#Okay100Women

MICHAELA DEPRINCE

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

Michaela DePrince is an example of survival and sophistication. She is a 22-year-old Sierra Leonean-American ballerina, author, ambassador for War Child Holland and Grand Sujet for the Dutch National Ballet’s main company. She survived the civil war in Sierra Leone, the death of her parents and abuse while in foster care as a result of having vitiligo.




As a toddler, she was introduced to ballet when she found a photo of a ballerina blowing in the wind. An American family adopted her and nurtured her interest in ballet, which led to stardom.



DePrince first became a household name when she featured in the ballet documentary, First Position. With the help of her adoptive mother she wrote a memoir, Taking Flight, which tells of her experience from surviving a civil war to becoming a ballerina. Since its release, the book has been translated and published under different titles in over 10 countries. She has made appearances on Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America and Oprah magazine. In 2016, she made a cameo in Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade.



-MB

News Brief
Getty Images

Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Olamide, Black Motion, Blxckie x Nasty C and more