Post main image
Photo of
Tana Gambura, Tshidi Gule & Angela Njehia

NEWS

Meet The IKONS: Tana, Tshidi & Angela

Three women changing the way we view the world

BY YAZA South Africa Team

Mar 11, 2021, 08:14 AM

Photo of

Tana Gambura, Tshidi Gule & Angela Njehia
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 Tana Gambura, Tshidi Gule and Angela Njehia.

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. 

Tana Gambura

Being an African woman in 2021 to me means reckoning with the biography of a global pandemic as a racialised and sexed person who lives as a migrant outside the continent.
Tanatsei Gambura: Zimbabwe
Of course, this comes with ongoing challenges, personal and social. However, it is also begging my will to live and demonstrate that justice, care, and community always win. I still look forward to the future and hold on to the audacity of hope. 

Tanatsei Gambura is a poet, intermediate artiste and cultural practitioner

Tshidi Gule

This felt like a simple question at first. But the layers that illuminated themselves in my mind as I introspected made me realize what a beautiful web of complexity womanhood in Africa still is, even today. 

I relish and cherish that I grew up with encouraging parents throughout my life when it came to pursuing my deepest passion - medicine. I cannot think of another path that could have underscored the soundtrack of my life. African women want to be heard, for all the right reasons. We are bold. We are smart. We are blazing our own trails and our footprints are being noticed. That is the best possible reason for me to keep moving in the direction I have chosen. 
Tshidi Gule: South Africa
Healthcare in Africa is demanding a lot of disruption and it’s in times like these, the unexpected pandemic that swept the world by storm, that I recognize the value of African excellence. We are capable of solving challenges that seem insurmountable, but the heartbeat of African women will always lie in being able to demonstrate our quiet dignity, grace and curiosity. This is a kind of heartbeat I do not take for granted.

The barriers for women to be respected is a lifelong one for my generation. I move in the spaces I have chosen with a quiet reassurance that the time for women to be measured on their merit and not aesthetic influence is inevitable. 

The global community is moving the needle forward in some of the toughest issues that have led to the disenfranchisement of pioneering and brave women. COVID19 has exposed the dire need for these conversations to be prioritized and progressive actions taken. As I grow older and more comfortable in my brown, soft, ravish-worthy skin, I am embracing the influence of the larger collective movement that is forging ahead to redirect the narrative of women everywhere in the world. There is grace in clarity. And beauty in patience.  
 "There is grace in clarity. And  beauty in patience."
Whatever the skin, race, culture, and upbringing, the season for our voices to hold sustainable power is here. And we are respectful warriors of independence, family, love, and community. So what matters to me now is how I continue to echo those values in the work I produce, the family  I raise, the people I meet, and the community I serve. 

So my answer to this question? It remains something my father taught me throughout my turbulent teenage years - the true power of the African woman is in her own understanding of her inherent and divine worth. African women are some of the most formidable and beautiful.

Tshidi Gule, known as Dr G, is the Chief Medical Officer at LeGulo Africa 

Angela Njehia

Being a Black African woman in 2021 means that impossible is a word that does not exist in our vocabulary and you can be whatever you want to be however you must be willing to get out there and try for you to achieve. It is therefore my responsibility to build better paths for my children and younger generations to come.

Women before us fought hard for us to have a voice in the current spaces we trade in and they continue to fight hard for our opinion to count. As a woman in tourism trade development, it is my role to fight for exclusive inclusivity because 58% of entrepreneurs in Africa are women and in the tourism sector we account for 54% of the workforce; therefore we have the opportunity to re-write Africa’s development narrative.
Angela Njehia: Zimbabwe
African women have always struggled to prove their contribution to the economic growth of the continent and gender inequality still holds us captive of being invited to the decision-making table, even though we probably made that table. I would love to realize SDG 5 which talks about achieving gender equality and empowerment of women.

In these times we are living in today, we must be cognizant that women play a big role in developing our communities, and through empowering women we could easily achieve other sustainable development goals such as SDG1 which talks about poverty eradication. 
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
For example, if we created opportunities allowing employment or entrepreneurship that in turn would impact our local communities through community development which would Impact greater economies. We need to start thinking of not just the bigger picture but the whole picture.

We must purpose to influence positively with the aim to create quality of life for all.  As Maya Angelou once said "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

Let no-one fool you, as a Black African woman you are not only capable of achieving the impossible; you are the DJ to the party.

Angela Njehia is an entrepreneur

Read: Meet The IKONS