#Okay100Women

TOKE MAKINWA

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

Nigeria's Toke Makinwa is an award-winning radio and TV presenter, vlogger, fashionista and a best-selling author.




Makinwa co-hosts "The Morning Drive" on Rhythm FM, and also works on Ebony Life TV's show, Moments. The star's YouTube channel (Toke Moments) has won her many international fans, and centers around relationship and life advice. The popular personality is a noted brand ambassador, who has worked with Nestlé Nigeria, and in 2016, the Mecran Cosmetics company tapped her to front their skincare campaign.



In 2016, Makinwa penned her memoir,On Becoming, which details her experience of being an orphan, growing up in Nigeria and the tumultuous relationship she had with her ex-husband. Makinwa's frank portrayal polarized readers, but her courage in telling her own truth set a precedent in Nigeria. OkadaBooks noted that hers was the fastest selling book on their platform.

She is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she earned her degree in English language and literature. With over one million Instagram followers, this Nigerian influencer is one of Africa’s top media personalities.



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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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