Episode 032

Farai Mubaiwa & Reanne Olivier

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

September 2, 2018

Episode Overview

Three years ago, Farai Mubaiwa and Reanne Olivier watched in horror along with the rest of the world when the Charlie Hebdo attacks happened in France, where 12 people were killed. The world, including African leaders, rallied and expressed their outrage at the attacks.

That same week, the Baga attacks happened in Nigeria.  As Farai says in our conversation “Two thousand people were massacred.  We did not see ‘I am Baga’ t-shirts, we did not see #IAmBaga, we did not see #PrayForNigeria.  And then we started to think “When do African lives matter, and when are we just disposable? Do African lives even matter? Does Africa as a continent even matter?”

This sparked an idea for Farai and Reanne, who had met while at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, to start the movement #AfricaMatters in April 2015.

The initiative has taken various forms over the last there years, but their core programs are an Africa Matter Ambassador Program, and a Schools Leadership Development Program. The main objective of both programs is to equip African youth with the skills and tools to create community impact projects.

what you’ll learn in this episode

  • How the world’s response to two different terrorist attacks left them so outraged that they felt compelled to do something
  • How they started the Africa Matters Initiative with no money, and used creativity to get the organization started
  • Why it was so important to them to be part of telling a new narrative about Africa
  • The narrative they think should be told about Africa
  • Why Africa’s youth should be taking ownership of changing the narrative on Africa
  • The biggest challenges they’ve faced in growing the Africa Matters Initiative
  • What their vision is for the organization
  • The topic Farai chose to speak about in her TEDx Talk
  • The impact Farai and Reanne want to have in Africa
  • What Farai and Reanne’s “I am…” is


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