H. E. Fatima Maada Bio
First Lady of Sierra Leone
First Lady, Madam Fatima Maada Bio is motivated by pan- Africanist ideals and she is a strong believer in women empowerment as key to sustainable development . Born on November 27th 1980 in Sierra Leone, she pursued her passion for women empowerment as First Lady by staging a peaceful protest against gender based violence. It was a historic march, for the first time in history, First Ladies from different African Countries came together in unity and joined the peaceful protest march on the streets of Freetown in December 2018. This was the beginning of her very powerful campaigned themed “Hands Off Our Girls”.
She later relocated to London after her escape from the child marriage plot. In London she pursued her passion and thirst for charity work. Her personal story is her main motivation and she has traveled the world providing support to vulnerable children, especially in Africa.
She has Bachelors of Art degrees in Performing Art from the Roehampton Institute of London and in Journalism from the University of Arts, London College of Communication.
First Lady Maada Bio has received several awards including;
- Honoured with the Warrior Award at the International Women of Power Luncheon in California, U.S.A. for her bravery and outstanding contribution towards women and girls in Sierra Leone.
- Honoured as one of the most influential people of African descent under 40 in New York, United States.
- Miss Africa in 2000.
- “Best Supporting Actress” for the movie Mirror Boy
- In 2011 “Best Actress Award” from the Black Ethnics, Fashion and Film.
- In September 2013, Mrs Fatima Jabbe-Bio was voted the best female.
The effective “Hands Off Our Girls” campaign ultimately led to the President, H. E. Rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio’s declaration of a National Emergency on Rape and Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone on the 7th Feb 2019, and subsequent revision of the sexual offences act in September 2019.
Her Excellency’s fight against Cancer, she has taken internationally. She secured the funding of several doctors to study oncology from the Merck foundation. She also hosted the most awareness raising commemoration of World Cancer Day in West Africa on the 4th of February 2019.
She used the Cancer Day commemoration to present to the government and the world, the model for an International Medical Centre. Her vision is to have the most advanced medical centre in the world in Sierra Leone, that will serve the MANO river union, with international affiliation agreements with some of best teaching hospitals in the world.
December 14 2019, she launched the Free Sanitary pads initiative for school girls in Sierra Leone, to compliment the governments free quality education initiative.
Her prowess and strategy was noticed by the nation during the 2018 elections in Sierra leone where she took a pro-active role. She was able to broker peace easily amongst warring parties. Her down-to-earth communication skills was not only due to her formal education, but also her affinity with the grassroots.
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London in 2018 , the Queen of England was excited to meet with Africa’s newest first Lady. The Queen was impressed with her tenacity in helping to change the perception of the role of women in politics.