Gabonese-born supermodel Gloria Mika is a celebrity in the Diaspora. She's committed to making a difference in African politics. The 29-year old lives in Paris and is a model for the cosmetics company L'Oreal.
She founded an organization called "The Guardian Angels of Gabon" hoping to foster electoral credibility in her country's last presidential election, held August 30. Mika says Africans must fight political apathy in order to bring about the desired political change, "I had to fight the defeatism, resignation and the passivity of the citizens who shrug…their shoulders," she says.
What began as a small initiative grew and drew considerable international media attention. Mika generated large support through web-based social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
Her message also inspired other Africans to push for political freedom in their own countries. "I was very happy to see that I was not alone...," she said," some people from other countries (are) requesting that The Guardian Angels take part in the conduction of the forthcoming presidential elections in their country, I realized how big the impact we had on other people."
Mika believes that Gabonese youth are important to the future of her country's politics. "First, in terms of their duty as citizens (to) vote again..., " says the Gabonese model, "in the past years, before we lost our president, there was considerable abstention in the vote. The mobilization that we see today is very important and can be representative of the engagement of people in the future."
Mika says she is committed to advance democracy in her country. She encourages members of her social networking sites to actively search for ways to improve the political environment in their countries.