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Charlotte Mafumbo: Internationalist
March 20th, 2020 | Women's History Month
During Women's History Month, SIT is spotlighting some of our extraordinary academic and program directors across the globe who are making history today through their thinking, their words, and their actions.
What is your academic discipline and what inspired you to pursue it?
International studies. It is multidisciplinary. It has no limits and encompasses many global issues that are so intricately tied together.
Who is your hero and why do you admire her?
Rosemary, my mother. As a young widowed woman, she brought us up (five girls; unfortunately one died) to believe in ourselves and that poverty is only in one’s mind. She taught me that hard work kills no woman and that the key to success is education.
Once when I had a school seminar to attend and I had no shoes, she gave up her work that day so I could present at this seminar. I wore the shoes. They were big for my feet but she showed me how I could wear them and conceal that they didn’t fit. So I did, and won the award for my presentation. From that day, I knew I could work to achieve anything and that material things should not limit me.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I would like to see the world become a better place. Teaching unites the world in the best way you can offer. I want to promote the right ideologies and beliefs among those I teach.
What advice would you offer young women?
Hard work kills no woman or man, it is laziness that does. No one talks about a struggling failure but a successful person who struggled, so never give up.
I would advise them to join leadership positions. Like my mother would say: Take life by the horns and work for excellence and not mediocrity. Don’t tear down fellow women; instead, stand together and build each other up. Work toward bettering yourself.
When you go down in history, what do you want to be known for?