When you talk about pink, I think of Avi. Pink hair, pink phone pouch, pink dress, pink shoe, pink everything, but beyond the pinkness this young woman has a huge heart flowing with red blood for Africa. Making her society a better place as an event planner and fashion agent. I first met Avi one night when she was struggling to carry her luggage upstairs. I helped her out and hey, she turned out to be my flat neighbor at YALI! I later got to discover that this lovely pink lady has done so much on her own part for Africa, let’s ‘hear’ more about Avi…
1. Tell us about yourself and what you do.
El-freda Av-Viella Adamu.
My dad once said to me, “Make your Obsession your ambition.” Hence, my obsession for organizing gave birth to me getting a certification for Event Management and Consultation which lead me to start my own company. However, I try not to limit myself or box myself. I am an event planner and I plan both social, cooperate, as well as charity events.
We get involved with so much community services. Our personal project is the Bash Initiative, an initiative that was co-founded by Sir Jenx and myself. We had a common interest and decided to do amazing things together. We try to find and create homes for the less privileged among us, most especially the orphans. We have been able to give out a few scholarships and we hope to give out more in the future. Aside from these roles, as a company we try to organize as many educational tours as possible so as to give the kids an opportunity to see historical places and sites they haven’t seen before, from Museums to zoos – you name it! The options are limitless. (The Bash Initiative was co-Founded by Aigbugwili jenkins And El-freda Av-Viella Adamu).
I also have a gifting online craft shop that I linked to my blog. We basically make personalized items as well as few pink items.
I currently just concluded a book and hope to get it published soon. It’s titled “Once upon a Stereotype,” it’s basically about the cliché stereotypes which we as young adults face mostly in Africa and Nigeria, to be exact. It’s totally an interesting read which everyone should look forward to reading.
2. Your favorite and most inspiring African shero
My Shero has to be no order than Margaret Ekpo the Fashionable Feminist.
I can say that my admiration for Margaret Ekpo wasn’t only triggered by her impact on women’s right and politics but also for her love for Fashion. She was famous for being a fashionable woman who combined western and Nigerian fashion influences. Perhaps her background as a seamstress enabled her to even better express her ‘Afropolitan’ lifestyle via her clothing. Her persistence in showing off her culture to the world at large is both refreshing and admirable. She embodied her love and passion and made it into something she was passionate about and exposed it to the world at large in her own unique way and she was a devout Christian, but when it came to her political activism, which really is what she was about, she made sure to uphold an image of Africanness, wearing traditional clothes and plaiting her hair during political campaigns.
In this modern age and time when we as youth do the most to be more western than African, trying to be Yourself is usually a battle that can only be won with courage and this was what Magaret Ekpo stood for.
I was opportune to be an Educator during my National Youth Service and my service to my country was to educate the next generation of future leaders, so Imagine my surprise when I was posted to Margaret Ekpo Secondary school Calabar, it’s true that Fate and destiny sure work hand in hand. I was able to learn more about this woman whom I had read so Much about and I felt like I had shared a personal relationship with her. Only a few women can lay claim to as many legacies for their countrymen as Margaret Ekpo. At the time of her death, she left behind a legacy of ‘One Nigeria’, ‘Women in Politics’, ‘Women in Business and Leadership’ and ‘Emancipation for Women’. This amazing Shero right here like most hero we know has given me so much to aspire to and thanks to her, I am myself every step of the way in my career, personal life and relationship, I don’t have to succumb to prejudice or judgment because I am female or because I Love Pink.
3. What does YALI mean to you?
Yali, To me, is obviously more than a gathering of Young Leaders. I see this as a platform to become better than I already am. Hence it would be criminal to leave the same way I came.
I have suddenly exposed myself to an opportunity, to a mind shift and to allow myself see things more clearly. For example I have met people from different countries and I am excited to say now I would actually want to visit the Gambia and Ghana over and over again.
Most especially, YALI has provided an amazing opportunity to network and connect with people who share in the same awesome project as I do. They exceeded my expectations and I am forever indebted to them for this opportunity.