Ms. Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil is a Kenyan peace mediator and community mobilizer. Known as ‘Mama Shamsa’, she is being recognized for nurturing youth in her home country and saving young people from lives of violence, crime, and extremism, by providing them with counseling, care, and training.
In 2014, she created a grassroots organization, the ‘Focus on Women and Youth in Coast Province for Political Development’. Its success led to her election as the first woman to chair the Nyali Sub-county District Peace and Security Committee. Triggered by widespread criminal activities in Mombasa involving over 200 juvenile gangs, she pioneered a comprehensive campaign to reform affected youth. This evolved into a multi-sectoral engagement involving members and leaders from spheres of religion, civic service, government. Established in 2019, this campaign has contributed to the transformation of over 1000 youths who have opted out of criminal life and gained access to amnesty as well as counseling and training.
Ms. Fadhil assumed many roles, including heading the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and being granted the title ‘The Focal Peace and Cohesion Champion in the Coast Region’. She is also the chairperson of the Mombasa Women of Faith Network, in which she represents the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims. Under her leadership, the Network is fostering interfaith relations while countering community-level challenges, such as early marriages, an array of gender-based violence cases, and violent extremism.
Her zeal to bring cohesion, integration, and acceptance of diversity among women - irrespective of tribe, religion, status, or political affiliation - led to her appointment as representative of the board of the African Women of Faith Network.