This year’s World Youth Alliance(WYA) Africa Youth Summit happened on Facebook due to the COVID-19 measures; otherwise, people would have been on their way to Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for this year was, ‘ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN GOOD GOVERNANCE.’ The two speakers were Caroline Maingi and Nadja Wolf. Kevin from the WYA Africa team was the host.
Caroline lectures on Philosophy and Ethics at Strathmore University, she is also a chair and advisor of the WYA Africa Board. Caroline gave her tips on Good Governance to the youth and some of which includes: -Take up Leadership -Community Service -Say no to corruption
Nadja is the WYA Africa director of Advocacy since 2015. She studied law and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association. For the session she took Nadja broke down international law into customs and treaties and their impact on national policies. She also gave us the policy cycle Framework: Its Policy to Funding to Implementation.
As the delegates, we were able to introduce ourselves and ask questions via the comment section. Even though we learnt a lot virtually, we hope to attend the next youth summit in 2021 in person. To stay updated on the work of WYA Africa, you can check their Facebook page: World Youth Alliance Africa
In February, I had the opportunity to go to an event called Creative Avenue in Harare. This was an event for the youth in the arts. There I saw many talented people who are fashion designers, jewellery makers, artists and musicians. The most inspiring part of this project was that a young man named Rowan was the brains behind the event. Rowan is passionate about youth in the arts showcasing their talent and gaining some opportunities.
Rowan pitched his Creative Avenue idea to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Recreation, companies and some foreign embassies. Finally he was able to get funding from the British Council. Funny enough I wore my Union Jack T-shirt that day, I don’t know if it was intuition or just a coincidence.
Creative Avenue begins with a masterclass that lasts for two months. After the two months, creatives come together to showcase their talent at an event. Apart from organising Creative Avenue, Rowan also has a clothing line called Domane. You can check out their merchandise here: http://www.domane.co.zw/
Africa Day Australia (ADA) joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Women’s Day by hosting an event in Melbourne. The event was well attended and there were some inspiring speakers. Our keynote speaker was Dr Mimmie Watts who is an academic, author, African-Australian leader and much more.
Our amazing facilitator was Zione Walker who is a powerful woman in her own right. For the panel discussion session, the panelists included two men (Mohammed Yassin and Phillip Gai) who happen to both be fathers of two girls. Although a women’s event, it was important to get a male perspective on women empowerment.
Some valuable lessons I took from the keynote speaker Dr Mimmie Watts: -Do not settle for what is below your level of achievements. -Be honest with yourself and others. -Mentor and sponsor others. -Value and appreciate what you have, especially your family
I had fun volunteering at this ADA event and madam president Shillar Sibanda(ADA president) ensured that everything ran smoothly. Surely a great event celebrating women.
On Saturday 22 February, I had an opportunity to attend a Young Women’s Empowerment Conference in my hometown Harare. This event was put together by an organisation called SHE ROARS. SHE ROARS is an organisation that empowers young girls and women to break gender stereotypes and help them find opportunities. One thing that stood out at this conference was, there was someone who was translating the presentations into sign language for the deaf. This is really important as no one should be left behind because of a disability or special needs.
Among the presenters, we had Honourable Minister Monica Mutsvangwa (Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services) and media personality Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa.
Some of the valuable lesson I learnt from the conference:
1. Its crucial to build your self-esteem
2. It’s important to take care of our mental health
3. It is essential to be financially literate. How many financial books have I read?
4. I learned to be distinct, as distinction makes you different from another person
5. Don’t leave another sister behind. Carry other women along when opportunities come
Happy International Women’s Day to you all. In US, UK and Australia March is Women’s history month. Time is taken out to commemorate and celebrate the important role of women. In Canada Women’s history month is celebrated in October. Women have been historically disadvantaged in many areas be it socially, economically etc. Its sad to say that for some women this is till the case. According to a UN Women report, out of 189 economies assessed in 2018, 104 economies still had laws preventing women from working certain jobs and in 18 economies husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.(https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures). These figures are really depressing. However, equality can still be achieved.
I usually love paying special attention to the important women in my life as they are part of my support system. I’m grateful to descend from brilliant and resilient women and I’ve always had other strong women support me. Growing up my mother would say, ” Mwana musikana akakosha uyezve anochengetedzwa.” This basically means a girl child is precious . She should be taken care of and protected.” Growing up with such affirmations, I grew up to be an ambitious, empowered and strong woman.
For those of us who are empowered women, we will not leave any sister behind. It’s such an honour and privilege to be a woman and I’m proud to be one. To celebrate Women’s history month on my blog, in addition to other articles, I’m running a 3 part series celebrating 3 women on the African continent who have stood out and inspired me over the years. Let’s celebrate, empower and encourage the lovely ladies in our lives. Once again, Happy International Women’s Day.