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In need of inspiration? Law student Dalitso recommends her 5 favourite TED talks by black women to help motivate you this week.

Since its inception, TED has provided a platform for people from all walks of life to share their ideas with the world. Among the thousands of stories that have been told on their stages are those of black women – an often-underrepresented group whose voices have historically been silenced. From the child who risked FGM for an education to a woman who refused to conform to society’s expectations, there are myriad lessons to be learnt from these incredible black women who, despite ordinary beginnings, have overcome adversity and made great strides. Hopefully their stories will inspire you to do the same. 1. Kakenya Ntaiya: A girl who demanded school At a young age, Kakenya made a deal with her father to undergo the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision if he would let her have an education. She used her experience to help other young women pursue an education by opening a girls’ school in her community. Her story taught me, in her words to “be bold, stand up, be fearless, move out … as you change the world, you are going to change your community or a country.”

2. Ola Orekunrin: Womenomic As a medical doctor, trainee helicopter pilot and founder of West Africa’s first air ambulance service, it’s clear that Ola Orekunrin is a woman of many talents. And while most of us start out with big dreams but often cast them aside as we grow up, Ola decided to pursue her goals no matter what. In her TED talk, she discusses her journey and highlights the power of women in business.

3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: We should all be feminists Chimamanda Ngozi’ Adichie’s speech on why feminism is for everyone is perhaps one of the best known TED talks – since its release, it’s been made into a book and was also famously used on Beyonce’s ***Flawless. In her talk, the Nigerian-born writer highlights the struggle to succeed in a world where women are still held back by gender roles, drawing from her own experiences in Nigeria and the US. For anyone questioning the importance of feminism in the 21st century, it’s an absolute must-watch.

4. Felicia Hatcher: What is your Failure Story Felicia is a social entrepreneur, author and speaker who shares the story of her failures and how they’ve helped her achieve her goals. Felicia recounts how her guidance counsellor told her she would never become an author, work for top companies or even start her own company. However, she explains how, instead of accepting this fate, she used it as motivation, reminding us that we should never let others discourage us from pursing our dreams.

5. Memory Champiti: Yes you can In a highly competitive world, Malawi-born Memory Champiti believes there is room for us all to succeed and encourages women to uplift one another. Memory’s passion for female empowerment has led her to start a charity aimed at educating and equipping vulnerable women and children. One line that stands out from her speech is that “if we choose to neglect the problems around us, they will affect us for years to come…I decided to close my eyes to my own problem and stand up for the people.”

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