In comparison with similar initiatives, the Women for Africa Awards really stood out! The organisers- Sam and Tola Onigbanjo- avoided the usual focus on entertainment, beauty etc and instead focused on the achievements of African women in a range of fields including business, education and the media.
Though there was a Nigerian focus, women were awarded from many different countries across Africa. There were too many winners for me to mention each one here but there are two women in particular who deserve a special mention.
Managing director of Rich Visions communications agency Mavis Amankwah received two honours with Entrepreneur of the Year and Business Woman of the Year awards.
Ever heard of a corrigé? In Cameroon, it means something done so brilliantly that it should be seen as a master-class.
Meanwhile true inspiration came in the form of Zimbabwean human rights activist Betty Makoni. Makoni won Humanitarian of the Year award for her work as CEO of Girl Child Network.
From our lived experiences, we have so many practical ways to support the empowerment of girls in the home, school, and community so that what happened to us will never happen to women and girls again. We want a new breed of girl who will walk in the fullness of her potential, — Betty Makoni — Director and Founder of Girl Child Network
The GCNW supports and promotes girls’ rights, empowerment, and education by reaching out to and advancing the circumstances of girls wherever they are economically deprived, at risk of abuse, subject to harmful cultural practices, or living in areas of instability. She received a standing ovation, after an inspirational acceptance speech which gave the audience an opportunity to reflect upon her courage and determination.
As director of an organisation that works to unleash the potential of Africans through education, I feel that the real winners were African communities. For this event has highlighted African women who can serve as role models to other Africans worldwide!
Hats off to Women for Africa for making that possible, and may this corrigé be the first of many!