Jun 29, 2011

Young Africa

This is the recent speech that first lady Michelle Obama gave in Soweto, South Africa as part of the Young African Women Leaders Forum. The Young African Women Leaders Forum, the first of its kind, was sponsored by the White House, State Department and other U.S. entities. There were 76 women from 24 countries. The goal of the forum was “to expand the network among young African women and to strengthen (our) partnerships with civil society, business and governments in Africa.”

Graça Machel, former first lady of Mozambique, gives a moving introduction, and I am struck yet again by her eloquence and fervor! If you’re unable to watch this entirely, here’s a meaningful lesson for us all, regardless of age:
“It’s not the environment you’re born in or the background that determines your potential but the choices you make and your determination to succeed.”
– Graça Machel 


2 comments:

I found this really moving! Thank you for sharing. I have been especially struggling this week with my very humble beginning and background and all the struggles I have to go through to keep my dreams alive. And how my dreams are not not just my own but are connected to every person who matters to me and listening to this address reminded me how African stories of people coming out of poverty are similar yet so different. Nontheless, it was re-assuring to be so beautifully reminded that..."It’s not the environment you’re born in or the background that determines your potential but the choices you make and your determination to succeed.” So I prod on :)

I was also very interested in what Graca was saying that when it comes to feminism and women's liberation, we tend to miss the point that it's not about separating the roles of a woman. Like she said, being a mother, having a career and being a wife can work in perfect harmony and not one should be sacrificed for the other, unless by choice of course. Learning how to exist as a whole woman is to me 'feminism in practice without shouting slogans"

Sunshine, I glad you found the message in this video moving as I did. The part you highlight about "feminism in practice without shouting slogans" really resonated with me and put into words what I'd previously been unable to describe as succinctly as Graça Machel did.

Please stay encouraged and prod on. It isn't always easy but if you stay focused and do what needs to be done, you'll meet your goals and be successful. And remember you have a support network surrounding you. (^_^)

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