Violet Mwanza is a woman on a mission. She may be an ORU student now, but her goals are set towards a different kind of education. Last year, Mwanza founded Africa Is, an organization devoted to helping people in Africa rebuild their countries through entrepreneurship and community.
It all started with an idea. Mwanza noticed many people misconceive that the entire continent of Africa is in suffering and not capable of high-class living and business.
“It’s an initiative that we started once it came to me because I realized how current perceptions of Africa are all of poverty and disease,” she said. “That’s not all that’s in Africa.”
Mwanza and a group of friends collected surveys in which they found that the media is the main reason people associate Africa with poverty. Their immediate response was to correct this mistake through education.
“I felt a desire to just educate people,” said Mwanza. “It did surprise me how many people had a skewed view of Africa.”
Last year, Mwanza held an informational meeting in the Hammer Center about Africa is. The event caused the second floor of the Hammer to reach full capacity.
Mwanza has personally seen the success parts of Africa are capable of, being born and raised in Zambia.
“I’ve seen both sides of it. I’ve seen how people still thrive in spite of circumstances. Its diversity at its best,” said Mwanza.
Mwanza and her team hope to partner with an organization to help others achieve their dreams. Through establishing community and teaching, she hopes to see Africa Is help rebuild others to rebuild their countries. Mwanza ultimately wants to increase awareness and also create opportunities to change communities. She wants others to have the same heart to serve wherever they go.
“Other people are telling Africa’s story,” she said. “But it’s time for Africans to start telling their story.”