Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an Icon, my Heroine!


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ( 1938 – )H.E Ellen Johnson at the Eu.dev days!

(I took this picture myself)

“All girls know that they can be anything now. That transformation is to me one of the most satisfying things.”

Her education began at the College of West Africa, Monrovia, and culminated in a Master’s degree at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her education and training in banking, economic and financial management gained her a trusted position as Minister of Finance of Liberia in 1979. Unfortunately, Johnson Sirleaf’s high standards and desire to improve Liberia led her to clash with the corruption and rivalry at the time. A ten year sentence under house arrest was followed by another position and then by a fortunate escape into exile. This was a turbulent and painful time in Liberia’s history. The frequent power struggles resulted in two tragic civil wars.Astonishingly, the civil war was brought to a sudden end by Liberia’s most voiceless population – its women, following their courageous stand in 2003. When she won the 2005 election, Johnson Sirleaf became the first female elected head of state in Africa. In 2011, she was one of a trio of women to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Healing her nation and setting it on the right track is what drives Ellen Johnson Sirleaf each day.

This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf)

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

When I prepared this post for my heroine two days ago and saved it as a draft, I had intended to post it on Thursday morning when she had been scheduled to give a Key Note Address at the WIP 2013 Summit.

However, circumstances intervened and I was sent on an almost impossible mission to secure the president’s gracing of the opening ceremony tomorrow at 2.30pm. I braved it and I did  and yes I got much more, she greeted me and not only her but also Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica and Dlamini Zuma of the AU.

Yes, her grandma had foretold that she will be great, she lost the first time she ran for the presidency but she ran again and won, so for me it is a sure sign of greater accomplishment to be greeted by such a great woman!

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7 thoughts on “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an Icon, my Heroine!”

  1. Well done on your achievement. This is a great inspirational post. It shows that if we want something bad enough, we should go for it. Set backs and disappointments shouldn’t make us give up. Instead we should use them as ladders to climb to where we want to go.

    If Ellen Johnson had given up after her first attempt, she wouldn’t be where she is now.

    Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

    1. Dear Junie,

      You are right in remarking about Ellen Johnson’s perseverance and the inspiration we can all draw from that. Of course we must always be just that way if we really want something.

      I hardly know of any of these great women who never overcame a challenge and even us (like you and me) in our own “everyday small greatness” overcome lots of challenges but don’t give up.

      Thanks for wishing me well on my achievements, and just to tell you that I almost lost this job 2 months ago following a blackmail from a colleague, and found out that my contract was mysteriously off the books – hm

      I know we all can!

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