mater mea - Celebrating Motherhood and Women of Color

Things That Gave Us Life: The Angels Edition

Martina Bacigalupo  from her series “Umumalayika.”

Martina Bacigalupo from her series “Umumalayika.”

Things That Gave Us Life: The Angels Edition

Words: Ashley Poag

Our weekly roundup of the best things that happened online and IRL. 

"Umumalayika" (Kirundi for angel) is a beautiful photo series borne from an incredibly ugly experience. While at the Association for the Rights of Women in Bujumbura, photographer Martina Bacigalupo met Francine, a Burundi woman who had both her arms amputated as punishment for giving birth to a daughter instead of a son.

“I was trying to move away from a certain kind of photography that depicts Africa always as a dark land of brutality, barbarism, war, and ignorance," Bacigalupo explained to Slate. "I [chose] a story that was affirming that assumption and yet I was questioning it. In fact, at the end, it was the simple story of the relation between a mother and her child.”

Gorgeously shot and lovingly rendered, Umumalayika is a must see.


Zuriel Oduwole is the "youngest professional filmmaker in the world today," Indiewire reports. From the age of 9, Oduwole has interviewed "presidents and prime ministers in Kenya, Liberia, South Sudan and Jamaica among other countries, and celebrities, such as the Williams sisters." Now 12, she's only adding more accolades: Her latest documentary "A Promising Africa" was released in Lagos, Nigeria in November and will debut in London this month, making her "the youngest filmmaker in the world to have her film shown in a commercial movie theater."



For the first time in its 44-year history Essence Magazine did not feature an image on its coverThe magazine went for an all-black cover featuring the words “Black Lives Matter” and a call to action ("What we must do now").


Kanye West released a song called “Only One,” with the help of Beatle and music legend Paul McCartney. The song's lyrics are from West’s late mother Donda's perspective as she looks down on her son and granddaughter North from Heaven (the song's last line "Tell Nori about me" choked us up a little). 


Tamera Mowry Housley made us feel like family by sharing her pregnancy with her second child with us on Instagram.


Folorunsho Alakija is now the world's richest black woman. The Nigerian oil entrepreneur surpassed Oprah Winfrey by about $300 million, showing there's room for many more black women in the billionaire's club.


Forbes released their fourth annual 30 under 30 list that highlights the brightest millennials in their respective fields. Several young black men and women were celebrated for their accomplishments and for being “game changers, movers and shakers.” (For Harriet lists all of the black women who made the Forbes' list.)


“Round and Round” singer Jazmine Sullivan covered Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” flawlessly during a recent recording session for VIBE Magazine’s V Series.


Ashley Poag is mater mea's intern and an aspiring multimedia journalist.