#Okay100Women

AIDA MULUNEH

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Aida Muluneh is a photographer and filmmaker of Ethiopian descent. She was born in Addis Ababa but grew up in Yemen, England, Cyprus and Canada before landing in the U.S. for her undergraduate studies.




The cultural entrepreneur graduated from Howard University in Washington D.C, and later worked for the Washington Post as a photographer. Muluneh is a world renowned exhibiting artist—she’s the winner of the prestigious European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie—and some of her images reside in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art Hood Museum, and the Museum of Biblical Art in the U.S.



She notably won the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy in 2010, and published a coffee table book—Ethiopia: Past/Forward.



Muluneh also has her own company, Developing and Educating Society Through Art or DESTA. The celebrated artist also started Ethiopia’s first photography festival, Addis Foto Fest, in 2010. It is East Africa’s premier photography fest that features exhibitions, conferences, portfolio reviews and recently, awards for emerging and established photographers.



-JO

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Photo Courtesy of Uzo Aduba

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"Whatever I think is hard is nowhere near what hard is. First solid lesson. Anything that I considered to be difficult, I don't have to reach that far back into my history and to my community stories to know what hard really looked like," the Nigerian-American actress states in a definitive tone. "Hard is moving to a country where you know no one and have five children. Hard is surviving a civil war. Hard is surviving polio. Hard is learning how to blend into a new culture without losing your own. You understand? Me figuring out which of the seven pairs of jeans I want to wear today is not hard."

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OkayAfrica's 100 Women

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OkayAfrica has officially launched our annual 100 Women list to honor the many contributions of African women globally.

Last year's inaugural list featured a group of groundbreaking African woman who continue to shape culture and expand representation, and this year is no different.

Two of the women from our 2017 list, Nigerian actor, writer and comedian Yvonne Orji and her fellow Naija sister—writer, speaker and social critic Luvvie Ajayi—took the time out to share a special message of encouragement to the new honorees.

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"She's an African Queen," Russel adds. "This lady made the song what it is, beautiful, like life. What can I say about Désolé? They say sorry is the hardest word, but that's not true.... Try saying antidisestablishmentarianism with a mouth full of gluten free cronuts on a speed boat without licking your lips."

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Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

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