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The BBC has released its annual 100 Women list. The list is a global compilation of formidable and driven women who are change leaders in their respective fields. These prolific women have been actively working unceasingly despite a turbulent year following the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Grammy award-winning Beninese singer, Angélique Kidjo, Somalian activist, Ilwad Elman and Zimbabwean author and activist, Tsitsi Dangarembga, made the list alongside with many others.


READ: The Women – OkayAfrica 100 Women

The 2020 BBC 100 Women list selects influential women from around the world in four categories: identity, creativity, knowledge and leadership. Kidjo has been acknowledged for her notable cultural work, having recently won the Grammy for her Celia album in the “World Music Album” category. Kidjo is also a Unicef Ambassador for children’s rights and runs her own organisation Batonga which advocates for the education of girls. Elman is listed for her humanitarian work in Somalia. Elman recently won the prestigious German Africa Prize in October of this year for her continued work in rehabilitating child soldiers and sexual violence survivors. Additionally, Dangarembga is on the list for her award-winning writing. Dangarembga was also actively involved in Zimbabwe’s anti-governmental demonstrations this past July where she was arrested by authorities. Zambian artist and curator, Mulenga Kapwepwe is acknowledged for marking Zambian’s women’s historical contribution to the nation. She, along with Samba Yonga, co-founded the narrative-changing Zambian Women’s History Museum.

Other notable women on the list are: Ethiopian footballer, Loza Abera Geinort, Moroccan rapper and women’s rights activist, Houda Abouz, Mayor in Sierra Leone, Yvonne Aki-Swayerr and climate change activist, Vanessa Nakate, who recently interviewed with Doha Debates about environmental racism and climate change activism in Africa. Somaliland’s Ubah Ali and Tanzanian lawyer, Rebeca Gyumi, have also been honoured on the list.

Nigerian filmmaker and LGBT activist, Uyaiedu Ipke-Etim, makes the list for her film Ifẹ́ (which means “love” in Yoruba) and tells the story of two Nigerian lesbians. The film was controversially censored in Nigeria where homosexuality is currently illegal. South African singer Zahara, real name Bulelwa Mkutukana, is also on the list.

BBC 100 Women deliberately left a blank spot as a tribute to all the women who have made sacrifices in their respective communities.

Of course, our summation is certainly not an acknowledgement of all the incredible African women featured on this year’s prestigious list. Read up on the rest of the list on the BBC.

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