Category

news

Category

To commemorate June 16th as International Day of the African Child, media personality and entrepreneur Munirat “Anto” Lecky has revealed plans to launch the Edo Babes Are Fly Initiative to promote girl child education, empowerment and skills acquisition, and reduce the rate of gender-based violence and sex trafficking in Edo State. Through her NGO, Anto Lecky alongside Musleehat Hamadu, plan to use the Edo Babes Are Fly Initiative to combat the many issues facing women from Edo State. Edo State is known as Nigeria’s capital for human trafficking, especially of young women and girls. According to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM), 94% of women trafficked to Europe from Nigeria are from Edo State.

To kick-off, the initiative is celebrating history made and history in the making by paying homage to great women who have shaped and are shaping Edo history and Nigeria at large with an educational tribute photoshoot featuring some favourites in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

These women include: Anto Lecky herself as Queen Idia, the Queen Mother and a cultural symbol of modern-day Nigeria; Jemima Osunde, Physiotherapist and Actress, as Princess Elizabeth Olowu, the first female bronze caster in Nigeria; Idia Aisien, Actor and TV Host, as Mabel Dorothy Segun, broadcaster, author, and first Nigerian woman to play table tennis; Arese Ugwu, Author and Executive Producer, as Osaretin Demuren, First Female Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank; Vanessa “Vandora” Williams, TV Presenter and Influencer, as Prof. Lilian Salami, current and second female Chancellor of the University of Benin; Linda Osifo, Actress and Brand Ambassador, as Aisha Yesufu, socio-political activist and convener of Bring Back Our Girls Movement; Winfrey Dania Okolo, Media Personality and Lawyer, as Omosede Igbinedion, lawyer and youngest female member into the 8th Assembly of the House of Representatives (Nigeria).

Anto Lecky says her initiative will celebrate Edo women both home and abroad who contribute immensely to the betterment of society and also spur the younger generation to attain greater heights. She noted that the tribute photo shoot is a reminder of the giant strides that women of Edo extraction have made, and continue to make.

“I’m inspired by the stories of all of these women we are paying tribute to, and my colleagues who were so earnest to be the muses for the project. All of these women are role models for girls around the world. We decided to pay homage to these women, while encouraging other Edo women that they are “fly”, and can soar above any stereotype” She said

 

She also revealed that the Edo Babes Are Fly initiative is one of the many works the Live Wire Project will be championing. “We plan to host impactful events on key days, and offer educational & skills acquisition resources.” “We hope to share the stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking. We also hope to partner with international organizations and to amplify the efforts of domestic organizations that need celebrity backing.” She further added.

Anto Lecky is not new to celebrating Nigerian and African women. She hosts a talk show on Ogelle Africa titled “She’s A Boss” celebrating African women who strive and thrive; and has paid tribute to some of her favorite women in the Nigerian entertainment industry on International Women’s Day.

Co

 

connect with The Live Wire Project on Instagram @thelivewireproject or email livewireprojectng@gmail.com.

 

 

Nigeria’s track queen  Blessing Okagbare ran an impressive 10.98 seconds to win the 100m women’s event at the P-T-S Meeting in Samorin, the Slovak Republic. Blessing Okagbare’s winning time was a Meet Record.

Okagbare’s win was a historic feat as no woman has ever run under 11 seconds in the competition held in the Eastern European country. She was pleased after dipping within 11 seconds for the third time this season.

An excited Okagbare hinted that she was delighted to be the winner and also honoured to be the first woman ever to run under 11 seconds at the P-T-S Meeting.

The seven time Nigerian 100 metres champion ran  10.98 seconds to win in the race, smashing the 11.09 seconds meeting record set in June 1983 by Czech Republic icon, Jarmila Kratochvilova.

Blessing Okagbare Sets New 100m Meet Record in Slovakia

Okagbare broke the 11 seconds barrier for the first time in her career at the Crystal Palace Aviva London Grand Prix in London, on the 14th of July 2012; where she ran 10.99 seconds. In 2013, she broke 11 seconds thrice with two of them in a historic fashion. She started the season with a huge but wind-aided to 10.75 seconds in June at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, USA

Fast forward to 2015, Okagbare broke 11 seconds six times, her most in a single season and made it to the 100m final at the World Athletics Championship in Beijing, China.

She ran her first sub-11 seconds of the season at the USTAF invitational in Eugene, Oregon in April before scorching to a 10.90 seconds season’s best at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar last week.

This feat marks the 21st time Okagbare has run under 11 seconds in her career.

Congratulations are in order.

With at least 13 million children out of school in Nigeria presently and rising, with 60 percent of this number being girls, even when they are able to receive an education, there is still a huge challenge keeping young girls in school due to some factors

These factors include poverty, sexual and gender based violence, kidnappings, teenage pregnancy, family responsibilities and forced marriages and so on, make it difficult for young girls to focus on their education. Harmful traditional practices such as early marriages, female genital mutilation, girls trafficking, farming out children to family members to foster and so on, all contribute to creating a toxic environment for girls to grow up and be educated in.

In light of all these, the first lady of Ekiti state, Erelu Bisi Fayemi is focused on addressing these issues with her Keep Girls In School Campaign. According to her, one of the factors that keep young girls away from school is ‘period poverty’ or lack of capacity for menstrual hygiene management.

Lack of appropriate facilities such as gender segregated toilet facilities, adequate safe water supply in schools for washing hands and maintaining good hygiene, absence of sanitary menstrual materials and so on can and does prevent girls from safe hygienic management of their periods.

These may result in absenteeism, reduced levels of concentration in class and low participation in school activities like sports and other extra-curricular activities. The campaign therefore launched a Pad Bank on Menstrual Hygiene Day to enable vulnerable girls in the state have access to reusable sanitary protection, a sustainable way of menstrual hygiene management.

According to the first lady, the bank’s objectives include having a steady supply of menstrual hygiene products, helping young girls who are unable to afford sanitary materials and ensure that young girls don’t stay away from school because of their monthly cycle.

Others include, promoting good menstrual hygiene amongst young girls, providing training in the use of menstrual hygiene products and providing opportunities for young local entrepreneurs to learn how to produce reusable and safe sanitary products.

She added that a box of six reusable pads that can last for a year costs N2, 500 and their target is 3000 girls yearly in the state. Calling for support to enable them reach and surpass this goal, she said donations in cash or kind would enable them keep a steady supply of these reusable pads for regular distribution to young girls that need them the most.

Naomi Osaka announced this week that she wouldn’t be doing post-match interviews during the French Open in an effort to preserve her mental health.

Naomi was issued her first fine for not participating in post-match Interviews during the French Open — as well as a grave warning about more serious consequences she may face if she continues to skip out on press conferences.

On Sunday, days after the 23-year-old tennis star announced she wouldn’t be doing press during the championship in an effort to preserve her mental health, Osaka picked up her first win and a $15,000 fine.

The board of Grand Slam tennis tournaments also released a statement on Sunday, warning that she could face possible expulsion in the future.

“Naomi Osaka announced last Wednesday on social media that she would not participate in the mandatory media interviews at Roland-Garros 2021,” read the joint statement from the French Open as well as the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open.

“Following this announcement, the Roland-Garros teams asked her to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue, and what might be done to address it on site,” the statement continued.”She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them, and that rules should equally apply to all players.

Repeat violations could include “default from the tournament” as well as “more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions.”

In the statement, the board of Grand Slam tennis tournaments also called speaking with the media a “core element of the Grand Slam regulations.”

“We want to underline that rules are in place to ensure all players are treated exactly the same, no matter their stature, beliefs, or achievement,” they wrote. “As a sport, there is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honor their commitments.”

When Osaka announced her decision earlier this week, she wrote that she’s “often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health, and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.”

“We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me,” she wrote, noting that the decision was “nothing personal” toward the tournament or any of the journalists.

“If the organizations think that they can just keep saying, ‘do press or you’re gonna be fined,’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh,” she concluded. “Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.”

Alongside her statement, Osaka also shared a clip from an interview with a then-14-year-old Venus Williams filmed after a reporter questioned her confidence in saying “I know I can beat” an upcoming opponent.

Before Williams could defend herself in the clip, her father Richard Williams stepped in, telling the reporter, “You’re dealing with a little Black kid. Let her be a kid! She answered that with a lot of confidence, [so] leave that alone.”

In 2016, Venus Willaims was fined $5,000 by the Australian Open for failing to show up for press conferences after she lost in the first roundShe and her sister Serena Williams  were also each fined $4,000 in 2010 after skipping press at Wimbledon after a doubles match.

If you or someone you know need mental health help, kindly reach out to mentally aware Nigeria, She Writes Woman , or any mental health organization In your country.

Bathabile Mpofu is a South African born award winning – Scientist, Innovator and Social Entrepreneur.

She is the Founder and MD at Nkazimulo Applied Sciences, an innovative social enterprise that aims at helping young people become scientists, through their innovation “ChemStart” a portable science kit that makes science fun and come to life.

It provides hands on interaction with science concepts and their application in real life.

“At age 16, I realised how unprepared I was for university science education. I was capable but dis-empowered. High School didn’t prepare me for university education. I only got to do science experiments for the first time when I got to university, and because of that, I have made it my mission to empower and help young people become scientists,” said Mpofu.

“ChemStart makes quality science education accessible. Parents no longer need to take their children to private school in order for them to perform science experiments as part of their learning. Our product can be shipped anywhere in Africa as well, so you can be in the bush and still use the kit,” concluded Mpofu.

10-year-old coder, Soliyana Gizaw Hunde recently won the inaugural AfriCANCode Challenge, after she developed a fun and engaging educational game named ‘Mathstainment’, to practice math and raise awareness of COVID-19 related health protocols.

Mathstainment was inspired by Soliyana’s love of maths and science and her strong community spirit.

“Being part of the AfriCANCode Challenge has been fun, and winning the national and overall competition was very exciting,” says Soliyana, who lives with her parents in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. “It has motivated me to do more and dream big.”

The AfriCANcode Challenge was introduced after the 2020 SAP Africa Code Week programme shifted to an all-virtual format in the wake of the global pandemic. The competition challenged youth aged 8 to 16 to develop a game using the Scratch coding language to reimagine school and education, or answer the question “How will your tech change the future of education?”.

Participants from 22 countries made it to the final round of the competition, and the winner was announced in early 2021. All of the top three winners were girls, with Soliyana crowned overall winner at a virtual prize-giving ceremony in February.

Soliyana says she was inspired to learn coding after seeing the projects her cousin, a software engineering student at one of the local state universities, was doing. “When I was eight, my cousin helped me take a short coding training course at a local centre. Since then, I have watched instructional videos on YouTube, and I have been motivated to keep practising.”

After the pandemic forced the Ethiopian government to close schools, Soliyana decided to apply her coding skills in the service of her community by participating in the AfriCANCode Challenge.

“When we started staying at home due to the pandemic, I heard how it was affecting people in our community and what we could do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I decided to develop my Mathstainment game to create awareness about COVID-19 and offer a simple and fun way to practice maths.”

Mathstainment was built using the Scratch programming language. It asks a series of maths questions that lead a character on the screen ever closer to personal protective equipment (PPE) for each correct answer. After a few incorrect answers, the player has to start over. Maths questions are posed at varying difficulty levels, ranging from ‘Easy’ to ‘Difficult’.

Asked what lies ahead for the young coding champion, Soliyana says: “I want to be an astronomer. I want to know how the universe works.”

Alexandra van der Ploeg, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP, says:

The innovation and community-minded spirit displayed by this year’s participants point to a bright future for Africa’s citizens. It is also hugely encouraging to see the high ratio of female participants, whose ingenuity saw all three top place finishes claimed by girls.

SAP Africa Code Week and the AfriCANCode Challenge mobilises hundreds of partners in the public and private sector who rally around the urgent task of empowering Africa’s youth with essential digital skills. As we continue into an uncertain future, this investment into youth skills development will pay huge dividends over the coming years and decades.

On the #GettalkingwithEsther tweet chat session on May 14th,  Esther hosted versatile TV host and producer; Elsie Godwin, and they discussed “Using Social Media to combat fake news”.

The wonderful  guest dropped alot nuggets during the popular tweet chat session, here are excerpt from their conversation, and how people reacted

 

At the end of the tweet chat , the host asked participants what they learnt from the session, and this is what they have to say;
You can see more of the conversation on @estherijewere’s timeline on twitter; https://twitter.com/estherijewere

The next tweet chat is slated for May 27th.

Despite many career strides, encouraging Black girls to pursue STEM careers is still greatly needed. For example, in 2019, Edutopia published an article written by Carly Berwick about how stereotypes and cultural norms dampen girls’ interest in STEM. However, educators could counter the disparities with small changes to their practice. Additionally, Nicole Joseph, assistant professor of mathematics and science education at Vanderbilt University research, was quoted as stating that research has shown that Black girls view themselves as outsiders in mathematics, and teachers view them as outsiders, too.

But solutions are at work, to close the gender and race gap, with the help of companies and organizations, in addition to educators. Tech leader Microsoft, and Beverly Bond—who is founder and CEO of the award-winning women’s empowerment, lifestyle, and philanthropic brand BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® — just announced ‘a strategic partnership to build technology infrastructure and empower more Black girls to become leaders through access to culturally relevant programs, leadership development, and STEM skills.’ Black Girls Rock Inc. has been devoted to the healthy, positive identity development of young women and girls by providing programs that support critical thinking, leadership development, sisterhood, innovation, civic engagement and career exposure. Now, more goals can be achieved in some of these areas.

The press release stated that the goal of the alliance is to strengthen the transformative work of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® with the technology and scale of the Microsoft’s ecosystem.

“It’s remarkable to be championed by a towering institution like Microsoft to propel the work we’ve been doing at BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® to educate, empower and inspire the next generation,” Beverly Bond said in the announcement. “This partnership gives BLACK GIRLS ROCK! the support necessary to expand our work to help more girls find their voices, define their truths, and forge the futures they envision.”

Marcie Nymark, director of Strategic Partnerships for Microsoft, added that Microsoft shares BLACK GIRLS ROCK’s commitment to empowering women and girls.

“We also recognize the challenges facing women, especially Black women, are complex – no one organization can solve them all. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Beverly and BLACK GIRLS ROCK! to bring together our efforts to educate and inspire the next generation of innovators,” Nymark also stated in the press release.

Resources, programs, and tech solutions will reportedly support three key initiatives, which include a BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Book Club launching this month, BLACK GIRLS ROCK 15-year Anniversary Fundraising Gala in June, and a BLACK GIRLS LEAD Leadership Conference in July.

Further details explained that the partnership will officially kick-off with the launch of the first BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® Book Club and workshop April 14, at 12pm EST/9am PST featuring Bond’s book BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth!, and facilitated by BLACK GIRLS ROCK alumna Kathie Duperval. The virtual event will be free and open to the public. Registration should be completed through Microsoft Store events.

Additionally, Microsoft Store will host each book club event which will be followed by an interactive virtual workshop designed for students and inspired by the book’s core themes and motifs. Microsoft will be the presenting sponsor of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK 15-year Anniversary Fundraising Gala. Musical performances will include Chaka Khan’s. It was also announced that the BLACK GIRLS LEAD conference, powered by Microsoft Teams, will bring together teen girls to participate in workshops, panel discussions, and lectures led by world-class educators, artists, business moguls, scientists, entertainers and other influencers.

Source: Blackenterprise.com

LinkedIn has added “stay-at-home mom” and other role titles to its public resume function in a move to better reflect high numbers of people – particularly women – who have left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Options added this week also include “stay-at-home dad” and “stay-at-home parent,” and the Microsoft-owned platform has also removed the requirement that resume entries be linked to a specific employer.

The move comes following a post on Medium’s ‘Better Marketing’ website that criticized LinkedIn’s lack of flexibility on its language as biased against women who have left the workforce.

Jobs data shows that the pandemic has hit women much harder than men.

As part of its larger profile redesign, the company on Tuesday also unveiled several other changes, including a dedicated, formal field for LinkedIn users to add their gender pronouns to their profiles. Such a pronoun entry has also been long requested by many LinkedIn users, who until now have found informal workarounds (like adding their pronouns to the end of their names).

“Pronouns are a core part of our identity, and how we want to present ourselves—and within the jobs marketplace, we believe that clarity about someone’s gender pronouns is very, very important,” Ayenew says.

He adds that making all of these changes to LinkedIn’s profiles “has taken more time than we would like” because of the degree of technology redesign it has required. “The profile is very, very core and foundational to our entire ecosystem—so we have to be very careful and deliberate about the changes we make,” he says. “We are finally getting to it—and we’re excited to be rolling it out.”

Nigerian athlete, Aminat Idrees, just won the Taekwondo gold medal while eight months pregnant, Blavity reports.

Idrees participated in Taekwondo’s Mixed Poomsae category, a form of exercise that showcases the hand and leg techniques of the sport at The National Sports Festival in Edo, Nigeria, last week. After her electrifying performance, Idrees took home the gold medal, she was praised by festival organizers for being “inspiring.”

“It’s such a privilege for me. I just decided to give it a try after training a couple of times…It feels really good. Before I got pregnant, I have always enjoyed training, so it didn’t seem different with pregnancy,” Idrees told reporters.

The 26-year-old underwent a complete medical exam before she could participate and was cleared by doctors after training for months. She feels like her win is an opportunity to introduce others to the art of Taekwondo.

“A lot of people don’t understand what Taekwondo is actually about. I feel this is an avenue to educate people about this. Taekwondo has two branches: the combat sport and Poomsae…I participated in [the] Poomsae event,” Idrees said.

In addition to her gold medal, Idrees also took home a silver medal in the female team Poomsae category and an individual bronze medal. She lead as a top athlete at the festival and made history as the first athlete to win a gold medal for her hometown, Lagos state.

“I felt there wasn’t much risk attached to it, so I decided to give it a try. My doctor, as well as the organizing body of the games, certified me fit to participate in the non-contact sport,” said Idrees.

Congratulations Aminat!