Joanna Girlie Moyo-Sibanda was the first Zimbabwean black woman to get a driver’s licence. Sibanda, a self-driven woman, hails from Bulawayo. She defied all odds and got her first driver’s licence in 1968.
She said the journey to her securing her driver’s licence wasn’t a walk in the park.
“I got my licence in 1968 but it came after a struggle. I had a car but I needed a licence and when I tried to get one they refused to allow me as they said they did not know any black woman who drove a car. They simply refused,” she lamented.
She revealed that the people in charge refused to give her a drivers licence because they didn’t know any black woman who drove a car. However, through perseverance and help from a few people, she finally managed to secure her very own first driver’s licence.
They said black women used scotch carts and sleighs so why couldn’t I also do the same? I then realised that I was failing my driving tests because the people in charge did not want me to pass because I was a woman. But in the end, with the help of a few people, I managed to get my licence,” she said.
Aside from the driver’s licence, Joanna Sibanda is a woman of many firsts. She was the first teacher to introduce the “new approach”, a groundbreaking educational strategy that revolutionised Zimbabwe’s education system in 1962.
According to Sunday News, Joanna Sibanda single-handledly moulded what is known as Early Childhood Development (ECD). The current concept of ECD is her brainchild. She helped implement it into the education system as far back as 1961.
Due to her contribution to the education system, Joanna Sibanda is regarded as the ‘woman who educated the nation.’