I hope everyone is well, and apologize in advance for the lateness of today’s post. Someone was not willing to get out of bed early enough this morning, and before you know it, it is almost 8pm at night…But I wanted to write about an event that I so wished I could have attended, as the topic hits really close to home, and really close to my heart. It is the African Ladies Summit, which took place today in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania, under the subtitle ” Investing in Women, Strengthening Africa.” Not only is the subtitle revealing of a truth that has been ignored for far too long, but the event itself is one of historic proportions, with the first African-American First Lady of the US sharing the stage with other exceptional African First ladies as well as with the her own predecessor Laura Bush, to speak of the importance of women to the Continent and to the world at large.
After treading my native soil of Senegal in West Africa as the US First Couple’s stop in their African trip, and along with the First Ladies of Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Tanzania, among others, US First Lady Michelle Obama and her predecessor Laura Bush, vehemently highlighted how better access to healthcare, improved economic opportunities, and access to education, will also improve the lives of women and girls on the Continent as well as the fates of African countries. Yet despite the weighty tone of the issues discussed, First Lady Michelle Obama, along with Laura Bush and the other African First Ladies, was able to bring a lighter, even playful tone to the Summit by allowing us a humorous glimpse into the lives of First Ladies…and their hair. Yes, you read right, their hair, their clothing choices, down to every single detail about their appearance that gets scrutinized by the public way over the work they actually devote their time to while in office.
How empowering and uplifting for us women, and especially for us African women, to see and hear, even from a distance, the echos of these conversations by women like us whose mission is to reclaim our power and inspire us to reclaim ours…
Check out below a short excerpt of an exchange between US First Lady Michelle Obama and Laura Bush: