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Photo: Kartson Tannis.

100 Women: A Playlist of Our Favorite Female Artists & Anthems

Featuring Teni, Amaarae, Calypso Rose, Oumou Sangaré, Solange and many more.

The month of March marks OkayAfrica's annual celebration of African women with our 100 Women list.

The list is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale.

These women are disrupting the status quo socially, economically, and politically. They are creating safe spaces for African women globally, driving technological and scientific advancements, pushing for inclusivity in television, film, art and media and steering us toward a more sustainable way of living.

SEE THE ENTIRE 100 WOMEN 2O19 LIST HERE

Following that spirit, the ladies from the OkayAfrica staff—and, by the way, we are mostly women—decided to select some of our favorite songs that represent women making an impact across the globe for a special new playlist. We'll also tell you why.

Our selections span from newer names like Amaarae and Summer Walker to classic songs from the likes of Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and Calypso Rose. There's also plenty of Teni in there.

Check it out below.

FOLLOW OUR NEW 100 WOMEN PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY HERE AND APPLE MUSIC HERE.


Les Amazones de Guinée "P.D.G"

Les Amazones de Guinée is Guinea's first all-female band and one of the country's longest running groups. Their sound is simply impeccable and raw. I try to make a point to lend my ears to African women musicians of the past who, in their small way, paved a path for the women musicians today. —Antoinette Isama

Lauryn Hill "Everything Is Everything"

"Everything Is Everything" off her seminal 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill fuses different black genres – soul, R&B, gospel, hip-hop — in a way that mirrors just how all-encompassing Lauryn Hill is; from her music to her cultural significance to her look. Hill has a pan-African aesthetic; she could pass for a black person from any region of the world—West Africa, East Africa, the Caribbean, America, and her music resonates across these regions and generations. "Everything Is Everything" is about welcoming change and growth; a message that speaks to and for black women and girls, everywhere. —Ivie Ani

Teni "Askamaya"

This was my favorite Naija pop song of last year. It's a genre in which women don't get nearly enough recognition, but it's hard to deny the glittering appeal of this song and Teni's infectious energy. Plus, what better way to start a song than with a nod to the magnificent Anita Baker? — Damola Durosomo

Read: Teni the Entertainer Was the Breakout Star of 2018

TeaMarr "One Job"

It's the perfect anthem to dispel your belief in a (useless) man. Just when you need to remind yourself who you really are. And the visuals are amazing. —Oyinkan Olojede

Oumou Sangaré "Kamelemba"

Oumou Sangaré lyrics are always lessons and this song is no different. It's an ode to never give up but to also protect your heart from the riff raffs out here. —Sinat Giwa

Summer Walker 'Girls Need Love'

Highly obsessed with R&B newcomer, Summer Walker. "Girls Need Love" takes us back (but in a good way), to the classic contemporary R&B sounds we all know and love. Looking forward to seeing Summer flourish in her music career. —Olabisi Famakinwa

Little Simz "Offence"

I really appreciate the shit-talking on this song. Little Simz's lyrical dexterity is on full display here. It's the type of track you listen to when it's time to remind yourself who tf you are—we all need that sometimes! —Damola Durosomo

Queen Latifah "U.N.I.T.Y."

Queen Latifah broke rules with her 1993 track, "U.N.I.T.Y." Because of the song's positive and progressive message, back then, many radio and TV stations would play it without censoring the words "bitch" and "hoes." Touching on street harassment, domestic violence, both hip-hop's culture and society's mistreatment of women, the song asserted that black women and girls have autonomy, authority, and agency over their bodies, relationships, and lives. A message that resounds as clear today as it did two decades ago. —Ivie Ani

Amaarae "Fluid"

I'm a big fan of Amaarae's originality—she's such a vibe. A member of the buzzing alté music scene, I feel her music is a response to what the industry's expectation of a female artist should look and sound like. —Antoinette Isama

Solange "Binz"

I like that Solange's latest album "When I Get Home," encourages listeners to celebrate the unique places that define us, through the singer's own championing of her hometown of Houston. I enjoy her flow on 'Binz' and the line "I just want to wake up on CP Time" expresses one of my biggest life aspirations. — Damola Durosomo

Read: Solange's New Album Is a Portal Into the Spaces That Define Us

Calypso Rose "Leave Me Alone"

Calypso Rose's legacy alone speaks volumes. This vibrant melody has a smooth mixture of both old school calypso and the new age soca. The gist of the message: Let me free up!!! Simple as that. —Jasmine Michel

Niniola "Bana"

Niniola is one of my favorite artists and I'm pretty much obsessed with her sound. "Bana" is a bop. —Oyinkan Olojede

Rico Nasty "Countin Up"

Excuse the expletives, but Rico Nasty says it plain and I'm here for it. Her energy and focus to secure bags while ignoring the haters is #goals. —Antoinette Isama

Teni "Case"

"Case" is the cheesy afrobeats love song that I can get behind. It's been such a pleasure to watch Teni's growing success. —Oyinkan Olojede

Tiwa Savage "Ma Lo"

As soon as the beat drops, you can't help but dance. This song gives me mid-summer chill vibes. Definitely a classic. Tiwa Savage shows us once again why she's the reigning Afro Pop Queen. —Olabisi Famakinwa

Lauryn Hill "I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)" (Unplugged)

A classic from Lauryn Hill. The whole album is very vulnerable and raw which makes it so beautiful. —Jasmine Michel

Teni "Fargin"

Teni is that chick. Her voice is so smooth and melodic on this track. The visuals and messaging for this song are awesome too. She's a breath of fresh air in the male-dominated afrobeats music scene. Teni's got next! —Olabisi Famakinwa

Seinabo Sey "I Owe You Nothing"

Behold! A mantra and a mood. —Sinat Giwa


Follow our new 100 Women playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

In Photos: A Sultry Evening Celebrating OkayAfrica's 100 Women at NYC's Top of the Standard

Here's what went down at our evening of community and celebration in this photo story.

OkayAfrica recently took over New York City's Top of the Standard to praise this year's 100 Women honorees for a sultry evening of community and celebration.

Over 350 VIPs and past honorees including Flaviana Matata, Maria Borges, Abrima Erwiah, Jojo Abot and Susy Oludele gathered for delicious bites and custom Courvoisier cocktails—like the Courvoisier French 75 (Courvoisier VS, lemon juice, simple syrup, Brut champagne, and garnished with a lemon twist).

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Moonchild Sanelly. Image courtesy of the artist.

Catch Moonchild Sanelly & Alsarah Live at BAM This Weekend

As part of our 100 Women concerts.

South Africa's buzzing Moonchild Sanelly and East African retro pop group Alsarah & The Nubatones will be bringing their electrifying live shows to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) this weekend in conjunction with OkayAfrica's 100 Women.

Moonchild Sanelly has been breaking charts and dance floors in South Africa and across the globe with her infectious solo singles like "Isthembu" and "Weh Mameh," as well as collaborations like "Makhe," "iWalk Ye Phara," and "Midnight Starring." She will be playing at BAM on Friday, March 22.

Alsarah & The Nubatones will be presenting a special performance: a salute to the Sudan Uprisings, showcasing live footage from the protests, curated and performed by Marine Elneel and various other members of the Sudani diaspora coming together in solidarity with what is happening on the ground in Sudan right now. They will be performing at BAM on Saturday, March 23.

The artists will be playing BAMcafé Live this weekend, on Friday and Saturday night, as part of our 100 Women concerts.

See all detail below and sign up for updates on the events here.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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