Thursday, 14 March 2013

A day with the Woman behind Women4Africa- Tola Onigbanjo @Wisetola.

                                                                         Interview by Faustina Anyanwu - Chief Editor.

In just two years of founding Women4Africa awards, it has fast become the most prestigious award in the UK. Women4Africa which is said to have come to live out of a 20 year desire to see women elevated and celebrated by all. With it's launch in 2012, W4A continues to produce new and exciting ways to impact the lives of African women and honestly every woman.
Tola Onigbanjo (AKA: WISE TOLA) as she is fondly known, the founder of w4A is a woman who is not just any other woman. She is first a mum of 4, a wife, an experienced banker author and also a TV/Radio presenter amongst many other talents she has been endowed with.  This multi- talented is also a beau, a helper who will never stay and not give a helping hand when it is needed. I personally have been in contact with this humble yet creative woman and this chat for C.Hub magazine has more to tell of the heart of a woman that has created a platform for every African woman in the Diaspora to  dream, excel and become who they ever wished to become. 

.We are having the second instalment of W4A this year how does that feel?
  Its Growth. It feels like this vision is growing and the dream to really brand and unite Africa and its Women is slowly but surely coming to pass.

 In a short space of time, W4A has become a house hold name in the Diaspora. What do you think has brought such success? –
Women4Africa has been long overdue. I believe Africa needs fresh leadership and direction. I know the definition of 53 African countries was decided and defined by non Africans. The people are one, the reason why people gravitate towards women4africa is because we Africans are one people, different dialects due to migration and tribal wars, but we are indeed One! That is what is seen at any of our events, Women from different African countries coming together.

 What is your major vision with W4A? 
W4A is a stepping stone, a platform to help re-enforce a singular Identity for Africa. A platform to help African women help the continent act as one.

 Do you think that vision is being actualised? 
Yes. Africa is one, it’s the sign of the times. Observe Europe and the European union, the United states of America! This is the way forward. W4A is part of a greater vision for Africa.

 Who is eligible to enter or be nominated?
Any African female born on the continent or of African parentage, even if they were not born in Africa.

 How has the recognition impacted the lives of the previous award recipients? 
Wow! I think you should ask them lol, but judging from the comments and emails they send I think they are exceedingly happy and the Awards have really opened doors. We get email testimonies not just from award winners but even from nominees of how it is impacting their lives and opening doors for them. Its very humbling and at the same time fulfilling to know that we are having an impact.

.When exactly is this year's event? 
The event is on Saturday the 18th of May 2013 at the Great Hall, Kensington, London W8 7NX doors open at 6pm for a 7pm sharp start.

.How many people are we expecting to attend? 
Last year we had over 600 in attendance. This year we are expecting up to 1,000 people.

.Did you ever think it will become this big?
I always believed that to represent Africa, it had to be world class, the very best for a great continent. I like to see myself as someone who thinks big so I always have that in mind with anything I do.

 Are you supporting any Charities this time, which and why? 
Our chosen charity to support this year is AMREF UK and that is mainly because of their ‘Stand Up For African Mothers’ campaign. We are hugely in support of this.

 What message do you have for the African woman?
My message for the African Woman is to be bold, be strong, live out your dreams and don’t let anything hold you back. If you believe it then you can achieve it.

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