Which are the inspirational Africans?

Five inspiring stories of dedication and change in Africa from 2019
Dedication is the word that links all the people whose lives have inspired others this year in Africa.
We revisit the stories of the dedicated teacher, student, lawyer, choir and activist, who have all in their own way encouraged others in 2019.

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‘Young people have a lot of potential’
Held aloft by his cheering pupils, Brother Peter Tab chi got a hero’s welcome in Kenya when he returned from Dubai brandishing the golden trophy he won after being named the world’s best teacher.
He was awarded the Global Teacher Prize in March by a panel of judges, but the beaming faces of his students was testament to how much he was appreciated at home.
The modest Franciscan monk, who teaches math’s and physics, gives away most of his salary to support poorer pupils at the rural secondary school in Nauru country.
Reflecting on the year, Brother Tab chi told the BBC that the award was “clear evidence that Africa’s young people have a lot of potential to positively transform the world”.
It has also inspired many people and showed that “teachers play a very important role in bringing the needed change in society through education”, he added.
Brother Tab chi is also committed to encouraging his pupils, especially the girls, to get more interested in science.
“Peter Tab chi is really a great teacher,” pupil Teresina Konini told the BBC, “and he deserves the recognition and the award”.
New mother, new graduate
Nothing, it seemed, was going to get in the way of Ethiopian Almaz Dares, 21, from taking her secondary school exams.
In June, she went into lab our shortly before her first exam was due to start. She gave birth to a boy, Yididiya, and then 30 minutes later sat the exam on her hospital bed.
“Because I was rushing to sit the exam, my lab our wasn’t difficult at all,” Ms Almaz told BBC Afaan Oromo at the time.
Her husband, Tadese Tulu, said he had to persuade the school authorities to allow her to take the exams at the hospital.
In June, Ms Almaz found out she passed with a mark of 75%
The new mother said she did not expect such a good result as she was in pain whilst writing the papers and had been tired whilst pregnant.
“During my pregnancy, I was not comfortable to sleep at night, so I used the time to study,” she told the BBC.
Her success meant she could continue at secondary school for two more years and apply to go to university. She now dreams of becoming an engineer.
‘How to make a difference’
Dedication to studying made 2019 a special year for Ugandan lawyer Jordan Kin era.
The 29-year-old was driven to study law after he saw his father lose his property in a land dispute in 1996. Twenty-three years later, the High Court delivered a final judgments which ruled in his family’s favors.
“My dad was retired, so he didn’t have a lot of resources,” Mr. Kin era told the BBC in April when discussing the protracted legal battle.
“He was desperate and there is something dehumanizing about being in a desperate situation and not being able to do something about it. That is what inspired me the most.”
Sadly, the ruling came too late for Mr. Kin era’s father to really benefit. The 82-year-old struggles with Alzheimer’s and “we have to keep reminding him that things are done”, Mr. Kin era recently told the BBC.
The six hectare (15 acre) plot of land is in Kit gum, some 430km (270 miles) north of the capital, Kampala.
Since April, not much has changed there as a lot still needs to be sorted out, including reconciling with the neighbors’ who had disputed the ownership, Mr. Kin era said.
But the most important thing is that “we’re in a better mental state right now, everyone has peace of mind”, he added.
The young lawyer is now advising other people who are involved in similar land disputes.
His story of dedication and tenaciousness garnered a huge reaction on BBC Africa’s Face book page.
“This young man is a great example of how to make a difference, congratulations are in order – great job done,” Paul Watson wrote in response.
‘Proud ambassadors of Africa’
“It’s been a manic but epic year,” the conductor of South Africa’s Ndlovu Youth Choir, Ralf Schmitt, told the BBC.
Things began to get crazy when the choir – made up of young people from a poor rural community – was asked to audition for the US TV show America’s Got Talent.
The singers made it through to September’s final and by then they had the whole of South Africa rallying behind them.
The choir sang their own rendition of Africa – a hit for US band Toto in the early 1980s – wowing the judges and audience.
“Tonight we were proud young ambassadors of a united Africa,” the choir tweeted.
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Ndlovu did not win the competition, but did get a record deal and in November they released their first CD, which reached the top of South Africa’s iTunes chart.
“America’s Got Talent changed everything for us,” Schmitt explained. “There is a marked difference in the singers’ school work and they are considered role models for the community and millions of other young South Africans.”
‘I’m just a messenger’
“I’m just a messenger – the real winners are the communities,” Liberian lawyer and activist Alfred Brownell told the BBC in April after winning a major environmental prize.
Mr. Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his work in stopping the destruction of more than 500,000 acres of rainforest in Liberia.
Together with local community leaders, Mr Brownell documented the destruction of forests and farmlands in the south-east by palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL).
As a result of his work, the global certification body, the Round-table on Sustainable Palm Oil, put a “stop work” order on GVL, freezing any expansion of the palm oil plantations and preventing any further forest clearance.

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“It’s the time now for big corporations, palm oil companies and investors to invest in communities, to protect them and to empower them,” he told BBC’s Newsday radio program me.
His activism raised the ire of the Liberian authorities and after facing violence and death threats, he was forced to flee Liberia and is now in exile in the US.

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