Young people burn with passion and dreams to conquer the world, but few have clear cut direction and definite plan of how to turn these dreams to reality; this vacuum is what Fashion Empowers strives to fill by providing a platform for the upcoming and established to meet.
Fashion Empowers, a Globally Igniting Africa (GIA) initiative, was born out of the need for young fashion entrepreneurs – including makeup artists, fashion designers, event planners, photographers, etc – to be literally held by the hands and walked through the uncertainties of the business world through mentoring.
The year’s edition – the first – held at the home of arts Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos on October 29 and 30, 2015 saw a host of household names like Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Emmanuel Ikubese, Nkechi Harry Ngonadi (of NHN Couture); media personality, Shine Begho; Kudirat Fashola share their experience with the enthusiastic mentees, who did not hold back with their questions.
The first day saw a number of the speakers, including Kudirat Fashola, Mercy Makinde, Dayo Israel, Deolu Adeboye, Toyin Johnson, Susan Chisom, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe take turns on the podium and they spoke on three topics; “defining your passion and path”, defining your passion and purpose” and “turning passion into profits”; one after the other, they shared their experiences and how they were able to overcome challenges and setbacks in business. There was an interactive sessions where the likes Emmanuel Ikubese, Bimbo Tanimowo (of SouvenirMine), Henrietta Agbola (House of Henri), Jide Odukoya fielded no-holds-barred questions from the mentees.
Day Two saw an exhibition of various artworks including paintings by artist, curator and photography enthusiast, Stacy Okparavero with proceeds from the sale of the artworks to fund a GIA outreach in 2016. Also, an awards, networking and dinner ceremony was held to crown the evening as mentees, mentors and guests let their hair down to unwind.
ENCOMIUM Weekly was there and spoke with some of the speakers and mentors…
‘You have the ability to achieve great things’ – Dayo Israel, frontline motivational speaker
I think it’s the fact that you can do anything you want to as long as you set your mind to it and pray about it. Prayer goes a long way; God said, “as you have spoken to my ear so shall I do”, so what stops you from saying big things? It’s like when you are given a blank cheque, God says “ask of me and I will give nations for your inheritance”.
You have the ability to achieve great stuff, you just have to start by asking; ask and believe that anything is possible!
How can this imagination be turned to reality?
By hard work and strategy. You must be ready to work, roll up your sleeves and get to work to do something.
What do you think is the one thing young people need to get right?
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; if you understand that you are not a slave, it will affect what you say, how you act, what you do with your time and the value you place on your life. People go into crime, robbery, drug abuse, raping, but if you understand that you are not a slave and that you have the ability to achieve great stuffs, you will. Why settle for less?!
‘Act on the information you get’ – Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, foremost event planner (Zapphire Events)
I would say just know and be sure of what you want to do. Then work hard, be diligent at it, be focused, persevere and not give up no matter what you face.
What’s your message to the mentees?
Let them not just hear, but do; they should do something with the knowledge and information they get from here today.
‘Integrity is key in business’ – Kudirat Fashola; CEO, Kuddy Cosmetics
What are the lessons you’ve learnt in business over the years that you’d like young people to imbibe?
Whatever it is you want, go for it! Also, in everything, make sure you put God first. There’s nothing you can achieve without him, he gives the power to make wealth.
Importantly also, have integrity, it is key; let your yes, be yes! When you say a product contains so and so, let it actually contain what you said.