Film

David Oyelowo's New Scholarship Will Benefit Victims of Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria

Oprah Winfrey steps up to fund the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls founded in part by the British-Nigerian actor.

David Oyelowo knows how to keep his name in the news.


In addition to a growing roster of forthcoming films Queen of Katwe, Five Nights In Maine, and A United Kingdom, Oyelowo has partnered with The GEANCO Foundation for the inaugural David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, according to the press release .

The scholarship, designed to benefit Nigerian girls who have been victims of violence and crippling gender-based inequality, isn’t in name only. As an ardent GEANCO supporter and recipient of the foundation’s “Global Promise Award” last year for his commitment to Nigerian youth, Oyelowo has played an integral role in the scholarships' funding, administration and promotion.

"We cannot stand idly by while thousands of innocent girls remain under serious threat. With our help, these bright and resilient girls can blossom into Nigeria's most inspiring leaders in government, education, business, entertainment, and so much more,” the Selma actor says. “The way to combat oppression and injustice is to be intentional in calling it out and then seeking to affect sustainable and long-term change. That is what these Leadership scholarships are all about. We seek to nurture a generation of strong female trailblazers whose positive impact will be felt across Nigeria and around the world."

The David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls is in response to the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls and others who have been kidnapped, raped and terrorized in Nigeria. Those who have managed to escape or have been rescued often face ostracism from their communities and have fewer educational opportunities.

British actor David Oyelowo and media mogul Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is among the group of seed funders who made the three scholarships that will be handed out for the 2016-2017 academic year possible. This year’s recipient will have an opportunity to enroll at the Anglican Girls Grammar School, a boarding school known for its emphasis on STEM, located in the capital, Abuja.

Future scholarship recipients will be placed at other high-performing schools in Nigeria.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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