“If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it. If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less. You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here.” ― Rob Liano
Our values are our innermost, most unconscious guiding principles for being and doing. They are the barometers and standards of our behaviour (both in public and private); a self-judgment of what is important in day-to-day living.
A Blessed New Year! Take that one step to redefine your life. You have a God-given right to a life of joy and achieving great things, on your own terms. Follow your heart and soul (this means embracing both your passions and your pains), they will lead you to your purpose.
This 2017, dare to take a leap of faith. Your dreams will form a mesh to catch you if you fall, your outcomes will teach you how to self-correct; your dreams and actions form the fuel for you to fly and help you soar!
It seems so incredible that we’re celebrating Christmas again. The year really did seem to fly pretty fast and what a year it’s been! Challenges, triumphs, and most of all, new opportunities to create value, service and sow seeds of love.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, may we experience a re-birth is all facets of our lives; may a new spring of love, joy, peace and compassion flow into our lives.
May we be rooted in the unconditional love of family and friends, may we serve others – colleagues, clients, business associates and remember those in under-served communities, especially children and people living with disabilities.
From all of us at Whole WoMan Network, we wish you the very best of the season; a very Merry & blessed Christmas!
#PostcardsFromAfrica: Platforms and Possibilities: Birthing a Generation of Confident Young Women Leading Global Development by Mary Temiloluwa Ajayi
Posted December 24, 2016on:
A speech delivered by Mary Temiloluwa Ajayi, a 2015 fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, delivered at the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 14 – 24, 2016.
Today, I speak from a place of gratitude, gratitude to God who made it possible for me to be here through the resources, people, and platforms He sent my way – family and friends, Moremi Initiative, Whole Woman Network, mentors, Nigerians; the UN Women.
Platforms are what I’m here to speak about. Platforms and possibilities, and the positive output of these two which is a generation of confident young women who are fit to contribute to growth and development in any area, and can be at the forefront of global development.
[Part 2/2] #CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa.
Posted December 23, 2016on:
Gratitude #2 -United Nations, New York (II) by Mary Ajayi, 2015
First day at the UN and it began to hit me. This is the life we’ve prayed and hoped for, and we didn’t even know it’d come this soon.
In 2013 when Ebenezar Wikina introduced me to UN Volunteers and I began to create awareness about the International Days, one of our wishes was that we’d someday work at the UN. We were in awe of the UN and considered it the greatest platform yet for development work.
2016. And I was talking in a conference hall at the UN. The United Nations.
[Part 1/2]#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa.
Posted December 20, 2016on:
Gratitude #1 -United Nations, New York (1) by Mary Ajayi, 2015
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
March 2016, I was in New York at the UN 60th Session on the Commision on the Status of Women to talk alongside my @moremiinitiative sisters on the work we’re doing and lessons we’re learning along the way.
I faced challenges I didn’t think I could overcome. I had managed to get my visa in time but needed funds for travel, accommodation, and feeding. Icalled everyone I could. I emailed people and organizations. Nothing worked. I prayed. Nothing seemed to be shifting. My sister @adeola_ope took to Facebook to solicit for help. Olisa.tv blogged about it. @dejifan took to Twitter. Friends like Mayowa Okediran and Niyi Onabanjo pitched in personal funds. I began to have hope.
#Poetry4ChangeAfrica | Acclaimed Nigerian Poet Niyi Osundare’s Poem Shines a Spotlight on Corruption
Posted October 26, 2016on:
“My Lord, Tell Me Where To Keep Your Bribe?” By Niyi Osundare
[Originally published on Sahara Reporters on Oct 26, 2016 and culled from saharareporters.com]
A poem by the renowned Nigerian poet Niyi Osundare.
Please tell me where to keep your bribe?
Do I drop it in your venerable chambers
Or carry the heavy booty to your immaculate mansion
Shall I bury it in the capacious water tank
In your well laundered backyard
Or will it breathe better in the septic tank
#PostcardsFromAfrica -RE: NFF Press Statement on President Buhari’s Public Misogynistic, Derogatory and Demeaning Comments about His Wife; Aisha Buhari.
Posted October 18, 2016on:
RE: NFF Press Statement on President Buhari’s Public Misogynistic, Derogatory and Demeaning Comments about His Wife; Aisha Buhari.
Lagos, 16th October 2016.
The NFF and its partners, totally reject and condemn in strong terms the comments made by Nigeria’s President Mohammad Buhari on Friday the 14th of October 2016 in response to his wife’s interview on Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
EAG Scholar -Sukurat Adenike Laguda, shares her experience at the LLL4 Conference organized by Dr. Dipo Awojide & BTDT
Posted August 10, 2016on:
A few months ago, LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP LESSONS (4) CONFERENCE, organized by Dr. Dipo Awojide & BTDT Ltd was held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel.
WWN sponsored 10 participants to attend the conference and each shared the highlights of the event..
The legendary Leadership conference has come and gone but the memories will linger forever.
It was an awesome experience for me, as the topics treated by the panelists serves as a recap and reminder of what I learnt while at the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program held in Ghana.
The forum highlighted the fact that young people now have a voice, they want to take charge and run things, using Social media as a tool since it removes boundaries between the people, the government and the Media.
Lin-Manuel Miranda reading his acceptance speech (sonnet) at the 2016 Tony Awards.
(This was by far my favourite moment of the night! James Corden did an amazing job. Beautiful performances and monologues. Yes, hate will NEVER win. Love triumphs and trumps hate in the end.
My wife’s the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day.
This show is proof that history remembers
We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers,
remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride.
Read more about the poem here: George Meredith: The English Poet Who Inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Sonnet
Posted May 11, 2016on:
“PRESS RELEASE – WINNERS 2016
“It’s a shame to know the imperial master is still a snitch. If you hate corruption so much why do you not repatriate all stolen monies stashed by the looters of our economy in your banks and all over Europe. We are impoverished and set back because there are safe havens provided by countries like yours for sticky fingers in our governments to strive.” ~NaijaPikin (Internet commentator)
Click on this link to watch the video: David Cameron on Corruption, Nigeria-Afghanistan (Source: Daily Independent, UK and viral-videos.today)
#PostcardsFromAfrica |Lagos State First Lady, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, Speaks out Against Domestic Violence
Posted May 10, 2016on:
Posted May 1, 2016on:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of widely acclaimed novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, has recently been named as one the distinguished achievers to be awarded honorary degrees, this year, by the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, United States. The honorary degrees will be conferred at the university’s commencement ceremony on the 18th of May, 2016.
Adichie will be awarded alongside seven other recognized individuals, visionaries who have made a mark in various fields. They include groundbreaking filmmaker Spike Lee, the founding director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Laurie Zabin, Nobel Prize winner, Richard Axel, amongst others.
A huge congratulations to Ms. Adichie for inspiring a whole new generation of youths all across the globe, especially in Africa. Thank you for daring to challenge the status quo and expanding the conversations surrounding our humanity.
Enjoy her very popular TED Talk: We should all be feminists.
“When you rape, beat, maim, mutilate, burn, bury and terrorize women, you destroy the essential life energy on the planet…..The heart is capable of sacrifice. So is the vagina. The heart is able to forgive and repair. It can change it’s shape to let us in. It can expand to let us out. So can the vagina. It can ache for us and stretch for us, die for us and bleed and bleed us into this difficult, wondrous world. So can the vagina….”
~Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
Click Here to Read More
Posted April 24, 2016on:
“Whichever way we look at it, life is synchronistic poetry in motion or stillness. Everybody’s breath is a line, a verse and we all come together to co-create one beautiful poem, albeit messed up. Our lines expands in the thoughts we think, overflows into the words we speak, in the emotions we feel, in the choices we make, the paths we do not take, the ones we retrace, in the tears we cry, in the laughter of our hearts, in the dreams we dare to dream, in the sacred silence of our soul’s being….with every encounter and experience.
And today, the clouds reign in purple glory, as he rests where doves fly… ~@JulietKego
[The news below was confirmed by CNN].
The artist know as Prince (Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, has been confirmed dead in his Minneapolis home (He was 57 years old). He was a music icon, a Grammy award-winning artist, who was known for such hits as Purple Rain, Kiss, Little Red Corvette, The Beautiful Ones, Raspberry Beret, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Diamonds and Pearls and The Most Beautiful Girl in the world.
The originality of his artistry was succinctly captured on twitter thus: “PRINCE: Followed by many, follower of no one. Pretty much sums it up.” ~Angela Fritz
Week #17. WWN Reflections by @JulietKego |Communicating with civility and respect (abuse is the weapon of the vulgar)!
Posted April 20, 2016on:
“It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.” ~Ashly Lorenzana
Posted April 10, 2016on:
Have clarity about your intentions AND channel all your attention towards your intentions. Manifestation occurs when who you BE and what you DO are in congruence. Nature abhors vacuums and ambiguity. Become more aware of who, what and where you’re directing all your conscious and unconscious resources to.
No matter how challenging your environment may be, here’s a strategy that will empower your life: For every negative thing that you see, talk about, comment on, also ensure you consciously FOCUS THREE TIMES more energy and attention on positive, inspiring and empowering stories of people who are succeeding, making a positive impact and creating new opportunities.
Posted March 28, 2016on:
The thin line between being a Feminist and being an Abuser….. 🙂
[Initially posted on Facebook on March 18, 2016].
Random Musings by JulietKego: Here’s the bit of feminism that both men and women seem to ignore. It’s about CHOICE and creating an atmosphere for both men and women to have freedom to make INFORMED choices. It means respecting people’s right to making their own choices. Basically treating everyone with dignity even if their choices do not mirror your own. A conversation about feminism needs pre-definitions; an the awareness that it means different things to different people at different phases of their life cycles.
Lets #ShatterTheSilence STOP THE VIOLENCE!
Posted March 21, 2016on:
See the trailer here:
Kudos to Stephanie Okereke-Linus. Her movie: DRY won the best movie award at the recently concluded AMVCA (African Magic Viewers Choice Awards). Nollywood should make more of these types of movies. One of the most touching and socially relevant Nigerian movie I’ve watched in a while now.
The movie is based on a true story of a 13-year old girl in Northern Nigeria. It captures themes such as VVF, Child Marriage and Abuse. Very evocative and thought-provoking!
[I wish they’d screened this at the UN alongside Pakistan’s “Girl in the River.” Both are such very powerful movies! I’ve been promoting this movie since it premiered 🙂 I’m hoping to get the rights to screen it in Toronto].
I’m so happy to announce that it is now available for download on amazon. It streams for those resident in the USA here: http://amzn.com/B017QHELTU
What better way to celebrate world poetry day than listening to some poetry recitals, both live and on youtube? The voice of Tom hiddleston (Yes, Loki) is poetic gold. Other people I love listening to as they recite and bring poetry alive are the legendary Indian actor, poet and activist, Amitabh Bachchan and American actor, Morgan Freeman. What are you doing for world poetry day?
Here are some of my favourite quotes about poetry:
- “Words mean more than what is set down on paper, it takes the human voice to infuse it with greater shades of meaning.” ~Maya Angelou
- “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” ~Plato
- “Poetry is the life blood of rebellion, revolution and the raising of consciousness.” ~Alice Walker;
- “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” ~Robert Frost
- “Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn.” ~Thomas Gray
- “If there were no poetry on any day of the world, poetry would be invented that day. For there would be intolerable hunger.” ~Muriel Rukeyser
- “In motion or in stillness, joy or sorrow, passion or pain..; all of life is synchronistic poetry.”~ Juliet ‘Kego
- “You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.” ~Joseph Joubert
- “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powr
- “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origins in emotions recollected in tranquility.” ~Wordsworth
- Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
- “Poetry is an echo asking the shadow to dance.” ~Carl Sandburg
- “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley
- “The poetry of a people comes from the deep recesses of the unconscious, the irrational and collective body of our ancestral memories.” ~Margaret Walker
- “Poetry is language in its most distilled and powerful.” ~Myles Goode
- “Poetry is the chiseled marble of language; it’s a paint-spattered canvas – but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is you.”~ Mark Flanagan
Every woman has a story waiting to be told; a thought that needs to be shared and opinions required to challenge current situations. As women around the world #PledgeForParity in the International Women’s Month of March,The W Communityof Access Bankis inviting women all over the country to find their voice, tell their stories and voice their opinions on life and trending issues through #TheWInkChallenge Writing Competition.
The Rotman Initiative for Women in Business Presents: Maja Djikic on “Self-Management in the Age of Infinite Information.”
Posted February 20, 2016on:
If you’re in the GTA, here’s an event to check out:
The Rotman Initiative for Women in Business invites you to attend an Alumnae Event with Maja Djikic, Associate Professor, Faculty-at-Large Director, Self-Development Lab, Rotman School of Management
Mind and its Discontents: Self-Management in the Age of Infinite Information
Source: THE 2015 ACT AWARD RESULTS
Brief Background: Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the twin values of ‘family’ and ‘home’ which were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and it also give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families.
Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period with no holidays, from New Year’s Day until Good Friday. (Source: www.timeanddate.com).
Posted February 15, 2016on:
#23. Postcards From Africa: “Everything in Nigeria is bring money, bring money…” By Okeke Job Izuchukwu
Posted February 9, 2016on:
A timely, insightful and reflective piece by Okeke Job Izuchukwu about our apathy towards corruption, especially at Nigerian airports and what we, as citizens can do to change the status quo…
Feb 3rd, 2016.
Murtala Mohammed International Airport, International Wing. The Nigerian guy (I am sure he is Igbo) and his young Korean wife who visited for Yuletide were with the customs. Their luggage had been checked, and found okay. There was only one snag. They have two babies, one still a suckler, and they had baby food for the babies. All the while, the custom officers whose ‘shop’ they had arrived at had been using the ‘you know what to do body language’ for the guy ‘to do something’.
#EducateAGirl #EAGNigeria: A Platform to Empower Girls Though Training in Media Studies & Journalism.
Posted January 24, 2016on:
24-30 January 2016
In a very small voice, she says: ‘Who will believe me?’ ‘I am nobody’. ‘I made mistakes too.’ ‘I’m ashamed’, ‘I sent my pictures’, ‘I sexted’, ‘I accepted money’, ‘I was afraid’, ‘I was a virgin, he forced me’, ‘I’ve never been kissed and he sullied my lips’, ‘People think I’m over reacting’, ‘I respect him’, ‘He’s my spouse/friend/mentor”, ‘He’s very influential’, ‘He threatened me not to speak about it’, ‘I’ve have a rough past, no one will believe me’, ‘He’s a famous pastor, politician, singer, writer, entrepreneur’, ‘I’ve don’t want to put myself out there’….
I saw this article (and video) on channel 4 about the Brain-Gain phenomenon happening in Nigeria and simply had to share! Africa’s Youth hold her future success in their hands. Looking forward to the next 10 to 20 years. Interesting times ahead.
Posted January 7, 2016on:
Reflections by @JulietKego: With the dawn of the new year, I am convinced more and more of what exactly I want my gifts, talents, skills, abilities, time and resources to be channeled towards. I am grateful for/to everyone who’s held my hands and lit up my path. There’s so much beauty and ugliness in the world. Each day, with each breath, we get a chance to choose which side of the human axis we want to play and live in. Every choice offers different limitations and possibilities.
Posted January 1, 2016on:
Nathalie Maria King Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015). May her soul Rest in Peace, Amen.
#CelebratingNathalieColesLifeAndMusic I remember watching the video of her classic heart-tugging, beautiful, yet bitter-sweet duet with her late father, the great Nat King Cole.
Posted December 26, 2015on:
I’ve always believed and harped on the fact that as Africans, we have to begin to tell empowering and more complete stories about ourselves. And also, to use more creative platforms to tell these stories, in order to be more relatable, accessible and in effect, a reach a wider audience. Watching Chimamanda Adichie’s brilliant TED Talk: The Danger of a Single Story, cemented this belief for me.
Posted December 15, 2015on:
The beautiful ones are already with us. And they are telling empowering stories about themselves and paying it forward. The greed and wickedness of the likes of Dasuki-Gate will not hold them down.
Think for a moment if GEJ and Co Ltd (and in fact all our past corrupt leaders from IBB, Abacha, OBJ etc.) had channeled all these billions of funds shared for re-election to improving Education and Road Infrastructure! 10.5 million kids out of school in Nigeria!
Posted November 15, 2015on:
#PostcardsFromAfrica An old post by Pius Adesanmi, I posted it a few years ago and based on recent events in Nigeria, I think it’s worth re-posting again. All the salient issues he raised then are still very relevant today. Enjoy!
By Prof. Pius Adesanmi [Culled from his Facebook Page on December 16, 2013, and re-posted here]
Fundamentals of Human Dignity. A multilevel compulsory subject to be taught from Primary One to Primary Six, from JSS One to SSS Three, from One Hundred Level to Four Hundred Level. APC Ogas if you are interested in building this into your vision, call me. You have my number. I wanted folks to know that I suggested this to you so we don’t turn it into behind-the-scenes backpatting talks (brilliant idea, Prof, we shall do it and it is not done); so that you don’t say that nobody drew your attention to the matter.
#YearEndReflections Long read, Enjoy!! 2 more trainings to go and it’ll be a wrap for 2015! #SEED4Her #EducateAGirl Next project loading: https://wholewomannetwork.org/…/postcards-from-africa-11-mi…/
We waste so much resources on frivolities and yet just a little can totally shift the trajectory of someone’s life. I’ve seen generational chains and patterns of poverty and under-development broken by simply equipping a youth with the right skill set to make a difference. I’ve seen young girls and boys find their voice and their place in the world and create amazing value. Sometimes, we tend to think the problem is a lack of money and yet that’s the least of it.
I’ve seen people in under-served areas take loans and actually pay back after they set up successful businesses or train themselves in marketable skills. I’ve had strangers give scholarships just after random conversations. Look around you and make a difference. I’ve sold some pieces of my jewelry and seen how it creates a golden future for girls who thought they were of no value to the world. And I realize, their success is all the adornments I need. ( I still love my gems o, so on my next birthday berra not give me kpangolo):-) Don’t just ‘dash’ money without a certain degree of consciousness or awareness. Be very conscious, well-intentioned and most of all provide mentorship when you give. What is money but a mere symbolic means of exchange? It is a form of energy, it is neutral what you infuse it with matters. You create the real value Exchange.
Give with dignity. Give with empathy. Be very firm and clear on your boundaries. Don’t make it about the photo ops. Make it meaningful and sustainable. I’ve seen a young girl ask for grants to start a business, and when we went through her value contract/hierarchy, we discovered she was spending more than $1000 monthly on hair, bags, clothes, skin care, jewelry…doing shady things she wasn’t proud off. And yet after some months of mentorship and coaching, and with as little as $3000, she’s running a thriving business, creating magic with her hands and intellect (and has even given back and volunteered her skills to support other girls).
Sometimes, in the absence of guidance and social conditioning, people lose their way. Just as we do too. We must be there for another, as light houses on our journeys. Our insatiable and blind lust for materialism, without any sense of responsibility is creating a society of our nightmare and not of our dreams. We live in a world now where people budget tens of millions for weddings, burials and 100 years death anniversaries of great-gran-parents and yet our children in public schools still sit on the floor, on mats, to (un)learn! The government and leaders are YOU and I.
Sadly, the only people who’ve ever defaulted on our loans are a few of the so-called ‘elitist’ women. Very well-educated, comfortable and yet living a fake lifestyle. Using funds given for training or business start-up to buy fake designer gear, aso-ebi and clothes for FB photo-op. And yet, we kept faith with them, we held them accountable. I have zero tolerance for that type of bulls*t! Self-responsibility and self-accountability are critical values.
Used legal means and brought them to book. Just because we know how big a difference the monies they refuse to pay can make in another woman’s life. And for most of them, we put them through a financial literacy boot camp to straighten out their priorities, teach them how to say NO to societal flow, co-create their own flow, live within their means, narrow their integrity gaps. As I wrap up 2015, all I can say is thank you. To all my clients, friends, volunteers, mentors, donors, angel investors, mentees…who kept faith and trusted us. For some of you it was a bumpy road, but the ride will end well, I promise. We are determined to finish up 2015 with every check mark done right. Better things ahead. It’s one person, one idea, one project at a time.
In the past few months, I’ve already connected with a couple of spectacular youths across the continent, through face to face meetings, conference calls, video-tele-seminars, whatsapp chat groups….and their FEARLESSNESS, brilliance and ideas simply blow my mind. They understand the power and magic of UBUNTU! Humble me. Give me hope. 2016 will be wonderful. I know this. Beyond the craziness of our so-called ‘leaders’, there’s a new vibrant crop of African youth leaders emerging. Walking their talk. Hungry and in dire need of true role models.
They’re few but they’re so bang on, so powerful, it’s an incredible miracle to watch. In the next few years, you will see their flowers bloom. They challenge me everyday. They teach me everyday. #AGratefulHeart Most importantly, I am thankful for YOU, for inviting me into your space and teaching me about the power of BEING, surrendering, no walls, no attachments, just letting myself be who I’ve dreamed of being – a Pilgrim of Love (with all my madness and my flaws…, knowing that I am enough, I am worthy, I am complete and so are you. And I wish you all healing, joy, abundance AND everything wonderful and beautiful and glorious.
#LetsRaiseANewgenerationofTECAfricanLeaders: Transformational. Ethical. Creative. We are not inheritors, we are custodians. Continue to dream wonderful dreams y’all and co-create your destiny with God! ❤ Cyber-hugs, Jules
Love, Light & Truth!
Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido
Co-Founder & Executive Director: Whole WoMan Network
(Visit http://www.julietkego.com for my poetry)