Ladybrille Women of the Month: Where Are They Now? Sabrina Iyadede, Funke Adenodi Akinbuli, Bisila Bokoko, Adama Sallie Kargbo/Aschobi, Estella Couture

In Features, Woman of the Month by Ladybrille Woman1 Comment

Dear Readers,

Ladybrille Magazine, since its inception, has been a trendsetter brand that is impact driven and target focused with a mission to rebrand the image of Africa in the West, positively. With your help and continued support, in three years of doing this, we have been able to consistently deliver creative and authentic content introducing you, in numerous exclusives, to dynamic African and non-African individuals whose works further our brand’s core mission. Persons like Ayo, NyakioSummer Rayne Oakes, Mike Ajakwe, MI, Ebbe Bassey, Maimah Karmo, Korto Momolu, Stephanie OkerekeDerrick Ashong, to name a few.

Based on popular demand from you, we return to showcasing and celebrating, each month, brilliant women in our local and international communities. These women show strength, determination, courage are entrepreneur minded and they make the world a much better place to live.

We took a hiatus from our monthly celebration, this past summer, so we could also celebrate our brilliant men. Expect more information on that soon.

Our next installment of Ladybrille Woman of the Month debuts November 2010, next month! In the meantime, we caught up with some of our Ladybrille women of the month, from the past, to see where they are now. Be inspired!

Yours truly,
(editor@ladybrille.com)
Uduak Oduok, Esq.
Editor-in-Chief
Ladybrille Magazine
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Name: Sabrina Iyadede
Profession: Musician
Location: New York, USA
Heritage: Rwanda, East Africa
Ladybrille Woman of the Month, November 2009

Ladybrillemag.com: Share with us some of your accomplishments since your feature on Ladybrille as Woman of the Month?

Sabrina Iyadede (SI): It is great to hear from you! It was an honor to be chosen as ‘Woman of the Month’ and it is my wish to continue collaborating with Ladybrille!

I am currently working on my next opus on for which I am producing not only vocals but music as well. I am very excited about this because it allows me to be even more involved in my creations by doing the biggest part in it. Of course I continue to work with my longtime producers as well. I am also part of a great radio show on brooklynradio.net called “Midnight Rockers Express” with Lee and Dj Get Live. Eclectic and avant-garde sound from all over.

Ladybrillemag.com: How do you define a brilliant woman?
SI:
A brilliant woman is resilient. She sees life with tender and hopeful eyes because she is a creator. She shares her blessings with many and she supports other women in their endeavors. She bridges the gap between the past, by holding on to her culture and traditions, the present by keeping up with the trends and exploring and the future by building and striving to leave a positive legacy to her family, her friends or her audience. She speaks her mind fearlessly and doesn’t compromise on her core values.

Ladybrillemag.com: Going into 2011, how do you intend to challenge yourself, personally, to continue to be brilliant?
SI:
Going into 2011, I want to grow stronger with my music. Fully embrace this gift because it is our duty to share our blessings with many. I really hope to collaborate with some artist that I admire and know this will come soon.

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Name: Funke Adenodi Akinbuli
Profession: Founder Exodus Guild Inc., Non-profit for Disabled in Africa
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Heritage: Nigeria, West Africa
Ladybrille Woman of the Month, August 2008

Ladybrillemag.com: Share with us some of your accomplishments since your feature on Ladybrille as Woman of the Month?
Funke Adenodi Akinbuli (FAA):
Since being featured as Ladybrille Woman of the Month in August of 2008, my work at the Exodus Guild has continued to thrive. Today, Exodus works in the United States, Nigeria, and expanded to Kenya in 2009. Some highlights of our work are as follows:

Through our School Operations program “SCHOPE”, we have planned and executed 4 school supplies events since between 2008 and 2009in Lagos and Ibadan Nigeria.

  • With Project DIS-AIDS program, we have collaborated with Society for Family Health organization in Lagos for World AIDS Day 2008 for an awareness rally through the streets of Lagos, Nigeria.
  • In 2009 World AIDS Day, we were in Kenya and partnered with Beyond the Vision Initiative in Kenya for the Machakos HIV/AIDS inclusive rally, which was the first time; people with disability have been included in HIV/AIDS awareness program in that community.
  • We also celebrated World Disability Day 2009 in Kenya partnering with Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK). The theme was “inclusion.”
  • Through the Exodus Caregiver Support Group, we helped to establish a viable support network for the Women of Machakos near Nairobi Kenya.

Ladybrillemag.com: How do you define a brilliant woman?
FAA:
A brilliant woman is one who chases after her dreams in spite of challenges along the way. She wears many hats yet balances them all in an effort to bring her goals to fruition. She focuses on the big picture and is not bugged down by the small stuff. A brilliant woman loves life and thrives on helping others live a fulfilling life.

Ladybrillemag.com: Going into 2011, how do you intend to challenge yourself, personally, to continue to be brilliant?
FAA:
I plan to become less bashful in my fundraising efforts for the Exodus Guild. I have no reason to be embarrassed when asking for support for a cause that promotes dignity for people with disability. Although I detest rejection, there is always a 50% chance that the response I get is favorable. So, I’ll take take my chances.
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Name: Bisila Bokoko
Profession: Founder & Owner Bisila Wines, Executive Director US-Spain Chamber of Commerce
Location: New York, USA
Ladybrille Woman of the Month, February 2010

Ladybrillemag.com: Share with us some of your accomplishments since your feature on Ladybrille as Woman of the Month?
BK:
I put together the Bisila Wines launch event in Madrid. I was also a keynote speaker and award presenter at the Empretec Awards at the UNCTAD in Geneva. I have donated over 3000 books to the library of Equatorial Guinea and I am spending more time with my children.

Ladybrillemag.com: How do you define a brilliant woman?
BK:
A brilliant woman is one who shows intelligence, talent and quality. She is a woman who has very clear objectives in life; and develops a plan to achieve them without fear of nothing and/or anyone.

Ladybrillemag.com: Going into 2011, how do you intend to challenge yourself, personally, to continue to be brilliant?
BK:
I would like first of all to consolidate all of my ongoing projects; but I am also open and ready to explore new roads. . . there is more to come!

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Name: Adama Sallie Kargbo
Profession: Fashion Entrepreneur & Designer of Aschobi Designs
Location: Sierra Leone
Ladybrille Woman of the Month, October 2008

Ladybrillemag.com: Share with us some of your accomplishments since your feature on Ladybrille as Woman of the Month?
Aschobi:
Hello Ladybrille (Magazine), so happy to hear from you. It has been over two years know since I was last featured as a woman of the month. I am glad to report that ASCHOBI is still going strong. I have presented ASCHOBI in South Africa, China, and the USA, to name a few. I finally launched my website which has helped a lot in creating an online community for my brand. My clientele as well as my staff on the ground in Freetown continue to grow. This has been integral for me to better understand who the ASCHOBI customers are and what tools I need to better satisfy them. Personally my biggest accomplishment; thus far has been to be able to make a calculated decision on any given topic when any given occasion presents itself and follow through with an execution.

Ladybrillemag.com: How do you define a brilliant woman?
Aschobi:
If I could give an example I would say my mother. Why? Because she is a natural leader, she reigns in her domain of expertise, she is extremely observant of her community and their surroundings. She guides her instincts in all aspects of her decision-making. She is experienced in each step that she takes. All together she is remarkably inspiring

Ladybrillemag.com: Going into 2011, how do you intend to challenge yourself, personally, to continue to be brilliant?
Aschobi:
Going forward into 2011 I challenge myself to introduce ASCHOBI to a wider audience. I will immerse myself further into the business of ASCHOBI. I will continue to remind myself of the beginning.

Thank you for continuously supporting Aschobi Ladybrille, as you continue to inspire us.
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Name: Estella Ogbonna
Profession: Designer Estella Couture
Location: DC/Maryland, USA
Heritage: Nigeria, West Africa
Ladybrille Woman of the Month, November 2007

Ladybrillemag.com: Share with us some of your accomplishments since your feature on Ladybrille as Woman of the Month?
EC:
Since I was Ladybrille Woman of the Month, I have expanded ESTELLA Couture I would say. From being just a fashion designer promoting African fashion to the rest of the world, I’ve been blessed to take EC to Africa and the Islands. Liaising and working with people from other nations of the world. There is so much that has happened from the last time I was featured as Ladybrille’s ‘Woman of the Month.’ I am very honored and humbled. It is like counting my blessings and they are a lot. New products are being produced and added to ESTELLA Couture, like my new denim line – JEANKARA (a fusion of Jeans and Ankara), and other new products that I cannot mention now, but will be announcing soon.

Most importantly, to me, personally, I have used Estella Couture as a platform to do something that is very dear to my heart, being a blessing to people in need. I formed a free sewing club – So So Sewing Club. When the earthquake hit Haiti, I SEW FOR HAITI was launched, getting other sewers to create things that were sent to the earthquake victims.

My hometown , Jos (Northern Nigeria), underwent a genocide, and the kindness of Nigerians and friends of Nigerians was shown to the whole world when I called on them and they did not hesitate to join their talents, skills and resources to raise funds to help the victims, through the event I initiated – FASHION FOR JOS.  That effort led to the creation of a local initiative in Jos called ‘FOOD FOR JOS.’ We are [organizing] an upcoming  nationwide FASHION FOR JOS event in Lagos, Nigeria, before the end of the year. I must once again thank you Ladybrille, for your media support of ‘FASHION FOR JOS.’

ESTELLA Couture has also been introduced into the Nigerian Movie industry  (Nollywood) in Costuming and wardrobe. I am very excited about that as I have TV production experience from working in a couple of television houses back in Nigeria . .  . it has indeed been a very busy time, and going to be busier next year.

Ladybrillemag.com: How do you define a brilliant woman?
EC:
A brilliant woman to me is any woman who employs all her creative skills, intelligence and talents to make a change not just in her personal life, but in the lives of others as well.

Ladybrillemag.com: Going into 2011, how do you intend to challenge yourself, personally, to continue to be brilliant?
EC:
Going in to 2011, I have already made my goals and plans, and it is going to be business UNusual. On a different scale, going harder and achieving more. Estella Couture and all affiliates are going up a notch higher. I have set goals that may look ‘unrealistic’ to others but I know my God, and hey, I started with HIM, divinely inspired and blessed.  I am now back to back to that ‘place’. When it was just God and Me. When, I created without minding anyone’s opinion.

Pushing the bar against all expectation is my challenge. Like what can I not achieve if I really put my heart to it? Absolutely nothing! My creative spirit is on an adrenaline rush right now and I love it. . . so, I say, “Watch Out , World!”

More Ladybrille Woman, alumni updates to come.

Photo description: Sabrina Iyadede
Courtesy photo Sabrina Iyadede/Phil Knot
Sabrina’s dress designed by Loza Maleombho

WOMAN OF THE MONTH: KHADIJAT ‘UMI’ ABDULKADIR

We love Celebrating Brilliant Women!

A running feature for 10 years, The ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Month’ celebrates women in business and leadership, who empower themselves and others through their contributions and actions in their local and international communities. In 2014, the feature expanded to include a podcast show. If you would like to nominate a woman to be celebrated, please email editor@ladybrille.com.

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