In this innovative and intimate memoir, a daughter tells the story of her mother, Dora Akunyili, a pan-African hero who faced down misogyny and battled corruption in Nigeria. Inspired by the African philosophy of Ubuntu – the importance of community over the individual – and outraged by injustice, Dora Akunyili took on fraudulent drug manufacturers whose products killed millions, including her sister. A woman in a man’s world, she was elected and became a cabinet minister, but she had to deal with political manoeuvrings, death threats, and an assassination attempt for defending the voiceless. She suffered for it, as did her marriage and six children.
I Am Because We Are illuminates the role of kinship, family, and the individual’s place in society, while revealing a life of courage, how community shaped it, and the web of humanity that binds us.