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Women Leading Africa - Issue 1
Women's Development Fund (AWDF)
June 27, 2012
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Soon after I
started working for the AWDF in April 2008, I had the opportunity
to interview internationally acclaimed author and feminist, Professor
Ama Ata Aidoo at Mbaasem (Women's Affairs) - the writing
centre she established in Accra, Ghana. I spent over two hours enthralled
in the professor's company. I left feeling inspired to continue
my own quest to become a 'proper' writer. I had grown
up reading Anowa, I had been cast as the 'Slave Girl'
in my sixth form class' production of The Dilemma of a Ghost,
I had written my undergraduate dissertation on the concept of home
in the writings of Ama Ata Aidoo and Buchi Emecheta, and I had even
named the first training programme I co-established 'The Anowa
Project'. Spending one-on-one time with Ama Ata Aidoo was
a dream come true.
I have had the opportunity to interview numerous inspirational African
women across the continent. Some of these women are relatively well
known internationally (Ama Ata Aidoo is a case in point), others
have come to international recognition in recent times (Leymah Gbowee,
for example, who was co-awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize), but
the vast majority of women I have interviewed are known only to
other members within their sector and more immediate communities
- whether this be the artistic community or the women's
movement. Yet these women have compelling stories to tell; stories
that need to be brought to the attention of wider audiences, compelling
thoughts on women's leadership and how they have led within
their chosen field. Women Leading Africa: Conversations with Inspirational
African Women is part of the AWDF's efforts to communicate
the achievements of African women and document our stories for posterity.
It is my hope that in a small (or big) way, this book contributes
to changing the negative, disempowering images of African women
and showcases African women for who we are - powerful agents
of change, making a difference in our lives, our communities and
the world at large. Be inspired!
My sincere gratitude
goes to H.E. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti State, Nigeria
for conceptualising the need for this book, Michelle Wilson who
is an invaluable sounding board in my writing and editing process,
and all the members of the 'Facebook Palaver Hut' who
so enthusiastically contributed questions for my interview with
feminist theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye.
Visit the Women
Filmmakers of Zimbabwe fact
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