1. Kwame Nkurumah, Ghana's first president
I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.
2. Steve Biko, anti-apartheid activist
It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die.
3. Patrice Lumumba, first Prime Minister of the independent Congo
The day will come when history will speak. But it will not be the history which will be taught in Brussels, Paris, Washington or the United Nations…Africa will write its own history and in both north and south it will be a history of glory and dignity.
4. Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso's first president
Comrades, there is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence. I hear the roar of women’s silence. I sense the rumble of their storm and feel the fury of their revolt.
5. Wangari Maathai, environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own - indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come.
6. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia and Africa's first female elected head of state
The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.
7. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, anti-colonialism and women's rights activist
No member of the union should think herself better than the others. All must move freely and happily together.
8. Mnyazi wa Menza (Mekatilili), anti-colonialism rebellion leader
We are not to fear the Europeans.
9. Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Queen Mother in the Ashanti Kingdom
If you the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields.
10. Winnie Mandela, anti-apartheid activist
To those who oppose us, we say, 'Strike the woman, and you strike the rock'.
Header Image Credit: Dangerouswomenproject.org