Gloria Mangi on Women, Digital Media and the African Queens Project
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Gloria Mangi is an accomplished, creative and passionate individual! In 2013 alone, Ms. Mangi was among the 20 semi-finalists in Google’s Africa Connected competition and won the 2013 World Summit Youth Award (WSYA) for digital social empowerment through her work with the African Queens Project.
Her award winning project: “African Queens Project” seeks to celebrate the struggles, triumphs, and victories of African women who are making a difference in the continent by sharing their stories.
This was largely accomplished using available social and digital media platforms as leverage — by sharing successful stories via blog posts, audio clips and videos using the main website as a hub.
Gloria was one of the smart people from Tanzania with whom I shared the podium during WordCampKenya (WCKE) in 2012. Today, she shares her perspective on the Connected Africa
I want to ask some questions through the lens of you as a media personality and working within the traditional media industry in Tanzania. Looking back now, if your project had strictly relied on using traditional media, how easy would your project had been, and will the story have travelled this far?
First, I would like to thank you for this interview and profiling what I believe to be both progressive and revolutionary initiatives. In regards to your question, I honestly do not think my project would have become what it has today if it was not for the platform that the new media provided. Traditional media allows you limited access in terms of location and platforms. The New Media has given me access to the globe, so to speak, which has helped spread the message faster and efficiently.
Are women better because of access to technology? How best can the average woman use technology to enhance their personal value, share their story and to build a better society?
Wow, that is a loaded question! I think generally speaking, technology can be a double-edged sword depending on how it is being used. I have seen some great projects and initiatives that target elevating women to add value to their lives, skills and help them advance their future. If one is looking to share their story they should look at different mediums such as websites, blogs, social media platforms and the like as tools they can use to share their experiences.
Knowing that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating other women especially within the rural areas. How can the digitally connected woman help others?
I have been using African Queens Project as a tool and platform to share inspirational stories and now we are looking at helping women within the rural villages access this content and be a part of the experience by using innovative applications that can be used on “not so” smart phones. We are doing this by partnering with different companies and organizations. I will urge interested parties to see what their local women’s organizations is doing and see how they can be a part of that.
What is next on the project and how do you hope to grow it further?
African Queens Project is only one of the projects under my NGO Women Alliance for Community Transformation (WACOT) and I am excited about one of our upcoming projects that we will be launching next year! It is a curriculum and after-school program targeting girls in public schools to help reduce the high drop out rate. We are also partnering with other organizations and companies to find different solutions affecting women and children. I am also proud at the rate our African Queens Show has taken off and is now the top show within the radio station.
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