Nobel Prize Conversations
“I see myself as the one who never gives up”
In this podcast episode with Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, conducted in December 2021, she shares her heartbreaking life story of growing up during the Liberian civil war. The consequences from the war required her to grow up quickly or as she puts it herself: ”one minute I was a teenager and the next minute I was a woman”.
Gbowee also tells us about her constant and tireless struggle for women’s rights and peace in her home country. To never give up has been her constant motto in life. She has dedicated her life to encouraging young people “to believe that they can do whatever they put their mind to”. When asked how she would like to be remembered, she gives a heartwarming reply.
Interview, December 2011
Interview with the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, 9 December 2011. The interviewer is Tomm Kristiansen, journalist at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).
Telephone interview with Leymah Gbowee, recorded after the announcement of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, 7 October 2011. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editorial Director of Nobel Media.
[Leymah Gbowee] Hello?
[Adam Smith] Hello. May I speak to Leymah Gbowee please?
[LG] Leymah speaking.
[AS] Oh, hello! My name’s Adam Smith. I’m calling from the official website of the Nobel Prize in Stockholm, Sweden.
[AS] … Congratulations on the award.
[JG] Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
[AS] Thank you, it’s wonderful news. We have a tradition of recording just tiny interviews on the telephone with new Laureates. Would you speak to me for just two minutes?
[AS] Thank you. May I ask what message you hope this prize sends to the world?
[JG] That the other 50 percent of the world – the women of the world – that their skills, talents and intelligence should be utilized. And I think this message is a resounding agreement to all of our advocacies over the years. That truly women have a place, truly women have a face and truly the world has not been functioning well without the input, in every sphere, of women.
[AS] That’s a wonderful message, thank you. And may I ask, when you were protesting for the end of the civil war in Liberia, armed with only white t-shirts, what gave you hope that you would succeed?
[JG] My hope was in those women who came on a daily basis – women who had been broken, women who had been abused, who had watched or observed the worst – their commitment, their perseverance, their passion for bringing peace to Liberia, that was my hope.
[AS] Thank you for speaking to us and congratulations again.
[JG] Thank you.
[AS] Thank you, good bye.
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