Since her time as a practicing constitutional lawyer, to becoming an independent parliamentary candidate, and now as a leading figure in the country’s opposition, Amujae Leader and Advocate Fadzayi Mahere has always been a prominent woman leader in Zimbabwe. Now, she is recognized as one of Africa’s most promising young politicians, despite facing barriers attempting to limit her voice.
A recent Al Jazeera article that chronicles Ms. Mahere’s fight for her country’s future and the obstacles she is facing, describes her as an ambitious woman leader and a savvy communicator. With her Masters from the University of Cambridge, experience at the international courts in Arusha, Tanzania, and The Hague, and active practice in Harare, Ms. Mahere has always sought a challenging career path.
In the article, she reflects on her childhood and how her friends saw her as someone who did not stand by when seeing injustice being done. She also recalls how, growing up in a largely patriarchal and traditional society, she developed early on a “sense of checking the scales” and a strong belief in human rights and the rule of law. This, she adds, had determined her career choice:
“I knew as early as 14 that I was going to be a lawyer.”
The article also highlights how Ms. Mahere built a powerful online presence, using her legal knowledge to call out human rights violations and report abuses to her followers. In January 2021, she was arrested and imprisoned for her online activities, but despite these challenges, Ms. Mahere says her fight for a better future in Zimbabwe will continue.
Ms. Mahere also shared that she takes inspiration from many strong women across the political spectrum, including former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former US Secretary Hillary Clinton, and WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. For her, this inspiration is crucial as it allows her to overcome the bias that forces many women in Zimbabwe’s politics out of online discussions due to sexualized name-calling or abuse related to their appearance or marital status. Ms. Mahere hopes that her example of perseverance and service will lead more women to venture into politics and public leadership, noting:
“The more that’s done, the more women will come and step up, the more professionals will step up, the more young people will feel like they have space and they can be included.”
Read the full profile here.