In the spirit of celebrating a woman who has over the years become the voice for African women and even women all across the world.
A feminist who understands, appreciates, values the significance and importance of women not just because she’s a woman but because it is the right thing to do. An African woman who doesn’t undermine or downplay the strength, power and ability of women. As we celebrate her, we celebrate every African woman. Meet the iconic woman:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie born 15th September, 1977, is a Nigerian writer whose works range from novels to short stories to nonfiction.She was described in The Times Literary Supplement as “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors who are succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.
Adichie has written the novels Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013), the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), and the book-length essay We Should All Be Feminists (2014).Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017. In 2008, she was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant.
Adichie was born in the city of Enugu in Nigeria, and grew up as the fifth of six children in an Igbo family in the university town of Nsukka in Enugu State. While she was growing up, her father, James Nwoye Adichie, worked as a professor of statistics at the University of Nigeria. Her mother, Grace Ifeoma, was the university’s first female registrar. The family lost almost everything during the Nigerian Civil War, including both maternal and paternal grandfathers. Her family’s ancestral village is in Abba in Anambra State.
Adichie completed her secondary education at the University of Nigeria Secondary School, Nsukka, where she received several academic prizes. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the university’s Catholic medical students. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
She soon transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to be near her sister Uche, who had a medical practice in Coventry, Connecticut. While the novelist was growing up in Nigeria, she was not used to being identified by the colour of her skin which suddenly changed when she arrived in the United States for college.
As a black African in America, Adichie was suddenly confronted with what it meant to be a person of color in the United States. Race as an idea became something that she had to navigate and learn. She writes about this in her novel Americanah. She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University, with the distinction of summa cum laude in 2001. She was also awarded a 2011–2012 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.
Adichie divides her time between the United States, and Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops. In 2016, she was conferred an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane letters, honoris causa, by Johns Hopkins University. In 2017, she was conferred honorary degrees – Doctor of Humane letters, honoris causa, by Haverford College and The University of Edinburgh. In 2018, she received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Amherst College. She received an honorary degree, doctor honoris causa, from the Université de Fribourg, Switzerland, in 2019.
In an interview published in the Financial Times in July 2016, Adichie revealed that she had a baby daughter. In a profile of Adichie, published in The New Yorker in June 2018, Larissa MacFarquhar wrote, “the man she ended up marrying in 2009 was almost comically suitable: a Nigerian doctor who practiced in America, whose father was a doctor and a friend of her parents.”Adichie is a Catholic and was raised Catholic as a child, though she considers her views, especially those on feminism, to sometimes conflict with her religion.
At a 2017 event at Georgetown University, she stated that religion “is not a women-friendly institution” and “has been used to justify oppressions that are based on the idea that women are not equal human beings.”She has called for Christian and Muslim leaders in Nigeria to preach messages of peace and togetherness.
In a 2014 interview, Adichie said on feminism and writing: “I think of myself as a storyteller but I would not mind at all if someone were to think of me as a feminist writer. I’m very feminist in the way I look at the world, and that world view must somehow be part of my work.”
To every African woman out there; you are strong, you are beautiful, you are recognized, you are loved. You are celebrated!
To Chimamanda, Thank you. Keep writing, keep speaking, keep moving!
Stylish actresses in Nigeria
Nigeria is a country where style, colors and fashion are highly appreciated. The giant of Africa has celebrities in the movie industry who are extremely fashionable and have made themselves fashion role models. Meet some of the Nigerian actresses who have fallen into this category.
Sharon Ooja is a Nigerian actress born April 6th, 1991. She came into limelight after she played the role of “Shalewa” in the web series Skinny Girl in Transit. Sharon is known for her neck breaking fashion sense. The actress is considered one of the prettiest faces in the Nigerian movie industry. She is also one of the most stylish actress with a knack for making heads turn when she passes by. It’s safe to make her your fashion role model.
Ini Dima-Okojie is a Nigerian actress.
Her film career began in 2014 when she played “Feyisayo Pepple” in the television series, Taste of Love. In 2016, she played “Hadiza Ahmed” in the film North East; her character was an Islamic lady who began a romantic relationship with a man from a different religious background. For her role in the film, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2017 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
Dima-Okojie is also noted to have a strong fashion sense, with many media outlets describing her as one of the most stylish celebrities in Nigeria. Dima never comes to play with her styles (pun intended). She is known for adding style to ordinary atires and looking asthetically stylish in anything she wears. She should your fashion role model.
Mercy Aigbe was born 1st January, 1978. She is a Nigerian actress, director and businesswoman. She is best known for her Yoruba indigenous movies.
Mercy Aigbe is known for her unique style and dressing. At the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, Mercy Aigbe’s dress earned her great applause from fashion stakeholders, and she trended on social media even after ceremony. The dress was commended for its unique design. In November 2014, Aigbe launched her clothing store, Mag Divas Boutique in Lagos, then opened another outlet in Ibadan. She was awarded Fashion Entrepreneur of The Year at Links and Glitz World Awards.
Need we say more? There goes your fashion role model.
Popular former Big Brother Naija housemate, Cynthia Nwadiora also known as Cee C is always on point whether she is going to a club or rocking beautiful formal dresses on the red carpet, millions of fans are left in awe of the way she dresses herself. She is a sight for sore eyes. Her banging figure always perfects Cee C’s styles.
Cythia never walks by without leaving people awestruck waith her fashion sense. Make her your fashion role model today.
Rita Uchenna Nkem Dominic Nwaturuocha is a Nigerian actress born 12th July, 1975. In 2012, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Dominic started performing as a child, appearing in school plays and children’s television shows in Imo State. In 1998, she starred in her first movie, A Time to Kill. She won the City People Awards in 2004 as the Most Outstanding Actress. She has starred in over 100 Nollywood productions.
Not only is Rita Dominic celebrated for her acting, she is equally celebrated fo her great fashion sense. The actress always looks classically stylish outshining everyone wherever she finds her self. She definitely is a role model for every lady.
Miss Tanzania: Wema Sepetu
Wema Sepetu was born 28th September, 1988. She is a Tanzanian actress and beauty contestant who won the Miss Tanzania contest in 2006 Miss Tanzania. She represented Tanzania in Miss World 2006, which was held in Poland. She later became an actress in Tanzania.
She hails from the diplomatic family of the Late Abraham Sepetu. She is the last born in a family of four children. She obtained her primary, secondary, and high school education at Academic International School in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and she later joined Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia to pursue an international business course which she did for a one-year and then dropped out to continue with acting.
She was introduced into the movie industry by the late Steven Kanumba during their dating, she made her film debut in A Point Of No Return she played Dina, the main character alongside Steven Kanumba, she gave an outstanding performance as young lady who is forced by her family to marry the witch man Lameck (Steven Kanumba) who is not her choice. She later appeared in many movies such as Family Tears, Red Valentine, White Maria that made her to be one of the popular and desired actresses in Tanzania.She has appeared in more than 20 films.
In 2011 she produced the movie called Superstar the film that tells her love life with musician Diamond Platnumz who had been on and off for some period. The movie was launched in 2012 at the Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dar Es Salaam and was graced by many people including Omotola Jalade Ekeinde from Nigeria who was the guest of honour. But the movie didn’t enter into the market till today and Wema said that she still looking for a best distributor who can pay her compared to her production costs since she stated that most of the distributors have pledged a few money compared to what she invested. After that she appeared in the movies Basilisa, It Was not Me, House boy, Madame, and others.
In 2014 she collaborated with Van Vicker from Ghana to produce a movie called Day After Death starring Wema and Van Vicker. The Film was planned to be released in 2015 but due to some delays it has not entered the market up to today. Apart from D.A.D to not be released. Luckily when celebrating her 30th birthday she did a premier of the movie DAD and now has been a must watch movie. Wema appeared in some movies from 2015-2016 such as Family, Mapenzi Yamerogwa and Chungu Cha Tatu among others
In 2017 she made a comeback with her film called Heaven Sent which she produced and act as leading character that has also had Salim Ahmed (Gabo) as the main character, the launch took place at Century Cinemax Mlimani City Dar Es Salaam Tanzania, the movie was sold via her mobile application Wema App, the movie received seven nominations at the 2018 Sinema Zetu International Film Festival Awards including Best Actress and Best Feature Film, where Wema won Best Actress and the movie won People’s Choice.
In 2013 she launched her company called Endless Fame Production. The company deals with movies production and Artists management, they have managed some of Tanzanian musicians such as Mirror and Ally Luna. The company has produced movies such as Superstar, Unexpected, Day After Death, Family, and Heaven Sent.
After winning the title of Miss Tanzania in 2006, Wema traveled to Warsaw, Poland to compete in the Miss World 2006.
Sawa Sawa Album: The Artiste, His music
Eric Wainaina born 28th, August 1973 is a Kenyan singer-songwriter. His career was launched with his debut album, Sawa Sawa, in 2001. Wainaina’s music is a blend of Kenyan Benga rhythm and East African guitars, with some modern harmony.
Wainaina first stepped into the world of music with Five Alive, a gospel a cappella group. Five Alive consisted of Victor Seii, Bob Kioko, Chris Kamau, and David Mageria, who was replaced by Joe Kiragu. They drew their musical influence from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Take 6. Dominating Kenya’s airwaves in 1995, Five Alive released their debut album ‘Five Alive’ in 1996, and even went on to tour Europe the same year.
His experience with the group convinced Wainaina to pursue a professional career in music. In 1996 he performed and appeared in the video for Get in the Driver’s Seat, a song commissioned by the United Nations Drug Control Programme for a highly successful anti-drug campaign spanning 20 countries. This not only set the stage for his eventual emergence as a solo artist, but also got him into the social concern and activism that characterizes much of his music
When the group disbanded in 1997, Wainaina went on to join the Berklee College of Music in Boston—USA, from which he graduated with a degree in Music, majoring in Songwriting and Record Engineering. He graduated with honours.
During his years at Berklee, Wainaina and his band traveled to different parts of the country to perform, as well as holding regular shows in Boston. Together with his producer, Christian Kaufmann, he worked to produce a sound that would be distinctively Kenyan both in the music and the content of the lyrics. In order to do this, he made sure that he released a new track every time he returned home for vacation, This was well received by his growing fanbase, with his performance at Kenya’s ‘Beats of the Season’ concert in December 2000 being watched live by 15,000 fans and broadcast nationally.
His notable releases include ‘Kenya Only’, a song that instantly made him Kenya’s favourite modern musician. After the 1998 terrorist bombing in Nairobi where over 200Kenyans lost their lives, ‘Kenya Only’ was adopted as the unofficial song of mourning, receiving extensive radio and TV airplay nationwide. His adaptation of a Kikuyu folk tune ‘Ritwa Riaku’ was added to the playlist of every radio station in the nation soon after.
Wainaina returned to the top of Kenya’s musical agenda after he released ‘Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo’ (‘Country of Small Things’) in 2001, a song that launched his crusade against rampant corruption in the country. With the chart success of ‘Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo’, Wainaina received international accolades. Transparency International (Kenya) supported him as an artist who would help educate people on the negativity of corruption, appointing him an ambassador.
He was also appointed Ambassador for the NGO MS Kenya, Kenya Human Rights Commission and by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights for his commitment to fighting the abuses to justice through music. This anthem against corruption (Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo) was not so highly appreciated in all quarters, however, with the government of the day putting up resistance to it by refusing to air it on the national broadcaster, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
In one instance several attempts were made to keep him from performing at a national event, the Kenya Music Festival, including intimidation and attempts to switch off his microphone.
Following the suspicious death of Father Anthony Kaiser in 2000, Wainaina was commissioned by the Mill Hill Fathers in 2003 to write a song about this. This became Ukweli, a call for justice despite efforts that were being made to cover up the true nature of Father Kaiser’s death, which was reported as suicide despite strong evidence to the contrary.
In 2001, Africa Almanac.com listed him amongst the top 100 Africans of the year 2000, which included high-profile names such as Nelson Mandela, Joseph Kabila, Yash Pal Ghai, Baaba Maal and Ousmane Sembène. His first record, Sawa Sawa, released in 2001, remains one of the highest-selling solo albums in the country.
Eric was also commissioned in 2010 to write the UN-MDG anthem to be performed at the closing ceremony of the Fifa world cup in South Africa to be performed alongside Jimmy Dludlu, Baaba Maal and Angelique Kidjo.
In 2013 Eric was designated a National UN Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) alongside fellow Kenyan singer Suzanna Owiyo.
Eric Wainaina performed during Mata Amritanandamayi’s 60th Birthday Celebrations at Amritapuri, Kerala, India on 26 September 2013.
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