Life Lessons by African Women
I have always been passionate about the role of women in society. We have so many examples around us, both in our personal and professional lives, of great, strong, innovative women leaders.
Having grown up around true role models, including my grandmother who owned a small business in Soweto, South Africa, or my mother who ran a fashion store, I am always inspired by those women in our environment who are pioneering change in their communities.
This Women's Month is the perfect time to publish LeadHERS: Life Lessons from African Women. #ChooseToChallenge, this year's theme for International Women's Rights Day, literally means: choose to dare. This coincides with an exciting time in Africa's development narrative, in which women, now more than ever, have a leading role to play. While the prejudices and cultural and socio-economic challenges that have held women back for centuries are gradually being reduced, we know that much remains to be done to ensure full gender equality.
Facebook is proud to honor a group of exceptional African women who are themselves trailblazers, motivating and inspiring us, whether they are young or old. I am personally captivated by each of their stories, the challenges they faced, the sacrifices, the triumphs, and how they were able to turn it all into life lessons to inspire others to follow a slightly less difficult path to their own goals.
To these women, and all the other women who are doing the same, hats off! LeadHERS: Life Lessons by African Women follows the successful launch in South Africa in 2020 of Inspiring #Changemakers: Lessons from Life and Business. The book features 19 women from different backgrounds and countries, who tell their stories in a nutshell and how they have continually pushed the boundaries to succeed, regardless of their life circumstances. These women are making their voices heard and contributing to change, whether in politics, music, fashion, business, technology or the NGO sector. All of the women featured are principled, and in these stories they define the personal mantra that guides their daily decisions.
The underlying message of all these beautiful stories is that we are all products of our communities and owe a debt to them. Finally, I would like to thank those behind the scenes who helped bring this book to life, as well as the incredibly talented African women artists from across the continent, Massira Keita from Côte d'Ivoire, Lulu Kitololo from Kenya, Karabo Poppy from South Africa, and Awele Emili from Nigeria, who illustrated it beautifully.
Nunu Ntshingila, Africa Regional Director, Facebook.