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FUNMI IYANDA

Funmi Iyanda is a Nigerian journalist, blogger and talk show host. She began her ascent into the world of journalism when she became the host of Good Morning Nigeria. With Iyanda at the helm, the show took on a new life. One of her most popular segments, “Street Life”, spotlighted the experience of everyday Nigerians like no other news segment had done before.




In 2000, she began work on her very own show New Dawn with Funmi, which ran for eight years on Nigeria’s national network and became its longest running independently produced show. Her work on New Dawn with Funmi led to the formation of the "Change-A-Life” program, a social justice initiative that helps provide vulnerable communities in Nigeria with access to health services and educational tools. She’s made meaningful use of her platform—using her journalistic work as a springboard for her philanthropic efforts.



She’s produced documentaries like My Country: Nigeria which was released in 2010 on BBC World, to commemorate the country’s 50th anniversary. In 2012, when a hike in oil prices sent frustrated Nigerians to the streets of Lagos in protest, Iyanda created a web-series that provided a critical look into the demonstrations.



Iyanda was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in 2011 for her contributions to Nigerian media. More recently she was listed as one of Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.” She is currently the CEO of Lagos-based media outfit, Ignite Media, and continues to be a luminary for young African women breaking into the media world.



—DD

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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