Music

150 Records by Amazing African Women You Should Listen To

We had to get in on this too. Check out our list of 150 records made by African women you need to listen to.


Just like NPR and The Fader, the OkayAfrica team took a stab at listing 150 records made by amazing African women for you to discover and rediscover.

We hope you enjoy listening through as much as we enjoyed putting together this list of African women who've shaped African music from the continent and around the world.

1. Alsarah & The Nubatones (Sudan) - Manara

2. Angelique Kidjo (Benin) - Logozo

3. Asa (Nigeria) - Beautiful Imperfection

4. Brenda Fassie (South Africa) - Greatest Hits: The Queen of African Pop 1964-2004

5. Barbara Kanam (Democratic Republic of the Congo) - Teti

6. Cesaria Evoria (Cape Verde) - Miss Perfumado

7. Charlotte Dada (Ghana) - Don't let me Down Ghana Beatles Cover

8. Cold Specks - Neuroplasticity Somalia/Canada

9. Efya (Ghana) - Janesis

10. Faarrow (Somalia) - Lost EP

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Image by Sabelo Mkhabela.

This Is What It Takes for South African Musicians to Succeed Abroad

Jeremy Loops, Shimza, Moonchild Sanelly and GoodLuck discuss what it took to build their names overseas.

Disclaimer: The conversation which this piece makes reference to took place before the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa.

"I said it for 10 years that I'm going to work with Beyoncé, and everybody laughed for those 10 years. And I said it with conviction. Today, I'm on a Grammy-nominated album [on a song] with Beyoncé right now," says Moonchild Sanelly referring to the song "MY POWER" in which she's featured in alongside Busiswa, Nija, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and of course Queen B herself. The track is a fan-favorite from the Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé. Moonchild is pulling out these receipts to elaborate a point she just made about self-belief which helped her build a career that's recognized globally, a feat very few South African artists have achieved.

A few of those artists— Jeremy Loops, Shimza and Juliet Harding (a member of the versatile electronic band GoodLuck)—are on the podium alongside Moonchild during the Midem Africa Conference in Langa, Cape Town towards the end of February. The four musicians are in conversation with Trenton Birch, musician and founder of Bridges for Music Academy, sharing their secrets to breaking into the highly competitive and advanced music markets of mainly Europe and the US.

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Photo by Jazz Shoots.

100 Women: Here's What Went Down at OkayAfrica's 'Our Community, Our Stories' Panel

A group of our 2018 honorees gathered for a discussion about using digital media to amplify the voices of African women everywhere.

Last Thursday, some of the most best and brightest women in media, came together for OkayAfrica's "Our Community, Our Stories" panel held in conjunction with our annual 100 Women list.

It was a night of sisterhood and conversation, featuring a panel of some of our 2018 honorees, including National Correspondent at MSNBC Joy-Ann Reid, Founder of Well-Read Black Girl Glory Edim, Visual Artist, Photographer & Activist Delphine Diallo, Digital Content Director at Essence & Founder of AfriPOP! Yolanda Sangweni, and Filmmaker & Social Activist Idil Ibrahim.

The women discussed new ways to utilize digital media to amplify the voices of women in the diaspora, and doled out gem after gem to help mobilize and inspire fellow African women in the industry. We streamed the entire conversation live on our Facebook page, you can watch it below.

Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.

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Still from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's TED Talk

Watch Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's  TED Talk on How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Fight Climate Change

The Chadian activist—and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020—says traditional knowledge, as practiced in her native Mbororo community, is one of the keys to combatting climate change.

In a new TED Talk, climate activist, geographer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, discusses the role that indigenous knowledge can play in combatting climate change.

During the 13-minute talk, Ibrahim emphasizes how the exploration and acceptance of various knowledge systems–including those that fall outside of the scope of typical scientific research–can add to our understanding of ways to protect the environment. "I think, if we put together all the knowledge systems that we have -- science, technology, traditional knowledge -- we can give the best of us to protect our peoples, to protect our planet, to restore the ecosystem that we are losing," says Ibrahim.

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Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach.

South Africans Condemn Police Brutality During National Lockdown

A number of videos have emerged on social media allegedly showing the intimidation and assault of several Black South Africans by law enforcement.

South Africa recently began a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed across the nation to aid the police in ensuring that the rules of the lockdown are upheld. However, disturbing footage has emerged on social media allegedly depicting law enforcement agents assaulting Black South Africans.

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