On Sunday, December 23rd, nearly 100 women gathered for the launch of The Bloom Africa – an initiative and platform that curates intimate engagements for ambitious African women to build positive and lasting legacies by gathering, connecting and growing as it relates to career, business and self. Founded by Tosin Durotoye, the platform will also strive to connect women to Pan-African opportunities and build bridges between like-minded women in the Diaspora.
The first event titled “The Tea: Passion, Purpose and Power” featured four of the most dynamic women from the Diaspora, namely; Luvvie Ajayi (New York Times Best Selling Author and digital strategist), Funa Maduka (Acquisitions Executive at Netflix), Justina Omokhua (Global Marketing Lead at Apple), and Bozoma Saint John (Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor). The women shared their respective career and personal journeys and lessons learned along the way. From the importance of building a supportive tribe of women to self-branding to building legacies to why it’s important to be kind in business – the women delved into a wide range of topics that kept guests engaged throughout.
In speaking about the importance of building a supportive tribe of women, Funa Maduka shared the following, “if you find that when you want to share an aspiration or something really great that just happened to you with someone…[and] you feel that you need to dumb it down, apologize or make it feel like it’s not such a big deal – then they’re probably not someone you should be talking to about your life.”
On the importance of self-branding, Bozoma Saint John shared her unapologetic approach stating, “the reason why I’m so adamant about creating our own brands is that….[like reputation], it is going to walk into the room before you do and it’s what will get you the calls when you weren’t even looking for the opportunities”. She shared that thanks to the strong personal brand she’s built over the years – her past three moves from Apple to Uber to Endeavor have not involved her submitting a resume.
Luvvie Ajayi shared her thoughts on competition amongst women by stating “do not be that person who somehow sees another black woman as competition because the only race you’re running is yours. You could be running for the same position but really you’re not in competition with her …because if you show up as your best self, that’s the only thing you were supposed to do and the decision then ends up with somebody else. Your job is to be as excellent and as dope, as you’re supposed to be. That is your only job. That is the race you’re supposed to run.”
In closing, Justina Omokhua stressed the importance of building legacies by stating “Do it not only for yourself but for those coming behind you. This should be what guides you in how you move through the world. It doesn’t mean you have to be the first to get there – I don’t care if you’re the third – but when you get there make your mark and make it be the best version of you”
The launch event was made possible through the efforts of the host committee featuring Tosin Durotoye (founder, The Bloom Africa), Foluso Gbadamosi (co-founder, Serving with Love), Arese Ugwu (founder, Smart Money Africa), Chika Uwazie (founder, Career Queen), Bidemi Zakariyau (founder, LSF|PR) and Lamide Akintobi (freelance Journalist, producer and media coach).
Sponsor partners include the flagship sponsor, Veuve Clicquot and House of Tara, Workstation, Vlisco and BellaNaija.
For more information on The Bloom Africa and to sign up for the mailing list for future events, kindly visit www.thebloomafrica.com.
See photos below: