#Okay100Women

SONA JOBARTEH

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

Men have been traditionally associated with the kora instrument,  for the past seven centuries in West Africa. This ancient practice did not stop Sona Jobarteh from mastering the art, and mesmerizing her fans all over the world with her talent.


Jobarteh remains one of the continent’s most distinctive instrumentalists and performers, who is credited as a singer-songwriter. Some of Jobarteh vocals appeared in the Hollywood film, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom and she composed music for the film score for Motherland: The Score.

Since the release of her 2011 acclaimed album, "Fasiya", the singer has focused on managing a school she co-founded, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh School of Music, which is named after her late grandfather who was a master griot and one of Gambia’s leading kora players.

Jobarteh has made history as a first female kora player, and continues to enrich the lives of those who hear her music, and look up to her as a teacher and community leader.

—JO

Interview

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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