Quote for the week – Margaret Ogola

“Unless we recognise that each individual is irrepeatable and valuable by virtue of simply being conceived human, we cannot begin to talk about human rights. This includes the right to be born, as all of us have enjoyed. True justice should be for each human being, visible and invisible, young and old, disabled and able, to enjoy fully their right to life. The accidental attributes that we acquire such as colour, sex intelligence, economic circumstances, physical or mental disability should not be used as an excuse to deprive a person of life.”

Taken from a speech made in Beijing in 1995 called “On the Dignity of the African Woman”, which can be viewed here.  Margaret Ogola has inspired many readers in Kenya and beyond with her novels, which often give a particular focus to the status of women in society.  She died of cancer in 2011, you can read more about her in this newspaper article here and a warm, powerful tribute here which also discusses issues of Gender and Sexuality in depth.


January Quotes

Courtesy of New African magazine (January 2018 edition), here are some beautiful quotes to inspire you – each of the people has a link to their Wikipedia page if you want to know more about them:

“Don’t under-estimate the power of people.  Our weakness is that we do not know how powerful we are – and we are not using the power we have as citizens.  Go out there and organise, organise, organise.  Mobilise, mobilise, mobilise.  We’ll get there.”  (Graca Machel, Mozambique)

“Men must stand shoulder to shoulder with women.  Men have a responsibility to speak out in their communities for the women they love.”  (Dr. Denis Mukwege, DR Congo)

“Leadership is about falling in love with the people you serve and the people falling in love with you.” (Joyce Banda, Malawi)

“It’s high time that leaders got off their high horse and mingle with the masses, feel the scorching sun and the heat of the matter.  Only then will the passion be ignited.” (Yemi Alade, Nigeria)

“You are never too young to lead, and you should doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not.” (Kofi Annan, Ghana)

Dancing at the Party…

Two great articles here, the first on Inclusion by Elizabeth Shaw, including the great quote “diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance”…. although we could take it further and say “it’s also about leading the dance”… click here for the piece.

The second is called The Problem with photo-journalism and Africa: Why African photographers don’t get to tell African photo stories in the Western media.  Please check this revealing piece here

Finally, here’s a nice quote on inclusion from Manish Jain

“In the conventional sense, diversity is often achieved by simply bringing people of different backgrounds and cultures together. Yes, this is diversity, but without inclusion, diversity lacks deeper purpose and meaning. To ensure that individuals are truly included, it is important to understand the backgrounds, cultures, and worldviews of all individuals in an organization.”

Inspiration from Salif Keita

Happiness isn’t for tomorrow

It’s not hypothetical

It starts here and now

Down with violence, egoism

And despair, stop pessimism

Let’s pick ourselves up

Nature has given us

Extraordinary things

It’s not over yet, nothing’s decided

Let’s take advantage of the wonders

Of this continent at last

Intelligently in our own way

At our own rhythm

Like responsible men and women proud

Of their inheritance

Let’s build the country of our children

And stop taking pity on ourselves

Africa is also the joy of livings

Optimism, beauty, elegance

Grace, poetry, softness, the sun

And nature

Let’s be happy to be its sons and daughters

And fight to build our happiness

From Salif Keita, a wonderful and inspirational singer from Mali.  Please check out his music on you tube here

Two Quotes for this Week

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

 Bishop Desmond Tutu


“There is nothing noble about being superior to another person.  The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self”

 Hindu Proverb