Extraordinary Voices: Kirsty Coventry, Swimming Icon, Seven-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and Founder of Kirsty Coventry Foundation 

“Sport has the power to bring us together but our Flag has the power to keep us united.” Kirsty Coventry

Kirsty Leigh Coventry was born on 16th September, 1983 in Harare, Zimbabwe to Rob and Lyn Coventry. She attended Dominican Convent High School, Harare, Zimbabwe. While at Auburn University, Alabama, USA, she swum competitively winning several medals.

A Woman of Great Worth

Coventry made her maiden debut at the world’s biggest sporting showcase as a sprightly 16-year-old Dominican Convent High School’s pupil at the 2000 Sydney Games in Australia.

She made top ten finalists for Zimbabwe National Sports Person of the Year in 1999. Swam at the All-Africa Games in the same year. Qualified at the South Africa Senior Championships for the Olympics in 100 backstroke, 200 IM, 100 freestyle and 50 free. In 1998, she competed in the Commonwealth Games where she made semi finals in the 200 IM.

In the year 2000, Coventry was named Zimbabwean’s Sports Woman of the Year for being the first Zimbabwean woman to reach the semi finals at the Olympics. She accomplished this feat while she was yet in high school.

Coventry Breaks World Swimming Record

The Zimbabwe swimmer, Kirsty Coventry, set a new world record of 2 minutes .91 seconds in the 200m backstroke, at the 9th FINA World Swimming Championship in Manchester, England. She had already won gold in the 100m backstroke and her first world record in the 400m Individual Medley.

Her time of four minutes and 26.52 seconds in the 400 meter Individual Medley at the 2004 Summer Olympics, in Athens, Greece makes her the fastest woman. There she won the Olympic medals; a gold, a silver, and a bronze.

In 2008, at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, she won four medals; a gold, and three silver. For accomplishing this great feat, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe awarded her $100,000 US dollars in cash.

The Swimming Icon becomes an Inspiration to Children, Youth and Athletes

In 2012, she was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission where she will serve for eight years. A member of the ANOCA Athletes Commission and Vice-President of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.

In 2013, Coventry and her husband Tyrone Seward undertook a tour where she visited schools in all ten provinces of Zimbabwe. The tour gave her insight into the communities, to know what they needed and how she could use her experience in swimming to benefit them. The tour not only informed her vision to inspire children and youth to become their own heroes through the experience and knowledge she has gained as a swimming icon, it became also the source of her inspiration to launch HEROES; a scheme designed to empower children in her country through swimming, and in turn, build stronger and safer communities.

“Our vision is to provide a national program, which includes other sports to provide all Zimbabweans with greater opportunities. Our aim is to save lives through our drowning prevention and awareness activities, empower individuals through our coaching and learn to play programs and uplift communities through our Ambassador Program that focuses on health and education”, said Coventry

In 2017 Kirsty Coventry, launched HEROES. The scheme would tackle the issue of drowning in Zimbabwe and also address other critical issues like the number of children who are out of school, teen pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, gender-based violence, and child marriages.

The two time national Flag-bearer will be the Chef Mission for the Zimbabwe delegation at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.


Extraordinary Voices: Liya Kebede; Advocating for Maternal health and African Designs

Liya Kebede was born on the 1st of March, 1978 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer and actress. Liya has used her fame from modeling and acting to make progress and bring about awareness to her cause. AWLO recognizes her as one of our extraordinary voices in our women’s month series. Here is why we think she’s outstanding

HER FIGHT FOR MATERNAL HEALTH CARE

Liya Kebede is at the forefront of advancing maternal health care in her country; Ethiopia and also in most African countries. She says her passion began when she became a mother and realized that most women in her country and some underdeveloped parts of Africa die during child birth and this is because they do not have access to basic health care amenities

 “One of the number one killers of women still today is pregnancy and childbirth complications…These are all things that are ninety percent preventable and treatable because really they are dying from things that are very simple, and they are dying because they don’t have access to any kind of basic medical care or trained nurse or caregiver, really…”

In 2005 she was appointed as WHO’s ambassador for maternal newborn and child birth. To further advance her cause, she started the Liya Kebede Foundation now known as the LemLem foundation that same year.

THE LEMLEM FOUNDATION

The Lemlem foundation founded by Liya kebede is aimed at creating awareness and helping the fight to combat maternal mortality. Liya sights in an interview how the issue of maternal health isn’t receiving enough attention, hence the need for the foundation;

“We wanted to focus on raising awareness of the issue because it was an issue that had been going on for so long, but not really getting the attention it deserved…”

The foundation works to promote access to health care and economic opportunities and also supports leading organizations working to reduce maternal and new born deaths in Africa. She has been able to through her foundation train midwives and has set goals to still train midwives across several African countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Senegal, South Sudan and Uganda.

SUPPORT FOR AFRICAN DESIGNS

Liya is not only an advocate and model, but she is also a designer with a clothing company. She has used her company to work in collaboration with her foundation to empower women and African artist. All the products which the company offers are hand-made by African artists. She explains in an interview how she was able to create a solution to help women and artists;

“I was walking around the city in Ethiopia and visited all of these incredible weavers who were really struggling to find work or a market for their goods because of Westernization and fast fashion. I just thought this was a feel-good way of creating a market for them, improving their skill, and bringing a new product to the marketplace for the consumer that has a story and more of a 360 product that is also changing the lives of people…”

She not only uses these means to further her cause but also writes for the Huffington Post and others to bring about more exposure on the need for good maternal health care. She continues fighting this cause hoping that one day, African maternal health care will be up to standard

“My aim, during that time and since then, has been to inspire others to feel as passionate about this cause as I do and to lend their support to reach more mums and save more lives.”

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Liya Kebede.


Extraordinary Voices: Bukola Elemide a.k.a Asa Found her Voice and Soured

Bukola Elemide was born was born on the 17th of September, 1982 in Paris. She is a Nigerian French singer, songwriter and recording artiste. Her music is known worldwide and she is one of AWLO’s extraordinary voices and as such, we explore her outstanding journey into the music industry.

THE STORY OF BUKOLA ELEMIDE

Bukola Elemide aka Asa which means ‘Hawk’ in Yoruba was born to Nigerian parents in Paris. When she was two years old they moved back to Nigeria. The only girl out of four children, she was often left alone at home with her brothers, when her parents traveled and that was how she found music. It’s very ironical to think that the very talented Asa was once rejected by choirs because of her low-pitched voice which set her apart;

[Tweet “…People didn’t understand my low-pitched deep voice, the choirs didn’t want anything to do with me. @Asa_official“]

“…People didn’t understand my low-pitched deep voice, the choirs didn’t want anything to do with me. I had to get to church first if I was to have any chance of getting near the mic”

It is often known that when people are made for greatness, they are often set apart because of how different they are from others. Asa went through a stage where she was bullied and often left alone because of how differently she did things;

“I was a tomboy and when I was a teenager I became very shy because people made fun of me … in my own way, I was already attracting attention! I got in the habit of never doing anything like everyone else…”

She cites how her father had a collection of music records with artists like Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklyn, Marvin Gaye, Angelique Kidjo which she grew up listening to and later influenced her musical career;

“My dad had the records of my earliest musical influences. He used them for his work and I loved the way they looked on the album covers. Michael Jackson was a hit as far I was concerned! He danced so well and I loved to dance”

Asa has her style of music going in a different direction from the norm of what Nigerian music is known to be. While she says she doesn’t term her music as it is too limiting. She says that she writes based on how she feels and at the end wants people to be touched by her music and that is exactly what her music does. Nobody can deny the vibes you get when you hear Jailer or Dead again;

“I am not sure I can describe my sound and music. When I write and sing, I just want the music to touch you…”

Asa’s music is timeless and ethereal. Her lyrics are based on her life experiences, her country and life in general. She has a way of drawing people into her music which makes her phenomenal. Asa has shown perseverance in her journey. She inspires people to follow their dreams no matter the struggles and obstacles we face;

[Tweet “Always start a journey with your own self. Forget about the noise and what’s happening – @Asa_official“]

“I went through a lot but I can’t start telling you everything but what I learnt is that you should believe in yourself.  Always start a journey with your own self.  Forget about the noise and what’s happening, it’s you.  And that is the basic truth.”

Bukola Elemide is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Bukola Elemide.


Extraordinary Voices: Saran Kaba Jones, Liberian Clean Water Advocate and Social Entrepreneur

Saran Kaba Jones was born in Monrovia, Liberia, in June 1982 to a career diplomat. Jones spent her formative years living in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France and Cyprus before moving to the United State in 1999.

She is the founder of FACE Africa, an organisation working to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to launching FACE Africa, Jones worked as an Investment Project Manager for the Singapore Economic Development Board.

She is a frequent speaker on topics including water infrastructure, entrepreneurship and gender equality and has served on panels at the World Economic Forum, Harvard University, MIT, the London School of Economics, and the African Union. She is also a member of the U.S. State Department’s International Information Programs (IIP) and frequently conducts workshop globally on entrepreneurship.

Jones Makes a Mark

Jones is a board member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group West/Centre Africa.

In 2011, Jones received the Applause Africa “Person of the Year” award, Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women Honouree, Huffington Post’s “Greatest Person of the Day” and Forbes Magazine’s 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.

In 2012, Jones takes home Longines/Town&Country ‘Women Who Make a Difference’ award for her work with FACE Africa, is listed by Black Enterprise as one of 10 International Women of Power to Watch and Daily Muse “12 Women to Watch”.

In 2013, Jones was listed by Guardian UK as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers alongside President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nobel Laureate  Leymah Gbowee, and was named World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. In 2015, she was presented with the MTV Africa Music Leadership Award, and in 2016, Jones was named TIME Magazine Next Generation Leader.

Jones Changes the Water Issue Narrative in Liberia

According to a March 2014 interview with Arise 360, Jones reveals how she got motivated to start her charity FACE Africa.

“I’m from Liberia originally. My family and I fled the country when I was eight years old as a result of the civil war. And I went back 20 years later and saw that there was a desperate need for basic social services like – access to clean water, health care, education. And I decided to make clean water my area of focus because it’s one of the largest health issues facing the world today. Nearly a billion people worldwide don’t have access to safe drinking water. And most of them are in Africa. On the continent 350 million people don’t have access to this basic necessity. So it’s a huge problem all across the border”

“At any one time, it is estimated that half the world’s hospital beds are occupied with patients suffering from waterborne diseases.” (WSCC, 2004)

What Jones’ charity FACE Africa does to improve this situation is that they purify the available source of water and at the same time build other sources like wells and boreholes while making sure that the water is made safe for drinking by the people living in the communities.

“90 percent of wastewater in developing countries is discharged into rivers and streams without any treatment.” (UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, and the World Resources Institute, “World Resources 2000-2001,” pg. 25-26)

In the course of her work, Jones uncovers two other issues in within the water issue – the health issue and the gender issue. In Liberia as in other developing countries of the world, women are responsible for collecting water for the household.

“Over 40 billion work hours are lost each year in Africa to the need to fetch drinking water.” (WHO, 2004)

Because of the water issue, a lot of young girls stay out of school as they are responsible for fetching the water.

“The water issue is a women’s issue, so once you solve the water crisis, you not only solve health, but you also allow girls go to school, you allow women focus more on productive activities….” Saran K. Jones

“The average distance that women in developing countries travel to collect water per day is four miles and the average weight that women carry on their heads is approximately 44 pounds.” (WSSCC, 2004)

The Ninth Annual WASH Gala themed ‘Water Fuels the Future’ holds today at The Current at Chelsea Piers, New York City. It is an evening to raise awareness and funds for clean water projects. It also celebrates Africans+Friends of Africa making a difference in their respective industries and communities. This year, their goal is to raise $500,000 to provide Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs and facilities to communities in rural Liberia and Nigeria.

Jones Drives a Good Cause

Since launching FACE Africa in 2009, the organisation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from JP Morgan Chase, Coca Cola, the Voss Foundation, P&G, Chevron and the Robert Bosch Foundation, among others; built over 50 WASH projects and reached 25,000 people in rural Liberia. During the Ebola crisis, FACE Africa was at the forefront of Ebola response efforts in Rivercess County, Liberia, where they conducted social mobilization, prevention and awareness and community engagement programs.

Her work with FACE Africa has been profiled extensively by Forbes, the Boston Globe, BBCFocus on Africa, Town&Country, and CNN.

Saran Kaba Jones is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Saran Jones


Extraordinary Voices: Esther Mahlangu; Taking African Arts to the World

“….African art like Picasso’s art, is not about describing things but about conveying the idea of things and people…”
-Marilyn Martin

Esther Mahlangu was born on the 11th of November, 1935 in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa. She is a painter whose works are recognized internationally and has won several awards. At the age of 83 and settled in her house in South Africa, Esther is still invested in the art that she has always done and loved. She is one of AWLO’s extraordinary voices and we explore her incredible works.

HER STORY

At the age of 9, in accordance with the Ndebele tradition, Esther was taught how to paint by her mother and grandmother. In an interview with SheLeadsAfrica, she speaks on how she was inspired by her mother and grandmother saying; “I was inspired by both women. From as far as I can remember, I followed traditions passed down from my mother and grandmother. I learned traditional Ndebele wall painting and bead-work, as a child that was all I did every day.”

[Tweet “Esther Mahlangu has used traditional painting to become a voice that represents the beauty that is predominant in Africa”]

Esther Mahlangu’s consistency and interest in the traditional paintings of her people has led her to be recognized in the Western World and she has used the traditional painting to become a voice that represents the beauty that is predominant in Africa. In an interview she talks about how African art has influenced the western culture; “There has always been a fascination, demand, and admiration for art from Africa”

Esther’s paintings are a reference to the Ndebele traditions with a modern twist to them. She also in an interview highlights the uniqueness of the Ndebele style; “…the Ndebele style is one of the most significant styles of painting that still resembles original shapes and forms. It is colorful and abstract and lends itself to incorporation into modern design.”

The beauty of her paintings gave her the opportunity to design a BMW car making her the first woman to receive the honor.

[Tweet “Esther Mahlangu’s paintings has given her the opportunity to design a BMW car; making her the first woman to receive the honor.”]

HER HOPE FOR AFRICA

Esther not only paints, but she also has an art school where she teaches on the significance and importance of the Ndebele painting. She does this in order to sustain the cultural heritage of the Ndebele people.

She says in an interview; “I have always had the calling to teach the science and significance of the Ndebele painting, and why we paint. Over the decades it has become my goal to preserve my cultural heritage. I built an art school in the backyard of my home in Mathombothiini (Weltevreden) in the Kwamhlanga district in Mpumalanga Province.”

Her hope is that African art can be taught in formal schools and institutions in South Africa and she is working towards that dream; “…What is mostly important to me is to have formal educational schools and facilities teach African art. That is a dream I am building towards.”

Esther also hopes to transfer her skills to the next generation. She remains one of Africa’s representatives of how some cultures in Africa portray beauty and art which is often times underestimated and shows the world that there is more to Africa than the stereotypes that Africa is known for.

“The legacy I want to leave in this world is the art and crafts that has made me the recognized icon I am today…”

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Esther Mahlangu.


Extraordinary Voices: Aichatou Mindaoudou is a Nigerien Diplomat and Politician

 “For me, a better democracy is a democracy where women do not only have the right to vote and to elect but to be elected.”—Michelle Bachelet, head of UN Women, former president and defense minister of Chile.

Aïchatou Mindaoudou was born in 1959. Minister Aïchatou Mindaoudou received her Doctorate in Law in 1991 at the University of Paris, Pantheon Sorbonne, specializing in International Law and Economy.  She is a seasoned Nigerien diplomat and politician has been the United Nations’ Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire and Head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) from 2013 to 2017.

Seasoned Leader

Aichatou was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Niger in 2001.

Aichatou Mindaoudou has more than 20 years of experience and a distinguished career in the Government of Niger, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Minister for Social Development, Population and Promotion of Women’s Rights.

[Tweet “Aichatou Mindaoudou has more than 20 years of experience and a distinguished career in the Government of Niger,”]

She served Niger as the Minister of Social Development, Population and Women in the mid-1990s, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation from 1999 to 2000, and a member of the Permanent Secretariat for the creation of a Strategy Document on the Poverty of Niger.

Outside the political world, Aïchatou Mindaoudou has served her country as the Secretary General of the Network for Rural Law and a member of the African Society for International Law.

She was once Deputy Joint Special Representative (Political) in the African Union–United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) from 2011 to 2013.

Aichatou Mindaoudou has more than 20 years of experience and a distinguished career in the Government of Niger, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Minister for Social Development, Population and Promotion of Women’s Rights.

She is also a distinguished author on issues of women, human development, economic development and privatization and has participated in numerous conferences worldwide.

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Aichatou Mindaoudou.

 

 


Extraordinary Voices: Germaine Kamayirese Rwandan Engineer and Politician

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
― Roman Payne

Germaine Kamayirese is the Minister of State for Infrastructure in the Cabinet of Rwanda.

Germaine Kamayirese was born in Nyarugenge District on the 5th of August 1981. From 2000 until 2005, she studied at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), which today is the College of Science and Technology (Rwanda). She holds a Bachelor of Electrical mechanical Engineering, awarded by KIST in 2005. She also holds a Masters of Communications Management, awarded jointly in 2010 by KIST and Coventry University, in the United Kingdom.

 

Interesting facts about Germaine Kamayirese:

Portfolio

Germaine Kamayirese, is an engineer and politician in Rwanda.

She has served as the Minister of State for Infrastructure responsible for Energy, Water and Sanitation in the Rwandan cabinet, since 24 July 2014.

From 2008 until 2011, Germaine Kamayirese served as a network specialist at “Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency” (RURA).

Similarly, from 2012 until 2014, she served as a network specialist at “Tigo-Rwanda”.From 2010 until 2011 Kamayirese served as an advisor at the “Institute of Engineering Architecture Rwanda”, as of September 2017.

Her outstanding accomplishments

She is a member of “Rwanda Women Engineers Association” (RWEA).

[Tweet “Meet Rwanda Female Engineer, Heroine of Energy and Power Germaine Kamayirese”]

Germaine Kamayirese is in charge of executing the country’s national strategy and policy of power production, transmission, distribution and trading within Rwanda and with foreign energy entities.

She is also responsible for the provision of reliable, safe and sustainable water supply and sanitation services throughout Rwanda

Award and Honoree

In December 2014, Forbes Magazine named her among “The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014”

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Germaine Kamayirese.


Amira Elmissiry- Zimbabwean Lawyer, Chief Equity Officer African Development Bank

‘Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world’-Hillary Clinton.

Women, especially African women continue to leave their foot prints in the sands of time. From the era of Cleopatra of Egypt for her contributions to Geometry, to Queen Amina of Zaria and other great women in history. Amira  Elmissiry is another worthy woman.

[Tweet “African women continue to leave their foot prints from the era of Cleopatra of Egypt for her contributions to Geometry, to Queen Amina of Zaria”]

Amira Elmissiry, is a Zimbabwean lawyer who works as the Chief Equity Officer and Chief Catalytic Investment Officer, in the Private Sector Operations Division at the African Development Bank, based in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast.

Amira Elmissiry is Special Assistant to the President of the African Development Bank, where she is responsible for matters which include operations, policy and strategic issues.

From 2009-2013, Amira was a Young Professional with the Bank and graduated as Senior Legal Counsel in Private Sector and Microfinance Operations.

Amira also worked with various International Organizations, including Initiatives of Change International, the German Technical Cooperation, and the Southern African Development Community from 1999 -2008.

Amira is trained as a Barrister at the United Kingdom Bar and holds a Masters in Law and Restorative Justice.

Amira could speak, Arabic, French and English Language flently.

Honors & Awards

  • MIPAD 100 – 100 Most Influential People of African Descent 2017

 

  • Choiseul Institute: 100 African Economic Leaders Under 40.

 

  • Choiseul Institute: 100 African Economic Leaders Under 40.

 

  • The Africa Youth Awards

 

  • Forbes Magazine – Twenty Youngest Power Women in Africa – 2014

 

  • Legal 500’s top 100 Corporate Counsel in Africa.

 

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Amira Elmissiry.


Extraordinary Voices: Waris Dirie is a Voice Against Female Genital Mutilation   

Waris Dirie was born in 1965 at Gallacaio desert, Somalia. She is one of twelve children born to a nomad family. She was a model, currently a writer and a social activist.
Waris’ journey through life has been inspiring. She shows that the leadership journey is sometimes filled with bumps but with determination and courage, you can succeed. Here are things we found about Waris Dirie and how they have made her one of our extraordinary voices.

[Tweet “Waris’ journey through life has been inspiring. She shows that the leadership journey is sometimes filled with bumps but with determination and courage, you can succeed”]

Outstanding Courage

[Tweet “Waris Dirie ran barefooted for several days across the desert to Mogadishu at 13 to avoid her arranged marriage to a man of over 60 years”]

From an early age, she has shown outstanding courage. In an interview, she described herself as being strong-willed and determined and not the type of child her traditional parents wanted.

She showed how courageous and strong willed she was when she ran barefooted for several days across the desert to Mogadishu at 13 to avoid her arranged marriage to a man of over 60 years.

[Tweet “I knew there was so much I could do with my life, but on my terms – @Waris_Dirie”]

In an interview with the guardian she said “I knew [most married women in her community] put up with everything and anything. Any abuse, hopelessness, and I thought, was I here to be used and be abused? I knew there was so much I could do with my life, but on my terms.” The thought of her being more than a child bride pushed her to make the courageous decision to run away from home and become more.

Her fight Against Female Genital Mutilation

At the age of 5, she underwent the gruesome ordeal of female genital mutilation, she was left in a makeshift shelter under a tree for several days to recover. Due to the physical and emotional turmoil she went through after being mutilated, she has spent her time fighting against FGM.

In 1997, she abandoned her modeling job to focus on her work against FGM. She said in an interview with ventures Africa; “…I was meant to survive everything I did so that one day I could speak out about this torture and fight for little girls out there who are not able to fight on their own!” Her fight led her to start the Desert Flower Foundation which advocates for the abolition of FGM. Still in an interview, she highlights; “…No innocent little girl should go through this kind of unnecessary cruel pain.”

She also started a medical centre in Berlin which is solely to offer reconstructive surgery to women who have gone through FGM and even with that, she says; “I don’t want to put too much focus on it, because the whole point is to stop this mutilation in the first place. We don’t have to have special hospitals to reconstruct a God-given thing”

[Tweet “I would like the world to remember me for my fight against FGM and as a survivor who never gave up… – @Waris_Dirie”]

Advocacy Through Writing

Waris is not only an activist against FGM, a former model, but she’s also an author. She has written several books such as Desert Flower, Desert Dawn, Letters to My Mother, Desert Children. Her books highlight her ordeal and also sets out to educate people on the dangers of female genital mutilation to young girls. She hopes that through her books, the world can become aware of the fact that FGM still exist and that thousands of women and girls go through it. Hence, why she said; “ I wanted to reach people through my story; I wanted them to know about the pain and suffering that thousands of girls and women have to go through every day…”

Her journey has not been easy. From a young girl who suffered mutilation, to a teen who for several days had to run barefooted to avoid child marriage, working as a maid, her story is inspiring as the bumps didn’t stop her from doing what she says is her mission. About bringing an end to FGM, she has this to say; “I can’t turn back, not now I’m almost there. You just have to keep going until one day it will come to an end.”

She also inspires us to never give up on our dreams “I would like the world to remember me for my fight against FGM and for the women of Africa, and then I would like to be remembered as a survivor who never gave up…as I wish the people in this world would never give up on their dreams, their hopes and their life happiness.”

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Waris Dirie.


Extraordinary Voices: Sabrina Wanjiku Simader- Kenyan Alpine Skier

Sabrina Wanjiku Simader was born on the 13th of April, 1998 in Kenya to a Kenyan mother and Austrian father. The 2018 Winter Olympics isn’t the first competitive event she has participated in. In 2016, she represented Kenya in the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

[Tweet “Meet Sabrina Wanjiku Simader- First Kenya Alpine Skier”]

Interesting Facts About Sabrina Wanjiku Simader

Sabrina Wanjiku Simader, was the first female Kenyan athlete at the Winter Olympics. She grew up in Austria where she picked up the sport. Simader started skiing at the age of three.

The 18-year-old Simader was the only African starter in the women’s super-G race at the world ski championship.

Sabrina competes in the more challenging and dangerous speed disciplines, downhill and Super G. Usually, skiers from outside the traditional Alpine skiing nations do not venture beyond the less risky slalom and giant slalom. Through her passion and love for the sport, Sabrina took part in the Super G in St.Moritz. When she turned 13 she won a local championship.

Sabrina carried the Kenyan flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 winter Olympics at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, South Korea.

She is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Sabrina Wanjiki Simader.


Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google