At 18, I was most concerned with getting the latest Iphone. Memory Banda on the other hand, successfully influenced the Malawi parliament to raise the legal marriage from 15 to 18. After watching her sister get pregnant at 11, Memory vowed to defy the traditional practice of kusasafumbi, a practice in which young girls are forced into marriage once they begin menstruation.
Now an avid girl’s rights activist, Memory shows a glimpse of her strength and resilience in this passionate speech about girls right to choose at the TEDWomen 2015 conference.
Although Nollywood has established itself as an industry to be reckoned with in Africa, many African parents are still unlikely to be thrilled with a child actively choosing acting as a desired profession. MaameYaa Baofo, a New-York based Ghanaian actress, is also gifted orator. MaameYaa Boafo was born in Pakistan and hails from Ghana, West Africa and currently lives in New York. Coming to the United States to obtain a double Bachelor degree in Journalism and French at Hood College, Ms. Boafo was then awarded the Levin Scholarship from Rutgers University where she received her MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has since gone on to play roles such as Ophelia in Hamlet, the Courtesan in Comedy of Errors and made her off-Broadway debut as Walter Mosley’s leading lady in his play LIFT.
In this talk, she uses her experience of pursuing acting despite discouragement from others to discuss the importance of being your authentic self without apology.
Published on Sep 23, 2015
Around the world, women still struggle for equality in basic matters like the right to drive and to marry when they choose. But how to enlist everyone, men and women, as allies for change? Meet Elizabeth Nyamayaro, the inventor of the #HeForShe Twitter campaign, which created 1.2 billion conversations about a more equal world. She invites us all to join in as allies in our shared humanity.
Published on Mar 2, 2015
April Yvette Thompson performs a piece from her play “Liberty City” and then considers how she came to define herself not by where she began, but by who she has become, a writer.
April Yvette Thompson is a Tony-winning producer, writer & actor working across media. April just wrapped filming of the new 20th Century Fox pilot Babylon Fields, and has also starred in many Broadway productions including Clybourne Park, and Vassar Voices. Her off-broadway credits include The Exonerated, Medea, King Lear, and Macbeth. April’s Film/TV credits include The Exonerated, Accidental Husband, Blue Caprice, Backwards, Blue Bloods, Law & Order, Third Watch et al. As SimonSays Entertainment Director of Development, April produced the award-winning Sundance features: Blue Caprice, Mother of George, Night Catches Us & Gun Hill Road. April was on the Tony-winning producing team of the longest-running Broadway production of Porgy & Bess. April is developing her second play in The Miami Trilogy, Good Bread Alley, with support from NYSF, NYTW, Arsht. Her first play, Liberty City was an Off Broadway hit nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Lortel & AUDELCO awards.
Lindiwe Mazibuko (born 9 April 1980) is a South African politician, musician and the former Parliamentary Leader for the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). She is the country’s fourth youngest parliamentarian after the African National Congress’s Mduduzi Manana, Congress of the People’s Luzelle Adams and her DA colleague Masizole Mnqasela, and has varyingly been labelled a “rising star in Parliament” and a possible future DA leader. She was elected the new DA parliamentary leader on 27 October 2011, beating incumbent Athol Trollip in a tight race, becoming the first non-white person to lead the Democratic Alliance in parliament.
Sarah Lewis is a bestselling author, curator, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard University.
Lewis’s most recent book is The Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (Simon & Schuster), a layered, story-driven investigation of how innovation, discovery, and the creative progress are all spurred on by advantages gleaned from the improbable foundations. The work has been translated into 6 languages to date.
Her essays on race, contemporary art and culture have been published in many journals as well as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Art in America and in publications for the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli. Her upcoming book is under contract with Harvard University Press.