OkayAfrica's 100 Women

Introducing OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2018 List

We're celebrating 100 African Women throughout the month of March.

There are too many women to count from the continent of Africa and its diaspora killing the game. Across genres, in every profession, around the globe. And every March, we take on the daunting, albeit rewarding, task of narrowing down this countless number of leaders and change agents to just a handful of honorees to feature on our 100 Women list.

We sort through nominations, pore over the latest news, and research shining stars in the specific genres of music, TV and film, politics and activism, business, fashion and beauty, art, sports, STEM, media and literature. We have heated debates, vote and revote. All to pay homage to this year's vanguard, a front line of African women ushering in innovation, advancements and, in all cases, completely overhauling stale perceptions of what exactly it means to be an African woman in any setting.

The inaugural OkayAfrica 100 Women List launched in March 2017 to broad acclaim with Academy Award-winning actress and Black Panther star, Lupita Nyong'o, critically acclaimed novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and writer, actor and TV sensation Issa Rae among the women we celebrated.

This year's collective touts a host of trailblazing pioneers from the women of the Nigerian Bobsled Team, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga, who made history in their unprecedented journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics, to Tony, GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning phenom Cynthia Erivo and more.

These women were not only handpicked for their utter excellence; we gauged their impact and influence, and this year, we hone in on the component of community building. It is one form of admirable triumph to pull oneself from the rubble, out of unfavorable circumstance, away from persecution, abuse, war... It is something else and altogether superhuman to run back into the settling dust to save others, in their communities, their countries, their continent and the world.

In short, they are superheroes. No, not from Wakanda. But from Lagos, Somalia and Sierra Leone, Botswana, Dakar and Nairobi to name a few. We at OkayAfrica are honored to uplift them and add to the growing number of collective 100 Women honorees for a campaign that last year successfully reached 72 million people. 72 MILLION. And each of those people received the same message:

African women are no longer requesting seats at the table. You might want to see about getting a seat at ours.

We've created a special hub at 100Women.OkayAfrica.com for you to follow along on this journey throughout the month of March as we roll out profiles, images, videos, q&a's and a number of other content we've created with these extraordinary women.

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Photo: Kartson Tannis.

100 Women: A Playlist of Our Favorite Female Artists & Anthems

Featuring Teni, Amaarae, Calypso Rose, Oumou Sangaré, Solange and many more.

The month of March marks OkayAfrica's annual celebration of African women with our 100 Women list.

The list is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale.

These women are disrupting the status quo socially, economically, and politically. They are creating safe spaces for African women globally, driving technological and scientific advancements, pushing for inclusivity in television, film, art and media and steering us toward a more sustainable way of living.

SEE THE ENTIRE 100 WOMEN 2O19 LIST HERE

Following that spirit, the ladies from the OkayAfrica staff—and, by the way, we are mostly women—decided to select some of our favorite songs that represent women making an impact across the globe for a special new playlist. We'll also tell you why.

Our selections span from newer names like Amaarae and Summer Walker to classic songs from the likes of Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and Calypso Rose. There's also plenty of Teni in there.

Check it out below.

FOLLOW OUR NEW 100 WOMEN PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY HERE AND APPLE MUSIC HERE.

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Photo Courtesy of Uzo Aduba

100 Women: Uzo Aduba Wants to Use Her Roles to Give a Voice to the Voiceless

We talk to the Emmy-winning standout of Orange is the New Black on how to be good, just as you are.

As a child Uzoamaka Aduba was insecure about a great many things. Her name and the now-famous gap in her teeth were among the number. "My mom would try to impress upon me constantly, 'Don't you know that in Nigeria, a gap is a sign of beauty? It's a sign of intelligence.' I'm like, 'We don't live in Nigeria, mom. We live in Medfield, Massachusetts.'" Thirty-seven-year-old Aduba is quite the opposite—dramatically, if you will. Currently chatting from a mountainside village in Mendoza, Argentina, she exudes total self-possession, and is crystal clear on not just her beauty and her talent, but on what she stands for ("Equality for all. Full stop.") and even her privilege.

"Whatever I think is hard is nowhere near what hard is. First solid lesson. Anything that I considered to be difficult, I don't have to reach that far back into my history and to my community stories to know what hard really looked like," the Nigerian-American actress states in a definitive tone. "Hard is moving to a country where you know no one and have five children. Hard is surviving a civil war. Hard is surviving polio. Hard is learning how to blend into a new culture without losing your own. You understand? Me figuring out which of the seven pairs of jeans I want to wear today is not hard."

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News Brief
Still from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's TED Talk

Watch Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim's  TED Talk on How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Fight Climate Change

The Chadian activist—and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020—says traditional knowledge, as practiced in her native Mbororo community, is one of the keys to combatting climate change.

In a new TED Talk, climate activist, geographer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, discusses the role that indigenous knowledge can play in combatting climate change.

During the 13-minute talk, Ibrahim emphasizes how the exploration and acceptance of various knowledge systems–including those that fall outside of the scope of typical scientific research–can add to our understanding of ways to protect the environment. "I think, if we put together all the knowledge systems that we have -- science, technology, traditional knowledge -- we can give the best of us to protect our peoples, to protect our planet, to restore the ecosystem that we are losing," says Ibrahim.

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Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach.

South Africans Condemn Police Brutality During National Lockdown

A number of videos have emerged on social media allegedly showing the intimidation and assault of several Black South Africans by law enforcement.

South Africa recently began a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed across the nation to aid the police in ensuring that the rules of the lockdown are upheld. However, disturbing footage has emerged on social media allegedly depicting law enforcement agents assaulting Black South Africans.

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