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Tessy Ojo is  a multi-award-winning social change advocate, philanthropist, civil society leader, brand ambassador, wife, mother and Chief Executive Officer of The Diana Award, a charity foundation instituted in honour of the Late Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales. At the heart of her work is the belief that, with the right support and investment, young people are the best instigators for achieving real, sustainable change in their lives and communities.

Tessy was recently awarded the Commander of the British Empire (CBE), the biggest national honour in the United Kingdom in recognition of her immense contributions towards empowering and supporting children and young people in the UK.

The  British-Nigerian national who is an inspirational speaker and regular consultant and
commentator on issues around youth participation, charity growth, diversity, women in
leadership and other social issues affecting young people, grows her kitty that already has
other eminent awards including The Precious Award, Inspiring Leader 2015, Women in Business Rising Star 2015 (London Region), Excellence Award from Eva Longoria’s Global Gift

Tessy share her inspiring journey with Esther  Ijewere in this Inspiring Interview.

Childhood Infleunce

Growing up, my parents taught us the value of leadership without a title. It was the principle of ‘if you see something that needed doing, just do it, without waiting on someone else to fix it’. This was pretty much the principle that underpinned my childhood. When you have a diplomat father and a mother who is a headteacher, you’re often drafted in to support one cause or the other, especially through their networks such as The Rotary Club etc. Generally, giving back in any capacity was the norm in our household. I remember at the age of 14, my Mum drafted me in to lead on various children’s clubs in her school. I was running a reading club, dancing club, all afterschool, so being a leader was very much a part of my upbringing.

What Inspired me to work at  The Diana Award

When the Princess of Wales was tragically killed in a car crash in 1997, it was a defining moment in my life as like thousands of others, I placed a note with words of condolence alongside flowers to honour the Princess at Kensington Palace. That note, simply said ‘You rocked my world, I will honour yours too’.

Just two years later, at the time a very successful executive, I had my youngest child and an eureka moment when I realised the vulnerability of childhood and how as a committed mother, I would always champion my children, yet not every child had a champion or an advocate.

That moment was a defining and life changing moment as I made a commitment to devote the rest of my career to advocating and championing young people, building young people’s capacity for leadership and creating social equity that ensures young people can overcome the disadvantage of birth.

A few weeks later, I responded to an ad in the newspaper to help set up a new youth charity being formed. Unaware, at the time, that this was the beginning of The Diana Award, the only charity across the world set up to continue the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales. I responded to this ad as it was very much in line with my passion.

More about my journey is in a book that I am writing, which will be published next year.

The Journey and It’s impact in Britain

 Twenty years on and with over 100,000 young people who have been supported through this charity, through our three core programmes; many of whom are young leaders across nations, the charity has grown from strength to strength, through a combination of strategic clarity and innovative approaches.

Having said that, our world is changing rapidly with the current Covid-19 pandemic which means that there are significant societal and environmental challenges ahead. It is incredibly important that as we rebuild our communities across the world that young people are at the centre of that work, as they are the long term victims of covid and they must be empowered to help shape the future. I was particularly proud to see the participation and leadership of young people during the #EndSars protest! For us at The Diana Award, we have always believed that young people can change their world, with the right support and we remain committed to building the capacity of young people to be at the heart of this rebuilding work.

Being awarded the commander of the British Empire Award

It was and remains an incredible honour. Twenty years ago when I gave up a promising career and a lucrative pay to join the third sector, it was completely out of the need for service. Twenty years on, to receive the highest honour from Her Majesty, The Queen is just mind blowing!

Your work cuts across Anti-Bullying, mentoring and capacity building, any plan to bring your work to Nigeria?

 You know what, we would love to! With the right level of investment and sponsorship, we would love to do much more across the Commonwealth and of course Nigeria, given my connections to the country! Just find me the right sponsor and we can talk!!

Other projects and activities

You know what, I am involved in so much across the charity sector; I am on the board of Comic Relief and we are making some incredible moves about how we support global communities build capacity. I am also the co-chair of the #iwill Leadership Board, which is a board of funders who are committed to ensuring young people are supported to create the change they want to see.

More about my work will also be in my new book so look out for it!

 Challenges of my work

Pushing for change is never easy. No one likes change, yet it is inevitable. The biggest challenge is always educating on the ‘why’. The other challenge is ensuring that we are well resourced to create the change we are advocating for. Resourcing a charity is a huge challenge but it is one that is so desperately needed. A recent stats in the UK showed that young people are more reliant on the support provided by the youth sector than ever before, yet the sector has less resources than ever before! That is the challenge.

3 women who inspire me to be better and why

  • Firstly, Rosa Parks – her quiet strength inspires me. She saw a need and demonstrated her strength and paved the way for generations to come.
  • Next is Oprah Winfrey, purely because growing up in Europe, I barely saw anyone like me on TV. Oprah made me visible. Watching her on telly allowed me to feel visible and made me realise that impossible is nothing and seeing Oprah day in day out helped me see that.
  • My third is absolutely Michelle Obama. She demonstrates leadership with integrity, authenticity and with grace. To me, she shows the balance between leading with a title yet remaining authentic to who you are. I loved seeing how she brought fun to her role, even as the First Lady. She was unafraid to do things different and that really inspires me. Like going on TV and dancing!!

The Nigerian society and it’s awareness with issues  surrounding bullying and oppression

I think society as a whole needs a lot more education about bullying, oppression and the misuse of power. There are so many historic things that were allowed to happen in the past, that today’s society is rightly saying NO to and that change in attitude needs to be talked about again and again, until we are all on the same page.

I do not believe this is exclusive to Nigeria because there are people in the UK who still brush bullying off as ‘banter’ or ‘character building’ which is absolutely wrong. We define bullying as any behaviour, either verbal, physical, cyber or indirect, that deliberately and repetitively undermines another, makes them uncomfortable, upset and unsafe is bullying.

Shulamite Ezechi is the author of the fast selling motivational book “Unveiling your potential”, she is an active and inspiring motivational speaker, and founder of ANYiSO, a registered Scottish Charity organisation.

Shulamite through personal experiences and passion for driving change, has served and still serves in multiple capacities in various human rights groups to make impacts through her voice. She is involved in reviewing several policies affecting black and ethnic minority women and young people in Scotland, UK. She is an author, a community leader and a mentor to many young people, men, and women.

Shulamite holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, two master’s degrees: one in Clinical Nutrition and Health and the other in Policy Analysis and Global Governance both from universities in Scotland, UK.

Shulamite has won many awards including ‘the Inspiration to the BME Community award’ that was conferred to her at the Glasgow City Chambers, United Kingdom. She has been privileged to be invited to Oxford University Women leadership Symposium to deliver a talk on ‘’girl child marriage’’ and lead a group of women to UNESCO Spring School to tell their integration stories through drama.

According to her; “The book focuses on one of those lows pertinent to me and my experiences. Going on a journey of self-discovery borne out of a very unsettled time in my life is a story that is worth sharing. This journey has taken me through to the other side, and whilst still growing, I have found myself, my calling, and my true potential.

My hope is that this book creates an energy and determination in you that will drive you into your own self-discovery journey pushing you to experience and live out your true potential.

You can get a copy of “Unveiling your true Potential” on https://shulamiteezechi.com/

Follow  Shulamite on LinkedIn here; https://uk.linkedin.com/in/shulamite-ezechi-55729812b

Onyeka Onwenu is a singer/songwriter, actress, human rights activist, journalist, and politician. Popularly called the Elegant Stallion, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture, as well as former DG, National Centre For Women Development (NCWD). She has won many national and international awards in recognition of her inspirational work in many fields. At the recent launch of her autobiography, My Father’s Daughter, she describes the book as a deeply personal account of her life and everything she has ever done. She tells TOBI AWODIPE of her introduction to feminism with her mother being the first role model of a liberated woman, how Nigerian youths are giving the nation hope with the #End SARS campaign, why more women must participate in decision-making and execution to stir growth and development.

 

Could tell us about your childhood? How would you say it shaped you into the woman you are today?
My childhood was idyllic, filled with the extraordinary love of an indulgent father, but too short-lived. It was filled with memories of good times and strewn with life’s lessons.

You recently released your autobiography, why did you decide that the time was right?
I think that the book decided for itself when to come out. If I had my way, it would have come out two years earlier, but situations and circumstances kept delaying its completion. I stopped worrying when I realised that each break afforded me the opportunity to better the book. It ended up being a case of all things working together for good.

You’ve been involved in music, journalism, politics, and so on, did you ever feel you had to sacrifice a parts of your life to succeed at all these?
Thank you for this huge compliment. I may not have planned my life that way, except that I took on opportunities as they presented themselves and dared to believe that I could give them my best shot. There is a whole lot more to be done. I will not limit the God who works in me; I am not able, but He is. I have never sacrificed one thing for the other. Like every other woman, I am simply multitasking. I can do many things at the same time and bring them together in some sort of harmony; it comes naturally to us.

In your book, you spoke about your contact with feminism and how your father’s life influenced your decision to join politics, tell us a bit about this?
I spoke about how my mum, Hope Onwenu, a strong Igbo woman (she had to be as she was widowed twice by age 37 and raising a family on her own) was for my siblings, a veritable role model of a liberated woman. She carried herself with a sense of self-worth, determination and grace. I was taught to carry myself in a similar manner. If that is feminism, then that’s what it is.

As an activist yourself, you must have felt some stirring within you regarding the recent #EndSARS protests sweeping the nation. What would you say to the youths and government respectively?
As a mother of young men and being of an older generation, you have no idea how proud of the Nigerian youth I am. I am familiar with their angst, their frustrations, and at some point, their hopelessness. I live with them; they are my children and wards. I have gone through the pains with them, in discussions and debates, arguments, and agreements, these topics have always been part of our interactions.

Some of us of an older generation had wondered if the youths would one day shake off their apathy and take back their destiny. Then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, the youths of Nigeria woke up. In the process, they taught us some greatly needed lessons. I am writing this today, but I have spent the last two days weeping and depressed for the mowing down of our beautiful children, right in front of our eyes. I am shocked and grieved beyond measure.

I never thought that our government would, in front of the whole world, take such an unwise retroactive measure, to kill in cold blood our unarmed youths, who are legitimately demanding a better life for us all. But something has happened with the #EndSARS campaign that can never be erased. There is hope still; I feel personally vindicated. The agitation and activism one has been engaged in for so long has not been in vain. The youths will yet save Nigeria or versions of it.

Having experienced the Civil War, do you fear that we might ever go down that path again with present happenings all over the country?
I have my fears about my country and my war experience informs that fear. We would not survive another, no country ever has. The question is this: do we have enough Nigerians who care to give peace a chance by doing the right things and giving us all an equal stake in this entity we call our country? That is what we need to ask ourselves right now.

As an advocate for social change, what are some ways young women can drive this even more in Nigeria today?
Instead of devising more ways to extract more obligatory commitments from women who are overstretched and hardly supported, I would rather we enable and allow them to participate in decision-making and execution. Believe me, we would witness remarkable growth and development in Nigeria.

You mentioned in your book that you experienced workplace harassment, what would you advice women that find themselves in that position?
I cannot assume to have an answer for everything. I just stated what I did and how I coped with workplace sexual harassment then. Perhaps, they can learn something from my experience. I said a firm ‘no’ and left the environment.

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As a seasoned TV journalist, would you say the profession is friendly to women?
I never experienced any discrimination on account of my being a female journalist.

Tell us some of the challenges you faced when you ventured into politics, are women today still faced with these issues?
The challenges I face when I ventured into politics are well documented in my book, My Father’s Daughter. I recommend it highly to everyone.

As a Nigerian music icon and entertainer, are you satisfied with the state of the industry? What can we do to improve it?
The answer to this question should be a whole interview on its own and would require more than my contribution. Suffice to say that we have no functioning institutions and no government agencies with oversight functions really working. They have allowed the ones that exist, like COSON (a copyright collective society), to run amok. No one is in charge here and it shows.

Not many people know you married a Yoruba Muslim, is this something you generally don’t talk about?
I generally do not talk about my private life, but it was necessary for the authenticity of the book; it rests there. It was never hidden, but it was not for public consumption, only on demand.

Many women are going into activism today and are at the forefront of many protests, how does this make you feel?
It is lovely to see young women not allowing themselves to be kept down by the limited expectations of society and its rules. The women are awesome and it is a delight to watch them in their strength, boldness, and purposefulness. I am proud of every one of them.

What peculiar challenges would a woman that wants to venture into the entertainment industry today face?
The problems in the industry are not peculiar to women, except that would have to deal with the added pressure of sexual harassment and lack of respect from a society that does not appreciate the achievements of women. We only care they see them as sexual objects and not much else.

What is the importance of feminism to Nigerian women?
To me, feminism is the right to be myself, to believe in my self-worth, and to do my best work. These are the convictions that have allowed me to excel in anything I have the opportunity to do. Does it make me a productive member of society? Most definitely, yes!

What last words do you want to leave with people reading this?
Hopefully, these will not be my last words but my words for now. Keep striving; God’s got your back. Soar, no matter what. You are here for a purpose. Keep trying. I love you.

Source: Guardian

Yara Shahidi is making history as the first Black Tinkerbell in Disney’s newest live-action adaptation, Variety reports.

“Peter Pan and Wendy” is the newest adaptation of the classic 1953 Disney movie “Peter Pan” about a boy who never grows up. Shahidi will play the beloved Tinkerbell, a fairy who guides Peter with her magic throughout his adventures. The “grown-ish” actor will join the cast alongside Jude Law (Captain Hook), Alexander Molony (Peter Pan), and budding actress Ever Anderson (Wendy).

Shahidi recently launched a production company in partnership with ABC Studios. She is on their hit show “black-ish,” and the spinoff on Freeform, “grown-ish,” which she produces. Disney is attempting to diversify its casts, given the current cultural climate. Recently, they cast singer and actress Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” and Niles Fitch as the first live-action Black prince in the “Secret Society of Second Born Royals.”

Disney has been rolling out a ton of new content, recently releasing a live-action adaptation of “Mulan.” Shahidi took to Instagram to share a new Black Tinkerbell sketch and thank her fans for all of the support. “Thank you all for all of the love. It truly means so much to me. I’m excited for this next adventure,” she wrote.

Source: Becauseofthemwecan

Formerly known as Google Ventures, GV is a large venture capital firm that has invested in major companies such as Slack, Uber, and GitLab. Now the company is welcoming Principal Terri Burns as its newest investing partner. Burns is making history as the first Black woman partner at the company and the youngest, at just 26-years-old. 

Burns got her start at Twitter as an associate product manager, eventually getting hired at GV, where she’s worked for the last three years. Because of her age, Burns has a knack for recognizing new ventures to capture Gen Z’s attention. Her latest investment in HAGS, an app that started as a digital yearbook and is now expanding into a broader social site for high school-aged youth, is just another example of that. 

In an industry dominated by white males, Burns is an anomaly. As of February 2020, the number of women leaders in the VC world was at just 13%, a mere 4% increase from 3 years ago. In 2019, there was only one Black woman named partner at any VC company, and between 2010 and 2015, Black people have made up just 0.67% of the industry workforce. 

Dave Munichiello, a general partner at GV, spoke about the importence of Burns’ promotion, saying, “Her investments display her interest in companies that are built by and for Gen Z, particularly as this generation comes of age in a remarkably uncertain time.”

As of now, Burns is focused on consumer businesses, expanding to include investments in the future of work and fintech. She’s not giving many details about her next move, and she plans to keep it that way.

“[It’s] broad…but that is by design,” said Burns.

Keep rising, Terri! Congratulations!

At 21-years-old, Kennedi Carter has made history as the youngest photographer to shoot a cover for British Vogue in its 104-year history. Carter had the privilege of photographing one of her musical idols, Beyoncé, for the December 2020 cover. The North Carolina native said she was shocked when she got the job.

“It feels like it dropped out of the sky,” Carter told British Vogue. “I’m 21… I haven’t really had many opportunities like this.”

Carter is a fine art photographer who describes her work as showcasing “overlooked beauties of the Black experience” and was handpicked by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and Beyoncé, who asked for a woman of color specifically for the shoot. This isn’t the first time Queen B has had a hand in a historic Vogue cover; in 2018, she tapped 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell as her photographer. He became the first-ever Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the publication’s 126-year history.

Although Carter’s aesthetic falls in line with Beyonce’s, especially with her recent Black Is King visual album, which uplifted the Blackness across the diaspora, Carter still felt shocked due to her perceived inexperience. She is younger than Irving Penn and David Bailey who’s first Vogue covers were 26 and 23, respectively.

“I thought I wouldn’t be able to do something at this level unless I was older, with many years in the game,” she told Vogue UK. “This is for people at the pinnacle of their careers.”

The senior African American studies major at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro told British Vogue that she didn’t let nerves get to her during the two-day shoot. She said she was going with the flow, having researched how the star worked and was surprised at how much control over the shoot Beyoncé gave her.

“I had underestimated how much she’s willing to submit herself to a vision and truly become someone else’s muse,” Carter said. Adding that the star’s ability to “control her own narrative” was something that she admired and that she was “just so, so nice.”

She said she appreciates the opportunity Beyoncé has given her and other artists that may not have been recognized without her platform.

“It’s really amazing that she’s using her influence to be able to give young artists this experience, and allowing their voices to be heard,” Carter told British Vogue. “She’s opening the door for others.”

Growing up, Carter didn’t expect to be a photographer; she’d only taken a photography class in high school because she thought it was going to be easy — it wasn’t. However, she kept at it and found her passion. She credits Dana Scruggs with getting her work in front of editors. Now that she has Beyoncé on her resume being noticed shouldn’t be a problem. But even with her newfound acclaim, she said she isn’t looking to leave her family in Durham to find a big city anytime soon. But she does plan to celebrate with them.

“I think we’ll just sit outside and make a little bonfire, the four of us,” She told British. “And I’ll invite my man.”

We can’t wait to see where you go from here, Kennedi! Congratulations!

Photo Credit: British Vogue/@internetbby Instagram

Over the last few years, crowdfunding has proven itself to be one of the most popular routes to take when it comes to starting a business. Friends, family, investors and those alike can support your entrepreneurial dreams with just the click of a button. Today, $34 billion has been raised globally through crowdfunding. According to Startups, the average successful crowdfunding campaign is around $7,000. However, Dawn Dickson has raised a much more substantial amount of money and has shown us what it truly means to be a BAUCE in the world of crowdfunding.

Dawn is the founder of Flat Out of Heels, comfortable and rollable flats small enough to fit in your new Telfar, and the CEO of her software company, PopCom. She has done the work to place herself in a position to pull others up as she sails to the top. In 2019, Dawn became the first black woman founder to raise over $2 million via crowdfunding. Her go-getter spirit, love for business, and desire to create generational wealth amongst the black community has driven her to make history.

What made you decide to take the crowdfunding route?

Dawn: I learned about the JOBS Act in 2013, which allowed people to raise money from the public. After we raised our first round, we raised $1 million dollars from venture capitalists and angel investors, but I wasn’t a fan of the process. I wanted to be able to give my friends, family, and people close to me an opportunity to invest in my company. Many of them were not accredited investors but in order to invest in the company, you have to be accredited but under crowdfunding, you can raise money from anyone. I am really passionate about building and helping to create generational wealth. I feel like this was a great opportunity to do that.”

How long did it take you to raise enough money to get your businesses started?

Dawn: For Flat Out of Heels, I raised $100,000 from friends and family within the first 4-6 months, and then I raised the other $150,000 after that, so $250,000. Pop com is a tech and software company, so I’ve raised about $3.3 million since 2017.

Building and maintaining strong relationships within your network is one of the most important things to keep in mind when entering the business world. For those who may just be starting out and don’t necessarily have a network of others to turn to, what would you suggest they do?

Dawn: I wasn’t born with a network, it wasn’t inherited by a family member or anything. I had to go out and build it and I did that mainly by attending conferences and events, really networking online, doing everything possible to put myself in rooms. I was very, very, very active, going to every tech conference I could find!

COVID-19 has put a pause on large gatherings, so networking events are on hold until further notice. What tips do you have when it comes to networking virtually?

Dawn: Well, the great thing about the pivot from COVID is that all the conferences are virtual. Now is the best time. Previously, people weren’t open to networking over the computer as much, they wanted to meet in person – that’s the culture. Everything is virtual, I’ve spoken at six conferences over the past two months. I thought my speaking career was going to be put on hold, but I’ve been getting booked constantly for virtual conferences. I’m really grateful because this has been one of the best times for me financially. I’ve started to make more time for other things and started to do more coaching with founders. There’s been a lot of new income streams happening during this time!”

A famous lyricist by the name of Two Chainz once said, “they ask me what I do and who I do it for?” Tell us more about your ‘why’.

Dawn: I love solving problems, building businesses, working with teams, being innovative. I’m definitely driven by creating generational wealth and changing the trajectory of my family. I have a daughter, I have nephews. Creating wealth for them, making sure that they have something, and I have something to pass down…it continues from here. Historically, we weren’t even allowed legally to own property, make investments, and have wealth. It’s so important to start to shift that pattern.

What do the next 10 years look like for you? Are there any major things you’d like to cross off your bucket list?

Within the next 10 years, Dawn plans to sell her companies and move to Nigeria, where her husband is from. She would also like to start working with startups around the world and create a global network. As far as her bucket list goes, “I travel a lot but, that was put on hold because of COVID, but I definitely want to go to Machu Picchu, and then I want to go to South Africa. I’ve been a lot of places but I just want to continue to travel the world. I would love to visit as many countries as possible, I was trying to visit one every other month but things got halted!” Real BAUCE goals!

Source: Bauce Mag

Rukayat Sadiq, is  a software engineer with over 5 years successful experience leading engineering teams to build and deliver scalable software products in multiple languages and technologies.

The need to solve problems around her led Rukayat to study Electrical & Electronics Engineering. The same zeal also directed her the field of software engineering field where she has focused on working with teams to build software solutions targeted at the health, financial and educational sectors through her career.

Rukayat decided to go into software engineering after she realised what she could potentially build through computer programs having successfully written code to solve her engineering mathematics problems in her undergraduate days.

She currently works as a software engineer with Influitive – a Canadian based marketing technology firm.

She had worked as a Full Stack Software Engineer and Technical Team Lead, Senior Software Engineer at Andela, after completing the Andela Fellowship Program. At Andela, Rukayat also co-foounded and co-led the Andela’s Ladies-in-Tech group. She is also a co-organizer of the Lagos Women in Machine Learning and Data Science Group.

Rukayat holds a bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Ilorin and is completing her masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Rukayat was one of the women celebrated in Tech Cabal‘s Tech Women Lagos series, which profiled 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

We celebrate Rukayat for pursuing her dreams and inspiring others to do so and we’re rooting for her!

Source: Bellanaija

Commuting in Lagos, Nigeria is hard! It is stressful! And sometimes, not safe  Damilola Olokesusi decided to do something about it. She founded Shuttlers Logistics Company, a platform that allows professionals, companies, fun-seekers access comfortable, safe, efficient yet affordable transportation to and from work and around the city through bus-pooling.

Damilola decided to start the company after her sister was robbed by armed men disguised as public bus drivers, on her way to work. She and her cofounders Busola Majekodunmi, and Damilola Quadry put their savings together and launched the company, and as the business grew, they received grants from the World Bank, Airtel and Sahara Energy, and they were able to go from one to 22 routes.

Through the Shuttlers App, professionals book a seat in a route, pay a subscription, and track arrival and departure times of their rides: “comfortable air-conditioned buses and cars providing them with extra time to catch up on sleep, work or personal development time. Sharing with other professionals also give room for networking opportunities.”

Damilola’s Shuttlers has also launched SHE-MOVES, an initiative supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford Motor Company in partnership with Global Water Challenge (GWC). According to Ford, SHE-MOVES (Strengthen Her: Mobilizing Ventures for Social Innovation) is designed to provide “Whole-Person Leadership” development and promote access to mobility.

With Shuttlers, the initiative gives female professionals the opportunity to use their otherwise long commute time in traffic as a learning and development time .The project gives them access to online courses, mentors and peer-to-peer support for professional courses they might be interested in taking.

Damilola holds a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos. She is a part of the Harambean Team for 2018 cohort; an Alliance for highly educated young African social, business and political entrepreneurs, attending leading universities in Asia, Europe and North America.

She won the Award for Digital and Tech award at the Women in Africa Contest in Morocco, Award for the Best Idea at the Aso Villa Demo Day and is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum where she leads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation team and is also the Vice-Curator of the Lagos hub for 2019/2020.

In 2019, she was named in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list (Technology category).

We celebrate Damilola for providing a solution that will positively impact millions of people as well as making commuting to and from work a productive part of one’s day. We’re rooting for her and the team!

Source: Bellanaija

oNgozi Erondu, PhD MPH, is a global health and biosecurity advisor who has over a decade experience in epidemiology, public health and biosecurity.

Ngozi, a Google Scholar, holds a bachelors degree in Psychology, Biology from DePaul University and went on to bag a Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine.

After her masters degree Ngozi joined the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as a Public Health Prevention Service Fellow and then she joined a global consulting firm that provides expert services and support in strategic planning field epidemiology and surveillance, designing public health programs and developing monitoring and evaluation strategies and dashboard tools.

During her time at the consulting firm, Ngozi worked as a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine while completing her doctoral training in public health policy and epidemiology. She them moved on to the World Health Organisation as a Consultant Technical Officer. She was also a field epidemiologist in the CDC ebola response in Guinea.

Between 2016 and 2018, she was an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) where she had completed her doctoral training in public health policy and epidemiology prior.

Ngozi is a fellow of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. In 2017, she was one of the people selected for The Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, a year-long media skills, communication and leadership program designed for standout development professionals.

In 2015, Ngozi and Betiel Hadgu Haile co-founded the Global Bridge Group — a global health and development consultancy company which provided services to inform and improve global health initiatives in resource-constrained countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

She’s currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Chatham House Centre for Global Health Security and was a Senior Public Health Advisor at Public Health England.

Ngozi is also the Chief Executive of Project Zambezi, a public-private-partnership improving drug distribution across Africa.

Ngozi is also an independent consultant, providing health systems research/training and monitoring and evaluation services. We celebrate her for being a force in global health and development and we’re rooting for her!