A “profound and soul-nourishing memoir” (Oprah Daily) from an African girl whose near-death experience sparked a lifelong dedication to humanitarian work that helps bring change across the world.
When severe drought hit her village in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, then only eight, had no idea that this moment of utter devastation would come to define her life’s purpose. Unable to move from hunger and malnourishment, she encountered a United Nations aid worker who gave her a bowl of warm porridge and saved her life — a transformative moment that inspired Elizabeth to dedicate herself to giving back to her community, her continent, and the world.
In the decades that have followed, Elizabeth has been instrumental in creating change and uplifting the lives of others: by fighting global inequalities, advancing social justice for vulnerable communities, and challenging the status quo to accelerate women’s rights around the world. She has served as a senior advisor at the United Nations, where she launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest global solidarity movements for gender equality. In I Am a Girl from Africa, she charts this “journey of perseverance” (Entertainment Weekly) from her small village of Goromonzi to Harare, Zimbabwe; London; New York; and beyond, always grounded by the African concept of ubuntu — “I am because we are” — taught to her by her beloved grandmother.
This “victorious” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir brings to vivid life one extraordinary woman’s story of persevering through incredible odds and finding her true calling — while delivering an important message of hope, empowerment, community support, and interdependence.
Elizabeth Nyamayaro is an award-winning humanitarian and Special Advisor for United Nations World Food Programme. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked at the forefront of global development for over two decades improving the lives of underserved populations and has held leadership roles at the World Bank, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and UN Women. I Am a Girl from Africa is her first book.
Faith Adiele is an award-winning author who leads workshops in personal narrative (memoir; travel & food writing; social justice & spiritual narratives; multimodal & non-traditional essay). Writer, A World of Calm (HBO Max), Calm Sleep Stories, and My Journey Home (PBS documentary fabout her Nigerian-Nordic-American family). Her memoir, Meeting Faith, she recounts her journey to Thailand as that country’s first Black Buddhist nun. Reluctantly leaving behind Pop Tarts and pop culture to battle flying rats, hissing cobras, forest fires, and decomposing corpses, Faith Adiele shows readers in this personal narrative, with accompanying journal entries, that the path to faith is full of conflicts for even the most devout.
Elizabeth Nyamayaro photo by Behind the Cause; Faith Adiele photo courtesy of the author