The senior advisor to Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director for UN Women Elizabeth Nyamayaro has explained how she struggled during her childhood in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with Trevor Noah, Nyamayaro said she is a person she is today because of her background struggles.
“We come from a continent that is very much about the community. I grew up in a small African village in Zimbabwe where I was raised by my grandmother and my grandmother and I had a beautiful childhood, and in Africa we grew up as part of a community and we took care of each other, we shared our food together. But then when I was eight years old, a severe drought hit our village in literally devastated as our rivers dried up our crops wilted, our livestock perished in we’re left with nothing to eat and nothing to drink. I collapsed on the ground, and in my young mind I thought I was going to die. I had not eaten for three days. But then a miracle happened. This aid worker with the United Nations found me. The girl in the blue uniform that’s what she was wearing, and she gave me a bowl of porridge and literally saved my life, and I remember after I was able to speak I asked them why she was there because she was African like me but I never seen her before. She was not from my village, and she said to me, I’m here because as Africans, we must uplift each other. Again, I was eight years old, didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time but two years later I found out that this girl in the blue uniform worked for the United Nations and it just became my dream, I just thought I want to be just like her, so that maybe one day I can save just the lives of others in a similar way that my life had been saved and so that was the impetus and, of course, decades later, I joined the UN and I became the girl in the blue uniform”.
Elizabeth Nyamayaro is the founder of HeforShe organisation and she is popularly known for her book “I Am a Girl From Africa”.