Reblogged from pentastarinthestyleofdemons
Kande Beach, Nkhotakota, Malawi
Son of Adam.Born of Eve. Created by God. Corrupted by Devil. I am Good, I am Evil, I am HUMAN.
Kande Beach, Nkhotakota, Malawi
For 48 turbulent hours she was the victim of a conspiracy that left the future of Malawi hanging in the balance. Then Joyce Banda made a critical phone call to the head of the army, asking if she could rely on his support. He said yes. And at that moment her place in history was assured.
“You ask how I feel to be the first female president in southern Africa?” she said in an interview. “It’s heavy for me. Heavy in the sense that I feel that I’m carrying this heavy load on behalf of all women. If I fail, I will have failed all the women of the region. But for me to succeed, they all must rally around.”
Banda’s dramatic rise came when President Bingu wa Mutharika’s increasingly autocratic rule was cut short by a fatal heart attack earlier this month. As vice-president, it was her constitutional right to replace him. After overcoming resistance from Mutharika’s powerful allies, she has now set about rebuilding the country’s shattered economy and pursuing a cause close to her heart: women’s rights.
The 61-year-old first rose to prominence as a champion of female empowerment, founding organisations including a microfinancing network for thousands of women in rural areas. She says her own experiences of marriage have driven her crusade.
“I got married at 22 and remained in an abusive marriage for 10 years,” she told the Guardian during a visit to Pretoria, South Africa. “I made up my mind that that was never going to happen to me again. I made a brave step to walk out in a society when you didn’t walk out of an abusive marriage.It was mental and physical abuse.
“Two years later I got married again to my husband who was a high court judge in Malawi. For the next two, three years I moved from zero to hero: I was running the largest business owned by a woman in Malawi, in industrial garment manufacturing. But when I looked back his fingerprint was all over: if I wanted training, he paid; if I wanted a loan, he came with me. Because of his status in society everything was easy for me, so I had succeeded but I had succeeded because I was privileged.
“And that’s when it began to worry me. I began to think about those that were in my situation that were not able to walk out of an abusive marriage, or maybe those that did not know where to go, that were in a single headed marriage, or widows. I was thinking what it was I could do to reach out to them.”
Pointing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Africa’s first elected female head of state, Banda added: “Africa is changing in that regard and I hope you know that we are doing better than most countries. America is still struggling to put a woman in the White House but we have two, so we’re doing fine. This is what people did not expect us to achieve but we have.”
Another Female President for #Africa
Following the death of #Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday, former Vice-President Joyce Banda has now officially been sworn in as president of the Southern African nation. Banda is the first female president in Southern Africa and is the second female head of state in Africa, after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.