by Lee-Ann Olwage
Kenya, 2022

Portrait of 12-year-old Michealle Naeku, gazing directly into the camera with confidence. Naeku is an avid reader and dreams of becoming a nurse. She is a student at Kakenya’s Dream school in Enoosaen, Kenya, an educational program for girls from rural areas who have avoided FGM (female genital mutilation) and child marriage. This empowering initiative provides these young women with educational opportunities, empowering them to shape their own futures and break free from harmful traditions. It prompts us to ponder: What are the dreams of girls? And what unfolds when a nurturing and empowering environment allows them to learn and envision their aspirations?

Lee-Ann Olwage, born in 1986 in Durban, is a visual storyteller from South Africa who uses collaborative storytelling to explore themes relating to gender and identity.

This is Gender (In)Equality 2023