International Women’s Day: Unsung Heroes

Left to right: Kalinda Zimba, Gertrude Nyangaka, Diana Matanda

As part of the Suffragette movement in the early 20th century, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911 as a way of addressing gender disparity. Over 100 years later, some of the inequalities faced by women have been overcome. However fundamental disparities still exist. According to Fortune Magazine, in 2017 there were more men named ‘David’ than there were women, among the FTSE top 100 CEOs in the UK. This is only one of many arenas where women experience discrimination and there is still a long way to go before women enjoy real equality with men.

For this reason and to celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2018, we are delighted to showcase three incredible ‘unsung heroes’, all of whom work with our partners on the ground in Africa. These women have been nominated by their peers for their exceptional dedication to sustainable tourism and tireless work behind the scenes. It’s an honour to play a small part in giving them the recognition they deserve.

Kalinda Zimba – Time & Tide Foundation Manager

Equipped with an undergraduate degree in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology, Kalinda is responsible for managing the Time + Tide Foundation’s home-based education programme, student sponsorships and Girls Club in South Luangwa. She has a passion for motivating young Zambian women, and through the weekly Girls Club she helps adolescent girls to overcome peer pressure and focus on their academic achievements. Being trained in special education, Kalinda has a particular interest in the children enrolled in the Foundation’s home-based education programme, many of whom had no prior social or developmental support. Kalinda meets these children and their families on a monthly basis to evaluate the children’s progress and to offer her counselling services to guardians and parents.

Gertrude Nyangaka – Legendary Expeditions, Assistant Manager

Born on the outskirts of the Serengeti, Getrude dreamed of working for the safari companies whose cars passed by her village. She took an internship at Mwiba Lodge as a housekeeper, seizing every opportunity to learn English and any new skills that came her way. She rose through the ranks at dizzying speed – and today, she is the Lodge’s Assistant Manager. Getrude doesn’t believe in limitations; she also loves public speaking, and runs the complex operations of a 5-star luxury gig with ease and sparkling smile. Her peers are pretty sure she’s going to be Tanzania’s first female president… Watch this space!

Diana Matanda – Senior Sous Chef, Singita Pamushana

Diana is a chef at Singita Pamushana. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe she was cooking from an early age, having inherited a passion for food from her mother. The two would often forage in their garden together. After finishing her studies, Diana became an apprentice chef at Meikles Hotel and seized the opportunity to work alongside some of Zimbabwe’s best chefs. While studying Professional Cookery at the Bulawayo Hospitality School, her career naturally progressed and her ambition was realised when she became a Chef de Partie at Singita Pamushana. It was there that she found her own style of cooking, leading her to become the accomplished chef she is today.

We salute these women for their amazing work and women everywhere for their immense commitment and contribution to society, so often overlooked. International Women’s Day is an official holiday in many countries, including Madagascar (for women only), Uganda and Zambia. We think it should be officially recognised worldwide. In the meantime, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the remarkable women in our lives.

Keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram, where we will be featuring more inspirational women!

International Womens Day Logo

Photo Credit: https://www.shpa.org.au/events/2018-international-womens-day-debate

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