amazing africa

Fun Fact 131

Ethiopians count time differently from the rest of the world and regard 6 AM as the start of the day instead of 12 AM. In this way eight in the morning (Western style) would be 2 AM in Ethiopia. Ethiopians rationalize that the clock should start when the day does.

Tegla Loroupe (b. 1973) is a long-distance runner from Kenya. She has been the World Half-marathon champion three times, and held the world marathon record, as well as the records for 20, 25, and 30 kilometres.

She has won several important marathons, such as the New York, London, and Berlin ones. Additionally, she is a devoted advocate for women’s rights and education, establishing a school and an orphanage in her native Kenya. She founded the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, promoting world peace through sports and cooperation.

An amazing women died today. A women that everyone should know and read about. Her name is Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim. She was the first female parliamentarian in the whole of Africa and the Middle East. She was only 20 years old. When the British banned Sudanese women from learning science subjects and English, she organized a women’s march. This was the first women’s march in Sudan. As a young girl she had a magazine where she discussed women’s right and the British colonization in Sudan. Because she wasn’t allowed to publish this magazine as a Sudanese women, she published them in secret. Later on in her life she married her husband, Al Shafi, who was killed early in their marriage. By then she had a son who she raised by herself after this tragic incident. Her son is now working as a doctor. I can’t put into words how amazing this women was. She did not only believe in the equal rights of women, but she believed in the power women have. The power they have to change a country, to fight injustice and impact politics. The power they have to contribute to society. The most amazing thing about her, and her story, is that it showcases the irony that some western people say about non-western women. The British TOLD us that we as Sudanese women were incompetent to learn science and English, THEY told us that we were not equal to the European women and certainly not a man. THEY oppressed the Sudanese women, yet they have the audacity to say that liberation of women began as a/ in western culture? No. Just No. This is why I want everyone to remember and read about this women. She is just one of the many non-western women who did amazing things and should be put on a pedestal for having the courage to fight for her rights regardless of their sex and position in a colonized country. Remember her name. FATIMA AHMED IBRAHIM.

Feel free to write about other amazing non-western women. This is important.

Doris Lessing (1919-2013) was a novelist and poet, considered one of the best British writers. She received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007, becoming the oldest person to have this honour.

She moved from England to South Africa, but was banned from the country due to her anti-apartheid campaigning. Her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, was published in 1950, and became a classic. She used her Nobel Lecture, On Not Winning the Nobel Prize, to raise awareness of global inequality, and to raise money for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Fun Fact 173

Zimbabwe’s first president was named Canaan Banana. As head of state (1980-1987), President Banana never really commanded respect and so in 1982 a law was passed to ban jokes about the president’s name such as headlines which read “Mugabe Slips on Banana” or comments by journalists saying “attempts to contact Mr Banana were fruitless”.

Isabel dos Santos (b. 1973) is an Angolan businesswoman, the first female billionaire in Africa, and currently the richest woman on the continent. She holds management positions in several European companies.

She is the chairwoman of Sonangol, the national oil company of Angola. She is also the President of the Angola Red Cross. Publications such as Forbes and Politico named her as one of the most influential women in the world, praising her business strategies.

Fun Fact 159

Mauritius has a unique parliamentary system whereby only 62 of its 70 seats are up for election. The remaining eight seats are reserved for what are called the “best losers” and are appointed by the Supreme Court to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities are represented.