Touted as one of the topmost politicians in Africa, Joyce Banda became the fourth president of Malawi (2012-2014) after the sudden death of the then-President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died while in office as a result of a heart attack, setting a record as the first female president in Malawi and second female president in Africa.
Banda was born on July 15, 1950 in Malemia, a village in the Zomba District of Nyasaland (now Malawi). She got married to her first husband Roy Kachale, but left, with her 3 children, describing it as an abusive marriage. She later got married to Richard Banda, a retired Chief Justice of Malawi, with whom she has two more children.
“Most African women are taught to endure abusive marriages. They say endurance means a good wife but most women endure these abuses because they are not empowered economically. They depend on their husbands,” Joyce Banda said in an interview with BBC.
She has a Cambridge School Certificate, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus University, a Bachelor of Social Studies in Gender Studies from Atlantic International University and a Diploma in Management of NGOs from the International Labour Organization (ILO) Centre in Turin, Italy.
Prior to becoming a president, Dr Joyce Banda served as a Member of Parliament; Minister of Gender and Child Welfare; Foreign Minister and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi…
Editor’s Note: Read the entire piece here. It’s on page 62 of our ’50 Most Influential Women in Business’ edition.
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