International Women’s Day Celebrates these Females all under 30, who despite obstacles, rose above the pain, frustration and ridicule to touch lives. Giving us inspiration to defy all odds regardless of skin, age, size and ability.
Zuriel Elise Oduwole
Zuriel Elise Oduwole is a Nigerian female education activist best known for her works on the advocacy for the education of girls in Africa. Her advocacy has led her to be the youngest person to be profiled by Forbes. Zuriel Oduwole, age 13, currently resides Los Angeles, and Hollywood, CA, and Lagos. She is an entrepreneur, political journalist, interviewer, youngest working professional and accredited documentary filmmaker in the world today. She is also the youngest person ever interviewed for a Forbes Africa Magazine.
April Star aka RedefinedMyBeauty
“Sometimes I would want a cure for my condition. Because sometimes I do feel that way and sometimes I don’t. But I’m very proud of myself now and I don’t care what people say. When people stare, I ask them if they want a picture or I tell them they are ‘staring at all my beauty!”. The 10-year-old girl with vitiligo launched a career as a model and redefined her beauty. April Star has already landed jobs for an online children’s wear store and a fashion spread in Essence magazine.
Canadian model Winnie Harlow, born Chantelle Brown-Young, did not have an easy childhood. At the age of four she was diagnosed with vitiligo, an incurable skin pigmentation disease that causes colorless patches to develop on a person’s body. Bullied for the way she looked, her peers at school taunted her with cruel nicknames such as ‘cow’ and ‘zebra’. “The bullying was so bad that I was forced to drop out and be home schooled. Fast forward to 2016 and she has “model, media influence, motivational speaker” in her list of achievements as she seeks to inspire those especially the young ones who suffer from the pigment.
Eygpt ‘Ify Ugele
The Nigerian-born Ify was bullied, stabbed and discriminated against but at the tender age of 10 she debuted her fashion collection at the New York Fashion Week. Rather than being depressed at how badly she was treated, Ify channeled her energy towards making clothes, transcending from dolls, to kids, to adults and then runway. The young star owns her own fashion line named ‘ChubbiLine’. And her determination to move beyond the pain and hurt made her create a collection that debuted at New York Fashion Week, making her the only child designer to dress curvy models. She is the youngest person to ever debut a fashion line.
The Australian athlete had her right leg amputated above the knee at the age of 15 after being diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma, an aggressive form of soft tissue cancer. After her surgery, it took Kelly more than four months just to learn how to walk again. Despite the fact that Kelly has used a prosthetic leg since she started high school, she certainly hasn’t let the disability affect her as she went on to make a name for herself in the sporting world. She won a gold and a silver medal for events at the 2012 London Paralympics. Kelly said: ”Not going to lie this is hard… Hard having limited things I can do, hard because I am starting from 0 and hard because I’m on limited time 😑 but i’m determined and it’s not impossible”.