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Sandra Ndoro, Amanda Hawker & Sheila Munyi


Meet The IKONS: Amanda, Sandra & Sheila

Three women changing the way we view the world

BY YAZA South Africa Team

Mar 22, 2021, 09:03 AM

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Sandra Ndoro, Amanda Hawker & Sheila Munyi
Throughout the month and in honour of International Women's Day we will be sharing 100 stories from 100 African women as part of IKON 100. Today, we speak to Sandra Ndoro, Amanda Hawker & Sheila Munyi

These women are from different countries, backgrounds and professions but what binds YAZA, them, and you together is the fact that we all fundamentally believe that when women support women great things happen. 

They say the future is female, we say the future is now.

Sheila Munyi

It's interesting how often the question of what it means to be a Black African woman comes up. Before, I go any  further; No! I do not take offence to this question, I embrace it. Reason being, is that it gives me an opportunity to  enlighten someone about how far, we as a generation of African women, have come. There was a generation of  people as a whole, regardless of descent, that could not imagine a woman leader, a woman entrepreneur, a woman  president let alone a woman voter. Bringing it closer home, in Africa, there was a time when the woman was  considered a nurturer alone, not as a voice that can be heard or someone to be seen.
Sheila Munyi: Kenya
Fast forward to 2021, we have seen nine women as Heads of State in Africa, whether elected or appointed in an acting or interim capacity, which speaks volumes of how far we have come as a continent. It just goes  to show that nothing humanly possible, is unachievable. We live in time of privilege, when the only thing that can  limit you, is your imagination, ambition and confidence. 

My hope for 2021 therefore is to continue to build on my entrepreneurial ambitions and achieve a legacy founded  on persistence, hard work and passion; which will translate to an inspirational and encouraging journey that can  be looked up to, not only by the future generations, but also by the current generation of African Women. 
"If I even positively impact a single individual’s life this year, I will consider my 2021 resolution fulfilled."
Life is not without struggles. Personally, my current struggle is the flawed perception shared by many that Africa is  one big village where people go to visit for the purpose of seeing wild animals, “to go on Safari”. I wish it was  widely understood instead, that Africa is the second largest continent in the world with different borders, cultures,  people, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists and most of all talents. That Africa has professionals who can do anything  that can be done by professionals from anywhere in the world. I hope that it can be understood that when you  choose to come to invest in Africa, you need not look any further than the African women and men when you need  a legal advisor, a CEO, a partner, an executive board, a management team, a workforce. Africa is a continent rich  in spirit and has potential for far greater things.

Sheila Munyi is a managing partner at MA Law Africa

Sandra Ndoro

Being a Black Woman in 2021 means daring, breaking glass ceilings and making more time for self-care. To take full ownership of endless possibilities. It is a season for women to unite.  Through unity comes trust, love and Ubuntu.
Sandra Ndoro: Zimbabwe
As women, we are natural givers of life to our families and communities. May this year be centered on self-care so that we can outpour more goodness and positive energy into the world. 
"It's time for inner healing and more consciousness."
My greatest struggle is making excuses for myself. May 2021 be the year I dare to just be the gem. African woman, arise. It is time for inner healing and more consciousness.

Sandra Ndoro is an artist

Amanda Hawker

I turned 40 last month and reaching this milestone in life has led me to assessing a few things that are important to me.

For 2021, I want to focus more on my freedom. Being locked down for over a year has made me realize how much I took for granted before. I want to be more fearless in living my life – be more daring and care less about what people think. I want to pursue those dreams I’ve allowed to fall to the wayside because I was either too busy or too lazy or too tired or too scared. I want to write more and travel more.
Amanda Hawker: South Africa
My dream is to explore the continent as an Africa-born-and-bred traveller and write about my experiences. I’m currently sheltering from the pandemic and will probably continue to do so for some time because I have asthma so I’m high risk for complications if I were to become infected with Covid-19. But as soon as it is safe to travel overseas, I’ll be on the plane. 

One important thing that the Covid-19 pandemic revealed to me is how much I love my family and how much they love me. I feel like even with the pandemic tearing families and lives apart, an unexpected benefit has also been the closeness that results from battling a shared invisible enemy. So I also want to spend more time focusing on my family.

If I can achieve one thing for my community this year, it would be to mentor high school students and guide them through the college application and enrolment process. Most high school children have parents who never attended college or university, and the application process is confusing even for people who have attended tertiary. 
"I want to open up that process and create an easy resource where people can go to find all the information they need."
I also want to help college and university students to gain valuable work experience through internships and learnerships. Most employers require a minimum of 2 years’ work experience, even for entry level jobs, but finding opportunities to gain work experience in the South African job market is so difficult and it’s steadily getting worse.

Amanda Hawker is the brand partnerships and community manager at Africa New Media Group