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Bonang Matheba


Where the women are

I'm inspired daily by fabulous women doing interesting thing, from Lupita Nyongo, who has parlayed one role into a massive empire, with hopefully more to go, to  Ava Duvernay, whose work as a filmmaker leaves me in awe (can't wait to see "Selma"), to Uzo Aduba and Danai Gurira, both of whom are making their mark as working actresses in an industry far from "home". 

Speaking of home, young ladies like talented South African media personality and entrepreneur Bonang Matheba, to talented writer and smart Kenyan lady Mwende Ngao, to Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie are also making a great mark in their worlds, inspiring many of us, older and younger, to shoot for the stars.

In advocacy and policy-making, we're also trying to make sure we have a seat at the table. Rwanda is admirable, with it's determination to make sure AT LEAST 30% of all political roles are filled by women. At the moment, almost 60% of the parliament members are women. It's an example so many countries use to try and encourage a more inclusive political atmosphere.

Until that happens, I celebrate all the women who have pulled up their chairs, rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work, especially in Nigeria, where, by virtue of culture, so many of us are relegated before we even start. 

Abike Dabiri (House of Reps member), Omobola Johnson (Minister for ICT), Oby Ezekwesili (Former Minister of Education, former World Bank VP, Advocate for "Bring Back Our girls"), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Minister of Finance), Dorothy Akunyili (Former NAFDAC DG, Former Minister of Communication), Diezani Madueke (1st female OPEC President), and many more have a seat at the table.

We may not always agree on their methods, the manner in which we think they got there, or how they discharge they duties, but the fact is, they're in a position of considerable power, and being there is better than not showing up at all. 

Today I celebrate all of the people working hard to make sure ALL our voices are heard, not just the women, but also the men who work with us, for us, and support us.

Share which African women make you proud, in any realm, in any way. Celebrate women everyday. As the James Brown song says: this may be "A man's world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl"