Danai Gurira is more than prepared for her new role as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira

In light of this year’s theme for 16 Days of Activism, #HearMeToo, Danai Gurira was recently introduced as the new ambassador for UN Women Goodwill at an open-dialogue event at the African Leadership Academy. 

Danai, who is an actress best known for a role as General Okoye in the Black Panther movie, and who is also a writer and an activist, was chosen by the executive director of UN Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. 

READ MORE: Model Duckie Thot announced as new L’Oréal Paris ambassador

“Through a person like Danai, we’re hoping to bring attention to the issues of young people and women in general that are not receiving adequate attention; women whose voices are being muzzled because of where they are in society,” Dr Phumzile says. 

“We’re hoping that by having a young person who is also very committed to the issue of gender equality, we could have a conversation with young people – young men and women – about the role they can play in advancing gender equality,” Dr Phumzile adds. 

READ MORE: WATCH: Zendaya named Tommy Hilfiger's global ambassador 

#HearMeToo is a tribute, Dr Phumzile says, to the #MeToo hashtag because MeToo has helped to highlight the prevalence of sexual harassment, but it has also helped us bring powerful perpetrators to book, which has broken the mould of the ‘untouchables’. 

However, not all women are able to speak up or find platforms that could help them do this, so Dr Phumzile hopes that the women involved will inspire and encourage the women whose stories are not heard to say #HearMeToo. 

READ MORE: The next U.S. ambassador to SA is from East London and speaks Xhosa and Afrikaans

“Through having someone like Danai who could inspire women, we would like them to believe that where they start doesn’t have to be where they end,” says Dr Phumzile.

At the event, Danai was in conversation with African women who have used their voices and personal stories to create awareness around women’s issues. She was joined by rape survivor and author, Grizelda Grootboom; nuclear scientist, Nomso Kana; poet, Tanatsei Francicsa Gambura; and activist, Naledi Chirwa. 

READ MORE: Serena Williams' husband calls out the difference between how white men and black women are treated in our society

All the women on the panel, including Danai, shared their personal stories and attested to the reasons why fighting for women’s rights and fighting to actively address women’s issues is important to them. 

“We have been afflicted, we have been broken, but we have not been destroyed. We have created ways of moving forward that will help heal the rest of the world, and these women personify that in ways that I could never stop saying,” Danai said in reflection to the stories shared. 

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 570 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 240 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1245 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 37 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 463 votes