It is hard enough being a woman, let alone being an African woman. But then again, it is being women that makes us a symbol of life and hope that there’s a better tomorrow even when we don’t know where our next meal will come from. A few weeks ago, Africa celebrated Africa Day, and as an African youth myself, I naturally have a soft spot for the youth and women in general.

We may sometimes feel less appreciated and even further feel that we don’t get as many opportunities as other people, but with so much African talent lying about, this is the right time to celebrate, explore, and be part of Africa.
African women, or should I say African Queens, it’s time to be S.M.A.R.T. Share your story and what you have to offer to the world! I watched my mother till the land after my father passed away, and the only thing that would be surfaced were emotions. I watched her move from one point to the next on an empty stomach in attempt to get school fees for her children. Yes! I have seen an African woman at her worst, but remember, these are the moments that as a woman, you find your strength. I watched my mother scrapping every corner of the house trying to find something, anything, to feed her children, yet we all evidently knew there was nothing in the house. That image got me thinking on how Africans are determined but at times limit themselves by not using this determination to achieve something beyond their house fencing.

African Queen! ARISE. Yes, stereotyped society still looks down upon us because of our gender or because we don’t drive the latest version of a Mercedes. But NO! It’s time to cancel out the word ‘discouragement’ from your dictionary. As Africa celebrated her independence, it’s time to also celebrate your own personal independence. With my own definition, you need to be S.M.A.R.T.

Strategic: Have a vision; know where you are going in life despite every other obstacle. You need to be the first person to believe in you even when people tell you that your dreams are a highway and are impossible to fulfil. Know that you have to fulfil your destiny. Awaken your spirit and have a vision that can change you and everything around you.

Motivated: You need to have the right crowd in order to push yourself in the right direction towards your dreams. If you are in a wrong crowd, then you need to move away from that. You shouldn’t compromise your dreams for people who won’t help you develop into the person you were created to be. Don’t be scared to let go of the things and people that are holding you back today!

Alert: Opportunities don’t always come in the form of money or a loan, so keep your eyes open for an opportunity that may come disguised. That could be your break through! One way or the other, you will reach your destiny, don’t be shaken!

Resourceful: No matter how hard a situation maybe, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Make yourself resourceful. The fire that is ignited by the spirit of an African woman is difficult to put out, so before you rush into giving up, remember how many people have been through this and still fulfilled their potential.

Time-conscious: It’s an unfortunate ancient African habit how we are never on time on most occasions. Have a time frame for your dreams and goals, a deadline to push you to make use of yourself and to grab every chance given to you to fulfil your goal even in the smallest of way.

*Winning or losing-that’s not the matter! Keep on trying and don’t give up. African Queens have come too far to sit back and withdraw themselves from being part of a better Africa. Its time to give yourself that independence. There is no time for excuses. The truth is that you matter and you’re equipped to make a difference.