The night of September 30, 2011 was one to remember as beautiful faces converged to celebrate Afripreneurs of tomorrow. This year marked the 2nd annual Afripreneurs of Tomorrow Scholarship ball, an event created by Feyisola to raise money and provide scholarships to young Afripreneurs in the community.
The ceremony began with stellar performances by Brave Boi Music group, and Emma Nyra. The keynote speaker, MacDella Cooper, also popularly known as Liberian’s Angel, shared her inspiring story of rising from a war torn Liberia to becoming one of the most respected women in the African focused Non- profit sector.
In line with the motto of the United Negro College Fund which states that the mind is a terrible thing to waste, the Afripreneurs of Tomorrow is a scholarship ball set up by the 2009 Miss Nigerian Independence- Feyisola Ogunfemi- “to empower youth all around the African diaspora to take ownership of Africa’s future, and to use creative and innovative ideas to take Africa higher”.
This year’s scholarship recipients are Ohemma Poku, a Mount Holyoke college junior, and Toluwase Oladapo, a Brooklyn Technical high school junior.
Ohemma and Toluwase represent young Africans who through their achievements are shedding light on Africa and erasing the misconceptions held about the continent. Ohemma Poku is an African History and Development Studies major and co-president of multiple organizations as well as a passionate viola player.
Toluwase’s academic focus is Law & Society. She is the CEO of Divine Symmetry – a jewelry making company, president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, founder and president of Social Awareness Club, publications chair of the National Society of Black Engineers, director of the Youth Ministry Drama Team, Sunday School teacher and founder of the After Church Christian Conference.
According to Ohemma Poku, “an entrepreneur is someone breaking into an industry and creating change”. She would like to re-vamp the non-profit sector by setting standards that ensure that NGOs bring change and long term solutions to poverty – as opposed to tackling the issues from a short term perspective. “After half a century of aid flow and charity going to Africa, it is time we provide Africans with organizations that will actually invest, educate and impact society to change attitudes, behaviors and policies in order to ensure self sustainability”, says Ohemma.
When asked how she feels about being the winner of the high school Afripreneurs competition, Toluwase said that “its kinda surreal”. According to her, the idea to start her company, Divine Symmetry, started randomly. She saw a bag filled with old Ankara materials and the idea came to mind to make African inspired jewelry. “I love making earrings. I love relating to my African culture and the best part is reaching out to non-Africans so that they can appreciate the African culture. God is the one who gave me the idea and the strength to persist even when others thought it was a joke. My motto is Matthew 6:33- seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else shall be added unto you”.
Just as Toluwase quoted Confucius: “do a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”, MacDella Cooper’s speech also reemphasized the need for young Africans to search within self in order to realize skills and talents that are peculiar to them and capitalize on them. For MacDella Cooper, she learned never to sit back and wait for things to come to her, but rather to be courageous and follow her true calling. According to her, these are the qualities of an Afripreneur.
Being the Africans we are ever so proud of being, the evening couldn’t have ended without us doing what we know how to do specially- dancing and mingling.
To view more pictures click: http://tngphotographer.smugmug.com/Events/Afripreneurs-Scholarship-Ball/19341754_jTkPWz#1511630521_gqhrp8z
The Afripreneurs Of Tomorrow Scholarship Ball is the signature charity event of Statuesque Events, and the event, decor and sponsorships were managed by the company. A full listing of pictures and press references after the event will be posted shortly to http://www.statuesqueevents.com.
About Statuesque Events by Feyisola:
Statuesque Events by Feyisola is an event planning and management company in the metro NY area which produces events such as receptions, weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers and corporate launch events. The company is built on its values of integrity, grace and organization which guide its corporate citizenship, client interactions and decision to have a charity initiative.
For information and sponsorship inquiries for the Afripreneurs of Tomorrow Ball, contact:
Founder, Statuesque Events by Feyisola