Julio

Vanessa

Vanessa is a spoken word poetess, a women empowerment champion, and a social transformation artivist.
Country: Zambia
Movement: World Smash Poetry Movement


Vanessa is a spoken word poetess, a women empowerment champion, and a social transformation artivist. A self-proclaimed artivist, Vanessa is a spoken word poetess aware of the power of stories.

Stories are that glue that can make us connect with another fellow human being, is that possibility of seeing beyond the surface.”

She describes how stories were always part of her life and a powerful way to understand her reality.

Growing up, so many bullies always made me wish to teleport to another planet and live another life. But I knew I was not a victim, but the main character of the story and I was in the capacity to change the plot.”

Women have always been an important part of her life. She recollects some early memories.

I found women fascinating compared to men. I was fascinated by their intricacy, design, and nature yet, the unfairness that women in Africa live with is almost unbearable”.

Yet, a story of gender mistreatment in her continent was not going to stop her.

I looked up to the many women I grew up around for inspiration, I could relate to their struggle and also admired how far they went in life”.

For our poetess, it was not only women in her environment that were her inspiration.

I watched movies and read novels passionately because I could feel some relation to characters who fought for something, who wanted to transform their communities”.

Sometimes, Vanessa asks herself transcendental questions, like why am I here? Then it becomes clear that her activism is the answer.

I led the poetry for peace, fairness, and freedom project which I led during Zambia’s 2021 elections has so far been the best thing I feel I have done”.

Through her contributions, the country went on to record the highest youth turnout in an election in history. She is aware of the positive role of youth participation to change a country.

“I want a world where my daughter is not afraid to dream, do or be anything she wants. She is a symbol representing all other women”. 



Linkedin: Vanessa

Initiative: World Smash Poetry Movement 

Advisory Group

Our Advisory group leverages their expertise to support the participants of the Youth Action Lab.
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