Friday, December 31, 2010

One Nigerian Boy Speaks Exclusively to FAB Magazine Editor Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo

FAB (fabulous, African & Black) magazine has only been in existence for less than a year but we’ve all felt its presence and are proud that the magazine truly captures the heritage and vibrant culture of Africa. Most of you know that I’m Junior Fashion editor at this fabulous magazine and I must add that although we are a small team, of energetic young creatives with our ups and downs, drama and sometimes straight up anger and bitching we are still a close family. One Nigerian Boy chats with the magazine’s editor in chief on the wake of the 4th issue’s release.

What is FAB magazines mandate?

The vision behind FAB has always been to create an international fashion and lifestyle magazine made by Africans for Africans in the true sense of the word; a magazine showcasing the best of what Africa and Nigeria have to offer with top-notch photography, innovative graphic design and thought-provoking editorials. 

We aim to open a quarterly window to the worlds of high fashion and high street, as well as produce a high end product created by Africans for Africans. At a time when people are increasingly speculating the need for an African Vogue; we aim to show the world that we can produce a high quality magazine, with our own expertise and resources and do not need to wait for Conde Nast or any other international publishing house to do it for us.

Fabulous, African {and) Black with style, swagger and sophistication. We aim to set the trends – not follow them, celebrate our continent’s successes, highlight its problems, offer solutions, continue to bring hard-hitting editorials, cutting-edge imagery and inspirational design delivered with quality and consistence. Our content will be 80% African and 20% international.

 In what ways does FAB magazine ensure that its mandate is achieved by each issue?

FAB Magazine is not about two or three people, but a whole team of FABulous and talented individuals (like yourself) who have a passion for fashion and are creative to no end, whatever their job title is. A team is only as good as each member involved, and in order ensure FAB fulfills its mission, everyone involved, from marketing and advertising to the creative team to the editors, work hard to make each issue even more FABulous than the last. 

While our team members are located all over the world, from Accra to New York, from Lagos to London, we continue to remain true to our promise showcasing African talent worldwide. Within less than a year, we have not only flourished into a respectable brand name in Nigeria and Ghana but have also secured distribution on an international platform, in countries ranging as far and wide as Australia, the Caribbean, UK, US, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. This is no small feat, certainly one that has not been achieved by any other fashion and lifestyle magazine out of Africa.

How many copies are printed now?

What's the scale of your distribution?

From the last week in January, we will be available in WH Smith's and 1000+ independent retailers across the UK as well as the aforementioned countries. While some may think we have arrived, our journey has just begun. 

What are the gaps FAB magazine has noted and intends to fill as regards portraying African culture and heritage in the media?

In the first year of FAB, we have continuously showcased and served as a platform for not only African designers and photographers, but also African models. In the competitive fashion world, where black models are unfortunately often not the priority choice, we have consistently deployed black and African models in our shoots.

We have showcased creatives, sports people, humanitarians of African descent and showed a more positive, dynamic and FABulous side of Africa often lost in translation in the western media. We have presented, applauded, celebrated all things African - from music to fashion, from culture to lifestyle, and we shall continue as we started.

Any plans to go bi monthly or monthly, in the future? And what other kinds of media can we expect FAB to branch into?

In the second half of 2011, if circumstances are right, we definitely would like to go bi-monthly. In terms of the FAB brand, do look out for a major push in all creative sectors and see FAB grow not only as a magazine, but a high end brand name.

Project 5 years on, where do you see FAB magazine in terms of market share, revenue and awareness?

In 5 years time, I sincerely believe FAB will be a major player in international publication. We will not be pigeonholed into 'black' or 'African' or 'ethnic'; while we remain true to our Fabulous, African, Black roots, in five years time FAB will not just be a leading African fashion and lifestyle magazine, but a leading international fashion and lifestyle magazine. 

With good planning and resources, I can foresee that FAB will not be the only magazine under the umbrella of the FAB Group, but one of other branch-out magazines we are already brainstorming on.


  1. love your projections for the magazine,really nice,but i would love you guys to face some hard cant even handle distribution in port Harcourt and you want to handle it internationally.maybe i will have to go out of my way to get some numbers for you to call.silverbird is known as a cinema in port Harcourt and not a book shop,so ur magazines would not sell good with them.use local vendors in port Harcourt,road side guys are your best have a wonderful magazine and over one million young people in port Harcourt to capitalize from.
    please do something about it

  2. Thanx femi, i've forwarded ur comment to our marketing team.

  3. Distribution is poor in Abuja as well. I love FAB but I usually get an Issue 2 months after it is released.

    Silverbird in Abuja is still selling the 'Emancipation Issue' with the green cover and African queens spread. Wasn't that 2 issues ago?


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