WINDHOEK, DEC 14 – In March 2017, the iconic Fearless Girl statue by Kristen Visbal took its place on Wall Street, standing defiantly and staring down New York’s bronze ‘Charging Bull’ by Arturo Di Modica. Now, in 2021, RMB Namibia unveiled their own ‘African Fearless Thinker’ on 9 December at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre to celebrate Namibia Women’s Day and International Human Rights Day, both celebrated on 10 December 2021.
At the occasion French Ambassador Sebastien Minot advised that fighting gender-based violence in Namibia was of utmost importance and women should not be regarded as victims only, but human rights should empower girls and women in a sustainable manner.
Keynote speaker Mr Sen Pang, UN Resident Coordinator of Namibia commemorated the celebration of international UN Human Rights Day and said: “We are all here to bring harmony and peace into the world by observing and trying to eliminate the problems and complaints received from people who are facing the brutalities of violation of human rights. The universal declaration of human rights empowers us all, however the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed a wide range of basic human rights that many of took for granted.”
He advised that UN Namibia was committed to stand up for human rights and help Namibia to beat the pandemic and to drive forward progress on the sustainable development goals.
A replica of the artwork, commissioned by RMB and created by Cape Town-based artist Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, the statue is a proud and courageous African teenage girl. Having been inspired by Wall Street’s Fearless Girl, RMB envisioned an Afro-centric version of the artwork that would speak to the values of individuality, courage and strength.
The African Fearless Thinker commissioned by RMB Namibia depicts a smaller statue of an African girl posing defiantly with her hands in her side. RMB Namibia CEO Philip Chapman says, “the statue is an inspiring and unique reminder of the African spirit, particularly that of women and girls across our beautiful continent.”
“RMB believes that arts, culture and creativity can contribute to a strengthened economy,” explains Chapman. “But more importantly, they can capture the spirit of the time, transform lives and bind together, not only hearts and souls, but entire societies and nations.”
RMB works towards creating an environment where women feel they are empowered to achieve their individual career goals; and towards growing the number of women in leadership in financial services.
“As an example, Africa’s Fearless Thinker expresses how courage, diversity, and gender equality are valued and embraced. When we invest in the arts, we invest in the lives of young artists and communities and contribute towards the growth of the overall creative economy”, adds Chapman.
“As we celebrate Namibia Women’s Day and International Human Rights Day, I am proud to unveil our Africa’s Fearless Thinker. May she serve as a constant reminder to have courage, stay curious and relentlessly question the status quo. Coupled with a responsible and collaborative mindset, fearless thinking can unlock the collective wisdom to support society to find opportunity in adversity” concluded Chapman. – FNB Namibia