Women Wednesday #32
Posted on 07 June 2017
Ifetayo Ali-Landing is a 14-year-old Nigerian cellist who’s about to take over the world of classical music. The Chicago-based teen, has just won the prestigious 1st place prize in the 2017 Annual Sphinx Competition, held in Detroit, Michigan every year for young Black and Latino string players. She took home a $10,000 cash prize, and is set to make appearances on both NPR and PBS’ talent showcase, From the Top, and to perform as a soloist in a number of orchestras. Though she’s just 14, Ali-Landing has been playing instruments for over a decade. She began playing the violin when she was still a toddler and switched to the cello at the age of three, reports Blavity. She’s received numerous awards for her playing since, including the 2013 Friends of the IPO (Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra) Rising Stars Showcase, reports Blavity. Such talent so young is obviously going to go super far, we can’t wait to see what Ifetayo brings to the world of music.
Poonam is a teenager from Varanasi, a city in the Uttar Pradesh State of North India. She used to believe firmly that girls should stay at home and eventually get married. “Today, I feel that girls should have full freedom,” she says. What changed for Poonam? In a word: sports. She and a bunch of girls in her community learned to play ball. Rekha Chauhan is the project director of Mahila Swarojgar Samiti (MSS), an organization that helps teenage girls in Varanasi shape their identity and be more confident about their sexuality through football. MSS has created 25 groups of girls that meet regularly to discuss gender, patriarchy, sexuality, and reproductive health. And to play football, of course! Each group has 20 teens from economically marginalised families in Varanasi. Rekha says she knows how something as seemingly innocuous as football makes big social changes possible: “Football has remained an unchallenged male domain. When [girls] succeed in a supposedly ‘male’ domain, their confidence grows. They see that they are capable of what was a taboo for them and are eager to break down other restrictions,” she says. What an amazing use of sport and what incredible girls involved!
Seko Shamte is a producer and filmmaker, who is working to put Tanzanian cinema on the map. Shamte noticed a gap in international recognition of the country’s film industry, so she created her production company, Alkemist Media, to help fill it. She’s directed numerous films and documentaries including the popular web series, The A-Team Tanzania, and a cooking show entitled Jikoni na Marion. Last year she debuted her first feature film, Homecoming, a coming of age story which explores Tanzanian identity and values. Shamte has been a mover and shaker in the Tanzanian media industry for over 15 years. After studying Finance and Media at Marymount Manhattan College in New York, she worked as Head of Programming at East Africa Television before forming her production company. To top it all off—she’s a DJ. She’s put her country on her back, and is steadily transforming its media industry in the process. She’s a one woman powerhouse and we’re in awe.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x