Popular

Richelieu Dennis of Shea Moisture Buys Essence Magazine From Time, Inc.

This power move makes the veteran publication 100 percent black-owned again.

ESSENCE magazine, the veteran publication owned by multi-platform media company Essence Communications Inc., has been acquired by Essence Ventures LLC, an independent, black-owned company founded by Shea Moisture's Richelieu Dennis.


The publication has been on the hunt for a buyer since its previous owner, Time Inc, did not make Essence magazine a part of it's sale to the Meredith Corp. in November 2017, says The Root.

According to a press release, ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks will continue at the helm of the company and will also join its board of directors. The all black female executive team at ESSENCE will have an equity stake in the business.

"This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms," Ebanks says. "In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position."

Through this power move made by the Liberian-American entrepreneur, ESSENCE will focus on expanding its digital businesses via distribution partnerships, compelling original content, and targeting client-first strategies. The brand also plans to expand its international growth.

"We remain committed to leveraging our resources to provide opportunities for other culturally-rooted entrepreneurs and businesses that further our culture and create economic opportunities for our communities," Dennis says. "Our focus here will be on ensuring that Essence reaches its full potential via heightened capabilities, technology, products and touch points that super-serve the interests of Black women locally and globally. We look forward to helping generate new opportunities that create more value across the ESSENCE portfolio with unmatched content, commerce and international access for the millions of women it serves, as well as exceptional value for our advertising partners and content creators."

Congratulations are in order, and the reactions on social media are nothing less of that.


Music

The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, BLK JKS, Tkay Maidza, Ayra Starr and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less
Still from Djembe Monks

Listen to Djembe Monks' New House Single 'Nhliziyo Yam' Featuring Thandy Dhlana

Zimbabwean afro-house collective Djembe Monks' latest single, featuring Thandy Dhlana, is a soothing tribal house dance track (perfect for the heartbroken).

Zimbabwean drumming collective Djembe Monks have returned with a new, grounded house single "Nhliziyo Yam", with vocals from the melodic Thandy Dhlana who also co-wrote the song. This follows their resoundingly successful single "Rainmaker" that dropped in August 2020. "Nhliziyo Yam'" is a fusion of djembe drums, techno and deep house which reminds us to guard our hearts after experiencing a spate of heartbreaks.

The track carries elevating piano keys that create a spirit-sweeping effect. Staying true to their form, Djembe Monks' distinct tribal sound resonates with both dance-floor regulars and fans of alternative, yet modern African music. Thandy Dhlana's lyrics convey a heavy-laden heartsore message in which she forewarns love interests from encroaching upon her heart. All music fans, even those new to Djembe Monks' sound, will fall for the track instantly.

Keep reading... Show less
Interview
Photo by Sophia Hernandez / EyeEm for Getty Images.

Emotional Abuse Is Insidious, Perhaps Even More Than Physical Abuse

As gender-based violence continues to plague the world over, it's important to also highlight the dire effects of emotional abuse, long before it manifests in the physical.

Gender-based violence (GBV) remains a challenge in many countries, and has been further exacerbated by national lockdowns imposed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Liberia and more have all experienced horrific and highly publicised instances of GBV, and femicide, over the past few years. Tunisia even went as far as calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty following the brutal murder of a young woman. Liberia and Nigeria, even, declared a state of emergency on rape.

It's well established that GBV is a scourge in South Africa, with the femicide rate at an alarming five times the global average. The figures continue to worsen, a fact reflected in the daily lived experiences of many South African women. Unsurprisingly, physical and sexual abuse are the two forms of violence that have almost become synonymous with GBV. Other forms of abuse such as verbal, psychological — and more especially emotional abuse — are often sidelined.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Th&o. Shares Short Film 'Ebusuku', A Story of Solitude and Nocturnal Encounters

South African 'Afrotronic musician' Th&o. has released a dazzling short film for his critically acclaimed and SAMA-nominated debut album 'Ebusuku'.