: “To invent the future?”
SANKARA: “Yes. We must dare to invent the future. In the speech I gave launching the five-year plan, I said, ‘Everything man is capable of imagining, he can create’. I’m convinced that’s true.”
Mr Sankara, I’m here to report that the future continues to be robustly invented, and that man has gone beyond imagining for himself – we have artificial intelligence to help us create new futures entirely.
In this issue, our imagined future collides with the storied history of a Northern Ethiopian city, Gondar. We relied on ChatGPT to retell the tale of Gondar, which was once the culture Mecca of Ethiopia, and called on the artificial intelligence app MidJourney to reimagine the landscapes and architecture as the backdrop for our cover shoot. My brief to AI photographer, Thekiso Mokhele, was to reprise the castles of Gondar and transport us to her glory days, demonstrating that luxury is neither new, nor foreign to this continent.
Faeeza Khan, head of research at business trends consultancy, Flux Trends, then foraged even further into the future, writing about AI and its projected influence on our lived reality, as well as on various sectors of the luxury industry.
Sarah Diouf – founder of luxury fashion brand Tongoro – is living a fairytale of her own at the helm of a flourishing e-commerce empire based in Dakar, Senegal. She talks about the big and little expressions of luxury in her business and life. These are the makings of an African wonderland, and we can only hope Sankara would be proud.
— Ntokozo Maseko – Editor