#Okay100Women

DANAI GURIRA

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

I first noticed actress Danai Gurira, the “Zimerican” actress, as the katana swinging, zombie slaying, always keeping it 100 with Rick Grimes, goddess called Michonne in The Walking Dead. Then I fell in love with her all over again in Mother of George, a Nigerian movie about a couple in NYC who are desperately trying to get pregnant. She delivered a poignant, unforgettable performance that made me feel blessed to have my brother’s Netflix password.




In 2015, her play Eclipsed, starring Lupita Nyong'o, made a stunning debut in NYC. It tells the story of five Liberian women during the end of the second Liberian Civil War. Eclipsed is the first all black, all women cast and team to premiere on Broadway. She has also written the play, Familiar, about the oldest daughter of Zimbabwean parents who wants to wed a white man. I’m sure it is an interesting observation on interracial dating, immigrant parents and everything in between.



Gurira has said that she was inspired to become a playwright to strengthen her talents as an actress and to tell empowering stories about the eclectic women she identifies with. Based on her record so far, she is definitely broadening the possibilities of storytelling.



-AA

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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