The overachieving Melene Rossouw has added yet another feather to her overflowing cap when she was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Young Africans “.
More specifically, she was named as one of the Top Ten in the Category of Leadership which means that in 2020, the 34 year old Melene is considered to be a top 10 leader in Africa.
Melene was selected among other celebrated Africans such as Tunisia’s Pan-African activist, Aya Chebbi and South Africa’s international athletics champion, Caster Semenya.
The award itself aims to recognise young Africans for their outstanding contributions towards the development of Africa and the criteria for selection include “excellence in leadership and performance, personal accomplishments, commitment to sharing knowledge, breaking the status quo and being an accomplished young African”.
For those of that have not read the ‘Story of Melene Rossouw’, the constitutional lawyer and internationally celebrated humanitarian is the founder of the ‘Women Lead Movement’, an organisation that empowers women and girls through mentorships and human rights programmes.
Despite having limited resources (she used her own money), soon grew the movement into an internationally recognised organisation that helped thousands of women and young people.
She began expanding the movement internationally, opening an office in Madagascar with plans to open another office in Namibia.
It is for her work with the movement that she started receiving numerous accolades, which include becoming an Inaugural Obama Leader in Africa, a Future Africa Forum Leader and a Mandela Washington Fellow.
She had been selected by the International Advocacy Organisation, ONE Global Campaign, to feature in three of their global campaigns (“Progress not Promises”, “ Yours in Power” and “Pass the Mic”) and she has had the honour of meeting former President Barrack Obama (as an Obama Leader).
To give an idea of how huge her platform is becoming, the last ‘One Global Campaign’ she participated in reached an audience of 250 million people.
This year alone, she had been selected as one of the JCI’s 2020 ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World’, a JCI ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons of South Africa’ (nominated for her ‘Contribution to Children, World Peace and Human Rights’) and most recently, she was selected as one of Africa’s ‘100 Most Influential Women’, in the category of Philanthropy.
Being a highly qualified professional and having to sacrifice a highly paid career, Melene confesses that she was not sure whether she could handle the financial burden of this new path she had chosen.
However, she adds that when she looks “back at the strides” that has been made with the movement, she knows that she is on “the right track”.