#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

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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