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12 Trailblazing Somali Women

'Horn' founder and editor Sumaya lists 12 trailblazing Somali women and why you need to know about them.


Horn is a new publication featuring trailblazing women from the Horn of Africa. Issue 1 of the magazine, which launched last month, shines a special spotlight on Somali women. According to Horn's editor and founder, Sumaya, the project arose from a question of where the "carefree Somali girls" were being portrayed. "They most often self-identify as Muslim and African, yet are rarely ever represented in both arenas," says Sumaya. "Within their communities and households, they basically run things, but are usually behind the scenes. They are in the unique position of being black, Somali, Muslim, women, and diasporic (North American, European, etc) in communities that don’t fully accept, acknowledge, and encourage all of those facets of their being." In the following pages, Horn's Sumaya lists twelve trailblazing Somali women and why you need to know about them.

Read issue 1 of Horn here. For more, follow Sumaya's street style and culture platform, styleKAAS, on Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram.

*Ed. Note: An earlier version of this article was titled '12 Trailblazing Women From The Horn Of Africa'

Hana Mire

Photo by Nidal Morra

United Arab Emirates-based independent Somali filmmaker Hana Mire is the director and producer of the forthcoming documentary Rajada Dalka. She’s enrolled in film production courses at New York Film Academy in Abu Dhabi, and has previously directed and produced short documentaries and narratives. In 2013, she won an award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for her mini-doc, Silent Art.

Rajada Dalka is a feature documentary that incarnates the strong will and devotion of the Somali Women National Basketball Team amid an ongoing conflict. The idea for the film came about as Mire was watching TV and heard that Somalia's national women's basketball team had placed fourth at the 2011 Arab Games in Qatar. The film is slated for a 2016 release.

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Interview: Lady Du, Amapiano’s Sultry-Voiced Superstar, Is Smashing The Glass Ceiling

In conversation with amapiano star Lady Du about her rise, spirituality and considering herself a kwaito queen.

Lady Du is currently one of the hottest voices in amapiano. Born into a family of musicians, her father DJ Choc and uncle DJ Zan D are reputable deejays and producers. Lady Du, real name Dudu Ngwenya, first learned how to play at the tender age of nine. Since then and during her early adult life, she had been trying to get a successful break into the music industry. Though she made songs with renowned producers such as DJ Clock, DJ Mshega and DJ Maphorisa (back when he still did gqom) in 2013, 2014 and 2018 respectively, her breakthrough only came under a year ago through the track "Superstar", alongside revered amapiano deejay and producer Mr JazziQ.

Lady Du's musical journey speaks to her resilience, and her success can rightfully be attributed to her perseverance. On "Superstar", Lady Du sings about aspiring to superstardom, even going as far as mentioning some South African celebrities that she looks up to! Today, her name is listed among the very stars she once mentioned on the track. Since 2020, she has collaborated with heavyweights like Oskido, Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Focalistic, De Mthuda, Josiah De Disciple, Busta 929, DBN Gogo and many others. Her signature sultry voice, which sometimes resembles that of a baby, can also be heard on some of amapiano's biggest smash hits like "Umsebenzi Wethu", "Dakiwe", "Catalia", "Woza", "GUPTA" and more.

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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.