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Vlisco Interactive Sessions – Being The Change

Lessons from Vlisco's session on being the change

Vlisco Nigeria thought up the perfect way to round up Women’s Month. What better way to close a month celebrating women than to get a bunch of them together for an inspired interactive session on being the change?

When I first got the invite to be part of the Vlisco interactive session, I wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to go or not. At first, I was like “being the change? TF is that?”. And then a part of me felt like it would just be another evening of watching other people network while I pressed my phone and sipped on cocktails, being the ever-social butterfly that am. My decision to go really came last-minute ad I literally typed the RSVP email on my phone in a cab on the way home the night before.

My decision to attend the session was based mostly on the fact that I’m always talking about change (lol), but haven’t really done a whole lot of it if I’m being entirely honest. It felt like a good opportunity to try something new, and possibly learn something. I believe the change process truly begins when you leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself. So, I challenged myself to go.

Before I really get into the amazing night it turned out to be, let me share a few quick pictures of Vlisco’s beautiful store at the Ikeja City Mall. Mad props to the designer, mhen. All the colours and the fabric….. I was overstruck.

Being the Change – Inspiring Women

If you’re like me, you hold back on your ideas and plans because you’re waiting for “something”. One thing I learned on Thursday night is I can stop waiting. Change can happen in so many ways and on diverse scales, but it all starts the same way – by starting. I heard stories from three women that changed the way I think about things.

Adaeze Alilonu

When Adaeze told the room that she has been married for 9 nine years and has had 6 house helps within that time, a lot of us in the room couldn’t relate. Not just because we’ve all had a lot more than that number of helps troop in and out of our homes (this should actually be another post), but also because of Adaeze’s philosophy – no housegirl can leave her house the same. This phenomenal woman shared with us how she changes the lives of the girls who come to work for her by asking them what they would do with their lives if it weren’t for circumstances and finances and then goes on to enable them achieve their dreams, be it educational or vocational.

Mrs. Daniels

Mrs. Daniels was such a powerful speaker. She didn’t have a whole lot of stories to share, but rather challenged us to think about ourselves and the world around us. She enlightened those present at the seminar on how people often get distracted by what they don’t have, and forget to work with what they do have. Being the change is not about having all the time in the world, or all the resources in the world, but more about being so disturbed by something that you simply will not be comfortable not changing it with whatever resources you have. It’s kind of like how you let your passion motivate your work; passion should motivate your change project as well. Using herself as an example, she cited how she became a stylist because she just hates to see people looking bad.

Tolu Sangosanya

The great Tolu Sangosanya was brief and straight-to-the-point. After telling us a little bit about her younger years and following her instincts to help other people, she shared with us how she started helping the Ajegunle children get better education. We learned that a significant part of what Mrs. Sangosanya does, is having faith in God, and being motivated by the fear of failure. As contradictory as that may sound, there is some sense to it. She puts in the work, and backs up her expectations with scripture. She shared a story about how she pushed some of the children she tutors to succeed by letting them know there are people who don’t believe they will make it. Classic example of making it to shine on the haters.

I left the Vlisco store a little surer of what it is I want to do to impact the world around me. I know it won’t be easy, but I also know nothing will happen unless I start. Truly can’t wait for the next session!
What are you passionate about changing? Is there something you really just want to do something about in the world around you? What are you going to do?
Let’s talk about it.

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