Content and image courtesy of Clementine.me, Medium.com
"At age six, I ran away with my sister to escape the Rwandan massacre. We spent seven years as refugees. What do you want me to do about it? Cry"? A excerpt from Ms. Wamariya's story Everything is Yours, Everything in Not Yours, which I urge everyone to take time out and read. You can read it here. While reading her story, I cried, I laughed, I got anxious but most importantly, I was extremely inspired. Ms Wamariya reminds us that, things happen in life that we have no control of but, how we handle the situation, determines our outcome. Ms. Wamariya decided to utilize her experiences as a way to inspire people. Her past experience as a genocide survivor and a refugee, has been a source of hope to many. She eventually received her BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Holocaust Museum Board. She is also an advisory board member at Refugee Transitions and currently sits on the board of Women for Women International. In addition to that, Ms. Wamariya is a Motivational Speaker, a Storyteller and a Human Rights advocate. I follow Ms. Wamariya on most of her social media pages such as Instagram and twitter. Every time I see a tweet or a an image, it reminds me of the potential I have within me. In addition, she seems like a sweet person and I would love to one day converse over tea. This is why Ms. Wamariya is the Woman of the World this week. I hope she inspires you as much as she inspires me.
Content and image courtesy of Clementine.me, Medium.com
Hi all, I hope you had a good weekend? Since it was Thanksgiving, I am sure you all had a good amount of food and celebration to last you till Christmas yea? As you know, every Monday, I feature Top 2 Cameroonian movers and shakers. If you follow me on social media, I recently posted 2 articles on our top 2 for today. I am so excited to share these two people with you all. I don't know them, I wish I did :). Nonetheless, they have had some great accomplishments. They are Imbolo Mbue and Dr. Wilfred Ndifon.
"Cameroonian scientist Dr. Wilfred Ndifon has proposed a solution to a 70-year old immunological mystery relating to the original antigenic sin. this complex problem has played havoc with efforts to fight infectious diseases" (read complete article here). Dr. Wilfred Ndifon is an expert in the application of both immunology and mathematics to the study of mechanisms and dynamics of infectious diseases. He received his PhD degree in biological dynamics in 2009 from Princeton University and subsequently did postdoctoral studies in the department of immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Mr Ndifon is also the founder of the International Institute for Computational and Systems Immunology in Yaounde. Mr. Ndifon began his career at the University of Buea, where he majored in Computer Science and Mathematics, with a minor in Physics. He has received fellowships and has been published, including:The Burroughs-Welcome Training Fellow in Biological Dynamics and published in journals such as PLoS Computational Biology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA. He has also presented at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA, University College London, UK, and other academic institutions. He is currently a researcher at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences as well as,2015 Next Einstein Fellow, where he"hopes to discover and use the immune system’s organizing principles to develop a probabilistic theory — akin to a quantum mechanics — that would allow many aspects of the system’s structure and functioning to be deduced from first principles".
If you are a literary fanatic, then you may have heard of news last year on the most expensive African fiction manuscript,being bought by Random House Publishing? Well, The one and only author is Imbolo Mbue. Raised in Limbe, Cameroon, then later on relocated to the US, she holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. Her novel Behold The Dreamers will be her first published novel to be release next year. You can pre-order via Amazon here. Prior to that, her first published work was submitted to Threepenny review Dec. 2014. It is called “Emke” "It is a melancholy account documenting the last days of a man dying of a wasting disease". Mrs. Mbue is quite an inspiration to young writers who aren't sure about their work. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. African writers are making waves globally and I am extremely happy to see a Cameroonian in the midst. May I add, she is doing it effortlessly with that glowing skin and powerful natural hair!
As a sign of respect in my culture, we call our male elders uncles and female elders auntie. With that said, Uncle Ndifor is the epitome of hard work pays off. Cameroon shells out intelligent people. I should know I am one of them ;) also, my cousin is one of them. Auntie Imbolo makes me want to confidently write the stories I have,roaming through my brain. I hope you guys are as inspired by these two as I am.
Content and images courtesy of BrittlePaper, Threepenny, AIMS, Next Einstein Forum, Quartz Africa
As the month of November comes to an end, we start reflecting on time gone by and realize, there are plenty of things to be grateful for. As we all know, thanksgiving is a day to stuff ourselves with as much food as possible, take long naps, queue in line for black friday deals and enjoy a day off. I love thanksgiving because, it is a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones, laugh, dance, eat and most importantly reflect on the things your are thankful for. Yes, you will be surprised to know I don't indulge in the sale madness. This year was pretty awesome because, it is the first time my family and I would be spending the day together. To add icing on the cake, it is my favorite(only) niece's first thanksgiving. My sister and I decided to do the cooking. Well, I did most of the cooking :). It was a great time and gave me the chance to jot down a few things I am thankful for.
I am thankful for:
Did you get a chance to reflect on what you are thankful for this year? Let's talk about it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, I hope you had a good one!
This week on Women of the World, we are venturing to the West African nation of Ghana. We will be talking about Emi-Beth Quantson of KawaMoka. I came across Ms. Quantson after reading her interview piece with AfricaRizing. Do take the time to read the interview, it's quite inspiring. Ms. Quantson is revolutionizing the quintessential coffee shop with her brand KawaMoka. The graduate in Business Administration from Ashesi University, left her 9-5 at PricewaterhouseCoopers to focus on building her "social enterprise coffee shop". In addition to running KawaMoka, she is the CFO of Impact Hub Accra. Her initiatives have won her the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Award, as well as the 2015 Ghana Start Up Cup. Ms. Quantson is quite an inspiration and I can't wait to visit KawaMoka when I visit Ghana. Best part about KawaMoka is, their coffee beans and chocolates are made in African countries. You can follow KawaMoka on twitter for more updates.
“I believe that if there is anything you are passionate about and believe you can do you should begin it". Emi-Beth Quantson
I hope you enjoyed this week's WOW. Please feel free to recommend outstanding women to feature. It's important we continue celebrating women and their achievements.
Content and image courtesy of AfricaRizing and linkedin
Hello all, I hope you had a good weekend? Let us start this week off right with a double dose of motivation. Our Top 2 Cameroonians this week are, Stephanie Mbida and William Nkontchou.
William Nkontchou is the Director of Emerging Capital Partners(ECP) Paris. ECP is a Private Equity Group dedicated to investing in Africa. Mr. Nkontchou joined the company in 2008 and focuses on deal sourcing, investment appraisal, transaction execution, and portfolio monitoring. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.S. in Sciences from Ecole Polytechnique, and an M.S. in Engineering from Ecole des Mines de Paris. Mr. Nkontchou has vast experience in investment banking, and has served on multiple boards including: Atlas Bottling Corporation (Algeria), Thunnus Overseas Group (Côte d’Ivoire and Madagascar), and Oragroup (West and Central Africa). Mr Nkontchou is somewhat active on social media and you can follow him on twitter for more updates.
Stephanie Mbida was mentioned multiple times in the comment section of the top 10 Cameroonian movers and shakers(see here). After researching and following her on twitter, I now understand the shock of those who commented. She is definitely a mover and shaker. Ms. Mbida is an Inspiring and hard working woman. She is the co-founder and executive director of KickLoans, a micro-finance organization that provides business training and financial solutions to the working poor. In addition to that, she is also currently working on Freudon, a platform showcasing the brightest young entrepreneurs. Ms. Mbida has a Bachelors in Finance from the University of Quebec, Montreal. She is an advocate for youth entrepreneurship, a One Young World Ambassador, a member at the UN Association and an inspiration to young girls and women globally. Keep on shining the flag high for Cameroonian women. She is very active on social media so do follow her on twitter for updates.
What do you all think of this week's top 2? Motivating yea? Last week's top 2 gave me the urge to read a book. This week's top two makes me want to take a course in finance :). I hope you guys are inspired by these two? Please feel free to share names or nominate people you would like to see featured. Enjoy your Monday.
Images and content courtesy of twitter, ECP investments, KickLoans, Linkedin and changemakers
Hi all, the holidays are fast approaching and I know my friends and family are going crazy thinking of what to get me :). Well guys, no worries. I decided to create a material wish list for this holiday. These are somethings I have been thinking about for sometime now, and would love to add to my collection. Also, It has been a while since I shared a Friday post. My hair has been going through some stages and as soon as I get it together, I will be sharing an outfit post :). What are some of your wishes(material that is) this holiday.
1) Zashadu TKO bags- See here for bag info
3) A Polaroid camera- Urban Outfitters has some cool ones here
4) Books- I love African literature but I am also open to reading any inspiring biographies and interesting fiction. Surprise me.
5) Nike Rosche Flyknit sneakers for women size 6.5- See here
So there you have it guys. My top 5 holiday wish list. I can't wait to open the packages lol.
Images courtesy of Zashadu, Nike, Urban Outfitters, Asos, google
For this week's Women of the World, I will be visiting Queens, New York to share with you all the beauties and brains behind the brand Flo+Theo. Nigerian born Mayowa and Ebony, left their engineering and law careers to create their artisan skin care brand. Per their site, their products are, "inspired by Mother Nature. All ingredients are carefully chosen, highly potent, beneficial and non-toxic. We believe that less is more, so our skin care blends never contain parabens, petroleum, synthetic fragrances or alcohol, just good, wholesome ingredients". Since inception, they have been featured in several media sites including: The Zoe Report, Refinery 29, Glamour, Bauble Bar, etc.
Their products are quite affordable especially with the natural ingredients used in it. You have soap bars at less than $10 as well as body polish, body oils and body butters for less than $30. You can visit their site here for more information on their journey and their products. They also have a beautiful Instagram page and have quite a buzz on twitter. It's quite refreshing to see young ladies who aren't hesitant to follow their dreams. Mayowa and Ebony are two inspiring women working hard to excel in their business. I can't wait to see them reach the sky. I hope you are inspired by them as much as I am?
Content and images via Flo+Theo site and Instagram
Hi all, I am extremely happy to receive such positive feedback on my last two post. There are so many Cameroonians who are achieving great things globally. I have decided to make it a weekly thing. Top 2 Mondays will feature a male and female Cameroonian or of Cameroonian decent, striving in every field. If you have someone you think will be a great feature, please share below in the comment box. As mentioned in my previous posts, let us get the conversation flowing. It is up to us to promote those who are giving the country a positive image globally. In addition, their stories may inspire you to become a change maker.
This week, we will talk about Vera Songwe and Acha Leke.
Dr. Songwe is the World Bank Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mauritania. She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute with the Global Economy and Development and Africa Growth Initiative. Her main areas of interest are fiscal policy, innovative financing mechanisms for development, agriculture, energy and economic governance. She is a member of the African Leadership Network. Dr. Songwe holds a PhD. in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research & Econometrics from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (reference). You can follow Dr. Songwe on twitter for updates.
Mr. Leke is a Senior Partner at Mckinsey & Company, as well as co-founder of the African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership Network. While completing a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, he also received an MS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University. He received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude), with a minor in Economics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he graduated as the school’s first black valedictorian. Mr. Leke is currently a member of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Agenda Council on Africa. He is also on the Africa Policy Advisory Board for One (reference). Mr. Leke is quite active on twitter so follow him for more updates.
I don't know about you but, these two make me want to pick up a book and start reading or better yet, enroll myself back in school :). Nonetheless, their hard work and determination should inspire you to achieve more in life. Stay tuned for next weeks feature.
Images and content courtesy of One.org, Brookings Institute and google
This week on Women of the World(WOW), we will be featuring 10 Cameroonian women making positive changes in their respective communities, as well as pushing forward a positive image of their home country. These women are under the age of 35 and from different fields. This list is subjective, with recommendations from friends and family. I understand, there are plenty of young women out there who may not make this list, but they are definitely movers and shakers. Feel free to continue the conversation in the comment section with their names.
1) Olivia Mukam-Wandji: Founder, Harambe Cameroon/CEO & Co-Founder Solutionneurs
What a force to reckon with. Mrs. Wandji founded Cameroon's first social entrepreneurship program in hopes to translate Cameroonian youths ideas into action. The John Hopkins graduate moved back to Cameroon after her studies to embark on this journey. Since then, she has co-founded Solutionneurs, "a consulting and an outsourcing platform, that provides skilled labor, on-the-ground market research, and solutions to business problems". She also plays a role as advisory council for Microsoft for Africa and is very active with the US embassy in Yaounde. Her drive, energy and zeal for change is motivating and inspirational. For more information on her, you can follow her on twitter and visit her blog for updates.
2) Diane Audrey Ngako: Founder, Visiter L'Afrique
Ms. Ngako decided that, images of starving children and poverty wasn't all Africa had to offer. The Le Monde Afrique journalist decided to use her platform to promote a positive image, of not only her country Cameroon, but that of the African continent. With over thousands of followers on social media platforms, Ms. Ngako is showing the world the variety of beauty, African nations have to offer. May I add, she is doing a great job at promoting Cameroonian and African talents through her journalistic platform at Le Monde Afrique. Follow Ms. Ngako on instagram and twitter to stay up to date with her.
3) Madelle Kangha: Co-Founder & President, Jumpstart Academy Africa
The 2015 American Express emerging innovator, a 2015 Vital Voice Fellow, This London School of Economics graduate is paving the way for change makers in Cameroon. In addition to co-founding Jumpstart Academy Africa, Ms. Kangha is also the founder of Youths4Change, "a youth-led community based organization focused on transforming African youths into agents of socio-economic change". Ms. Kangha's determination and drive is quite inspiring. Can't wait to see the plans she has installed for change makers in Cameroon. You can follow her on twitter for more info.
4) Nelly Wandji: CEO & Co-Founder MoonLook
With an extensive background in brand management, trade marketing and retail management, Ms. Wandji decided it was time to create an enterprise for herself. MoonLook was launched to the world in 2013. This e-commerce site provides unique made in Africa products to consumers globally. They carry designers from West, North to Central Africa. Ms. Wandji's hardwork is enough inspiration for those interested in her field of work. I suggest you visit her site for made in Africa finds. Make sure to check out her Instagram and twitter pages for updates.
5) Agwenjang Patience Ngonwei: Founder/President at Research and Advocacy for Gender Justice
With seven years' experience in policy reforms focused on youth policy development and implementation, this 2015 Young African Leaders Initiative(YALI) fellow has been fighting to implement youth and gender policy changes in Cameroon. This lawyer turn policy advocate is pushing for youth and women voices to be heard in the management of public investment projects. She has such an outstanding and impressive professional and educational background. looking forward to more outstanding work from Ms. Ngonwei.
6) Marilyn Estelle Nguemo Chime: Co-Founder ZAATI Consulting
As an expert adviser to global corporations, Ms. Chime has worked on several projects including, being "a senior expert on organizational design with the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which plays a major role in conflict prevention and security in the region". In addition to that, Ms. Nguemo holds a senior advisor position for the African Women's Entrepreneurship Program(AWEP), assisting in the selection process of African women entrepreneurs growing their business through the AGOA platform with the US Department of State. The 2015 YALI fellow received a USADF grant in which she plans to launch a platform that empowers and uplifts entrepreneurs, young women and men.
7) Arielle Kitio Tsamo: Founder, WIT
Ms. Tsamo is currently completing her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Yaounde 1. While doing so, her passion led her to launch the information technology for women and youth program(WIT), while working as an event manager for women tech maker. Ms. Tsamo is pushing boundaries for women focusing on STEM in Cameroon. She is definitely a techie to watch out for. Can't wait to see the work she has planned.
8) Vanessa Zommi: Founder, Emerald Moringa Tea
This young entrepreneur is passionate about inspiring young people and impacting her community. Based in Buea, while completing a BSc in Chemical Engineering, Ms. Zommi decided to launch the Emerald Moringa tea. Her tea sets a platform for healthy living within the community using the moringa tree. She was recently nominated for the Anzisha price for her work on the Emerald Moringa Tea. She is a change maker to look out for. You can follow her on twitter for more updates.
9) Andrea Bomo: Founder, Be The Light Productions
With degrees in Journalism from France and the UK, Ms. Bomo decided to relocate to Cameroon to utilize her expertise on the opportunities present at home. In addition to Be The Light Productions, Ms. Bomo is also the founder of Akouma TV. She is a TV host with Vox Africa, the director/producer for women for change, and a talk show host for Afrik2 Radio's weekly talk show "Femmes Lumiere". In addition to her multiple roles, Ms. Bomo shares her travels and experiences on her bilingual blog "My African Chronicles". You can follow her on twitter and Instagram for more updates.
10) Celine Fotso: Founder, Je-Wanda Magazine
A tech, culture, lifestyle and community magazine, Je-Wanda Magazine is providing rich content to not only Cameroonians, but Africans all over the world. Ms. Fotso has created a buzz with Cameroonians at home and abroad as one of the first to create a web magazine. She is an avid promoter of Cameroonian talent globally and strives to portray and image of talented and innovative Cameroonians moving the country forward. Je-Wanda continues to grow as one of the most visited Cameroonian owned sites on the web. Ms. Fotso's hardwork and determination is quite inspiring. Looking forward to more of what she has planned. In the mean time, keep up with her on twitter and Instagram
These 10 ladies are outstanding and continue to teach us that, societal limitations shouldn't stop you from achieving your highest potential. With that said, I hope you enjoyed reading the list as much as I enjoyed creating it. Stay tuned for more inspiring women on my weekly Women of the World post. In the mean time, feel free to share with your community.
Content and images courtesy of google, linkedin and IREX
Last week on twitter, there was a buzz of young Cameroonians trending with #33years, #33ans. To sum things up, people were giving their feedback on Cameroon's president, Mr. Paul Biya's 33 years in power. What has he done so far for the country? Have things improved or gone down the drain? In the spirit of that conversation, I decided to draft up 2 blog posts on young Cameroonian male and female movers and shakers in Cameroon under the age of 35. Today I will focus on the guys. Now, this is a subjective list created by myself with help from friends and family. I hope you enjoy the list and be inspired by these young men.
1) Charlie Wandji: CEO & Founder 1Task1Job
Mr. Wandji is a great example of a go getter. As a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow in President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), a 2014 Yale World Fellow, Mr. Wandji has made it his job to provide work opportunities for young Cameroonians coming out of university. With the motto of "transforming our problems into opportunities", The University of Buea graduate spearheaded 1Task1Job. He is also the co-founder of solutionners.com. We love what Mr. Wandji is doing and can't wait to see what changes he will make in Cameroon. For more information on him, you can follow him on twitter.
2) Alain Nteff: Co-founder, The Giftedmom
Mr. Nteff recently recieved the Queen's Young leader award putting Cameroon on the map. Also an Anzisha fellow, the World Economic Forum Global shaker and Forbes 30 under 30 Africans, Alain Nteff is showing us that, it is possible to make it as young man growing up in Cameroon. Mr Nteff's Giftedmom is "creating a world free of Maternal & Infant deaths (a world of GiftedMoms), using last mile mobile health solutions". We look forward to the many inventions Alain has installed for us. In the meantime, you can keep up with him on twitter.
3) Christian Ngan: Founder, CEO MadlynCazalis
Mr. Ngan is redefining natural beauty in Cameroon. With a few thousand Euros and a background in Finance, Mr. Ngan decided to relocate to his home country Cameroon, from France to embark on the journey of building his beauty empire. MadlynCazalis will eventually become a household name in Cameroon due to its natural products. You can get more information on the company here and follow Mr Ngan on twitter.
4) Lesley Ndzi: Founder, CEO Bonga Juice
Lesley Ndzi is making waves in Buea, Cameroon with his Bonga juice bars. With different varieties of flavors including: guava, kasi-mango, sour-sop, etc, he is sure to keep your taste buds buzzing. The University of Buea graduate is taking advantage of opportunities given to him. He just started and we can't wait to see the progress of Bonga juice. If you are in Buea, be sure to grab one and support a young entrepreneur.
5) Jean Yves Morio: CEO Morio Group
As a financial analyst in one of the top companies in France, Mr Morio decided to relocate back to Cameroon to start his Management consulting firm. An avid supporter of Cameroonian entrepreneurs, Mr. Morio is definitely one to look out for. Stay up to date with him through his twitter page where he constantly updates on business and social thing happening in Cameroon.
6) Mambe Churchill Nanje: Founder, Njorku
A software engineer as well as entrepreneur, Mr. Nanje is showing us the power of technology in Cameroon. One of the popular names in Buea's own Sillicon Mountain, Nanje has paved the way for youths to challenge their inner techie. He has been featured in magazines globally for his hardwork and dedication to his platform Njorku. Njorku helps professionals with job search throughout Africa. Thumbs up to Mr. Nanje and we can't wait to see him fly. You can follow him on twitter and catch him blogging here.
7) Arthur Zang: Founder and CEO, Himore Medical Equipments
With heart diseases rising in many low-income nations, Mr. Zang took it upon himself to invent a life saving cardio pad, that enables heart examinations to be performed in remote locations. Mr. Zang has received several recognitions for his work including the 2014 young laureate with Rolex, being featured on Forbes as one of Africa's young innovators, as well as receiving the special innovation award from President Paul Biya, Mr Zang is the epitome of hardwork and determination pays off. The graduate of the National Advanced School of Engineering in Yaounde is paving the way for young boys and girls that it is possible to make it with an education from Cameroon. We look forward to more of his work.
8) Roland Fomundam: Founder & CEO Greenhouse Ventures
Mr. Fomundam is paving the way to make farming a profitable venture in West Africa. He is also one of the young Cameroonians who decided to move back home to tap into the multiple opportunities available. He has worked on several projects including Jola Venture and Youth Action Africa. With a Masters of Science in Technological Entrepreneurship from Northeastern university, Mr. Fomundam currently lectures at the Bamenda University of Science and Technology, while running his companies. He is definitely driven, hardworking and determined to make things happen. We look forward to seeing more from him. In the meantime, visit Greenhouse Venture's facebook page for more info.
9) Madiba Guillaume Olivier: Founder, Kiro'o Games Studio
With a name like Madiba, it's only right to add him to the list. As co-founder of Madia group, this graduate of computer science from the University of Yaounde 1 is determined to bring African cultures and traditions into video games. With some friends, they are paving the way for the video game industry in Central Africa. We are excited to see what Mr. Olivier has planned for us. You can follow him on twitter and visit the gaming site for more info.
10) Hiram S Iyodi: President, Cameroon Youth Synergy
Mr. Iyodi is currenlty the president of the Cameroon Youth Synergy. A think and act thank that prides in bringing young Cameroonians, age 15-35 together, towards the emergence of a new Cameroon that will achieve prosperity, yet retain its rich history and culture. While heading this association, Mr Iyodi works as an auditor in oil and gas for the Cameroon Audit Council. This graduate from the Univeristy of Laval Canada as well as author of Mes reves des jeunes... Le Cameroun pour les 50 prochaines annees sees a bright future for Cameroon and is currently working towards it. We can't wait to see the changes he implements in his country.
As I wrote down this list, I couldn't help but feel excitement roaming through my body. I am extremely happy to see young men striving to create a better Cameroon. Of course these are 10 of many. I left out quite a few and most likely don't know the many others out there, but this is the opportunity for us to talk about these people. Let us continue to recognize young Cameroonian movers and shakers globally but especially those at home. Feel free to comment below with names that should have made the list. I would sincerely appreciate it :).
Images and content courtesy of Linkedin, google, facebook and twitter