At just 21 years old, Yityish Aynaw has gone on a remarkable life journey from a little girl playing barefoot in an Ethiopian village to an Israeli beauty queen who's ready to shine on the world stage.
A Kenyan-born designer is taking African art to America's Deep South -- and finding his way into the pages of U.S. fashion glossies.
The first Miss Israel of African descent talks about giving back and helping the country's Ethiopian community.
Ethiopian-born Miss Israel Yityish Aynaw reflects on her move to the Holy Land and connecting with Judaism.
CNN's Sara Sidner meets Ethiopian-born Yityish Aynaw, the first woman of African descent to win the Miss Israel pageant.
When change comes, it comes all of a sudden, leaving only a remembrance of the past, a previous present, as its memorial.
Ozwald Boateng, fashion designer and co-founder of Made in Africa Foundation, hosted a spectacular gala event celebrating Africa.
He was just a young boy -- long before he became one of Africa's all-time football greats and racked up trophies in Europe's top competitions -- when Abedi Ayew first heard people comparing him with arguably the game's best player -- Brazil's Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pele.
Ghanaian football legend Abedi "Pele" Ayew invites us into his home and opens up about his incredible career.
Born an albino, Josephat Torner has overcome discrimination and stigmatism in his country, Tanzania.
Josephat Torner talks about climbing Africa's tallest mountain in an effort to prove that albinos can achieve greatness.
Josephat Torner on challenging false perceptions about albinism in Tanzania -- as highlighted in a new documentary.
Ghanaian football legend Abedi "Pele" Ayew on coaching young players to become successful members of society.
Ghanaian football legend Abedi "Pele" Ayew talks about making tough career decisions and giving back to his supporters.
It was another December afternoon back in 2000, spent like hundreds of others combing the rocky hills of the Dikika region, when Ethiopian scientist Zeray Alemseged heard one of his assistants nearby calling him.
Ethiopian-born Zeray Alemseged on his work as Director and Curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Science.
Zeray Alemseged talks about how family life has enhanced his research.
Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged on becoming a hero in the world of science and supporting fellow African scientists.
Zain Verjee speaks with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about the inspiration behind her book "Half of a Yellow Sun."
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on receiving praise from her inspiration, legendary Nigerian storyteller Chinua Achebe.
CNN's Zain Verjee meets Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who talks about what inspires her work and making an impact back home.
Carefully maneuvering around a jumble of slippery rocks, Josephat Torner slowly steps inside a cluster of dark caves in northeast Tanzania.
Dressed in a pink uniform, midwife Esther Madudu shuffles past rows of beds to check on the five babies she delivered the night before inside a small health center in rural eastern Uganda.
Ugandan midwife Esther Madudu recalls a traumatic experience that caused her to make a life-changing decision.
Esther Madudu gives African Voices a tour inside the maternity clinic where she works in rural eastern Uganda.
African Voices meets Esther Madudu, who is fronting a pan-African campaign ensuring women have access to midwives.
Having just quit a highly lucrative job with tech giant Microsoft in the United States, where he'd made millions working as a program manager, Patrick Awuah would wake up once in a while wondering if he'd done the right thing.
As the founder of Ghana's Ashesi University, Patrick Awuah wants to find and develop Africa's next problem solvers.
Patrick Awuah reflects on moving back to Africa to start Ashesi University in Ghana.
Ashesi University founder Patrick Awuah talks about making education more accessible in Ghana.
At just 31 years old, and already heading a vast business empire he built from scratch, Ashish Thakkar has been referred to by some as Africa's youngest billionaire. But this is a label the Ugandan entrepreneur doesn't want to associate himself with.
Mara founder Ashish J. Thakkar reveals how he identifies excellent investment opportunities.
Ashish J. Thakkar reflects on his journey from selling computers to becoming one of Africa's top business entrepreneurs.
When Chinua Achebe, the father of modern African literature, passed away recently, the world noticed. There was an Achebe quote in particular that was repeated many times by various people, from CNN writers to friends in remote villages in Africa.
CNN's Ayesha Durgahee gets to know one of Africa's most successful and engaging entrepreneurs, Ashish J. Thakkar.
Standing by a poster depicting in full detail the complex union of muscles that make up the human body, David Sengeh works on a custom-made prosthetic leg inside MIT's Media Lab.
On a recent medical volunteer trip I was introduced to an elderly woman on the surgical wards. She had a growing tumor that had deformed her face and was threatening her life. For three months she was told a set of special equipment was needed to perform her surgery. As she waited for this equipment, her tumor grew larger and compromised her vision in one eye.
So finally, Madonna's honeymoon with Malawi has ended with a spat. Malawi's minister of education accused Madonna of "bullying officials" and exaggerating the extent of her charity in the country.
Witnessing brutal amputations during Sierra Leone's civil war led MIT student David Sengeh to pursue a bionics career.
Ph.D. student David Sengeh talks about giving back while challenging how Sierra Leone is perceived in the West.
Sierra Leone PhD student David Sengeh reflects on introducing the Microsoft founder during a student lecture at Harvard.
On his sixth birthday, at the height of World War II, Albie Sachs received a congratulatory postcard from his father with a rather unusual wish inscribed on it: "May you grow up to be a soldier in the fight for liberation," read the card.
Justice Sachs says the South African constitution validates a life spent fighting for liberation.
Albie Sachs helped forge South Africa's constitution after losing an arm in a car bomb attack during the apartheid era.
Retired justice Albie Sachs gives a tour of the heavily symbolic Constitutional Court building in Johannesburg
Surgeon Kofi Boahene explains how he rebuilt Iraq War veteran Michael Fletcher's face after an horrific accident.
Ghanaian facial reconstructive surgeon Kofi Boahene leads medical teams on missions across the globe.
Facial reconstructive surgeon Dr. Kofi Boahene shares his journey from childhood in Ghana to the U.S.
He is one of Nollywood's most popular film directors, hailing from a famous family of movie stars that have shaped Nigeria's entertainment industry for decades.
When Charity Agbameva went into labor last year there were complications. Realizing she needed medical attention, she traveled from Nigeria, where she was living, to a hospital in Keta, in the Volta Region of her native Ghana.
Jeta Amata reveals why he first rejected the idea of pursuing a career in filmmaking.
CNN's Isha Sesay meets Jeta Amata who is committed to telling African stories to a global audience.
Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata talks about working with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in his 2012 film "Black November."
Lawyer and human rights activist Seodi White has long been an outspoken campaigner for gender justice in Malawi, a country where half its women are married before the age of 18.
Malawian lawyer Seodi White talks about how spreading human rights literacy helps fight child marriage.
Women's rights activist Seodi White discusses a Malawian tradition forcing new widows to engage in unprotected sex.
Robyn Curnow meets Seodi White who wants to stop young girls from giving up on an education and marrying too early.
He calls it "my spaceship."
Unity. Faith. Peace. Support.
Is the world ready for an African pope? Zain Verjee crunches the number behind CNN's informal survey.
The Senegalese-American rapper talks about his countless business venture, including a South African diamond mine.
She ventured where few before her had dared, taking on a decades-long business monopoly and overcoming gender stereotypes to become a major player in her country's lucrative drinks industry.
Thousands of Africans have expressed their hopes that the next pope will be the first from their continent -- with a majority believing it would mean the Catholic Church becoming more conservative.
Senegalese-American rapper Akon reveals some of his biggest career regrets.
CNN's Isha Sesay meets Senegalese-American multi-platinum selling artist, producer and entrepreneur Akon.
Nine of the 10 countries with the world's highest rates of child marriage are in Africa: Niger, Chad and Central African Republic, Guinea, Mozambique, Mali, Burkina Faso and South Sudan, and Malawi.
Military intervention in Mali has been swift -- it took only a few months for foreign forces to step in to start helping the population.
Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council was meant to represent the beginning of a "world church" in the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church is still predominantly Eurocentric in her teachings, structures, and personnel.
Keroche Breweries head Tabitha Karanja discusses surviving as a start-up in Kenya's harsh business environment.
Tabitha Karanja discusses how female business leaders are changing beliefs about women's roles.
African Voices meets Tabitha Karanja, the head of the first Kenyan-owned beer manufacturer, Keroche Breweries.
It is now more than 20 years since pro-democracy grassroots organizations led struggles that eventually resulted in the overthrow of long-serving authoritarian regimes in many countries in Africa.
Kenya's most critical and complex election in its 50th year since independence kicks off on March 4, next Monday.
It might be many miles away from the usual sporting capitals of the world, but when it comes to long-distance running there's one tiny place that's setting the pace.
Coach Sentayehu Eshetu reveals how challenging running conditions help groom top athletes.
CNN meets Sentayehu Eshetu as he holds time-trials in a small village and selects two girls to join a regional camp.
Coach Sentayehu Eshetu meets up with Tirunesh Dibaba who won the 10,000 meter gold medal at the 2012 Olympic games.
African Voices meets Sentayehu Eshetu who has a strong eye for spotting world class running talent.
From going to the moon to the explosion of the civil rights movement, the swinging 1960s was an era of conquering new heights and sweeping change. So when Newton Jibunoh had to return back home to Nigeria in 1966, after completing his studies in London, the young engineer thought it was also time for him to blaze new trails.
Newton Jibunoh talks about drawing inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr. while studying in the UK.
Newton Jibunoh talks about how turning desert into agricultural land could help solve famine in Africa.
Nigerian environmentalist Newton Jibunoh opens up about his emotional trip through the Sahara desert.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, was asked last week at the celebration of Black History Month in Toronto if he thought that the time was ripe for an African pope. His answer attracted much cheering from the crowd of over 500 Catholics of African descent.
Africa has always been a continent of contrasts. And the latest findings from an amazing team of international researchers show that when it comes to providing our children with the best chances in life, Africa once more presents a very mixed picture.
When it comes to getting ready for a show, fast-rising South African comedian Trevor Noah has it all figured out.
Trevor Noah recalls his first trip to America during his recent one-man show at London's Soho Theatre.
Trevor Noah on being the first African comedian on "The Tonight Show" and tweaking his jokes for a global audience.
As the first African comedian to perform on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno", Trevor Noah tackles racism head-on.
Isha Sesay meets King Peggy, whose life changed drastically when she was chosen to reign over a Ghanaian town.
Every year, more than 200,000 African children are born with sickle-cell anemia -- around 150,000 of those in Nigeria.
South African comedian Trevor Noah explains how finding common ground with others has been his key to success.
Now that President Obama has taken a public stand on the warlords and militia gangs tyrannizing DR Congo, there is a sense that the next chapter in the human tragedy that has been raging there over the past decade and half is about to be written -- or so we can hope.
Dr. Bosede Afolabi on what drove her to become a doctor and helping advance knowledge of sickle cell anemia.
Dr. Bosede Afolabi explains what made her move back to Nigeria over a decade ago, after living and working in Britain.
CNN's Vladimir Duthiers speaks with Dr. Bosede Afolabi, who specializes in how sickle cell anemia affects pregnancies.
When Peggielene Bartels went to bed on a summer night in 2008, she was an ordinary administrative assistant living in a modest one-bedroom condo just outside Washington D.C.
King Peggy of Ghana opens up about life as a female king and how family members first rejected her role.
King Peggy of Ghana talks about her favorite crowns, helping her people and staying humble.
On the pitch, he is known as a combative defender whose marauding runs down the left flank have helped him establish himself as one of football's most enterprising fullbacks.
Despite being a high school dropout, Benoit Assou-Ekotto has created a foundation encouraging kids to stay in school.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto explains why he has chosen not to play for France.
CNN's Alex Thomas speaks with French-born footballer Benoit Assou-Ekotto, a defender for Tottenham Hotspur.
Operation Serval, France's swift military intervention to roll back advances made by Jihadist elements who had hijacked a separatist movement in northern Mali, could be a turning point in the ex-colonialist's relationship with Africa.
When celebrated film composer Hans Zimmer agreed to create the soundtrack for Disney's 1994 animated film "The Lion King," he knew there was only one person he wanted to work with -- South African singer and songwriter Lebo M.
Twelve months ago, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan gave his people a bizarre New Year present: he announced the immediate removal of fuel subsidies. The controversial measure meant that, quite suddenly, citizens were to pay as much as three times the usual price for gasoline.
Songwriter and composer Lebo M. says young South African musicians shouldn't try to sound American.
South African singer Lebo M. on being handpicked to work on "The Lion King."
Errol Barnett meets Grammy award-winning singer and composer Lebo M., whose credits include "The Lion King."
He might have some 60 albums under his belt and numerous awards to his name but iconic Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi has no plans to slow down.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said more could be done to reach out to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram to find out what leads it to carry out acts of violence.
Music legend Oliver Mtukudzi opens up about his son's tragic death and appreciating the two decades they spent together.
Often called the Spiritual Father of Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi sings about love and conflict in his in own unique way.
Zimbabwean musical living legend Oliver Mtukudzi on growing up in a home where music was the main language spoken.
He is a superstar in Arab cinema and has acted alongside Hollywood names such as Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Orlando Bloom in worldwide blockbusters.
Khaled El Nabawy talks about his Hollywood crossover and depicting Arabs in an accurate light.
The Egyptian actor talks about Come to Egypt, an initiative that aims to support the country's tourism industry.
CNN's Ian Lee speaks with Khaled El Nabawy, who wants to portray North Africans and Middle Easterners accurately.
Her mother was assassinated, her father died in prison after being jailed by the military. Today, Hafsat Abiola is one of the most prominent civil rights activists in Nigeria, fueled by a desire to ensure her parents' deaths were not in vain.
Three radio DJs in Kenya are going six days without food while broadcasting non-stop to promote peaceful voting in a country that was nearly torn apart after its last election five years ago.
For more than a year the Sudanese government has been bombing and spreading terror in the country's South Kordofan state, surgically cleansing the land of the Nuba people.
Vladimir Duthiers speaks with Hafsat Abiola as she launches a program designed to help poor pregnant women in Nigeria.
Hafsat Abiola talks about starting an NGO following the assassination of her mother.
Democracy advocate and political adviser Hafsat Abiola talks about how studying abroad has influenced her.
War-torn Somalia moved a step closer to stability this September after picking its first president elected on home soil in decades.
A member of Somalia's new parliament, Ahmed Ismail Samatar, talks about the largest Somali community in the U.S.
A prominent professor in the U.S., Ahmed Ismail Samatar, is eager to educate and to help rebuild Somalia.
Ex-Somali presidential candidate Ahmed Ismail Samatar talks about his love for Somalia and the U.S..
Unlike their Western counterparts, Africans take elections very seriously -- rising up early to queue patiently in line for hours under the hot sun and cast their ballots. Any misguided attempt to nullify or steal their votes will evoke a strong reaction from them. In fact, it explains why the destruction of an African country often begins with a dispute over the electoral process or transfer of power.
Senegal's first lady, Marieme Faye Sall, doesn't want life in the public eye to change her.
Marieme Faye Sall is the first African woman of Senegalese birth to serve as first lady in the country.
CNN's Isha Sesay speaks with Senegal's first lady Marieme Faye Sall about life in the public eye.
The past decade has seen a number of developments on the African continent -- a relative increase in political stability, modest economic growth, and the early signs of a re-emergence of a young and vocal middle class engaging actively in debates about the continent's future. Poverty, war and disease are still heartbreakingly common, but there is a sense of possibility that a few decades ago seemed absent.
In 2010 the African Union launched a decade-long initiative to promote women's empowerment and put female rights at the heart of development in the billion-strong continent.
If humanitarian crises were listed by some sort of moral -- or editorial -- standards on the stock exchange, to help indicate which ones urgently require international news coverage and political action, shares of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) would have commanded international news headlines and extensive press coverage over the past 12 years.
Rainatou Sow is the founder of "Make Every Woman Count" an organisation that monitors female rights across Africa.
Congolese activist, Marie-Claire Faray now lives in London where she campaigns to end violence against women.
2009 CNN Hero Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network, caring for Zimbabwe's young sex abuse victims.
When Babatunde Osotimehin last year became the head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) -- the international development agency promoting female rights -- the news didn't go down too well with many women working in the field.
Babatunde Osotimehin reveals why dealing with HIV/AIDS is a major challenge in conservative societies.
CNN's Isha Sesay speaks with Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund.
U.N. boss Babatunde Osotimehin says meeting with women around the world has been a 'humbling experience.'
If laughter is the best medicine then few are more qualified to offer a prescription than Riaad Moosa.
As an NBA executive, I'm always looking for untapped potential. As a proud native of Nigeria, I believe that Africa is one of the world's greatest resources in that area.
Taken at face value, a Barack Obama presidency should be a big deal for Africa.
South African surgeon turned stand-up comedian Riaad Moosa talks to CNN about his comedic calling.
South African surgeon turned stand-up comedian, Riaad Moosa is inspired by his Indian heritage and Muslim faith.
Actor and comedian, Riaad Moosa talks about the parallels of his own story to his character in new film, "Material"
Soccer may be the king of sports in Africa, but one man is on a mission to change that by uncovering the continent's rising basketball stars.
African Voices meets Nigerian-born Masai Ujiri, the only African in charge of an American major league sports team.
NBA boss Masai Ujiri on searching for future basketball stars and his strong family values.