I'm not sure how we missed this last month, but Malawi elected its first female president. But even better, she's natural!
Joyce Banda made history on April 7, 2012 when she took over the Malawian Chief Executive Office position, making her only the second woman president on the continent of Africa. Banda has long been a political activist in the country, and for the continent, which has already earned her the third spot on Forbes' 2011 Most Powerful Women in Africa list.
Her takeover of the position comes after the controversial and sudden death of her predecessor and 2009 opponent President Bingu wa Mutharika. Banda and Mutharika were openly opposed to each other's politics, but Banda managed to retain her position as Vice President. Their open opposition, however, will make her takeover of the office more challenging.
In an address to the nation, Banda stated: "I want to sincerely thank Malawians and all people living in Malawi for the respect of the law shown by the peaceful transition of the presidency."
Despite her inspirational Presidential gain, Banda's personal history is a testament to her strength, wisdom and love. Originally from Kenya, Banda became involved in the 1970's Kenyan Women's Movement which ended with her leaving her abusive husband with her three children in tow and moving to another country to escape his power and influence. Beginning life over again in Malawi as a single-parent, Banda made a career as a garment manufacturer and eventually founded the National Business Women Foundation.
As reported by Ebony Magazine: "Just as President Banda rebuilt her financial future as a young single parent and survivor of domestic violence, she is now charged to do the same for her country."
So, who feels a little prouder to be a fellow natural with a someone like President Banda?