Nice Nailantei Leng’ete Amref Health Africa project officer is among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. PHOTO/TIME MAGAZINE
By OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Time Magazine has recognized Kenyan, Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, as one of the most influential people in the world.
Her work as a project officer with Amref Health Africa has saved an estimated 15,000 girls around Kenya from the cut, as well as from child marriage.
Each year TIME 100 releases the list of 100 most influential people in the world and the people they spotlight range from the globally famous to the literally anonymous.
There are world leaders and local activists, artists and athletes, scientists, moguls and a number of people who are running for President of the United States.
As a Maasai child in Kenya, Nice accomplished something remarkable: she escaped the cut, her culture’s ritualized female genital mutilation.
But saving herself was not enough. As an adult, she has gone on to negotiate with village elders, who traditionally have not worked with women, and convince them that alternative coming-of-age ceremonies will be healthier for girls and better for communities.
Nice is an extraordinary example of young African girls standing up for themselves. After the loss of her parents, she could have given up and followed the norm, knowing that challenging attitudes in male-dominated communities can get you cast out. But instead, she fought to get an education so she could help change the socio-cultural structures that continue to impede women’s lives and well-being.
That approach has earned her admiration and respect. Nice was the first woman in her community to be given a black talking stick by elders. And now she speaks on a global stage, using her voice to raise awareness about her work. FGM and child marriage will end in Africa because of the likes of Nice.
One way or another they each embody a breakthrough: they broke the rules, broke the record, broke the silence, broke the boundaries to reveal what we’re capable of.
Time Magazine says they are seekers, with a fearless willingness to be surprised by what they find.
There are all sorts of yardsticks for measuring influence: Donald Trump’s 5.9 million Google News mentions in the past year, Adele’s64.8 million Facebook likes, the records shattered by Usain Bolt on foot, Lewis Hamilton on wheels, Katie Ledecky in the pool, Stephen Curry on the court.
To capture what sets the honorees apart, Time Magazine reaches out to people who watched them rise, knew them when, understand firsthand the opportunities they seized and the obstacles they overcame.
See full list of Time 100 here http://time.com/collection/most-influential-people-2018/