Great Women of African Descent

An Artistic Expression of the Icons

Non-Fiction - Art/Photography
96 Pages
Reviewed on 11/15/2017
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Author Biography

The authors Pascaliah Omiya an experienced global HR expert and entrepreneur and Odhiambo Siangla, a fine artist who has extensively travelled and exhibited his work, have both attempted through study and studio paintings to unify and honor the selected women of African Descent in this volume. The honor extends to the women’s embodiment as descendants of Africa in the continent, in the diaspora, and in the societies they interact with across the globe.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Great Women of African Descent: An Artistic Expression of the Icons by Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla is definitely a literary and visual feast. The subject of this book is a collection of carefully selected notable African women that have made important contributions to the world. Coming from varied backgrounds with different interests and accomplishments, it includes Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Beyoncé Knowles, Condoleezza Rice, Wangari Maathai, Whoopi Goldberg, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Speller, Serena Williams, Robyn Rihanna, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Pascaliah Omiya. Get to know these great women whose lives should serve as inspiration to everyone.

Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla teamed up to create Great Women of African Descent: An Artistic Expression of the Icons, a book that tries to spark a discourse on Africa, its women and challenges, and a whole lot more. Africa is a continent that is not only rich in mineral resources, it is also teeming with beautiful and talented people. And this book presents this fact in a unique way; not only with texts but also with oil portraits of accomplished African women. The result is a delightfully visual and intellectually provocative take on the much-misunderstood African culture. It is also a literary gem that should inspire women from all over the world to aim for the stars and be the best at what they do. This is a gem of a book written for Africans in particular and for any reader interested in contemporary African women in general, also for those interested in history, art and African culture. It is a delightful glimpse of the African world, its struggles, pain, joy, failures and triumphs.

Sefina Hawke

Great Women of African Descent (An Artistic Expression of the Icons) by Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla is a non-fiction art and photography book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who are interested in learning about modern day African women, African art, and cultural studies focusing on present day Africa. The book is a compilation of not only African women and their culture, but also a celebration of some of the best works of modern day women. The book gives an in depth look at the importance of education as an integral aspect in finding success in life.

Great Women of African Descent (An Artistic Expression of the Icons) by Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla is a well-written book that fully explores aspects of African culture in relation to not only the modern world, but also women of African descent. I found the artistic aspects of the book to be even better than the writing itself. Yet, that is not to say that the writing is bad, merely that the portraits were so well done that they captivated me. It is rare to find a book not intended for children that expertly combines both images and words into a polished book.

I enjoyed the way that the portraits were of women that have played a role in modern society and not of women that lived a hundred years ago. My favorite portraits were of Beyoncé Knowles, Michelle Obama, and Robyn Rihanna because of the way that they not only truly captured the subject of the portrait, but in the way that each woman displayed a genuine emotion in their portrait. This book has inspired me to become more interested in not just African culture, but also the women of African descent who influence the world today!

Edith Wairimu

Aimed at recognizing the contribution of twelve great women of African descent, Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla, authors of Great Women of African Descent, explore the lives of these valiant women. They focus on celebrating their journeys and phenomenal achievements and using their involvement in leadership, social justice and advancement of economic power as a background and pace-setter to urge people of African descent, especially women, to step out and move towards growth and victory. From Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Whoopi Goldberg, Beyonce Knowles, Wangari Maathai, Angela Speller, Robyn Rihanna, Pascaliah Omiya, Serena Williams, Lupita Nyong’o and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the authors present portraits of these women showing their distinctions, strength, and uniqueness. Omiya and Siangla focus on advancing works of fine art done on African women, which is a section of art that has often gone unrecognized.

What stood out for me in Great Women of African Descent were the themes the authors Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla examined. The book contains themes on diversity, equality, development and the importance of family stability for societal advancement. Omiya and Siangla urge people of African descent to consider important contributory factors of political and economic strength, such as technology, education, entrepreneurship, and innovation, to achieve growth. As a woman of African descent, reading this particular book challenged and encouraged me to take advantage of opportunities that have been handed to me and to make the best of them. The portraits also effectively capture the different aspects of each woman and what makes them outstanding.

Erin Nicole Cochran

Great Women of African Descent by Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla ushers us into the world of art, African history, the oppression put upon African people and their descendants, especially regarding women, and the progression of successes that people, particularly women of African origin, have attained. Pinpointed are twelve portrait paintings of modern women in our society that are of African lineage. The narration is very straightforward, sometimes it is that of a sociable tone, and at other times it is more systematic. Throughout the book are quotes that help to tie in all the subject matters that are presented.

The portraits were beautiful and interesting to look at. I didn’t know that oil paints could be used with sand, which was very informative. There were one or two names I didn’t recognize of the twelve women, but most of them I was aware of. I feel that I got a lot out of Pascaliah Omiya and Odhiambo Siangla’s Great Women of African Descent. There was so much that I didn’t know about, and probably most people if they picked up this book would be able to learn something that they hadn’t known previously. If there was any suggestion to be made, I would say that I wish the authors had written the book with the idea that all people of different ethnicities would be reading it, not only those of African origin, but overall it was a great reading experience, and a book that deserves to be sitting on your shelf.