|Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee|
This is the same message that was repeated again (see video below) by Leymah Gbowee, a gender activist from Sierra Leone and a recent recipient of the Nobel Laureate Prize.
Leymah reminds me very much of Wangari Maathai who was also a gender activist in Kenya. They share the same passion and determination in their struggle against injustice. They are both fearless women who ruffled the feathers of dangerous dictators in their countries. I see Leymah as standing on the shoulders of Dr. Maathai in her fight for the rights of women and girls in Sierra Leone. Fighting for their equal rights and standings in the society whether it be in civic and political participation or leadership in their communities.
On August 20, 2011, I shared the trailer of a documentary titled "Pray the Devil back to Hell". This feature documents the events leading to the deposition of the tyrannical President of Liberia, Charles Taylor and the ushering in of the first African woman President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Well, Leymah Gbowee, featured in this documentary, was the face of this movement that caused a stir in West Africa and got African men to sit up and listen.
We all have the capacity to change our world. It can be on a local, regional, national and even international level. We simply have to be persuaded within ourselves that the changes we want far out weigh the suffering we have to go through and the losses we have to endure to gain the change. Like every action plan we need to clearly articulate the objectives we are fighting for and be completely committed to attaining them no matter the cost.
Dr. Wangari Maathai paved the way as the first African woman to receive a Nobel Laureate Prize. Now Leymah Gbowee, the Wangari Maathai of Liberia, was recognized and awarded this prestigious award. What a great achievement and recognition of African women. We have come a long way.
I am a hummingbird in my community, doing the best I can because that is what I am called to do.