#Okay100Women

WANGECHI MUTU

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

Multimedia artist Wangechi Mutu's creations take a mouthful of words to describe: it's whimsical, unsettling, confrontational, subtle, sensational, intuitive. When you step into her world, you are reminded that not all adults have lost touch of their imagination; Mutu still has a strong grip on hers. 2017 started off well for the artist and AFRICA'SOUT founder, did a solo exhibition at New York's Gladstone Gallery. "Ndoro Na Miti" (Mud and Trees) looks at the "relationship between human existence and the environment."


The lauded, Kenyan-born artist is known for her quirky, distinctive collages, sculptures and videos, including her movie: The End of eating Everything featuring Santigold. In her images, she explores gender, race, colonialism and the female body, in unexpected and forward ways, urging us to think more critically about social norms.

-AA

Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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