Sometimes you need to step back, take it all in, re-evaluate your course and venture back out on your journey. Only then will you value and truly appreciate your journey. Coupled with some bouts of laziness (of course), the above explains what I have been doing since you last heard from me. I want to apologize though, for not officially taking my leave of absence via a blog post instead of an Instagram post; you know I hate to leave unannounced.
Now that I'm back, I have some really exciting updates to share with you.
1. Blog Name Change Firstly, I decided to change the name of my blog and if you are a frequent reader, you know my "About" section has been updated accordingly. I probably have the longest "About" section. I like the idea of keeping track of every iteration I've made to this blog. I just wish I had written the dates beside each of them but that's probably because I never thought I'll switch names once in a while. Do you feel sorry for my unborn children yet? (A naming ceremony might be in order every 5 years) :D
2. Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge This 2nd news is probably the most exciting of all. A very loyal supporter - Folu Ajayi, owner of House of Dabira - recently entered a design competition. I found out about this from a comment she left on an Instagram post I created where I discussed Fear. In her comment, she stated how she almost missed out on this design contest, the Zinkata Red Carpet Challenge, for fear of not being chosen. The challenge was to design a dress for a top Nigerian Actress and Activist, Dakore Akande to wear to the AMVCA Awards. She was shortlisted. The following week, my friend Yeka, who is equally fond of Folu's work called to spill the good news because I was still on my break. Folu had won the competition!!! I screamed as loudly as I could (Yeka's tympanum membrane can attest to this). This dress made buzz on the AMVCA Red Carpet that night. But as Yeka and I noticed, in those early moments before accurate information on the designer got around, some top blogs and Instagram pages deliberately failed to credit Folu just because she wasn't one of the "popular" brand names in Nigeria. But no one could deny that this dress was gorgeous and pretty, dainty and elegant, fun, classy and timeless, all-in-one. I am most grateful that the organizer of this contest, Ezinne Chinkata who blogs at Zinkatahad this vision and followed through with it. Congratulations, Folu! I'm so proud of your hard work and relentlessness. Like I always tell people who make great strides, this is just the beginning. :)
3. Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U 2015) If I got paid every time I uttered the words above or the mission behind the entire Clinton Foundation, I would have been a billionaire by now. From when I discovered CGI U in 2011 and attended my first meeting in 2012, I have not stopped singing of its praises. One thing I never did was write about it for my then school's magazine but last year, I created a blog post on CGI U. Again, I blame my bouts of laziness. But one thing I am happy about is that through my experience at CGI U, my school consented to becoming a part of the CGI University Network. The first time I attended this meeting, I seemed to be the only person from Drexel, while other schools had at least 2 students. I did not want to keep being the only person from my school attending this amazing conference and if there were other students who had attended it independently like myself, I wanted there to be a central body on-campus. Basically, I wanted a lot more students to be involved with this organization that doesn't just tell you to be a change maker but connects you with resources and tips on how to go about effecting such a change in one of its 5 focus areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation and Public Health. This year, Samuella, a student from my now Alma-mater, was able to attend this conference and I'd love it if you could read her recount of the CGI U experience on her blog. Thank you Samuella. I'm happy you had a great CGI U experience. Oh and her Commitment to Action was also picked to be featured.
4. Memunatu Magazine at The White House You can read the article I wrote last year when I was volunteering for Memunatu Magazine, a non-profit organization here. It covers both CGI U discussed above and Memunatu because interestingly, I met the founders of Memunatu at CGI U 2012. This project was their Commitment to Action. The exciting news here is that Memunatu Magazine was invited to the White House 2 weeks ago for a round table discussion on black women entrepreneurs. Having worked with these twin sisters, I am not too surprised that their work has gone so far. They are vision and action in a finely wrapped bundle. So I'd like to thank everyone who donated to our online campaign. I remember the emails and posts I made in a bid to publicize that and I got quite a few calls and texts from my friends, and hopefully some silent donations from my readers. With these funds, Memunatu Magazine was able to raise a substantial amount of money for its inaugural issue on Ebola. Visit the websitefor more information, to request your copy of Memunatu Magazine or to donate some more. Thank you. :)
I hope you enjoyed reading about these successes and milestones. If you're not in the habit of being happy for others just because it's an amazing feeling to see someone else succeed, I am challenging you to at least celebrate others because you never know when your turn will creep up. Till next time.