#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.



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Interview

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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