#Okay100Women

AMMA ASANTE

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

Amma Asante is a London-based, award-winning writer and director. The Ghanaian-British screenwriter got her start in the entertainment industry as an actress. During her late teens, acting took a backseat as she made her way into directing. The BBC2 urban drama Brothers and Sister, featured a young David Oyelowo who is now an A-list Hollywood star (Selma). In 2004, she wrote and directed her first film,A Way of Life, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and won seventeen international awards.




In 2004, Asante followed up A Way of Life with her second feature film Belle which became a phenomenal success that Oprah publicly endorsed. The movie led to widespread international acclaim, which resulted in Asante featuring as one of CNN's Leading Women of 2014. Additionally, she was honored alongside Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Jane Fonda at the 2014 Media Center awards. Asante has two highly anticipated 2017 features, Where Hands Touch and A United Kingdom.-MB

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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