#Okay100Women

JULIANA ROTICH

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Juliana Rotich is a technologist, strategic advisor, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker. “Make Things. Fix Problems. Help People," is her personal mission statement and the driving force behind her non-profit tech company, Ushahidi . Rotich also co-founded BRCK, which is a hardware and services technology company based in Nairobi, Kenya. The vision for BRCK is to enable communication in low infrastructure environments by developing useful, innovative, and exciting hardware-centered technologies in Kenya. Rotich favors partnerships that drive social change through technology.




Rotich is a champion for internet connectivity and supports entrepreneurs to scale their work and impact,” according to her website. The TED Senior Fellow used to be a trustee at Nairobi's iHuband now sits on the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board.



The tech entrepreneur is making an impact in her field and improving lives in the process. —MB

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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