This is for the dreamers; the disruptors; the innovators; the icons. The women who are daring enough to say it can work. The world is tough but these ladies have shown they are tougher. On this International Day of the Girl Child, we celebrate nine Amazons who have gone against all the odds to win at life, business and purpose.
Our intention today is that every African female child sees the greatness that is possible; and sees even beyond it. There’s no better way to instill this mindset in every girl and woman than to have a glimpse into what our nine ladies in the spotlight today would have advised their younger selves.
Let’s have a look:
Barbara Ezeife (Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FBNQuest)
Know your worth – You are all that and a packet of crisps.
Embrace your Uniqueness – It’s your Goldmine.
Be Bold, Speak up – Especially against Injustice.
Be Kind – You’ll be more at Peace.
Be Reliable – Good Relationships will take you Further.
Work Hard – You will need the Reputational Currency.
Don’t be Afraid to fail – You’ll learn Faster and Build Resilience.
Don’t Overthink it – Enjoy every second of your Amazing Life.
PS – Video Clubs will go extinct, and You’ll have to choose between Nigerian and Ghanaian jollof – choose wisely.
Moiyattu Banya-Keister (Co-Founder Executive Director, Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone GESL)
There is a unique path God will lead you to take; it won’t be crowded, it will feel scary because no one has travelled down that road of destiny, but trust God and take the step. You are the light of the world, so never allow anyone to dim that light. It is what makes you special, unique and powerful. It is that same light that will blaze the path for others to bravely walk through.
Ijeoma Balogun (Founder/CEO Redrick PR)
Moments of uncertainty are part of the journey.
Don’t beat yourself up, no one always has the right answers.
Learn to be sensitive to your inner voice, it will provide the path to clarity.
Seek to find your purpose, your WHY.
The earlier you’re able to have a crack at that, the less your moments of uncertainty.
Don’t spend your time over thinking anything, or over planning, you’re better off spending that time doing, creating, exploring, living!
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah (Feminist activist and the author of The Sex Lives of African Women)
“You are enough just the way you are. Continue to speak up for what you believe in. Colour outside the lines – the happiest people are those who carve their own paths in life.”
Faith Nkatha Gitonga- Ngokonyo- Country Manager-Cellulant Kenya
(Board Member, Therapist, Mentor, Founder- Faithology, Wife, Mother to 3 boys)
What would I tell my younger self?
“A tough question because, I intentionally work at living a life of no regrets, because each stepping stone and season in my life, the mistakes and wins, are all part of who I am today.
So, if I spoke to my younger self, I would encourage me to keep doing what I am doing. I would encourage me to build solid good habits. The 5 top habits would be;
- Getting a life routine and habit for your quiet time, prayer and Bible study.
- Save, save, save.
- Learn to Say a strong resounding “No”, there is nothing wrong with that.
- Family is everything.
- Seek to figure out your purpose and live it out relentlessly.
Finally, later in life, your motto will be, “Do one thing each day that scares you”. You can as well start now?”
Ife Durosinmi-Etti (Managing Partner AGS Tribe)
Firstly, I’d like to say, girl, loosen up!!! You’re tooo serious! Not every guy that walks up to you wants to date you. Lol! You can make friends with no strings attached. Don’t just block the door. You take life too seriously!
What you know now is not everything. Be open and flexible to turn to the opinions of others. Why on earth would you even believe that almost every entrepreneur is doing yahoo yahoo? Why is your mentality like that? Just imagine how google started. Don’t you know you can become the next google?
Learn as much as you can, not just educational stuff, but life in general. Don’t wait for it to happen to you yet. Pay attention to the little things, you may not be able to look away later.
Invest more!!! Why are you buying that Chanel bag Ife? Receive sense. There’s time for all that.
Be very flexible and understand that life’s a journey! Enjoy it!!!
Ama Duncan (Founder, The Fabulous Woman Network)
‘Girl, you are fabulous already – I wish I could hammer this into your head. See yourself as God sees you; His princess whom He totally adores!
Keep on learning
Keep on growing
Keep on loving yourself
You are ENOUGH!’
Adeniba Bunmi (Marketing Director, Unilever)
The multiplicity of your interest is not a zero-sum game. It can be “this and that” not “either or”
Let your path open to as many as your heart desires to touch on and win on.
When it’s all said and done, you can say I did that because I dared to.
Francesca Uriri (Founder, Leading Ladies Africa)
“Enjoy your years as a girl. Don’t be in a hurry to “grow up” and become a woman. The experiences you have as a girl (good or bad) will ultimately shape the woman that you become.
Don’t be afraid to have big, audacious dreams. No matter what the world or your situation tells you, you must believe that you ABSOLUTELY can become anything you want to be in this world. So dream big!”
It is obvious from these letters that when it comes to making a significant mark in the world today, young women are critical contributors. The possibilities are boundless. They belong to the dreamers; the disruptors; the innovators; the icons. They belong to you. Go get it, girl!