The Essential Woman magazine launch held yesterday at The Wheatbaker hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos; a most memorable experience.
Without going into all the interesting details, I'd like to share a few things I noted simply by being surrounded by and watching some of the most influential women in Nigeria.
To my right sat Ruth Osime, to my left sat Nkiru Anumudu. On the row before me, just directly seated in front of me was Oby Ezekwesili, beside her was Ayona Trimnell (Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank), and then Tolu "Toolz" Oniru with her mother-in-law, Mrs Osaretin Demuren (First female Director, Trade & Exchange, Central Bank)
To my far right, Ego Boyo, Ndidi Nwuneli (LEAP Africa), Osayi Alile (WIMBIZ), Ekua Abudu, and others.
Mrs Oby Ezekwesili and Ndidi Nwuneli gave very inspiring talks on the topic, Character, The Newest Currency. While Kehinde Nwani (Founder, Meadow Hall), Ego Boyo (Actress, Producer, CEO-Temple Productions), Ada Osakwe (Founder/CEO Agrolay Ventures) and Vivien Shobo (CEO Agusto & co) sat as panelists discussing the same topic especially as it relates to their careers.
I'm sure without delving into that you'd have the general gist behind Character, the newest currency, so I wouldn't. I would however like to talk about the things I learnt in less than 5 minutes from watching these strong women, some of whom I've always admired.
1. Who's in your circle? Who do you surround yourself with? They say you're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. These strong women are friends with other strong, or stronger women. I learnt to surround myself with the people I want to be like, people who force or inspire me to aim higher.
2. Stay humble, regardless of success or status. At some point Ayona Trimnell went to get herself a bottle of water. On getting to her seat it occured to her that Oby Ezekwesili might want one, so she asked the ace woman and received a nod in response. She immediately dropped hers on the ground and went back outside the hall and returned with a bottle of water for Mrs Ezekwesili. The look of gratitude and admiration on Oby's face when Ayona handed her the bottle is imprinted on my mind.
3. They support other women. One would think that these women are the type that would tear other women down, but not from what I saw yesterday. These women seem to have each other's backs, they showed up for each other, applauded each other and encouraged each other.
4. They dress to impress. Nkiru Anumudu is ALWAYS about this life, but even the most understated dresser among them is a power dresser. They understand the power in packaging and this set them apart. Now I'm not saying one must be donned in designer apparel head to toe, but even if you shopped at Balogun market, let your pieces come together, pay attention to your appearance. Since we were kids we've heard dress how you want to be addressed, that saying can never get old!
5. Mediocrity is the enemy. LOL. These women don't do average, they don't do "just ok". They go hard and push harder. Martha Graham said "The only sin is mediocrity"... Mediocrity is a sin alright. Spend three minutes with Oby Ezekwesili and you'd figure that out all by yourself 😊.
6. They understand and strive for self-improvement. Most of the women I met yesterday understand that it's fatal to stop developing oneself. So successful as they are already, they keep doing more, keep working harder, keep learning and thus keep growing.
Oh well, I got to ask Aunty Nkiru most of the questions I've been wanting to ask her all these years, the woman is a riot honestly, and very easy to talk to. And oh, she also bought me a copy of the magazine too ☺️☺️☺️.
I also got to meet a few blog readers at the event. I'm still not sure how I feel when someone walks up to me and asks if I'm Thelma. I always want to run and hide. At some point a lady came to meet me to ask who I am, she said she's noticed people walk up to me to talk to me. I smiled and told her I'm a lawyer-events planner-florist-decorator and immediately handed her my complimentary card. I'd rather sell the money making sides of me biko! 😂😂😂
Speaking of some of the blog readers I met, I also met the ladies of The Irede Foundation who wrote to me a few months ago to please put up the post for their foundation which provides amenities for child amputees and appealed for donations. I was impressed to meet those young women who aren't afraid to put themselves out there and pursue their goals. You'd be hearing more about the foundation soon and I hope you'd make a donation this time.
I must say that I had a great time yesterday. I'm proud to be a woman, I have so much faith in women, I'm excited to see the great things we will achieve.
Have a great day people!