Right from 2012, International Day of the Girl Child has been marked on October 11, with the aim to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
This year’s theme: With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, is aimed at diverting the attention of partners and stakeholders to the most pressing needs of girls.
In spite of the challenges that many girls face on the continent, these young geniuses have broken the status quo and achieved the unthinkable. Here are six African girls out of the million who are already changing the world.
At the age of 10, Natalie Wambui from Kenya is already an author, poet, and inspirational speaker. After starting her journey as a book author while in her hospital bed around the age of five, Wambui has made it to the list of a few Kenyan authors whose books are trading on Amazon.
She recently spoke on how her doctor exposed her to authorship.
“When in hospital, my doctor used to encouraged me to keep short journals. Even after leaving the hospital, my writing talent never left me. Something just told me that I should just continue writing.”
Wambui has so far authored three books: Natalie’s Poems, Kenya My Country, My Story,and recently Extraordinary Kenyans doing Extraordinary Things and currently working on the fourth one.
Wambui, who hopes to grow into a reputable author said her writings are meant to give hope to many who are facing challenges in the pursuit of their dreams. Her poems are mainly about people changing the narrative in Kenya and have been inspired by her frustrations about corruption and other social ills in her country.
People from Africa and the rest of the world are obsessed with 10-year-old Erica Tandoh otherwise known as DJ Switch, who shot to fame after winning a TV talent contest in Ghana for kids in 2017.
The following year, she became the youngest ever winner at Ghana’s annual DJ awards after having started DJing only a year ago.
In a recent interview with the BBC, DJ Switch said “Being a young DJ is not that difficult.
“When you are being taught in school you pick everything fast. So when you are being taught to DJ you also pick it up fast.”
In school, the young genius plays the trumpet and drums, practices dance and is learning the piano. DJ Switch, who also loves making music said she wants to be a gynaecologist when she grows up because she “wants to help women.”
The youngest talented disk jockey recently wowed the audience in New York for the 2018 Goalkeepers event, including the French president, Emmanuel Macron. Photos and videos of the two chatting at the event trended on social media.
The young Nigerian comedienne rose to fame some three years ago after her Youtube skits went viral. In February, she landed a role in a Disney Hollywood movie, with the news being received with joy by fans and the media from Nigeria and the West African region.
The 7-year-old girl was discovered and managed by her uncle Mark Angel and her popularity has crossed Nigeria’s borders and the continent as she has performed at comedy events in West and East Africa while her Youtube skits and page have gained more than a million views and subscribers respectively.
She is reported to be the first African to have one million subscribers on her YouTube comedy channel. Emmanuella has won several awards including the 2016 Best New Comedienne and Princess of Comedy awards at the Afro-Australia Music and Movie Awards in Australia.
Save A Soul
The team of five Nigerian junior secondary school girls in August made their country and Africa proud by winning gold at the junior level of the Technovation World Pitch Summit held at Silicon Valley in California, U.S.A.
The girls presented an app they built that identified fake pharmaceutical drugs in Nigeria. Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye from the Anambra State qualified for the finals with their app, FD-Detector (Fake Drug Detector) which leverages a drug’s barcode to verify its authenticity and expiration date.
They successfully implemented their business plan using the app by partnering with NAFDAC (National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control), an agency responsible for regulating drugs in Nigeria, to market the app and help save lives.
Save A Soul were the only African finalists in the junior category of 6 teams and won a scholarship of $12,000. The win is expected to go a long way to promote the app which will help reduce the infiltration of the pharmaceutical market with fake drugs.
Most people at the young age of six were eager to learn how to ride that new bike their parents bought for them.
But Tanya Muzinda was already handling a motorbike on her own and had begun tackling a male-dominated sport: motocross. At just 13, she is already an accomplished motocross rider and the first ever female motocross champion in Zimbabwe.
She started learning how to ride a go-kart. With the go-kart, she usually visited a motorsport park in Harare where she found her love for motocross. When she was five, she participated in her first motocross competition, in which she came second and at the age of nine, she got a motorbike for her sport, the Austrian KTM after getting appointed as a European Union’s ambassador for food security in rural areas.
She later met motocross legend, Stefy Bau in 2013, who began training and managing her. Through Bau, Muzinda toured Europe in 2016 where she met world champion, Tony Cairoli. She participated in the Italian Motocross Championship, where she competed against top junior and senior female riders from Europe.
She had before in 2015 been awarded Junior Sportswoman and Junior Sportsperson of the Year at Zimbabwe’s National Sports Awards. In that same year, Muzinda was made Sportswoman of the Year by Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards in Birmingham, England.
The Nigerian girl was only 12 when she saw a problem she needed to solve. In her community, children were increasingly getting lost. With this growing desire to help these children find their way home, Tomisin started working on an app under the guidance of an Information and Communications Technology partnership, between her school, Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, and New Horizons Computer Learning Center.
Tomisin acquired the necessary skills to develop the app, known as My Locator. The Android mobile tracking app has “a current location” setting which helps the child know where they are and the neighbouring streets around them.
The app also allows children to save a location, for instance, their house or school and will direct them to the saved location from wherever they are. It also features an ‘alert’ button, which when pressed will alert the Lagos State Emergency Services. The app will call the services as well as show the child’s location so that they can get the help they need. Scores of parents have already downloaded the app on their Android phones and have since recommended it to others.