A List of Inspiring African & Black Women

It is amazing what women can achieve in spite of the daily challenges that they face. Growing up we had very strong female role models to look up to who inspired us to do our best and aim high in life. 

Here is a list of African and Caribbean women who are doing amazing things that we find inspirational.

Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE, Female Rights Campaigner 

©  The Evening Standard

© The Evening Standard

Naana Otoo-Oyortey is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD),an African Diaspora women’s support and campaign organisation working in the UK and Africa on female genital mutilation, child marriage and obstetric fistula. Naana has worked with government, NGOs on policies and programmes pertaining to gender based violence and sexual rights Naana was a founding member of the UK based Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls.

Karen Blackett, Media Mogul

© Grazia

© Grazia

Karen Blackett is the chief executive of MediaCom, the largest media agency in the UK. She is the first businesswoman to top the Blacklist Powerlist 2015, which celebrates the most influential people of African and African-Caribbean heritage in Britain. 

Chimamanda  Ngozi Adichie, Writer 

©  Commonwealth Foundation

© Commonwealth Foundation

Chimamanda Adichie is is renowned novelist from Nigeria. She has been heralded as one of the prominent writers from Africa that are succeeding in attraction a new generation of readers to African literature. Her work has been translated into 30 languages and has appeared in various publications.


Kakenya Ntaiya, Educator & Activist 

©  Huffington Post

© Huffington Post

Kakenya Ntiaya is a Kenyan educator, feminist and socialist activist.  She is one of Kenya's most outspoken advocates on education for young girls in her country. She is also the owner of as school that is helping more than 150 girls receive education.  

Leymah Gobwee, Peace Activist 

© Nobel Womens Initiative

© Nobel Womens Initiative

Leymah Gobwee is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women's peace movement that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Her efforts ushered in a period of peace which made it possible for Liberia to be the first African nation to have a female president. She was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for peace building and promoting women's rights. 

Misty Copeland , Ballerina 

©  Brad Trent Photography

© Brad Trent Photography

Misty Copeland is a professional ballet dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the US. She was named of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time. She recently became the first African American women to be promoted to principal dancer in the theatre's company 75-year history.

Irene Koki Mutungi, Pilot

©  African Leadership

© African Leadership

Airline Captain Irene Koki Mutungi is a professional pilot for Kenyan Airways, the national airline of Kenya. She was the first female on the African continent to become certified as a Captain of the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft. 

Adenike Ogunlesi, Entrepreneur 

©  Philip Trimnell Productions

© Philip Trimnell Productions

Adenike Ogunlesi is the founder of Ruff n Tumble, a Nigerian clothing brand that specialises in children's apparel. Initially starting out from the boot of her car she has grown the business into nationwide company that has become a household name. 

Posted on September 17, 2015 and filed under Daughters, Mothers.