These 3 Ladies Are Stitching Hopes And Dreams Of Young Africans In Time Of Crisis

by Gee NY
L-R: Molly Jensen, Coumba Sarr and Daisy Mbante.

A recent broadcast of Africanews’ current affairs programme “Inspire Africa” highlighted the work of three ladies doing extraordinary work in three different African countries.

The TV programme brought to light the efforts that three women — Daisy Mbante from Cameroon, Coumba Sarr from Senegal and Molly Jensen, a New York-based Ghanaian — are putting in to make life better for youth impacted by political and economic instability.

Molly Jensen: Building Africa’s Largest Audio Library

African oral tradition dates back centuries and remains a vital component of the podcasting landscape, according to Molly Jensen, the CEO of Afripods, a podcast hosting and monetizing platform. The business, which originated around 2017, welcomed Molly as its CEO in April 2021. Afripods hosts audio programs in over 70 languages, attracting a diverse global listenership.

Molly Jensen, a New York native with Ghanaian heritage, is based in Nairobi. She shares her journey with Afripods and the podcast industry on the African continent. When asked about her guiding principles, she emphasizes visibility, representation, and recognition. In the context of Africa’s thriving digital economy, the CEO seeks to expand opportunities and spotlight the creativity emerging from the continent.

Some of her favorite African podcasts currently include Case No. 0 and productions by Ghana’s GCR.

Daisy Mbante: Stitching Hopes in Cameroon

In Cameroon, 32-year-old fashion designer, Daisy Mbante, a self-taught seamstress who lives and works in Buéa, the capital of Cameroon’s South-West region, is touching lives.

Buéa is one of the country’s two anglophone regions grappling with a years-long humanitarian and political crisis stemming from social tensions, which escalated into a conflict between the central government and separatists. Daisy is one of the few seamstresses in the region who master and use drawing and fabric painting techniques on the garments they create.

The launch of her business venture coincided with the crises her home region is experiencing. She witnessed many fellow Cameroonians fleeing the least safe localities to seek refuge in Buéa.

Consequently, she decided to offer young internally displaced persons free teaching. Her mission extends beyond honing her apprentices’ sewing skills. Daisy aims to help them discover their passions and improve in their chosen fields in addition to teaching them her craft.

Her talents have gained recognition not only in her region but also across other cities in Cameroon and internationally. Daisy has been invited to participate in national events like the SIARC (the International Crafts Fair of Cameroon).

Coumba Sarr: Making Dreams Happen in Senegal

Meanwhile, another project spearheaded by the Senegalese association Cinéma Numérique Ambulant (CNA) has been organizing film screenings for underprivileged audiences. Although Senegal boasts several cinemas, many regions remain excluded from cinematic experiences, making watching a movie on a big screen feel like a distant dream for these residents.

Wahany Johnson Sambou, an Africanews journalist, follows Coumba Sarr and her team at CNA Sénégal as they traverse the countryside and underprivileged neighborhoods, bringing the magic of cinema to these underserved areas.

Since 2011, the association has been a part of the Cinéma Numérique Ambulant Afrique network, focusing exclusively on screening African productions. Its success hinges on organizing roundtable discussions on social issues and collaborating with local associations.

This approach benefits both the Cinéma Numérique Ambulant and its audiences. Since its inception, the association has conducted around 250 screenings and aspires to introduce more Senegalese people to African films.

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