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26 Apr

THE MATRIARCH: JOYCE BANDA

Joyce Banda formerly known as Joyce Hilda Ntilda was born on the 12th day of April 1950 in a little village called Malemia under Zomba district of Malawi. She was a mother of three children, once married to Mr. Roy Kachale and they lived in Kenya. After her abusive marriage with Mr. Roy ended in 1981, she fled with her children back to Malawi. There she met Mr. Richard Banda who is a one-time Chief Justice of the Republic of Malawi. Their marriage is blessed with two children.

Joyce is the fourth and first female President of Malawi, the first vice president of Malawi and the second woman in Africa to rule a nation; a grass root women right activist and the founder of people’s party Malawi.  

Also she once held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Columbus University and Master of Arts Degree in Leadership at Royal Roads University in Canada. In 2013, she received honorary doctorate from Jeonju University.

Before Joyce started her political career in 1999, she was a business woman. She established various businesses like Ndekani Garments (1985), Akajuwe Enterprises (1992) and Kalingidza Bakery (1995). She is also the founder of the National Association of Business Women (NABW)-a group that lends money to small-scale traders, Young Women Leaders Network and the Hunger Project.  

With her degree in early childhood education, she founded the Joyce Banda Foundation, a charity organization that assists Malawian children and orphans through education.

Joyce became president of Malawi (formerly known as Nyasaland) following the death of then President Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012. Late President Mutharika chose Joyce as his running mate for the 2009 elections. This decision was a great shock to many Malawians as they have never had a female Vice President in the country.

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She once served as Minster of Gender, child welfare, and community services from 2004 to 2006 where she championed the rights of women and the girl-child. She also served as Minister of foreign affairs from 2006 to 2009.

Joyce was able to establish the Zero Tolerance Campaign against Child Abuse and established relations with mainland China during her ministerial service.

As president of Malawi, Joyce pledged her service to her people and was determined to root out corruption and abolish laws that support it. Joyce faced many challenges as President of Malawi, but maintained a record which showcases her service to humanity.

She has received many awards for her humanitarian services.

Amazons Watch Magazine
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