Africa is known as the second largest and second most populous continent in the world. It covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its total land area. It is considered to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth and it is known for hosting a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and language. Africa has 54 recognised states and 2 states whose independence is disputed (Western Sahara and Somaliland). From Cape to Cairo, Africa has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Being the proud African I am, today’s post focuses on the beautiful side of Africa.The Africa the media fails to show the world- Africa with cascading rivers, majestic mountains and beautiful people all courtesy of the GREATEST ARTIST OF ALL TIME (GOD).
P.S: These are not in any particular order and feel free to share some of yours.
1.Lake Rebta or Lac Rose (Senegal)
Lake Rebta or Lac Rose (meaning Pink Lake) lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal which is in northwest Africa. It is named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella Saline algae (a type of green micro-algae Especially found in sea salt fields) and it is known for its high salt content, up to 40% in some areas.
Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It is known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, which are pilgrimage sites (a place where the Coptic Christians go in search of moral or significance). Carved out of a rock, the subterranean monoliths include huge Bete Medhane Alem and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. It is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, second only to Aksum (one of the oldest continuously inhabited place in Africa)
3.Maluti and AfriSki Mountains (Lesotho)
Lesotho is one of the 4 countries which experiences snow in the whole of Africa with Algeria, South Africa and Morrocco. It is the coldest country in Africa and is the only independent state in the world that lies entirely above 1 000 metres in elevation, its lowest point of 1 400 metres is, therefore, the highest in the world. In June the temperatures go below 0 degrees Celsius and regular snowfalls are common in mountainous areas.
4.Mosi-oa-tunya aka Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning “The Smoke that Thunders” is one of the world’s highest waterfalls in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. The Zambezi River in which the falls pour is the largest river in southern Africa and it flows across Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique until it reaches the Indian Ocean.550 million litres of water drops 93m every minute over the cliff into the Zambezi River.
5.Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania with three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. It is the largest mountain in Africa and it is one of the “Seven Summits” of the world. The volcanic mountain last erupted 150 000 years ago. It is the largest mountain outside of South America, making it the second highest in the world after Mount Everest. Around 25 000 people climb Mount Kilimanjaro each year, but only 2/3 of these actually reach the summit.
As a young Zimbabwean woman, I have spent most of my life around my own kind. I have come across some who are proud of their heritage and some who despise it. This is due to what we are known for all over the world, what our country has been deemed to stand for. We are known for corruption, poverty and instability. It breaks my heart that these are the only things about 90% of the world know about Zimbabwe. The world does not look at our educational system being one of the highest in Africa, our beautiful wildlife resorts or how we are hardworking people who have not given up on our country even after the 2008 inflation. We have tried and we will keep trying to make it a better place, those in Zimbabwe and those who are abroad included.
I also believe we (Zimbabweans) are not only changing our country but the world at large. We are bringing our ideas and experiences to the world and impacting millions of lives. I have read about many Zimbabwean men and women like me who have thrived to bring change. I am amazed at what these people have archived because I had also come to believe nothing good came out of Zimbabwe, including myself.
So, in today’s post, I will be focusing on the Zimbabwean men and women, known and unknown who have brought change and who are still changing the world. These have encouraged me to be proud of where I come from and not to give up regardless of how the world sees us, because that does not define us. HAPPY READING and HAPPY WATCHING (this post is backed up by a lot of videos.)
P.S: The list is in no particular order.
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai was a Zimbabwean politician who was the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 2009-2013. He was President of the Movement of Democratic Change- Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and a key figure in the opposition of Robert Mugabe. In 2002, Morgan Tsvangirai was the MDC candidate in the 2002 presidential elections, losing to Robert Mugabe. He ran for the 2008 presidential elections again as the MDC-T candidate, taking 47.8% of the vote according to official results, placing him ahead of Robert Mugabe who had 43.2%. A re-run was requested and Morgan Tsvangirai ended up losing to Zanu PF. He initially planned on running again against Robert Mugabe but he withdrew, arguing the elections would not be free and fair due to the widespread violence and his intimidation of the government which led to the death of 200 people.
He was arrested after the 2000 elections and he was charged with treason, a charge which was later dismissed. In 2003, he was arrested shortly after giving a press conference being alleged he had incited violence.2004, he was acquitted of treason for an illegal plot to assassinate the then President in the run-up to the 2002 elections. On 11 March 2007 a day after his 55th birthday, Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested on his way to a prayer rally in Highfields. He was heavily tortured by police and he had deep gashes on his head and a badly swollen eye. He was later released after suffering a skull fracture and had internal bleeding. 2007, the police stormed the MDC-T headquarters and arrested him, lifting a ban on political activities and implemented immediate reforms. After being pressurised by the support Morgan Tsvangirai was getting from other countries, Robert Mugabe agreed to a coalition within the Zimbabwean government. This led to Morgan Tsvangirai being appointed the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 2009, a position which had been abolished in 1987 after the constitution had been amended. However, the position was again dissolved in 2013.
In 2010, Morgan Tsvangirai was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but he missed it by a whisker when it was awarded to Barack Obama, the former President of America.
Fadzayi Mahere is a prominent Zimbabwean lawyer and politician. She obtained a Bachelor’s of a Law Honours degree in 2008 and in 2010, she enrolled at the University of Cambridge for a Masters of Law, International Criminal Law and International Commercial Litigation, before graduating in 2011. She was part of the Lead Counsel (Zimbabwe) team that won the All Africa International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition in Arusha, Tanzania.
In June of 2016, Advocate Mahere participated in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe public inquisition on the printing and introduction of additional bond notes in 2016. She cited that bond notes were unconstitutional as it goes against Chapter 17 of the Constitution that speaks on public finance. She also took part in the #thisflagmovement, where she began to motivate and mobilise people using social media channels such as Facebook Live discussions and Twitter to rise against the existing government. In 2017 she announced her bid to represent Mt Pleasant (her home town) in the 2018 elections as an independent candidate, but she was arrested in the same year, after organising a soccer tournament in her constituency and was charged under the Public Order and Security Act.
She was later released and she is still fighting and representing the youth of Zimbabwe, fervently and tirelessly.
Dixon Chibanda is a Zimbabwean psychiatrist who started the Friendship Bench in one of Harare’s township Mbare in 2007 and conceptualised the first Friendship Bench intervention that has now been refined and adapted considerably.
He has been involved in mental health research for many years. Dixon is a key player in bringing the various stakeholders from local health authorities, health professional, national and international researches and donors together to form successful collaborations. In his role as PI, he has led the Friendship Bench team through the rigorous exercise of the randomised control trial (RCT) which was able to deliver evidence for the intervention’s effectiveness. He is currently leading the team as they scale-up the Friendship Bench to over 60 primary health care clinics in the country.
Betty Makoni is a Zimbabwe gender activist, CNN Hero, Speaker, Philanthropist, Mentor and Social Critic who in 1999 founded the Girl Child Network, a charity which supports Zimbabwe’s young sex abuse victims. After being raped at a young age and seeing her mother being murdered, she was familiar with the feelings of powerlessness, rage and anger from an early age. As she grew up, she pledged to become a different kind of adult from those she had to know. Enrolled in at an all-girls school on work for a free scholarship, she excelled in her studies that she ended up being on an exchange program to the US. Whilst in the US,she began to notice how women in the US voiced their opinions and protested, she became very concerned about the silence of women in Zimbabwe over the same issues.
Upon returning and becoming a teacher, she was alarmed by the high rate of girl dropping out of school. This led to the organisation of the support group- Girl Child Network. The organisation has saved over 35 000 girls and provided mentoring to at least 60 000 girls around Zimbabwe. She earned 2 degrees at the University of Zimbabwe and has been awarded numerous national and international awards.
She permanently began volunteering in 2000 for the Girl Child Network. In 2003 the Women’s World Summit awarded her the Prize for Women’s Creativity in the Rural Areas. 2007, Betty Makoni won the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child and in 2008, Amnesty International awarded her its Ginetta Sagan Award for her work with the GCN.
The GCN has grown, it has so many branches all over the world, including countries like Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and the USA to name a few. She has over 44 global awards and is undoubtedly the most awarded African woman in the world, who has been recognised by Global Nobel Prize winners like Nelson Mandela.
Strive Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is the founder and executive chairman of diversified international Telecommunications, Media and Technology group Uganda and the USA to name a few. He has won numerous accolades and gained international recognition for his business expertise and philanthropy. He is considered one of Africa’s most generous humanitarian. He has used his own family fortune to build one of the largest support programs for educating orphans in Africa. He has educated and supported more than 40 000 children worldwide and he has also been involved in a diverse range of health issues including campaigns against HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, malnutrition and EBOLA. He is a devoted Christian and has said his faith is His pillar of strength.
In 1998, the World Junior Chamber of Commerce named him one of the “10 most outstanding young leaders of the world”, an accolade previous bestowed to John Kennedy.2003, he was named one of the most influential business leaders in the world by CNN Time magazine. In 2012, the former President of the United States, Barack Obama invited him and four other business leaders of attending the 38th G8 summit at Camp David, addressing them on strategies on food production and poverty in Africa. Fortune Magazine named him one of the 50 most influential business leaders in the world in 2014. 2015, Forbes Magazine named him in the 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa list and the International Rescue Committee awarded Strive Masiyiwa the Freedom Award, an award which is given annually to individuals who make extraordinary contributions toward supporting refugees and championing the causes of liberty, individual freedom and dignity. In 2017 Fortune Magazine named him number 33 in the World’s Greatest leaders list, along with Elon Musk and LeBron James.
Tsitsi Masiyiwa is Zimbabwean philanthropist and social entrepreneur who has devoted much of her life to empowering the lives of young people through education and technology. She started working in philanthropy in the early 1990s through the work of her husband. During that time, the country was gripped by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and many families lost breadwinners.
She founded Higherlife Foundation together with her husband, a philanthropic organisation with a mission to provide a platform for people to fulfil their God-given purposes. She said when they went broke after using the government, she made a deal with God, that if they won the case he would help as many poor people as she could as long as she lived. She realised to really understand the plight of orphaned children, she needed to spend time going where they were, eating what they ate, sleeping where they slept and listening to their stories.
Whilst staying at children’s homes, she discovered that most of the children in homes were abandoned at very young ages, never had visitors, had the bare minimum to eat and hardly had meat with their meals. They spent most of their time doing household chores and agricultural tasks, missing out on the opportunity of being children. This led to her making it possible for more orphans to go to school and University. Her organisation offered scholarship and once a child became a beneficiary, they stopped being orphans and became History Makers. This new name was intended to help in transforming their mindsets to become young responsible leaders with global mindsets.
Her foundation has branches in countries including Lesotho, Burundi and Swaziland. A $6.4 million investment was made to sponsor 40 international scholarships at Morehouse and Spelman College in Atlanta, USA. An international scholarship fund for 30 scholarship is launched every year to academically gifted children to Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland to position them for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in the USA. She has also made it possible for 30 learning hubs, in partnership with rural and urban schools, equipped with state of the art computers and furniture.
In 2016, she was awarded the African Woman of the year in health and education award.
David Zinyama is a Zimbabwean freelance art director and consultant, graphic designer and visual artist. He graduated with a first class degree in Graphics Designing in 2015. He is famous for photoshop images featuring himself and various celebrities such as Rihanna, Beyoncè and Kim Kardashian to name a few. He has also worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including NHS(UK), BBC, ITV, Unicef, MOBO Awards and more.
He has also been known for motivating people and he uses social media to encourage people to focus on their goals and not to waste time on unproductive things which do not bring food to the table. When asked if he had always wanted to be a graphics designer, David said that he was not always artistic but it was something he later on discovered in life. He stated that he used to do music and there was a time when he needed his CD covers to be designed, at the time he did not know anyone who could do such a task so he acquired Photoshop and from there, his talent grew.
In 2013, he received the Young Achievement Award.2014, he was awarded the Social Media Contributor of the year. In 2015, he received the Best Graphics Design Young Achievers Technology Award and the YCN Student Award. In 2016 he received the African Pride Awards Entrepreneur /Business of the Year and in 2017, the Zim Achievers Awards Entrepreneur of the Year. He was named as Hip Hop’s New King of Photoshop by Complex Magazine.
Rumbi Katedza is a Zimbabwean filmmaker, director and screenwriter. She worked as a radio presenter/producer for Radio 3 Zimbabwe and she used to write articles which were published in numerous magazines including Vertigo, AV Special and Hype! Her fictional writing has been published in Women Writing Zimbabwe, the BTA/Anglo-Platinum Winners Collection and Illuminations. She was the distributing Manager at Media for Development Trust, responsible for a catalogue of over 200 films and later, she became Director of Zimbabwe International Film Festival, before going out on her own as a producer and director of narrative and documentary content through her company, Mai Jai Films.
In addition to co-producing and line producing projects, Mai Jai Films runs Postcards from Zimbabwe, a children’s audio-visual and life-skills training project. It also runs ZimbabweFilm.com, a Zimbabwean film promotion website. She has directed a number of music videos for some of Zimbabwe’s top artists. Her film credits include Danai (2002) which got her nominated for Best Director at the National Arts Merit Awards, and the award-winning film Asylum(2007), Tariro (2008) and Big house, Small House. Her full-length feature film Playing Warriors was released in 2011.
Nkosana Mafico is a Zimbabwean-Australian based guest speaker, motivational and inspirational speaker and a changemaker who is passionate about advancing humanity through business. He represented Australia at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in 2014, and at Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in 2015. A World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Nkosana currently serves as the Founder and Chief of CYALA (Council for Young African Living Abroad).
In 2014, at just 19 years old he was headhunted and became CEO of an English pronunciation software company. He went on to successfully lead the company through an investment round with Telstra and a 6-week business development trip to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China. He was also awarded the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneur grant (1 and 2).2015 he was named Australian National Champion and a Global Finalist at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in the USA and he became the World Economic Forum Global Shaper in 2016. In the same year, Nkosana and his tribe hosted Australia’s first ever national African youth conference which brought together 120 delegates and raised sponsorship in excess of $15 000. He was recently elected as the leader of the Brisbane, Global Hub last year.
Danai Jekesai Gurira is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright, best known for her role as Michonne on the Walking Dead, as the writer of the Tony Award-winning play Eclipse and an Okoye on the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises Black Panther and Infinity War. Danai said she began writing plays in an effort to better utilise her strength as an actor, and to tell stories that convey ideas about strong women with whom she identified. As a playwright, she has been commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre, Centre Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizon and the Royal Court.
In 2008 she appeared at the Global Green Sustainable Design Award to read a letter written by a New Orleans native displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In 2011, she co-founded Almasi Art Inc., an organisation dedicated to continuing arts education in Zimbabwe and she currently serves as the Executive Artistic Producer.2015 she signed an open letter begun by the ONE Campaign. The letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa.2016, she founded a non-profit organisation Love Our Girls, which aim to highlight the issues and challenges that especially affect women throughout the world. In the same year, she partnered with Johnson & Johnson o fight against HIV/AIDS.
Please feel free to mentions others who have inspired you, these are some of the few who have impacted my life immensely and inspired me to press towards the unthinkable and impossible.
As I am growing (physically) and maturing (mentally and spiritually), I am beginning to see and understand how God works in mysterious ways. Not that I understand what He will do next but how He uses people and situations we never expect. I have come across incredible stories of people who have done exceptional things-believers and non-believers.qAs a Christian(who is not perfect but being perfected),it has opened my eyes as to how amazing God is willing to use anyone whether people accept it, condone it or believe it. He is a God of unsearchable knowledge and infinite love. He has made vessels of unexpected people from different places and backgrounds. Some have changed lives academically, mentally and some have resonated the human in us.
Today I will name a few of these people,who have inspired me and changed my way of thinking.Some of these stories have even pushed me as a Christian to ask myself if my lifestyle really yield the characteristics of who I say I am.
Sir Nicholas George Winston (19 May 1909-1 July 2015) was a British humanitarian who organised the rescue of 669 children,most of them Jewish,from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport (German for “children’s transport”.This was during the holocaust (Shoah) in which Adolf Hitler murdered 6 million Jews and any person who was not of the aryan race.
Shortly after the 1938 Christmas,Sir Nicholas was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to go to Prague and help his friend who was an associate of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia then in the process of being occupied by Germany.He single-handedly established an organisation to aid children from Jewish families at the risk of the Nazis.Thanks to his connections in Britain,refugees younger than 17 were allowed entry into Britain provided they had a place to stay and a warranty for their return to their country.He was helped by family and friends to look for homes for the children he saved.The world found out about his work over 50 years later in 1988 and he was knighted by the Queen in 2003.
Helen Adams Keller (27 June 1880-1 June 1986) was an American author,political activist and a lecturer.She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.She proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and they could survive in the hearing world.She also taught that deaf people are also able to do things that hearing people can do.She was taught to read,write and give speeches by her teacher and companion Anne Sullivan who was also visually impaired.Her difficulty beginning (she would become so frustrated when Anne was teaching her) gave her the appetite to affect the world around her.She enjoyed music by feeling the beat and had a strong connection with animals through touch.m
“Knowledge is happiness.To know the thoughts and deeds that have marked man’s progress is to feel the great heart-throbs of humanity through centuries;and if one does not feel in these pulsations a heavenward striving,one must indeed be deaf to the harmonies of life”-Helen Keller.
She was delayed at picking up language but that did not stop her from having a voice.
3.SCRINIVASA RAMANUJAN (INDIA)
Srinivasa Ramanujan (22 December 1887-26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician who lived through the British Rule in India,a time when the British were only considered and accepted as the great thinkers of the world.Even though he had almost no formal training in pure mathematics,he made substantial contributions to mathematics,analysis,number theory,infinite series and continued fractions including solutions to mathematical problems considered to be unsolvable.He developed his own mathematical research in isolation which was quickly recognised by Indian mathematicians.Ramanujan when asked how he came up with new formulas and theorems,he said that he dreamt them.Seeking mathematicians who would best understand his work,he began a postal partnership with an English mathematician,G.H Hardy at the University of Cambridge,England.Impressed and recognising his extraordinary work,Professor Hardy arranged for Ramanujan to travel to England.He produced ground breaking theorems including some that Hardy stated had defeated him and his colleagues completely.He independently compiled 3 900 results,were many were novels and his original and highly unconventional results such as the Ramanujan prime,Ramanujan theta function,partition formulae and mock theta functions.
As late as 2011 and 2012,researchers continued to discover that mere comments of his writings about “simple properties” and “similar outputs” for certain findings profoundly and subtly remained unsuspected until nearly a century after his death.Hardy stated that a single look at Ramanujan’s work,was enough to show they could only have been written by a mathematician of the highest calibre,comparing Ramanujan to other mathematical geniuses such as Euler and Jacobi.
Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank (12 June 1929-February or March 1945) was a German born novelist.She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust,she became famous after the publication of Diary of a Young Girl (originally Het Achterhuis,German for The Secret Annex) which is her journal when she was in hiding from 1942-1944.
Anne spent the two years she journaled in her diary-before being arrested and imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp together with her mother and older sister Margot.She documented about how they went in hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in a building where her father worked up until her family and some of the friends they shared the rooms with,were arrested by the Gestapo in August 1944.Anne died at 15 years old in March of 1945,a few weeks before British soldiers liberated the camp in April 1945.
Through out,Anne was optimistic and she believed that peace would return again,even when many Jews were being tortured and killed.
“Who would ever think that so much went on in the soul of a young girl?I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion,misery and death…I think…peace and tranquillity will return again.I must uphold my ideals,for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.”-Anne Frank.
5.MALALA YOUSAFZAI (PAKISTAN)
Malala Yousafzai (12 July 1997-) is a Pakistani activist for female education ad the Youngest Nobel Prize laureate.She is known for human rights advocacy,especially the education of women and children in her native Pakistan,where the local Taliban had at times banned girls to go to school.
In 2009 when she was around 11-12 years old,Malala wrote a blog under pseudonym BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat.The following Summer,a journalist from America,made a documentary about her life and she rose in prominence-which made her a target of the Taliban.
October 9,2012 while on a bus after taking an exam,Malala and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation with her activism.Having been hit by a bullet in the head,Malala was in a critical condition ad remained unconscious.She survived,relocated to the UK and is currently studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy,Politics and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall,Oxford.
In her first speech following the attack,she addressed an international Youth Assembly at U.N Headquarters:Let us pick up our books and pens.They are our most powerful weapons.One child,one teacher,one pen and one book can change the world.Education is the only solution.”
I have been inspired and motivated by stories of incredible men and women all over the world. These people have allowed me to look at life with hope and to be expectant at all times. To push past the status quo- to break the rules without getting into anyone’s way. Today’s blog focuses on the Top 5 African women whose struggles and triumphs have paved way for me and generations to come. I hope you are inspired too.
1.Tererai Trent (ZIMBABWE)
Tererai Trent (born 1965) is a Zimbabwean-American woman who came from a poor family. She could not go to school due to poverty and because she was a girl child. At a young age, she taught herself to read and write. She began to do her brother’s homework-his teacher discovered that his homework was better than his schoolwork. The teacher begged for her to go to school-she attended for a short period but later her father accepted a brideprice of a cow and married her off young. By the age of 18, she had 3 children and an abusive husband. In 1991 Heifer International visited her village and asked every woman about their greatest dream. Tererai said she wanted to go to America and get a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and eventually a PhD. Encouraged by her mother, Tererai wrote down these dreams, put the paper in a scrap of tin and buried it.
In 1998, she moved to America with her husband and 5 children. After 3 years, she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education.2003 Tererai earned her master’s degree. After earning each degree, she would return to Zimbabwe unearth her tin and checked off each goal she accomplished one by one, in 2009 she finally earned her PhD.
In 2011 she was featured on Oprah’s show and Oprah revealed that Tererai is her all-time favourite guest.
Phiona Mutesi (born 1996) is a Ugandan chess player. She won the Ugandan Women’s Junior Championship three times and has represented Uganda at four Olympiads and she is one of the first titled female players in Ugandan chess history. She was born in Katwe, one of the largest of Kampala’s eight slums. At 3 years old, her father died and later at 9 years old she had to drop out of school because they could no longer afford to send her. To survive, she sold maize in Katwe street market. One day she followed her brother to a Christian and Sports mission in an after-school program run by Robert Katende and she began to play chess.
During her trip to the US, Phiona was offered a scholarship at Northwest University in Washington. She began her studies in 2017. The Disney movie Queen of Katwe is based on her life story.
3.WANGARI MAATHAI (KENYA)
Wangari Maathai (born 1940-2011) was an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political environmentalist and Nobel laureate. She explained it like this: Imagine a country as a country with 3 legs. One leg represents democracy, a good government that respects mankind. Another represents peace. The final leg represents accountability, regard for our natural resources. Without the third leg, the base becomes unstable, the stool falls apart. The problem, she said, is that the stool is too often built on only 2 legs- the third is forgotten.”We do not have a broad sense of accountability and equal distribution of resources. The desire to consume…seems to outpace the sense of responsibility for our resource-intensive lifestyles”.
Wangari devoted her life to trying to correct this imbalance. She began in her home country of Kenya, where she observed women in the countryside struggling every day for basic needs water, food, an income. She realized there were very serious activities of deforestation, loss of soil that gradually destroyed the environment and impoverishing them. So she began to plant trees, in 1977 she founded the Green Belt Movement and planted 50 million trees. In the process, the GMB trained 30 000 women in forestry and food processing, allowing them to earn their own income.
In 2004, Wangari received the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts, becoming the first African woman to do so.
4.THERESA KACHINDAMOTO (MALAWI)
Theresa Kachindamoto a woman from a noble traditional family in Malawi is saving young girls in the country from child marriage. Her dedicated passion towards the cause is a reason why she is dubbed the “Marriage Terminator”. She is a paramount chief or Inkosi, of the Dedza District in the central region of Malawi. She is known for her forceful action in dissolving child marriage and insisting on education for both boys and girls.
5.RUTH WILLIAMS KHAMA (BOTSWANA)
Ruth Williams Khama (born 1923-2002) was the wife of Botswana’s first President, Sir Seretse Khama. The Paramount Chief of its Bamangwato tribe. She served as the First Lady of Botswana from 1966-1980.
Ruth was born in Blackheath South London in England. In 1947 at a dance organised by the London Missionary Society, she was introduced to Prince Seretse Khama by her sister. Seretse was the son of a Paramount Chief and he was studying Law at Inner Temple in London. The couple loved jazz music and quickly fell in love. There plans to marry caused controversy both with the tribal elders and the South African government which had imposed the system of racial segregation also known as apartheid. Her family especially her father was also not supportive and was never involved in her life after she married Seretse.
The British government tried to intervene to break up the relationship but they eventually married at a Kensington register office in 1948, The Prime Minister of South Africa described it as “nauseating” and Julius Nyerere then a student teacher and later President of Tanzania said it was “one of the greatest love stories in the history of the world”. The people of Botswana were supportive but Seretse was called to London in 1950 and was prevented to go home and told he had to remain in exile.1951, Ruth joined him and they lived as exiles in Croydon in England.
The people of Botswana protested to this injustice, they believed Seretse had a right to marry whoever he wanted even if the South African government and the British government thought otherwise.1956 the people of Bamangwato sent a telegram to Queen Elizabeth II and the couple were allowed to return to Botswana. Seretse renounced his tribal thone and became a cattle farmer in Serowe. Ruth remained in Botswana after the death of her husband in 1980 and became recognised as Mohumagadi Mma Kgosi which means mother of the chief or queen mother. The movie The United States was based on their life story.