A Malawian woman has joined six other women from sub-Suharan Africa in a docu-film that chronicles how educated women are the agents of change.
This movie, Women Are The Change, dwells on African girls and how educating them can change the African story.
The seven women in the film grew up as ordinary girls, struggling with traumas of war, loss of innocence and obstacles of culture challenges of life that block most girls from their potential.
From Malawi, the film features Chikondi Chabvuta, the national coordinator for women’s land rights at Actionaid International Malawi, where she works to improve access to and control over land and other agricultural support services for landless women or women smallholder farmers.
Chabvuta holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from Bunda College of Agriculture and a Masters in Environmental Science from Chancellor College and her career has led her to focus on empowering women.
The second Malawian who is featured is Asimenye Nthakomwa-Chitika, currently studying at the University of Cape Town where she is pursuing a Masters Degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources Management from Bunda College.
The others are Ethiopia’s Meaza Melkamu, Francisca Ansah from Ghana, Angela Manjichi and Anabela Manhica from Mozambique and Zambia’s Catherine Sakala.
“In 2011, we were identified by an American called Linda Stout through the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development [Award] website.
“There were four of us the first year and another four, the second year. We were in the US for a month-long service learning programme. Afterwards, she came with a team to document our work and now the movie,” said Chabvuta.
Stout was inspired to make the docu-film by Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmental advocate.
“The film narrates how seven girls from sub-Saharan Africa have met the daily struggles of growing up like war, famine, losing parents, losing innocence and how they have overcome that and are now making it in life. It is going to act as a tool to encourage girls all across Africa. The Malawi premiere is scheduled for January 9 at the US Public Affairs Section,” said the 26-year-old Chabvuta.
Directed by Stout and Philip Lewis, the film includes interviews and scenes in rural villages as the story unfolds of how educated women give back to their communities.
Women Are The Change grew out of Stout’s passion to empower women to become leaders and policy makers. Originally, she sponsored a small programme in the US for African women to teach them leadership skills and to give them a wider view of their place in the world.