Africa, “the last continent, the dark continent, Women the weaker gender, the oppressed gender,” this is what the media has shared for many years but this is also the story that has changed.
The sound of celebration will never end, not as long as we have ordinary women who are doing extraordinary things.
Saturday the 19th of May 2018, Kensington, Central London once again played host to the prestigious Women4Africa Awards
Women4africa, a UK registered organization founded by Sam and Tola Onigbanjo, focuses on celebrating and empowering Africa and its women by supporting and celebrating their role in their communities via Conferences, supporting education and Awarding prestigious awards, recognitions and special honours on such women identified and nominated by the public.
‘Women4africa’ was birthed from a 20 year desire and passion to see women honoured and appreciated in a celebratory way. Overtime, African women have often been portrayed as victims of poverty, violence, and conflict, amongst other disasters. Beyond advocating and engaging them to fight against these negativities, it is equally important to highlight that African women are also ‘agents of positive change’ in their communities. It is their sheer determination, ambition, passion, talent, resourcefulness and drive which often forgotten in the stories of this women that Women for Africa intend to promote.
Africa has over 53 countries and a large number of women who are unique and different in their own individual ways. Women of all walks of life tend to face a lot of challenges in today’s society. However, many African women have been great examples of success worldwide. One such woman is Dr. Zipporah Ali (Zippy), a palliative care physician working as the Executive Director of Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA.
This year’s Humanitarian award was given to Dr. Ali. This was in recognition of her pioneer work and leadership on the works she has done in Kenya to ensure palliative care is integrated in the health care system, access to pain relieving opioids (morphine), and advocating for palliative care to be include in medical and nursing undergraduate curricula. Zippy is a board member of World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) and International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and has served several other boards. She was nominated by WHPCA and selected by the judges as the winner in the category of Humanitarian work
What does she have to say?
‘This is award is not for me, but for all the patients (and their families) out there who struggle with life threatening illnesses, who endure a lot of pain & suffering. It is for those health care workers who work selflessly to ensure access to pain relief and palliative care. It is for those donors who have faithfully continued to support palliative care initiatives, thus ensuring that patients (and their families) have a better quality of life”