Video

100 Women: Kay Oyegun and Angelica Nwandu on The Power In Our Words

The founder of the Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu and filmmaker and TV writer, Kay Oyegun discuss staying true to their points of view, and the power in being allowed to fail.

In out latest video, Nigerian media guru and founder of The Shade Room Angelica Nwandu and Kay Oyegun, a Nigerian-Beninese writer and filmmaker, who writes for NBC's This Is Us and OWN's Queen Sugar, sit down for a frank conversation on the power of words and emotional connections, and how we can channel both into action.

"When you can make somebody feel something, you have their attention, and once you have their attention you can persuade them to want to change the world," says Nwandu.

The two share some of their experiences in their respective industries, opening up about how they've dealt with backlash, as well as the pressure put on black creatives to always be at the very top of their game.


"Before I put pen to paper I always think about intention verses impact, what am I intending to do and who is this going to impact. Being mindful of those two things I'm okay with criticism, I'm okay with backlash, because I knew that I was being honest with what I was expressing," says Oyegun.

For her, it's all about staying true to their own points of view, despite how it may be perceived by others."You have to be sort of strong and stick to what you're trying to say—that, at the end of the day is what allows all of the noise to filter out, because you know what you set out to do.

"We're fighting to be ourselves," adds Nwandu.

Watch the full video below.

This article appears as part of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2018—a project highlighting the impactful work done by African women across the globe. Throughout March, we will be publishing a series of profiles, videos, interviews and feature stories on these inspirational women. Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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