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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eyitemi Popo's Girl Trip Tours helps millennial women explore Africa

We love a good travel experience focused on female empowerment, so when we  saw the amazing trip Eyitemi is curating with her partners we knew it deserved a feature. 


Girls Trip Tours helps millennial women confidently explore African destinations, while supporting local business women through commerce and empowering young girls through mentorship. Not only do they curate travel experiences that empower, but they are building an ecosystem of local and expatriate women who can host or guide female travelers exploring their locales. 

“Traveling alone as a woman anywhere in the world comes with its challenges and dangers. Africa is no exception. We want to help female travellers explore Africa on their own terms, and in exchange, leverage their expertise to impact the next generation of female leaders across the continent.”, says founder Eyitemi Popo.

 
Eyitemi Popo, Founder

The first Girls Trip Tour will take participants on an unforgettable adventure through Ghana, West Africa where they will explore Ghana’s tech hubs, patronize local business women, and of course take in all the awesome sites that Accra and the Cape Coast have to offer! An essential highlight of the experience will be the time spent mentoring young female coders from the Soronko Academy in Accra: West Africa’s first human-centered design school.
While the first trip is focused on tech, high ambition women from all fields are welcome. All those looking to travel to the continent in a meaningful, yet adventure-filled should check out their packages.

To help ensure the longevity of the Girls Trip Tours impact, Ayiba Magazine has already raised $2,000 toward a mentorship and advancement program for high potential African girls - starting with the 15 they will be mentoring at the coding academy in Ghana. 

Girls Trip is looking for interested travelers to join the experience June 30th - July 8th, 2018 in Ghana. They are also looking for women living in Accra to get involved with the mentorship program or sign up to their travel network where they can earn money for hosting or guiding solo travelers. 

For more information, head to www.girlstrip.tours and join the mailing list to stay up to date

You can also follow @GirlsTripTours on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girlstriptours/

This project is led by Ayiba Magazine’s Eyitemi Popo, who has been featured in She Leads Africa, named a leading woman by BusinessDay, and is also Danone Paris ProgramEVE Influencer because of her work amplifying the African female voice in media. Eyitemi, together with her advisors - Candace Nkoth-Bisseck, who was #1 on Forbes 30 under 30 changemakers, Regina Honu, one of BBC's 100 Women in 2017, and Tania Habimana, a serial entrepreneur who recently launched a Standard Bank backed fashion accelerator in South Africa - want to leverage their networks to advance the African female agenda through travel, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WCA Presents Build Brunch, Freetown A WCACreatives Sponsored Event


To Launch our African  Women Build Series for 2018 we launch the Build Brunch! We are so excited for this first experience which will be held in Freetown Sierra Leone. Here are a few details about our  upcoming event.

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What is the Build Brunch?

Build Brunch is a 2-hour intensive intimate masterclass held with 10 selected women focusing on various topic areas of need meant to help women in the start- up years of their business grow and enhance the services of their business. This is a hands on, concrete workshop with experts who will help you enhance and develop your business, personal brand, career or organisation.
 
Who is behind the Build Brunch?

 The BB brunch is brought to you by Moiyattu Banya-Keister through her media brand Women|Change|Africa  and it is sponsored by her communications company WCA Creatives. Moiyattu has over 12 years of experience in developing programs, brands, for women and girls and will apply her communication background in amplifying the voices of female owned brands through her platform Women Change Africa a sisterbrand to WCA Creatives. It is Moiyattu's hope to bring an intimate group of women together in various cities to help them tap into their purpose and reach their fullest potential. 

What will participants gain?

By the end of the workshop participants will have developed or received critical feedback in strengthening a full brand profile, received tips on how to improve or start their story telling digitally online, and develop a network of women interested in increasing their brand presence.

Where is the event?

This event will be held on Wednesday, June 20th in Freetown Sierra Leone at the Swiss Spirit Hotel from 11am-1pm.

Who should be there?

Female entrepreneurs & professionals who are interested in learning how to position their brand online, reach their target audience, whilst being authentic.

What is the cost and what does it cover?

The workshop costs Le 275,000. The workshop will cover the price of workshop materials, professional feedback and hands on learning to improve your brand, lunch, and a professional profile photoshoot by a professional photographer to enhance their brands. 

Why branding?

In today’s world with so much noise in the digital space, it is important that whatever we are providing to our clients, or our online community is not only meaningful but it is authentic personable and represents who you truly are. Branding is what helps you connect to the right audience, branding helps you position yourself for the right opportunities. We live in an online world as much as an offline world, branding is the bridge to ensure you are living your truest self offline as well as online. 

What should you expect? 

The workshop will feature industry professionals, a Pop-up Power Chat by  Ms. Nadia Sasso A professional who has had significant success in the field of digital branding to share some insights, the workshop will also feature hands on exercises with critical feedback to enhance your brand.

Anything else I should know? 

This will include a raffle for a 20 minute 1:1 branding session with WCA Creatives our partner Communications Firm. 


We look forward to hosting you soon! Grab a friend, clear your lunch/brunch schedules and see you soon. 


                   

Monday, April 9, 2018

Edwina Kulego is Building the Beauty Industry for Women of Color through her Lipstick Brand



As part of our African Women Build Series, we interview  Edwina Kulego, owner of Essentials by Edwina a vegan cruelty free lipstick line in partnership with Celfie Cosmetics.  We Admire Edwina's passion and drive for entrepreneurship. With her recently launched beauty line, we have a chat with her on business, life and success. 




WCA : Who was Edwina Kulego growing up?

I was very curious and inquisitive while growing up which resulted in my desire to constantly read books. My mother bought toys for my older brother and books for me. I remember when I got my first encyclopedia, I was so happy and excited to learn new things. I had the opportunity to travel a lot across Europe while young so my love for culture grew at an early age.

My mother was a single mom who started her business by doing hair at our home. Her efforts eventually lead to opening the first salon and beauty supply for Afro hair in Malmo, Sweden. I spent a lot of time with her in the salon; learning how to service customers and how to handle finances. I am very grateful for that experience as I now realize that it gave growth to the business savvy side of me.

WCA: Tell us about Edwina The brand and the businesses she now owns?

In 2017, I realized my passion for creating positive business solutions and value for women. It came to me in the most effortless and genuine way. I found myself surrounded by so many wonderful women with great business ideas who were seeking my advise on different things.

This passion now manifests in various efforts; mentorship, consulting, and partnerships. My partnership with Celfie Cosmetics resulted in the launch of my first beauty collection “Essentials By Edwina” a three color vegan lipstick collection designed for busy women on the go. I wanted to create something simple yet luxurious that every woman could wear.

I am also working with FASH:ED, a Fashion support network and resource hub based in London. I have the privilege of mentoring a fashion designer over the course of 6 years. It’s been a great experience so far.

Edwina Kulego as a brand is still evolving which is very exciting. I am finding myself in great spaces, being exposed to amazing people, places and ideas. I am currently working on my second beauty collection with Celfie Cosmetics launching Spring / Summer 2018.


WCA: With all the amazing things going on around you, how do you balance business life and pleasure or having a self-care check in?

I was blessed with the gift of carrying a child this year; it is the most wonderful surprise I’ve ever received. Realizing that I am going to become a mother and being responsible for another human being has definitely put things in perspective for me.

Before getting pregnant, I was under the impression that I made time for myself but after stepping back and evaluating I realized how much I actually worked. In industries like entertainment and fashion it’s easy to mix business with pleasure. For example, I am always networking and connecting even on vacation or at a party. It’s important to be conscious of that balance and switch the worker bee off in order to enjoy the moment.

In finding balance I have also learned to “take back my weekends” by actually doing that I love; taking walks, reading books, or having brunch with my girls. I used to utilize my weekends to catch up on work that I missed and I have decided to no longer do that, unless it’s imperative. A great tip is to make plans and book them in your calendar so you don’t forget to have some fun, go to the spa and actually take care of yourself.


WCA: What are your biggest accomplishments so far?

Becoming a mother, I am due this spring but my experience being pregnant has been the most life changing time for me. Connecting with this life inside of me is just unreal. Moving to New York by myself at the age of 19 will always be a big accomplishment for me. Launching my own brand has definitely been a great entrepreneurial and learning experience and I am really excited to continue growing the brand.

WCA: how do you stay up to date in the entrepreneurial world ?

By connecting with my entrepreneurial peers and reading articles and books that pertain to new ideas and developments. I am also writing my first book this year, which is extremely exciting. I have grown so much as an entrepreneur by sharing therefore I think it’s time to put some of my experiences in writing.

                                           

WCA: What keeps you going in times of challenges

Having conversations with my mother, Beatrice Morton. The never-ending support, and wisdom that she provides is priceless. When times get tough she reminds me of the curious little Edwina and she keeps me going.

WCA: What is your message to young African women wanting to start their entrepreneurial journey whether in fashion or beauty or any other category?

My message would be to try and be as specific as possible with your goals and business plan. There will always be competition around you but when you narrow down your idea into a specific need that’s when you have something powerful and unique.

Another piece of advice that I would share is the importance of knowing your customer. It’s key in getting successful results from your endeavors. Knowing the behaviors of your ideal customer, Where they shop? What they do in their spare time? What social media platforms they are on? Etc.



WCA: Tea or coffee?

I enjoy tea but coffee does the trick for me. I love the caffeine kick in the morning before starting my day.

WCA: Lipstick or eyebrow?

Lipstick for sure. A bold lip can turn any frown into a smile. One of my favorites is Shiraz from the Essentials By Edwina collection.

                                               

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Community Building & Self Care Reimagined: A Spotlight on Dawa Apothecary




This month we focus on Community building and wellness as a practice of building authentic relationships. We will focus brands and individuals who do this within their work as a way of bringing positivity and upliftment to women of color. One of the brands whose work we admire is Dawa Apothecary a brand founded by Sulafa Said Silim. 

Sulafa Silim

With over 13 years of exploring identity through varying lenses, Sulafa has always been interested in the intersection between identity, self image and creativity. Working internationally as a Digital Producer & Manager— she is a digital expert with a passion for storytelling, technology and digital innovation working across sectors including nonprofits, education and advertising. She is currently entering her next adventure as a creative entrepreneur exploring the intersection of gender, race and culture focusing on health and wellness with her company, Dawa Apothecary. 

Workshop at Dawa Apothecary


Dawa Apothecary is a borderless health and wellness social club that hosts curated events aimed to bring women of color into the fold of the self care conversation. We look forward to future collaborations with Sulafa and her brand in the near future. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fine Dining Company creating traditional African dishes unapologetically for a Global Experience launches website!


                                    



We are so excited to announce the launch of Maria Bradford Kitchen's website! For many who follow this amazing brand on their various platforms, the one thing we love about the uniqueness of their services and products is that the Founder Maria Bradford taps into her Sierra Leonean cultural heritage using key intricate ingredients in a high quality and dynamic way to reach a global platform.








From her Oxtail peanut butter soup served with coconut rice, to her cucumber grun soup rolls, her signature chili sauce and so much more, we are so excited to watch her new journey grow.  Maria's kitchen is about "the reinvention of traditional dishes, fused with fresh and sustainable ingredients, taking inspiration from her Sierra Leonean heritage". She offers services ranging from private dining events, teach Sierra Leonean cooking throughout the United Kingdom and West Africa.  We congratulate Maria Bradford on the launch of her website.

                                      

 For more on her work and to book her services visit www.Maria Bradford Kitchen.  



Sunday, March 11, 2018

This Hotel in Sierra Leone, West Africa promotes women in leadership

In the spirit of all things women's empowerment and promoting selfcare and travel lifestyle. We spotlight a hotel which prides itself as as a hotel like no other one that offers unrivaled services in Freetown Sierra Leone, the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel. We sat with Hafsatu Serry of Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel to talk about the importance of empowering women working in the hotel, and their women in leadership program. 


WCA: Tell me a bit about how Radisson Blu is empowering women within the organization?

RB: Based on their marvelous performance, we have 18 female staff that have been promoted onto a senior levels last year. It is mandatory for all of our female staff to actively participate in all trainings, discussions and activities.


WCA: Describe 2-3 of some of the women that work on your staff and what qualities stand out about them in their line of work?


RB: They are hardworking ladies who provide support to their staff, in which they understand that there is a need for women to be empowered and also how difficult it is for them to balance between personal and professional commitments.

WCA: How many female employees do you have and how do you ensure you are recruiting and retaining your female employees?

RB: We have 77 females as employees and for all vacancies it is highlighted and stressed for women to apply.


WCA: How does Radisson Blu as a whole support women's empowerment?

RB: It is one of the parent (Radisson Hotel Group) company’s core principles in which there’s a programme specially designed called ‘Women In Leadership’. In which the Radisson Hotel Group wants to enlarge their number of female in senior positions while at the same time challenge the existing thinking. The Radisson Hotel Group wants to tackle each female employees individual strengths and make leaders out of them.


WCA: What community outreach does Radisson Blue do to support  that empowers women?

RB: Ever since operation (2014) we have had 120 various vocational institutions for internship at the hotel. At the end of their training, if there is an open vacancy we take the best students and for those who want to continue at other places we add their experience with us under their cv.

WCA:What is Radisson Blu's take on mentoring women and empowering younger women in the organization? 

RB: We believe in and also celebrate diversity and also respect what’s different and remarkable about each of our female staff. At every level within the hotel, we strongly allow their participation in which we identify and highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this we actively work on them through training, open conversations about their careers and how to examine different approaches towards their work.


WCA: If there was one advice you would share with other women who are interested in entering into this field what would you say?

RB: Get ready for everything! In hospitality, working with customers and behind the scenes gives you an insight and teaches you what it takes to effectively run complex operations. It is an experience worth a lifetime as you learn and gain new things that can be incredibly useful in the future even if you wish to leave the industry and find something new.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy IWD 2018! Celebrating Community and Sisterhood through Music


Music is such a powerful source, it makes us dance, sing and express ourselves as African women. Music can be a conduit for art, activism. This year we celebrate African women artists who are blazing trails in their various industries. What better way than to celebrate the following artists including, from South Africa to Senegal we wanted you to jam and celebrate African female uniqueness through music this year. Some featured artists include  Yvonne Chaka Chaka from South Africa, Maame Afon from Ghana, Oumou Sangare from Mali, India Arie from the United States and so much more. We hope you enjoy this spotify playlist and remember to celebrate all the women doing amazing things this year! To listen to our spotify playlist click WCA IWD 2018 Playlist. Happy International Women's Day let's celebrate all of our achievements! 

From the WCA Team.




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