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Meet the student empowering black girls through art

PASSION: Aisha Kigwalio

A YOUNG student from Cardiff is launching an art exhibition to empower girls this weekend (June 16) in a bid to overturn the stereotypes attached to black women.

Nineteen-year-old Aisha Kigwalilo, whose family originate from Tanzania, is an undergraduate at the University of Cardiff where she is studying International Relations and Politics.


She is hosting the GIRL Xhibition to address the lack of and inaccurate representation of black women in mainstream media.

“I hope the exhibition will start a dialogue on how specifically people view black women without even realising it. I also want it to inspire those people outside of the black, female community to take control of their own representation and narrative.”

After successfully completing a leadership programme with TuWezeshe Akina Dada Africa-UK Young Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Movement, Aisha was required to design a social action advocacy project and received a grant of £500 to implement it.

TuWezeshe Akina Dada translates as ‘empowering our sisters’ in Swahili and is a three-year women and girls’ rights project funded by Comic Relief’s Common Ground Initiative. The project will be implemented in five countries; the UK, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Somaliland and is facilitated by a consortium of organisations including the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD), and Young Women Leaders Institute.

SSAP project coordinator, Fadhili Maghiya, said: “We are proud to see Aisha progressing and reaching her potential. We gave her seed money to deliver this in line with TuWezeshe concepts, ethos and values.”

The aim of the leadership program is to improve the rights and amplify the actions of East African girls and young women in their fight against all forms of sexual and gender-based violence.


“With the help of nine artists from across the UK I aim to portray the individuality and narratives of the average black woman, the stories that do not live up to expectations of society. It is showcasing young artists through individuality,” she added.

The event takes place at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff from 5pm - 11pm and there will be food, music and entertainment on the night. Tickets can be purchased from Eventbrite.

All profits will go to South Wales Velindre Cancer Centre.

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