We are all familiar with African heroes Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, but did you know about these African heroines and game changers?
The late Miriam Makeba was a South African singer and civil rights activist. Many people knew her as Mama Africa, and was the first African musician to popularize African music in the United States and all around the world. (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008),
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (1938 – ) is the first African woman to become president of an African country, serving as the 24th president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018.
In the year 2011, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize recognizing her non-violent struggle for the safety of women, and for women’s rights to full participation in peacebuilding work.
Professor Wangari Maathai (April 1, 1940 – September 25, 2011)
The late professor Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist who founded the NGO green belt movement focusing on planting trees, environmental conservation and women’s rights.
In 1986, she was awarded with the Right Livelihood Award, and in the year 2004, she was the first African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize – recognizing her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.
Wangari also wrote several children’s stories: Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A true Story from Africa, Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Trees, and Seeds of Change: Wangari’s Gift to the World
Mama Miria Kalule Obote (July 16, 1936 – ) was First Lady of Uganda from December 1980 – July 1985, widow of former Prime Minister and President Milton Obote. Exiled in Zambia for 20 years from 1985, she returned to Uganda in 2005 and became the first Ugandan woman to lead a serious political party, The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC).Thus, she has become the first woman to have vied for the presidential seat of Uganda.