7 Exclusive Quotes From 7 Smart Women

“I would only say to women what I often tell myself: You are fine. You don’t need to justify yourself or your actions all the time. Sometimes a no is just that. No. And a yes is also just that. A yes.”

  • Zukiswa Wanner, Author, South Africa

“I am inspired by the desire to excel in every facet of my life, leave a mark in my community through my own achievements that can be attributed to me. For me, every second that has passed is lost, you will not re-live it again. I, therefore, am of the belief that I need to make the best of every moment. I also believe in working hard and playing hard. I do not delay gratitude for tomorrow.”

  • Tariro Makanga, MBA, Communications Executive, Zimbabwe

“I am inspired by actions, not necessarily individuals. Great writers, scholars, musicians, actors, philosophers inspire me – people who make the world a more interesting place.”

  • Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller, South Africa

“Education only equips us to build a career, we need other intelligences to cope with life. We need social intelligence to build relationships with others. We need spiritual intelligence to honor the kind of values that build us as women and a people. I would say of all the intelligence, spiritual intelligence is the most important because it builds our character, integrity, and authenticity.”


  • Wendy Luhabe, PhD, South Africa

“It never has to be resolved all at once, one step at a time, sometimes it is one hour at a time. I often put my life in compartments and deal with one challenge at a time.”

  • Comfort Dondo, Gender expert, United States

“Education equalizes us as human beings in a world that is unequal.”

  • Chipo Dendere, PhD, United States

“We are still talking about glass ceilings and if all things were equal we really shouldn’t. Sometimes we are trapped by that phrase because we fail to see the power we wield as women – the immense power we have to step on that ladder and keep going no matter how harsh the climate. I have always believed that glass ceilings were invented by people who were determined to control how far women could go and I have resisted nurturing the idea of a glass ceiling. It is a negative space that if you are not determined can stop you from defining your own destiny. This is not to say that I am unaware of how some work environments can stifle and kill the spirit of a woman whose only desire is to reach for the stars. What I would hate is for any woman to remain locked up in stasis because of the glass ceiling phenomenon. Take control, shatter the glass and kick away whatever obstacles are thrown in your way. You will be called aggressive or abrasive in the process but this is only because there are still people who believe only men deserve to be ambitious. I am a mother of a daughter whom I raised to never say “no” to herself and to never let the storm to disillusion her or stop her from achieving her heart’s desires. The road is long and tortuous and only those willing to take the pain with the glory will survive.

Our daughters whom we should inspire and spur on should be aware of the realities of the invisible barriers in some work places but they should seek never to lean on glass ceilings as an excuse not to scale the barriers no matter how strong.”

  • Grace Mutandwa, Journalist and Author Zimbabwe