As part of the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp, we are thrilled to present an exclusive Fireside Chat featuring remarkable speakers who have made significant strides in their respective industries. Each of them is a powerhouse in their respective fields, bringing a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to our event.
The Fireside chat is scheduled for 3pm on August 12th, marking the final day of our Bootcamp. Register here to gain access to the BootCamp and fireside chat
Meet the Fireside Amazons.
1. Ariyike Akinbobola
Harvard X-certified in Child Protection, a coach for immigrant families, a highly sought-after media personality, a multi-award winner, and a consultant for aspiring authors on Amazon self-publishing. Through her Ariyike Arise Initiative Africa, she funds education for children in disadvantaged communities. Ariyike believes in making a positive impact, donating masks in 2020 and winning the Immigrant Leader award in 2021.
She’s an advocate for Female Genital Mutilation abandonment and a literacy ambassador for Project 99A in Canada. Her Amazon Bestselling books, Beautifully Coloured and The Cost of our Lives, showcase her talent. Celebrated as one of the 16 Inspiring Women Making a Difference In Canada by Women of Rubies.
2. Nikki Porcher
Nikki, the founder of Buy From A Black Woman,is on a mission to empower, educate, and inspire Black Women Business Owners while advocating for their support through #BuyFromABlackWoman.
Her nonprofit equips Black Women with the tools and resources they need to succeed in business, leading to over $2.7 Million in revenue for Black Women Founders in the last year.
Through educational programs, funding, and an online directory, Nikki’s organization connects and supports a thriving community of Black Women Business Owners globally. As a veteran and former public school teacher, she brings her expertise to create a more equitable world for Black Women. With impressive partnerships and a dedicated platform for Black Woman-Owned Businesses, Nikki continues to inspire others on their entrepreneurial journey. Learn more about Nikki and Buy From A Black Woman at ablackwomanwebsite.com and buyfromablackwoman.org.
3. Maryam Muritala
Meet Maryam Muritala, a foreign trained lawyer specializing in Business, Technology, Copyright, Trademark law, and Contract Management. With her expertise, she serves as an experienced Business Development Consultant, assisting entrepreneurs worldwide in launching successful businesses. Maryam is the visionary behind Canada Vendors, a Business Development and Advertising Company that utilizes digital marketing tools to provide structured visibility to businesses across Canada and the diaspora.
At Canada Vendors, they offer Business Development Consultations and Solutions, digital brand advertising, connecting service providers with potential clients, and hosting Business Networking Events. During the lockdown between 2020 and 2022, they interviewed 255 small businesses across various communities in Canada, offering support during challenging times.
Additionally, Maryam Muritala is the convener of Brand Expo, a remarkable brand visibility event that showcases various brands across Canada.
4. Funmi Ayowole
Funmi Fatona-Ayowole, Founder of The Soul Clinic, provides mental health support for Canadians. As an emotional health and wellness coach, speaker, counsellor, project manager, and team lead, Funmi empowers individuals and visions by unlocking their potentials through coaching and counselling. Her personal mission is to contribute to healing the world, leaving a legacy of impact, health, and wealth for the next generation.
At TheVirtualSoulClinic, a tech-driven non-profit organization, Funmi connects trained volunteer coaches with people in the community who need mental health support via virtual safe spaces. Through evidence-based QuickScan and 15-minute support calls, the non-profit offers mental health first aid, listening non-judgmentally and helping clients take initial steps on their healing journey.
Esther Ijewere – Moderator
Esther Ijewere is a renowned PR strategist, multi-award winner, and the inspiring founder of Women of Rubies, an empowerment platform celebrating and amplifying the achievements of remarkable women. Esther’s strategic approach to public relations and storytelling, coupled with her commitment to fostering a supportive community, has made her a respected figure in the industry.
Stylist Piazza, a leading beauty and style platform, is thrilled to announce its media partnership with the incredible #GetTalkingwithEsther. This collaboration marks a transformative journey to redefine beauty and provide unparalleled beauty experiences to audiences worldwide.
As a company, Stylist Piazza is dedicated to empowering individuals to embrace their unique beauty and style. Through this exciting partnership with #GetTalkingwithEsther, Stylist Piazza aims to elevate its mission by combining expertise, passion, and innovation to create an extraordinary beauty journey, says Chima Obiaka, Founder & CEO of Stylist Piazza.
Esther Ijewere is renowned for her expertise, captivating storytelling, and unwavering commitment to helping individuals find their voice and promote positivity. Together, Stylist Piazza and #GetTalkingwithEsther will deliver inspiring content, educational resources, and exclusive beauty experiences to their audience.
This partnership will unlock the secrets of beauty, share empowering stories, and provide valuable tools and knowledge to enhance beauty routines and career paths within the beauty and personal care service industry. Esther Ijewere, the esteemed host of #GetTalkingwithEsther, expressed her excitement about the media partnership:
“I am absolutely thrilled to kick off the month with this incredible media partnership with Stylist Piazza for my #GettalkingwithEsther live show. This opportunity is a true testament to the power of consistency, and importance of creating valuable media contents. I am grateful for the chance to reach a wider audience and bring more engaging content to everyone through my social media platforms. Stay tuned for exciting episodes and updates!” – Esther Ijewere, Host of #GettalkingwithEsther.
Together, Stylist Piazza and #GetTalkingwithEsther will revolutionize beauty experiences, foster self-expression, and empower individuals worldwide to embrace their unique beauty and style.
About Stylist Piazza
Stylist Piazza is a leading beauty tool (beauty and personal care service booking app) providing on-demand beauty services for the African beauty industry. we are helping beauty and personal care service professionals manage client CRM, fair payment process, solving Value pricing and how services are being accessed with easier steps at the convenience of the client.
Think bolt, think stylist piazza app for the beauty industry. With stylist piazza customers come to you on the app and not a salon. Follow stylist piazza on Facebook, Instagram @stylistpiazza.
#GetTalkingwithEsther is an engaging live show hosted by Esther Ijewere, a passionate advocate for finding one’s voice and promoting positivity. Through insightful conversations and expert advice, #GetTalkingwithEsther empowers individuals to communicate effectively, elevate their confidence, and make a positive impact in their lives and communities. The show is syndicated on Youtube channel via @estherijewere4
Nigerian Women In Canada are breaking boundaries, and making the motherland proud. Being a women’s advocate and new Immigrant In Canada, the first thing I did was to check out women whose work and life would inspire me to dare to be different, and stay focused. I have celebrated some of these women for their work and global achievements on my platform as “Women of Rubies”, and I followed their work closely.
These women have been able to break the barrier that prevents black women from reaching the top of their careers. They have been celebrated for their accomplishments, and recognized for changing narratives and making room for other women to thrive through their various endeavors.
In no particular order, here is our “Part 1” Women of Rubies list of 16 Nigerian women In Canada who are making us proud.
Dr. Addy is also the Founder of STEMHub Foundation, a Canadian non-profit that empowers and teaches science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to students and early career professionals. In addition, she seats on the board of Health Science & Innovation Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana as the Secretary of the board.
She was recently recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Women In Canada. She is a multi-award winner and mentor to several young people.
2. Dr. Rita Orji
Rita Orji is a Nigerian-Canadian Computer Science Professor, a Canada Research Chair in Persuasive Technology, and the Director of the Persuasive Computing Lab at Dalhousie University in Canada.
Rita has contributed some amazing things to Canada, including founding and directing the Persuasive Computing Lab at Dalhousie, and conducting research on designing interactive technologies that empower people, improve lives and contribute to solving many societal problems. “As a professor, she conducts research, teaches, supervises, and mentor students, write grants, and gets involved in many community services.
Due to her passion for mentoring the next generation of youth and female tech leaders, promoting research excellence, equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM, Professor Rita founded the Education for Women and the Less Privileged Foundation, NGO, and she recently launched a YouTube channel, “Time with Prof. Rita.” She was recently recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Women In Canada.
3. Brenda Okorogba
Brenda Okorogba is an award-winning service and learning experience designer. She has a gift for creating targeted public services and learning solutions that address relevant classroom, workplace, community, career, and business needs in advancing opportunities for equity-deserving groups in particular.
Her client-centered approach and dignity-informed methodologies have resulted in over $40 million in grants for nonprofits, small business owners, and startup entrepreneurs. Students have successfully secured more than $80.4M in college funding, transitioned into dynamic career paths, learned specialized skills, built positive personal identities, increased their social and emotional learning skills, and improved their leadership abilities.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of social-impact-driven Canadian Charitable organizations where she contributes her time and ideas on issues focused on gender equity and social inclusion, youth education and employment, workforce development, immigrant women, affordable healthcare, and housing.
4. Tracy Folorunsho-Barry
Tracy Folorunsho-Barry is a multi-award-winning career strategist, recruiter, Founder, and CEO of GROW Women Leaders and GROW Foundation. During her migration to Canada from Nigeria, Barry faced struggles with integrating into the country. She lacked the proper guidance and support she needed as an immigrant. Barry also found that her struggles were common for other immigrant women in Canada and decided to take action after freeing herself from a limited lifestyle.
She took the initiative to start helping other women, especially immigrants, reach their full potential and access new opportunities regarding their careers. Since then, she has dedicated her career to helping thousands of women, especially immigrants, get hired and advance their careers.
In 2017, under GROW Foundation, Barry launched Project150: Accomplished Immigrant Women in Canada and the Speak Out Women series where she began gathering stories from more than 200 immigrant women across Canada who have overcome adversity to achieve success in their careers and lives.
Later in 2018, Barry founded GROW Women Leaders (GROW), a career leadership development and advancement platform designed to help women get hired and advance their careers. In 2021, she opened The GROW Space, a socially conscious 7000sq ft facility that houses Nurture café, lounge, co-working space, and more. Proceeds from the facility go directly towards supporting women, especially immigrants, to get hired and advance their careers – the public is encouraged to use the facility to work and study in.
For her contributions and community involvement, she has been honored with various awards and recognitions such as; Top 100 Black Women to Watch In Canada, Top 6 Immigrant Women of Inspiration, and a notable recognition by Mayor Don Iveson and the City of Edmonton in 2020.
5. Patricia Bebia Mawa
After launching a successful career as a TV personality in Nigeria as the host of the show Lunch Date, Patricia Bebia Mawa relocated to Canada and essentially started her media career from scratch. She’s now the executive vice president of the Afroglobal TV channel as well as host and producer of the long-running TV show, Planet Africa, which is broadcasted across Canada on OMNI TV and syndicated to Europe and Africa.
She is also the executive vice president and editorial director of Afroglobal parent Silvertrust Media, which she co-founded with her husband, Moses. Their media empire includes magazines, TV shows, awards, and an expanding online presence.
Listed in the Who’s Who in Black Canada, she is a recipient of the Toronto Police Community Service Award, the International Women Achievers Award, the Martin Luther King DreamKeeper Award, and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
6. Ehi Ade-Mabo
For over 10 years, Ehi has inspired and empowered men and women of all ages and walks of life to rise above their challenges and be the best they can be. Whether you struggle with finding your sweet spot in your purpose, relationships, finances, brand, and self esteem, or you just know life should be more exciting than it is now, you are not alone. Ehi Ade Mabo has continued to encourage and coach people of all ages to find the zeal, power, and Passion to rise above their current struggles, and live the life of their dreams.
Ehi Ade Mabo Is a life Coach, blogger, writer, speaker, and author. She has impacted thousands all over the world with her teaching and mentorship.
7. Adebola Adefioye
Adebola is a Child Development Practitioner. She holds an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Seneca College, a Master’s in Child and Youth Care, from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), and a Certificate in Advancing Women’s Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding for Community Development from Coady Institute, Canada. She is a final semester student in a Graduate Certificate program in Mental Health Intervention (MHI). Adebola has worked with children, women, and families in different settings (child care, school, shelter, crisis line, and community). Adebola is passionate about building authentic relationships with racialized, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Person of Colour) children, families, and communities and collaborating with them to reduce inequities, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and improve mental health and wellness.
Adebola works for a provincial non-profit agency on a project that focuses on understanding the impact of COVID-19 on racialized mothers and educators in Ontario. The project will inform recommendations for feminist, child care, and family program policies in Ontario, Canada.
She is also actively involved in Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) work. She offers training, workshops, and public education programs to various organizations. She is the founder of the Afro Women and Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization providing leadership, empowerment and mentorship programs to Black immigrant women and youth in Toronto and Sudbury, Ontario.
Ariyike Akinbobola is a Nigerian Author and Amazon Canada Best Selling Author, content creator, foreign trained Lawyer currently working as a Senior Business Immigration Analyst in Toronto. Her work experience spans over a decade in the Media, Entertainment, Consulting, Immigration and Not-for.Profit Industries. Through her entertainment Platform, Ariland Entertainment, she hosts Moving Abroad: Immigrant Success Stories, an immigrant talk show where she interviews Immigrants succeeding globally. She also showcases African culture, fashion, lifestyle and Immigrant experiences through storytelling.
Ariyike started creating content on her Youtube channel (Ariyike Akinbobola channel) in 2012 and she was among the first set of Youtubers recognized by Youtube at the Youtube stars event where 5 Youtubers were recognized in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a Professional MC and has successfully hosted events globally and she has also moderated sessions on Diversity and Inclusion, Kindness, Digital Media, Entertainment Law, Communications and TV Presenting.
Ariyike has a Certificate in Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice from Harvard X and she also coaches Immigrant families relocating abroad on expectations and how to navigate their new reality and she consults for aspiring authors who want to learn how to self publish their books on Amazon. Through her Ariyike Arise Initiative Africa, she has helped to fund the education of Children in disadvantaged communities in Africa. In 2020, they donated 1000 facemasks to People in disadvantaged communities in Ajegunle, Lagos, Nigeria. She believes the world would be a better place if everyone did more for others.
In 2021, Ariyike became the first winner of the Immigrant Leader award at the Universal Women’s Network Women of Inspiration Award. As an advocate for Female Genital Mutilation abandonment in Nigeria, she volunteered as a digital advocate for UNFPA / UNICEF and was recognized as the UNFPA / UNICEF Frown Award – Female Genital Mutilation Abandonment Advocate of the year amongst other recognitions.
Ariyike also volunteers as a Literacy Ambassador for Project 99A in Canada and a Mentor with the Canadian Multicultural Group. Her books, Beautifully Coloured and The Cost of our Lives, both Amazon Best selling books are available on Amazon. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, dancing, meeting new people and creating content on her YouTube channel. Ariyike is married with Children.
9. Ejibola Adetokunbo Taiwo
Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo is an entrepreneur, an entrepreneurship consultant, a business coach, and an advocate for women entrepreneurs who is passionate about encouraging, empowering, and supporting women to use entrepreneurship as a tool for leadership and economic advancement.
She’s the CEO of Simply Ejibola Inc., the Founder and Principal Consultant at de Sedulous Women Leaders, and has also been the lead creator of several entrepreneurship initiatives like femImmiGRANTS, a grant specifically for BIPOC female entrepreneurs in Canada, the iiNTEGRATE NEXT program for newcomers in Canada, the iLaunchHERproduct, a program aimed at connecting women-owned businesses with big box retail stores in Canada, and the Rise Up Pitch Competition, a national grant program for Black Canadian women entrepreneurs.
Ejibola has been recognized for her work by several organizations like the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Immigrant Magazine, Diversity Magazine Canada, 2022’s 100 Accomplished Black Women, and she is also one of our 2021 Top 25 Women of Influence Awards recipients.
10. Deborah Ojo
Deborah Ojo is the founder and CEO Deborahomes, A multi million dollar real estate investor and an award winning real estate broker devoted to serving the needs of real estate buyers and sellers throughout the Greater Toronto Market . When she is not investing into real estate, she is helping her client start or continue to achieve their financial freedom through Real estate.
Deborah is known for her honesty, highest level of client service and 100 % determination to help you achieve your goals no matter what. Deborah has built an incredible network of fellow agents that makes Deborahomes a natural repertoire of dynamic qualities that set her apart and enable her to successfully procure the goals of the buyers and sellers she represents.
With over 10 years experience In the Real Estate sector, she has taught over 63 seminars and counting to minority communities on how to Own their own piece of real estate free of charge as a way to give back to those communities, and helping women who have passion for the business find their path and earn a living.
11. Dr. Onye Nnorom
Onyenyechukwu (Onye) Nnorom, family physician, specialist in public health and preventive medicine (born 27 February 1981 in Montreal, Quebec). Nnorom is the associate director of the residency program in public health and preventive medicine at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She also leads the Black health curriculum at the university’s medical school. Her work addresses the health inequities that racialized and immigrant communities face.
Onye Nnorom’s work focuses on health equity and the impact of racism on health. In particular, she studies anti-Black racism as a driver of health inequities in Canada.
Since 2016, Nnorom has led the University of Toronto’s efforts to build education on these issues into its medical school curriculum. In February 2020, Nnorom was appointed the first ever equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) lead of the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine. She advises the department’s executive on policies that impact EDI for faculty, residents, students and staff.
Nnorom is the creator and host of the Race, Health & Happiness podcast. She launched the show in 2020 to help racialized people stay well, thrive and find joy. Its first season coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affected Black and other racialized peoples. She was recently recognized as on the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian.
12. Jenny Okonkwo
Game changing community builder, founder of award winning Black Female Accountants Network An experienced business and finance leader, Jenny is passionate about helping women uncover their full potential in order to become their best professional selves and achieve their career goals. In 2016, a workplace representation gap led her to create Black Female Accountants Network (BFAN).
BFAN is an award winning volunteer non profit group that has helped newcomers to Canada reconnect with their professional careers, inspires and encourages future generations of female business leaders, creates professional and personal growth opportunities for local members.
In 2019 as a result of her work, Jenny was nominated and became a “Top 75” Finalist, Canadian Immigrant Awards, was recognized as one of the “Top 100” Black Women to Watch in Canada and received the “Be the Change” Award from Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.
Jenny also received formal recognition in 2019 from MP Omar Alghabra, in his previous capacity as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification. Jenny is a member of the AICPA (Association of International Certified Professional Accountants) National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion.
13. Nnenna Uboma
Nnenna Uboma is the Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) of Beyond Math. Nnenna is an Analytics Senior leader and has over 20 years of experience leading high performing analytical teams to develop industry edge solutions. Nnenna is known for her “Can do” attitude and ability to think out-of-the-box. Nnenna has grown passion for tutoring and coaching analytical professional over the past decade. She has mentored many successful professionals in Analytics Nnenna spends her spare time nurturing High School kids in Leadership and Entrepreneurship skills. She was recently recognized for her work at the 100 ABC
14. Janey Buzugbe
Janey is an energetic entrepreneur and tech partnerships leader who believes in living life by giving; and what she has to give is humanity at the intersection of business and technology. As of recently, she headed the Black Innovation Programs & Partnerships at the DMZ, providing leadership and support to Founders across 5 programs with resources and access to 30+ partners to help grow their ventures – but that is not all. She is the host of JaneyofCanada; a YouTube channel providing career & settlement advice for immigrants and also the Founder of Immiducation, a community-first Startup that supports over 17000+ immigrant professionals with career-readiness skills, a career network and access to careers in Tech.
Over the past decade, her tech career has span over the corporate, non-profit and startup worlds in digital marketing, program & product management, recruitment, and Tech Partnerships.
Janey holds an undergraduate degree in Information Technology, postgraduate certificates in Media and Account Management and a Master’s in Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.
15. Maryam Muritala
Maryam is a Foreign trained lawyer with areas of specialization in Business , Technology , Copyright and Trademark Law, and Contract Management. She is also an experienced Business Development Consultant.
She has helped entrepreneurs across five continents launch successful and thriving businesses through Canada Vendors, a Business Development and Advertising Company using digital marketing tools to give structured visibility to businesses across Canada and the diaspora.
At Canada Vendors, they offer Business Development Consultations and Solutions, Advertise brands using digital technology, connect service providers with prospective clients, and host Business Networking Events. Between 2020 and 2022 during the lockdown, we interviewed 255 Small businesses across various communities in Canada offering supports successfully hosted BRAND EXPO in 2021 and 2022
Canada Vendors launched a mini-series on youtube in 2021 titled “THE ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY” spotlighting business owners across communities in Canada, so far we have interviewed entrepreneurs from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Alberta. The series is ongoing and they hope to spotlight more entrepreneurs across Canada.
16. Nifemi Fagbohun
Oluwanifemi Showole-Fagbohun is An Internationally trained Chemical and Polymer Engineer whose experience spans wide from Project Research Engineering, Project Management, Beauty Consultancy, Event planning, Business Coaching, Author, Customer Resolution Specialist , Health and Beauty Safety Advocate, Independent Executive Sales Consultant, and a lot more under her belt.
Nifemi fondly called ‘Niffy’ wears many hats as a Global Beauty Mogul, Beauty expert/consultant @niffysignature . Founder and Business Coach @montrealvendors , Wardrobe Stylist @accessoriesbyniffy, An Independent Executive Sales Consultant, Wife and Mum to 3 Adorables.
Her love for health and safe beauty practices infused with her passion for women empowerment has led her to create a Makeup Brand called ‘Niffy Signature’ with her own line of Vegan and Cruelty-free Makeup Products.
She has a great penchant for paying attention to details and this earned her awards over the years : ‘Award of Excellence’ from the Nigerian Hair Show where she meticulously doubled as the official Makeup Artist for the Models and as one of the Judges. ‘Award of Recognition’ in Montreal where she was the official Makeup Artist for the ‘Walk of Hope for Mental Health’ event in 2018, ‘Community Personality Award’ from Canada vendors in 2020. ‘Award of Recognition’ in April, 2022 from the City of Saint Laurent Councillors, Montreal Community for her tremendous impact in championing and building the small business community in Montreal, (Quebec) along a slew of other notable mentions.
Oluwanifemi’s love for community building, adding value to lives and the need to ensure all small businesses feel recognized, loved and celebrated birthed the Montreal Vendors platform in Quebec.
She created the Montreal Vendors platform 10th April, 2020 with the desire to add value to her small business community at the onset of Covid when it was really tough for businesses. Her major focus is on Promoting all Small Businesses in diverse fields as we promote diversity in Montreal and all around the province of Quebec at large.
Nifemi being a Canadian Licenced Business Coach and also a Canadian Certified Executive Sales Consultant, both under the tutelage of St.Pius Career Centre under the English Montreal School Board, is using her knowledge to impact her small business community to the fullest of her capacity.
She’s presently a Nominee for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022.
….It doesn’t end here.
The “Part 2″ of this list will be released soon. Do you know Nigerian women who should make our list of Inspiring Women In Canada? Kindly send their names, social media handles and link of their work to email@example.com with the subject: ” Nigerian Women in Canada “.
Mindfulness practice is one of my favorite type of meditation, perhaps because it’s easy, even for beginners. It is the act of combining awareness and concentration.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a technique used for thousands of years to develop awareness of the present moment. It can involve practices to sharpen focus and attention, connect to the body and breath, develop acceptance of difficult emotions, and even alter consciousness. It’s been shown to offer a number of physical and psychological benefits like stress reduction and improved immunity.
It doesn’t belong to any particular religion or faith. Though ancient in origin, it’s still practiced today in cultures all over the world to create a sense of peace, calm, and inner harmony. Meditation may offer a solution to the growing need to reduce stress in the midst of busy schedules and demanding lives.
There are 8 other types of meditation. We practice at least 3 of it naturally but people don’t even know they are types of meditation.
8 other popular types of meditation practice according to Healthline
Spiritual: It focuses on developing a deeper understanding of spiritual/religious meaning and connection with a higher power.
Focused: Involves concentration using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention. Example includes, staring at a candle flame or counting your breath. It may be simple in theory, but it can be difficult for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first. If your mind does wander, simply come back to the practice and refocus. This practice is ideal for anyone who wants to sharpen their focus and attention.
Movement: This is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you into a deeper connection with your body and the present moment. Movement meditation is good for people who find peace in action and want to develop body awareness.
Mantra: This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, one of the most common being “om.” , This is also a good practice for people who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.
Transcendental: It was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and refers to a specific practice designed to quiet the mind and induce a state of calm and peace. It involves the use of mantra and is best taught by a certified TM practitioner.
Progressive: This form of meditation involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body. In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension. This form of meditation is often used to relieve stress and unwind before bedtime
Loving-kindness: It is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others. It typically involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings. Because this type of meditation is intended to promote compassion and kindness, it may be ideal for those holding feelings of anger or resentment.
Visualization: It is a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualizing positive scenes, images, or figures. This practice involves imagining a scene vividly and using all five senses to add as much detail as possible. It can also involve holding a beloved or honored figure in mind with the intention of embodying their qualities.
Incase you woke up today feeling down and weary, or you probably lost your spark or the energy to keep pushing, I encourage you to try the mindfulness meditation, just make sure you release your soul from worry and anxiety before you start. You can also practice anyother one on the list to help you stay grounded.
Temi Marcella Awogboro is a pioneer and change agent passionate about unlocking the transformational power of capital as a catalyst for profound change globally and transforming lives through her work. She has committed over half a billion dollars in impact capital across emerging markets to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Temi is a core part of the investment leadership team responsible for scaling Evercare from inception in 2015 to a global platform comprising 30+ hospitals, 20+ clinics and 80+ diagnostics centers operating across 6 countries. She has been instrumental in leading the investment in building and operating one of the largest and most advanced private hospitals in Nigeria in a bid to transform healthcare in the region. Through her early-stage investment platforms, she is building and cultivating disruptive, transformative institutions that will emerge as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.
Temi was appointed by the President of Nigeria to sit on the Nigerian Health Sector Reform Committee under the Chairmanship of the Vice President of Nigeria. She also sits on the Equality Fund Board of Directors, Evercare Hospital Lekki Board of Directors and the Save the Children International Africa Advisory Board.
A recipient of the Future Awards Africa Prize, Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award and M&A Advisor’s European Emerging Leaders Award, she shares her inspiring story with ESTHER IJEWERE in this interview.
I am proudly Nigerian with German and Scottish heritage. I was born in Nigeria, raised in the United Kingdom, and have lived and worked across four continents. My childhood was one of discovery, adventure, and exploration. While I never felt a stranger where I lived, I also never quite fully belonged. This lived experience forced me to forge a strong personal identity that was not wedded to culture, dogmas, traditions, and ideological concepts.
I was inspired greatly by the entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic and tenacity of my parents. My father was a medical doctor turned entrepreneur, and my mother was a Miss Nigeria beauty queen, technology systems engineer, and subsequently joined my father in building the family business that straddled construction, procurement and technology. These influences are intricately woven into the individual and professional I am today.
From a tender age, my parents and close family nicknamed me “Small But Mighty” because within my pint-sized package, came mighty aspirations. As a child, I always refused to be restricted by the limits imposed by external expectations of me, with a burning desire to push beyond the limits perceived in my mind or externally imposed.
Inspiration behind my career path
I am an investment professional with over 15 years of experience in developed and growth markets. I have always been driven by my belief in the power of private capital to transform lives and my passion to unlock the power of capital as a catalyst for profound, sustainable change globally. On this journey, I have committed over half a billion in private capital to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Through my career, I have been uniquely positioned to operate at the intersection of healthcare, finance, technology and impact – often referred to as an Impact investor/healthcare operator by day and venture capitalist by night. As the Executive Director with Evercare Hospital Lekki and previous West Africa Lead of one of the first and largest dedicated impact funds globally, I have been privileged to have been part of the investment leadership responsible for scaling the fund from inception in 2015 to a global platform comprising operating across 6 countries and highlighted as one of the top 50 leaders that will “come to define the world of tomorrow.”
I have been equally driven by my belief in the central role of technology in creating a better world. Through my early-stage investment platforms, Kairos Angels and the Magic Fund, I have invested in some of the best minds and disruptive teams that are emerging as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.
The journey so far
My life’s course has been determined by doing the hard things. My Evercare journey started in 2015, based on my belief in healthcare as a fundamental right. On this journey, we ran into a number of unforeseen headwinds, which nearly stalled the project, not least of which was trying to commence formal operations during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Against this backdrop, it was extremely humbling and rewarding to celebrate the key milestones and groundbreaking feats achieved within the first 12 months of operations at Evercare’s 1year anniversary on March 10, 2022. Some of these milestones include successfully completing several complex clinical procedures in cardiology (five open heart surgeries, two permanent pacemaker insertions), spinal surgeries, first-of-its kind paediatric surgeries in the country and becoming the first facility in Africa to get Safecare Level 5 certification on the first accreditation exercise.
While the journey continues and there remains much work to be done, I am indeed proud of the considerable progress that Evercare has made in the past year and especially proud to say that we are on our way to transforming healthcare in Nigeria.
As I reflect on my journey to date, I have faced a plethora of challenges; navigating my career at the epicentre of the global financial crisis, encountering significant resistance trying to break into the private equity industry, navigating the extremely lonely path rising the ranks in male-dominated industries, witnessing first-hand the destructive impact of toxic leadership and failed institutions and juggling the demands of being a present and invested mother to two toddlers, while managing my professional commitments.
I have remained optimistic and learned to thrive under the pressure of doing the ‘impossible’ fuelled by a deep sense of purpose, an unrelenting tenacity, and an unwavering belief in myself. Failure for me is an unavoidable part of living a limitless life.
Other projects and activities
As we step into the fourth industrial revolution, I believe we are called to shape this technology revolution to empower people and create more equitable outcomes for our communities and the world. I am deeply committed to investing in entrepreneurs tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges. Through my early-stage platforms, Kairos Angels and Magic Fund, I identify aspirational entrepreneurs building impactful solutions, invest in this talent, provide mentorship, access to networks and functional support to power their trajectory. Across these platforms, we have invested in over 180+ entrepreneurs globally, many of who are already emerging as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.
What I enjoy most about my job
I am passionate about my ability to be a change agent and catalyst to transform lives through my work. This unique positioning has been fascinating and given an invaluable opportunity to work at the forefront of paradigm shifts globally. We are at a unique point in human history where world orders are shifting; new technologies are emerging. I have so many big and audacious dreams and I am excited to continue to bring these dreams to fruition.
Three women who inspire me and why
I live my life trying to take inspiration from everyone I meet. Some women who have made an impression on me include: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who stood out for me as an unapologetic, unstoppable powerhouse, relentless in her pursuit of social justice and quest for equality.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for her role as the female to serve as both finance and foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the visibility she has brought to Africa on a global stage.
Finally, Kamala Harris when in her inauguration speech, the Vice President of the USA urged young girls to “Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.”
This resonated profoundly with me as a woman who has often found herself in male-dominated rooms with few allies. I struggled with the absence of female role models until I embraced the power of my own dreams and started to see myself as the role model I was looking for.
The resilience of women during the pandemic
As an investor in healthcare, I have witnessed first-hand how women have stood at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as nurses, doctors, caregivers, innovators and as some of the most exemplary and effective leaders in combating the pandemic. It is no coincidence that women led countries most successful in stemming its tide and impact of COVID-19.
But the pandemic has sadly highlighted the disproportionate burdens women carry and their inadequate representation at the highest levels of decision-making. And new barriers emerged to impede many women’s progress, such as unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty.
Importance of educating and supporting women
I have been humbled by all the coverage and recognition received in this year’s International Women’s month. In particular, I was deeply honoured to have received the recognition by Lagos State as one of the EKO 100 Women. It is said that you can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women. ‘Women hold up half the sky’ and I am proud of the fact that His Excellency Governor Sanwo-Olu on behalf of the Lagos State Government took the step to recognise and celebrate the unending commitment of women to a more equal and equitable world.
Most important to me is the pledge to ‘support every effort to achieve a Lagos where all women and girls can live their lives to the fullest and achieve their potential without limits.’ My appeal is to continue to provide women a platform in the mainstream media and outside of 1 month a year. The strides many women are making are world class by any measure and deserve to be recognised, celebrated and amplified.
One thing I wish to change in the health sector
The single biggest issue facing the healthcare industry in Nigeria is the ongoing wave of brain drain, especially of clinical talent. Nigeria with over 40 per cent physician migration remains one of the leading African sources of foreign-born physicians. Evercare with its purpose-built infrastructure, best in class equipment, and focus on achieving quality metrics that meet international standards, is working hard to attract critical medical talent back to Nigeria from the Diaspora, thereby reversing some of the brain drain that plagues the sector.
It maintains a strategic focus of employing, retaining and investing in local resources to ensure a highly experienced, well-rounded, and diverse team, poised to support the advancement of medical care across Nigeria. I sincerely hope that my story and the work the Evercare team is doing, inspires more Nigerians in the diaspora to come back and take up the mantle of leadership to enable the nation to achieve its full potential both in the healthcare sector and beyond.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I love the concept of the Woman of Rubies as a forum for women across various walks of life to share their inspiring stories. As a woman that has risen through male dominated fields, trying to ‘have it all’, I am thankful for the platform to use my story to bring hope, motivate and inspire women all over the globe. I am striving to live life on my terms, fully embracing all aspects of my being and living the highest version of myself each day.
There is nothing that says you can’t be professional, ambitious, audacious, and successful but also be fun loving, free and love fashion. There is nothing that says you can’t hold down a boardroom and hold down your home. Women are powerful beyond measure, when we are liberated to demand and create the life we deserve.
My message to women everywhere is that you are powerful beyond measure, and your voice matters. Do not feel less entitled, expect more, take up more space and demand more, be bold in challenging the status quo. Finally, teach your girls to embrace a world of possibilities, to be proud of their ambition, regardless of their gender. Send them a clear message that they can be whomever they chose to be, and applaud them every step of the way.
I choose to live a life that is purpose driven, passion filled and performance oriented, and continue on my journey not focused on the pursuit of perfection, but led by the voices of those who christened me ‘Small but mighty’. They challenge me to create and compete; to build and nurture; to take risks and to leave my legacy.
Members of the growing and influential movement of social entrepreneurs and innovators, Catalyst 2030, will gather with world leaders during Catalysing Change Week 2022 in answer to the universal call to find bold new strategies to make the world a more sustainable and fairer place for everyone.
Launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2020, Catalyst 2030 comprises more than 1,500 people and organisations who are active in over 180 countries and who directly reach an estimated two billion people
For five days from 9-13 May 2022, you will have the opportunity to join millions of people across the world at Catalyst 2030’s Catalysing Change Week (CCW). CCW2022 offers the unique opportunity to engage with the world’s most innovative changemakers as they collaborate, co-create and share best practices.
The week-long event is open to everyone who is interested in learning about the growing Catalyst 2030 movement, its work and successes in tackling the root of some of the world’s most difficult challenges, as it seeks to accelerate attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Journalist and Founder of Rubies Ink Initiative, Esther Ijewere, will be hosting the virtual zoom session on Media and Public Policy session on the 11th of May. The session kicks off by 9.30am WAT, and 10.30 CEST.
The speakers for the session are; Gusi Tobby Lordwilliams of Girl Hub Africa, Senior Software Analyst, and Mental Health Advocate; Larmmy Ogidan-Odeseye, Journalist and Co-founder; The Gender Initiative ; Ruth Atim, and Communications expert; Rafiat Atanda.
“With over 250 sessions and activities between 9th to 13th of May globally, it is a privilege to be hosting one and bringing such a crucial conversation to the front burner, as it relates to SDGs 3, 5, and 8”, Esther Ijewere said.
Jeroo Billimoria, Catalyst 2030 spokesperson and one of the movement’s co-founders said the event provided a crucial platform for the social innovation community and world leaders to brainstorm and collaborate to explore solutions to these challenges.
“Time is simply not on our side and people are suffering unnecessarily as the UN’s 2030 deadline to meet the SDGs looms. We need to make the most of every opportunity to work together towards making our collective dream of a better world for all people a reality,” Bilimoria said.
“We are excited that Catalysing Change Week 2022 will again bring together a diverse group of experts, social innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders from the private sector and government. In a spirit of true collaboration we will listen deeply to understand the challenges and collaborate as never before to change the world for the better. Some of the problems that will be tackled include poverty, disease, food security and the pervasive global lack of access to basic services like health and education. Participants will tap into the collective wisdom around systems change while forging partnerships across countries, regions and sectors,” Billimoria said.
We invite the media and general public to join this panel session aimed at highlighting the role of the press and policy makers.
On September 11th, Esther Ijewere hosted Psychotherapist and Mental Health Advocate; Dedoyin Ajayi on her famous Tweet chat session #GettalkingwithEsther, and they discussed how to live an wholesome life.
The Psychotherapist did not only share the importance of protecting our Mental Health, but she also gave insight on what Therapy looks like, and why we all need to slam the brake sometimes and do what’s best for our emotional wellbeing.
See summary of the tweet chat below. You can also read more about Dedoyin, and her work as a mental health advocate and Psychotherapist Here
On the 8th of August, 2021 and to mark the one year anniversary of the tweet chat #GetTalkingWithEsther, hosted by Esther Ijewere, Kemi Oyesola, a coach, director of How2think Global Consultancy, and survivor of domestic violence was invited to speak on the topic “Leave to live: My Domestic Violence Experience.”
It was a moment of real truth and baring her journey, her mistakes and most importantly, her recovery and rebirth process.
Kemi Oyesola, our guest at the popular tweet chat dropped a lot of nuggets that had attendees reacting in awe.
Here are excerpts from the conversation and how it all went down.
This tweet chat was a moment of learning and unlearning and one thing that was constant in our guest’s response is the God-factor and how much role your thoughts play in shaping your life.
Those who attended the tweet chat testified to how much they learned when the Host asked them to mention what stood out for them. Here’s what they have to say about it.
Coach Kemi Oyesola is a living proof that you can rise from any hopeless situation. As long as you can find the strength, courage and determination to do so.
Find out more about the rest of this insightful tweet chat via the Twitter handle of the host or simply follow the hash tag #GetTalkingWithEsther on Twitter for updates on the next one.