Every Day is African Day

“African women in general need to know that it’s ok for them to be the way they are- to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence”.

Wangari Maathai

Africa is a continent, not a country. Today is African Day, which is celebrated since 1963, to commemorate the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, known today as the African Union.

Africa is the second largest continent composed of 54 sovereign countries. These countries are diverse and rich in geography, languages, cultures, and history. Its vast land is owner of deserts, savannas, rivers, lakes, rainforests, and coastal plains. All countries showcase a variety of spoken languages such as Swahili, Arabic, Zulu, Hausa, and so on. Each language is a deep part of oral stories, traditions, and knowledge passed on from generation to generation. Culturally, Africa is a wide scope of music, dances, rituals, customs, literature, and cuisine. In addition, it has a mosaic history, from powerful kingdoms, to colonization, and independence.

Masai Mara National Reserve
Photo: Kimmo Lehtonen

All the above text is a tiny part of what I read before my first trip in 2013. I arrived dawn to Nairobi, Kenya; however, I didn’t feel tired because I was excited to step foot on African soil, and to finally know the land of my ancestors and part of my history. During my stay, I enjoyed seeing new places, animals, landscapes, and meeting new people. But also, this trip was an open eye for me to see one of the 54 countries from another point of view and to understand its people and culture. I was thrilled to be there!

Despite, all the struggles that Africa faced in the past and still faces today, this continent intertwines its cultures and history to create and inspire a new pathway. This is the home of great leaders, who have emerged to fight for freedom and equality for their people and land. Among these leaders there are outstanding females, who are activists, feminisms, singers, politicians, scholars, writers, artists, and so on.

The list may be endless; however, here is a starting point to learn about African females who have set a milestone for their countries:

Miriam Makeba

Nakanyike Musisi

Maaza Mengiste

Vanessa Nakate

Women in tech

Huda Shawari

After my trip in 2013, I promised myself to learn more about Africa and have a wider scope of the stories this unique continent has for us.

What countries in Africa have you visited? Share your experience below!

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