#LeadershipMatters: Embracing the Gift and Power of Forgiveness

Reflections on a nation that is traumatized, fractured, and in dire need of collective healing and forgiveness.

———-

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

Sometimes, people hurt, malign, disappoint us in unconscionably vile, crippling and painful ways. It may be through their words, silence, attitudes, actions, or inactions. And it is often worse when these acts of commission or omission are done by loved ones, those closest to us, and with the greatest powers to inflict the deepest cuts.

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Apply before July 1, 2019: “MIT – SOLVE’s 2019 Global Challenges”

“How can citizens and communities create and improve social inclusion and shared prosperity?”

“How can all children under five develop the critical learning and cognitive skills they need to reach their full potential?”

“Do you have solutions that use innovative technology to improve the quality of life for women and girls?”

These are some of the crowdsourced Solve’s 2019 Global Challenges and they are open for solutions by July 1, 2019. Over $1.5 million in funding is available.  

Visit the website for more details: 2019 SOLVE GLOBAL CHALLENGE

Make the leap and APPLY HERE. Good luck and all the very best to all participants!

 

Watch some highlights below, from last year – “SOLVE at MIT 2018: The Next Solve Global Challenges”

#Poetry4ChangeAfrica | “Development Is” – By Dike Chukwumerije

“No culture is older than being human; this is the truth, and until we accept it, our nation will struggle on its broken feet. For the same things can bind us that drive us apart. For the wall and the bridge are both in the heart.”
– Dike Chukwumerije

Parts I & II

#FixPublicSchools #EducateAGirl #EducateABoy | History of Education in Nigeria by AfricLearn

To address the gaps in Education and radically reform public schools in Nigeria, it is necessary to study the historical development, the previous and current structure, management, operations, regulatory frameworks, funding models, results, vision, philosophy, and their evolution over the years

“A man who does not know where the rain began to beat him, cannot say where he dried his body.” Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe [Chinụa Achebe]

 

Source: AfricLearn [“The number one resource platform for all types of digital education textbooks, general books and a provider of scalable and effective education solutions for learning institutions”].

 

“AfricLearn is a cloud based e-book and digital learning management system solution driven by a vibrant and innovative company which applies cutting edge technology to, e-book content distribution, schools and other education settings. AfricLearn is underpinned by a flexible digital technology which enables e-books and contents to be easily aligned with the requirements of individual readers, teaching establishments and various curriculums.

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#iSERVE2050 #LeadershipMatters | The phenomenal mindset of Africa’s future leaders | Nkosana Mafico | TEDxUQ

Nairobi, Kenya, 2020: The Next Einstein Forum | Here’s a recap of the last edition in Kigali, Rwanda

The third edition of The Next Einstein Forum will be held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020. Here’s a recap of the last edition held in the lovely, clean and green city of Kigali, in Rwanda. This blog post below, was culled from the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation website on January 15, 2019. It was written by Regina Mennig and originally published in April 2018.

The spirit of the Next Einstein Forum

In Kigali, the Next Einstein Forum initiative recently hosted the largest science conference in Africa to date. What does this conference mean to African scientists?

The Special Spirit of the Next Einstein Forum

In Kigali, the Next Einstein Forum initiative recently hosted the largest science conference in Africa to date. What does this conference mean to African scientists?

In Rwanda, in late March 2018, the air was shimmering with heat underneath the cupola of the Convention Centre. Here, Africa’s brightest minds came together to discuss the latest in research, share ideas, and exchange business cards.

About 1,500 people attended the global science conference of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), including astrophysicists from Ethiopia, biologists from Zimbabwe, and nanotech researchers from Niger, while Nobel prize winners, publishers of leading scientific journals, and presidents of global research institutions mixed with the crowd. At the heart of the conference were the NEF Fellows, a group of outstanding young African scientists who received funding for their research projects…

 

What sets the largest pan-African science conference to date apart from other conferences around the globe? Maybe that a panel discussion about the gender gap in science and technology was opened with a poem? It was recited by Juliet Kego, an engineer, poet, and activist for the cause of encouraging women to enter STEM professions. “Today I will not bow,” the anaphora of her poem, resonated with the audience in the packed Gasabo plenary hall at the Convention Centre. And when she began to sing Amazing Grace, everyone stood up to join her in singing, and swaying along.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDARE | The 2018 AWP Network Power List is Here!

Farida Nabourema

#CelebratingWomenWhoDARE! A huge thank you to African Women Power [AWP Network], for celebrating and recognizing forty (40) phenomenal African women with powerful, inspiring, and influential voices. Kudos to all the phenomenal women who were honoured.

And a special salute to honour the resilience, beauty, enterprise, strength and courage of millions of African women across the continent and globe. We celebrate the unsung, and those in under-served and rural communities, who do so much, with so little, to make our society more just, equitable, safe and prosperous for all. And they do it all, with grace and grit, in the face of near impossible odds and barriers. #CelebratingWomenWhoDARE!

Congratulations to one of ours, -Whole WoMan Network’s co-founder, Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, for making the list.

To see the rest of the women honoured, click the link below:

The 2018 AWP Network Power List

[Culled from African Women Power; on January 3, 2018]

 

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#EducateAGirl: Investing in Girl-Child Education (STEM), in Nigeria.

Globally, new possibilities are being explored to expand the education ecosystem, especially in developing countries, through the use of Technology (Edu-Tech). The inter-connectivity of the Internet makes online learning and collaboration seamless, and this has ushered a new phase of innovations.

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#PostcardsFromALAIGBO: Congratulations to our contest winners!

As we wrap up the year, once again we wish to celebrate the inaugural winners of 

  • Iheanyi Igboko;  – His entry was about the Monthly Distinguished Speaker Series – Nkata Umu Ibe by Centre For Memories, Enugu, Nigeria
  • Nenye Nwobu;  – Her entry was about her experiences at the stage play “August Meeting”, produced by Raconteur Productions. The play chronicles the lives of the famous Oloko women, after they returned home, following the “Aba Women War.”

Both pieces will be featured on subsequent posts on our blog.

Some of our prizes include best-selling books, cash, and amazing event tickets etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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iSERVE2050: Are You Ready, Able and Willing to SERVE?

Leadership ◙ Advocacy ◙ Sustainable Communities ◙ Volunteerism

“Every generation must recognize and embrace the task it is peculiarly designed by history and by providence to perform.”

– Chinua Achebe

[There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, 2012].

iSERVE2050 Golden Logo TwitterAre You Ready, Able and Willing to SERVE?

iSERVE2050  →  iGWEBUIKE! South East Renaissance Volunteer Experience

Re·​nais·​sance|\ˌre-nə-ˈsän(t)s; a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity – [REBIRTHREVIVAL, AWAKENING, RENEWAL]

[VISION]

Building an African Success Story!

An integrated, borderless ALAIGBO that is advanced economically, technologically, educationally, and fair to all, irrespective of gender, disability, economic and social strata; retaining and attracting outstanding NDI-IGBO and citizens from Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.

[MISSION]

Empowering ONE Million Youth as SERVANT-LEADERS to TRANSFORM ALA-IGBO, one sustainable community at a time (A Nation of Leaders).

 

[PREMISE]:

“The trouble with Nigeria is simply a failure of leadership…The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership.” – Chinua Achebe

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#PostcardsFromAlaigbo | #NkataUmuIbe: Jide Ofo -Politics of Conscience & Ideology by Dike Chukwumerije

“No culture is older than being human; this is the truth, and until we accept it, our nation will struggle on its broken feet. For the same things can bind us that drive us apart. For the wall and the bridge are both in the heart.”
– Dike Chukwumerije

 

The following piece, “The Days of Small Beginnings”, written by Dike Chukwumerije, was culled from Africa Travel News -ATQ

 

In January 2016, on my way to Nnewi, I stopped to see the Radio Nigeria South East Zonal Director in Enugu. Ken Ike Okere had an idea, to replicate the sort of literary society he had helped nurture in Abuja, and wanted to know if I was game.

And so began a love affair with the Coal City, flying in to attend the monthly Enugu Literary Society meetings, till the whirlwind of MADE IN NIGERIA struck. And, still, Enugu was my 2nd stop. I tell you. Not till Maiduguri, a year later, did I find an audience as embracing as the one I found in 042.

So, in 2017, when I bumped into Patrick Okigbo III in Abuja, and he told me about this thing he was doing in Enugu – this Centre for Memories, conjuring images of ghostly figures striding out of the harmattan mist on a cold December morning – I told him, if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.

And he did – after he’d run a rousing campaign for Osita Chidoka in Anambra, and Nnanna Ude had called to ask me to speak for 10 minutes at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, and he and Nnanna Ude had started a Guest Speaker Series, ‘Nkata Umu Ibe’, in Enugu – after all this, Patrick Okigbo III called to know if I would be their 4th ‘distinguished speaker’.

Me? True. This is not an easy path to follow, you know? After Professor Okey Ndibe, and Professor Chidi Odinkalu, and Dr. Okey Ikechukwu, and knowing Chief John Nnia Nwodo would be 5th, me?? So, I went first – as every child in troubled times is guided by our culture – to my mother’s hut. And she put a few words in my mouth and said, Speak from the heart.

And then I went to Enugu. To Enugu Sports Club, to be exact, where the history etched into the timber columns and the high ceilings had me staring. You see? Ben Etiaba, Chairman of the Club, gave me the tour himself. Stopping on the way to introduce Stan Okoronkwo, ex-Enugu Rangers from the legendary ‘70s squad, and Professor and Professor Okoronkwo, the pleasant parents of Ndidi Nwuneli. And I thought again – me??

Because there to listen, in a hall quickly filling up, was Dr Joe Nworgu, former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. To his far right was an old friend of my mother’s, and former FRCN boss, Chief Kelvin Ejiofor. And to his immediate left was an old friend of my father’s, and former DG of the National Orientation Agency, Professor Elo Amucheazi.

You see? I am as I am. The jeans I feel most comfortable in, and the shirt with sleeves rolled up to the elbows. I am often awkward in Nigerian social circles because I am not great at protocol and so can offend without meaning to. You understand? But Professor Amucheazi sat me close, even before the lecture, and said, ‘I am very proud of you’. And this is the confidence Love gives – to validate first.

So, I went to the lectern, where the speaker stands alone. From there I saw the amazing Igbo poet, Amarachi Atama, who had come from the screening of her latest documentary, ‘Biafuru’ to be present. Further back, Osinayah Prince Agu, who I knew had come all the way from Aba.

From there, I remembered the warnings of Nnanna Udeh and Patrick Okigbo III, to expect an expectant crowd, for the hall had erupted in spontaneous applause when they were told I was coming, how Nnanna then laughed at the look on my face and added, ‘No pressure!’ And so, I gripped the lectern with two hands, took a deep breath – thought of my mother and the grey that charges like smouldering fire through her hair – and began to speak.

“We must, even in the face of excessive provocation, maintain our demand for a more meritocratic society where people are judged not by their tribe or religion but by their competence and ability. Because it is only this that can release the potential of this nation and all of its constituent parts.

That is why Meritocracy is an Ideal worth fighting for. That is why it is an Ideal worth dying for. That is why we cannot give up on it simply because of the odds stacked against it, or because other people are acting differently and succeeding thereby. No. It is in times like these, in the face of frustration and overwhelming resistance, that we must remember proverbs like ‘mberede ka e ji a ma dike’.

Because if apartheid could end in South Africa, if segregation could end in America, then meritocracy is possible in Nigeria. But in the pursuit of that Ideal there will be many days when we will be tempted to give up on our innermost convictions and give in to what is most convenient.

It is on those days that we must remember the weight and import of that hallowed command, ‘Jide Ofo!’ For if we do, if we hold on to our Ideals and refuse to let go no matter what this world does to us, then there is, and will always be, hope for the better parts of our collective humanity.”

This is what I said. And Professor Elo Amucheazi rose to his feet. And Ben Etiaba brought out a fresh bottle of Hennessy, tipped a little to the concrete floor, and said, ‘You have done me great honour’. It is true, I tell you, that there is never a time the truth should not be spoken. But, know this too, every truth has its time to be heard.

So, if your heart stirs consistently in a certain direction, rugged and rough, persevere in what it asks you to say. For, my brother, you can never tell by looking at the turbulence around you in which Times you live. True. This is what we mean when we say, ‘Jide Ofo’. It is how to walk through the darkness…

042. I thank you for the love.

Nkata Umu Ibe – the Monthly distinguished Guest Speaker Series of the Centre for Memories – holds on the First Fridays of every month at Enugu Sports Club, Enugu.

Enugu Literary Society holds its meeting on the 2nd Saturday of every month at Radio House, Enugu.

For did you not know? There is no tsunami that does not begin with a wave.

By Dike Chukwumerije

 

______________________

About the Centre for Memories, Enugu | @cfmemories

The Center for Memories is a repository of the history & culture of Ndigbo, informing and empowering leaders to serve with excellence and integrity, with a vision to be the leading hub for Igbo history, culture, and excellence.

#Poetry4ChangeAfrica: Once Upon A Time (A Poem) by Gabriel Okara

 

Once upon a time, son,
they used to laugh with their hearts
and laugh with their eyes:
but now they only laugh with their teeth,
while their ice-block-cold eyes
search behind my shadow.

There was a time indeed
they used to shake hands with their hearts:
but that’s gone, son.
Now they shake hands without hearts
while their left hands search
my empty pockets.

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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

PARTNERS/COLLABORATORS

  • EKCEP (EnvironFocus Knowledge and Culture Exchange Program) –is an avenue for teachers in developed countries (Canada) and in developing countries in Africa, to work together in solving sustainability issues, thereby fostering innovation among children.

  • EKCEP aims to solve the following questions:

    I. How do we raise children that will solve the sustainability problems of the present and the future?

    II. How do we transfer knowledge that is unbiased?

    III. How do we create solutions that are trans-boundary and take cultures into consideration?

    IV. How do we ensure that single stories are not told?

  • WAAW FOUNDATIONWorking to Advance African Women and Girls in STEM Education

  • PAS PRIZE, Nigeria – an Educational Reward Program produced by “Developing Talents in Our Society Initiative” for recognizing and rewarding Educational achievements of outstanding secondary school students in Nigeria.

  • PRAXIS HANGOUT –is a quarterly gathering of creative people in Nigeria, where they interact with their fans and fellow lovers of the arts. We bring artists from across board: painters, writers, performance poets, actors, musicians, film-makers etc.

  • HAGI – Hope for African Girls Initiative; through community service projects, HAGI empowers African girls on leadership and personal independence, by enlightening them on their possibilities as stakeholders in a democratic environment, rather than its victims.

Postcards From Africa | Fundamentals of Human Dignity by Pius Adesanmi

ANGEL MERKEL - QUOTES

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!

[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.

Click Here to Read More

#POETRY4Change – Hadraawi: Celebrating the great Somali Poet by KHAINGA O’OKWEMBA

Maya Angelou Poetry for Change

[This article was written by KHAINGA O’OKWEMBA and is culled from http://www.the-star.co.ke]

Legend has it that in early 1970s, renowned Somali female singer Magool gave a concert in Khartoum, Sudan. Magool returned home leaving behind an enchanted man: a Sudanese man had fallen in love with the Somali nightingale! But she was gone.

The man decided to write her a love letter which he then posted. Unable to read this letter because it was written in Arabic, Magool sought the help of Hadraawi, the celebrated Somali poet, who spoke the language.

The letter was presumably written in red ink, but as Hadraawi read it he discovered that the love-stricken man had used blood drawn from his veins which he had put into a fountain pen and poured his heart out! Hadraawi, the great poet that he is, had his imagination soaring. To come to terms with what he’d just encountered, Hadraawi wrote the famous poem, Has Love Ever Been Written in Blood.

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#WWNAdvocacy #NwanyiBuIfe #ShatteringTheSilence |#MeToo by Eketi Edima Ette


I’m angry.

I heard the story of a certain school in Lagos taking the side of a teacher against a three-year old girl’s accusation of sexual impropriety. When I read that headline, I felt a heavy ball drop in my stomach; a potpourri of pain, incandescent rage, and horror. I have been there. I was three too.

At first, I didn’t want to write this but I’ll do it for her. I’ll do it because when it comes to toddlers and older children, in the face of evidence properly collected, many people still believe they have no memories of traumatic experiences, and are prone to telling tales.

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#Poetry4ChangeAfrica: Poem -“Elegy for a Nation” by Wole Soyinka (for the late Chinua Achebe at 70)

Elegy for a Nation

Ah, Chinua, are you grapevine wired?
It sings: our nation is not dead, not clinically
Yet. Now this may come as a surprise to you,
It was to me. I thought the form I spied
Beneath the frosted glass of a fifty-carat catafalque
Was the face of our own dear land — ‘own,’ ‘dear,’
Voluntary patriotese, you’ll note — we try to please.
An anthem’s sentiment upholds the myth.

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F.L.O.W: Financial Literacy for Women, -an initiative of Whole WoMan Network

 

“Money has some rules attached to it. And if you follow the rules, you’re going to have more stability in your life than if you don’t follow the rules.

Doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman.

The rules are the same: You need to have a plan for how you use your money, you need to have a healthy credit identity, you need to have emergency money and some insurance.

I think it’s really important that we come to realize that life is about balance, or even more so, how to integrate all aspects into a fulfilling and enriching experience. It is not zero-sum; life is not all or nothing.

It’s not spending every waking moment thinking about money or spending no time thinking about money, Managing money isn’t really that hard.

It requires some discipline and there is some detail involved, but in reality it doesn’t take that much time and the payback is huge.” ~Gail Vaz-Oxlade

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#PostcardsFromAfrica: “Progress Without Tears” By M.I. Okpara

In this edition of Postcards From Africa, we’ve decided to go back in time and revisit the wise words of some of our past national founders and builders. Sometimes, the answers for the present and future light we seek, may be buried in the shadows of our unexplored past.

I’d like to advocate that Michael Okpara’s philosophy and leadership principles be taught at schools in Nigeria and in fact made compulsory learning for all politicians, especially those of South Eastern origin. To think he was only 42 when he delivered this address! (Warning: It is a long read and yet so insightful, definitely worth every minute).

Click Here to Read More

2018: WWN™ Financial Literacy & Leadership Training Program For Women

flowlogo_financiall4w_dec13Join us from January 15th, 2015, for a series of upcoming Experiential Financial Literacy and Leadership Trainings, Workshops, Webinars and Audio Podcasts.

Watch this space for more details.

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“Edikang Ikong, Time and Timelines” – by Eketi Edima Ette

As the year draws to an end, WWN Guest blogger, Eketi Edima Ette, serves us a delicious piece on the wisdom to “give time, time”. It is as hilarious as it is insightful. In her words; “Allow life and time cook you at your own pace, adding maturity, wisdom, self-control, discipline, and success at the right moments. Trust me, at the end, you’ll come out tasting delicious.”

From all of us at WWN, here’s wishing you a happy, fulfilling and adventurous New Year!

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The Bridesmaid Series by Eketi Edima Ette [Part II]

PART 2 [The first part of “The Bridesmaid Series” by Eketi Edima Ette [Part I]]

Did I stop picking money? Nope. Another friend asked me to pick up her sprayed cash.

“Tell everyone that I’m the one packing money o,” I said, pulling my ear for emphasis. “Tell your husband and his people.”

I told her about what happened at Wedding 3.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ve informed everyone. It’s just you and Esther who’ll pack my money.”

Okay. Everyone had been told. What could go wrong?

At the reception, the dancing began. Esther and I went to work. Then…. ghen ghen….

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The Bridesmaid Series by Eketi Edima Ette [Part I]

PART 1

I used to be a professional bridesmaid, until the series of events I’m about to tell you, led to my retirement.

I first began to think of retiring after Wedding 1. I arrived the town in which the wedding was taking place, and discovered that the bride had arranged for just one room for eight bridesmaids in a rundown hotel. The room she’d gotten was filthy; the floor was thickly coated with dust. Two used condoms lay on the floor and on the bed, were old, stained beddings.

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#EducateAGirl #EAGNigeria #MyEAGExperience by EAG Scholar, Dorothy

One day I was browsing through twitter and I saw an advertisement targeted at girls between the ages of 18-24 years, who were interested in a 4-day Journalism & Leadership training to be held in LAGOS.

According to the organizers, there would be free transportation (from anywhere in Nigeria, to and fro) free accommodation and feeding. And I thought, Ah ah, just like that? In Lagos? 

I was skeptical about applying, but I still went ahead and did so. I was selected a week after. Excited, I packed my bags and left for Lagos like I knew where I was headed. The training was scheduled to hold at Virgin Rose Resort, Victoria Island. That was about all I knew.

#WWNetworkAfrica™ #Inspiration A Ruby Dee Family Poem that inspires Lynn Whitfield

 

[Culled From Oprah’s Masterclass}

“Today is ours, let’s live it.
And love is strong, let’s give it.
A song can help, let’s sing it.
And peace is dear, let’s bring it.
The past is gone, don’t rue it.
Our work is here, let’s do it.
The world is wrong, let’s right it.
The battle is hard, let’s fight it.
The road is rough, let’s clear it.
The future vast, don’t fear it.
Is faith asleep? Let’s wake it.
Because today is ours, let’s take it.”

(c) Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee Family

#WWNAdvocacy #LeadershipMatters #PostcardsFromAfrica| Richard Ezekiel, a Deaf Nigerian Citizen, Writes a Thought-Provoking Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari

Introduction.

I got to know about the creativity, resilience and positive attitude of this remarkable young man, Mr. Richard Ezekiel, when he approached my Management Team, Olive Media Network, for permission to perform a choreographed dance piece titled; ‘DEFIANCE’, (an adaptation based on one of my poems), at #BAIDDF – the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in California. His production company -Magic Finger Entertainment was the only Nigerian/African group invited to perform at the event.

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#LeadershipMatters “Restructuring Nigeria; Not When, But How.” By Mr. Oseloka Obaze

Restructuring Nigeria; Not When, But How By Mr Oseloka Obaze

“Because Nigeria is so politically polarized, rallying the nation to a consensus on restructuring is fraught with difficulties. Yet two points must be made emphatically. Nigerians must accept that the phobia against restructuring is misplaced, more so when linked with a breakup. Secondly, restructuring need not be a one-off or a this-day event.”
~OSELOKA OBAZE

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“A New Dream of Politics” by Award-winning writer, Ben Okri -OBE FRSL

The following poem by Ben Okri is shared Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd. See original post here: www.theguardian.com

Moon

A NEW DREAM OF POLITICS

They say there is only one way for politics.
That it looks with hard eyes at the hard world
And shapes it with a ruler’s edge,
Measuring what is possible against
Acclaim, support, and votes.

They say there is only one way to dream
For the people, to give them not what they need
But food for their fears.
We measure the deeds of politicians
By their time in power.

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#LeadershipMatters #PostcardsFromAfrica The Bridge Builder: Structuralist Vs Essentialist by Osita Chidoka

[This article below, written by Mr. Osita Chidoka, was initially published on “Scan News Nigeria” on February 23, 2016. It was accessed and reposted on WWN platform on May 24th, 2017, with permission from the author].

“The post-civil war generation should not inherit the prejudices of a failed past but build new coalitions that can re – negotiate the structure and, more importantly, the essence of the Nigerian state.” ~OSITA CHIDOKA

My debut column elicited a lot of comments on social media. I appreciate the comments, feedback and concerns. Going through the comments, I can discern two strong schools of thought. The first, for purposes of identification I refer to as the Structuralists and the second, the Essentialists. I got the terms from my interaction with Sam Amadi, one of my favourite intellectuals.

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A Joyous & Glorious Mother’s Day…

 

Biafran Mothers

Women and Children at a Biafran Refugee Camp [Source: © Bettmann/CORBIS]

A blessed Mother’s Day to all mothers who feel voiceless, dreamless, faceless, nameless…

As we joyfully celebrate mothers around the world on this wonderful day, let us also honour the often ignored mothers who came before us, victims of past wars.

And those who are also presently with us; victims of terrorism and insurgency, mothers in refugee/Internally Displaced Persons’ camps, mothers who hunger for bread, shelter, security and peace, and many mothers in these harrowing conditions, who were forced into motherhood through acts of rape and sexual violations.

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Nelle Harper Lee (Harper Lee): A Happy Post-Humous Birthday to a Literary Icon.

Nelle Harper Lee (Harper Lee), widely known for her classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, was born on this day in 1926, in America’s southern state of Alabama. Dear Ms Harper Lee, continue to rest on in peace and cook up a storm in Literary heaven! A happy post-humous 91st birthday to a literary icon.

I think nothing quite captures the spirit of Harper Lee than this story below.

In 2006, A young fan asked Harper Lee for her autographed picture, she wrote a letter replying this young fan who had asked for a picture by offering up some advice. The note reads:

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare -Dr Mina Ogbanga: Social Scientist & Trailblazer, Creating an Innovative Biofuel Gel for Domestic Cooking Initiative…

Dr. Mina Ogbanga

Ananke Platform shared a series of insightful dialogues on mainstreaming gender, sustainability and STEM. It was a 2-part series of titled –“STEM: PATHWAY TO SUSTAINABILITY” – featuring various dynamic women, who are trailblazers in STEM.
[To read the articles Click Here for Part ONE and Click Here for Part TWO].

#CelebratingWomenWhoDare One of those featured is our own Dr. Mina Ogbanga.
Dr Mina Ogbanga
Hailing
from Nigeria, Dr. Mina Ogbanga’s was enrolled in the College of Medical Sciences when she used to dream of transforming her home country for good. In addition to being a social scientist with a PhD degree in Sustainable Development Studies and another ongoing PhD in Public Policy; Dr. Mina has research and technical interest in Renewable Energy. She has an incredibly immense track record in STEM, with specialization in clean energy.

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Rotman Women and Leadership Experts Speakers Series Featuring Lorna Borenstein, CEO Grokker, formerly of eBay Inc., Yahoo and Move Inc.

Rotman Initiative for Women in BusinessThe Rotman Initiative for Women in Business invites you to attend:
Rotman Women and Leadership Experts Speakers Series, Sponsored by BMO Financial Group

 Lorna Borenstein, CEO Grokker, formerly of eBay Inc., Yahoo and Move Inc.

From Your Big Break to a Big Mistake: How to Have Resilience and Remain Authentic

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#PostcardsFromAfrica – Enita Akpojevwe: Why I Am a Feminist in Nigeria.

The following post was culled from Bella Naija website [accessed on Tuesday, April 26, 2017; 8.45 pm EST], with the permission of the writer -Enita Akpojevwe

Recently, award-winning author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in an interview with the UK Guardian came out to say that she would be more successful in Nigeria if she is not a feminist.

“Feminism is not that hot. I can tell you I would sell more books in Nigeria if I stopped and said I’m no longer a feminist. I would have a stronger following, I would make more money” she said.

She is spot on in this case. Feminism in Nigeria is an endangered movement or belief; it is associated with so much bile, prejudice and stigmatization.

You are either ascribed to one or more of the following stereotypes; man-haters, angry nasty women, pro-abortionists, homosexual or pseudo homosexual, unmarried or a career woman, anti-motherhood, an atheist, unbeliever, a bad wife or an amoral woman. . .

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Obie Agusiegbe, CEO EnvironFocus Incorporated.

mj4sxduo“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” ~Maya Angelou

WWN™ #CelebratingWomenWhoDare series is excited to profile Obie Agusiegbe, –a dynamic member of Whole WoMan Network. A woman who has blazed a trail in environmental sustainability, waste management and community service.

Obie Agusiegbe is the Chief Executive Officer of EnvironFocus Incorporated.
EnvironFocus Show and Tell” events in the Toronto area are must attend showcases, linking industry practitioners and members of their communities. They are interesting hubs with an eclectic mix of spoken-word/poetry performances, innovative products & services, engaging speakers with unique perspectives on diverse issues and in the past, some events have had finger-licking, healthy Nigerian foods (courtesy of Suya Paradise Catering & Events)!

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EnvironBuzz MarketPlace – Shop Green!

 

EnvironBuzz Marketplace is an EnvironFocus Initiative run by Obie Agusiegbe, a member of the WWN Community. She created the online store to promote green vendors and their products. Featured product include LifeStraw Go With 2 – Stage Filtration and the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter shown below. To see more green products visit here.

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LifeStraw Go With 2 – Stage Filtration

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#WWNAdvocacy #PostcardsFromAfrica: HRH Emir Sanusi of Nigeria Speaks Out Against Child Marriage

The piece below was culled from the instagram page of HRH Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi [Muhammadu Sanusi II; Husband, father, grandfather, formerly Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Serving as 14th Fulani Emir and Ruler of Kano]

“(Marriage of women (girls) below 18 years) – Women (girls) are suffering from reproductive health challenges because of such marriages. Time has come (for) the Muslim community (to) live by the reality of economic recession and consequences of early marriage.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Beyond the commercialization of Mother’s Day in North America, let’s dig into the history & intentions of the remarkable founder(s)

History of Mother's Day in North AmericaI find history very fascinating and the history of women who shaped history in their own way, even more so. And I think history has a way of giving a nuanced context to seemingly isolated (contemporary) issues.

This post was inspired by a fascinating and insightful conversation, a long while ago, on the Facebook wall of Marianne Williamson (www.facebook.com/williamsonmarianne), based on a post she made on her wall titled: “The original Mother’s Day idea was for women to gather from all over the world to take a stand against war.”

[Other sources for the post below are http://www.plough.com and wikipedia].

The History of Mother’s Day Celebration in America

In summary, social activist, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis founded the American celebration of its version of Mother’s Day in 1858. It initially started as a call for health sanitation.

A few years later in 1870,  Poet and Activist, Julia Ward Howe, who was herself inspired by Ann Jarvis, wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation as a call to Peace.

After the death of Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, her daughter Anna Marie Jarvis embarked on a mission to make Mother’s Day an officially recognized holiday in the United States.

The Fascinating Back-story of 3 Phenomenal Women

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#PostcardsFromAfrica: The Lady Painter – Udoka Uju|#CelebratingWomenWhoDare

“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” ~Victor Pinchuk

At Whole WoMan Network, our #PostcardsFromAfrica series is always looking out for African youths, especially young ladies who do ordinary things in a unique, extra-ordinary way!

Women who dare beyond the boundaries of their environment and explore their unique gifts, abilities, talents and skills. Today, we’re celebrating a creative entrepreneur, an artist, social enterprise catalyst and youth leader -The Lady Painter: Udoka Uju

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“Poetry, Violence and Women” by EAG Nigeria Scholar, Akanbi Halimah Abimbola.

Halimah Akanbi

Poetry, violence and women.

I often define “a poet” as one whose personal emotions, perceptions of happenings around them and conjectures of ideas and myriad emotions, are artistically woven into words, which are then graciously offered to the world. The world is at liberty to interpret it, how it deems fit.

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WWNetworkAfrica™ Reflections – Is it Charitable-giving or Dignity-stripping?

WWN Reflections -Week 3

Re-thinking Our beliefs about Charity, Sharing, Respect, Dignity, and Honour, for all.

An adage says, it better to give a hand up than a hand out…and to that I add, “the poor” simply have less wealth than you, but they are NOT LESS THAN you! Stop treating people with disdain, as if they’re beneath you..

There’s no easier way of saying this: This is a full on, blown out rant about charities and their disempowering acts of giving to the vulnerable and poor, in a manner that actively or subtly strips the receiver of all shreds of dignity!

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WWNetworkAfrica™ Reflections – Personal Boundaries and Values.

“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.

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WWNetworkAfrica™ Reflections: A New Year, New Horizons…

wwn-reflections-self-leadership-quoteA 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!

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A very Merry Christmas from Whole WoMan Network…

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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

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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.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa [Part 2/2].

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.

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#CelebratingWomenWhoDare – Meet Mary Ajayi: A 2015 Fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa [Part 1/2].

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

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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.

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#Poetry4ChangeAfrica | Acclaimed Nigerian Poet Niyi Osundare’s Poem Shines a Spotlight on Corruption

“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.

niyi-osundare-poet

My Lord

   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

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#PostcardsFromAfrica -RE: NFF Press Statement on President Buhari’s Public Misogynistic, Derogatory and Demeaning Comments about His Wife; Aisha Buhari.

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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).

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WWN™ #ThrowbackThursday |#NwanyiBuIfe #EducateAGirl: Investing in Our Community/Public Schools

WWN Scholarship Recipients

WWN Scholarship Recipients and Co-Founder

In the first picture above are 2 of 5 WWN’s 2015 Scholarship Recipients: Chidinma Ezeudu and Blessing Ochomma of St Kizito Girls’ Secondary School. (Future courses of study: Petroleum and Chemical Engineering Respectively).

And in the second picture, I asked to take a picture with them, because like I told them, based on their passions, academic excellence, leadership skills, sense of humanity and creative abilities, they are sure to achieve greatness in the near future. (And I’d love to be a part of their story)!😀

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