“The females in the 21st century are fierce and bold and whether we like it or not, the future is female.’’– Yara Shahidi
When a caterpillar transforms into it’s better self, we love to talk about how magnificent the butterfly looks. It is significant to consider that this butterfly underwent a process before it reached its full potential. The resilience to that process is what makes this such an admirable creature.
Our narratives should therefore shift from looking at the end-product of anything and we should awaken to realize that a process makes something more beautiful. This is very observable in the 21st century woman.
She is the butterfly; not just because she is beautiful, but because she is in love with her process of becoming. The spotlight shines on one very resilient and passionate 20 year old female butterfly. This butterfly is none other than Diana Poka, a National University of Lesotho human rights activist who advocates for social justice.
Much like many women, Diana’s journey of transformation started with pain. The first jab to her heart was when her family discouraged her from becoming an animal vet because “it was a man’s job”. This completely destroyed her dream because it created feelings of inadequacy in her.
To make matters worse, Diana consistently felt like she was never enough because the Basotho culture has no value it places on women since they are said to be “inherited by the world.” Diana was subjected to a non-ending cycle of patriarchy that distorted her view of the world completely.
In her exact words, “I felt like I was never enough because there was no value placed on me. It hurt me so much.” It was this very pain that propelled Diana to become a human rights activist.
Upon getting to the National University of Lesotho, she had a thought to speak out about the marginalization of women. As a young student, she joined the Delegates of Change Association and eventually became the Deputy Spokesperson of the aforementioned association. She helped organize dialogues about how youth can be involved in making significant change with regards to the socioeconomic problems in Lesotho.
Secondly, she is part of the Earth Guardians (SA-Lesotho region) which originates from the USA. Through this, she has interacted with the Minister of Social Development to brainstorm ways on keeping the environment clean. She actively participates in Keeping the Environment clean.
As though that is not enough, Diana fearlessly joined the NUL Discussion Forum which bridges the gap between government officials and Basotho youth. They discussed different ways to avert socioeconomic issues where she got to learn from influential figures such as the former Minister of Finance Dr. Moeketsi Majoro.
All of these have helped her to develop her own organization called “#BasadiPusong”. With this, Diana teaches women how to fearlessly get involved in politics. She aims at teaching them that it is not a man’s world after-all.
Every leader has a sentimental avenue that they engage in. For Diana, It is a campaign close to her heart – #GIRLSBACKTOSCHOOL. The campaign is making significant strides in ensuring that girls go back to school. In this campaign started in Ghana, Diana is the current lead coordinator for Lesotho. It is sponsored by the ALL AFRICAN STUDENT UNION in association with UNESCO.
To conclude this edition on this remarkable young female, we at Selibeng can only state that we are completely aghast to learn about Diana. She is bold, she is fearless and she is FEMALE. We cannot wait to watch her soar like the eagle she is!