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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The African Women's Development Fund USA Hosts its 3rd Afriwomen Hangout



                                 

On March 14th 2019, the African Women's Development Fund USA hosted it's 3rd Afriwomen Hangout event in collaboration with Women|Change|Africa, MILT & Moremi Initiative. The annual gathering brings together seasoned and wisdom filled African women and new energy young African women to create an intergenerational space and platform for African women living in the Diaspora. The program stemmed from the yearning to create support networks and resources for African women in the diaspora who are often overlooked or seen as being "okay". 

The gathering provided a space for the women to discuss their challenges they experience on a daily basis, the types of supports they need to thrive and how they see themselves creating a better future for African women both in the Diaspora and on the African continent. Notable African feminists were a part of this monumental gathering including Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi Co-Founder of the African Women's Development Fund, Dr. Abena Busia Ambassador of Ghana to Brazil, Maame Afon Yelbert-Sai AWDF-USA Board Chair amongst many others.

The event ended with a positive, and powerful feminist energy of women determined to create new connections, and produce fresh ideas on how to maintain genuine relationships, whilst nurturing new mentoring ones, and looking to the future of creating more spaces for Afriwomen in the Diaspora. 








Google Africa Launches Women Will Initiative


On March 8th, Google Africa Launched its Women Will Lead Program. To celebrate International Women's Day Google Africa launched a film featuring various African female musicians following their journeys through their career, in order to inspire women globally. 

This year, google is contributing to women's empowerment through the expansion of their Women Will Initiative in Africa. They aim to support women with the right skills through coaching, mentorship and community support to access various opportunities within their communities. 

According to Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub Saharan Africa "Google Africa aims to add 18 Women Will Chapter across Sub Saharan Africa and will support women within these chapters to build skills, find inspiration and connect with each other through trainings, events and advocacy". For more on this new initiative visit: Google Africa Blog



As part of the launch of their initiative, Google Africa also launched a film
"Women will lead, create and inspire" . Check it out here: 










Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Celebrating African Women Culture Shifters in the Diaspora

We are celebrating African women in the diaspora community that inspire us in many ways because of how they are shifting culture in their various spaces of work. Every year around this time, we like to curate some type of list of the women we have our eyes on for the year and all the amazing work they are doing. These women have been studied, handpicked and trailed for some time.  Personally as EIC, I have either had coffee, skype chatted, or blatantly stalked their linked in profiles. 

We wanted to highlight women who you may not hear about every day on the "big screen" but are doing amazing work in their various spaces most of these women are professionals who are also running their businesses at the same time. What's not to celebrate and applaud? We present this year's list of culture shifters in the Diaspora. Get to know them and celebrate them all year round. This list is not curated as a ranking list but more so as a celebration list. 


Sulafa Salim, Dawa Apothecary, Canada 
Sulafa is a trainer, facilitator, project manager, but more than anything else, she is a connector. She is the founder of Dawa Apothecary, bringing her expertise as a health and wellness consultant together with her desire to connect women of color to a wellness space that is tailored specifically for them. 


For more on Sulafa and her work visit www.dawaapothecary.com 

Eyitemi Popo, Ayiba Magazine, Canada 



Eyitemi is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ayiba Magazine. She is a Master of Digital Experience Innovation graduate from the University of Waterloo and an alumna of Mount Holyoke College. She also holds a graduate certificate in digital publishing from New York University. She also founder of Girls Trip a community built to encourage African millennial women to travel across Africa whilst also doing good. 

For more on Eyitemi's work visit www.ayibamag.com 

Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, Inspire Health SOlutions LLC & Association of Minority Women Professionals, The United States 



Dr Nwando Olayinka is  CEO and Founder of Inspire Health Solutions, LLC and the Association of Minority Women Professionals, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer of RubiconMD, a leading technology company that provides electronic consultations between physicians to improve access to care. She also serves on the board of the African Women's Development Fund-USA. 

For more on Nwando's work visit: http://www.drnwando.com/


Cynthia Amo, Africans Gone Natural, The United States 
Cynthia Amo has garnered tremendous success in her platform and online community Africans Gone Natural. A community that seeks to empower and uplift and educate African women about their natural hair. She has move on along with her partner to launch Afrikinky a product line that focuses on natural products from Africa necessary for hair, skin and body. Cynthia is also an accountant by day and serves on the board of the African Women's Development Fund USA. 


For more on Cynthia's work visit www.afrikinky.com 

Farai Simoyi, The Narrativ, Bloom The United States 

We love a good concept shop with African owned luxury brands. This is exactly what our girl Farai is doing in her Brooklyn owned concept store the Narrative, where she hosts various global eclectic African owned brands. Farai also hosts a gathering for women entrepreneurs called Bloom. 

For more on Farai and her work visit www.thenarativ.com 

Rita Oluchi, The Building You Foundation & Corporate Black Girl, The United States

There is nothing that makes us happier than seeing other black women helping other black women to succeed. This is exactly what Rita Oluchi is doing with her company corporate black girl, a company that is focused on supporting black women in corporate America to land their dream jobs. Rita has also recently launched the Nigeria version of Corporate Black Girl, Corporate Black Girl Nigeria. 

For more on Rita and her work visit https://www.thebyf.org


Farai Mubaiwa, African Matters, The United Kingdom
                                                    
Farai Mubaiwa is project manager at The Aurum Institute, a leading African TB and HIV research and implementation institute. She is a Queen’s Young Leader for South Africa for 2017, a One Young World Ambassador and a King’s Principal’s Global Leadership Award Recipient. She is also co-founder of Africa Matters. 

For more on Farai's work visit www. Africamatters.com

Stephanie Quaye, Naa Duku, The Netherlands 
        


Headwrapping became very special to Stephanie when she started to wear it more often in the year 2015.  She drew many to her creative sense of headwrapping in the Netherlands. With her Ghanaian cultural heritage she has found a way to infuse her creativity, culture and womanhood into her brand Naa Duku a brand that aims to bring women together to equip them with the art of styling and wearing inspired headwraps. 

For more on Stephanie's work visit www.naaduku.com 


Adaku Ezeudo, Phoenix Rize, Denmark


          


Adaku Ezeudo is on a mission to engage, educate and empower individuals, companies and organisations to recognise the value of diversity & Inclusion. She is passionate about creating
platforms which celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity, explore differences and embrace multiple
ways of thinking and working together. Founder of PhoenixRize, she is a Diversity & Inclusion
Consultant, trainer, life coach, mentor and speaker. 

For more on Adaku's work visit: http://phoenixrize.ie/

Micheala Turay, MQ Events LLC , The United States 
           

With a keen eye for details, beauty and glam, Micheala has found a way to turn her passion for curating impeccable events with her business MQ events. She is a mother and enjoys spending time with her daughter whilst taking on the events world with  a bang.  Micheala plans everything from weddings, to small launch events, to birthday parties and constantly brings a unique flare to every event she produces. 

For more on Micheala's work visit www.mqevents.com

Maria Bradford, Maria Bradford Kitchen, The United Kingdom 
     

Maria Bradford is a creative culinary artist and genius, she is of Sierra Leonean heritage, based in the United Kingdom. She utilizes her love for food, culture and people to share Sierra Leonean inspired cuisine with the world. You can find her creating some of the most artistic and mouth watering dishes which are Sierra Leonean inspired with a global palette. 

For more on her work visit mariabradfordkitchen.com 

Rashidat Oyegunle, Tailoring Needs, The United States 
  

If you don't know who Rashidat Oyegunle is, stop what you are doing right now and follow her brand Tailoring Needs.  Tailoring needs is a one stop shop for all things African fashion. The platform helps you find the nearest custom wear fashion designer. Rashidat is also an engineer by day. 

For more on Rashidat's work visit www. tailoringneeds.com


Wura Kolawale, Miss Wu on Hair, The United States  
No one should have a wedding and not hire Wu for their wedding hair style.  Wura is a hair stylist, enthusiast and as she calls herself a "Hair Slayer". She is also a grade school teacher by day and a firm believer in Jesus Christ 365 days of the year. 

For more on Wura's work visit www.misswuvirginhair.com 


Mahawa Kamara, Mahawa Kamara Consults Ltd., The United Kingdom 
                                         
Mahawa Kamara has been dedicated to supporting business professionals in the design of their business. Looking for business development support ranging from business strategy and beyond? Mahawa is the person you need. She centers her business around faith, family and business. She is also owner of the Soap Connoisseur a skin luxury company.
For more on her work visit www.mahawakamara.com 

Aisha Addo, Power to Girls Foundation & Driver Her App, Canada 




Aisha is a graduate in Business Administration and uses her true passion and dedication in ensuring girls around the world are provided with the guidance and resources that help them identify their true purpose and calling to reach their full potential. She founded Power To Girls Foundation a non for profit organization that helps offer mentoring to girls. She is currently launching her DriverHER app a ride sharing service for women by women which is her latest initiative.
For more on her work visit www.aishaaddo.com 
Wunmy Eyiwunmi, Those African Chicks Podcast, The United States 


Wummy is the curator of the podcast Those Africa Chicks, she is a firm believer in telling stories about African women that breaks the typical monolith about our lives. On her podcast she explores, femininity, womanism, identity and many other topics. 
For more on her work visit http://www.thoseafricanchicks.com/about


Desiree Young, Vice President Programs, Tory Burch Foundation, The United States 


Désirée is the Vice President of Programs at the Tory Burch Foundation. She is involved in several philanthropic efforts including her most recently led Cotton Tree Philanthropy Advisors, a company she started in 2012. Prior to that, she lived in Nigeria working as the Director of Entrepreneurship & Leadership Development for the Tony Elumelu Foundation. She began her career in philanthropy at the Robin Hood Foundation in New York and later at Synergos Institute, an international development organization connecting philanthropists to solve complex social issues. She is an active board member of several organizations in the U.S. and abroad.


For more on Desiree visit http://www.toryburchfoundation.org


Sarah, Nakintu Kintu New York, Switzerland 



Sarah is founder and creative director of Kintu New York a handmade global bag curated with Italian leather and Kenyan craftsmanship. Sarah is on a mission to preserve artisanship, culture and her love for travel all in one brand. Her brand brings a refreshing vibe to the fashion industry. Sarah is of Ugandan heritage and is a true social entrepreneur with experience in working across industries and companies such as Google, Aol and many others. 

For more on Sarah's work visit https://www.kintunewyork.com/


Edwina Kulego, Essentials by Edwina, The United States 



Born and raised in Sweden by Ghanaian parents, Edwina Kulego manages International Business Development at UBM Fashion Group. Edwina is the founder and CEO of Essentials by Edwina; A vegan, make up collection in partnership with Celfie Cosmetics. She began her career working for Zara/Inditex Group, as a Sales Manager in Copenhagen Denmark. 


For more on Edwina's work visit www.edwinakulego.com 

Susy, Oludele, The United States 

Susy is a hair creative genius, she owns a hair shop in brooklyn by the name of Hair by Susy where she creates the most eclectic, creative masterpieces for women's hair. She is known for creating hair styles for Solange, Beyonce and many other celebrities. Susy doesn't just stop at her hair shop, she also recently released a book titled Lady a collection of women and celebrating their various identities with hair at the center of it all. 
For more on Susy's work visit www.hairbysusy.com 










Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Bosschiques on the Rise: 5 millennial Sierra Leonean creative entrepreneurs to watch

Sierra Leone like most African countries has seen an upsurge in youth unemployment, with little to minimal opportunities for youth even as they graduate college, young women in Sierra Leone are not sitting by and letting the status quo define them. As we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship week, we thought it would be good to highlight 5 of the millennial in Sierra Leone taking the entrepreneurial landscape by storm. We celebrate the many young female owned business in Sierra Leone.


Mahawa Lahai:  Chelma's Design 

A boutique be spoke accessories company, Chelma is bold, creative and out of the box in the accessories and clothing they create. The founder  Mahawa Lahai takes pride in hand making every accessory fit for women men and caters to specific occasions as well, including weddings, parties, etc. From frill earrings, to peplum belts, to hand made crossage flowers for weddings, to kids clothing, Chelma is your one stop accessory and clothing  spot if you want something unique for your occasion and out of the box. Tell her what you want ad she will make it come alive. For more on Chelma Designs Chelma's Design.



Kaata Peters & Maama Minah : JNAP Ventures 

Two years ago JNAP Ventures an enterprise was founded by two sisters Kaata Minah-Peters and Her sister Maama Minah. The company provides extra academic activities and extra curricular activities for children ages 5-15. In addition to their services the company provides event planning and curated child experiences in the form of kiddie birthday parties, afterschool sessions etc. The company also provides personalized  apparel for various events such as birthday parties, workshop etc. For more on JNAP Ventures visit JNAP Ventures.


Ramona Sankoh:  Monaj Designs

From ankara inspired planners, to handmade earrings and funky fanny packs, Ramona Sankoh's pieces are for the everyday professional woman with style. Her office accessories are what wow-ed us when we first met her at the Night Market hosted by Vickie Remoe Doherty this past December. For more on Monaj visit Monaj Designs.

                 

Favour Chidinma Martins: Dinma's Glow Makeup

What we love about Favour is her dedication to her craft. Sierra Leone is buzzing with a new upsurge of beauty experts but what truly sets any professional apart is their customer service, attention to detail, professionalism and how they connect with their clientele. This is part of who Favour is and what makes Dinma's Glow stand out. They are definitely a beauty and makeup company we have our seal on. For more on Dinma's make up visit Dinma's Glow.


Iye Jalloh: Nanurture 

With so much creativity and talent on the rise in Sierra Leone, who is there to tap into this talent, showcase the talent and help them grow? In comes Iye Jalloh founder of Nanurture an organization that connects talent with suitable clients, members, business partners, investors, sponsors and recruiters. With Nanurture around we know the creative sector in Sierra Leone will not only boom but hopefully grow and find sustainable ways to thrive and be recognized as a profession. For more on Nanurture follow their page Nanurture.















Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Changing the Face of Sierra Leonean Music: Reems Entertainment



We Celebrate the founders of Reems Entertainment, an all female owned marketing company with the goal of helping to nurture and market talented Sierra Leonean musicians and artists to a global platform. WCA sat with the ladies of the company for an interview:


WCA: Our theme this year is African Women Build and as a young African woman on the continent it is exciting to see you building your marketing company Reems Entertainment, tell us a bit about why you decided to launch this business?

RE: We decided to launch this business because in a country like ours, there is a need for professional marketers and we deem it fit to have a company, where it’s an all-female marketing/entertainment company to push what we know and what we have passion for. Our company is the only all-female marketing/entertainment company in Sierra Leone. Our CEO happens to be a Celebrity whose background is in Psychology who gets to meet people every day and has met so many people in different business, and was a quick like in Sierra Leone, while the other partner’s background is in Accounting and Business Management, making it a really good blend, making the decision to collaborate very easy.  Marketing is dealing with people; customer service is our priority and we stand for what we believe in. A marketing company was simply the easiest business that we can all do, matching our strengths and skills.

WCA: What inspired you to target artists in Sierra Leone?

RE: As mentioned earlier, being a celebrity and dealing with entertainers’ day in and day out, was the major reason. I know what we are lacking and what we are lacking is branding/Marketing. We do have talents; however, we don’t know how to execute, we don’t have really good teams to help us in Sierra Leone. A lot of these artists, only go to the studio and sing, but doesn’t really know what being a star comes with, which also builds the frustrations, as it feels that they don’t grow at all. After the Branding Master Class, I myself learned a lot and basically thought, the first step to dealing with these artists is to teach them, how to brand and market themselves. A lot of the know are experienced and know what It takes but majority doesn’t. They don’t understand branding and that it comes with being a celebrity. So therefore, teaching them will be the ultimate first step and everything else will follow.

WCA: What are the some of the challenges you experience as women entrepreneurs in a male dominated field as music?

RE: A major challenge is the fact that they don’t believe in it, collectively as a society we sometimes have this idea that women together are a disaster, so we get to hear, this company is not going to last, because women fight all the time and there is no future in an all female business. As much as we are proud to say that we are an all-female company, we also get to hear, where are the men? Without a man, it will be hard for it to succeed. Our vision, mission and goal, gives us the strength and we know we are in it to win it, whatever they can do we can also do better.


WCA: How do you infuse culture with your work?

RE: By respecting each other, being able to speak up when need be, every one knows their roles and responsibilities, we try to make work a safe, fun and healthy environment.

WCA:  What has been your greatest success to date what is your goal for Sierra Leonean music through Reems?

RE: Our major success is since the signing of Empress Pee a Sierra Leonean female artist, who is now recognized as one of the best female rappers in Sierra Leone. Our goal, is for Sierra Leone music to be heard across the continent, and then the world, and for our videos to be played in major countries, because visuals sell, and our superstars need to being recognized.


WCA: What is your vision for Reems Entertainment in the next 5 years?

RE: To make Reems one the biggest marketing, branding and entertainment companies in Sierra Leone.

WCA: Any advice for women entrepreneurs and artists starting out in this industry?

RE: Believe in your dreams, collaborate with other women who has the same aim and vision as you. Don’t take no for an answer, go for what you want and most importantly put God first. Last but not least, remember that hard work does pay off.

For more on their work visit Reems Services SL Limited
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