#Okay100Women

PHIONA MUTESI

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

Uganda’s chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, had her life story captured in a book by American author (Tim Crothers) that Disney adapted into the 2016 screenplay (Queen of Katwe) featuring the Hollywood heavyweight, Lupita Nyong’o. Despite growing up in poverty in Uganda’s largest slum (Katwe), and having her elder sister and father die while she was still young, Phiona pushed herself to actualize her greatness in chess at the Sports Outreach Institute.


It was here that she met her mentor, coach Robert Katende, after secretly following her brother one day while searching for food.

Mutesi earned the Woman Candidate Master in 2012, alongside her Ugandan chessmate, Ivy Amoko, and is credited for being the first female player to win the Open Category of the National Chess Championship in Uganda.

At nine years old, Mutesi could not read or write but at 20 years old, she is looking to attend university and has managed to secure her family’s future through her book and film contracts.

Her determination and perseverance is inspiring and a testament to what we can do when we aim high and put in the work.

—JO

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

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