Anti-FGM activist Nice Nailantei Leng’ete has been named among Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people of 2018.
Nice, a project officer at Amref Health Africa, has saved more than 15,000 girls around Kenya from undergoing the cut as well as child marriage.
Nice was eight years old when she managed to escape from her home in order to avoid going through circumcision.
Despite the beatings she underwent for resisting the cultural practice, Nice eventually convinced her grandfather, who was also a Maasai elder, to see things her way and let her continue going to school.
CEO and founder of Safe hands for Girls profiled the activist in this years’ Time magazine crediting her endless fight towards fighting FGM stating that she was at the forefront of negotiations with village elders in the Maasai community to consider alternative coming of age ceremonies for young girls.
“Nice is an extraordinary example of young African girls standing up for themselves. After the loss of her parents, she could have given up and followed the norm, knowing that challenging attitudes in male-dominated communities can get you cast out. But instead, she fought to get an education so she could help change the sociocultural structures that continue to impede women’s lives and well-being,” he said.
He went on to praise Nice’s achievements, revealing that she was the first woman in her community to be given a black talking stick by elders.
“That approach has earned her admiration and respect. And now she speaks on a global stage, using her voice to raise awareness about her work. FGM and child marriage will end in Africa because of the likes of Nice.”
Nice is the only Kenyan to be named in the list.
Congratulations to Nice Nailantei Leng'ete for this deserving recognition.