Linguere is a dark, beautiful Gambian lady with a heart for teenage girls and a core for entrepreneurship. I personally must confess that I love the way she speaks. Let Linguere tell you her story and take you on a beautiful journey, all on her own.
My name is Linguere Deborah Michaela Sock, Gambian, and I am an entrepreneur. Alongside operating our family small business, I just completed my requirements for a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing and Management at the University of The Gambia; and I aspire to be the most efficient marketer. I love to read, write and I am a chocolate lover.
My African Shero is an entrepreneur; and most importantly, a mother. Aside from her job of raising me, my mother is a business woman and my inspiration. She groomed in me the understanding that everything can be turned into a business, nothing is too small to save and that there is always something to learn everywhere and from everyone even by just observing; that there is always a better way of doing something- to constantly innovate.
My work is mainly entrepreneurship, but I love working with youths. I feel like one of the problems in my country is that young people with amazing talents are not encouraged, assisted, motivated to build and make use of their talents. These are sometimes abilities that can be used to build a career and skills that are transferable to others to develop them. I work towards helping to fill these gaps. It is all about adding value and creating a cycle.
My personal project of which I am most proud is the ‘Girl Talk’ Program. The Gambian society is one in which it is frowned upon to talk about sex, the reason for which sex education lacks. Regardless of this, there are cases of teenage pregnancy and the transfer of STDs. This is mostly due to ignorance.
Girl Talk is a forum created within female of similar age brackets for girl-to-girl talks. This forum is a safe and comfortable environment where participants discuss sensitive issues, and share experiences and thoughts. These issues discussed range from female health to sex education, and the promotion of female higher learning, to the problems faced by women in their careers and education. Participants share experiences, give/receive advices, mentor, are mentored and share inspiration.
I implemented this program while working at the American Corner and am proud to report that the program is still upheld and it continues to make an impact.
I will like my tombstone to simply say ‘THE LINGUERE.’
‘Young African Leaders Initiative provides me the opportunity to go beyond the borders of my country of residence, meet people with different cultural and professional backgrounds, ideas, mentalities, share ideas, build thoughts and network with people that share in my interests and aspirations.’ This was my initial perception of the YALI RLC.
Upon meeting the other participants, it started to become clear that it was not just about them or what any one of us can do; here were amazing people from all works of life, and each person’s story had a way of enlightening you to things that were unknown, inspiring you to think and do beyond, and presented a value chain of possibilities. Here I can teach, learn and create synergies. YALI has a way of reshaping one’s perspective. My life is forever changed thanks to YALI.
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