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.



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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