Changing the Narrative: Women of Inspiration
The popular saying, ‘train a girl, train a nation’, has been gaining momentum in recent times with the outburst of female entrepreneurs and inventors. The women of inspiration that grace our pages today are focusing on making the world a better place by changing the narrative on community issues. These women have used their situations, circumstances and position to create a platform that young women can look up to.
Glory is the founder of inspiredbyglory, a personal development and lifestyle platform for career women and entrepreneurs. Her platform has accumulated a following of women who are torn between the cultural and societal values they grew up with and the life they want. These career women look up to Glory and are trying to find their footing in their various sectors.
Why did you create your platform?
I wanted to create a space where women can feel empowered. I felt like we were told what we should be in life based on culture and societal guides and after a while women stop dreaming, we lose sight of who we want to become. I wanted to create a platform that allowed women discover who they were, discover their purpose and have the tools to live out their purpose.
What impact do you hope inspiredbyglory will have in Nigeria?
I want us to be known for changing and widening the narrative. Letting women know that they have choices and those choices span as many as possible. I want us to be known as that place where women come to find the tools to actualize their dreams. We have to change the conversation by letting women know that they have this opportunity and lso empowering them to pursue these opportunities.
Outift by Ejiro Amos Tafiri
Mrs. Itoro is the founder of the Mirabel Center; a sexual assault referral center that provides a haven for survivors of rape and sexual assault. They provide counseling and medical services to these victims and guide them through the process of recovering from the horrible experience. In a country where rape, sexual assault and domestic violence is on the rise, the Mirabel center is helping women heal.
Why did you create your platform?
Years back I started working on a domestic violence bill in Lagos, I drafted it and I carried out a campaign for the bill to be passed into law. During that campaign, I met two teenage girls on the street who told me their stories. One of them was being raped by her father for the past 3-4 years and she reported to their church head who told her to keep quiet. With no place to run to, she went home and continued being abused by her father. It got me thinking, is there no place for victims to go to? Is there no refuge? What is on ground? I discovered there was nothing on ground and in the space of 10 years I developed the Mirabel Center to help eradicate issues like that.
What impact do you hope the Mirabel Center will have in Nigeria?
I am hoping in the next 2-3 years, there would be more Mirabel centers in Lagos. There should be a Mirabel center in every state in Nigeria because there is no community that we don’t have cases of rape. I am also working on us doing a lot of work on prevention and reduction of sexual assault cases. If there are no rape cases, there won’t be a Mirabel center. It is conflicting that we have so many clients, but on the other hand these cases shouldn’t happen at all. It is great that we have people sharing their experiences and coming out but then it would be better if we can spare them the experience and prevent such cases. We should have a society where women are respected, were girls are respected, were laws are enforced and there is a low level of impunity. As long as there is rape and violence there would always be a Mirabel center, and to reduce the level of rape and sexual assault all members of the community need to join hands and work together.
Teaching has a new face and that is the face of Stephanie Obi. Stephanie Obi runs www.stephanieobi.com, a platform that helps people to start online businesses focused on creating and selling online courses. She started in Lagos and is now teaching classes to people all over Nigeria and over 9 countries.
What inspired you to start your platform?
I’ve not always done this. I used to make Ankara accessories for a living and I just decided I was going to teach. I started having programs to teach people how to make their own accessories and because I was marketing online, I was getting a lot of people from outside Lagos. I then decided to build an online school and take advantage of the gap the internet closes. To my amazement, people started paying for the classes, learning and sharing testimonies. The effect was more than the classes, people were gaining confidence in doing what they wanted to do and the online school created that for them.
How do you hope your platform will impact Nigeria?
The Nigerian problem we are trying to focus on is the problem of unemployment. The problem is so massive and I can’t solve it all by myself. What I have decided to do is to look for other people who are passionate about this unemployment problem. On my own, I aim to empower the teacher with the tools he/she needs to teach other people. The way I see it, if I empower a thousand people and someone else helps a thousand people, we would create a ripple effect and create massive change in a shorter period of time.
Outfit by Lady Biba
Omilola Oshikoya is Africa’s premiere wealth coach and her goal is to inspire this generation to live the richer life and to help eradicate poverty in Africa. She does this with her brands, Do It Afraid and PocketFinance, and she talks about how to create, manage, grow and use wealth.
Inspiration behind your line of work?
My inspiration comes from a lot of life lessons. I used to work in investment banking and I wanted to be successful but also I wanted to impact the world positively. I prayed about it and God told me to resign from my office and I had no definite path in sight but I did and I did it afraid and right now I am better for it. The Do It Afraid brand inspires people to conquer their fears and fulfill their dreams and purpose, just the way I did.
How do you hope your brands impact Nigeria?
My aim basically is to create wealth for Nigeria. I want to put Nigeria back on the map as one of the global economic powers and to equip people with the tools to start these businesses. Entrepreneurship is the endgame of every society. To get Nigeria to that point we need to empower the small business owners. It is not just about creating wealth or living the rich life. I’m hoping to show people how to live the richer life, by creating wealth, managing this wealth properly, and impacting the community at large through education, aiding in medical services, helping the internally displaced persons and so much more. We need people to use the funds they have created to solve the problems we have in Nigeria and Africa and that is what I hope to achieve.
Outfit by Nakenohs
Being in the same space with these inpirational women who have taken up the weapon of creativity and invention, I understood the need to create a better country for the future generation. It is one thing to be “inspiring” by telling people what to do to be as successful as they want to be, but these women of inspiration go beyond simply telling. They change the world around them by hands-on engagement and direct interactions with the people that crss their paths. We are all important pieces in the big puzzle that is our country and the world at large. Everyone has to play their parts no matter how little or insignificant we think it might be. With their vision and actions, these women are constantly inspiring people around them to be better, to do it better and at the end of the day, create a Nigeria we are proud of living in.
Photography: Kola Oshalusi for Insigna Media
Makeup: Jumoke Tychus for Eyesome Beauty
Styling: Henry Uduku