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Publisher's Summary

A “profound and soul-nourishing memoir” (Oprah Daily) from an African girl whose near-death experience sparked a lifelong dedication to humanitarian work that helps bring change across the world.

When severe drought hit her village in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, then only eight, had no idea that this moment of utter devastation would come to define her life’s purpose. Unable to move from hunger and malnourishment, she encountered a United Nations aid worker who gave her a bowl of warm porridge and saved her life - a transformative moment that inspired Elizabeth to dedicate herself to giving back to her community, her continent, and the world.

In the decades that have followed, Elizabeth has been instrumental in creating change and uplifting the lives of others: by fighting global inequalities, advancing social justice for vulnerable communities, and challenging the status quo to accelerate women’s rights around the world. She has served as a senior advisor at the United Nations, where she launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest global solidarity movements for gender equality. In I Am a Girl from Africa, she charts this “journey of perseverance” (Entertainment Weekly) from her small village of Goromonzi to Harare, Zimbabwe; London; New York; and beyond, always grounded by the African concept of ubuntu - “I am because we are” - taught to her by her beloved grandmother.

This “victorious” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir brings to vivid life one extraordinary woman’s story of persevering through incredible odds and finding her true calling - while delivering an important message of hope, empowerment, community support, and interdependence. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Elizabeth Nyamayaro. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Nyamayaro never shies away from the difficult truths of poverty, illness, and maternal mortality rates. She deftly balances her personal story and those of the people she has encountered in her work. Her accent is a combination of Zimbabwean and British, and she captures the accents of others respectfully. Nyamayaro's narration is powerful, not just because of her words, but because she performs with emotions that capture the truth she has lived." (AudioFile Magazine)

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What listeners say about I Am a Girl from Africa

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Not one of my favorites

I was unable to hear the end of this book. Unable to return it.
Found the author to be self absorbed and somewhat tedious

18 people found this helpful

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Inspiring and Heartwarming

Several years ago, I learned about the idea of ubuntu. The way that the author weaves ubuntu throughout her life and story give it more context and action. This story has left me feeling inspired and hopeful.

15 people found this helpful

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a hero for women and girls globally

an inspirational woman on so many level. obontue (sp) is the inspirational word and take away from this novel. the world needs you as a leader and teacher. many blessings to you, you are doing God's work.

11 people found this helpful

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so sly and so loving

thank you, elizabeth nyamayaro, for reminding me of ubuntu. i first read of this way of caring for each other during graduate course work in indigenous studies in the mid 90s. it has added to my life, understandings, and hopes for the world around me ever since.

i also thank you for writing so personally and choosing your details they way you did. this adds so much about the how and the why of ubuntu that would otherwise be harder to notice. in staying so inward at the same time as your focus is so large, details slide in all over the place inside me, not giving old believes, potential blocks, and unhealthy habits to disrupt them. it's about you, not me, so reactions aren't triggered. in doing this, you're like samantha powers, whose memoir is as intimate as yours, but about the place of person and family in a political world. you two have different styles and pathways for presenting alternatives, but you seem to me to present two aspects of a whole that is too large to be contained by any life's descriptions or any perspectives.

for over 60 years i've been focusing on an unsayable question about how humans and humanity can realistically become more humane. between you and samantha, i now have two parts of an answer to add to what i've figured out for myself, but without what you, elizabeth, have given me with your words and voice, i wouldn't know it.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

So inspiring. It should be required school reading. Letting everyone know what one person can do with help from others.

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The Girl In The Blue Uniform

A truly uplifting memoir. With every possible obstacle in front of her, Elizabeth pushes on. She didn't just reach her goal, she exceeded it.

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Powerful

Such an interesting listen. The beginning seemed a little too simplistic at first but it evolved into such an amazing story of perseverance and pride.

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Amazing story, includes African proverbs!

An amazing story about a starving African girl who barely had a chance to survive, much less become a very successful UN official. It took a little while to get used to the accent. Worth the listen, though it was never that compelling. Elizabeth Nyamayaro appears to be an important and central person who has helped change the world, especially for fundamental girls' and women's rights. I am now more educated as a world citizen about these issues and their status. A wonderful part of the book is the inclusion of African proverbs with each chapter. For example, "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito" - African proverb. I hope this book inspires more people to change things despite humble beginnings.

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Dreams can change the world

It was a privilege to hear Elizabeth share her story and learn about the far-reaching effects that resulted from her commitment to following her dream.

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Amazing

I want to thank Mrs. Nyamayaro for telling her story and the story’s of the people, cultures, proverbs and beliefs of Africa.
I like how humble and grateful the writer is at every step of her journey. I appreciate the way she presented the challenges that women and girls face with statics and solutions.
Although I have never visited Africa I have always had an attachment to that continent that I can not explain. This book presents Africa as I have always believed Africa and the African People to be. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the well being of women and girls. This book reminds the reader that humanity is not every person for them selves but we are all fir each other.