Africa is such an underrated continent when it comes to leadership. The world sees Africa as a corrupt place that can’t be saved. Truth be told, inspiring leaders do exist in Africa.
Below are five Africans who’ve inspired me in more ways than one
Esther Passaris: a leaderevolutionary
She’s a feminist, she’s a wife, she’s a mother, she’s a leader and as if that wasn’t enough, she’s confident about her sexuality. She also openly talks about sex and sexuality and has come out in support of the LGBTQ community. Esther Passaris is everything Kenyan men have tried convincing us well never become. These men still use marriage and children as weapons against young feminists. They believe the idea of a married feminist with kids doesn’t exist. Well Esther Passaris is all that plus more. Insecurity is not a good look guys.
Wangari Maathai: an activist, an environmentalist
She protected and fought for a forest from encroachment. A time when protesting was an insult to Moi’s regime. It’s not like today where anybody can get up, gather few friends and family and hit the streets to protest. Back then, few people protested against Moi and lived to tell their story. She was brave to defend that forest.
Wangari led groups of women to fight off the police and army. This attracted a lot of media attention from across the globe. The pressure was too much for the former president. He called the whole thing off. I understand he was to profit from selling the forest for hotels and apartments.
She became the first African to win a Nobel Prize. Her fearlessness saved a forest and inspired many to embrace trees.
Winnie Mandela: a revolutionary
I grew up knowing Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary man. I mean, the guy spent 27yrs in jail for his people. Had young people take arms and protest for his freedom.
As I grew older I learnt more about his life. I got to a point where I needed to know more about Winnie. What was she up to? What was it like for her for those 27 years? Well, Winnie wasn’t the kind of woman to sit down and wait for things to happen. She was out there fighting for black liberation.
Mandela divorced Winnie later after getting his freedom. Most people believe it’s because she strayed from their marriage. Truth is, they both believed in different ideologies. You see, she was more of ‘fight fire with fire’. Mandela was the opposite, more like ‘love thy neighbor.’ They were basically Killmonger and T’challa respectively.
This explains why white media never mentions Winnie. They know she was the real revolutionary.
Binyanvanga Wainaina: a writer, an activist
I never read his books until few years back when he came out of the closet. I read his story in the newspaper and how he knew he was gay at 5yrs. Can I remember what I did at 5yrs? Absolutely not! Binyavanga however, knew who he was. The world didn’t change him decades later. Sadly, he passed away at only 48 years young.
It breaks my heart that Binyavanga never fully lived his life as an openly gay person. For most of his life he was in the closet until the age of 43 when he finally came out. Being a famous African writer and founder of Kwani?, he faced a lot of backlash. That didn’t stop him from enjoying life though.
Binyavanga inspired me to live my life to the fullest, stay true to myself.
Muammar Gaddafi, believer of a United States of Africa
Depending on whom you ask Muammar Gaddafi was a force to reckon with. A leader who saw it fit for a united Africa, a self-sufficient continent with her own currency. He saw a future where Africa would no longer have to get permission from her former colonizers. Unlike the leaders before him, he had the wealth to back him up and get things done. People didn’t see or hear Muammar Gaddafi, people felt his presence. As expected, his ideology on Africa didn’t sit well with America and so they had him killed. Now look at Libya. You can’t imagine this was the same country Gaddafi built.
Am yet to understand why people fear a United Africa. What scares them about African people coming together?