THE RISE OF AFRICAN WOMEN If there is one thing that 2012 has confirmed, it’s the fact that African women are on the rise. Throughout the year we have witnessed the list of women occupying spaces of power and influence grow. The first notable victories were Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becoming the president of Liberia, Joyce Banda taking over the reigns in the Republic of Malawi and local politician and former anti-apartheid activist Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma becoming the first female to lead the African Union.Now, as the year comes to an end, two young South African women are solidifying our ascent. Multi-award winning singer and songwriter, Lira, aka Lerato Malapo Kohl, is one of them. This weekend it was announced that she will be performing for US President Barack Obama at his inaugural ball in Washington DC. She was chosen from a shortlist of African musicians who were nominated to perform at the ball, which will be held on the 21 January 2013.Another woman worth celebrating is Yolanda Zama Sangweni, the senior editor/producer of Esscence.com, one of the leading publications for black women in the United States. She is also a singer, jewellery designer and the co-founder of AfriPOP!, an online magazine focusing on African arts and culture. Yolanda made it onto Forbes list of the 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2012.Image: TimeLIVE 10 Responses Kutlo December 10, 2012 Proud to be an African. ofentse December 12, 2012 AAAH, that’s such a lovely achievement. Well done Lerato. Teboho Mollo December 17, 2012 I am proud to be an african leaving in these times…..Lira keeps on pushing herself…….Well done!!!!!! Lesiamo phakoe December 19, 2012 Fantastic news let’s keep it up. Miranda January 7, 2013 When u get counted among power women like Mrs Banda & Nkosazana, know that you’ve raised the bar. I’m inspired by Lira consciousness at her young age. Grateful! Buyi Lichaba January 7, 2013 WOW!, its great to see Africa’s women making significant strides in the global arena, excelling & being recognised for it, bravo to out ladies, may the rise to greater heights Buyi Lichaba January 7, 2013 Lira continues to reinvent herself and has been set on penetrating the US market over the last three years, this will certainly cement her US quest, bravo Lira, keep flying our African flag Lolo January 7, 2013 Feels good and also encourages young girls to look up these role models and aspire to be like them as impossible is possible…big ups to lira en gud one to all the girlzz. Xolani Zungu January 7, 2013 Congratulations to all women of Africa, especially, Lira and Yoli Sangweni. I wish you all the best in all you do. Big Up Amanda Matabata January 8, 2013 Gosh! This woman never seases to amaze me. I am super proud of you, keep flying our flag. South Africa is proud of the work you are currently doing. Go and get them Lira!!