#Okay100Women

LUPITA NYONG'O

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

Lupita Nyong'o is a talented, multidimensional actress, a force of fierceness in the fashion world and an avid humanitarian. In just a few years, she has blazed an inspiring and fiery trail in Hollywood and fashion, and had a stunning clapback to her sky-high updo at the Met Gala—which critics falsely attributed to Audrey Hepburn and Whoville. (It was actually inspired by an old school African style).




The breathtaking Kenyan is best known for her breakout role in 12 Years a Slave, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Kenyan woman to win that title. However, I adore Lupita most (so far) for her work in Queen of Katwe, perhaps one of the most underrated movies of 2016.



I am personally tired of us being recognized for roles in which we are submissive—servants, enslaved people—or worse, negative, criminalistic stereotypes of black people. In Queen of Katwe, she plays the determined mother of Ugandan chess champion, Phiona Mutesi. It is the first live action Disney movie to depict African people in dynamic, diverse roles—and it was totally based on a true story. Last year, Nyong'o also starred in the Broadway play Eclipsed, to much acclaim.



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Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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