These Are The Powerful African Women Who Are Easily Forgotten


So who are the most powerful African women? I bet you would quickly name a number of women in African politics, business and entrepreneurship.

When the word powerful is mentioned, it is easier to imagine the super-rich, prominent and beautiful woman walking down the hallway in a corporate world.

In the same way the internet will equally give you similar personalities that you had earlier imagined – Well dressed, articulated, rich and popular.

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The big deception in accepting every image that comes from the internet is that we tend to forget the female warriors we come across in the streets, market places and villages.


The real powerful African women are the ones who are bravely kicking back at life and doing a good job at it. They are women who are painstakingly ensuring the sustenance of dejected and almost forgotten regions.

In all of the twists in gender roles, Africa still significantly maintains the original status quo. As the work load in recent times increases for both gender, some parts of Africa double the burden for the women.


Across Africa today, it’s almost like a basic demand that women match up to the harsh realities of poor living conditions. It is unimaginable, the extra miles many women especially in the rural communities go to only get by for the day. Yet they accept the challenge.  And if you think about it, who would have done it?

Women are generally known to be multi tasking. Thus, they are superb in juggling one or two things at a time. You call them lazy “full-time housewives” but they have their importance too.


These are women whose drive first and fore most begins with their families. The basic need to provide the living essentials of the family. These powerful African women know the sensitive importance of the family. She is not after her pocket but after the needs of others.

See Also: Africa’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs

This article is not dedicated to the first African woman to go to the moon; or the first African woman to climb Mount Everest. The article is dedicated to our mothers in the rural communities who might never get the media spotlight like their money-made-powerful counterparts.


It is for the average mother who fights tooth and nail to make sure that finally something gives in her immediate domestic society. It is our resilient grandmothers who still know the power and worth of hardwork. The only time she feels awkward is when she is not in her farm.

Kenyan farmer Joyce Marigu displays maize ears damaged by stem borers. These insect pests feed hidden within the plant, which means many farmers are unaware of them, and even for those who know about borers it is difficult to spot and treat them effectively. In Marigu's village of Muconoke in the district of Embu, farmers do know about stem borers and try to fight back, but resources are limited. Smallholder farmers have little cash for the inputs they need and lack reliable information about pesticide usage. Many farmers apply the wrong pesticides or apply them too late. Stem borers are a class of pest made up of a number of moth species, which lay their eggs at night on the leaves of young maize plants. The larvae that hatch from the eggs - i.e. the borers - quickly make their way inside the plant, where they feed undisturbed by predators, damaging the leaf whorl, tassels, ears, and stems and starving the growing plant of nutrients. Borers' stealthy habits make them one of the most damaging pests of maize in Africa, and yet virtually invisible to farmers, who tend to attribute the damage to their crops to more visible pests. “Many farmers in Kenya don’t even know their maize fields have a stem borer problem, yet these insects cost them some 400,000 tons in lost harvest each year,” says CIMMYT maize breeder Stephen Mugo. To be effective, pesticides must be applied at the time the eggs are laid, as well as being difficult for resource-poor farmers to afford. “Even farmers who know about stem borers only notice the damage after it’s too late for chemical control. A seed-based technology is what we need,” says Mugo. In ongoing research, CIMMYT is collaborating with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) to develop maize varieties that are resistant to stem borers, and to disseminate these to resource-poor smallholder farmers. “Maize that resists stem borer damage would take the guesswork out of stem borer pesticide usage by eliminating it altogether,” says

Let’s appreciate our often forgotten powerful African women; self-effaced and super-enduring mamas whose contribution to the society has no price tag. They are the living survivors who keep our communities alive.