Sunday, January 18, 2015

On Ideas Whose Time Has Come & Feminine Leadership - Jess Rimington

Here is to a productive week ahead!!

I hope you are inspired by these words of a beautiful leader and friend:

Jess, Ashima and Jen-- OWYP team- Disney World, Florida USA 2007

"Our dream came true and we proved something very important: independent of who you are or where you come from, independent of the world being in economic crisis, if you never give up, have a business plan that works, stick to your ethics, and have a strong culture, then a community, together, can birth an idea whose time has come." Jess Rimington, founder One World Youth Project.

"I have come to believe that at this particular moment in human history the world needs more feminine leadership, embodied in and demonstrated by both women and men. The art of feminine leadership is to give space so that the flame burns brighter, to witness so that there is safe space, to trust so that others trust themselves, to give power so that power multiplies, and to leave when the time to leave has come." Jess Rimington, Founder One World Youth Project.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Organizations In Nigeria: Host A Fellow For Short-term Africa-based Internship Program

Last year, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, part of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative, brought 500 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the U.S. for 6 weeks of leadership training, including 44 leaders from Nigeria.  USAID is supporting these Fellows after they return to Africa with one year of professional development opportunities, including an Africa-based internship program. 

IREX, a non-profit organization working with the U.S. State Department and USAID to implement the Mandela Washington Fellowship, is looking to identify hosts for short-term professional internships for these young leaders, who are between 25-35 years of age and come from diverse backgrounds.  Internships last between 2-6 months, and companies/organizations should commit to engaging Fellows on a substantive project for a mid-career professional during the internship.  If your organization is interested in hosting a Fellow for a professional internship, please email

Monday, January 05, 2015

Activism In Nigeria And The Movie "Into The Woods"

Activism ac·tiv·ism\ˈak-ti-ˌvi-zəm\
: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue. (SOURCE: Merriam-Webster).

In Nigeria, I have seen a certain pattern of activistm- fist-pounding standing on the pedestal- screaming for change long enough until the change comes. But the change comes in form of a government appointment. And the activist's voice is blown into silence as he/she soon starts frolicking with the ideologies and acts that he/she once strongly fought against.

Activism is not for everyone. Infact, some people that like to label themselves as activists are not even one. Like me. I am not an activist. But I've been in the past labeled so because of my active participation in development sector. It sounded sexy at the time. But the older I get and the more it seems that the issues real activists have been strongly opposing are not even bulging. Or maybe they are, albeit in trickles.

We must give way and let the activists be activists.

Activism is not a game. If pursuing government appointment is the sole reason for wearing the badge of activism, then please get into the government and change things. Don't just get in and become praise-singers.

Should activists be partisans in the first place? Hunger and poverty is too much in Nigeria.

The movie, "Into the Woods," is a good one. It is a really funny movie (musicals) but somehow I managed to see Nigeria in it.

Two scenes stood out: The part where a woman and her blind daughters opted to run off and hide while others chose to stay and fight the giant. If I recall her words correctly, "Some people are cut out to fight giants...," she said and asked that they call her when the "war" was over... the other scene that stood out was the "the blame-game." This is very common in Nigeria. How did the giant come down? Who planted the seed that grew into a gigantic tree into the sky? Even though some benefitted from the circumstances that led to the event, everyone shared in the blame-game as they tried to find the culprit.

Oh well. It is a new year. In a few weeks, we'll be electing a new set of government leaders.

The world awaits.

Happy New Year Nigerians and fellow global citizens!

May our joy be full.