#Okay100Women

FATOUMATA DIAWARA

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

Fatoumata Diawara is a musician and actress born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents. The creative got her start in the performing arts at the age of nine, which later led to more opportunities to act. In her late teens, Diawara was faced with an opportunity to pursue her career in France or stay Mali and go through with an arranged marriage her Auntie organized.




Her decision to run away led to an internationally acclaimed career in music and film that made the world take notice. From her breakthrough performance in the Malian production Sia, Le Rêve du Python, to her role in the Oscar nominated film, Timbuktu, Diawara continues to wow audiences with her talent.



The self-taught guitarist featured in the 2016 TIFF documentary, Mali Blues, that followed Diawara’s first ever concert in her home country, Mali.



She has shared a stage with Paul McCartney and The Roots and other established artists, and continues to seduce the world with her enchanting music.



—JO

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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