What is the Nzinga Effect?
The lives of African women are often the subject of discussion, but rarely are they given a platform to speak for themselves. At The Nzinga Effect we publish content and organise events focusing on the stories of African women and women of African descent.
We are a network of women and men, African and non-African, on the continent and in the diaspora, who believe that the world deserves to hear about and meet with the many women from Africa changing their countries, their continent and their world.
We define ‘Africa’ as the five regions of the continent, and the diaspora. We believe that connection leads to conversation, conversation leads to collaboration, and collaboration leads to transformation. This is the Nzinga Effect.
Who is Nzinga?
Queen Nzinga Mbande (also written as Njinga Mbandi) was born in 1583, a time when Matamba-Ndongo (present day Angola) was being raided by Portuguese slave traders and miners.
Despite her status as a key figure in the struggle against slavery and occupation, Nzinga was not just a ‘warrior queen’, as African women in history are often stereotypically portrayed. Yes, she was a fighter, but she was also a charismatic and popular leader, a wise and strategic negotiator and a confident woman who saw herself as equal both to African men and the Portuguese governor.
The logo: What’s the story?
The logo is inspired by the Sona sand drawings of the Tchonkwe people of Angola. According to one blogger, they “disclose a much deeper form of communication, encompassing traditional rituals, problem-solving techniques and ancient legends of Angola.”
Eliza Anyangwe: founder and editor-in-chief
Eliza is a Cameroon-born, Africa-raised, London-based writer, speaker and moderator. Her interests in sustainable fashion and international development could have taken her down various paths, but joining The Guardian in 2008 changed everything. In 2014, after covering social enterprise, higher education and two years as editor of The Global Development Professionals Network, Eliza left to start The Nzinga Effect because she saw that African women were either largely missing from history and the dominant narrative is one of victimhood.
Eliza has also worked at CNN International, still writes for The Guardian and has appeared on various international broadcasters including BBC World Service, TRT World, SABC, SVT and CNBC Africa.
Aside from journalism, Eliza works with activist collective The Rules, guest lectures on the international communications masters programme at IULM in Milan, and is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
Mutsa Marau, head of project design and delivery
Mutsa is a Zimbabwean Londoner who works as a producer, project manager and youth worker.
After completing her studies, Mutsa set about finding a way to fuse her interests in the arts, youth work and health. In 2011 she created and delivered a peer education project to students in the Mukuni chiefdom in Zambia which was delivered with The Butterfly Tree.
For over four years, Mutsa created and nurtured this online community, delivering fundraisers and sexual health workshops to groups of students in London, Zambia and Dominica.
With over ten years experience co-creating and delivering community engagement programmes to young people, Mutsa has also produced films and animation at Nice and Serious, worked on social media content and strategy for MTV Shuga and Digital Explorer and produced several short films for Channel 4’s Random Acts arts strand along
When she’s not doing any of the above, Mutsa can be found seeking out new stories to share and satisfying her addiction to popcorn.
It’s often said: “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together” so, at the Nzinga Effect, we are all about building strong partnerships.
We define Africa as the African Union does: the five regions of the content and the diaspora (regions of the world where Africans have settled – through voluntary or forced migration). That’s a lot of world. Help us tell the stories of the women who inhabit it. Take a look at our contributor guidelines [hyperlink], then email your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting our online platform or events, through philanthropic giving or corporate sponsorship, will increase the impact of our work and enable us to reach wider audiences. If you are interested in supporting our mission to tell more diverse stories about African women and champion content created by women, please email our founder, Eliza Anyangwe.
Republish Nzinga content
We believe in the commons so you’re welcome to republish any of our original content. When you do, please:
Credit the author with a byline and include picture credits.
Add the following text at the bottom of the article: “This article first appeared on The Nzinga Effect”, along with a hyperlink back to this site.
Translate | Traduire | Traduzir | ترجم
There’s a big non-English speaking world out there and we want to include them in the movement. But we need your help to translate our content into Africa’s three other official languages: French, Portuguese and Arabic. With time and better resources, the most widely-spoken mother tongues can also be included – we live in hope! Email email@example.com if you would like to help.
Há muita gente que não fala Inglês e queremos incluir todo o mundo neste movimento! Para isso, precisamos da tua ajuda para traduzir o nosso conteúdo em três outras línguas oficiais da África: Francês , Português e Árabe . Com o tempo e melhores recursos, temos esperança que outras línguas maternas também serão incluídas! Email firstname.lastname@example.org para juntar-te a nós.
هناك عدد كبير من غير الناطقة باللغة الإنجليزية في العالم ونحن نريد ضمهم في حركتنا ! للقيام بذلك، نحن بحاجة لمساعدتكم في ترجمة المحتوى إلى الثلاث لغات الرسميه في أفريقيا: الفرنسية والبرتغالية والعربية. مع مرور الوقت وجمعنا للمواد بشكل أفضل، يمكننا أيضا أدراج اللغات الافريقية الاساسية الأكثر انتشارا - هذا طموحنا! البريد الإلكتروني
Il existe toute une frange d'internautes non-anglophones que nous souhaitons inclure dans notre mouvement!
Pour ce faire, nous avons besoin de votre aide afin de traduire nos contenus dans trois autres langues officielles utilisées en Afrique : le Français, le Portugais et l'Arabe. Ensuite, et avec de meilleures ressources, les langues vernaculaires les plus parlées en Afrique pourront également être incluses sur le projet - eh oui, nous vivons d'espoir! Pour participer, écrivez-nous à email@example.com