Arts + Culture

Luvvie Ajayi, Opal Tometi and More, Recognized In Essence's 'Woke 100 Women' Issue

Essence Magazine releases its inaugural 'Woke 100 Women' issue featuring Luvvie Ajayi, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Opal Tometi, Shonda Rhimes and more.

The phrase "stay woke" like "on fleek" and "yolo" is well on its way to being inducted into the Overkill Hall of Fame. But for now "woke" still has some currency in today's climate of heightened online awareness.


For their inaugural "Woke 100 Women" issue, Essence has recognized black women who are using their awareness to become champions of social progress in their communities. Despite the over-saturation of "woke," we can't hate on a list that contains many of our favorite women. The cover features the likes of Luvvie Ajayi, and #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Opal Tometi—who were both honored on OkayAfrica's 100 Women—as well as a host of other trailblazing black women who have dedicated their careers to creating positive change for Black people in America.

"The cover stars are part of the #Woke100, an inaugural list of female creators, activists, educators, journalists, politicos and thinkers who are socially conscious and vigilant about changing our nation for the better," reports Essence.

We're all about recognizing game-changing, phenomenal women. Check out the full list, and revisit OkayAfrica's 100 Women to read about more groundbreaking Black women.

Bobi Wine Set to Return Home to Uganda

Uganda authorities have already warned against welcoming rallies for the musician.

Bobi Wine is making his way home to Uganda after spending just over two weeks in the United States seeking medical treatment for injuries he sustained after being tortured while in military custody, he says.

The opposition lawmaker, who is currently out on bail following an alleged attack on President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade, shared the news on Twitter with a photo of himself at the airport this morning. "Headed Home," he wrote as a caption.

READ: "I'm Proud to Be Persecuted For the Truth:" Bobi Wine on the Fight for Freedom in Uganda

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The Trailer for Faraday Okoro's Tribeca Film 'Nigerian Prince' Is Here

The film is due to hit U.S. theaters October 19.

The trailer for Nigerian filmmaker Faraday Okoro's debut feature Nigerian Prince is here, Shadow and Act reports.

We're a month away from the film landing in U.S. theaters and On-Demand since the film got acquired by Vertical Entertainment.

Revisit the synopsis below.

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(From left to right) Stéphane Bak and Marc Zinga in 'The Mercy of the Jungle.' Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Congolese Actor Stéphane Bak on His Intense Experience Shooting 'The Mercy of the Jungle' In Uganda

We catch up with the actor after the film made its North American premiere at TIFF.

When actor Stéphane Bak first got the script for The Mercy of the Jungle (La Miséricorde de la Jungle), he knew there was one person he had to consult: his father. "My dad did school me about this," he says. While Bak was born and raised in France, his parents had emigrated from what was then Zaire in the 1980s—before the events of the movie, and not exactly in the same area, but close enough to be able to pass on firsthand knowledge of the simmering ethnic tensions that underpin the action.

The story takes place in 1998, just after the outbreak of the Second Congo War—which came hot on the heels of the First Congo War. Two Rwandan soldiers find themselves separated from their company and have to make a harrowing trek through the jungle to link back up with their regiment. Bak plays Private Faustin, the young recruit hunting Hutu rebels to avenge his murdered family, a foil to Marc Zinga's seasoned Sergeant Xavier. As a Congolese militia swarms the area, and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell enemies from friends, the two are forced off the road and into the thick vegetation.

Their journey is physically difficult, but the jungle also nurtures them, providing food, water, and shelter. "The title is very explicit in a way," says Bak. It is the human beings they encounter, from rival soldiers and militiamen to the hostile security forces guarding illegal gold mining operations, who bring sudden danger and violence. The challenges are conveyed as much through the actors' physicality as through the minimal dialogue. As for the strain on his face, Bak says it was all real. "To be honest, it was very difficult," he says of the shoot, which took him 25 days. "I had to learn my accent in two weeks." Prior to commencing, there was training with the Ugandan army for realism. Due to the ongoing conflicts in the DRC, the movie itself was shot in Uganda.

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