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30Nov

Lisa Shannon: My One of A Kind Shero

The first time I heard Lisa Shannon speak, it was during an interview on ABC News, presented by Diane Sawyer. I was intrigued by this American woman, who changed her whole life for women across the ocean despite the fact that she didn’t know them by name and was yet to meet a single one of them face-to-face. I remember I noted the title of her book, A Thousand Sisters, contacted her publisher for a review copy since the story was about Congolese women, it would fit well with the New African Woman. That was a while back… I have been reading A Thousand Sisters…what can I say, Lisa is an exceptional lady and my new one of a ‘Kind Shero.’ A humanitarian at heart, she is also very kind. I know because I experienced her kindness today and in a mighty big way. I learnt a new lesson where pride, humility and reputation is concerned…there are things far more important than what anyone individual thinks of you. You have got to get over yourself and think about the other person or people involved in a story. It and this is not about me was the first thing that came to mind and what a humbling way to be reminded there are bigger and more serious things to worry about in life…

Get a copy and read for yourself. Visit her website: A Thousand Sisters and of course, Run For Congo Women.

For all those who moan about how other people aka westerners tell the stories of Africans, stop moaning, get off your ass and do something. We cannot all go to the Congo or Darfur or the war torn regions of the world but we can make a collective effort to get our voices heard and start a movement like Lisa Shannon has done. If you don’t like what you see, read and hear, change it. It starts with your hands – the keyboard and mouse with which you browse about on Facebook, Twitter and all the social networking sites, we spend valuable time. Start using them to get your voices heard and continue the work…it will be worth it when we no longer have to watch those horrid news reports telling us about the gang rape of women. And no, I refuse to accept the notion that Eastern Congo cannot be helped and this is the way it is going to be. Eastern Congo’s fate is in the hands of the Congolese people…yes, we are responsible for ourselves and each nation for its citizens but now that their destiny is in full view of the international community, we as Africans, at home and in the diaspora can no longer sit back. In the words of Leymah Gbowee, it is time to ignite the spirit of Ubuntu, “I am what I am because of who we all are.” The body of the Congolese woman should not have to pay for me to have the latest ipod or fancy phone or laptop…enough is enough…

Watch out for an interview with Lisa Shannon in the forthcoming edition of the New African Woman. We are going to talk about it.

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