5 inspirational Gabonese women
To celebrate Gabon’s nationa Women’s Day we will be profiling inspiring Gabonese women who have have made a difference by standing up tall to be seen, heard and counted. We also would like to take this opportunity to salute all the Gabonese women who continue to work hard behind the scenes. We see you and we respect your hustle!
Sylvia Bongo Ondimba is the wife of the president of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba. She is well known and respected for creating the Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation dubbed “For the family”. The foundation was created with the aim of improving the plight of vulnerable and disadvantaged people around the world in January 2011. This vivacious woman is not just a pretty face but a force to be recognized with as she managed to create her own wealth management firm called Alliance S.A in 1990 at the tender age of 25.
The late former first lady of Gabon, Édith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, wife of the late former President Omar Bongo (1990 – 2009) was an HIV/AIDS activist who helped create a forum for African first ladies to fight AIDS. As a paediatrician, Édith is well remembered for her passion for working with young children. She created the Free Consultations and Pediatric Symposium, an association which caters for vulnerable children and people with disabilities.
Patience Marie Josephine Kama Dabany aka Marie Joséphine Kama is a Gabonese musician and a mother of the current President of Gabon. She was married to the former president Omar Bongo Ondimba (1967 to 2009) and she served as the First Lady of Gabon from 1967 to 1988. Let it be known that this powerful woman and her former husband founded the Gabonese Democratic Party. Josephine was involved in the promotion of women’s rights, charities for children and she also created the musical group dedicated to the Gabonese Democratic Party, Kounabeli (Superstars), where she performed as lead singer.
Later on, after the divorce from the former president, she successfully chased her music career and recorded various albums and collaborated with numerous artists. In 2005 she recorded an album with Kounabeli; the song La Connaissance from this album was one of the anthems used during the presidential campaign of 2005.
Aida Touré, this multi-talented woman is a Gabonese artist, Sufi poet, painter, and composer who has appeared in international magazines. She is a globally recognised artist who has exhibited her spiritually-inspired art work in various cities in her native country and around the United States of America. Her work has also attracted much attention which has resulted in her being featured in a textbook that has been published in the US and Canada. The majority of Aida’s paintings are owned privately, mainly in the US, France, Gabon, and Mali. In 2010 the artist released “Fragrance of Light” an innovative jewellery line.
Christelle aka Christelle Avomo is a Gabonese-born R&B/pop singer. This talented songbird is a young trendsetter who defeated all odds when she immigrated to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2006 to start her music career despite the fact that she could not speak English. Christelle has become a rising star in America who managed to reach the Top 40 success, only 18 months prior to her debut offering R&B/Pop EP was released in February 2009 and it entered the Billboard Top 40 R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart on May 9, 2009.