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31 2012

East Africa Wisdom Exchange TV interviews completed (for now)

Syndicated from: Suzanne F. Stevens

We are now in Southern Africa interviewing Leading Ladies is Politics, Philanthropy, Business and Education. We want to thank the wonderful Leading Ladies in East Africa who shared their insight, knowledge, determination and spirit with us – and in many cased your hospitality. We had many highlights including interviewing  Bience Gawanas – Exchange launched November 29, 2011, Commissioner of Social Affairs for African Union. Although from Namibia, she really brought an Africa perspective to her interview. She challenges us as women to ask the most important question when it comes to cultural practices that discriminate against women – Why? Interviewing Leah Ngini, although her interview is not aired yet, she is a woman who I treasure for many reasons, but one she came to Canada to speak at the Ignite Excellence Conference – where we raised $30,000 for a women leadership centre in Nairobi – called Leah Ngini Community center at Africa International University. Some of that money was also donated to the Ignite Excellence Foundation which provides scholarships for tertiary education to perspective African women leaders. Another highlight was our first interview with an African women in Africa – Joanne Mwangi – Interview April 26, 2011 CEO & Founder, PMS Group. After interviewing Joanne I realized very quickly that my husband and I made the right decision to sell our home and come to Africa and celebrate African women leaders while educating future women leaders. Other highlights included Norah Odwesso – Interview October 18, 2011 Public Affairs & Communications Director for Coca-Cola Central East & West Africa, because she introduced women in the African Corporate world to Wisdom Exchange TV. She did not hold back and told us what it would take to make it in African in corporate leadership positions. In Ethiopia we had the pleasure to meet Yetnebersh Nigussie – Exchange launched March 6, 2011Co-Founder, Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD); Founder Yetnebersh Modern Academy. This young women cuts through the clutter and inspires us that although we have disabilities (in her case blindness) we have 100 times more abilities. We must focus on these. She also puts charity in perspective and how ‘giving’ is about the giver not the receiver. A truly inspiring young woman. Another highlight in Ethiopia was meeting and interview Nigest Haile – Exchange launched March 20, 2012 Founder & Executive Director, Center for African Women Economic Empowerment. Author, trainer, and inspiration! A woman I have had the pleasure of working with on Africa Business Women Connected Summit that will focus on international trade for the top business women in Africa. Nigest’s insight on how to prepare you business for export is a must hear. A very special time was spent with Tereza Mbire – Exchange launched January 24, 2011 Six time Entrepreneur, Uganda pioneering women business Advocate, Presidential Advisor and UWEAL Founder. Tereza was the first African woman interviewed  that made it her duty to host us. This woman who is in her 70′s who has lived through so many political changes in Uganda gives the audience an opportunity to see what was and how to survive through anything. An accomplished woman with very accomplished children, she demonstrates your past does not need to dictate your future. And our more recent interviews in Tanzania with Modesta Lilian Mahiga – Exchange launched May 1, 2012 Founder & Group Managing Director, Professional Approach Group, Lawyer & Human Rights. She takes a unique approach to being nationalist and empower youth to go beyond acquiring a degree. Again, a woman who tells it like it is and someone to watch as she transforms Tanzania… and who know where else? Lastly our visit to Rwanda also had a couple highlights. Our interview with  Janet Nkubana co- founder of Gahaya Links, the producers of the ‘peace basket’ which being exported to US and Europe. I had heard so much of Gahaya Links success that it was nice to learn why they achieved their international status. She shares her strategies of how to manage rural artisans amongst so many insights to running a business, I could not get enough. (Stay tuned for interview launch date). Another interview highlight in Rwanda was Zulfat Mukarubega, Founder & Legal Representative of RTUC, Rwanda Tourism University College. This highlight goes beyond the interview to our long conversations over dinners. Her spirit based on what her life has endured to what she has achieved with shear determination is mind boggling. I enjoyed her company and I got to learn from a person who is a different religion than many of the women we interviewed, different background and who didn’t need to go the traditional path to achieve her goals. A truly unique woman with a heart bigger than Rwanda. (Stay tuned for interview launch date). Last but not least, our first interview with a dear friend Lois Show, Founder of WOW Safaris (Women in Leadership Development), Kenya / United States. A missionary who loves Africa and goal is to share the beauty, talent and uniqueness of this great continent with the West all while having women of Africa and the West work hand and hand. She is also someone who opened the door for me to realize my love for Africa. Every interview had a highlight, but these are the ones that rolled out off the top of my head as something that struck me personally. For you it would be something very different, someone else’s lessons, stories and knowledge. One of our biggest highlights on a very personal note was our stay in Ethiopia. This is for many reasons. One, the country is absolutely beautiful, something we never expected. Secondly, and more importantly was the hospitality we were shown by Samrawit Moges Beyene – Exchange launched April 3, 2012, Ethiopia Founder & Managing Director of Travel Ethiopia, and Mulumebet Iori – Exchange launched ~ May 15, 2012 Founder, Byogenic Beauty Spot, and someone we didn’t interview, but is also a leading lady, one of our advertisers on Wisdom Exchange TV Genet Kebede, Designer & Founder of Paradise Fashion These women gave us not only the traditional experience of Ethiopia, but treated us a friends, for that my husband and I will always treasure. I cannot finish this update without mentioning one of the most important highlights, interviewing women leaders alongside my best friend – my husband, Michael Gingerich. He left his leadership position to follow my passion and vision and together we get inspired every day by the women we meet who have taken obstacles and made them opportunities. Watch, hear or read the interviews and you will have your own highlights. For us each interview was unique and offered the viewer and us something different. WE want to thank all the women in East Africa for their contributions to Wisdom Exchange TV and to our vision of inspiring women leaders and future leaders in Africa with the talent, insight and knowledge of African women. Join the conversation on Wisdom Exchange TV Facebook page

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