News Brief

21 Streets In Lagos Are Being Named After Unsung Nigerian Women Heroes

The developer of a new community in Lagos wants to name 21 streets after "uncelebrated women in Nigeria's history."

While a statue was being erected in Jacob Zuma's honor in Nigeria over the weekend—for reasons still unknown—a developer in Lagos decided he would take on a commemorative project of his own, and it's infinitely better and far more necessary.


Okang Ashiwel Ochui, the project manager of a new housing complex in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos wants to name 21 streets in the new community after unsung women in Nigeria's history. He sent out a tweet yesterday, announcing his plan and asking followers for suggestions.

Ochui also sent out a list of possible names, which includes the "mother of modern African literature, Flora Nwapa," women's liberation leader Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, playwright Zulu Sofola and 17 other women undoubtedly worthy of recognition.

Here's his most current list:

This is the type of tribute we can get behind. We'd much rather reflect on the invaluable contributions that Nigerian women have made in the face of patriarchy, than acknowledge a man who's currently facing close to 800 counts of corruption—but, hey that's just us.

For more on African leaders you should know about, check out our list of seven underrated African heroes and our list of 12 iconic African women who've shaped our culture.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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