LAGOS, Jan 30 (Reuters) – A Nigerian artist is using artificial intelligence to reimagine the lives of elderly Africans by showing lifelike images and videos of them walking down the fashion ramp and on the beach.

Malik Afegbua, who is also a filmmaker, said that because many older people were marginalized in society, especially in the world of fashion, he began to imagine what they would look like if they were models.

Afegbua started posting some of her work on social media and it went viral.

He created “Elders Series,” a catalog of images and videos showing white-haired women and bearded men strutting down the runway for a virtual fashion show in Afrocentric garb, including ornamental neck and arm bands.

“So I wanted to … imagine older people in a place that is not in a sad space or a repressed state,” Afegbua told Reuters.

“However, when I was doing it, I knew there was something there. I thought this was cool. I love what I’m seeing.”

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Afegbua was not always an artist. He studied business administration in college but got into the world of filming after a friend bought him a camera in 2011.

She said the idea to explore a different world for older people came about when her elderly mother fell ill. Using an artificial intelligence app, she began creating content that showed a brighter side of old age.

Reporting by Angela Ukomadu; written by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Edited by Diane Craft

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