#Okay100Women

UMRA OMAR

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

The founding member and secretary of Safari Doctors, Umra Omar, is changing lives by providing medical services for those living in and around Kenya’s Lamu area. The CNN hero works with Kenya’s Ministry of Health, and various partners, to provide much needed services to remote communities.




Once a month, the Safari Doctors crew sail during high tide and visit various communities in the coastal area to provide dental, optometry, gynecological and other services. Immunizations, maternal healthcare, communicable diseases treatment and access to clean water are some of the priorities that the organization focuses on.



Omar attended high school in Nairobi and later studied Neuroscience and Psychology at Oberlin College in the U.S, before pursuing a master's degree in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations. She worked for a few years in Washington D.C before deciding to go back to the Kenyan coast where she was born.



For not allowing the challenges of geography and resources to get in the way of starting a meaningful organization, Omar is an inspiration and an asset to her community.



—JO

 

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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