OkayAfrica's 100 Women

In Photos: This Is What OkayAfrica 100 Women's First Gathering of the Month Looked Like

OkayAfrica 100 Women 2019 honorees Clemantine Wamariya, Soull and Dynasty Ogun along with curator Neema Githere imparted fulfilling words on personal storytelling in a panel discussion at Okay Space.

We've hit the ground running celebrating our third iteration of this year's fabulous OkayAfrica 100 Women honorees and Sunday marked our first auxiliary event of the month, bringing the sentiments and purpose of the list to life.

Peeling Back: The Art and Origin of Personal Storytelling was a panel discussion moderated by 2019 honoree and author Clemantine Wamariya. In conversation with curator Neema Githere (replacing honoree Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, who unfortunately couldn't attend due to illness) and fellow honorees Soull and Dynasty Ogun of L'Enchanteur, the women shared with an intimate gathering of supporters in Okay Space their own origin stories, how their stories are ever-evolving and how their anchor and surround themselves with the people—past and present—who are interwoven with their stories too.

Throughout the month of March there will be more opportunities to gather in community to amplify and uplift the 2019 honorees (and each other). Keep tabs on the events page via the OkayAfrica 100 Women website here—and don't forget to RSVP for updates.

Take a look at images from the gathering, with images by Nerdscarf Photography, below.



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Image courtesy of Ley Uwera.

What’s in a Photo? We Go Behind the Lens With Congolese Photographer Ley Uwera

Ley Uwera gives us the backstory on some of the most riveting images she's taken of life in DR Congo.

Ley Uwera has a gift.

With a single flash of a camera, the radio reporter turned photojournalist has the ability to tell stories that both preserve and shift the narrative of what it means to be Congolese; specifically life in Eastern Congo, wrought with misleading tropes and stereotypes perpetuated by a Western lens.

A graduate of the Université de Cipromad in Goma, Uwera always knew she wanted to find a career that married her passion for creativity and her interest in humanity. In her fifth year of photojournalism, she has curated a body of work that captures the soul of her people beautifully. And sometimes, painfully. It's storytelling, she explained to OkayAfrica, and it's necessary in order to see the full picture.

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Image courtesy of Bose Ogulu

The Internet Doesn't Know Mama Burna At All

She might be your favorite internet auntie, but Bose Ogulu is a woman and a professional in full.

At the top of the year, Bose Ogulu—the mother and manager of one of Nigeria's biggest Afro-fusion stars—won the internet with three simple words: "Expect more madness."

She uttered those words into the mic at the 2018 Soundcity Music Awards (broadcast live on Jan. 5, 2019), where she accepted the biggest accolade of the night on behalf of her son, Burna Boy. The response on Twitter was swift; tweets praising the artist's badass mother for her youthful energy populated the social media platform immediately after she confidently strolled off the stage.

"Burna Boy's mom be shaking tables and chairs—in fact all furnitures [sic]," wrote one Twitter user. "Burna Boy's mom is the real MVP!!! Now we know where he got it from," wrote another. Her unapologetic delivery at the awards show, followed by another widely shared clip showing Ogulu warmly embracing her son (while he holds what appears to be a joint), quickly earned her the title of the "cool mom" amongst young Nigerian social media users. Fans had yet another reason to tweet out their admiration for a woman they dubbed Mama Burna. She's fun like a sister. She's familiar like an auntie. She loves fiercely like a mother. It seems, according to internet praise, we have her pegged. She's Burna Boy's mom, and many who have watched her boost her son's career have only seen her through this singular lens.

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Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane Added to Rocking The Daisies 2020 Lineup

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane will be performing in South Africa during this year's edition of Rocking The Daisies.

Rocking The Daisies is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The popular music and lifestyle festival recently announced they have added four new names on the bills—UK's Stormzy and Col3trane alongside US rapper YBN Cordae and the singer Ari Lennox.

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Photo: Sachyn Mital for The Town Hall.

This Is What Fatoumata Diawara's NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: the Malian singer performed a stunning show at The Town Hall.

Fatoumata Diawara played a mesmerizing show in New York City over the weekend.

The Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor had The Town Hall swaying to a selection of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo, as well as other classic cuts.

Fatoumata was joined on the night by a four-piece backing band that followed her every word and guitar riff, as she showcased her special blend of traditional Malian music and striking Bambara vocal melodies with elements of modern rock, funk, R&B and afrobeat.

"I didn't want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage," Fatoumata has mentioned."But I wanted a modern sound because that's the world I live in. I'm a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style."

Fatoumata's main message, one which she stated throughout the show, is one of hope for the future of Africa and of female empowerment. It's "about the world, peace, how Africa can be a better place, especially for women, because I am one, and I am a survivor," she says. "I want to encourage those who have lost hope."

Browse through pictures from her show at The Town Hall, which was opened by Guatemala's Gabby Moreno, below.

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