‘Africa’s Fearless Thinker’ arrives in WindhoekA statue of a proud and courageous African Thinker, her chin held aloft, her stance bold, her right hand gesturing towards the resting concrete lion bench by her side.
This is the sight that now greets passers-by outside the RMB head office on Independence Avenue.
An artistic expression of fearless thinking, courage, diversity and gender equality, the statue was created by artist Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, while the concrete lion was created by Pieter Greyvensteyn.
Africa’s Fearless Thinker was inspired by the iconic ‘Fearless Girl’ statue in New York which faced down Wall Street’s bronze ‘Charging Bull’ in 2017.
Africa’s Fearless Thinker embodies the values of courage and strength, as well as collaboration, by choosing to stand with the lion by her side. This lion, which appears in RMB’s logo, represents the institution’s near five-decade history. The lion is also a symbol of Africa and, as the Fearless Thinker’s companion, provides her with a safe space in which courageous conversations can be held.
Furthermore, the statue is a powerful symbol of gender equality.
“For RMB Namibia, gender equality is a business imperative with the clear agenda to focus on both men and women and the collaborative diversity they offer,” says Philip Chapman, CEO of RMB Namibia. “This makes Africa’s Fearless Thinker an incredible beacon of hope to young women in Africa – encouraging them to lead in their own authentic way.”
RMB, and the rest of the FirstRand Namibia Group, believe that it is vital that a woman’s status in the economy is elevated, through changing attitudes around gender roles, improving working conditions, widening social safety nets and implementing policies that allow women to participate in the formal economy.
“We want to create a workplace where everyone, irrespective of gender, can thrive and achieve success in their careers,” continues Chapman. “It is unbelievable how a sculpture can encapsulate all this with such beautiful simplicity.”
The public can visit the life-size artwork and be inspired to embrace courage, stay curious and always question the status quo.