Events

She Leads Africa's SLAY Festival Was a Day Full of Black Girl Magic

A recap of She Leads Africa's first SLAY Festival held in Lagos.

During the week, the Nigerian Railway Corporation Compound in Ebute-Metta, Lagos, is usually a serene relic of the city’s former railway system, but on Saturday, January 21, the formerly empty compound was full of Black Girl Magic, thanks to She Leads Africa.


For the organization’s first SLAY Festival, over 1200 guests attended enjoying the lineup including TV presenter and actress, Zainab Balogun, award-winning director, Kemi Adetiba, rapper, M.I, and a host of other celebrities and influencers offering insight to guests about timely topics.

The daylong event began with an early morning women in tech breakfast session, which allowed attendees to learn about ways to build and sustain a career in tech. She Leads Africa’s focus on funneling more women into Africa’s burgeoning tech industry is a hallmark of the organization and the tech breakfast at the SLAY festival was an opportunity for guests to engage intimately with tech professionals and leave with valuable information.

After breakfast, the day kicked off with full force. Before the succession of masterclasses and mainstage events lined up for the day, guests could choose between a coding class with expert coders from Andela, a running workshop featuring legal and financial advice for small business owners from lawyers, strategists, marketers and technologists about how to grow and leverage their business, and free access to the provided manicure bar for premium ticket holders.

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One thing that all attendees could agree on was that the SLAY Festival was a celebration of local Nigerian businesses and brands. From haircare brands like Kinky Apothecary to shoe brands like Keeks, the festival was intentional in its purpose to connect its attendees to high quality homegrown brands and help the 44 local businesses present build a steadfast following. In order to do this, the festival acted like an incubator by showcasing a number of diverse brands to attendees, and it worked. Guests left with bags in tow and businesses—many of them owned by African women—tapped into a relatively new audience.

The festival’s mainstage saw a host of speakers who talked about everything from how to build a long lasting professional and personal partnership, to changing gender roles and being a man in the 21st century. On air radio personality and newly minted best selling author, Toke Makinwa talked to the audience about using social media to build a successful brand, while Adetiba dropped advice on how to build a career (and get paid) in the media industry.

Two of the day’s most enthusiastic panels included the “Being A Man in the 21st Century,” which featured M.I and Audu Maikori, CEO of Chocolate City Group, and “Building a Winning Partnership” with power couple Tara and Fela Durotoye. Both panels disproved the idea that events like the SLAY Festival are exclusive to women. In an interview with OkayAfrica, She Leads Africa co-founder Yasmin Belo-Osagie noted the importance of including men in the conversation about gender roles and the need for gender inclusivity in the corporate world.

“When men are brought into these discussions, there is a sense of accountability and it shows them that a lack of inclusivity of women in leadership roles is not a benefit, but truly a detriment,” Osagie says.

To close down the day, She Leads Africa collaborated with Cointreau to provide a chill out lounge, which featured performances by musical artists Falana and Funbi. Although She Leads Africa has hosted their entrepreneurial bootcamp, SheHive, in cities like Accra, New York, London, Johannesburg and Lagos, the SLAY Festival is one of a kind experience even for the dynamic organization. It’s only fitting that the SLAY Festival made its debut in Lagos.

Music
(Youtube)

9 Must-Hear Songs From Ghana's Buzzing Drill Scene

We give you the rundown on Ghana's drill movement, Asakaa, and the most popular songs birthed by it.

Red bandanas, streetwear, security dogs, and gang signs. If you've been paying any attention to the music scene in Ghana over the past few months, then by now you would have noticed the rise of a special hip-hop movement. The movement is called Asakaa, and it's the Ghanaian take on the Chicago-born subgenre of hip-hop called drill music. It's fresh, it's hot, it's invigorating and it's nothing like anything you've seen before from this part of the world.

The pioneers of Asakaa are fondly referred to by the genre's patrons as the Kumerica boys, a set of budding young rappers based in the city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They came into the limelight towards the end of 2020, and have been dropping banger after banger since then, topping several charts and racking up millions of views collectively. The rap is charismatic, the visuals are captivating, and their swag is urban. Characterized by Twi lyrics, infectious hooks, and sinister beats, the allure and appeal of both their art and their culture is overflowing.

"Sore," one of the benchmark songs of the movement, is a monster hit that exploded into the limelight, earning Kumerican rapper Yaw Tog a feature on Billboard Italy and a recent remix that featured Stormzy. "Ekorso" by Kofi Jamar is the song that took over Ghana's December 2020, with the video currently sitting at 1.3 million views on YouTube. "Off White Flow" is the song that earned rapper Kwaku DMC and his peers a feature on Virgil Abloh's Apple Music show Televised Radio. These are just a few examples of the numerous accolades that the songs birthed from the Asakaa movement have earned. Ghana's drill scene is the new cool, but it isn't just a trend. It's an entire movement, and it's here to stay.

Want to get familiar? Here we highlight the most prominent songs of the Asakaa movement that you need to know. Here's our rundown of Ghana's drill songs that are making waves right now. Check them out below.

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