Feminist movements have made great strides in drawing attention to gender-based inequality in Africa. However, the existence of hierarchies in societies dominated by patriarchal values, means a change of mind set is still required. This panel forum will deconstruct the articulations of the concept of contemporary African feminism and its social implications. The dialogue will examine the diversity of expressions, tensions and contradictions about African feminism in shaping Africa in the context of gender parity, social justice, political thought, African History and cultural relativism.
Dr. Josephine Olufunmilayo Alexander is a Senior Lecturer in English Language Studies with two decades of lecturing experience in four tertiary institutions: Ogun State University now Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria, the University of Swaziland, Namibia University of Science and Technology formerly the Polytechnic of Namibia and the University of South Africa. She served as Student Services Manager, Deputy Head of Hostel and Tutor at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa, Mbabane between 2002 and 2012. In addition to her Ph.D in English Language from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, she has an MA in International Development from Eastern University in Pennsylvania, focusing on advocacy for children and women, fundraising, programme coordination and management. She is passionate about the teaching and learning of English in Second Language contexts and the usage of Owé, her indigenous language, on social media. Her research interests are in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Language and Technology, Literacy, Sociolinguistics, Onomastics, Pragmatics, Feminism and Indigenous Language Documentation and Preservation. She is the author of one book: Pronominal Co-reference in Educated Nigerian English Usage: A Study in Error Analysis. She has presented on these topics at conferences and published in accredited journals in South Africa, India and Germany. She is a member of the English Academy of Southern Africa (EASA), the Southern African Applied Linguistics Association (SAALA), the Linguistics Society of Southern Africa (LSSA), the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR), the African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA), the Southern African Folklore Society (SAFOS), the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) and is on the Editorial Board of NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication. She enjoys mentoring young people to attain their full potential and has
Ms. Wanja Njuguna is a Ph. D candidate. She holds a Masters in Public Administration (Harvard University), USA. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Communication Department at the Namibia University of Science & Technology. She was previously a lecturer in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Botswana. With over 25 years in journalism, Ms. Njuguna started her career as a freelance journalist with the Nation Media Group in Kenya in 1989. She joined the Nation Media Group, the largest media group in East Africa, on full time basis in 1996 as a writer and subeditor until 2004.
She was a judge of the 2015 and 2016 CNN-Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards. During her career as a mainstream journalist, Ms Njuguna has won among others, one of journalism’s most prestigious fellowships, Stanford University’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship, Harvard University’s Mason Fellowship and the William Starr Innovation Fellowship. In 2000, she won the overall CNN African Journalist of the Year Award and the First Prize – News Print of the CNN African Journalist of the Year, 2000. As part of her prize package, for winning on a piece on domestic violence among the elite in Kenya entitled “Union Made in Hell”, she worked at Time Magazine, Atlantic Edition in London. She also won the Giants International Best Social Writer award for 2000 for her writing on human rights issues in Kenya for a year, among other awards.
Ms Njuguna’s journalism articles are varied from writing on food security, business & finance, leadership, children’s and general human rights citizens rights vs police, rights of People Living with HIV & Aids in the workplace, insurances,among others. Her research interest is in print media reportage on HIV & Aids and stigma surrounding People Living with HIV & Aids especially in the media. She is currently researching on Stigma and PLWHAs in the Media.
Mumbi Muturi-Muli is an entrepreneur and the founder of two businesses, Homemade by Mumbi and Harvest of Sunshine. Homemade by Mumbi is a bespoke cake business that started in 2011 initiated by her love of baking. She learned how to decorate and design from making lots of mistakes, friends and online resources. She still runs the business from her home, designing and creating cakes for birthdays, weddings and everything in between, you can find her on Facebook
In 2013 when the natural hair movement began in Kenya, Mumbi decided to start whipping up butters and oils in her home for family and friends, this started to extend to outside her immediate circle and she started making producing mixes for sale. Most of the products that were in Kenya were imported from the US and were water based. She decided to research on creating water based creations using butter and oils from the African continent. Harvest of Sunshine has grown in the last year and the products can be found in Tanzania and Rwanda with plans to export to other African countries.
Mumbi has embarked on a new journey. She has joined a Visual Arts collective, OneTouch, as a photographer. The aim of the collective is to tell the story of Kenya from our perspective, to document and tell our story as Kenyans and Africans. She joins the group on road trips within Kenya, meeting the different cultures and capturing their beauty.
Kate Doyle is currently the Deputy Principal at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC and she is loving being able to use this platform to learn more about and inform others about the very important issues around gender based inequalities.
Through her involvement with Girl Rising at Waterford in 2016 and the follow on BraveGirl camp, which will take place in August 2017, Kate is inspired to keep on talking about how through uplifting women and girls, we can uplift whole communities.
Kate’s own personal journey through tumultuous times of leadership positions at school and university, as well as living abroad and then returning to the education sector in South Africa and Swaziland and becoming a mom has all shaped the way that she sees the important role of women in society.
Kate firmly believes that girls and women must all set out to make a significant contribution, in whatever way that they can, to society otherwise we all stand to lose out.
Nyiko Lebogang Shikwambane is a Bachelor of Laws graduate who is pursuing a Master’s Degree in African Literature at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a former talk show host on Rise Talk Show on SABC 1, a television program provoking conversation around issues that affect young women between the ages of 15 and 25. She currently hosts the Law Focus on VOWfm 88.1 where she interrogates legal developments form a socio-political and economic point of view. She is passionate about South Africa and Africa. She believes in the power of art, culture and the strength of her generation to shoulder the future. She also carries a passion for African literature, feminist activism, fallism, social development and restorative justice.
Photo Credit: Ellen Eisenman
Hlonipha Mokoena received her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town in 2005. She is currently an associate professor and researcher at WiSER (WITS Institute for Social and Economic Research) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Her articles have been published in various journals including but not limited to: Journal of Natal and Zulu History; Journal of Religion in Africa; Journal of Southern African Studies; Scrutiny2: Issues in English Studies in Southern Africa and Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing. She has contributed opinion pieces and book reviews to: African Studies Review; History & Theory; The Politics of Jacob Zuma, ACAS Bulletin No. 84; the blog “Africa is a Country” and the exhibition “PASS-AGES: References & Footnotes”.
Her first book is on Magema M. Fuze. She is the author of the Abantu Abamnyama Lapa Bavela Ngakona (1922) / The Black People and Whence They Came (1979). The book is titled Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual. The basic argument she presents in the book is that as an author and an aspirant historian Fuze represents a set of questions about the emergence and arrested development of a black intelligentsia and literati in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century South Africa. His life and writings reveal both his singular attempt to create, under adverse cultural, political and social conditions, a literary career and a body of knowledge while also participating in the constitution of a discourse community or a public sphere of Zulu-speaking intellectuals.
Colleen Lowe Morna (South Africa, Waterford Kamhlaba UWC, 1977-1978), began her career as a journalist specialising in gender and development. Among positions she held were co-ordinator of the Africa office of Inter Press Service in Harare; correspondent for South Magazine and Africa Editor of the New Delhi- based Women’s Feature Service. She joined the Commonwealth Secretar¬iat as a senior researcher on the Africa desk in 1991, and later served as Chief Programme Officer of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa.
Following South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, Colleen became an advisor on gen-der and institutional development to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Assistance special programme of assistance to South Africa. She subsequently served as founding CEO of the South African Commission on Gender Equality. Colleen holds an MA in Communications from Columbia University; BA in International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations, Princeton University; and a certificate in executive management from the London Business School.