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Image via OkayAfrica's 100 Women.

British-Ghanaian Model Adwoa Aboah Gets Her Own Barbie Doll In Honor of International Women's Day

The activist and OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree just got her own Barbie and it's cute af.

As you may already know, the month of March is International Women's Month and to celebrate, Barbie has unveiled its latest line of "Shero" dolls modeled after 20 inspirational women across multiple industries in conjunction with their 60th anniversary.

One of the women whose image has been made into a doll is Adwoa Aboah, the British-Ghanaian model, activist and one of OkayAfrica's 100 women 2019, who uses her online platform Gurls Talk, founded in 2015 to provide a safe space for young women to discuss a number of topics, that are often considered taboo.


"I started Gurls Talk off the back of my own experiences and struggles as a girl, and then a woman," she tells OkayAfrica about the platform. "It became apparent to me that I'd lacked the confidence to share and speak out about the issues affecting me, and so I wanted to build a community within which all of those issues society deems taboo—such as sexuality, mental health and female physical health—were discussed openly.

Aboah's doll comes in two outfits, one in a leopard skirt paired with a Gurls Talk t-shirt, as seen above, and another—our fav—in a colorful sequined number and head-wrap, which Aboah chose to replicate she wore when she won the British Fashion Council's 'Model of the Year' award in 2017.


"I believe by working together we can encourage girls to find their authentic voices and that we can have an impact on the world for the next generation of girls," she tells Vogue. "Through my work with Gurls Talk and partnership with Barbie, I hope we can inspire girls to try to change the world around them, through acts big or small."

Other "Shero" dolls include one of Yara Shahidi, Naomi Osaka and Frida Khalo. Barbie released its first hijab-wearing doll back in 2017, in honor of the Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Aboah is recognized, along with several other groundbreaking African women who are positively impacting youth culutre on the continet, on OkayAfrica's annual 100 Women list. Learn more about the women who made this year's list here.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.