32K Shujaaz Fans Tune in to Have ‘Their Say’ on the Power of Barrier-Breaking Female Role Models

  • 25 May 2021

This month, to mark the swearing in of Tanzania’s first female president and Kenya’s first female Chief Justice, more than 30 thousand Shujaaz fans tuned in to an online Mic Yetu (“Our Say”) live chat to discuss the power of barrier-breaking role models.

This month’s Mic Yetu, which brought together an all-female panel of experts to discuss the impact of having powerful new role models for female leadership, broke our record for the highest number of views since we launched our live chats 12 months ago.

Our Mic Yetu moderator Okoth Opondo was joined by an all-female panel which included: Anne Rose, the Executive Director of the community youth leadership organisation ‘Uzalendo Afrika’ and Diana Waithanji, a cyber security professional and a fellow of African leadership initiative ‘Afrika Kommt’. Ann and Diana were joined by university students Aisha Ibrahim, who leads gender initiatives in her community in Nairobi, and youth mentor and a mental health advocate Lilian Simiyu.

During the event, our panelists and Shujaaz fans celebrated the swearing in of Tanzania’s first female president Samia Suluhu at the end of March, just a few days after Kenya got its first female chief justice Martha Koome. Discussing the impact of having new female role models in leadership positions, Diana commented “I felt so motivated. I felt like there was no glass ceiling I couldn’t break and that there are no limits to my dreams. This is the first time we are having the first female chief justice and I had the same feeling when we had our first three governors. The more we keep having women at the top, the more our potential is reaffirmed.” Shujaaz fans shared their thoughts in the comments, adding that break-through moments like these show it’s possible for young girls and women to achieve their dreams.

This is the first time we are having the first female chief justice and I had the same feeling when we had our first three governors. The more we keep having women at the top, the more our potential is reaffirmed.”

At Shujaaz Inc we know that the role models we’re exposed to have a huge impact; giving us the confidence and self-belief we all need to achieve our goals. Aspirational role models like President Suluhu and Chief Justice Koome are incredibly powerful –– but we also know that sometimes it’s the every-day ordinary role models or shujaaz (heroes) that make even more of an impact on our lives.

During the Mic Yetu session, panellists and participants shared stories of the women in their lives who have inspired them and motivated them in their journey as leaders. Our panelists highlighted that, while they might not be public figures – they’ve been instrumental in their lives. Anne commented “I want to recognise grassroot young women leaders who I’ve seen mentoring other young women and holding their hands. What moves me is that these young women are pulling up other young women in their communities. Women at the top also need these other young women at the grassroot level.”

After the live broadcast, young Kenyans and Shujaaz fans across the country held watch parties with their friends, while the panelists reached out to their networks in their communities to ask them to join in and be a part of this great conversation. As a result, the live session saw a record 31.6K fans across the country tune in and contribute to the conversation.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been running regular online live events, designed to connect young people across Kenya to their local leaders, spark vital conversations and elevate the voices of young people on the issues that matter most. This Mic Yetu session was part of our regular online live events which have continued to engage thousands of young people in vital conversations throughout the pandemic.

Gertrude Bosire, Communications Co-ordinator