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Ashley Lamothe started working at Chick-Fil-A when she was 15 years old to earn money for her first car purchase. Little did she know that she would become the youngest franchise owner in the history of Chick-Fil-A at the age of 26.

“Chick-Fil-A has been a part of my life since high school, so I don’t feel like I am making history,” Lamothe told a news outlet. “That said, it’s really cool that so many people have been inspired by my journey and that feels like a huge honor.”

Lamothe was selected to open the first restaurant location in Los Angeles. Then, she opened her second location in downtown Los Angeles. With nearly a decade of experience as a franchise owner, Lamothe is focused on building a team of great leaders. Her mission is to help others obtain the same support that enabled her to tap into the possibilities of being a franchise owner.

Creating a Foundation for Success

Lamothe started her journey at Chick-Fil-A as a team member in Atlanta. She continued working at the restaurant as a director on the leadership team while attending Spelman College.

“At the time, I thought it was just a great job to have while pursuing my degree in theatre,” Lamothe shared on the company website, But working at Chick-Fil-A became a window into her future. One day, her restaurant Operator inquired about her long-term goals and recommended she consider leadership opportunities. This interaction inspired Lamothe to change her major to economics so she could build a solid foundation in business.

Lamothe adds, “I’d never considered it. Sometimes you just need someone to help you see your potential,”

After college graduation, Lamothe participated in the Chick-fil-A management and development program. Three years later, she achieved her goal of becoming a franchise owner.

Lamothe shared her best advice for other aspiring franchise owners with Rolling out; “Gain work experience at a local restaurant. A lot of people say they want to own a franchise but have never worked in a restaurant. It’s hard, hands-on work and you really have to know what you are getting into.”

Increasing Chick-Fil-A Franchise Owners

According to Lamothe’s website, she has traveled all over the world speaking to women about economic empowerment. In 2013, she traveled around Europe delivering business education on behalf of Chick-Fil-A. A year later, she led one of the first female-focused business retreats for franchise owners.

Lamothe continues to be a resource for individuals seeking to become a franchise owner. She serves on the Chick-fil-A Operator Support Council and provides tips on social media and her website.

Although Ashley doesn’t shy away from sharing the challenges of entrepreneurship, she also wants others to know that it’s possible to achieve their goals. “Sometimes, you have to just step out on faith. You’re never going to feel 100% certain about your readiness, you’ve got to just go for it,” Lamothe posted on Instagram. “I can’t emphasize enough that your journey isn’t going to be a straight path, but the results will be worth it in the end. I’m living proof that entrepreneurship dreams do come true.”

Source: Blackenterprise.com

Dr. Roshawnna Novellus raised over $600,000 to fund her college education. For most people, it’s hard enough finding money to pay for one college degree. But Dr. Novellus used her crowdfunding skills to cover the cost of four degrees, from bachelor’s degrees to a Ph.D.

Now, the Atlanta-based entrepreneur is helping more women gain access to capital through her platform, EnrichHER. It was one of the first technology platforms in the U.S. to receive regulatory approval to help women secure funding and grow their business through an accelerator and Funder Matching Program.

Raising Money for Education

When 15-year-old Novellus witnessed her mom working multiple jobs to ensure she had everything she needed, she knew she had to create a strategic plan for college. Novellus decided to reach out to over 200 companies to inquire about scholarships. Her persuasive pitch worked, and companies decided to invest in her educational goals.

With $600,000 in funding, Dr. Novellus was able to pay for 11 years of higher education. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management Economics from the same University.

Then, Dr. Novellus went on to earn a Master of Science in Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2007, she finished her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, with a minor in Finance, from The George Washington University. To top it off, she achieved Summa Cum Laude in each degree program.

Dr. Novellus conquered her first major financial goal when she escaped the student loan debt statistics that many have to face. She shared her best piece of advice with Business Insider: Be specific about what you want and why you want it, always follow up with those who grant you funding, and reach out to big and small companies and organizations.

Investing In Other Women

Dr. Novellus knew her story of obtaining $600,000 to fund her education was rare. She also realized that these same financial struggles impacted women-owned businesses. After hearing constant stories about the gaps in capital access for women of color, she created an organization to redefine the narrative.

Dr. Novellus is on a mission to fund underinvested women so they can enrich their communities. Reports show that women of color receive less than 2% of venture capital funding. Dr. Novellus is seeking to put over $50M into the hands of businesses seeking to get to the next level.

In 2017, Dr. Novellus founded EnrichHER by gathering 50 organizations in Atlanta to test her idea. The full program launched in February 2019, receiving applications from 3,000 women-led businesses. Overall, the company invested $3M in 2019 and seeks to continuously grow that number.

Visit the website to learn more about how you can get involved as an investor or join the EnrichHER 

Source: Blackenterprise.com

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain. When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”

Why is this important? While our flight or fight response are extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

First Lady Jill Biden  will make history as the country’s first first lady to hold a paid job outside the White House.

Biden — who worked full-time as a community college English professor during her eight years as second lady — has said she plans to continue teaching during her time in the White House.

“I’m really looking forward to being first lady and doing the things that [I did] as second lady, carrying on with military families and education and free community college, cancer [the Biden Cancer Initiative], that Joe and I have both worked on,” Biden said  in a recent interview .” “And I’m going to teach as well.”

“It’s hard for me to think of it in historic terms I guess because I taught all eight years when I was second lady,” she replied when asked about the historic nature of her decision.

Biden has been an educator for more than three decades. She taught English at Northern Virginia Community College during the eight years her husband, President Joe Biden, served as vice president in the Obama administration.

She is planning to continue to teach at Northern Virginia Community College as first lady, but her office is not releasing any further details.

“As she did as Second Lady, out of respect for the privacy of her students and to preserve the integrity of her classroom, Dr. Biden will keep her teaching at Northern Virginia Community College separate from her public role,” Biden spokesman Michael LaRosa told ABC News in a statement.

Kate Andersen Brower, the author of several bestselling books on first ladies and the White House, described Biden’s decision to continue teaching as “unprecedented” in American history.

“It is unusual for a second lady to work but unprecedented for a first lady,” Andersen Brower told a news outlet in December. “I know from talking to the campaign that there is an understanding that she doesn’t know if she can balance both teaching and being first lady quite yet, but there is a sense of this is her hope and this is what she wants to do because she loves teaching, and it’s the career that she’s carved out for herself that is unique and different from her husband’s.”

Andersen Brower said Biden continuing in her professor role would not only be unprecedented but also hopefully a significant shift in the trajectory of first ladies.

“I think it’s incredibly important for a woman to have her own identity, especially when you’re married to a politician and now to the president,” she said. “The idea that you would have to give up your entire life for your spouse seems very antiquated.”

“I hope that people will accept Jill Biden’s desire to teach, and that she’s a wife and a mother and has a career,” added Andersen Brower, who coined the term “Professor FLOTUS” to describe Biden’s dual roles. “I hope that we’re at the point where we accept that, because I think if it was a man, we would definitely accept it.”

While second lady, Biden worked on support for military families, helped her husband with his Cancer Moonshot initiative and led initiatives to highlight community colleges across the country, all while teaching English and earning her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007.

In addition to her doctorate, Biden also holds two master’s degrees, both of which she earned “while working and raising a family,” .

Biden was forced to defend her Dr. title last year, after a Wallstreet Journal Publication challenged  her.

The op-ed’s author, Joseph Epstein, wrote that the use of doctor by Biden “sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” adding that, “A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child.”

“That was such a surprise,” Biden said on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” in response to the op-ed. “It was really the tone of it that I think that — you know, he called me kiddo.”

“And one of the things I’m most proud of is my doctorate,” she said. “I mean I worked so hard for it.”

Joe Biden also expressed displeasure about the op-ed, telling Colbert of his wife’s accomplishments, “She had two master’s degrees and she kept going to school all the time while teaching at night.”

In response to the op-ed, women took to Twitter to encourage others with degrees to add them to their name.

“Today I added “Dr” to my profile name. Thanks WSJ for the nudge,” wrote Dr. Laura Scherer, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Medical School.

Biden is entering her role as both First Lady and college professor at a time when women currently make up nearly half of the workforce in the U.S., and nearly one-third of all employed women are working mothers

In his election victory speech, Joe Biden described his wife as both a military mom and an educator who will make a “great” first lady.

“She dedicated her life to education. Teaching is not just what she does, it’s who she is,” he said. “For American educators, it is a great day for y’all. You’re going to have one of your own in the White House. And Jill is going to make a great first lady. I am so proud of her.”

Source: Abcnews.com

Mattel is honoring literary icon Dr. Maya Angelou with her very own Barbie Doll, Blavity reports

The new doll is the latest offering from Mattel’s “Inspiring Women Series” which features NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and civil rights icon Rosa Parks. The doll depicts the late Dr. Angelou, who passed away in 2014, in a patterned dress with one of her signature headwraps, holding a mini replica of her autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

The toymaker has been rolling out a number of new initiatives designed to make Barbie more diverse and inclusionary. Their “Shero Collection” features dolls in the likeness of actor and activist Yara Shahidi, model Adwoa Aboah, tennis phenom Naomi Osaka, actress Zendaya, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, ballerina Misty Copeland, visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, whose doll made history as the first-hijab wearing Barbie Doll.

Dr. Angelou was a prolific teacher, writer, author and activist who received over 50 honorary doctorate degrees over the course of her life and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. She made history as the first Black American and female poet to speak at a Presidential inauguration and her work left an indelible mark across the globe. The “Inspiring Women Series” aims to pay homage to “incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.”

In addition to the dolls, Barbie has also launched the “Barbie Dream Gap Project,” which is focused on “support[ing] girls in reaching their limitless potential through research, curriculum, programming, and funding.”

“[The] Maya Angelou Barbie doll is being presented to honor the history and impact of Dr. Maya Angelou’s activism, work and achievements…With displayable packaging, this celebration of Dr. Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life and work makes a great gift for Barbie collectors,” Mattel said.

The Maya Angelou Barbie Doll is available for purchase here.

A million thanks is never enough Dr. Angelou. We honor you.

Source: Becauseofthemwecan.com

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology. She has written for the New York Times and has two books forthcoming with Penguin Random House.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began writing at only a few years of age. Now her words have won her invitations to the Obama White House and to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and others.

Amanda has performed multiple commissioned poems for CBS This Morning and she has spoken at events and venues across the country, including the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center. She has received a Genius Grant from OZY Media, as well as recognition from Scholastic Inc., YoungArts, the Glamour magazine College Women of the Year Awards, and the Webby Awards. She has written for the New York Times newsletter The Edit and penned the manifesto for Nike’s 2020 Black History Month campaign.

She is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States. In 2017 UrbanWord and the Library of Congress named her the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States.

On Wednesday, Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, performing an original poem titled “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. She continues a tradition that has included such celebrated poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

In the roughly five-minute reading of her poem, Gorman called for healing and unity, alluding to the pro-Trump rally two weeks ago that turned into a violent storming of the U.S. Capitol.

“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it / Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy / And this effort very nearly succeeded / But while democracy can be periodically delayed / It can never be permanently defeated,” she read.

She celebrated the beauty of the country’s diversity and called on Americans to rise to the occasion and leave their country better than they found it.

“We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother / Can dream of becoming president, only to be reciting for one,” she said.

Your best morning routine is more than the ideal start to your day. It’s an opportunity to reset; to forget about what happened yesterday, develop a positive mindset about the day ahead, and to take care of yourself before stressors have a chance to crop up.

While most of us want to get the same things out of our morning routine, we go about starting our day in different ways. Some people love to get up early and exercise. Others are happy to lie in bed until the last minute. Some drink coffee, others drink only water, and some skip straight to breakfast.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those morning habits. So which is the best morning routine for you?

The key is figuring out what works for your schedule, body, and brain.

Your ideal morning routine might be three minutes or three hours. What matters is that it prepares you not just for a productive workday, but for a calm and intentional day from start to shuteye.

Only you can find your best morning routine for yourself. But you can build it by testing out ideas from the 12 below.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a big word, but what it means is simple:

Paying attention to your thoughts without judging or trying to change them.

You can practice it sitting, laying down in bed, while exercising, or at any time you feel stressed.

2. Take a Walk

A great opportunity to practice mindfulness — and get some exercise to boot — is to take a walk as part of your morning routine.

If you want to make time for a walk, you may need to start your morning routine earlier. As a rule of thumb, plan to walk a mile in about 15 minutes. If your best morning routine involves walking three miles, for instance, you’ll need a 45-minute block of time.

3. Reach Out to a Connection.

Start your morning routine by reaching out to an old acquaintance or by making a new professional connection.

There are multiple ways to do this. Shoot an email while you wait for your morning coffee to brew. Send a text asking how that new job is treating your old coworker.

Do avoid calling people out of the blue before 9 a.m.

4. Drink Tea

If coffee isn’t your style, why not try out tea as part of your morning routine?Green and black tea are popular picks.

5. Read

One of the most popular ways to wake up is with some light reading. Rather than scroll through your Facebook feed, make some progress on that library book you checked out last week. Read a page or a chapter of that book lying on your table.

6. Talk to Your Partner

If you and your spouse’s work schedules do not match up, you may not see him or her until late in the evening. Why not get quality time with your partner in the morning instead?

7. Outline Your Goals

What better time to plan out what you want to achieve each day than right when you wake up?

One shortcut with this morning habit is to write down a singular focus for the day. Maybe you want to reconnect with family, or perhaps you’ve got a proposal to get out the door. Then, you can rest easy knowing everything else can be pushed to the side.

8. Ask Yourself a Powerful Question

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Your question might be something else:

If your goal in life is providing for your family, you might ask, “How will I help my family today?”

If you’re struggling with self-care, “What does my body and mind need from me today?” may be a good option.

9. Eat the Frog

When you wake up, what weighs on your mind? Solve it as part of your morning routine. By tackling the hardest things first, the rest of your day tends to fall in place.

10. Listen to relaxing Music

If Bach and Beethoven aren’t your style, listen to whatever relaxes you. Who says 6 a.m. is too early for some head-banging metal or hip-hop?
If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, upbeat music will do you a lot of good than cool calm music.

11. Do Yoga

One of the best ways to work up a sweat in the morning is with yoga. If you’ve never done yoga before, start with foundational poses like downward dog and child’s pose. After mastering those, challenge yourself with an online routine.

12. Check in with Family

Almost none of us get as much time as we’d want with family.

If your family members would not appreciate an early-morning call, send a text. If you haven’t checked in with multiple members for a while, send an email sharing what’s new in your life.

Kickstart Your Early Morning Routine

Starting a morning routine is about your mindset and perseverance. If you wake up thinking “This is going to suck,” then it probably will. To build the sort of mornings you want:

  1. Set an alarm: If you want to have time for a morning routine, you need to wake up early. Give yourself at least an hour before work, and realize you may still need more time.
  2. Get up at the same time every day: Tempting as it is to sleep in on the weekends, don’t. Make your morning routine a habit by doing it every single day.
  3. Tell others your plans: If you tell your partner you plan to be awake at 5 a.m. and exercising by 6 a.m., you’ll be that much more likely to do it. Peer pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  4. Give yourself a reward: Humans are reward-oriented beings, just like other animals. If you like shopping for shoes, create a chart for yourself: If you stick to your morning routine for a full month, perhaps you’ll have earned a shopping expedition.
  5. Forgive yourself if you slip up: Like it or not, there will be times when you hit “snooze” on your alarm clock. Don’t beat yourself up; tell yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow.

Nothing matters more to your productivity or overall happiness than how you handle your mornings.

Change your morning routine, and you’ll quite literally change your life.

 

Mariam Balogun identified the burden of inadequate funding of the Nigerian healthcare sector which consequently leads to poverty as a result of huge out-of-pocket medical expenses of an average patient.

She decided to do something about it. Mariam, in 2018, founded LifeFund Support Initiative to cater to underserved patients and communities by providing access to quality and affordable healthcare. The organisation’s vision is to help create a nation where cost is not an hindrance to quality healthcare for everyone.

Every month, LifeFund embarks on hospital visits to underprivileged patients on admission in selected hospitals and cater to their healthcare and other essential needs.

LifeFund’s work also involves raising awareness on the importance of health insurance as well as advocating for robust and adequate healthcare financing policy and its efficient implementation.

Mariam is currently a Pharmaceutical Officer at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and is a LEAP Africa Social Innovators Programme fellow (2019/20). She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Lagos as well as certificates in healthcare funding and management.

We celebrate Mariam for providing healthcare financing support to Nigerian citizens and we’re rooting for her!

Source: Bellanaija

Following the controversy that has surrounded Ebonylife Films, the producers of popular Netflix film “Òlòtūré”, journalist Tobore Ovuorie has made a statement addressing the issue.

It all began after the investigative journalist made allegations of copyright infringement towards Ebonylife Films, claiming that “Òlòtūré” which follows the story of a young, naïve Nigerian journalist who goes undercover to expose the shady underworld of human trafficking is an adaptation of her life story which she wrote as an article, “Inside Nigeria Ruthless Human Trafficking Mafia” that was published on August 2014, by Premium Times.

Ebonylife Films responded to the allegations with a statement claiming that ‘Oloture’ is a work of fiction and was inspired by a variety of true events”. The CEO, Mo Abudu also addressed the allegations in a video posted on her official Instagram page where she said that they sought and obtained the right from Premium Times, the owners of the story, and as such, had fulfilled their legal obligation.

Tobore Ovuorie who said she couldn’t initially view the video as she had been blocked from viewing Mo Abudu’s Instagram page has now responded to the video with a statement “to set the records straight for the sake of posterity.”

Tobore stated that the human trafficking investigation in her story upon which “Òlòtūré” is based had commenced prior to her employment with Premium Times. She insists that the film is not fiction nor about “several other faceless journalists who had done what she did but did not publish their experiences”, but is an adaptation of her work and life story and that it was made without her express permission. “A movie about women victimization cannot end up creating further victimization,” she wrote.

Firstly, EbonyLife claimed that the right to use my life story was legally obtained from my erstwhile employer – Premium Times. Unfortunately for them and as I had earlier informed them through my lawyers, the human trafficking investigation in my story had commenced prior to my employment with Premium Times. It is disheartening that Aunty Mo could in fact mention that she got the right to my life-story (that has impacted on my life since then in many ways) from my ex-employer.

Secondly, I am in shock that Aunty Mo would claim that I was contacted prior to the Movie in one breath and in another breath that the story is not about me but about several other faceless journalists who had done what I did but did not publish their experiences.

If Ebonylife had given me full disclosure from the beginning, we would not be where we are, at this point. Yes, Oloture is an important film to be made but must be done the right way. A Movie about women victimization cannot end up creating further victimization.

Oloture is an ADAPTATION of my work and life-story. I experienced the investigation, the process, and the risks, upon which the movie is based. I also single-handedly authored the publication the Movie relied on. The publication of my experience is what gave birth to Oloture. A Movie about sex trafficking does not need to be centered around a journalist and it does not need to play out the plots of my published story.

Responding to claims that her actions are for money and because the movie gained international recognition, Tobore stated,

My obvious interest had always been to be given appropriate credit for my work, far above the compensatory claim. My lawyers’ letter to EbonyLife had categorically demanded for:

• “Compensation for copyright infringement in the sum of $5,000,000.00 (Five Million US Dollars).

• The immediate inclusion of a proper open credit and end credit in the Movie, acknowledging the adaptation of her work in line with industry standard and practice; and

• Restriction on any further exploitation of our Client’s published life story by your good self, your company and its related companies or affiliates, in any form, including our Client’s post -investigation struggles and experiences, such as her nervous breakdown episodes, which she personally shared with you on set, on or about 6 June 2019 during the recording of the special edition of your program titled: ‘Moments With Mo’ at the Ilupeju recording studio of your company.

The open and end credits of the Movie should be re-edited to read as follows:

Open Credit:
“THIS FILM IS LARGELY BASED ON EVENTS WHICH HAPPENED TO A NIGERIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST IN A 2014 PUBLISHED INVESTIGATIVE STORY”.

End Credit:
“THIS FILM IS AN ADAPTATION OF:
WEST AFRICA| UNDERCOVER INSIDE THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING MAFIA, AN INVESTIGATIVE STORY BY TOBORE OVUORIE PUBLISHED BY ZAM MAGAZINE, NETHERLANDS, ON 22 JANUARY 2014 AND SUBSEQUENTLY BY PREMIUM TIMES, NIGERIA”.

See the full statement below:

Emmy Nominated actress ,Yvonne Orji  is developing a comedy series about her experience as a Nigerian-born, first-generation American in “First Gen” premiering on Disney Plus. David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey will serve as executive producers for the forthcoming project.

In case you missed the first trailer for “First Gen” shot in 2015. Click here to watch.

“Well… when one door closes. God still got a blessin witchyo name on it! THOUGH THE VISION TARRRRRYY, WAIT FOR IT!! The trailer I shot in 2015 for this family sitcom I desperately wanted to create, is what helped me get an audition for @insecurehbo”, Yvonne Orji wrote on Instagram.

FIVE YEARS LATER (after being told “NO” SEV. ER. AL. Times), my lil engine that could, finally has a home with the @disneyplus family. Thank you @davidoyelowo for believing in the dream FROM JUMP, and Lady @oprah for coming on board as our Fairy Godmother.

I’ve been very vocal about my desire to highlight stories from the Continent, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity to do so.

According to Variety, “First Gen” is a half-hour show based on Yvonne Orji’s personal experiences growing up as a Nigerian immigrant in America. “As a child, she’s caught between trying to honour her parents and culture while simultaneously trying to assimilate to American life”.

This is one of the projects David Oyelowo spoke about in his exclusive interview with BellaNaija. This project serves as the second collaboration between Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon and Winfrey’s Harpo Films. The production companies recently produced “The Water Man“, Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut in which he also stars.