A WALK TO INSPIRE, NOVEMBER 15TH 2014

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The Global Women Mentoring Walk Nigeria will hold on November 15th, 2014 with great women taking a walk to inspire and empower others to success.

In tandem with their mission to inspire, engage and equip women and girls to transform their lives and serve as change agents in the society, Idea Builders Initiative a leading non-profit organization working specifically with women & girls to live lives of choice is set to kick-off the Global mentoring Walk 2014 in Nigeria on the 15th of November.

According to a recent study by Linkedin.com, it is a shared opinion by many of today’s successful business and professional women, that having a mentor in their early years has been instrumental to their career success as they now find tremendous value in mentoring others.

Themed ‘Walking to Inspire’, the Global Mentoring Walk which originated from an American media icon, founder and former CEO of Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne and was taken global by Lucy Kanu of Idea Builders Initiative; focuses on underscoring the value of women’s leadership and exemplifying the transformative impact women have when they come together to promote positive change throughout the world, and since its inception in 2008, has reached thousands of women leaders in Africa, Eurasia, North America, South America and Latin America.

Highlighting the resolve of leading Nigerian companies to invest in women development, mentoring and leadership, the ‘Walks’ in Nigeria are being sponsored by Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), Nestle, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to match several established Nigerian women leaders with young professionals to engage in transformative dialogue as they walk and talk.

The walk is scheduled to kick-off at 9am simultaneously across all locations in Nigeria which include Calabar, Enugu and 3 strategic locations in Lagos State – Ikeja, Gbagada and University of Lagos.

Participation is open to mentors and mentees based in the above listed areas and requires a pre-registration by the 13th of November, 2014.

Lagos Kick-off details are as follows:

Gbagada – Contact person: Frank (0)8024456233, Mentoring Walk Route: From 37, Ajayi Aina to Gbagada Playground.

Ikeja – Contact Persons: Cynthia (0)8130977877 or Adetoun (0)7046835232, Mentoring Walk Route: Shoprite to Allen Round about

Unilag – Contact Person: Omobola (0)8084723166, Mentoring Walk Route: Education Garden to Senate Building.

For more information, contact

Omolola Alabi – Programme Officer (WMW), Idea Builders Initiative Tel: (0)8172073413 or Email: info (at) ideabuilders.org

Follow Idea Builders Initiative via social media:
Twitter: @looceye @IBInitiative
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WHAT IS THE NIGERIAN DREAM?

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Join millions of Nigerians all over the world in sharing your dream for Nigeria on our 54th Independence day with the hashtag #IDreamOfaNigeria.

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Show your support by joining the conversation on social media #IDreamofANigeria or join our campaign live and fill in your aspirations for Nigeria on a large chalkboard! Yes! An actual chalkboard!

Venue: Lekki Phase 1 (Main Gate), Lagos, Nigeria.
Date: October 1st (Independence day)
Time: 10am.

Join the Revolution. Join the Conversation! #IDreamOfaNigeria on social media.

This campaign is brought to you by

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What are your thoughts on this campaign? Please share.

IS YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE PHOTO TELLING THE WHOLE TRUTH?

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Anytime a photo is posted or published for the wider world to see, there are endless consequences beyond the validation of a “like,” so what real bearing does a single photo have? And who sees it?

A recent Psychology Today article, unnervingly titled “Why Profile Pictures Are Liars,” not only sheds light on the matter, but makes us rethink every self-portrait we’ve ever chosen for ourselves, or for that matter uploaded to social platforms. While, theoretically, our social media accounts are populated by close friends, sometimes creepy acquaintances, and highly observant, vocal family members, a profile picture has far wider reach than that. That tiny thumbnail graces the pages of our professional, social, and personal profiles and the impact of that innocuous picture can be lasting.

In their study, researchers queried participants online, asking them to view and rate headshots on personality characteristics including attractiveness, competence, creativity, meanness, trustworthiness, and intelligence without any additional information about that person. The portraits were all taken in similar lighting, but some varied by having the person show slightly different facial expressions. The shocking conclusion: “Virtually any change in photos of the same person altered participants’ impressions of their personality just as much as viewing photos of different people altogether.”

This notion goes beyond whether you find someone attractive or not—intelligence and temperament come into the fold as well. Despite what little merit is behind these conclusions, snap judgments can have a lasting impact. As our mediated selves extend to every nook and cranny of the web, a single profile picture can mean the difference between your next relationship, a substantial step in your career, new roommates, and dismissal.

Apps like Tinder are a perfect example of this. If you think someone is spending time crawling through your “about me” section to see if your interests align on a deeper level, you’ve been sorely misinformed. With the swipe of a finger, you’ve been cast into the potential partner box or rejected with no test in personal or social chemistry.

Similarly, profile pictures can act as a social gauge in your friendships and to your acquaintances. Especially in cities, when browsing potential roommates on Craiglist—and subsequently Facebook stalking these candidates— a single photo can have you deemed fun loving, interesting, or no dice.

Online personas can have legitimacy, though. Facebook can give someone insight into your unique style through thoughtful angles, filters, and well-crafted outfits. LinkedIn photos can showcase your professional edge through a high quality picture or a polished outfit. Instagram photos can indicate that you’re a free spirit or a refined traveler. But ultimately, one quick look can correctly or incorrectly put you in a box— and without further investigation, this categorization can stick.

These findings may not be earth-shattering or revolutionary, but they do highlight the weight of a first impression—and without the context of a conversation or interaction are we discounting ourselves, friendships, or relationships without meaning to? Or is it really just as simple as a “like?”

MARIE CLAIRE

Do first impressions really make a difference when it comes to social media? Are we all victims to this falseness? Please share your thoughts.

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UNDERSTANDING FEMINISM

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I have always considered myself a feminist, and sometimes voicing it out loud gets me stares that are somehow supposed to make me feel inadequate, especially in my country, Nigeria. This is however not only unique to Nigeria but to many other African countries and even the world.

For some reason, folks have never cared to understand what the term feminism truly is and they often brush it aside as a term used for frustrated women who don’t love their men or unmarried spinsters that don’t have a man (please keep in mind that the only constant here is ‘MAN’). They refuse to understand (men and women alike), that a feminist can indeed be content and happy and just focused on making the world a better place for every one.

Feminism is not a selfish movement by women for women but an active reorientation of the public to stop raising girls and boys on different standards.

Shrinking Women

Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, round stomach
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking
making space for the entrance of men into their lives
not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.
“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” He asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.
I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out
I have been taught to grow in
you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much
I learned to absorb
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits

that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again,
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.
Deciding how many bites is too many
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry”.
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza
a circular obsession I never wanted but

inheritance is accidental
still staring at me with wine-stained lips from across the kitchen table.

– Lily Myers

ILLUSTRATION
A friend of mine, for the sake of this illustration, Chineye, a young wife, barely 24 realized that she was never in love with the husband she married when was 20. Confiding in me, Chineye relayed her tales of family pressure to marry a much older, richer man to take care of her needs and the needs of her family members (which is a common norm practiced in this part of the world).

Her husband Uchenna works in a big oil company and is educated to the point of having an Msc. Chineye on the other hand, is also educated with a Bsc. to her name. Chineye has never worked a day in her life and is constantly reminded that she is nothing but a child-bearer and care-giver by her husband, while he, goes around philandering with other women.

Chineye wants out! She believes she can get out of the marriage now that they have no children but she has refused to take any steps towards this action because of the Nigerian society’s perception of a ‘divorced woman’. Chineye knows what she wants but is stuck at the same spot because ‘it is never appropriate for a woman to do such a thing’.

What is Feminism?

According to the Oxford dictionary, Feminism is defined as the advocacy for women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes.

Here is a video from renowned Nigerian author and feminist, Chimamanda Adichie that fully explains the concept of feminism according to her views.

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