About Us

Roots In Africa and Ireland (RIAINetwork) is an initiative which aims to promote inclusion, equity and diversity within Irish society. RIAINetwork strives to build understanding and instill pride of being African and Irish through knowledge, empowerment and representation.

RIAINetwork will facilitate connections, strengthen community resilience, and provide a wealth of knowledge of African heritage for communities that are rooted in Africa and Ireland. RIAINetwork will accomplish these goals by establishing the following:


Human beings desire attachment, belonging, and connection. RIAINetwork will provide a space to form and nurture relationships by discovering and understanding our own history. RIAINetwork will facilitate connections of our members through activities that involve culture and language.

Core Identity

By receiving an understanding of African cultural backgrounds, individuals will develop a stronger sense of self. Evidence-based narratives of African cultures will develop authenticity and core identity.


It is important to build self-love and knowledge of being worthy of acceptance and respect as African and as Irish. This will be done through workshops, literature, mentorship, knowledge of rights and skills of tackling racism.

Our Founders

Diane Ihirwe

Diane Ihirwe is a Pan-African woman, mother, and community builder who resides in Ireland. She is also a social worker, speaker, writer, volunteer, activist, and social justice seeker. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Trinity College Dublin. This is in addition to having an undergraduate degree in social care from Technological University Dublin.

Joy-Tendai Kangere

Zimbabwean born, Joy-Tendai Kangere is an advocate for education equity, adult learning, justice di, equity, diversity, and inclusion. She holds a BCL(Hons) from UCD Sutherland School of Law and has previous experience in business management, compliance, and marketing.

Our Team

We believe in the power and potential of youth. Driven by this belief, our mission is to support youth who can trace their roots to the African continent to create positive change towards more inclusive, fair and sustainable communities.

Our goal is to help young people celebrate their cultural identity and duality that empowers and helps young people thrive in white spaces without feeling inadequate. This includes their uniqueness be it in skin colour, hair texture and bodies. Rooted & United Youth is a safe and brave hub for holistic growth, independence and sisterhood/ brotherhood that transcends borders, languages that works on the principles of knowledge, empowerment and representation.

I am described as an experienced, result driven, resourceful and analytical professional, award winner and ambassador who has contributed positively to Black youths in Ireland through entertainment. Who has passion for youth growth and development.
Vicky Musitongo (also known as Vicky Inspires) is a Social Media Influencer and a model. She is the founder of ‘Unspoken Truths’ series. Vicky is a Diversity and Inclusion Advocate who is vocal about issues faced by black people. She is involved in women empowerment initiatives and as a domestic violence survivor herself, she uses her platform to advocate for women's rights. She is a mother of two and is deeply passionate about uplifting future generations.

Rooted & United Men is a hub for holistic growth, support and network building for men who can trace their roots to the African continent and includes those united to the continent through family ties.

Working on the pillars of knowledge, empowerment and representation to create a brotherhood that transcends borders, languages, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and help change the narratives about black men, especially the ‘dangerous black man’. Black men are much more than that and have made many positive contributions to Irish society.

Oisín O'Connor is one of our Rooted Men leaders. From, Dublin, Oisín previously lived in Limpopo, South Africa where he met his wife, Mercy. They now live in Dublin with their daughter, Saoirse. Oisín is a long-time sustainable transport advocate and since 2020 has been a Green Party councillor in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown for the Glencullen-Sandyford area.
Kizito Mutahi is a social worker, Pan-Africanist and human rights defender. He thrives from close collaboration with others who share his passion for social justice and equality. He holds a background in film-making, social care, human rights, community development, research, policy, activism and activism spanning over 20 years in Ireland and Kenya.

We recognise the intersections within womanhood and the important role held by women in ensuring that women’s voices are heard and represented at all levels of society. Through women’s natural leadership skills, they can mentor, sponsor and empower societies especially communities that are underrepresented.

Rooted & United Women is a celebration of all women who can trace their roots to the African continent, works under the three pillars of knowledge, empowerment and representation, with women from all backgrounds in the spirit of Ubuntu and shared sisterhood to help make our society more equitable and sustainable for future generations.

Mavis, from a refugee background herself, joined the Irish Reefugee Council as an Employment Engagement Officer. Her main role is to delvelop partnerships with businesses and employers to create inclusive employment opportunities for women with refugee status. Mavis has been an active advocate in a number of capacities, most recently as Global Citizenship Educator in secondary schools with Amnesty International, and has extensive experience as a skills development practitioner in the corporate sector, holding a number of educational credentials in leadership and business strategy.
Johanne Webb is a theatre performer, director and writer, a mother, and Family Constellations Facilitator. Her family is rooted in both Ireland and East Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia. She is passionate about working to create an Ireland that is willing to look at its past with a critical and compassionate eye in order to create a fully inclusive society for the future. Johanne is honoured and delighted to be Co-leading Rooted & United Women.

Our organisation’s main aim is to help build inclusive societies and Rooted & United LGBTQI+ is a inclusive and safe space that through knowledge, empowerment and representation seeks to challenge several myths &stigma around the LGBTQI+ community.

Our leaders will answer questions frequently asked of QTIPOC (queer, trans and/or intersex Black people and people of colour) In addition, we will support your right to be you & provide a safe space to exchange any interrogation about your gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Beryl Ohas. My current career is in pharmaceuticals. I love to touch hearts. I call myself pride because to attain pride is to be free but when the LGBTQI+ are not freed...
Maryse Inema. Originally from Tanzania, Maryse moved to Belgium at a young age and then to Ireland to earn a Graduate Degree in Marketing and Management at LIT (Limerick Institute of Technology) in 2015. She is a big believer that love should be gender neutral. Inclusion and pride in how one identifies should be the norm through out our community.