In the past few days I have had bloggers block, I know there are many things that could I could post but I could not figure it out. I pointed this out to the beau and he mentioned that we should try and showcase women in Africa. His exact sentiments "Could be a good form of raising the profile of strong African women. I have to thank him for this lovely idea. Hence our first woman of the week is Jeanette Kagame
Jeannette Kagame is the first lady of Rwanda. Born on the 10th of August 1962, she is a mother of four. She became the first lady in 2000 when her husband Paul Kagame became president of Rwanda. Rwanda is a country that has gone through a lot in the past few decades but what we most remember is the genocide which happened between April and June 1994. During the genocide approximately 800,000 people were killed in 100 days.
With husband Paul Kagame meeting the Queen
Mrs Kagame through her philanthropic work is working with women and children of the genocide to build a bigger, greater Rwanda. A great cause for her is HIV/AIDS and works to create awareness and mobilise resources for this cause. She is a founding member of the Organisation of African First Ladies OAFLA which was started in 2002. Apart from that, she started the Imbuto Foundation which supports the development of a healthy, educated and prosperous Rwanda.
Launch of the Treat Every Child as your Own Campaign
The first lady is stunning. She always looks polished and her features are so beautiful especially her height. At 49 years old with 4 children she has kept very well. In all the pictures I have seen of her, she mostly has her hair in a bun and I believe she is relaxed. She favours the traditional clothing of Rwandese women called Mishanana. This is very similar to the Indian Sari but is made of two separate pieces i.e. a long flowy skirt with a matching scarf that is tied like a sash on one shoulder. The fabric that they use should be light like chiffon.
Excerpt from an Interview with Celina Schocken
The first lady of Rwanda explains how her country is defining itself post-genocide and the role Rwandan women are playing in the healing of society and the building of a nation.
Jeannette Kagame: I believe things are getting better, although we still have a long way to go. We also have to keep fighting for girls and women without forgetting that in many of our countries, especially in Rwanda where we had to start from zero, boys also need to be supported and men need to be mobilized to be part of the struggle for healthier, better-educated families. At the Imbuto Foundation, we have 1,000 disadvantaged boys and girls on scholarship, and with the understanding that girls face specific barriers to performance, each year we reward the best performing girls in every district to motivate them toward academic excellence. This is our way of contributing to government efforts. In an environment where there is so much need, every effort counts. It is particularly important that Rwandans be involved in solutions to our healthcare challenges as a nation. With committed governments, involved communities and effective coordination of global and regional partnerships, I have no doubt that Rwanda and Africa will win the battle for healthy, educated and skilled citizens.