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was sworn in as Tanzania’s president at State House in Dar es Salaam on Friday, making history as the first woman to hold the top job in the East African country.

The 61-year-old’s inauguration comes two days after she announced the passing of President John Magufili

Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago, in 1960, Hassan went to primary school and secondary school at a time when very few girls in Tanzania were getting educations as parents thought a woman’s place was that of wife and homemaker.

Tanzania's new president Samia Suluhu Hassan signs a book of condolences for former president John Magufuli.
Tanzania’s new president Samia Suluhu Hassan signs a book of condolences for former president John Magufuli.
Anthony Siame/EPA-EFE/Shuttersto

After graduating from secondary school in 1977, Hassan studied statistics and started working for the government, in the Ministry of Planning and Development. She worked for a World Food Program project in Tanzania in 1992 and then attended the University of Manchester in London to earn a postgraduate diploma in economics. In 2005, she earned a master’s degree in community economic development through a joint program between the Open University of Tanzania and Southern New Hampshire University in the U.S.

Hassan went into politics in 2000 when she became a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives. In 2010, she won the Makunduchi parliamentary seat with more than 80% percent of the vote. She was appointed a Cabinet minister in 2014 and became vice-chairperson of the Constituent Assembly that drafted a new constitution for Tanzania, a role in which she won respect for deftly handling several challenges.

In 2015, Magufuli selected Suluhu Hassan as his running mate — a surprise choice over many more prominent members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.

Suluhu Hassan is also the country’s first president born in semi-autonomous Zanzibar. She attended school at a time when very few Tanzanian girls were offered the opportunity of an education outside the traditional roles of wife and homemaker. She is also a practicing Muslim.

Tanzanian activist Maria Sarungi said the significance of her background should not be underestimated in the context of Tanzanian politics.

In 1978, Suluhu married Hafidh Ameir, at present a retired agricultural officer. They have four children. Her daughter Mwanu Hafidh Ameir (born 1982), the couple’s second child, is a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

‘Time to stand together’

In her first public address as president, Suluhu Hassan — who is affectionately known as Mama Samia — said it was a difficult day in her political career.

“Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career,” she said. “Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning.”

However she assured Tanzanians that Magufuli, “who always liked teaching,” had prepared her for the task ahead and encouraged national unity.

“This is the time to stand together and get connected,” she said. “It’s time to bury our differences and show love to one another and look forward with confidence.”

Suluhu Hassan will complete Magufuli’s second five-year term in office, which began in October 2020 after he won general elections. Hassan also announced 21 days of mourning for the former President as well as public holidays on March 22 and March 25, when Magufuli is due to be buried.

Tanzania's Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, right, speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania

We wish her well.

London photographer Nadine Ijewere just made history as the first Black woman to shoot a cover for American Vogue

Ijewere is no stranger to firsts; she was also the first woman of color to shoot a British Vogue cover in 2018. When speaking to the cut  magazine about the lack of diversity in the industry she said, “When I was studying, there were virtually no female photographers of colour…I feel like in doing this I’m proving to younger girls from a similar background that it’s achievable. It also feels like part of a broader shift within our culture to include far more diversity, both behind the camera and in front of it.” 

The Jamaican-Nigerian photographer worked with fellow trailblazer, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, who served as stylist and fashion editor for this historic cover. In January 2021, Karefa-Johnson made history as the first Black woman to style a Vogue cover. As she continues to break down walls, Ijewere hopes her work will pave the way for more Black women in a historically male-dominated industry.

“As a young Black woman, I didn’t imagine that I would one day have the opportunity to shoot a cover for American Vogue. I’m so honored to have been able to work with my fellow sister Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. I hope this encourages Black women that there is space for us to take in this industry,” the 29-year-old said. 

Source: Thecut.com

 

Beauty Kumesine, the founding Executive Director of Blazing Heart Autism Center (BHAC), an orgnanisation providing the highest quality therapy for autistic children as well as support for their families.

We cannot deny the fact that caring for kids/people with special needs is a huge task in this part of the world with some people seeing it as a burden due to cultural beliefs, but not Beauty. Since 2007, Beauty has been advocating for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorders, giving quality holistic non-evasive interventions.

Beauty had always loved children but she has a deeper connection with children who find it difficult to express themselves or do not “act like” their mates. She decided she wanted to understand them  and the reason they do what they do, when they do it and how they do it.

Beauty spent 2 years understanding people living with ASD and qualified as a therapist in that time. Since then, she’s been a voice for kids with special needs and never ceases to advocate and drive conversations around ASD and special needs in Nigeria. She’s the organiser of PortHarcourtWalk4Autism and also plays host to seminars spreading the word about ASD.

Beauty holds a bachelors degree in Human Anatomy from the University of Port Harcourt and an education degree from National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna, Nigeria. She’s also 2018/19 fellow of LEAP Africa’s Social Innovators Program.

BHAC’s mission is to bring hope and help to individuals on the autism spectrum by ensuring the best possible education through inclusion, care, support and life opportunities for them and we’re proud of what Beauty and her team have achieved so far.

Have you faced any obstacle that made you feel like nothing could be worse?

Obstacles and challenges  are the stumbling blocks that prevent you from reaching your goals. They are the limiting factors that hinder you from achieving your desired dreams, and you have to overcome these obstacles to move further in life.

It’s not enough to set goals; you need to actualize your goals. It is at the point of execution that life becomes unbearable as unexpected setbacks and obstacles set in.

It is not an understatement to say that every success comes with challenges. Those challenges often come as problems you need to solve. If you can solve them, you can then have the assurance that you can reach your goals.

5 Reasons Why Obstacles Are Important

So why is it important to overcome obstacles? Can you go through life without encountering any limitations?

Here are 7 reasons why obstacles are important in life.

1. Obstacles Reveal Your True Identity

Some life challenges will rip you apart. When this occurs, you get to know who you truly are. Sometimes, you don’t know your full capabilities and tendencies. Obstacles exist to test you and stretch you beyond limits.

The fact is once your limitations and inclinations have been revealed, you can begin to take steps to deal with them so you can win in life. You’ll be forced to overcome these obstacles, which will help reveal your true self.

2. Obstacles Direct Your Actions

Someone once said you could walk on water; you only need to know where the stones are placed. The stumbling blocks on your path create a new way to get to the next level or phase.

For instance, if someone continually hurts your feeling, the situation allows you to practice the art of forgiveness. Every problem comes with its solution. You only need to shift your perspective to uncover the lessons that challenges have to teach you.

No wonder Benjamin Franklin once affirmed that:

 

The things which hurt, instruct.

Once you receive instructions, learn, and make progress in the directions of your goals.

3. Obstacles Make You Tougher

No one comes with the natural ability to withstand challenges; you have to develop your resilience through life. And don’t you ever think everything will come to you on a platter of gold. That only happens in the grave

As long as you are here, you’d have to overcome obstacles and surmount difficulties. The essence of obstacles is to toughen you so you can be courageous. It would be best if you dared to change your circumstances – to improve yourself and the world.

And if you discover you are losing courage, obstacles can toughen you more so you can move to the next phase.

4. Obstacles Enable You to Focus on What Counts

Not everything counts in life, so you need to focus on your goals and pursue your life missions. Once you are clear about your goals and tasks, every obstacle that comes your way looks smaller and manageable.

But when you lack clues and direction, this uncertainty magnifies every limitation and makes your pursuit a massive mountain that you need to climb.

The bottom line is that you need to be clear about your goals and focus like a laser so you can surmount the few mountains that deserve your attention.

5. Obstacles Unleash Your Creativity

You don’t know how far you can run until you meet a lion in the jungle. That’s the beauty of life!

Without impediments, you may not reach the untrodden territory. It takes persisting and resisting to learn where others fail because they were impatient. Obstacles are capable of stretching your creative muscles so you can go beyond the limits.

6. Obstacles Help You Find Meaning to Your Life

Your perception of life determines your outcome. You might want to take a cue from the experience of President Abraham Lincoln. While he battled with depression all though, he led the United States through one of the most challenging times in history: The Civil War.

Lincoln discovered the art of fining meaning despite his inner turmoil by channeling his efforts outward by uniting the entire nation. He learned the art of endurance. He articulated this attitude and derived meaning from his obstacles.[1]

He discovered purpose and found succor in a more prominent cause higher than his obstacles.

7. Obstacles Can Help You Discover Meaning Beyond Your Inner Troubles

Just like Lincoln, you can find your purpose when you cease from peering at your troubles and begin to seek how you can make others happy. You can rise above your obstacles by lifting others.

This strategy is one of the best approaches to deal with depression. It is a way of starving your problems of time so you can focus on others suffering.

Here’s the added advantage!

Focusing outward will enable you to improve inward.

7 Ways to Overcome Obstacles in Life

Now that you know the significance of obstacles, here are 7 ways you can turn them into stepping stones.

1. Find Out What’s Limiting You

Sit down and assess your limiting factors. What are the obstacles standing between you and your goals?

Figure out why you are not meeting the deadline. Avoid dredging up your list of complaints as it will eventually culminate into excuses.

For instance, if you said,’ I don’t have sufficient time,’ reflect on what you spend your time and energy on. Your limiting factors could be procrastination, complacency, or external events. If you said, ‘I don’t have enough funds,’ this is most times related to priorities.

Your immediate challenge may be a lack of motivation or time, or you need to commit to learning how to earn extra income and reduce your expenses.

2. Review the Obstacle’s Timeline

How long have you been dealing with the challenge? What attitude or habit is hindering you from overcoming the obstacles? Finding answers to these questions will enable you to make the right changes.

For instance, if you changed your job, there could be something about your new job or workplace that is challenging you. It could be the fact that you need to cope with a new environment.

Reflect on the different obstacles you have faced in life. Whether you work over them or not, take a cue from your experience and apply the lessons in dealing with new challenges.

3. Determine What’s Beyond You

Some challenges are beyond you. They are so daunting that you don’t have a clue on how to overcome them. Perhaps, you are even afraid or weak to the bone.

It shouldn’t be the end of the world. Just take a deep breath and list those things you can control, such as:

  • Your habits
  • How much energy you exert
  • Your decision when you are offered an opportunity
  • Your lifestyle-exercise, diet, and relaxation, all of which affect your mood and personal disposition

Focus on what you can control. Start by cultivating all the good habits to have in life.

4. Break Your Goals Down

Giant stride is not about taking one leap to the top of the highest mountain; it is about boldness to pursue your goals in the face of oppositions. It’s reasonable to break your goals into bits and develop a checklist to figure out the obstacles hindering you from actualizing the first box.

5. Maintain an Active Plan

Always work with a to do list . Begin your day with what you have to do and achieve your goal. Recognize that there will be obstacles and distractions. The lessons from facing obstacles will help you to adapt your plan in finding the best strategy to achieving your goals.

6. Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

If you tend to make decisions base on your instincts, you may try to be more analytic.

Here are some strategies you can adopt to making a decision:

Worst case scenario: If I enroll for the copywriting course and I fail, where would I end up? Design a backup plan for this eventuality.

Cost-benefit analysis: What would I gain if I complete the copywriting course. Assess if the benefits are worth the sacrifices.

Final Thoughts

Obstacles give life meaning. As long as you are on the face of the earth, you will keep facing challenges. It’s up to you to change your perspectives and deal with obstacles with the right mindset. It’s either they become your stepping stones or stumbling blocks.

Choose to live your life by design and apply the tips I have shared above to overcome whatever obstacle you are facing. Stay safe, and stay strong!

 

Someone once said food is our common ground, and a universal experience. The fuel that helps us drive through life with ease. Healthy eating is one of the biggest food advocacy in the world, the food we eat has an immense effect on her physical and emotional wellbeing.

Orighoye Dore “Chef Nylah” is a proud food manufacturer, and an advocate of healthy living.  She is the CEO of Nylah’s food and manufacturing company, a business venture that focuses on sustainable foods,  and helps to reduce post-harvest loss. Nylah’s products incorporate fruits and vegetables in their production process. Some of which are artisanal breads, granolas, and lemonades.

The lemonades are made from fresh juices and infused with lemongrass. Which are fantastic immune boosters. The granolas are nut allergy friendly and rich in fiber, low cholesterol and minerals and nutrients. Chef Nylah believes that food is not just about eating but an experience that should be savored passionately. Nylah’s products can be found in all ShopRite stores nationwide and other retail stores in Lagos and Abuja.

Chef Nylah is a trained chef from the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Washington in Rosslyn, Virginia. With a degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. She is a retired United States Air force veteran where she served as a Nuclear weapon security specialist and an EDC Alumni.

She shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this interview.

Childhood Influence

I was one of those kids that played with cooking growing up. I would make little fires and cook junk growing up. In an interesting way, my childhood did prepare me for what I do now.

Inspiration behind Nylah’s Food and Beverage

I was tired of seeing the number of foods that we lose in the Nigerian market. We lose about $750 billion dollars yearly to post harvest loss. I started asking myself how I could help. What unique products could we at Nylah’s create to do our bit in helping to reduce that number, and how can we help reduce the unemployment rate most especially as it affects women. That was how Nylah’s Lemonades were born. We use fresh juices and infuse them with lemon grass.

The Journey so far

It has been an interesting and bumpy ride to say the least. I have chosen to take every experience good or bad as a lesson in what to continue to do or not to do.

Having my product sold  at Shoprite

I would honestly say persistence. I chased it for almost a year as I tried to grow my reach with other companies. Consistency also contributed to it.

Why I ventured into Granola production

 I always look for the gaps in our industry and try to bridge it. Using natural flavorings in some of our variants as well as focusing on a less served market in the granola industry, we positioned ourselves to serve that market.

Challenges of my work

Access to funds to allow us to scale, Proper staffing sometimes is also a major problem, not to mention the economy and its impact on businesses.

3 women who inspire me to be better and why

Jola Ladipo – Never met anyone as selfless as she is. She forces me to reflect and ask myself daily what I can do better as a person and for others.

J.K Rowling – We share similar stories and I know that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a myth.

My last is to every woman out there who when she gets up, the devil shivers.

Key nuggets on how to become a successful food manufacturer

Keep practicing your craft.

Learn the numbers as they govern your business. This cannot be stressed enough.

Expand your network.

Never stop learning and evolving.

 Being a Woman of Rubies

I inspire and lift other women up. I have created a channel of employment for other women and set them up on the right path.

Gaining startup capital  for a new business can be extremely challenging. Women are often cut out of lucrative venture capitalist funding, leaving them with few options to accumulate the funds they need to launch their new venture. HerVest is here to change the narrative, as it is set to to help  women gain independence with a platform to help fund their dream ventures.

HerVest is a female-focused financial inclusion tech platform that enables women to participate in key financial services such as savings, investment and credit particularly credit for Small Holder Women Farmers. Launched in August 2020,  with about 2000 women currently using HerVest on both demand and supply sides.

According to Solape Akinpelu, founder  and CEO of  HerVest; “We launched the initiative to improve women’s lives by giving them greater access to and use of financial services and technology , our mission is to reduce gender based abuse and violence while strengthening an overlooked demography to feed Africa and the world’.

To know more about HerVest, kindly visit website at www.hervest.ng , the mobile app is available on Android and iOS at www.hervestng.app.link respectively

 

There are many emerging female leaders in Nigeria, young women who are breaking boundaries, against all odd, to make their voices count. Ikanna Okim is one of them. A phenomenal woman, she believes she is equipped with everything needed to make a difference in the world. Ikanna is the movement leader of the No-FGM campaign against female genital mutilation in Akwa Ibom State communities where the practice is rampant. A student leader, she is currently the President of the LAWSAN Bar Association, University of Uyo Chapter. Teennation Country Lead for Nigeria and Head of Legals, Ikanna is a prolific writer and has authored five books, which have reached over 1,400 young people in Nigeria. As a result of her commitment to correcting social ills, she was conferred the honour of a Fellow of the African Young Leadership Fellowship in 2018 and in 2020, she made it to the nominee list of Community servants in Akwa Ibom State. She also acquired certifications from different institutions around the world, including University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, Negotiation studies certificates from University of California, Irvine Extension, and Yale University. A child of God and a preacher of the gospel of Jesus, her life principles are integrity, responsibility, and transparency. She shares her inspiring journey in this interview.

Growing Up

I tell people that if everyone was raised in my home, they may never get to see the sad realities of gender inequality existent in the world today. I was brought up in an African home of average social class. My dad is an ace journalist and my mum is a civil servant. We live in Lagos, Nigeria. I have a sister and a brother and my parents never made us feel like we were different – I mean the girls from the boy. I grew up with confidence, more confidence than my peers in school and church. My dad, especially, made me know that I could be anything at all that I wanted to be. My brother could wash plates and I would be trying to fix a bulb. No gender roles. I always came out first right from nursery school as much as I can remember. I never was intimidated by the boys in my class. I could argue with my dad on an issue. I was allowed to have a different opinion.
This is to say that my upbringing gave me zero preparation for the realities outside. Imagine the shock I had to see that the world thinks I’m a second-class human because I am a woman. I was shocked. I once got into a public bus when I went to Uyo for my tertiary education and I came down for a man to enter inside because my bustop was close by – just the next actually. The man became furious. He made a statement I can never forget. When people were begging him to just enter so we could move. He said “God forbid that I would sit inside for a woman, a small girl for that matter”. Wow. You can imagine. I have had many more sad experiences like that.

I can however say that my upbringing helped me develop an unshakeable confidence in myself and I gladly pass it on to other women who did not have the opportunity to grow up with the confidence I grew up with. This makes me feel like a woman on a mission. Other women have to come out of their shells and show the world the stuff they’re made of.

Inspiration behind NO-FGM campaign

I generally started having detestation for violence against girls from 2016 when I founded Fingerprints Group to engage my peers and help them build capacity to fight social issues. We evolved into doing projects concerning the girl child in secondary schools. We went from teaching girls confidence to teaching them how to defend themselves against rape through our #SheDefence series in 3 states in Nigeria. While interacting with these girls, I met girls who were circumcised in cities like Lagos! I could not sleep! The whole genitalia area off! In this time and age! Ha.

I felt heartbroken. Those conversations drove me to make more inquiries and to my shock, people in Uyo local government of Akwa Ibom state, where I am from and where I school, still mutilate their girls. I also discovered that it is still being practised in Oron, Uruan and Itu local governments of the same state in Nigeria.

It is true that the rate of female genital mutilation has reduced in Africa as compared to the situation in ancient times but that is not enough. That it is still being practised, despite laws prohibiting it, is a problem.
I needed people to first come to the realisation that this practice of female circumcision is still going on. By my research, it is prevalent among illiterates in Nigeria and the illiterate population in Nigeria is about 40%. So, you can imagine what these people do to their daughters.
I saw a need to get words out there to those people who do not read or write English, in the languages they understand that Female Genital Mutilation is evil.
Yes, we have many laws which prohibit female circumcision but how can one implement the laws? It is impossible to go round from house to house to tell girls “open your legs, let’s see whether you have been mutilated”. If you’re waiting for the victims to report, that’s far from possible because they don’t even realise that they’re victims in the first place. The custodians of a culture cannot report it. Also, the effect of the laws would only punish offenders and do little to prevent it. I saw that the solution to this problem is a mindset shift. I needed to help people think and see for themselves that they were killing their daughters.

That’s how I formed a team and took to the streets and market places to preach the No-FGM gospel. I also wrote and published a prose fiction to keep driving this conversation around the world and make people know that girls in Nigeria are still being mutilated. This is how I get people to join their voices with mine to save the girl-child.

Impact of My Work In the  Communities I Serve 

My work against Female Genital Mutilation has gone beyond what I saw, even though this is a long-term project. Changing people’s mindset is not drastic. It takes time, especially if they feel they can get away with whatever they do with their own families. Afterall, it’s their daughter, not yours.

Speaking of impact, let me begin from the 5-hour street/market campaign we did to begin the campaign in 2019. We printed fliers in pictures, Ibibio language, English language, pidgin English and every language an average person in Uyo can understand. We also made use of public address systems and aids.

The first thing which made me realise that our work counted was when a woman in the market told me that she was going to circumcise her daughter the following day but she would not because she had changed her mind because of the campaign. She didn’t know that there were dangers to FGM. I shed tears after she said so. One girl was saved. From that day, we had the fire to go on. We have had some positive reponses too. Many people told us that they never knew that FGM had long term effects so they promised never to mutilate their children (again).

I published Black Syrma and kept conversations going on online. I recently republished Black Syrma to push it to a wider audience. When it comes to awareness work, you cannot really match numbers to impact because not everyone provides feedback on what your campaign did to change their minds but that one woman at the market on the first day and the other feedbacks we had proved to me that something is changing in people’s minds.

I recently saw a United Nations report of the elders of a village in Ebonyi state renouncing the practice of female genital mutilation. That’s a stride. Ebonyi state has always had anti-FGM laws but that renouncement by the elders had much weight. That’s the voice of the people saying “No more FGM”.
We are working towards having that in Akwa Ibom. People threatened to pour water on us to send us away for preaching No FGM but things like that don’t deter us. They make us stronger.

Being The President Of A Bar Association In My University, And Managing Everything I Do

I have always been multitasker. At a point, I thought it was a problem because it was difficult to face one thing and do it. When I was younger, when people said they wanted to be a this or that, I couldn’t say it because I had about 10 things in mind that I wanted to be and could be. I recently learnt that it’s not a defect. It’s a super power and super powers should be managed. I cut down on some things according to priority so anything I do now is because I consider it highly important. So, I don’t spread myself too thin but I do everything that I manage to do and do them excellently too.

By God’s grace and without being immodest, I can say that I am an excellent student. I have won 4 major academic excellence awards while in school, even with all the non-academic work that I do.

Something that has helped me which I cannot fail to mention is my journalling life. I am in love with my journals. I have about 3 journals now which I run at the same time. They serve different purposes. In my journals, I write my goals, tick the ones I’ve achieved; I write my fears and my challenges; I write my daily to-do lists. This makes me the boss of my time and life. When I complained to a friend about losing control of my time and I said I don’t have my time any more, he said, “24 hours are enough, Ikanna. Time is a gift from God. You don’t squander gifts”. That has stayed with me. That was how I developed my journal culture. I am in charge of my time. Even my friends know that they cannot barge into my schedules and distort my day’s plans. I live a highly organised life.

Challenges of my work

I do a lot of work – leading LAWSAN Bar, Teenagers at Teennation, No-FGM campaign, Authoring, Mentorship, School work, helping women and girls and so on; but I would like to talk about my work with girls. This is because my major challenge falls in here.

Working to help and protect girls involves a lot of emotions. By research, reaching out or following up a case, I get to interact with victims of abuse. Their stories cut through my heart. Imagine carrying the baggages of many helpless girls at a time. It could hurt and be so destabilizing. Sometimes, I just cry to relieve myself of some hurt. I also pray a lot. That has helped me. I’m a very spiritual person. I am born again in Christ. So I pray and receive the assurances that all will be well and that God has made me a solution provider.

My  view of the legal system in Nigeria

We have a long way to go. I acknowledge how far we have come and the improvements made. I celebrate laws like the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act and other ground-breaking laws which I have come to find useful in the course of my work.

However, the archaic nature of some procedures is worrisome. We need to be able to allow lawyers to start filing cases online from the lowest courts to the highest. My senior friends in other countries tell me how easy this is over there. There is a pandemic. This is enough reason to start putting those structures in place. Also, laws like the Evidence Act should be amended to reflect our present day digital realities.

Furthermore, many times in Nigeria, we have experienced sheer neglect of our laws. Why do we have laws if they would not be kept? We were taught that law is blind and so does not look at the person or his social class. But this is not true of the justice system in Nigeria today.

There’s a lot to complain about in the Nigerian legal system but I believe that there will be a change and the change has started.

3 Women Who Inspire Me To Be Better and Why

My three super women remain the same. I talk about them everywhere:

Dr. Utibe Alex-okoro. A medic and my big sister. She’s my only sister actually. I love the way she sets standards for me without speaking. She shows me how to live by doing it. My sister is not one to talk on and on about being strong. What she does is to be strong. I watch and learn.

Mmanti Umoh. I met her when I could not find my way around my long term goals. She came in and helped me through and has been my friend since then. Her life is a great example of walking on hot water to get to wherever you want to go. She inspires me to never give up.

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of Pepsi Co. I started following her last year and I’ve been a great follower since then. She represents the reality of women at the work place and succeeding nonetheless. I see her as the ideal woman in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. That’s a book that changed my mind about many things. I want to meet Indra one day.

Being a  Woman of Rubies

I am an outstanding woman. I can go on and on about what I have and what I have achieved but what makes me a woman of rubies is not all of that. It is the fact that there is no other person like me in this world. I am unique, with all my weaknesses too. My weaknesses are beautiful.

The beauty of life is the power humanity wields , It helps us live intentionally, and hold every human in good light, This is what Sally Suleiman represent as  an extraordinary Humanitarian ,she lends her voice to the voiceless, and disadvantaged persons in the society on and offline.

The   notable  Humanitarian, Strategist, Writer and a Media Personality is also the  founder of The Isolycia Foundation – a Non Governmental organization that focuses on Education for underprivileged children.

She has impacted and put smiles in the lives of many children through her educational outreach.

Sally Suleiman is an Alumna of Middlesex University where she studied International Business and she’s part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Sally through her social media platforms has become an household name, using her voice and resources where it matters.

Sally shares her inspiring journey, and how her mom’s death changed her perception of life in this exclusive interview with Esther Ijewere

Childhood Influence

I would say Yes, because I was such a generous and empathetic child. I loved to do things for people, I loved to help the poor. I started helping when I was in primary school, I would give the less privileged my old school items and even share my lunch and lunch money with the underprivileged. So I had that path right from my childhood.

My childhood wasn’t the best. I lost my Mum when I was 5years old. This made me grow up very fast and opened me up to challenges that a 5years old shouldn’t be going through. My Mum was a great woman, she was a teacher, she was my best friend, she was my everything, that was a very painful experience for me and my siblings.

Things changed when my wonderful stepmom came into the home, I am who I am today because of this woman, she made sure that I grew up in the way of the Lord, she taught me almost everything that I know today. I owe my success to her.

Inspiration behind Isolycia Foundation

The Isolycia Foundation was inspired by my love for education especially at the elementary level. I believe that every child should be in school, peculiarly at that tender age. So the Isolycia foundation focuses on education for children in rural areas. We also sensitize parents on the need to send their children to school. I formed the name from my late mum’s name and my step mum’s name.

The Journey so far

It’s been humbling so far. Every challenge I face teaches me a lesson, so I’m grateful.

Supporting the less privileged and using my platform for social good

I love the fact that I wake up fulfilled doing what I love to do. I love the fact that I’m able to touch lives and inspire people. I get messages everyday from people saying how much I inspire and motivate them, this is enough impact for me knowing that I am touching the world one day at a time.

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The Impact of being a  YALI fellow

It has helped through learning by taking their courses. I’m a professional at what I do because of the available resources YALI provided.

Coordinating a  Giveaway platform online

Giveaway platform just like the name implies, is a platform where I give out things to people, this is part of my Social responsibility for being a media personality. I also help promote small businesses through this platform, I open them up to their potential clients.

Positive  and negative side of being a Social Media Influencer

The positive side is impacting lives and making money (LOL), the negative side is sometimes you get misunderstood and you get attacked. You experience bullying, hate and all sorts. But I have learnt to ignore and focus on the positives and those who love me.

Challenges of my work

It could be tasking financially because I do not depend on anyone, I do everything from my pocket. Also managing my time can be challenging. I have so much to do but little time.

3 women who inspire me to be better 

HE Toyin Saraki

HE Bisi Fayemi

And the most recent Vice President of America, Kamala Harris.

These women inspire me in different ways. Their passion, their success, the change they bring in their various fields inspires me.

Nuggets on the power of community service

  • Community service connects you to others. It allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place.
  • Community service increases your social and relationship skills
  • Community service also increases your self-confidence. It provides a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.

I’m going to leave a quote by Denzel Washington – “At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

Being a Woman of Rubies

I’m a woman of rubies because I stay positive, i inspire and impact lives.

 

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.

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: