I first came across leading ladies podcast in Harare, Zimbabwe while attending a HIVOS workshop for creatives focusing on organic content creation and later at the “pasts meeting futures” workshop. Founded by Mulenga Kapwepwe and Samba Yonga, “Leading Ladies” podcast is a product of the Women’s history museum of Zambia that was also co-founded by the two. The podcast which debuted in 2019 has harnessed digital storytelling to bring on the limelight how powerful and influential women in the Africa to the Africa we know.
Unlike its past seasons which focused on women historical figures from Zambia, season three of leading ladies incorporated stories from Malawi and Zimbabwe. Recapping the three episodes from the season on a zoom meeting today has shown how relevant the podcast is today for women from all walks of life. Hosted by Women’s history museum of Zambia, the session brought together renowned Zambian musicians Cleo Ice Queen, Esther Chungu, Ethuse Afrika and our very own Wona Collective who submitted a piece on the extraordinary Salome Chauwa Banda.
For Cleo, the ladies that came before us set out a platform where we can flourish from other women’s success stories.
Esther Chungu pointed out how these women stood up for what is right inspiring the next generation.
Not only does short series animated podcast showcase women that were in significant leadership roles, remind us how intertwined stories of the three countries are. It empowers us by letting us draw inspiration and strengths from what the women before us did. Most of all it empowers and celebrates women. In order for us to know where we are going, it is of utmost importance to understand we must know where we are coming from. It is a powerful reminder that women played significant roles in the colonial and post-colonial era. That women once given a platform are a force to reckon with even in present times. Women can continue to uphold the narrative as Leading ladies.