INSPIRING WOMAN! Entrepreneur Rapelang Rabana hails from South Africa. At the age of 23, she started her own telecommunications company, Yeigo Communications. She has today been featured in Forbes’ “30 under 30” list as well as Oprah’s Power List.
Select artworks from Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili:
“Nigeria is almost a third character in my work,” she said. “A lot of my work is about investigating my love for Nigeria and my life in America.
“I met my husband at college and there was some anxiety that if I married outside my culture I would lose my identity, but there is a space in my work where these things come together.”
Akunyili is hoping to help change attitudes to art in Nigeria, where she said appreciation is growing slowly.
“If I hadn’t left Nigeria, I wouldn’t be an artist, I would be a doctor,” she said. “When I told my parents I wanted to be an artist, they couldn’t get their heads around why an educated person who went to college in America would want to be an artist.
“If people think of artists, it’s somebody by the side of the road painting signs.”
“When I was young, the less Nigerian you were the cooler you were, but now we have gone back to tradition,” said Akunyili. “There’s a nice energy about the country that’s finally coming into its own.”
COMING INTO ITS OWN
Black women who made the TIME 100 List For 2013! First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, creative geniuses Beyoncé, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde (of Nigeria), and Shonda Rhimes, and President of Malawi, Joyce Banda.
Maya Angelou wrote the essay for Michelle Obama, in which she included this: “She has remained herself, with her grace, her gentleness and her sense of humor. That she would dare to wear clothes off the rack. Or go out and garden. Or have a grandmother in the White House. She knows how to be a public creature without being separate from her family.”
Nancy Pelosi wrote the essay for Kamala Harris, in which she included this: “As a child, Kamala accompanied her parents to civil rights marches in Oakland. She’s been making strides for justice — and breaking down barriers — ever since.”
Baz Lurhman wrote the essay for Beyoncé, in which he included this: “No one has that voice, no one moves the way she moves, no one can hold an audience the way she does. And she keeps growing and evolving in the ways that she expresses herself as a singer, as a performer and now as a mother.”
Richard Corliss wrote the essay for Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, in which he included this: “Nollywood enthralls millions more who come for the thrills, the uplift and the artful agitations of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde — the Queen of Nollywood.”
Oprah Winfrey wrote the essay for Shonda Rhimes, in which she included this: “Gay, straight, single, divorced, lost, searching — everybody gets a seat at Shonda’s table. She creates an assemblage of worldly foibles and aspirations. She understands that every dream is valuable and every identity deserves inspection through the looking glass of television.”
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia) wrote the essay for Joyce Banda, in which she included this: “President Banda is committed to using her position to improve the lives of women across the continent, not just in Malawi. She has great strength. I am delighted that I’m not alone in Africa anymore.”
The linked names in the first paragraph leads to each respective essay.
Nigeria stand urppppppppp
Jason Njoku is a resident of London and he is currently working on a startup that would distribute Nollywood films by streaming them online in a Netflix like service. Read all about him here
Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking on her new book Americanah and film adaptation “Half of A Yellow Sun” featuring Thandie Newton. Chimamanda gives a great interview on her work and other issues.
There was a good mixture of excitement and sort of being a bit slightly terrified at the concept of just entering this entirely new world, this new culture and stuff. We’d come to London on holiday and stuff, so I sort of knew the area, but I wasn’t going to be in London, I would be in Bath.
So yeah, it was quite terrifying; I didn’t really know what to expect. I remember, probably about a day before or couple of days before I left, asking my dad whether I had to – my middle name’s Emmanuel, which is a lot ‘easier’ – I remember going to him and very honestly asking whether I should use ‘Emmanuel’ instead.
He laughed and went, “Obviously you can if you want to. But you’ll soon learn that identity is one of the most important things that you’ve got.” And I think that was when I went, yeah, that’s quite cool. From then, I enjoyed telling people ‘my name’s Dipo’.”
— Dipo F, participant in the Nigerian-British History Project (via naijabritproject)