Africa Creates: Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Kenya

Africa Creates

Prof. Elizabeth Orchardson-Mazrui is an artist, writer and lecturer with a keen interest in history and culture.

While she teaches in the Department of Art and Design at Kenyatta University, she has a particularly passion for the coast-based Mijikenda community of Kenya as well as the often-overlooked women warriors of Africa.

I was especially interested in her stories about these warriors. Women in general are greatly overlooked by historians (most of whom were men until more recent times).

I sat enchanted as the Professor told me about two of these incredible, pre-colonial African women. And in her own quiet way, Elizabeth is a warrior as well, battling prejudice in order to work in a man’s world.

Her writing spans academic books / articles, poetry, non-fiction titles and children’s tales. Her works include: Nzinga The Warrior Queen; Sheila Let’s Write to God; Adventures of Mekatili; A Revision Text in Art and Design for Secondary School; Art and Design for Forms One and Two; and Art and Design for Forms Three and Four.

Her most recent offerings are a poetry collection, The Pain and Joy of Being, and Travels in the Holy Land and Other Countries.  Travels in the Holy Land, which was released during the 2013 book fair, chronicles her visits to Egypt and other places during her childhood and is enriched by numerous pictures from her personal collection.

Listen to our conversation below: