My name is Anoziva Ishe Marindire, Founder
and Chief Editor for Paradoka, an all-female media initiative focused on using
media as a tool to promote gender development in Africa and Girls Speak Out, an
advocacy, coding and media training program for girls living in Zimbabwe’s
under-served low income urban communities. I am also a youth and climate change
activist, the current Country Council President for World Merit Zimbabwe, a global community of young
change-makers dedicated to improving their communities through
sharing/volunteering their time and skills in the spheres they have influence
and a sub-editor at Green Shift
, a knowledge power house of Africa’s Green Economy,
empowering Africans (particularly women and youth) for a sustainable future,
through education, innovation and knowledge advocacy in the challenging nexus
of Food, Energy and Water security.
I studied Journalism &
Communications, and believe that women must strive to take leadership positions
in media particularly in the newsroom, for he/she who controls the media,
controls perceptions. And we need to change patriarchal gender perceptions that
hold Africa’s women backward and be the voice that calls them to their rising
in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
70% of Africa’s population relies
heavily on Agriculture for food and income, and the majority of subsistence
farmers in Africa are women, we must therefore, take issues like climate
change, accessibility of water and energy seriously as they threaten not only
Africa’s food security & health but also because they stand as major
barriers in the fight for women’s development if not addressed and sustainable
solutions found and implemented. Hence, my passion to lobby governments,
advocating for policies that promote climate change mitigation and help our
communities adapt.
In 2015 I was listed on the Infinite
Inspiration Group Top 40 Under 30 Emerging Zimbabwean Leaders and nominated for
the Future Awards Africa Prize in Advocacy & Activism. In 2014 & 2015 I
was selected to represent Zimbabwean youth at the African Union Youth Day
Celebrations & Consultative Meetings, helping to draft the African Union
2015 & 2016 youth road-maps.
Vision: To succeed at
anything in life I believe one must be vision oriented. The bible says “Where
there is no vision, people perish,” and we know so many men and women who were
full of potential but because they lacked vision never amounted to much. People
follow vision and if you want to lead, having a clear vision will pull people
to you and your ideas and this is a principal I hold dear and has caused doors
of opportunity to open for me.
Passion: Probably one word
I never leave out when I am asked to describe myself is passionate. When I
found my passion it compelled me to push boundaries especially those that I had
set for myself, and that passion has made it much easier to persevere when I
have faced challenges over the past years. If I wasn’t passionate about women’s
development it would have been easier to give up at first sign of resistance to
my ideas and I probably would have thrown in the towel when the people around
me told me that being a feminist would make it hard to get married in our
African society (Chuckling).
Purpose: I believe we are
placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose. To be a light and shining reflection
of God’s glory in whatever sphere we find ourselves in. My vision, the goals I
want to achieve feed off my life purpose. I asked myself how I can use my
talent, skills and voice to be a light and shining reflection of God’s glory
here on earth and that purpose fuels my passion.
Purpose – Vision – Passion drives me
to speak for women, to work towards their development and to want to create a
conducive environment for them to thrive. Every person must ask themselves what
their life’s purpose is and from there direction will come.
WHO: Jesus Christ: For me he is the
greatest feminist and gender advocate to ever live. I know the perception that
exists is that God, as worshiped by Christians is patriarchal and yet Christ in
all his encounters with women in the bible dismisses that notion, standing up
for women, defending them and calling for equal treatment, a lot of feminists
and even religious leaders will not agree to this but well revelation comes to
us differently LOL.
WHAT: The Pan-African movement has had
a great influence on my life and helped shape the vision I have for myself, my
country and continent.  
My Parents (Yes they are One lol) – in a time and a season in
their life when it would have been easier to conform to societal norms they
chose to be the difference and made at that time sacrifices to ensure that
although poor all their children would get an education and that we would grow
up in a home devoid of gender bias.
Maya Angelou – She helped me find my voice with her poetry and
books, and lived her life to show the power that lies with being a woman and
how you can use your talent to inspire generations into greatness. Without
force or arrogance, she commanded respect not only for herself but for women in
general, and with confidence and wisdom captivated our hearts and souls
motivating us to be more than just ordinary.
Thomas Sankara (President
of Burkina Faso 1983- 1987 – Sankara launched one of the most ambitious
programmes for social and economic change ever attempted on the African
continent. And his commitment to women’s rights led him to outlaw female
genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy in Burkina Faso, while
appointing women to high governmental positions and encouraging them to work
outside the home and stay in school even if pregnant.
My goal is to have cemented Girls
Speak Out as national after schools’ program in all of Zimbabwe’s high density
suburbs and in the process build a strong community of young women and mentors
supporting each other in all areas of life. I am also looking to further my
tertiary education and attaining a degree in Gender and Community Studies
within that time frame.
I have three friends who act as my
accountability managers. Just have to stress the importance of choosing the
right friends and people into your inner circle, friends can either push us
forward or pull us back.
Extreme poverty propagated by financial systems that perpetuate
gender discrimination, limited participation in political, and public life and
harmful cultural practices that hinder the growth and success of women.
Besides using the platforms in my reach to advocate for gender
equality as a means to sustainable development and means to help alleviate
poverty. As part of my work with World Merit, I am heading a campaign that
teaches rural women the environmental, economic and health benefits to their
families and communities, associated with planting trees. I believe sharing
information to women in ways they understand and grasp is critical in the push
for sustainable communities were women thrive. For information on our tree
planting project click here.
Hiking, reading and basking in the
presence of the crazy human beings I call friends.
MY   –  
Because within her lies a power that
could change the world. History shows we are the epitome of strength,
hardworking, great innovators, mothers of wisdom and crowned with an inner
beauty that cannot be disputed. For so long we have been oppressed and our
voices suppressed, and not given room to stand with our male counterparts in the
echelons of government and society, and Africa as society has suffered for it.
An empowered woman is of great benefit to her nation and people, the World Bank
states that nations were women are educated, occupy positions of leadership in
society, government and industry have better performing economies than those
where gender inequality is at a high. When we celebrate each other, we inspire
and motivate others to dream and pursue those dreams and Inspiration ignites
I would be interested in looking at making the department an
accessible information resource center for the women of this continent at all
levels especially our young women. An informed generation, is a powerful one.
Educating women in rural communities to practice sustainable-climate change
smart agriculture and hence improving their livelihood and increasing their
income. An AU magazine focused on celebrating and sparring discourse on gender
development in the continent wouldn’t be a bad idea either… (Chuckle).
Find your purpose, identify your
talents, sharpen your skills and pursue and live that purpose. We are living in
a time in our continent where each one of us has an opportunity like never
before to be part of the group that will change or revolutionize Africa and
push it to greatness, you must choose whether you will be part of the pack
leading the movement or part of the crowd. Arise & Shine daughters of