Introducing a young African woman with a cheeky hashtag, an internet connection, twitter, a bit of creativity and a vision? That’s all Siyanda Mohutsiwa needed to unite young African voices in a new way.
Today is International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. These are serious things and must be addressed if Africa is to ever take its rightful place in terms of world leadership.
So, I started an article listing my Top 10 most amazing African women. It was hard to do, not because of the lack of amazing women, but the complete opposite. Trying to choose 10 individuals is frankly ridiculous, somewhat entertaining perhaps but that’s where it begins and ends. My list started like this: Bessie Head, Pretty Yende, Caster Semenya, Miriam Makeba, Helen Suzman, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wangari Maathai, Angelique Kidjo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Daphne Sheldrick … all undoubtedly great women. But I am sure that just about anyone reading this would have a different list. There would be some common ground, perhaps, but the list of “how could you leave out this or that person” would be a very very long one indeed.
What I really wanted was to find the spirit young people. Not sure where to go with this I started browsing through Ted Talks, one of my all time favourite diversions, and I came across a young woman by the name of Siyanda Mohutsiwa and her talk “How young Africans found a voice on Twitter”. I was captivated. Siyanda is only in her early twenties and the fact that there are undoubtedly millions of young African women like her made me feel so good and to murmur to myself: “watch out world”.