About Stephanie

steph_patio Stephanie Shonekan is assistant professor of ethnomusicology and black studies at the University of Missouri. Her doctorate in Ethnomusicology is from Indiana University Bloomington. She has published articles on afrobeat, Fela Kuti, as well as American and Nigerian hip-hop.  Her book The Life of Camilla Williams, African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva was published in 2011. Her chapter on Nigerian hip hop was published last year in a book titled Hip Hop Africa. Her current research is an exploration of American race, identity and culture through the lens of soul and country music. Her classes at Mizzou include Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Studies in African Music, World Music, Soul & Country Music, Black Women in Music, and Global Hip Hop.  In 2008, inspired by the music and revolution of Fela’s mother and the Nigerian market women’s revolution of the 1940s, Shonekan wrote and produced a short live action film titled Lioness of Lisabi. The film was awarded first prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival in 2010 and by the Girls Inc. Film Festival in Sarasota, Florida in March 2012. Contact: thatsmyjam68@gmail.com
LIONESS OF LISABI (short film)

Synopsis: Set in 1940s Nigeria, capturing the struggles of a young African girl. Funmi precariously straddles the different worlds of modernity and tradition. When Funmi’s mother, a powerful market woman, insists on sending her to England for an education, Funmi goes reluctantly, knowing that the patriarchal traditions at home continue to oppress the market women. With the help of a strange African American angel, Funmi returns with the confidence of an educated young woman. But she soon finds that, even though she has changed, the oppression has remained the same. The film culminates in the moment when Funmi finally and fully faces the old challenges.

Stephanie Shonekan (Writer/Producer)
Vlady Valentin (Director)
Marcus McDougald (Cinematographer)
Alana Arenas  … Iyalode
Anita Kavuu … Funmi
Bibi Lebechi … Mama Bayo
Warren Levon … Chief Ade
Charlette Speigner … Cherry

Lioness of Lisabi trailer


by Camilla Williams and Stephanie Shonekan

“…the gradual amalgamation of two diverse women – one a younger Nigerian ethnomusicologist and the other an older eminent African-American prima donna…an ideal combination for the writing of Miss Williams’ memoir…” (Prof. Elizabeth Nash University of Minnesota)