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Photo by Jazz Shoots.

100 Women: Here's What Went Down at OkayAfrica's 'Our Community, Our Stories' Panel

A group of our 2018 honorees gathered for a discussion about using digital media to amplify the voices of African women everywhere.

Last Thursday, some of the most best and brightest women in media, came together for OkayAfrica's "Our Community, Our Stories" panel held in conjunction with our annual 100 Women list.

It was a night of sisterhood and conversation, featuring a panel of some of our 2018 honorees, including National Correspondent at MSNBC Joy-Ann Reid, Founder of Well-Read Black Girl Glory Edim, Visual Artist, Photographer & Activist Delphine Diallo, Digital Content Director at Essence & Founder of AfriPOP! Yolanda Sangweni, and Filmmaker & Social Activist Idil Ibrahim.

The women discussed new ways to utilize digital media to amplify the voices of women in the diaspora, and doled out gem after gem to help mobilize and inspire fellow African women in the industry. We streamed the entire conversation live on our Facebook page, you can watch it below.

Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.


For more, check out some photos from the event below by photographers Jazz Shoots and Elliot G.

Photo by Jazz Shoots.

Photo by Jazz Shoots.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Jazz Shoots.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Jazz Shoots.

Photo by Jazz Shoots.

Photo by Jazz Shoots.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

Photo by Elliot G.

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Introducing OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 List

Celebrating African Women Laying the Groundwork for the Future

It would not be hyperbole to consider the individuals we're honoring for OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 list as architects of the future.

This is to say that these women are building infrastructure, both literally and metaphorically, for future generations in Africa and in the Diaspora. And they are doing so intentionally, reaching back, laterally, and forward to bridge gaps and make sure the steps they built—and not without hard work, mines of microaggressions, and challenges—are sturdy enough for the next ascent.

In short, the women on this year's list are laying the groundwork for other women to follow. It's what late author and American novelist Toni Morrison would call your "real job."

"I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."

And that's what inspired us in the curation of this year's list. Our honorees use various mediums to get the job done—DJ's, fashion designers, historians, anthropologists, and even venture capitalists—but each with the mission to clear the road ahead for generations to come. Incredible African women like Eden Ghebreselassie, a marketing lead at ESPN who created a non-profit to fight energy poverty in Eritrea; or Baratang Miya, who is quite literally building technology clubs for disadvantaged youth in South Africa.

There are the builds that aren't physically tangible—movements that inspire women to show up confidently in their skin, like Enam Asiama's quest to normalize plus-sized bodies and Frédérique (Freddie) Harrel's push for Black and African women to embrace the kink and curl of their hair.

And then there are those who use their words to build power, to take control of the narrative, and to usher in true inclusion and equity. Journalists, (sisters Nikki and Lola Ogunnaike), a novelist (Oyinkan Braithwaite), a media maven (Yolisa Phahle), and a number of historians (Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Leïla Sy) to name a few.

In a time of uncertainty in the world, there's assuredness in the mission to bring up our people. We know this moment of global challenge won't last. It is why we are moving forward to share this labor of love with you, our trusted and loyal audience. We hope that this list serves as a beacon for you during this moment—insurance that future generations will be alright. And we have our honorees to thank for securing that future.

EXPERIENCE 100 WOMEN 2020

The annual OkayAfrica 100 Women List is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale. In the spirit of building infrastructure, this year's list will go beyond the month of March (Women's History Month in America) and close in September during Women's Month in South Africa.

100 women 2020

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