Episode 5:

African Women Shaping the Future: Leadership, Resilience, and Possibility

In the larger context of development in Africa, often criticized for its colonial underpinnings, African women demonstrate resilience and empowerment in ways that often go unrecognized.
One visible form of empowerment is where women address community needs as leaders and visionaries. In this episode, we explore the intersection of race, gender, and work through stories of women who are creatively shaping their fields and creating change.

Guest Bios

Adryan Wallace, PhD

Adryan Wallace, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Stony Brook University.

Walter Mswaka, PhD

Walter Mswaka, PhD is an associate professor of social entrepreneurship in the Department of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College.

Thabiso Mahlape

Thabiso Mahlape is the founder of Blackbird Books, an independent publishing house in South Africa that is dedicated to giving young Black writers a platform. Learn more about Blackbird Books at www.blackbirdbooks.africa.

Charlot Magayi

Charlot Magayi is the founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces clean, affordable and reliable cook stoves for under-served markets to reduce household air pollution. Learn more about Mukuru Clean Stoves at www.mukurustoves.org.

Rachel Laryea

Rachel Laryea specializes in racial capitalism, ethical entrepreneurship, and social good. After working on Wall Street, Rachel pursued a dual PhD in African American Studies and Sociocultural Anthropology at Yale University, and also launched Kelewele to showcase the diversity of Africa and its diaspora through healthy food. Learn more about Kelewele at www.kelewelenyc.com.

Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho

Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho is the CEO of Futuresoft Software Resources, a full-service digital agency and IT Solutions company based in Nigeria. Learn more about Futuresoft at www.futuresoft-ng.com.

Kaylene Stevens Petrin, EdD

Kaylene Stevens Petrin, EdD is a lecturer and program director of social studies education at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development at Boston University and a former high school social studies teacher and department chair at Framingham High School in Massachusetts.

Taylor Collins

Taylor Collins is a history teacher at Framingham High School in Massachusetts and the director of Step Up to Excellence Mentoring.

Free Resources and Featured Books

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Adryan Wallace, Walter Mswaka, Thabiso Mahlape, Charlot Magayi, Rachel Laryea, Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, Kaylene Stevens Petrin, and Taylor Collins for generously sharing their expertise and insights in this episode.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Photo of Adryan Wallace from Stony Brook University website.

Photo of Walter Mswake from Rollins College website.

Photo of Thabiso Mahlape from sheleadsafrica.org

Photo of Charlot Magayi from globalcitizen.org

Photo of Rachel Laryea from kelewelenyc.com

Photo of Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho from linkedin.com

2017 African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Product Showcase” by Exchange Photos, under Public Domain Dedication (CCO 1.0 Universal).

Featured Music