So a couple of weeks ago I hosted the Eminent Women Conference 2016 with the theme “Break Out”.
When the convener of the conference, Njideka Raleke-Obiora contacted me to be the emcee, I was super excited. Just one look at the caliber of ladies who were headlining the conference and I told Njideka I was in.
When I introduced myself as the host of the day, I noticed some of the participants were looking at me like, who is this one sef? But in no time I had them all up on their feet playing one game or another and got them prepped for the speakers. One task they had to accomplish very early on in the conference was to describe themselves with an adjective that begins with the first letter of their name. I gave them an example; I told them that I would like to be addressed as “Diligent Dawan” throughout the conference. The ladies loved it and we started hearing names like, “Charming Chioma”, “Blessed Belinda”, “Extraordinary Esther” etc.
It was a very informative, educative and entertaining experience for me. In between my hosting duties, I found time to listen to the women who shared their Break Out experiences. From Inyang Sami- Orungbe (Partner Averti Professionals) who spoke about the need for women to see each other as sisters and build synergies between each other to the visionary Tope Olagbegi (CEO Sixth Sense Interiors) a serial entrepreneur from as far back as her days in UNILAG where she sold lingerie, to the philanthropist Chinyere Anokwuru (Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos state on Women Ethnic groups, Mobilization and Empowerment) whose grass to grace story brought tears to our eyes, #EWC16 was a hit back to back.
Want to know the best part of this conference? Wait for it…….. There were twelve, yes twelve women from various fields of endeavor to train participants free of charge in the following areas: Makeup, fashion and style, bookkeeping for small businesses, etiquette and poise, photography, marketing, social media, baking, brand communication etc.
According to the convener, Njideka Raleke-Obiora, she did not want a conference where women would come, listen to feel-good, motivational speeches only to return to the status-quo once they got home. The trainings were designed to empower the participants in whatever area of their choosing and connect them to a mentor in that field.
Many thanks to Njideka and all the exceptional women who made this year’s conference a reality. I am grateful for the valuable connections I made that day. As I told the participants, I look forward to another Eminent Women Conference in 2017, God-willing.
PS: There was a hair-raising musical performance from Tarrah