…as SheCan holds inspirational conference
By Funmi Ajumobi
The downpour that almost grounded activities in Lagos couldn’t stop thousands of women, girls, and men alike, from attending the SheCan DoMore 4.0 conference held at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, with thousands more joining online from within and outside Nigeria.
One of the high profile speakers at the event, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, a former Chairman of First Bank, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, noted that identifying one’s destination is the first step to being who you want to be, saying that, if someone does not know where he or she is going, he or she will not know how to get there. She encouraged women and young girls to be deliberate and intentional about finding the right voices of encouragement that will support them in the journey to the place they have chosen.
Awosika added that women and girls cannot only be who they choose to be, but also must do the work to get there by setting the plan, sacrificially preparing, empowering, educating themselves, and determining what their graphs are, no matter the obstacles in their ways. She told them challenges will come but they must keep pushing and be conscious of their value system which, she said, will speak for or against them in their journey of life. “Anybody can place a limitation on you. Society can place a limitation on you”, the former First Bank Chairman said. “Voices around you can place a limitation on you.
It is your responsibility to be deliberate and intentional about finding the right voices of encouragement around you that will support you in your journey to the place you have chosen. “To also find the right kind of support, find the tribe of voices, find the tribe of encouragement, the tribe that will hold your hands when you feel your strength is failing; the tribe that will speak in your moment of doubt and reassures you that it is possible for you to be there”.
Awosika concluded by saying that everyone should remember that they are leaving a trail as they walk through the journey, and should be deliberate about the pointer behind the trail. She stressed, “Count the cost of every action, for every action, has a consequence”.
Mrs Oyeyimika Adeboye, the first female Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, on her part, said her success was based on her determination and knowing what she wanted and how she worked hard to become who she is in her career because she believed she can do more. Adeboye added that women and young girls should be intentional about what they want and should never give up. “Nobody get it because you are a woman and getting it, is not an entitlement. Do what to do and do it well. Do your best to the best of your ability”, she stated.
Also sharing her wealth of knowledge, Belinda Ikazoboh, GM, Business Transformation, Shell Nigeria, encouraged participants to deepen their knowledge in whatever they choose to do. This, Ikazoboh said, will give them credibility, help to accelerate their growth, and open doors for leadership roles which is an enabler to do more. She challenged them to take risks by saying yes, no matter the challenges, adding that everyone needs a level of discomfort to grow.
“The best of Shecan woman is a woman that is fearless, risk-taker, limitless, impactful”, the GM said. “When she fails, she will get up and start again. She did not believe that anything was too difficult to do. She believes that more could always be done as long as she is willing to make a difference”.
Ikazobor said her mother was the SheCan woman for her. “Because she could, and she did, I can, you can, we can, and SheCan DoMore, so much more”.
In her session, Junadia Edim, CEO of Middlechase Property Limited, told participants not to expect that one day someone somewhere was going to give or dash them money to start a business, but they should check inward and see what was unique about them which she said was their area of strength that would give them success in life. “Decide what you want in life and put your mind to it”, Edim said.
“Something will happen whether you like it or not because when force is applied to an object, it would move, but when you keep tapping an obstacle, it will just be looking at you in the face”. Veteran actress, Kate Henshaw, on her part, shared her unsuccessful foray into politics and how she didn’t allow it to deter her from her life’s purpose and journey. Henshaw challenged participants on what else they are known for aside from being mothers, wives, and young girls. She advised them not to take what other people say they are, but should be determined to add layers to who they are. “No experience is ever without value. Do more. Embrace the successes of other women. Challenge unhealthy demands of fellow women. Surround yourself with those who will help you rise. We can do more. Yes, we can!”, the veteran actress said.
Also sharing her experience, Tara Fela-Durotoye said when make-up was not a job, she started it and has become an industry because of her she can mentality. She stressed that when someone set up confidence and also put in the work, other doors of opportunity will open, saying it was her problem-solving mind that opened doors to own a school of fashion and Tara products which gave birth to many branches because she knew she could do more. “Determine to use your mind to bring something to pass because you are powerful”, Tara added.
Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, charged women to do more in the digital space which, he said, was consistently growing very fast and lots of opportunities are there yet untapped.
Lanre ‘The Catalyst’ Olusola took the crowd through an interesting session where he taught attendees the power of dispelling negative energy in everyday life’s activities.
Earlier, the founder, SheCan Nigeria, Ezinne Ezeani, welcomed the mammoth crowd, telling them nobody would leave the conference the same way they came. While thanking the speakers and the conference’s numerous partners, which, she said, made it possible for the success of the conference, she added that the mega-conference has become a movement and the biggest convergence of today’s women in Nigeria.
According to Ezeani, next year would be bigger and accommodate more attendees. Mentoring sessions were held for attendees as Ezeani promised that other events slated for the year aimed at empowering women to do more are still going to hold including the SheCan Skill Acquisition program scheduled to hold from the 25th to the 30th of July in Lagos.