September 19, 2021

Community News

NOSACONN & Damon J. Batiste Get Shout Out on International Women's Day
March 8, 2021


Connecting Women in the Diaspora with the Motherland
By Cebo Famakinwa

Happy International Women's Day to all the beautiful women all over the world.

We are strength, we are power, we are magic! Yes, we are the glue that holds the world together and we do it all with unmatched style and grace.  This year, I particularly stand up for all my black queens and women of color who have always had to wait just a little longer for their own recognition, who have always had to endure so much more while queuing behind a sea of their white counterparts. I salute you ladies.

From the fictional Princesses of the Kingdom of Zamunda to the legendary warrior tales of the Dora Milaje of the magical Wakanda and the real-life super-SHEroes of everyday women taking their place in society, the daughters and descendants of Africa are speaking in one voice and universally declaring "We are Here" and "We shall not be moved".

For so long black women's achievements have been buried, whitewashed or relegated to the "other" section of history but as evidenced in the events of just the past few months, the tide is turning. In January young girls witnessed the historic swearing in of the first female, first black Vice-President of the United States of America, Kamala Harris, a child of immigrants – to the appointment of the first African, first black, first female leader of the World Trade Organization madam Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the sweetest cherry on top – the coming-of-age of powerful poet Amanda Gorman – a descendent of slaves, who mesmerized the world as she heralded the newly appointed Biden-Harris administration, to declare once and for all -  we are glorious!

Over the past decade I have had the great pleasure of working with NOSACONN, the New Orleans South Africa Connection in advancing the importance of connecting women in Africa with those in the diaspora. The advent of social media has made our work much easier and seen NOSACONN making tremendous gains in bridging the disconnect and digital divide between the two groups in leaps and bounds. Through the various efforts of NOSACONN young girls in South Africa have a straight path to forming formidable partnerships through the arts, music and cultural exchange with their fellow sisters in New Orleans and the rest of the United States. It is a work we at NOSACONN are most proud of and will continue to champion for decades more to come. I am extremely gratified that we as women are taking our place and changing the narrative as we empower ourselves in achieving greatness. So, go on black queens with your beautiful, crown adorning, Ankara wearing, Kente cloth accessorized, uber-talented trend-setters, you are worth every recognition feted on you this day!

A very special thank you to Damon Batiste of the legendary Batiste family of New Orleans for always being at the forefront of women empowerment through his non-profit foundation NOSACONN.


Cebo Msomi-Famakinwa is a journalist and avid communicator based in Washington, DC.

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