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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.

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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