African women that stand out can sometimes be seen as a rarity considering all the odds against them. The girl child can often find herself disadvantaged in parts of the continent where she is still viewed as less than.
Role models show us a different and better picture by the words that they speak and the lives that they lead. The African girl child can get a lot from considering the lives of African women who are dominating in their spheres of life.
From African women who have stepped up to lead in their countries and communities, to those who have excelled in their careers or started businesses that have become standard talking points, there are quite a lot of modern African women to pick from.
Below we least a couple of African women who have continued to lead in their various fields and who can serve as great role models to the girl child.
10 African Women Role Models For The Girl Child
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The first female President in Africa is also one of the most educated leaders in Africa. She served her nation well as a President, leading them through an economic downturn and a terrible outbreak of the Ebola virus which affected the economy even further.
She was able to keep Liberia unified while building international relations and at the end of her tenure in October 2017, graciously stepped aside and supervised the election of a new government into power.
Globally recognized as a leading media icon, Mo Abudu is the CEO/Founder of Ebony Life TV. She is continually pushing the bracket on what is possible and creating opportunities to tell African stories in African voices.
She was listed as one of Africa’s most successful women in 2015 but she stays constantly redefining what it means to be powerful and successful. She was the producer of 2016 box-office record-breaking movie ‘The Wedding Party’ and has in Ebony Life TV a plethora of shows that represent Africa in a flattering light.
The first woman in Africa to be a runway model in a wheelchair has a lot to teach the girl child. Born and raised in SA’s North West Province, she represented her country in Wheelchair Basketball.
She carried the love that she had for modelling since she was a child into adulthood and has seen the fruits of her persistence pay off. She has now modelled at Soweto Fashion week and was the finalist for Face of The Globe.
Uganda’s Facebook warrior is not afraid of anything. Her biting commentary’s on the government and issues in Uganda delivered often through her Facebook page show the girl child that she can be fearless.
She has also started an initiative that helped girls in rural areas get Sanitary Towels after the government refused to fulfil their promise of providing it.
The 81-year old artist has a lot to teach the African girl child about being proud of her culture. With the tribal Ndebele designs that she favours, Esther Mahlangu has travelled around the globe, working with international brands on causes that have helped Africa and Africans.
Actress Yvonne Orji struggled her way to the top as a comedian in Hollywood. While doing so she espoused some forgotten virtues that could have made her less popular; like her commitment to remain a virgin until marriage.
She stands as an inspiration to African girls to go after their dreams and to hold on to their values while doing so.
As the co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi – a web-based reporting system that utilizes crowdsourced data, mobile phone, and web reporting to formulate a visual map information of a crisis on a real-time basis, Juliana Rotich helped create the platform that documented the Kenyan presidential election crisis of 2007-2008.
Ushahidi has since been used to monitor elections in Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Haiti. She is also known for her commentary on technology in Africa and voicing concerns about the loss of indigenous forest and water catchment areas in Kenya.
In 2012, Alengot Oromait contested the National Resistance Movement primary elections to replace her late father and was elected Member of Parliament for Usuk County, Katakwi District in Uganda with 54.2% of the vote. She was 20 years old at the time, becoming the youngest parliamentarian in Africa.
The founder of EcoPost, a company that specializes in environmentally friendly solutions that save the environment from deforestation, pollution, while also creating jobs for marginalized communities.
Lorna Rutto has through her work created new jobs as traders buy plastic waste from the public, sort it, and resell it to her company. She is a laureate of the Cartier Women’s Initiative.
After her performance in 12 years a slave, Lupita became a household name in much of Africa and the rest of the world. She is regarded as one of the most influential African women and is practically a brand ambassador for Africa, showing the best of our sides.