OkayAfrica's 100 Women

100 Women: Susy Oludele and Alsarah On the Power of Following Your Passion

Nigerian-American hairstylist Susy Oludele and Sudanese-American musician, Alsarah sit down for an enlightening conversation about defying the odds and putting their aspirations first.

Two resilient women from our 2018 list of 100 groundbreaking African Women, Alsarah and Susy Oludele, have an inspirational conversation about their relatable struggles to pursue the career of their dreams.

Susy Oludele is a hair stylist, trendsetter and owner of Hair by Susy, a hair salon in Brooklyn, New York. As a proud Nigerian-American born in the Bronx, she built her brand with the intention to help women of all hair types embrace their natural beauty. Although her shop specializes in natural hair and natural hair extensions, with her magic touch, she speaks life into every hairstyle she creates.


Alsarah also wears many hats by as an ethnomusicologist, activist, singer, songwriter, and leader of the band Alsarah and the Nubatones. Being a product of Sudanese human rights activists, it is no surprise that she often uses music as an outlet to tackle world issues and the plight of Sudanese women.

Susy and Alsarah are transparent in their discussion while sharing testimonies about how they've evolved from once trying to adhere to what society paints as safe and sustainable careers for women, to fully pursuing their passions. Their experiences inspire women to break out of societal boxes and achieve their goals with steadfastness, no matter what obstacles come their way. As Susy puts it, "in the process it was just so stressful, "cause you don't know where you're going and then it's like you don't have that security. Sometimes in life you just gotta go for it."

Watch Alsarah and Susy's full conversation below and see the full list of 2018 honorees here.

This article appears as part of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2018—a project highlighting the impactful work done by African women across the globe. Throughout March, we will be publishing a series of profiles, videos, interviews and feature stories on these inspirational women. Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.

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