My name is Adanna Enwezor nee Egwuatu. I am the Managing Director of Photizo Life Foundation, the founder, African Women Inspire Network (AWIN), and the Convener of the African Hair Summit. I am very passionate about Youth and women empowerment and I have shown this over time by working with several NGOs in local communities and cities for over 9years where I engaged youths, women, and children in skills acquisition, sensitization programs, and mentorship. I have a BSc in Sociology and an MA in Global Development and Africa.
WHAT FUELS ME?
Passion, Integrity, Determination
MY GREATEST INFLUENCE:
MY TOP THREE ROLE MODELS:
Unfortunately, I can’t name three role models because I learn generously and almost equally from great minds across the world. I believe there’s always something good to learn from people making an impact in any sphere of life even though I may not agree entirely with their lifestyle and practices. Even those younger than I am. I learn from the good side of people and situations and discard the negatives. Most importantly, the Bible serves as my ultimate guide in life.
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS…..
From my introduction, it’s quite obvious I have created more than one platform in my work and so I will discuss from two perspectives.
Given the increase in health challenges being faced by a lot of Africans in recent years, in the next 5 years, I hope to have successfully created awareness about the toxic chemicals in hair and beauty products and helped created business opportunities in at least 10 African Countries through the African Hair Summit platform. In the next 5 years, I hope to have helped and encouraged at least 5 million women and men to embrace their natural hair and also help more than 10 percent of them start and build successful businesses in the African hair industry. Yes, I have board members, and partners I discuss with to take the Vision further.
In addition, I hope to help mentor and empower 10,000 young women through the African Women Inspire Network (AWIN) through our training and counseling programs. We believe that women have what it takes to drive real change in the society, thus, the need to invest in them. We are currently partnering with several organizations to make this a reality.
THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S CHALLENGE:
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of sustainable mentorship programs for younger women
- Women Solidarity
- Access to finance
Through the African Women Inspire Network AWIN, we intend to through our projects help build the confidence and businesses for young African women across the continent. We would also through the Network form a strong support system for women to help them deal with financial, social and Mental stress. We believe that with the right structure and programs in place, women can be more effective within the society.
Further, through the African Hair Summit Platform, we are promoting our African Heritage to help restore confidence and healthy lifestyles amongst Africans. We hope to help African women especially, embrace their true identity and to find life and business opportunities in doing so.
WHAT I DO TO RELAX:
By spending time with family..
MY – I.C.E. [INSPIRE|CELEBRATE|EMPOWER] VISION
I believe they have a lot to offer. Majority of the women in Africa are still trying to find out who they really are and if they have the capacity to add real value to the society. For instance, with so much confusion and pressure from the international media on what has been termed or what we have come to accept as international beauty standards, the African woman still has so much to prove but she must first accept who she is, the African in her blood. She must understand her own beauty enough to showcase it to the world. She must know that if she will make that impact, she must be fully persuaded about her true identity.
I believe African women are strong and beautiful. In most cases they carry the home, fight through culturally induced marital problems, the bad economic situation, and other health and social problems and still, some are able to make themselves into successful career women, setting the pace for others to follow. They should be celebrated. I applaud their resilience and courage.
MY AFRICAN UNION PLANS:
I would find ways to incorporate major programs from my current work into ongoing programs in the women advocacy and empowerment department. I believe if such an opportunity arises, it would be as a result of some of my current work and recognition, hence, the need to find ways to continue the good works that have singled me out. It is no longer news that African Women need better hair care. Research has shown that the black hair and beauty industry is saturated with toxic chemicals that have serious potential to harm consumers. This and more are issues I will like to drive through the African Union platform if given the opportunity.
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE:
My advice is simple. Learn to love yourself and appreciate yourself enough to love your fellow woman. You are the change you seek. Be determined to make real impact. Don’t live a false life, or use your femininity to harm others, rather use it to add value to the society.