THE CONFERENCE TITLED “AFRICA RISING” – THE ROLE OF THE DIASPORA AFRICAN WOMEN took place on Thursday the 2nd of October at The House of Lords, Palace of Westminister in London.
I was starting to imagine, all the hard work effort it took not only to create a great platform of distinguished African Women in the Diaspora, to engage, exchange ideas and offer
practical soloutions to the development of progressive African women in the diaspora, but also to create and build effective partnerships in bridging unity, progress and social
harmony amongst African women making a difference.
For me it also served as an eye opener as to undersand more about the concerns of The African Women in the diaspora, the challenges they face and the way forward.
I had attended several African Women Conferences in the past (and even spoken at a few) and over the years my interest in The Role of The African Woman in an ever
changing society began to grow with new fusions of natural enthusiasm.
It was the first time also I was going to meet The Main Organiser- The Amazing Justina Mutale.
Justina is An Ambassador of Peace, Philanthropist, International Speaker, Human Rights Activist and Well Travelled
My Business and Media Partner – Mr Dark Zarkes- The CEO of ZIMLINK and an advocate for equality, change and world peace was also present to provide high quality photography and
video footage on the day and I was looking forward to interviewing some of the high profile keynote speakers that brought a refreshing sense of pride to
I had presented and produced an African International Radio talk show for over two years called AFRICA4U with listeners in 9 Countries around the world.
Most of my listeners were African Women and over the years i began to develop a bit of understanding and sub-conscious interest of Issues that faced Women and how important and effective
they were in shaping the growth, development and harmony of nations
On the day, I ended up interviewing Madam JUSTINA MUTALE- The Main Organiser of The Event, Deborah Owhin – A Gender equality specialist
and Founder of Made Equal, CHIEF KATE ANOLUE – Founder of the Forum for African Women in Politics (FWAP) and former Mayor of the London Borough of Enfield,
DR TITILOLA BANJOKO – A healthcare manager with a clinical background. She pioneered the formation of AfricaRecruit and FindaJobinAfrica.com
SADO JIRDE – The Director of Black South West Network (BSWN), a charity focused on human rights and The One and only Princess of
Africa and one of Africas greatest Music Legends- Ivonne Chaka ChAKa
All the distinguished women I interviewed inspired me with their vision and their dynamic approach to feed the world with
new hopes and a priceless cord of ambition, drive and energy.
Change, Growth, Understanding,Inspirations, Love and Unity is sometimes all we need, two questions are also vital at the end of every conference
1. What happens next?
2. Where do we go from here?
Tony Tokunbo Fernandez
Published Writer, Multiple Award Winner, Mentor and International Broadcaster
PROFILES OF SPEAKERS AND AMBASSADORS AT THE EVENT CAN BE FOUND BELOW
A Conference with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA
House of Lords, Westminster Houses of Parliament. Thursday 2nd October 2014.
Thought provoking Conference with phenomenal African women including our very own Princess of Africa, YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA, South African Superstar and legendary singer, who is also United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Rollback Malaria Goodwill Ambassador.
THE RT. HON. BARONESS SANDIP VERMA is a member of the House of Lords and a businesswoman. She is the UK’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). As Under Secretary of State, Baroness Verma is responsible for the business of the Department of Energy & Climate Change in the House of Lords.
YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA is a UNICEF and Roll Back Malaria Goodwill Ambassador. Known as the Princess of Africa, Yvonne is a South African Supestar and legendary singer with 30 years in the music industry, boasting twenty two albums, with many Platinum and Gold hit records, making her one of Africa’s most successful artists. Yvonne has performed around for the world, and also for world leaders including former South African President, Nelson Mandela; HRM Queen Elizabeth II; and U.S. President Bill Clinton, among many others. Yvonne has shared the stage with the music industry’s megastars such as Bono, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela. Her humanitarian film “A Motherland Tour: A Journey of African Women with Yvonne Chaka Chaka”, is based on women’s health and empowerment. The film is a call to action for nations to honour their commitments to improve the health of all Africans, especially women and children in meeting the Health Millennium Development Goals. The film tells the inspirational story of African women who are making a positive impact on the health of their communities. In the film, Yvonne travels through Africa meeting courageous women who are changing lives. As each story unfolds, so does a powerful message: “Health is not a luxury of the few, but an inalienable right for all”.
JUSTINA MUTALE is the African Woman of the Year 2012 and Founder/CEO of POSITIVE RUNWAY: The Global Catwalk to Stop the Spread of AIDS. She is also the Gender Equality Ambassador & Spokesperson for the International Women’s Think Tank and sits on the advisory Board of the World Leaders Forum. http://www.justinamutale.com
JACQUELINE ONALO is a human rights and immigration lawyer at R.Spio & Company Solicitors. She is both a barrister and solicitor of England and Wales. She has recently been admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Jacqueline is also a trustee of Community Development Initiatives (CDI),
DEBORAH OWHIN is a gender equality specialist. In 2011, Deborah became the youngest advocate on Violence against women and girls. Deborah is the Founder of Made Equal, whose vision is to engage, educate and empower people in their 20s and 30s in the campaign to eradicate gender inequality.
ANNA VANDERPUYE OWUNNE is the CEO of African Business Roundtable (incorporating the NEPAD Business Group) UK Chapter and INGO Global. She has been UK African Community Ambassador for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for their Personal Food Imports Programme and Office for National Statistics for the pre-Census sensitisation programme.
CHIEF KATE ANOLUE is the Founder of the Forum for African Women in Politics (FWAP) and former Mayor of the London Borough of Enfield. She is also Founder & CEO of “TenderCare” a charity which carters for young teenage mothers and fathers, widows and lone women.
SHERRY ANN DIXON is an Inspirational and Motivational Speaker. She is also a Life Coach and Mentor. Sherry is the Founder & CEO of Women on the Crossroads, a motivational website for women. She is also the Founder & CEO of Sherry Dixon Consultancy, a Marketing and PR company.
CHIOMA AGWUEGBO is a Social Media Strategist and founding Editor of Naija2015. Chiome has experience spanning radio and radio drama production for the BBC Media Action in Nigeria.
LUKWESA BURAK is a TV Presenter and News Anchor at SKY World News. Lukwesa is committed to Malaria prevention and is Patron of the charity All Star Kids, working towards improving the lives of children in Southern Africa.
MELISSA POWYS-RODRIGUES is the Chairperson of the South African Chamber of Commerce UK, which she leads in all its initiatives including fundraising, research, political as well as business focused events, government (SA & UK) liaison and relationship fostering.
DR TITILOLA BANJOKO is a healthcare manager with a clinical background. She pioneered the formation of AfricaRecruit and FindaJobinAfrica.com – a programme designed to build human capital and skills capacity in Africa by strengthening the human resource framework on the continent, mobilising skills inside and outside Africa to address policy gaps and skills shortages impacting Africa’s development.
GEORGINA AWOONOR-GORDON is the Grants Manager for Trade, Enterprise and Employment programme Comic Relief Georgina oversees projects focused on improving economic opportunities for poor entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last four years, she has worked on the Common Ground Initiative (CGI). Co-funded by DFID, the Initiative is directed mainly at supporting Africa’s development through small and African Diaspora-led organizations based in the UK.
SADO JIRDE is the Director of Black South West Network (BSWN), a charity focused on human rights, equality, access to knowledge and socio-economic inclusion. BSWN acts as an advocate on behalf of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in the South West.