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Fantasia Barrino, the acclaimed American singer, actress, and author, has captivated audiences worldwide not only with her remarkable talent but also with her inspiring life journey. From humble beginnings to Grammy-winning success, Barrino’s career trajectory offers invaluable lessons for anyone navigating their own professional path. Let’s delve into some key career lessons we can glean from her remarkable story.

1. Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Barrino’s early life was marked by numerous challenges, including financial struggles and personal hardships. Despite facing setbacks, she never allowed adversity to define her. Instead, she channeled her resilience into her passion for music, using it as a driving force to propel her forward.

2. Embrace Your Unique Talents

Barrino’s distinctive voice and electrifying stage presence set her apart in the music industry. She teaches us the importance of embracing our unique talents and leveraging them to carve out our own niche. By staying true to herself and refusing to conform to industry norms, Barrino solidified her position as a powerhouse vocalist.

Take Risks and Pursue Your Dreams

Barrino’s decision to audition for the third season of American Idol proved to be a pivotal moment in her career. Despite doubts and uncertainties, she took a leap of faith and seized the opportunity to showcase her talent on a national stage. Her courageous decision paid off, ultimately leading to her victory on the show and launching her into stardom.

Continuous Growth and Learning

Throughout her career, Barrino has demonstrated a commitment to continuous growth and learning. Whether through vocal training, acting workshops, or personal development initiatives, she remains dedicated to honing her craft and expanding her skill set. Her journey reminds us that success is not static but rather a journey of ongoing improvement and evolution.

Stay Grounded and Grateful

Despite achieving immense success, Barrino remains humble and grounded, never forgetting her roots. She frequently expresses gratitude for her fans, mentors, and supporters who have played a crucial role in her journey. Her humility serves as a reminder to stay grounded and appreciative of the opportunities and blessings that come our way.

Use Your Platform for Good

Fantasia is not only known for her musical prowess but also for her philanthropic efforts and advocacy work. She uses her platform to raise awareness about important social issues and to give back to her community. Her commitment to using her influence for positive change serves as a powerful example of the impact one person can have in making a difference.

In conclusion, Fantasia Barrino’s life journey offers a wealth of valuable career lessons for aspiring professionals everywhere. From resilience and embracing uniqueness to taking risks and continuous growth, her story serves as a source of inspiration and motivation for anyone striving to achieve their dreams. As we navigate our own career paths, let us draw upon the wisdom gleaned from Barrino’s experiences and forge ahead with passion, determination, and unwavering belief in ourselves.

As Black History Month unfolds, it’s imperative to honor and celebrate the monumental contributions of Black women who have reshaped our world. From civil rights pioneers to trailblazing scientists, their legacies continue to inspire generations. Here are 10 remarkable Black women who have left an indelible mark on history:

Black history month

Rosa Parks

Often hailed as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked a wave of protests and catalyzed the Civil Rights Movement.

Harriet Turbman

Harriet Tubman

Known as the “Moses of her people,” Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and dedicated her life to leading others to freedom through the Underground Railroad, risking her life countless times to liberate enslaved individuals.

Black History Month

Maya Angelou

Renowned poet, author, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou‘s literary works, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” shed light on the African American experience and continue to resonate with readers worldwide.

Katherine Johnson

A pioneering mathematician at NASA, Katherine Johnson’s calculations were instrumental in launching the first American astronaut into space and played a crucial role in the success of the Apollo moon landing missions.

Madam C.J. Walker

As the first female self-made millionaire in America, Madam C.J. Walker revolutionized the haircare industry for Black women with her line of beauty products and empowered countless individuals through entrepreneurship.

Shirley Chisholm

A trailblazing politician, Shirley Chisholm shattered barriers as the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress and the first Black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States.

Audre Lorde

A prolific writer, poet, and feminist, Audre Lorde’s works explored themes of race, gender, and sexuality, challenging societal norms and advocating for social justice and equality.

black history month

Oprah Winfrey

From her groundbreaking talk show to her philanthropic endeavors, Oprah Winfrey has become one of the most influential figures in media and entertainment, using her platform to amplify marginalized voices and inspire millions worldwide.

Dr. Mae Jemison

As the first African American woman to travel in space, Dr. Mae Jemison broke barriers in the field of space exploration and continues to advocate for STEM education and diversity in the sciences.

Michelle Obama

As the first African American First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama championed numerous initiatives to promote health, education, and empowerment, leaving a lasting impact on communities both domestically and globally.

These remarkable Black women have left an indelible legacy, inspiring future generations to dream big, persevere in the face of adversity, and work towards a more just and equitable world. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us honor their contributions and continue to uplift their stories for generations to come.

Securing media features can be a game-changer for individuals or businesses looking to boost their visibility and credibility. Crafting a compelling pitch is the first step toward grabbing the attention of journalists and editors. In this guide, we’ll explore the strategies and best practices for effectively pitching for media features.

Know Your Target Media Outlets

Understanding the media outlets you’re targeting is essential. Research their focus, audience, and the types of features they typically run. Tailor your pitch to align with the publication’s tone, style, and content preferences.

Craft a Captivating Subject Line

The subject line of your pitch is the gateway to getting noticed. Craft a concise, intriguing subject line that encapsulates the essence of your story. Make it clear why your feature is newsworthy or resonates with their readership.

Research and Personalize

Address the journalist or editor by name and reference their previous work or recent articles. Show that you’ve done your homework and understand their interests. A personalized pitch demonstrates your genuine interest in their platform.

Start with a Compelling Hook

Open your pitch with a strong hook that immediately engages the recipient. Clearly state the unique angle or story your feature offers and why it matters. Journalists are drawn to pitches that promise a fresh perspective or highlight a compelling narrative.

Clearly Outline the Value

Explain why your feature is valuable to their audience. Clearly articulate the benefits and relevance of your story. Whether it provides insights, addresses a current trend, or offers a unique perspective, emphasize what makes your feature stand out.

Showcase Your Expertise

Highlight your credentials or the unique insights you bring to the table. Journalists are more likely to feature stories from credible sources. If applicable, share any notable achievements, awards, or relevant experience that adds weight to your pitch.

Keep it Concise and Focused

Journalists receive numerous pitches daily, so keep yours concise and focused. Provide a brief yet comprehensive overview of your feature, emphasizing key points without overwhelming the reader. Make it easy for them to grasp the essence of your story quickly.

Include Supporting Materials

Enhance your pitch with supporting materials that add depth to your story. Include high-quality images, relevant statistics, or links to additional resources. Ensure all materials align with the publication’s guidelines and contribute to the overall appeal of your feature.

Below are two example pitches for Esther Ijewere and Oprah Winfrey that can serve as helpful guides:

Pitch for Esther Ijewere, Founder of Women of Rubies:

Subject: Empowering Women Globally: A Story of Resilience and Impact

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. My name is [XXX], and I am reaching out to you on behalf of Women of Rubies, a dynamic organization founded by the inspirational Esther Ijewere.

Esther’s journey and the incredible work of Women of Rubies are a testament to resilience, empowerment, and the unwavering commitment to uplift women worldwide. With impactful initiatives ranging from education and media to advocacy for women’s rights, Women of Rubies is at the forefront of creating positive change.

I would love to offer you the opportunity to feature Esther Ijewere and Women of Rubies in [Publication Name]. Esther’s story, combined with the organization’s achievements, aligns seamlessly with [Publication Name]’s commitment to highlighting stories of empowerment and social impact.

Here are a few key points we can explore in the feature:

  • Esther Ijewere’s inspiring journey and vision behind Women of Rubies.
  • Notable initiatives and projects undertaken by Women of Rubies.
  • Impactful stories of women whose lives have been transformed through the organization’s efforts.

I believe this feature would resonate strongly with your readership and contribute to the ongoing dialogue on empowerment and social change. If you are interested, I am happy to provide more information, schedule an interview, or supply additional materials.

Thank you for considering this pitch, and I look forward to the possibility of collaborating on this impactful feature.

Best regards, [Your Full Name] [Your Contact Information]


The art of pitching

Trailblazing Philanthropy: Unveiling Oprah Winfrey’s Impactful Initiatives

Pitch for Oprah Winfrey:

Subject: Trailblazing Philanthropy: Unveiling Oprah Winfrey’s Impactful Initiatives

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you in good health. My name is [XXX], and I am reaching out to you with a compelling story that I believe aligns seamlessly with [Publication Name]’s commitment to showcasing influential figures making a positive impact.

Oprah Winfrey, a global icon and trailblazer in media and philanthropy, continues to inspire millions with her unwavering dedication to creating positive change. I am eager to propose a feature that delves into Oprah’s philanthropic endeavors, shedding light on the transformative initiatives that have made a profound impact on communities worldwide.

Key points we can explore in this feature include:

  • Oprah Winfrey’s journey from media mogul to influential philanthropist.
  • Insightful details on Oprah’s notable philanthropic initiatives and organizations.
  • Personal stories of individuals whose lives have been positively influenced by Oprah’s philanthropy.

I believe a feature on Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropic legacy would be of great interest to [Publication Name]’s audience, adding a unique and impactful narrative to your esteemed publication.

If this proposal aligns with your editorial vision, I am happy to provide additional information, arrange an interview, or share supporting materials.

Thank you for considering this pitch, and I look forward to the possibility of collaborating on this compelling feature.

Best regards, [Your Full Name] [Your Contact Information]

Conclusion

Pitching for media features requires a strategic approach and a deep understanding of your target publications. By crafting personalized, attention-grabbing pitches and clearly showcasing the value of your story, you increase the likelihood of securing media features that can significantly impact your visibility and credibility. Remember, each pitch is an opportunity to tell a compelling story and make a lasting impression on the media landscape. Good luck!

Grab our free PR guide E-book here for enhanced visibility!

Free PR Guidebook

Oprah Winfrey, a name synonymous with media success, started her journey in the media industry as a local news anchor in Nashville, Tennessee. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks early in her career, Oprah’s determination and passion for storytelling propelled her to greater heights.

In 1986, Oprah launched “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” a nationally syndicated talk show. It didn’t take long for the show to become a cultural phenomenon. Her authenticity, empathy, and ability to connect with her audience resonated deeply. Oprah used her platform to address a wide range of important issues, from personal growth to social justice.

One of her most significant achievements was the book club segment on her show. Oprah’s Book Club had a transformative impact on the literary world, turning obscure books into bestsellers and encouraging millions to rediscover the joy of reading.

Oprah Winfrey Media Success

Beyond television, Oprah ventured into film production, philanthropy, and launched her magazine, “O, The Oprah Magazine.” She became a powerful influencer and advocate for various social causes, including education and healthcare.

Today, Oprah Winfrey is not only a media mogul but also a symbol of inspiration and empowerment for women and individuals worldwide. Her journey from a local news anchor to a global media icon demonstrates the immense possibilities that come with determination, authenticity and a commitment to making a positive impact through media. Oprah’s success story is a testament to the transformative power of storytelling and the influence one person can have on the world through the media.

1. Authenticity Personified

Oprah’s authenticity is her superpower. Her ability to be genuine and open on camera has endeared her to millions worldwide. Her audience feels a deep connection because she doesn’t shy away from sharing her own life experiences.

2.  The Oprah Effect: A Media Phenomenon

The term “The Oprah Effect” refers to Oprah’s ability to turn virtually unknown products and books into overnight sensations. Her endorsement or feature on her show often resulted in a significant boost in sales and visibility.

3. Masterful Interviewer

Oprah’s skill in conducting interviews is legendary. She has a unique way of drawing out her guests’ stories and emotions, making for compelling and transformative conversations. Her interviews with public figures and everyday people alike have touched the hearts of millions.

4. The Literary Impact of Oprah’s Book Club

Oprah’s Book Club played a pivotal role in promoting literature and reading. Her selections became instant bestsellers, and her influence on the publishing industry is immeasurable.

5. A Philanthropic Force

Oprah’s media success enabled her to become a philanthropist of great influence. She has donated millions to various causes, including education and healthcare, making a tangible impact on communities around the world.

6. Global Icon

Oprah’s reach transcends borders. Her shows and media empire have garnered a global following, making her an icon and an inspiration to diverse audiences worldwide.

7. A Trailblazing Entrepreneur

From her humble beginnings as a news anchor, Oprah evolved into a media mogul. Along the way, she shattered glass ceilings and paved the path for women and minorities in the media and entertainment industry.

Oprah Winfrey Media Journey

8. Catalyst for Cultural Change

Oprah’s influence extends beyond the media; she’s a cultural influencer. Her discussions on self-improvement, mental health, and social justice have ignited crucial conversations that continue to shape society.

9. Sharing Wisdom with “Oprah’s Master Class”

Through her series, “Oprah’s Master Class,” she offers profound insights into the journeys, struggles, and successes of accomplished individuals, inspiring countless viewers.

Oprah Winfrey Media Journey
First Lady Michelle Obama greets Oprah Winfrey before they participate in a conversation about “Trailblazing the Path for the Next Generation of Women” during The United State of Women Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., June 14, 2016. 

10. Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

Oprah co-founded the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a platform dedicated to inspirational programming. It’s a testament to her unwavering commitment to sharing stories of hope, resilience, and personal growth.

Oprah Winfrey’s media journey is a testament to the transformative potential of media when infused with authenticity, empathy, and an unyielding dedication to positive change. Her career continues to inspire aspiring media professionals and stands as a testament to the enduring influence of impactful storytelling.

All successful women seem to share a particular innate quality. They all carry themselves with a kind of confidence that matches with their level of success.

They all know there is a need to invest in certain not-so-secret things and they also show that acquiring and attaining these characteristics won’t buy you success. But it will give you the confidence to be the woman you dream to be and show you that it’s not someone you need to transform into, but someone you’ve been all along.

So here is how you can become the best version of yourself as a woman by investing in these 6 things.

1. Education

Sheryl Sandberg has openly admitted that one piece of advice she would tell her twenty-year-old self would be to create an 18-month learning plan.

Alongside your goals, you need to plan out exactly what you want to learn over that period and improve on the things that scare you the most. Because the successful woman knows that in order to succeed she needs to commit herself to education.

More importantly, she knows that it doesn’t finish when University does – the process of learning does not stop there. It’s up to you to further your education and build your knowledge. It’s a choice and it’s a choice you should make for yourself every day.

Your day should consist of at least one hour of personal development. And this can be as easy as signing up to coursera and learning a new skill in an hour.

2. The tools you need to get things done – such as a personal computer, a tablet, a journal.

Oprah famously keeps many journals to get her through, she keeps a health and wellness journal to track her growth so she can look back on it and reflect.

But it’s not only her, no successful career woman can get through any day without her planner. It’s her right-hand man and it goes wherever she does.

A journal helps you keep tab of things and a planner helps you note down things you need to do at particular times. And no, it’s not just about keeping up with a to-do list. You need one for every area, finance, fitness, business plans.

3. Your wellbeing

Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge wellness advocate and has even built a brand around it – and there’s no wonder she looks so good. But it’s not only her on that’s on a wellness mission, Arianna Huffington also boasts that yoga is the best thing she can do to achieve and maintain balance in her life.

Because if you look after your body, in turn, it will look after you. It’s your wellbeing that will help you become successful, it goes hand in hand! Without it, you’ll struggle, but with it, you’ll be bigger and better.

This concerns your health, what you eat and put into your body (make sure to only eat for energy) and how you switch off at the end of the day.

4. Mindfulness

If you want to become successful you have to start taking mindfulness seriously.

Take a leaf from Victoria Beckham who uses crystals to keep her grounded, or Gwyneth Paltrow who is very holistic. It’s about clarity and keeping your mind clear.

By doing this you’ll be ensuring that you’re well looked after and calm of mind, which will help you not only to perform better at work but be more present daily.

5. Your self-development

Growth should be one of your top goals always. And it’s something you need to always remind yourself to do.

What makes you different from six months ago? If you reply with nothing then it means you’re not progressing.
Finding the time can be difficult, but that’s where you need to make the time because it will only help you in your career.

Read and buy books you usually wouldn’t, expand your horizons, attend those classes you never get around to – just do it.

Make a list of the areas of your life you want to progress in and then come up with a plan that will help make this happen.

6. Proper Organization

I could talk about organization for days. It’s something that excites me and helps me operate at my best. I cannot think clearly if it is not tidy around me, which means it’s essential that not only my work life is organized by my home life too.

Emma Watson, for example, said she swears by multiple notebooks to get things done. “I keep a dream diary, I keep a yoga diary, I keep diaries on people that I’ve met and things that they’ve said to me, advice that they’ve given me,” she revealed.

Keeping multiple notebooks is no bad thing, it’ll allow you to organize your thoughts and keep everything in the right place. Invest in stationery that’s designed to help your life run smoother.

 

Dr. Nothabo Ncube “Dr.Thabo” story encourages others to face and conquer their challenges. She is a Medical Doctor, Inspirational TEDx Speaker, Coach and a Mentor originally from Zimbabwe, now living in Canada.

Her powerful story of loss, struggle and determination encourages this generation to face their challenges and conquer them.

Having lost her mother at the tender age of fourteen, at her mother’s death bed, she made a promise to her to be a doctor in Zimbabwe. Destiny led her to Canada where she and her family found themselves living in Community Housing in Toronto, subjected to social ills that could have deterred her from her path.

Dr. Thabo was selected to attend The Intimate and Interactive OPRAH WINFREY Life class on “You Become What You Believe”,  Through a whirlwind of inspirational lectures, round-table discussions and media appearances on platforms like Global News TV, Radio, CBC News Network, and selected Top 4 Immigrant Women of Inspiration/Influencers in Canada by The Canadian Immigrant Magazine.

Dr. Nothabo Ncube

She positively influences, challenges, and reconnects the millennials with their purpose. She uses incredible wit and candor to empower young girls and women.

Dr. Thabo is on a mission to inspire hope, to be a voice of empowerment, and the bridge to many who are marginalized, powerless and voiceless. It is her intention that through her vulnerable truth they feel seen, heard, and valued.

In this interview with Esther Ijewere, Dr. Nothabo Ncube shares her Inspiring story, and how her encounter with Oprah changed her life.

Childhood Influence

My childhood fully prepared me and set a healthy foundation for all that I am today and all that am yet becoming. Both my parents were teachers, and they both instilled the value of an education from a tender age. `It was my mother’s prophesy over my life that I would one day become a medical doctor – motivational and inspirational speaking is my higher purpose and calling. It is my intention to help the girl child and women to see themselves in a bigger light.

Dr, Nothabo

Why Dr. Nothabo Ncube Became a Motivational Speaker

In 2011 I needed money to attend medical school. I so happened to be chatting with a friend who was based in Chicago at the time, she then suggested that I go on the Oprah Winfrey Website to see if there were any bursaries or scholarships available. I followed her lead and went on oprah.com – there was nothing related to scholarships or bursaries, the first thing that popped up was, “Tell us your story – YOU BECOME WHAT YOU BELIEVE”.

I quickly typed in my story, submitted it, and earned myself a once in a lifetime opportunity of being a part of Oprah’s Life-class. That was the day that changed my trajectory and shifted my purpose awareness. I knew in that moment; I too was called to inspire for positive change and to give people hope.

Here I am now 11 years later, a full pledged INTERNATIONAL SPEAKER travelling the world and sharing my personal story of turning struggles into strength and pain into purpose.

The Journey So Far

The journey has come with twists and turns – difficulties. If it were not for my zeal, I would have long given up. I always say you do not choose the path; it chooses you and it sustains you. I am still going strong with it, evolving with life’s motions. Thankful to live in the space of my calling and purpose. I would not trade the peace and joy that comes with living in the space of my calling and purpose.

Challenges

Some of the challenges I have faced include being resisted and being doubted. No-one ever believes until you have delivered positive results.

How My Work Inspired Other Women Around Me

My work has inspired other women to commit to their healing journey and inspired them to become deliberate creators of their best lives possible.

Other Projects And Activities

I have a young women’s mentorship program which caters to the African girl-child in the continent. We provide them with the right tools and resources to help them pursue their dreams and realize their visions.

What I Enjoy Most About My Job

I enjoy meeting and connecting with people from different works of life. I believe that through the power of storytelling we can heal individually and collectively.

 3 Women Who Inspire Me And Why

 My mother – she was a strong fearless woman who through example taught me that all things are possible when you believe in yourself.

Oprah Winfrey – she is the epitome of the manifestations of God’s consciousness and grace.

Michelle Obama – her nurturing warm leadership is awe-inspiring.

Dr. Nothabo speaking
Dr. Nothabo Ncube Speaking

To People Who Judge Ambitious Women

I would say, ambitious women are changing the world and creating a better world for all humans, support them.

To Women Who are trying to find their voice

To support women who are trying to find their voice in society, let’s create programs and structures that help them figure out who they are and create safe spaces which give women the permission to be vulnerable and to show up as they are.

  Being A Woman of Rubies

I lead a courageous and fearless life. I am a woman who is true to her purpose and living it out loud unapologetically.

To A Young Person On The Verge Of Giving Up

I would say to a young person who is on the verge of giving up, that they should hold on and that it will get better with time. Each season serves a unique purpose in their journey – that the season they are walking in is preparing, moulding, and refining them for their BIG dream and purpose.

Dr. Nothabo

Where I see Myself In 10 Years

I see myself as a voice of change, hope and inspiration all over the world. I hope to one day have my own radio and TV show.

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Oprah Winfrey is set to receive an honorary PEN/Faulkner award, ABC News reports.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey founded her book club in 1996 with the goal of creating community and necessary conversations while supporting authors across the globe. Over the course of three decades, Winfrey has boosted the sales of countless authors, receiving an honorary National Book Award in 1999 for her work.

Now Winfrey is receiving the prestigious Literary Champion award from the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. The lifetime achievement prize is being granted to Winfrey for her contributions to literacy and her commitment to inspiring young readers and writers.

“Oprah Winfrey is a literary force field. She has been like a lighthouse, standing sentry and shining a beacon of light onto literature and into the lives of writers and readers,” said Mary Haft, PEN/Faulkner Board Vice President.

American poet and activist Amanda Gorman captured the hearts of not just Americans, but the whole world, at President Joe Biden‘s recent Inauguration ceremony when she performed a stirring poem. And so, it’s no surprise that she’s gracing the cover of TIME’s latest Issue: “The Black Renaissance”, a special project created in collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi.

For TIME’s new cover, Amanda Gorman who was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate joins former US First Lady Michelle Obama in a conversation about creativity, art, identity, optimism, the recent Inauguration among other things.

“We’re living in an important moment in Black art because we’re living in an important moment in Black life,” Gorman says. “What’s been exciting for me is I get to absorb and to live in that creation I see from other African-American artists that I look up to. But then I also get to create art and participate in that historical record,” Amanda says.

Read excerpts from their conversation below:

We’re here to talk about the current renaissance in Black art—this surge of creativity we’ve seen over the past six years or so. What do you make of calling this period a “renaissance”? And where do you see yourself within it?

We’re living in an important moment in Black art because we’re living in an important moment in Black life. Whether that’s looking at what it means politically to have an African-American President before Trump, or looking at what it means to have the Black Lives movement become the largest social movement in the United States. What’s been exciting for me is I get to absorb and to live in that creation I see from other African-American artists that I look up to. But then I also get to create art and participate in that historical record. We’re seeing it in fashion, we’re seeing it in the visual arts. We’re seeing it in dance, we’re seeing it in music. In all the forms of expression of human life, we’re seeing that artistry be informed by the Black experience. I can’t imagine anything more exciting than that.

You are part of a rising generation that isn’t afraid to call out racism and injustice when you see it. Your generation was out front at the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, and you were using your voices long before that to demand change. How do you think art fits into these larger social movements? Do you think about these things as you write?

Absolutely. Poetry and language are often at the heartbeat of movements for change. If we look to the Black Lives Matter protests, you see banners that say, They buried us but they didn’t know we were seeds. That’s poetry being marshaled to speak of racial justice. If you analyze Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it’s a great document of rhetoric that’s also a great document of poetry, of imagery, of song. Never underestimate the power of art as the language of the people.

“The Hill We Climb” mentions your being a descendant of slaves. What role does poetry have to play in helping you make sense of our history?

I wanted to give the American people some access to myself. A lot of the inspiration for that came from your speech at the DNC in which you said, “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.” Poetry is the lens we use to interrogate the history we stand on and the future we stand for. It’s no coincidence that at the base of the Statue of Liberty, there is a poem. Our instinct is to turn to poetry when we’re looking to communicate a spirit that is larger than ourselves. Whenever I’m writing, I’m looking at the history of words. The specific history of words in the Inaugural poem was: We have seen the ways in which language has been violated and used to dehumanize. How can I reclaim English so we can see it as a source of hope, purification and consciousness?

What was your experience of the Inauguration itself? Were you able to listen to the performances and speeches, or were you just focused on what you came to do?

I was living in two spheres of my mind. There was the “Wow: Joe Biden’s speech was amazing. Lady Gaga just killed it.” But at the same time, 66% of my brain was dedicated to questions: “How am I going to get up to the podium without tripping? My hands are cold. Am I going to be able to flip these pages because my fingers are going numb?”

Do you have any advice for young girls, and Black girls in particular, who earn their way into the spotlight?

My question is do they have any advice for me. I’m new to this, so I’m still learning. I would say anyone who finds themselves suddenly visible and suddenly famous, think about the big picture. Especially for girls of color, we’re treated as lightning or gold in the pan—we’re not treated as things that are going to last. You really have to crown yourself with the belief that what I’m about and what I’m here for is way beyond this moment. I’m learning that I am not lightning that strikes once. I am the hurricane that comes every single year, and you can expect to see me again soon.

Excited about her cover, Amanda shared the news on social media to thank TIME for letting her grace the cover of its special issue. She wrote, “Wow, thank you @time for letting me grace the cover of your new special issue, “The Black Renaissance.”

Created in collaboration with @ibramxk , the issue includes a conversation between me and former First Lady @michelleobama (read our discussion at the link in bio). So proud to be part of an issue that highlights so many Black artists I’ve looked up to for years. As the edition says: “THE RENAISSANCE IS BLACK.”

Credits:

Photograph by @awolerizku for TIME. Fashion styling by @jasonbolden

Makeup by @autumnmoultriebeauty—@thewallgroup

Dress by @gretaconstantine

Jewellery by @khiryofficial

Read the full conversation on TIME.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the most powerful communication tools in the world today is “Media”, from print, electronic to social media. We can’t downplay the role of the Media Industry in anyway. It has always been , and will continue to be the major tool of visibility in the world. Elsie Godwin is using her voice as a media girl to add value and contribute to Nation building.

Elsie Godwin is a Versatile Media Personality – Television Presenter/Producer, Social media Strategist, Influencer, Content Creator/Curator, Voice Over artist and Blogger behind the award-winning Literary, Lifestyle and Relationship blog ELSiEiSY.COM.

She is currently a Lead TV Show Anchor & Programs Producer at PlusTV Africa.  She has interviewed over 150 successful business men and women in Nigeria and Africa. She is passionate about telling stories of and having conversations with successful people in order to help mentor the younger generation.

She hails from Abia state, a graduate of Computer Science from the Lagos State University (LASU) and an alumnus of FATE Foundation. She was one of the inaugural members and the first welfare Officer of the Digital Media Practitioners of Nigeria (DMPN).

Elsie Godwin has won awards for her personality and her Blog. Her online activity is playful, easy going with principles. She is passionate about blogging, content creation and New Media. As an influencer who is a google partner, She currently works with various agencies to help share stories of great personalities and brands. She lends her voice in raising awareness on the fight against Rape, Domestic Violence, Mental Health Issues, struggles of Orphanages, unnecessary stigma and so much more. She share her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this motivating and insightful Interview.

Growing Up

Yes, it sure did. I believe our life’s journey starts from the second we are birthed. Our decisions and trajectory will be influenced by our surroundings and orientation. My outlook on life and how I relate with people is largely influenced by my upbringing and the relationship I had with my mother. She was that woman who defiled societal standards. She was pretty open to me in a way that helped me draw wisdom from her wealth of experience. Also, I would say life has prepared me for today and is constantly shaping me for a tomorrow.

My blogging Inspiration

My personal journey inspired this. I needed to share my story, innocently. I just wanted to be open to an audience  that could learn from me and I from them in return. When this urge to share my ‘heartbreak’ story and my opinions started, I knew nothing about blogging. The blog space at the time drove the conversations on twitter (unlike now) and I wanted to add more to that conversation. I was constantly looking at things from a different angle. I realized that my perspectives weren’t really novel but entertained behind closed doors. I got a lot of – “You cannot talk about this”, either because you are a woman or it just doesn’t sit right on the moral compass of some individuals. I constantly battled the idea of me having to experience something but not having the right to talk about it. From my emotions, to interactions’ with people, my expectations, my dreams and even natural occurrences. There were just too many “can’t say” flying around and I wasn’t ready to conform. So I created my space to offload. This space has however, continued evolving as I do as a person and mirrors areas I am particularly interested in. More of Relationship, General Lifestyle and Opinions.

The Journey so far

Its been rewarding. Starting the blog was all the exposure and push I needed. Regardless of how many people do not fully understand the concept and many layers of blogging, I always tell people I was a blogger first, before radio, television, production, influencer marketing and whatnot. Blogging has helped me learn better than education in Nigeria has helped me. I am aware of the choices that are available to me and the right to making those choices or not. Above all, actively knowing that you own a space on the world wide web that can help shape the life of another is a rewarding responsibility that I do not take for granted.

Being a TV  anchor, producer and influencer, and managing it all

Its time consuming but amazing. It is easy for me because I have identified how all that I do connect with my passion. I love helping people foster beautiful relationships and making better decisions through conversations. Know your right, know the facts and choose your poison. And all I do, in one way or the other, help me achieve my passion, albeit in a much broader sense.

My Work at  Plus TV Africa

At surface level I am a television anchor. I am the Lead Anchor/Producer for Tea Time  -a lifestyle and entertainment news analysis program and the anchor and producer for One on One – a show that features no-holds-barred conversation with notable men and woman in Africa. But beyond the surface, I am actively involved in production and programming at Plus TV Africa. From programs ideation, to ensuring quality conversation and standard control. I am part of the programs review committee and we work closely with the Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Akintemi, to ensure that the vision of Plus TV Africa of being objective, fair and balanced is achieved. Producing is a lot of work and its never about you as a person. It is always about the content. You have to be selfless to be an amazing producer and that’s a journey on its own.

The  society and appreciation of  social media influencers 

I think the term ‘social media influencers’ has been watered down in Nigeria. Personally, I loved the idea of what influencers use to be. Influencers never use to set out to become influencers. They just lived their lives and with time you begin to see the impact of their lifestyle and their communication style. But I guess everything evolves and we have to as well. People now deliberately want to be influencers and it makes me wonder what the quality of their influence is. Are you only interested in numbers, thereby being a channel to disseminate information or is your thought process and lifestyle worth emulating and shaping the narrative? I cannot focus on what the society think of influencers without the so called influencers answering the above question for themselves.

Challenges of being a Social Entrepreneur

Attention span for good content keeps reducing daily and its worrisome. Take for example, Big brother Naija reality TV show – I love the show, it is great content and I think its an empowering platform as well. However, compare the attention society gives to platforms like BBNaija and other reality TV shows that can be argued to be more rewarding based on impact on SMEs, employment and the country’s GDP, It’s a far cry. Don’t get me wrong, big brother naija is not Nigeria’s problem and also not the cause of our low attention span but we can be better. And frankly speaking, this is not solely about the youths, its about everybody, old and young. The amount of sponsors a show like The Next Titan can boast of, even in the corporate world, cannot be compared to that of BBNaija and of course, the key decision makers in those organizations cannot be categorized as too youthful. I truly wish we would pay more attention to quality contents and have better conversations.

 Women who inspire you to be better and why

I could mention Ava Duverney, Oprah Winfrey, Maupe Ogun, Tope Oshin,…the list is endless for me. These women have got one thing in common, they are using their platforms and influence to change the narrative. They understand they influence they wield and they are dangerously using it. But then, the everyday woman inspires me, women I have encountered and worked with, Kelechi Okoro of the healthertainer brand, Dr. Iyewande Dada of Mentally Aware Nigeria, Fausiat Balogun of DEVCOMS, Tosin Ajibade of Olorisupergal, Esther Ijewere, Jane Egerton Idehen, Ized Uanikhehi, Sally Kenneth Dadzie, women in my circle and so much more

Every woman is worth more than Ruby, but what makes you a woman of rubies and more

I guess responding to your questions makes me one. LOL. But yea, I personalize everything to make sense of life. So for me, I am a woman of rubies because I am still here, I am a survivor, a warrior, a queen among queens, and I am consciously living a life of impact. I am a woman who supports people. Having interviewed about 200 successful individual in the space of 16months, I am helping tell the stories of success in Africa. I am being the voice of the people and I am helping change narratives and mold opinions for better decisions. I am Elsie Godwin and I am leaving my mark.

What advice would you give a young woman who wants to be a social media influencer

Find purpose and live it while documenting your journey on social media.

A lot of negativity has been linked to Twitter in recent times, as a social media influencer, how do you think we can correct this ?

What do we pay attention to? A lot of positivity is also going on as well on twitter. Our media platforms can help amplify positivity. We just need to stop paying attention to irrelevant sources.