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Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

In Photos: A Sultry Evening Celebrating OkayAfrica's 100 Women at NYC's Top of the Standard

Here's what went down at our evening of community and celebration in this photo story.

OkayAfrica recently took over New York City's Top of the Standard to praise this year's 100 Women honorees for a sultry evening of community and celebration.

Over 350 VIPs and past honorees including Flaviana Matata, Maria Borges, Abrima Erwiah, Jojo Abot and Susy Oludele gathered for delicious bites and custom Courvoisier cocktails—like the Courvoisier French 75 (Courvoisier VS, lemon juice, simple syrup, Brut champagne, and garnished with a lemon twist).


The crowd also got down to sets by female African DJs—including DJ AQ, Niara Sterling and Sydney Love. South Africa's own and our fabulous 2019 honoree Moonchild Sanelly blessed the room with a high-energy performance, having guests on their feet well past midnight. Some of the esteemed women honored this year that joined us for the evening include Isha Sesay, Penda N'diaye, Soull and Dynasty Ogun, Besidone Amoruwa and more.

As you've seen in this year's campaign, our amazing honorees are being recognized for their impact and influence as change agents and innovators in their respective industries.

"Every March, OkayAfrica is dedicated to celebrating 100 women across the continent and diaspora for the work that they've done," Rachel Hislop, editor-in-chief of OkayAfrica, says, addressing the audience at the soiree. "This year, our celebration encapsulates around youth culture—where we celebrate 100 women who use their power to push those who are the future of Africa and the world. Thank you to our honorees for allowing us to celebrating you."

Revisit the illustrious evening through the images below, thanks to photographers Noemie Marguerite and Hannan Saleh.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

DJ Niara Sterling. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

2019 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Charlene Akuamoah. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Justine Skye in Studio 189. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

2019 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Penda N'diaye. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

2017 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Maria Borges. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Young Paris, Maria Borges and friends. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

2019 OkayAfrica 100 Women honorees Dynasty (left) and Soull (right) Ogun. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Livelle Collins. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

El Lewis. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Ade Adeniran. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Rachel Hislop, OkayAfrica's editor-in-chief. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

2019 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree and guest artist Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Photo by Noemie Marguerite.

Abiola Oke, CEO and publisher of OkayAfrica with 2019 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Isha Sesay. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Jojo Abot, Poizon Ivy the DJ and Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

2017 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Flaviana Matata. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Abiola Oke and TK Wonder. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Sira Kante. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Peju Famojure. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

2018 OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Susy Oludele. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

OkayAfrica, Okayplayer and 100 Women staff (L-R): Oyinkan Olojede, Ivie Ani, Nadia Nascimento, Antoinette Isama, Bisi, Jasmine Michel, Sinat Giwa. Photo by Hannan Saleh.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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