10 more TED talks by African women that will inspire you

siyanda ted talk

In January, we shared 10 TED talks that will inspire you this year. As we’re already midway through the year, we figure inspiration levels may need a reboost. So, here are even more TED talks by African women running things that will remind you how awesome we all are at winning.

1. Siyanda Mohutsiwa

Siyanda Mohutsiwa is a 22 year old blogger and writer from Botswana using the Internet to pursue her pan-African dreams. She is the person behind the #IfAfricaWasABar hashtag that went viral gaining over 60,000 tweets in July last year. Siyanda’s TED talk is a funny look into how young Africans are using the Internet, particularly through Twitter to get to know each other better.

2 Kechi Okwuchi

Kechi Okwuchi is has achieved a whole lot in her lifetime. She survived the Sosoliso plane crash in 2005 that took the lives of 60 of her schoolmates who were flying home for the holidays. Kechi used her second chance at life to uncover her passions and went on to graduate magna cum laude from university. Her story inspires us to know ourselves and our vision. To remember that scars that don’t define us and that our passions can make our dreams a reality.

3. Achenyo Idachaba

Achenyo Idachaba’s idea turned a plant associated with death and destruction to a source of lifelihood. In 2009, Achenyo left the United States to relocate to Nigeria where she put to life her concern for sustainable development in the country. She took the water hyacinth, a plant that clogs many Nigerian waterways and found a way to dry and weave its stems, transforming the plant into ropes that make pens, purses, tableware and much more.

4. Kakenya Ntaiya

As a young Maasai woman, Kakenya Ntaiya already did things that no one else in her community had. She bucked gender expectations, negotiating with her father to stay in school, getting the male elders to support her to go to university in the United States and returning to set a girls’ school in her community. Kakenya’s story reminds us that when there’s a will, there will always be a way.

5. Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich is the co-founder of Ushahidi and iHub. Ushahidi is a Kenyan open-source software used globally that collects and maps out information while the iHub is a collective tech space in Nairobi. In her TED talk, Juliana shares how she and her friends developed BRCK, a service that offers stronger Internet connectivity specifically designed for African needs such as power outages.

6. Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh is an activist who regularly reports on the going-ons of the Kenyan parliament. She started the blog Mzalendo that shined a light into the goings-on in the parliament, bringing citizens closer to their government at a time when what went on in the Kenyan parliament was secretive. Here she gives insight into her heroic work as an activist.

7. Kah Walla

Kah Walla is a Cameroonian entrepreneur, activist and political leader. She is also the first woman to run for president in Cameroon. Kah has worked in developing solutions to encourage economic growth and democracy in her country. It doesn’t get more inspiring than listening to the words of a pioneer.

8. Panashe Chigumadzi

Panashe Chigumadzi is a writer and storyteller from Zimbabwe. Her debut novel, “Sweet Medicine” is highly acclaimed and she has produced a documentary, “Africa’s Upstarts”. Here, Panashe reminds us that stereotypes can shape the way even we view ourselves. While this makes them hard to shake off, technology can change that by more equally distributing power that Africans can use to their advantage.

9. Jepchumba

A digital artist and founder of the African Digital Art Network, Jepchumba is a role model for working where your passions lie. At TEDxEuston, Jepchumba says her entire life is based online and reveals that Africa’s digital potential is hidden submerged under the surface just waiting to rise.

10. Lindiwe Mazibuko

Lindiwe Mazibuko was the youngest parliamentary leader and the first black woman to be the Leader of the Opposition in South Africa. In her talk, Lindiwe gives her reasons why young Africans in the Diaspora should return to work in civil service in their respective countries. Lindiwe reminds young people not to run away from politics and find ways to give back to our countries for the better.

About Rafeeat Aliyu

Rafeeat loves food, learning about pre-colonial African history and watching horror movies. She writes weird and speculative fiction sometimes.

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