THE 2010 MILEAD FELLOWS

The 2010 MILEAD Fellows represent some of Africa’s most extra-ordinary young women leaders with the courage and commitment to lead change in their communities. The Fellows include emerging young women leaders engaged in actively leading change on critical issues that range from women’s health and HIV/AIDS, disability, community development to political participation and environmental and economic justice. They are between 19 to 25 years but have already demonstrated their commitment to serve and lead in the 21st century. Together, they form a unique community which can dramatically affect the lives of future generations of Africa.
“Each of these young women has demonstrated an outstanding promise and unlimited potential for African leadership.” stated the statement from the MILEAD Selection Committee.
Amie Kujabi ( ZAMBIA ) Amina Abdirashid Dubow ( KENYA )
Anthonia Ayamga ( GHANA ) Asmau Ayub Yusuf ( GHANA )
Astrid Janice F. Flenon ( BENIN ) Bendu A. Dorley ( LIBERIA )
Catherine Wambui Kiama ( KENYA ) Delta L. Ndou ( ZIMBABWE )
Esther Eshiet ( NIGERIA ) Ettamba AgborNdip ( CAMEROON )
Eyram Adadevoh ( GHANA/USA ) Gifty Afia Oware-Aboagye ( GHANA )
Gu-dao Herlyn Uiras ( NAMIBIA ) Jane Wairimu Waithera ( KENYA )
Mary Ng'endo Kanoi ( KENYA ) Memory Malimo ( ZAMBIA )
Nancy Beshay ( EGYPT ) Neema J. Mwesiga ( TANZANIA )
Rumbidzai Sithole ( SOUTH AFRICA ) Satang Nabaneh ( GAMBIA )
Sheila J.K. Kinaheirwe ( UGANDA ) Theresia Morfaw Fonjia ( CAMEROON )
Vanessa Chintedza ( MALAWI ) Winnie Siah Tamba ( LIBERIA )
Zamamvulane (Zaza) Sandisiwe Motha ( SOUTH AFRICA )

Amie Kujabi

Amie's activism began in 2000 when she joined the Gambia Red Cross Society where she was elected to the executive body of the Serrekunda Central Red Cross Link. As an adolescent, she developed the habit of helping people especially victims and the vulnerable in society. Having interest in children and the urge to know about her rights and responsibilities as a child, she joined the Voice of the Young under the auspices of the Child Protection Alliance (CPA) in 2003, and in 2005 took part in a research on Corporal Punishment which led to the participation in the UN Regional Consultation on Violence against Children in Mali. She served as a volunteer on a door mat making project for the visually impaired persons at the Gambia Organisation for the Visually Impaired (GOVI), is a member of Young Women of Africa and Spain network, a member of the Gender Action Team, works with youth organisations, and is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Development Studies and Political Science as minor. Additionally, she works with the Child Protection Alliance as the Female Youth Coordinator to Voice of the Young, a children's group that serves as the mouth piece for the CPA.

Amina Abdirashid Dubow

Amina is a Gender Officer cum Broadcast Assistant with the BBC World Service Trust. She has been working with the Somalia programme for the past 2 years, and specifically within the education programme, which aims to increase enrolment levels of girls who have limited access to school through developing media messages and simple curriculum to encourage and promote the importance of education within the wider society. She holds a Diploma in Communication Studies from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and is currently undertaking a degree in Community Development at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Anthonia Ayamga

Ms. Anthonia Ayamga graduated with a B. A. in Integrated Development Studies at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in 2009. In the course of pursuing the bachelor’s degree after successfully completing St. Francis Girls’ Senior High School in Jirapa in the Upper West Region in 2004, she did some voluntary services with Support in Northern Ghana (SING Ghana), AfriKids Ghana, and the Navrongo Health Research Centre, all in the Upper East Region of Ghana, her birth place. Since leaving the UDS in the middle of last year, Ms. Ayamga was posted to the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS – Tamale campus), a local governance think tank for her national service assignment. At the ILGS, Ms. Ayamga has been working directly under the programmes department where she has participated in many capacity building and research projects. Particularly interesting and insightful to Ms. Ayamga included the institute’s deliberate enhancements of women’s capacity to enable them to participate in local governance and other leadership positions. Ms. Ayamga is easy-going, adaptable to different settings including cultures, and hard working. Her interested is in the areas of alternative livelihoods for women, community development and gender advocacy, research, reading and mentoring among others. Ms. Ayamga is self-reliant, dependable and particularly organised and committed to achieving good quality results.

Asmau Ayub Yusuf

Asmau was born the 7th of 9 children. She attended the Ghana-Lebanon Senior Secondary school after which she completed her first degree in Psychology at the University of Ghana. She has participated in one leadership programme previously, the Youth for Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Program (YOGAP), and also raised funds for orphans as team leader in a TV reality show called Annujuum.She is passionate about mentoring the girl child. She is an industrious, sociable, assertive, tolerant, confident and a self-motivated lady. She is married and healthy, and likes cooking, travelling and sight-seeing.

Astrid Janice F. Flenon

Astrid is a 22-year old Beninese living in Benin. She has two masters degrees in both Community Development and Population Studies. She did professional works in social and community involvement, especially in research and projects about non-formal education including sexual health education, literacy, counseling for non-formal training and, recently, child labour. She is the Executive Director of ISFRIDA, an NGO working in community development in Benin. She is also a young researcher in the French Speaking Comparative Education Society (Association Francophone d’Education Comparée) where she has been chosen as a member of the board of directors. Her challenges are to be a successful example for all women and especially for African women and to contribute on development by training, empowerment and social change.

Bendu A. Dorley

Bendu A. Dorley is a 25-year-old Liberian who holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Liberia. Bendu is an activist/advocate of women’s rights and participation in democracy and governance at the local and national levels. She is the Executive Director of the Women’s Rights and Democracy Centre (WORD Centre), a national women’s rights and governance NGO in Liberia. Currently, Bendu is working with young street girls, providing basic education on reproductive health, counseling and mentoring them to womanhood. Her dream is to open a primary school for children.

Catherine Wambui Kiama

Catherine is a 21-year old, born and educated in Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a diploma in computer application and is currently a law student at the external programme of the University of London. She is also an associate member of the Institute of Legal Executives-UK. She is fluent in Kiswahili and English and speaks a bit of French. She is an active student member of the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya and The Young Women Leadership Institute. Finally, she has previously interned at the Coalition on Violence against women-Kenya where she assisted in given clients legal redress and manning the gender based recovery centre at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Delta L. Ndou

A practising journalist and columnist employed by the Sunday News in Zimbabwe, Delta is the creator and author of a gender and human rights focused column that passionately advocates for the protection and recognition of the human rights of women. The newspaper column has set her apart as a controversial figure in a highly conservative society as she challenges culture, patriarchy, tradition, religion and the law wherever and whenever these institutions are employed to oppress, marginalise, and discriminate against women increasing their vulnerability to HIV and other forms of abuse. She is an online activist who blogs on an award-winning website, The Kubatana Trust, and she runs her own blog where she “interprets the world from a woman’s perspective”. Her interests include development, women empowerment, human rights advocacy, peace and security, conflict resolution as well as democracy. She also writes in her own capacity for several websites advancing the cause of women.

Esther Eshiet

Esther Eshiet is a Sexual & Reproductive Health/Rights Expert. Her work experience spans through organisations such as Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), Youth Action for Change (YAC), Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), and the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDs (GYCA) where she served as National and Regional Focal Point for West Africa in 2007 and 2008. During her tenure as GYCA Regional Focal Point, she passionately led 12 West Africa National Focal Points and led/authored the UNGASS National Youth Shadow Report for Nigeria, which was presented at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) in 2008. Esther is a trainer, facilitator, and speaker at various workshops and conferences locally and internationally. Her ardent belief in the youth empowerment has led her to explore the tourism development potentials of Cross River State where she is now the Executive Director of Verge Development Solutions, a social enterprise she co- founded. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work (in view) and is currently a project member on the MANUP campaign, a global campaign to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls.

Ettamba AgborNdip

Ettamba is a hardworking 19-year old student at the University of Buea in the third year of her medical studies. She currently striving to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation as a peer educator for a Non-Governmental Organisation called Women in Action which targets women's groups, single mothers, and female prisoners and is also involved in the making of a film about the prevention of these same health issues. It is important to her that maternal and child health be improved and women be better empowered. She also believes that the youths should be empowered as the leaders of tomorrow.

Eyram Adadevoh

Eyram Adadevoh was born in Accra, Ghana. She grew up in Kenya, Zimbabwe and the United States. Adadevoh attended the University of Florida where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with minors in French and African Studies in 2008. She is currently an LL.B. Candidate (2011) at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom. Adadevoh has a passion for community service. She has always believed in the inherent power within each person to be an effective and positive change agent in the lives of others. Her specific areas of interest are in human rights promotion and leadership development, and she aspires to use her talents, skills and education to restore the dignity of the Africans in the international community and to promote Pan-Africanism on the continent. Adadevoh serves as the principal founder and International Lady Chancellor for Alpha Omega Eta African Sorority, Inc.

Gifty Afia Oware-Aboagye

Gifty is a 24-year old alumni of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), where she studied History. She's also a published author of three books and a highly active member of her community. Her last community project involved being a teaching assistant for rural schools as part of KNUST. Before then she also involved herself in Ghanaian politics as an election observer for the 2008 national elections and was Vice President of Students Against AIDS. MILEAD would be her third leadership programme, as she has been a member of the Ghana Model United Nations and on a programme called Women in Leadership. Currently, she works as Project Coordinator for Media Hype.

Gu-dao Herlyn Uiras

Herlyn is 25 years of age, was born in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and has been living with HIV for 10 years now. She likes assisting learners who have similar experiences in their lives. Every time she reaches out to the youth, every time it adds value to her emotional wellbeing and growth, it lightens her burdens of the worry she has for the youth. She is very energetic vibrant and full of life, and likes working with youth and women to bring changes within them. Even if she is given the opportunity all over the world to empower independence within fellow women, she will gladly do it. The reason why she joined MILEAD is to be educated so that she will be able to help her fellow peers and women in her country, Namibia.

Jane Wairimu Waithera

Jane was born 24 years ago in Nyeri, near the slopes of Mt Kenya. Born with albinism and growing up in a black dominated society, she was always discriminated against due to lack of melanin (skin pigmentation). As a woman with albinism and low vision it is her strong belief that people with special needs like her have leadership qualities that could be of great benefits to their countries throughout Africa. It has therefore always been a wish of hers to improve the quality of life for People with Albinism, so that children born today do not have to go through what she has gone through, and those like her or older can lead a more fulfilling and respected life in the society that they rightly belong to. This fellowship is a great step for Jane towards achieving that goal as she is currently kick starting her organisation 'Positive Exposure Kenya'. She is most grateful to Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership In Africa for recognising this potential in her and coming out to assist her and others like her to achieve her dreams.

Mary Ng'endo Kanoi

Mary holds a degree from Kenyatta University in Biochemistry (1st Class Hons) and currently works as an intern with GTZ in Nairobi, Kenya on climate change issues. She was also awarded a Dutch Government Fellowship where she obtained a Certificate in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University Medical Centre, where she pursued a 5-month malaria research project. She has also worked on part-time basis as a transcriber and translator for market research firms, and has been involved in four different internship programmes, as well as volunteer work and other initiatives while in the University. She has been an active member of Global Leadership Interlink and also been a peer counselor for AIDS awareness with I Choose Life- Africa. While at university, she was also the chairlady for the Kenyatta University Female Students in Science and Technology (KUFESST) club, seeking to encourage female students' participation in Sciences, IT, and Mathematics. She is an outgoing, ambitious young lady who is devoted to making a difference in her community and contributing to change and the empowerment of women by motivating them to excel in their academics, especially in Science oriented courses.

Memory Malimo

Memory was born in the capital city of Zambia and is a warm, vibrant young lady currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Development Studies with Zambian Open University. She is fluent in English. She is currently working with an organisation called People’s Process on Housing and Poverty in Zambia, which promotes women’s participation, leadership, visibility, and development through building women centred strategies, community led enumerations, development, and community managed loan funds. She can safely say that she has managed to rise against all odds to make a difference not only in her life but to other people living in slums, particularly young girls and women in Zambia. Through her work at People’s Process, she has managed to be one of the torch bearers as she has been part of the organisation since inception to mobilised over 35,000 families in informal settlements across Zambia to form up the biggest social movement called the Zambia Homeless People’s Federation. She has also played a key role in forming the Zambia Youth Federation. She is a strong believer that enhancing a grassroots young woman’s voice capacity is a path to change in leadership, laws/policies, and practices that disadvantage grassroots women and girls who are often left out in decision making processes. Young women leadership, visibility, and participation is vital to development of African countries. Her motto is: “I’m a lifelong student so the more I learn, the more I earn and the more self-confident I become."

Nancy Beshay

Nancy is a development specialist and an emerging artist. She was born in Egypt and received her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Canada. She is currently enrolled in a MA programme in Economics and International Development at the American University in Cairo. Nancy is passionate about community service and has served at many human rights organisations on complex issues of violence and gender. She has worked before as the International Relations’ Coordinator at the Egyptian Center for Human Rights and is currently working at the Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development in fundraising and outreach. Nancy’s dream is to open her own sexual assault centre to help victims of sexual violence and educate youth on their sexual and reproductive rights, along with continuing her activism for women’s rights and empowering young women to become leaders in their communities. Her areas of interest include feminism, violence against women, women’s political participation and women’s sexual and reproductive rights. Nancy speaks Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, and Spanish.

Neema J. Mwesiga

Neema is a young African woman, who was born and raised in Tanzania - Dar es Salaam. She has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Public Administration, Post Graduate Diploma in Management of Foreign Relations and is currently a student at Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam pursuing MSc in Human Resources Management. She is a very determined, leadership-oriented person who believes in changes. She is very concerned with women's affairs. One of her areas of interest is the economic wellbeing of an African woman and her rights, which is why she is now doing a research on women and poverty reduction. She believes her leadership dreams will one day come to be a reality. She is currently working with Bank of Africa based in Tanzania

Rumbidzai Sithole

Rumbidzai Sithole is an Associate Consultant in Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Johannesburg where the majority of her work has been focused on strategy, particularly in economic development, organisational restructuring and governance. The majority of her work has been in supporting governments and intergovernmental organisations across Africa in the agriculture and infrastructure sectors. Prior to Dalberg she was part of a three member team that established the Clinton Foundation’s offices in Zimbabwe and negotiated the country’s first paediatric care and treatment guidelines. She was also an intern in the Clinton Foundation’s New York office. Rumbidzai holds a B.A. in International Policy & Management cum laude and a minor in Women’s Studies from The College of Saint Scholastica in Minnesota. She also graduated as a Webster Scholar, awarded to students graduating with high academic achievement in the Honors program. At the College of St. Scholastica, Rumbidzai founded United for Africa, a student club aimed at sensitising the university community on issues affecting Africa as well as ensuring the inclusion of Africa in the curriculum and campus programming. She was also a Student Senator, a campus news writer and a mentor for the first year program. In her graduating class, she was awarded the Management Department Leadership award, the leadership award among the international students’ group, and was one of four finalists for the overall graduating class’ leadership award. Rumbidzai is part of the United States Student Achievers Program (USAP) in Zimbabwe, a competitive national programme.

Satang Nabaneh

Satang was born in the Gambia and is a 3rd Year Law Student at the University of The Gambia. She has been an advocate for women and youth empowerment for more than 9 years, contributing immensely to nation building as Treasurer for the Gender Action Team, Deputy Coordinator of Youth Against Aids Network (YAAN), elected Deputy Speaker of Banjul Youth Parliament and Gambia representative in the West African Young Female Leaders Network. As well as this, Satang has taken part in several international conferences and events, including giving a presentation of testimony at the 30th Anniversary of CEDAW on behalf of young girls of Africa in 2009. Finally, she has been been passionately advocating women and youth issues in the media as a radio host for the Youth Show on Paradise FM 105.5 and columnist and sub-editor of her student paper, the Podium, and was voted Personality of the Month by the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) in 2010.

Sheila J.K. Kinaheirwe

Originally from Uganda, Sheila graduated from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, with a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree. She has extensive leadership experience as Trainee Counsellor for the Center for Study of Aids in Africa, where she participated in community outreach programmes to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She was also a spokesperson for the Student Representative Council of her University and Treasurer of the Youth of Uganda Association. Her key strengths lie in her strong communication, presentation, and organisation skills. Sheila currently works for Icon Women and Young Peoples Leadership Academy in the Communication and Advocacy Department.

Theresia Morfaw Fonjia

Theresia currently works as a Development Facilitator for the Cameroon Grassroots Women Educational, Economic and Social Advancement Network (CAGWEESA), although she has previously been an advocate for women and youth empowerment in other capacities for several years. Her special areas of interest are sustainable development, biodiversity/environmental preservation, hunger and poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship, and gender development. She loves putting smiles on the faces of women and is dedicated to encouraging women to take leadership roles because they are a strong force if united that can change the world positively in a second. So she is ready to work endlessly and tirelessly to join other women who think as she does and effect this change.

Vanessa Chintedza

Vanessa is a 23-year old Malawian with a huge interest in pushing the African development agenda. She is an achiever, ambitious, self-driven and with a commitment to excellence. She is an excellent team player, conscious of other people’s ideas and advice. She enjoys sport and is open to new learning experiences and expanding on knowledge. Learning is an opportunity, and with this, she would like to pass on what she has learned to those who have not been afforded the same essential skill and would like to use it to combat some of the many problems faced by our nations to enhance development. She is also dedicated and not afraid of challenges and loves to travel. She aspires to be an anchor in her country, who peolpe can rely on. As she advances towards her dream of being a mentor to the youth she is increasing her knowledge by involving herself with institutions such as MILEAD that are specially established to bring out the potential in individuals.

Winnie Siah Tamba

Winnie Siah Tamba is a 20-year old Liberian student currently studying a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism, with a minor in Sociology at the African Methodist Episcopal University. As well as this, she holds a Certificate in Journalism and has undergone several training programmes in Journalism for Human Rights. When not studying, she works as a television reporter for the Liberian Broadcasting System and is involved in many community and civic activities such as writing for the World Bank, a report on the launch of the National Rural Women Policy, and the E-Media. She is very nationalistic and wishes to be the Foreign Affairs Minister of Liberia. Her areas of interest are in the environment, conflict mitigation and management, women's political participation, violence against women, and poverty reduction. She believes that Liberia is doing fine but needs to improve on its human resource development. As the name suggests, she is a winner and a proud Liberian.

Zamamvulane (Zaza) Sandisiwe Motha

Zaza Motha is a journalist and has significant experience in research, intelligence gathering, interview techniques, and compilation and presentation of information and findings. As a young woman, she has had a successful career as part of prominent media, advertising and publication companies such as SABC, Lobedu Leo Burnett Advertisement Agency, and Screen Africa. She holds several distinctions including a Merit Award for Service and Loyalty, Governing Body Award for English, Public Speaking Merit Award, Top 30 for the Shanduka Finweek Essay Challenge, and top 300 for the Top Billing Presenter Search in 2007. She was also selected to represent South Africa in an international exchange programme in the Netherlands in 2007. Ms Motha holds a Diploma in Journalism with distinctions from the Tshwane University of Technology. She was a bursary recipient and one of the top students at the Raymond Ackerman Academy for Entrepreneurial Development (University of Johannesburg) and received awards for Business, Entrepreneurial and Life Skills in 2009. She is fluent in English and Zulu and conversant in Afrikaans and Sotho. She plans to utilise her passion for media to uplift and empower her community.