Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith (1953 - ) is a writer, feminist activist and development consultant of English – Ghanaian heritage. In 1975 she was the first woman of colour to be elected President of Leicester University Student’s Union, while in 2001 she became the first woman of colour to be elected Chair of the Fawcett Society. In 1977-9 Esua served as one of the first black volunteers to be sent on Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Tanzania.
During her career she has acted as Commissioner for the Women's National Commission, Chair and Co-Founder of the Gender and Development Network, Vice-Chair of ActionAid UK, a Trustee of the Equality and Diversity Forum and a member of the UK Government delegation to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. After reconnecting with her Ghanaian father and heritage in her 40s, she was enstooled as Queen Mother of Development of her village in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2009.
BACK TO THE ROOTS
Esua has recently completed her Memoir exploring Mixed Race identity to be published by Jacaranda Press in 2020.
Esua speaks at the London Library at the "Twenty in 2020" pre- launch.
Born to a Ghanaian father and English mother Esuantsiwa was brought up by her mother and step-father in a white working class family in South London in the 1950’s.
When Esuantsiwa traced her African roots in the 1970’s she was reunited with her father and Ghanaian family and astonished to discover she was Ghanaian Royalty, Princess of her home Village.
In 2009 Esuantsiwa Jane was invited to become the Queen Mother of Development for the Akoanso Village and was crowned in an emotional and exhilarating ceremony.
In 1995 she founded Anona Development Consultancy, offering strategic planning, management and governance development, facilitation, training and team-building.
Esua was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leicester in 2015 for her contribution to women’s rights, equality and the voluntary sector.
In 2018, to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage, Leicester University unveiled a specially-commissioned portrait of Esua as the first woman – and the only ever woman of colour – to be elected President of Leicester University Students’ Union (1975-6).