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Prêt-À-Poundo: Africa's Next Top Model Coming Soon!

International Top Model Oluchi Onweagba will bring Africa's Next Top Model to TVs.


Dear Africa,

You are taking the fashion world by storm. In welcomed news for the continent's aspiring models, international Nigerian top model Oluchi Onweagba will be hosting the Africa's Next Top Model. A few days ago, CBS Studios International announced Onweagba's production company Lulu Productions will own the African format rights.

“I am excited to be hosting Africa’s Next Top Model and it is great to be part of the successful America’s Next Top Model franchise that Tyra Banks created and has hosted for an impressive 20 cycles thus far in the U.S. The African version of the franchise is long overdue and I expect the show to be a smashing success across the continent. My company, LuLu Productions, will be partnering with Never Machine productions with Gavin Wratten as co-executive producer and also one of the giant media houses to help make this show a big success," said Oluchi Onweagba.

We hope the Africa's Next Top Model TV contest show reverses the current trends about African, black models and models of color. We've been witnessing a lack of exposure for these models for years and while changes are barely visible, the discussion is still relevant. By our actions, individually and collectively, we can finally create a change.

>>>SEE HOW TO APPLY HERE

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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