Op-Ed

100 Women Letter From the Editor

OkayAfrica's Editor in Chief Rachel Hislop tells us what 100 Women 2019 means to her.

Every time I reflect on my career in journalism, a memory close enough to touch reappears. The feel of the smooth glossy paper under my index finger while I sat, legs folded, on the iron-burned carpet in the Brooklyn bedroom I shared with my sister is still palpable. I would run my finger down the magazine mastheads, reading every name and corresponding title as I tried to imagine what their jobs entailed. This was long before we had access to content in a digital space. There wasn't a quick place for me to explore the world that existed within the binds of a magazine, so I assumed this space was out of reach.


The Internet is a hard place to come of age. It's an even harder place to grow up. And for Black women, it is a minefield of volatility to navigate. Digital spaces allow us to partake in global connectivity in the most beautiful of ways. But for all we love of the Internet, it magnifies the traditional norms of masculinity and femininity that can hold us back. This tends to mute the voices of brilliant women who are afraid of using this space as an amplification of the amazing work they are doing.

We're here to be that megaphone with OkayAfrica's 100 Women.

When we sat down in September of 2018 to begin planning for this year's list, the first and only focus that came up was the youth. The web has allowed youth to tell their stories in a way that was unfathomable to me as a young girl marveling at the pages of print magazines. They are using the Internet to activate as creatives, artists, organizers, personalities; they are eschewing the expected career routes, and even using their platforms to breathe new life into traditional practices across the board.

And the rest of us? Our role is to celebrate, amplify and support. This year's 100 Women list celebrates not only the youth, but the women amongst us who are doing the work to ensure that the lessons they've learned provide a clear pathway where they were once blocked. And with the youngest population in the world, Africa's youth is quite literally the future. If there is going to be any actionable change in the fate of the youth on the continent and the diaspora, we must turn our heads to not only acknowledge them, but to also do work to amplify their passions, provide them with resources, and eliminate the barriers that they may face.

If you've followed the campaign in years past you'll notice that we've made a few intentional changes. Our goal was not to simply create a list, our goal is to create a community of women who share a distinct honor. We have eliminated categories and leaned heavily into the ease of exploration. On each woman's bio page you will find two suggestions for other women to explore, women who may work in different industries but share similar stories. I implore you to re-visit the space throughout the month as it is updated with new information.

We will also be programming 100 Women throughout the month of March, so keep your eyes open for new updates.

And lastly, to that young girl who may not be flipping through glossy pages as I once did, but who may scroll on our site, I hope you use this list as a starting point in the exploration of your possibilities. As a first-generation Cape Verdean-Jamaican girl from Brooklyn, New York, it took me a while to find a multi-hyphenate woman I could relate to. But I sincerely hope someone, somewhere, can find inspiration in at least one of the dynamic, brilliant, and nuanced women on this list.

Wishing you a Women's History Month filled with meaningful connections.

Warmly,

Rachel Hislop

Editor-in-Chief

OkayAfrica + Okayplayer

P.S. OkayAfrica's 100 Women is a project for women by women, so I would be remiss if I didn't provide a special thanks to the women who graciously lent their gifts to this project. Alone we are mighty, but when we come together we can shake the globe.

Style

OkayAfrica and B4Bonah Share New 'B4Beginning' Capsule Collection

We've teamed up with the Ghanaian artist ahead of the release of his debut project for some colorful new merch.

Rising Ghanaian star B4Bonah, premieres his catchy debut track "See Body," and to mark the song's release, OkayAfrica has teamed up with the artist to share a new collection of tees, that'll fit nicely into your summer wardrobe.

The artist's latest track is a party jam, that sees him flowing "over an earworm flute melody and afrobeats percussion," using "his rasping flow to celebrate the girl of his dreams." The track was produced by J.Rocs.

B4Bonah - See Body www.youtube.com

In conjunction with the song's release, two new shirt designs are available for preorder at our Okayshop. The vibrant shirts feature the artist's image on colorful blue and green colored blocks, with the words "B4BONAH B4BEGINNING," on the back—referencing the artist's debut mixtape, which is slated for release in late July. The project features Medikal, Mugeez (R2Bees), Amaarae & Ivy Sole.


B4Bonah is an artist to watch, as he continues to make his presence known in the Ghanaian music scene.

Watch the music video for "See Body" above, and head to shop.okayplayer.com now to pick up to pre-order a shirt (or two). You can also preorder B4Bonah's B4beginning mixtape here.

popular

Watch EL, Joey B and Falz' New Video for 'Ehua'

Ghana meets Nigeria in this hilarious new clip.

Ghanaian rappers EL and Joey B connect with Nigeria's Falz for this addictive new collaboration and music video for "Ehua."

"Ehua" is built on energetic afro-electronic beat work produced by EL himself. Joey B handles the hook while Falz kicks things off early with a solid verse.

The eye-catching and hilarious music video for the single, directed by Yaw Skyface, features EL as a policeman, Falz as the 'oga' bossman, and Joey B as a worker for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Falz takes Joey B's woman by showing off his money and status, so Joey B enlists policeman EL to get back at Falz. The plan backfires however as the officer decides to stick around and party with the rich instead of helping the everyday worker out.

For more GH hits check out our Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month roundups and follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Watch the new music video for EL, Joey B and Falz' "Ehua" below.

EL ft Joey B & Falz - Ehua (Official Video) youtu.be


News Brief
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Nigeria's Super Falcons Were Forced To Threaten a Sit-In Protest Over Unpaid Bonuses After Women's World Cup

After negotiations, the Nigerian Football Federation have agreed to run the players their money.

Nigeria's own Super Falcons had a great run during the Women's World Cup. But instead of the players heading back home or to their respective professional clubs after losing to Germany 3-0, they were forced to strong-arm the Nigerian Football Federation to pay what they're owed.

According to ESPN's initial report over the weekend, the Super Falcons threatened to stage a sit-in protest at their hotel in France until all of their unpaid bonuses dating back to two years ago were paid, along with their World Cup allowances and bonuses.

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