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Forbes Woman Africa: Hellen Obiri, Elsa Majimbo scoop top awards

These are women who have challenged authority to bring about change.

In Summary

• The awards celebrate African women who inspire confidence through rewriting the narrative, leaders who advocate positive change and are committed to economic and social transformation on the continent especially in a Covid recovery phase. 

•Obiri won the Sports Award category while Majimbo won the Entertainer Award in the event that took place on March 9.

Hellen Obiri in celebration
Hellen Obiri in celebration
Image: FILE

Two Kenyans have been announced winners by Forbes Woman Africa for advocating positive change to economic and social transformation globally.

World 5000m Champion Hellen Obiri and Kenyan comedian Elsa Majimbo were among the winners.

Obiri won the Sports Award category while Majimbo won the Entertainer Award in the event that took place on March 9.

The winners were announced following a dynamic two-day virtual interaction focused on this year’s theme, Africa Reloaded: The Power of The Collective.

The awards celebrate African women who inspire confidence through rewriting the narrative, leaders who advocate positive change and are committed to economic and social transformation on the continent especially in a Covid recovery phase.

These are women who have challenged authority to bring about change and created a new discourse that will enable future generations to live in a better and more equal world.   

“I’d like to congratulate all the 2021 award winners for being such incredible leaders in their respective fields, particularly after such a tumultuous year,” Managing editor Renuka Methil said.

“This year we adapted to a completely online format, and while we do miss the face-to-face interaction, the digital space gave us the opportunity to expand the #LeadingWomanSummit footprint and reach a much bigger audience. And, with the global pandemic creating so much disruption worldwide, this summit was a welcome opportunity to get insight from these grounded, inspiring women who’ve all given us a renewed sense of hope.”

Mastercard Country Manager for South Africa Suzanne Morel said: “As a proud partner, we would like to offer our congratulations to all these inspirational women who have been recognised in this year’s awards. Not only have they made a tremendous impact in their respective fields, but they are leading the charge in opening up the world’s possibilities to women. And a world that works better for women creates limitless possibilities for us all.”

In concluding the evening’s awards’ ceremony, Lianne Williams, Head of Marketing at Vumatel alluded to this year’s theme Africa Reloaded: The Power of The Collective and emphasised the need for collaboration.

"Going online breaks down boundaries and borders. With people working from home, connectivity has become critical…but there are a multitude of other factors we need to take into consideration; what content are people accessing, what skills are being imparted? I do think there’s a fantastic opportunity, especially at this time where we are as a global community, to pool all our efforts and make a more meaningful contribution,” she said.

“At Vuma we talk about empowering individuals to empower communities, and we know that when we empower communities, we empower society. This builds stronger and more inclusive economies. Digital is now and it is definitely the future. Now is the time for us to stand up and make a difference regardless of gender, race or creed.”

Other winners are;

2021 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Award Winners

- FWA Young Achievers Award 

Winner: Rabia Ghoor, Founder of Swiitch Beauty

- FWA Social Impact Award 

Winner: Isabelle Kamariza, Founder of Solid'Africa

- FWA Technology and Innovation Award 

Winner: Temie Giwa Tubosun, Founder of Lifebank 

- FWA Academic Excellence Award 

Winner: Professor Rudo Mathivha, Academic Head of Intensive Care Services at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital 

- FWA Business Woman of the Year 

Winner: Ada Osakwe, Founder of Agrolay Ventures  

- FWA Lifetime Achievement Award 

Winner: H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former president of Liberia