I feel powerful when: I am helping people particularly girls and women
Icons/ who inspires you: Tererai Trent, Michele Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Ruth Makandiwa
Best advice I have ever received: “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
Happy Place: at home with my mum
Motto: you are your sisters’ keeper
Most used app: Instagram
IG handle: @girlupzimbabwe / @empowered_woman_conversations / @nyashiebae
What do you do and what was the journey to get here?
I am a girls’ rights advocate/ motivational speaker and a lawyer in the making. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a human rights lawyer, I have always wanted to make things right for the oppressed in society. During my gap year from my law degree, my desire to stand up for girls grew even stronger and I realised I didn’t have to wait until I acquired a degree to start making an impact in the lives of girls and that is when I founded my own trust called Grace Hope Foundation. The trust was founded sometime in 2016/17. The aim of the trust was to support vulnerable girls in different communities by any means possible. With my experience from serving as a community service manager for Golden key at the University of Pretoria, I knew I was in a better position to advocate for girls’ rights in my country and bring much needed change whilst at it.
In 2018, I joined Girlup community, a united nations foundation campaign and I brought the campaign to Zimbabwe. As the Community leader of Girlup Zimbabwe, my duties include implementation and analysing of projects, monitoring and evaluating the development of the campaign in Zimbabwe and providing sustainable solutions to the challenges that girls face on a daily basis and that’s how the journey of being a girls’ rights activist began. Even after getting involved with Girlup, I felt I needed to do more for girls and young women and I started a movement called Empowered Woman Conversations which is a platform I have created to empower women to be the best version of themselves through motivational content..
How would you define a true African woman?
I could write a whole book on what it means to be a true African woman, but I will stick to the shorter version. A true African woman is STRONG, BOLD, EMPOWERED, INDEPENDENT and RESILIENT.
What inspires you?
I draw my inspiration from a lot of people, this includes family, friends, public figures, etc., but the person who inspires me the most has to be my mother. She is a go-getter; she doesn’t give up and she has given me the same spirit. In my line of work, you have to be tough and if you want to change the world it’s not an overnight job, it will take a lot of strength in you and that means never giving up. My mother has always inspired me to go after my dreams and be unapologetic about what I want in life and I have gone ahead to teach girls the same thing and that is to be go getters.
What is your end game and how do you think your efforts change the game or make a difference?
To be the first female president in Zimbabwe. And the reason is every day we are fighting for the rights of girls, we are fighting for policies to be changed so that girls can have opportunities, but it hasn’t been easy. So what better way to change these policies than to be the policy maker.
Have you ever struggled with feeling the need to reach unrealistic expectations of perfection or making it? If yes, do you have a way to move past those feelings?
Don’t I always, my friend always tells people that if you want to work with Nyasha, you have to be organised because she wants things done in a classy and organised manner. I guess that explains how much I crave perfection. In my mind I always tell myself that the world is always watching your every move so put your best foot forward always. But this creates unnecessary pressure some times and the only way I have gotten past that is to just look back at the amazing work I have done to empower girls and I tell myself that I am doing a good job. This need for perfection comes from the fact that I think whatever I am doing is not good enough and I have to remind myself otherwise and this has always helped me.
If we could walk a day in your shoes, what is one thing you would say to encourage us to take on a typical day in your life?
Don’t take no for an answer.
Any last words of advice to the African woman?
My advice would be ‘you have the skin that glows like diamonds, your hair is like a crown, you have the strength of a tiger and your continent is overflowing with milk and honey. Everything you need to make it in this world you have been given. Cement yourself and let your voice be heard. Do not feel inferior or inadequate, do not let the next person make you feel like you are not good enough’.
By Adelaide (@captainesstreats)