True to our ethos of celebrating and highlighting outstanding African women, New African Woman introduces Marsha Moyo, the gorgeous, soft-spoken and understated Zambian songstress and author. A woman of diverse talents, who has won the heart of the United Nations as one of its goodwill ambassadors, she joins the ranks of renowned international celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman, who hold this high accolade. Regina Jere-Malanda met up with her in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Marsha was on a UN call of duty.
Looks can truly be deceiving. Under Marsha's demure demeanour lies a powerhouse of talent that deserves a worthy share of recognition and admiration. She is the unsung heroine of African music, and an astute author on issues that celebrate the African woman in her fullest glory.
For example, her book Zambia: Women Celebrated is a first-rate tribute to Zambia's most outstanding and motivational women.
In the foreword to the book, which was supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), its representative to Zambia, Margaret O'Callaghan, wrote: "It [the book] reflects the extraordinary distance that women in Zambia have come since independence, a time when their role was so narrowly proscribed and largely focused on bearing children, maintaining their homes and submitting to their [spouses] ... it shows clearly that women have a lot to offer and can succeed in many non-traditional areas, as well as undertaking traditional family roles.
"The days when women had to produce a marriage certificate to go to town are over. The days when women were confined to the kitchen are definitely over!"
In the book, Marsha has highlighted inspirational women from all walks of life: politics, media, medicine, law, sport and traditional rulers. For those in doubt as to why Zambian women are considered the backbone on which the country's strength depends, this book is an insightful read.
In May 2008, Marsha was appointed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocate for Zambia, to increase public awareness and inspire public action in support of the MDGs. She is the first Zambian to hold the UN role. She is also the first celebrity to be the spokesperson jointly for all 13 UN agencies based in Zambia.
But these are just some of the accolades and achievements from her wide range of talents. Marsha is also a truly accomplished singing sensation. At the recent Sixth African Development Forum on Gender...