Keeping up with Africa’s First Ladies: Zim FL drives bus with new class one license
Across the African continent, First Ladies are generally considered the ‘Mother of the Nation’, and are often expected to be unifying figures, serving the president of the nation and the voters who entrusted him the mandate to lead.
While the position of first lady is not legally or constitutionally provided for in many countries, many presidencies cater for the Office of the First Lady, through which the holder is facilitated to champion social causes.
The Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), created in 2002, brings together First Ladies of Africa ‘to advocate for policies that make health services accessible and laws that boost women and youth empowerment’.
OAFLAD is currently led by First Lady of Burkina Faso, Adjoavi Sika Kabore, who is deputised by her Kenyan counterpart Margaret Kenyatta.
A first lady by definition is the wife of the head of state, and it therefore follows that most African nations led by a male president, have a first lady.
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In this article, we will share updates from the continent’s First Ladies as they take on different roles to complement their government’s policies.
Zimbabwe First Lady gets class one driver’s license
Zimbabwe’s First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa as part of Wonemn’s month activities has undergone training in defensive driving and was on Wednesday awarded a first class license, state broadcaster ZBC reported.
The report said the First Lady’s action was also to inspire other women to take driving seriously given that the country generally had a low number of especially public transport drivers.
Mrs Mnangagwa, after receiving her Class One driver’s licence in Harare is quoted as saying: “Women are the most careful drivers and I have done it so I urge women to also consider taking class one and save the lives of people on the roads. I have done it and women can do it.”
ZBC shared photos on Twitter of the first lady driving a public bus ostensibly as part of her training and testing process. A Vehicle Inspection Department official applauded the First Lady for being a careful driver, the report added.
“She has passed the test and am happy that she is a careful driver. Women are generally good drivers and I urge other women to follow suit,” he said.
All photos are courtesy the ZBC Twitter handle
Kenya First Lady’s NGO organizes annual marathon
On March 8, “Beyond Zero,” a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, run by Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will hold an annual Half Marathon in the capital Nairobi. Incidentally the day coincides with the International Women’s Day celebrated across most parts of the world.
“The Beyond Zero Half Marathon 2020 celebrates all those who have partnered with Beyond Zero throughout the years.
“The Beyond Zero Initiative has used the Half Marathon as the anchor fundraising platform, raising funds and resources to bring to focus key challenges facing Kenyans and build strategic partnerships that will address these challenges,” the NGO said on the event website.
In this year’s edition, participants will select causes to run for across a number of categories from Wheel Chair / Tri-Cycle, Half Marathon (21 Km), 10 Km & Corporate Race and 5 Km Race & 2km Pregnant Walk:
Participants using the #iwillrun hashtag can declare their engagements in any of the areas below:
- I will run for zero child deaths
- I will run for zero maternal deaths
- I will run for zero FGM
- I will run for a healthy lifestyle for the elderly
- I will run for early screening of cancer
- I will run for inclusion of persons who are differently abled
- I will run for better nutrition for children
- I will run for zero child marriages
- I will run for zero HIV infections
Registration – online / manual costs 2,000 Kenyan shillings ($20) or 2500 shillings ($25) for elite contestants. Corporate participation is pegged at 150,000 shillings ($1460).
Zambian official fired for disrespecting First Lady
A mayor in Zambia has been relieved of his position in the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party, after he reportedly refused to greet the country’s First Lady.
The state-owned Daily Mail newspaper reported that Kitwe mayor Christopher Kang’ombe was suspended from the party last week and has now been stripped of his position as the PF’s vice-chairman in the Copperbelt Province.
Kang’ombe is accused of gross indiscipline that includes failing to line up to greet Esther Lungu when she recently visited the area, and refusing to be introduced at a public event attended by the First Lady.
‘‘During the visit of the First Lady, Kang’ombe was offered a back seat which he refused…After the church service, he refused to line up and greet the First Lady,’‘ reads part of his suspension letter, according to the Daily Mail.
“When the First Lady’s official envoy started off, he pulled away from the convoy and instead drove away,” it adds. Kang’ombe however still retains his mayoral post.
Updates from OAFLAD