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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We are Growing! Apply to become a contributor to WCA!


I never thought the day would come where we would be bringing on new members into the community, but voila here we are in our 5th year of consistently curating high quality stories of African women and we are ready to hear more  voices! We are searching for African women both in the diaspora and on the African continent who are interested in joining our team of contributors. Please read criteria on the flyer below and if this is you then join us as we continue on our journey! We look forward to hearing from you. 



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Saturday, March 25, 2017

African Women Build: Celebrating 5 Years of Sisterhood


In the last 5 years of documenting and branding the stories of African women, WCA has experienced our joys, triumphs, challenges and lessons learnt when it comes to building. So when I reflected on how to actually celebrate 5 years of building WCA no other term was well fitting than #Africanwomenbuild. The concept being that building is a process, but the idea is you have to start from somewhere. This year's theme for WCA to mark our 5th anniversary focuses on our story and what has the term building meant for us as a media brand over the last 5 years. To think that a dream that I started with and a conversation that I had with my friend Ashleigh Washington on the platform of 147th and St Nicholas Avenue started from a blog and is  now a media brand  is truly a dream come true. I wouldn't say I knew exactly where I wanted WCA to go when I started, I just knew that I had gotten tired of always talking about the amazing women brands I had been meeting and wanted a space to curate, share and brand their stories. And since 2012 I am proud to say we have kept that promise. So now what's next? We officially begin our year with the African women Build series. The series will capture stories of African women who have been building for the last 5 years. 

We define building when it comes to business, career, family relationships etc. So we took the first step with our original Bosschiques we launched with in 2012 and hosted a photo shoot with Tamara Flemming an amazing photographer  and a series of video shoots to document their lives in the last 5 years and to understand what building has meant for them. To me there was no other way to begin our 5 year celebration without celebrating them. They believed in my vision from day 1 and are truly a sisterhood I cherish.

I  encourage you to stay tuned to whats in store for this year because we are taking some directional shifts that we think would be exciting for the professional, business owners, non profit owners, individual brands owned by African women in the diaspora and on the continent. We will continue to maintain our promise of curating and sharing your stories and putting the interests of African women at the center of our work. We look forward to an amazing 2017 with you all. 


Photo Credit Tamara Flemming Relavant Images 
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Friday, March 24, 2017

The Womentoring Experience: A Reflection

This year a solid theme of focus for us at WCA is  mentorship and ensuring that women are opening spaces to support and build each other up not just in business but also with professional career  and personal growth.  This is why WCA was thrilled to partner with the African Women's Development Fund-USA and Moremi Initiative an organization that develops African women leaders to become leaders.


The event was an intimate mentorship event in New York City during the Commission on the status of women on March 16th 2017 with the goal of bringing women together from different generations to learn, build relationships, and enhance their outlook on life. In particular, the event brought young African women from across different generations including feminists, activists, thought leaders and trail blazers. Here are some of my key takeaways from the event:

1. Value the importance of building relationships offline:  In the social media age it can be easy to forget that a phone call, and most importantly an in person meeting makes all the difference.  In sharing her experiences, Professor Abena Busia Chair of the African Women's Development Fund-USA emphasized the importance of black women coming together to gather frequently to support each other and to build communities of sisterhood.  She emphasized that one of the main reasons for Wo-mentoring was for us to have such a space with African women from all across the diaspora as well as the continent.

2. Build intergenerational relationships with women across all ages: One of the most important things I have known to be true for a long time is mentorship is neither liner nor is it a one way street. Therefore the value of  intergenerational mentorship is important. During the event I noticed how the older women offered advice from their younger years and how much the younger women in their  treasured such stories, because it made them feel as if "someone else has been through this". The affirmation one gets from another human being that "I see and know your struggle" can be tremendous and life changing and help nurture relationships in such spaces. I also noticed how much the older women learnt from the stories of the younger women in the space, what their challenges currently where ranging from "what am I going to do next with my life?" to how to balance relationships, work, etc..the conversations were endless and full of depths, where we laughed, cried, sighed, and had long pauses to take in the moment at times.

                                            

3. Your story is what defines who you are:   Ms. Bisi Adeyemi Fayemi someone whose work I truly admire, spoke of the importance of always doing a self assessment for one to be clear on their character and not what others make them out to be.  She advised the women one an exercise she partakes in often is developing a list of positive identity affirmations and reading them out loud  for e.g. My name is Moiyattu... I am brave, I am powerful, I am unshakable etc.  Ms. Fayemi explained that such affirmations often remind us of who we are when we experience life challenges that may cause us to forget.  There were very intimate stories shared by some of the younger women as well as older women. For us to be able to open up it meant being able to trust the space and "it takes strength for one to be vulnerable" Maame Afon Director of Partnerships from Moremi Initiative stated during the discussions.
                                                  

4. Practice Selfcare! During the conversations, Haddy Jonga, a Moremi Fellow from the Gambia and a member of Think Woman Africa an organization working to mentor girls in the Gambia, brought up her struggles of taking care of herself and expressed her need for advice on how to deal with stress and overload of work. One of the most powerful statements I took away was knowing the balance between selfishness and selflessness. Madame Fayemi advised the women to practice selffulness meaning that one isn't necessarily selfish and only thinking of themselves, or selfless and only pouring into the lives of others until they burn out, but to be selfful means  caring for others  whilst also nourish yourself and your work.  This point reasonated with me because at WCA and in my everyday life I am constantly thinking of intentional ways to balance pouring into others as well as pouring into myself.
                                   


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Womentoring for African Women by African Women at the United Nations!



It's that time of the year again when women activists from all over the world gather, network synergize and celebrate the achievements of women rights activists whilst also strategizing the way forward for their work. The event is no other than the United Nations Commission on the status of women. To create an intimate space for African women to gather together, In collaboration with the African Women's Development Fund, Moremi Initiative we will be hosting an intimate intergenerational relationship building, mentoring open house and conversation. African women entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators  are strongly encouraged to come and hangout with us! Come network build mentorship relationships and develop synergies to support various initiatives both in Africa as well as the African Diaspora. To RSVP send us an email at info@womenchangeafrica.com. This is an intimate event so space is limited and will be on a first come first serve basis. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

3 reasons To Attend Women Mean Business, Sierra Leone

Women Change Africa is a proud communications partner for the 4th annual Women Mean Business 2017 to be held in Sierra Leone. Featuring various women we have been privileged to feature via WCA's PR platform, this event is surely a space you want to be plugged into. Here are 3 reasons we have our stamp on this event: 



Now in its 4th year, WMB has set the bar high of what it means to do business in Sierra Leone and Africa as a woman. WMB has successfully prided itself in providing this stellar gathering every year for African women and women of African descent both on the African continent and in the diaspora. WMB has reached over 350+ women through its various strategic events. Last year the event hosted as a Keynote Ms. Anita Erksine, popular media mogul and global icon from Ghana. WMB continues to blaze the trail as the go to networking platform for African women business owners.

1. A one of a kind space in Sierra Leone  to bring women entrepreneurs together to share ideas, resources, and build relationships.


In the form of a ‘Bunch and Learn’, this year’s event will focus on a series of workshops, talks, interactive networking sessions and a vendor exposition for women entrepreneurs. The event is to be held on March 18th, 2017 at The New Brookfield’s Hotel, Freetown Sierra Leone with the Theme “Ready, Set, Grow- Taking BOLD steps for Business Growth, Sustainability and Expansion.  Come ready to learn through the various sessions including: Workshops focusing on building your dream team, strategic planning and leveraging financial resources for investment ready opportunities.


2. Learn from female professionals and entrepreneurs in their various fields 


The event is sure to give you a plethora of information to take your business to the next level. Special guests include event MC Mrs. Aina Moore, Managing Director of Ecobank SL with a Key note address from Lorissa Canillas, Stability Impact Fund Manager CORDAID, and many other speakers including Edleen Elba, Managing Partner Job Search SL , Ms. Aminata Dumbuya, Managing Director BSL Sierra Leone, Margret Kadi CEO Pangea & Executive Director AWEP SL Chapter, Manja Kargbo, CEO Neptune Limited& Private Sector Development Expert, & Dr. Modupe Taylor Pearce, Partner CTI Consulting & Dean of Students, African Leadership University School of Business.

3.  Build relationships for future partnerships and mentorship

Such events are critical for SME owners or women thinking of launching your own businesses, or organizations because they get the opportunity to mingle with other women who can serve as potential partners in business as well as mentors. 



Individuals who are in the stage of elevating their businesses to the next level, are highly encouraged to attend this event. Vendors are also welcome to be a part of the event.

Tickets are Le 250,000 and will not be sold at the door so make sure you RSVP now. For tickets or to become a vendor contact WMB at womenmeanbusinesshonors@gmail.com or call +232-99-605-755

For        Press        inquiries         contact        Women|        Change|        Africa        at Info@womenchangeafrica.com  cc womenmeanbusinesshonors@gmail.com






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