#Okay100Women

SARAN KABA JONES

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

The New York-based, Harvard educated FACE Africa (Fund A Child’s Education) founder and CEO, is known as a clean water advocate. Saran Kaba Jones is a Liberian who had to leave her country as an eight year-old to escape the war, and decided to empower children from her country on a trip back as an adult in 2008. Her annual Wash Gala event raises money for Liberian communities in need of water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools.




Time Magazine named Jones as a Next Generation Leader, while the World Economic Forum acknowledged her as a Young Leader. The accomplished social entrepreneur is a UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group Board Member, and regularly speaks on water infrastructure, entrepreneurship and gender equality. The London School of Economics, the African Union MIT and Harvard have all called on her to share her expertise.



—JO

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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