THOSE WHO DARED


Olajumoke Orisaguna

People say fairytale are just for kids, but when they happen in real life, everyone feels the magic. Recently, English musician Tinie Tempah and photographer and singer Ty Bello were doing a photoshoot in Nigeria when they were accidentally photo-bombed by a bread seller. The catch? The photo was perfect, and Bello was enchanted.

“Who is she? Every one has been asking if this lady is a model… It was just perfect coincidence,” wrote Bello on Instagram. The search was on. 27-year-old Olajumoke Orisaguna, mother of two, was eventually found, but the story doesn’t end there. With Bello’s help, she scored a modeling contract, and was just featured on the cover of This Day Style!

Popstar Tinie Tempah was doing a photoshoot in Nigeria when a bread seller accidentally photobombed the shot

The photographer wanted to find her, but didn’t know who she was

Then, on February 4th, he finally found her

Meet 27-year-old Olajumoke Orisaguna, bread seller, mother of two

“So I found her …our beauty from the @tiniegram shoot and boy have I got a fantastic story to share with you all”

“Meeting and photographing her has inspired us all”

“We can’t wait for the good that will come to her from all of this to unfold”

Just days later, Orisaguna was on the cover of this magazine!

A real-life fairytale

Ivy Taylor

473995782-san-antonio-mayor-ivy-taylor-speaks-onstage-at-the.jpg.CROP.rtstoryvar-large
Voters in San Antonio have elected their first African-American mayor. Ivy Taylor, who was serving as interim mayor, won Saturday’s runoff with 52 percent of the vote, Reuters reports. It was a surprising victory against a popular Hispanic candidate in a Hispanic-majority city.

“The work starts on Monday at City Hall,” Taylor said, according to the Associated Press. “We come together now as a city.”

Her opponent, Leticia Van de Putte, would have been the city’s first elected Hispanic female mayor. She served in the state Legislature for more than two decades and appealed to working-class Hispanic voters. Van de Putte won the most votes in May out of a field of 14 candidates, but she failed to win more than 50 percent of the votes, which forced a runoff against Taylor.

Reuters says that Taylor put together “an unlikely coalition” of African-American and conservative white voters in her narrow victory. They represent the largest minority voting groups in the city.

“I will stand with you each and every day to make this a great American city,” Van de Putte told Taylor after conceding defeat, according to Reuters.

Taylor was serving on the San Antonio City Council last year when the council voted to appoint her to replace Mayor Julián Castro, who’s now secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Source: ALM

Khanyi Dhlomo

Khanyi Dhlomo is anything but ordinary. In 1995, when she was just 20 and a journalism student at the University of Witwatersrand, she made history as the first black newscaster for SABC1, South Africa’s national broadcaster.

To an extent, her appointment at SABC1 was a stroke of good fortune. South Africa was at the earliest stages of its national rebirth and the country was undergoing its post-apartheid liberation. Corporations were being mandated to become more representative of the new ‘rainbow nation,’ and so for the first time, black South Africans were getting jobs that were previously the exclusive preserve of whites. SABC1 was under pressure to adhere to the directive, and so Dhlomo, who formerly did low-paid freelance reporting jobs for the station, was given the position of a news anchor

During the short time she spent as a newscaster for the station’s evening news bulletin, she quickly became the country’s media sweetheart. “Everyone just loved watching her,” said Justus Sikinya, a 40 year-old investment banker based in Pretoria. “I remember back then, most of us men didn’t watch the 8 O’clock news because we cared about current events. We watched news because we just wanted to see Khanyi Dhlomo on TV. Seeing her on TV made us sleep well at night.”

Sources say during Khanyi’s time at the station, the ratings of the 8 o’clock news hit record highs. And it was all because of the young girl with the cute, innocent face and the natural tan.

But she was not content. She particularly loved the print media and the prospects of editing held a special attraction for her. Even while she was still an anchor at the TV station, she was “still more interested in the editorial side,” as she once said during an interview with the South African newspaper BusinessDay. She was looking for an opportunity to work as an editor, and the opportunity came. An editor at Drum Magazine (one of South Africa’s oldest lifestyle magazines) informed her of an opening for a fashion and beauty assistant at True Love magazine, one of Africa’s most enduring women magazines.

She took the job. It wasn’t as glamorous as she imagined it’d be. She was the errand girl, serving snacks at photo shoots, selecting clothes for models and taping the soles of models’ shoes. But Khanyi had the bigger picture in mind, and while she was playing the errand girl, she was learning the ropes of the magazine business.

Dhlomo has always had good fortune on her side. In 1995, her boss got married and moved to Paris. During that period, the publishers set out to reposition the magazine to the needs of a younger, emerging generation of women. Who better to head the magazine’s operations than a young, sophisticated, upwardly mobile South African lady?

At age 22, Khanyi was appointed editor of the magazine. She set to embarked on intensive research into the reading habits and needs of her new target audience. It worked. Within a year of her leadership, True Love’s circulation had doubled from 70,000 to 140,000 and the magazine became the most widely read women’s magazine in the country.

The next 8 years were very eventful years. Khanyi grew the magazine phenomenally. She also completed her bachelors degree in communication from Wits University; got married; settled into family life and had two sons. She experienced difficulties in her marriage and she filed for divorce.

In 2003 following her divorce, she stepped down from the magazine and went to recover in Paris. While in Europe, she took a job as manager of South Africa’s Tourism Board in Paris. She enjoyed the job thoroughly. As she said during an interview with a South African newspaper: “I was in my favorite city outside SA and promoting my country to the French market — accentuating its tourism assets in the era after sanctions.”

But her love for the media was too strong. She wanted to start up her own magazine and set up her own company, and she felt the need for a sound business education, so she headed to the Harvard Business School for an MBA. It was one of the smartest decisions of her life. While at school, she met Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of Conde Nast International (publisher of Vogue magazine), who became her mentor. Newhouse gave her insights into the workings of the magazine business, from where she was able to form the blueprint for her own magazines.
She returned home to South Africa and founded Ndalo Media — a joint venture with Media 24, the publishing arm of Naspers, Africa’s largest media company. Through Ndalo, Khanyi publishes Destiny Magazine and Destiny Man, two thriving high-end magazines that combine business and lifestyle content to cater to successful, professional, stylish and intellectually curious men and women.

But the future of media lies online, and Dhlomo knows that. In 2008, Ndalo Media founded DestinyConnect.com, a website that serves as the online extension of Destiny’s publications. The website integrates an interactive social media platform with original and exclusive content, video footage, blogs, forums and business and personal profile listings.

Apart from steering the affairs at Ndalo Media, Dhlomo serves as a director of the Foschini retail group and on the advisory board of the University Of Stellenbosch Business School. In 2010, she was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

If you’re a young man shopping for your future ‘Mrs.,’ don’t set your hopes on Ndlomo. Last year she married Chinezi Chijioke, a Nigerian management consultant she met during her days at Harvard.

Source: ALM

Dr Ola Orekunrin
Ola Orekunrin

 So much has happened in her life that you would not believe she is just 26 years old. Hers is synonymous with innovation, success and excellence.

It started with a resignation from a high-flying job in England, and relocation to Nigeria. So determined to make a difference in medical practice, Dr Ola Orekunrin decided to set up, The flying doctors, the first air ambulance service in West Africa.

Her journey to setting up such a capital intensive and delicate business was prompted by a death—her younger sister died of sickle cell anaemia.

“She was always in and out of hospitals but eventually died for lack of the availability of air ambulance. This more or less propelled my interest in medicine because I really wanted to make a difference in the same way doctors had done to her. Setting up the company was a direct result of my fascination for helicopters, trauma medicine, motor accident kinematics and pre-hospital medicine. I knew it was something that I had the skills and experience to do,” she reminisces.

The flying doctors eventually came to fruition about two years ago and it basically provides critical care transportation solutions to both the private and public sector by selling yearly air ambulance cover plans to states, companies and individuals.She says of the company, “The first time an air ambulance service was suggested for Nigeria was in 1960 and nothing was done about that idea. Having studied the models in Kenya, Libya, Uganda and India, coupled with my growing passion to help improve the health care system in Nigeria, which I believe is poor, I became even more determined to bring a similar service to Nigeria.

“We are completely physician-led and adhere to the highest standards of medical practice supported by the East Anglian Air Ambulance in the United Kingdom. Our mission is simple— to provide the best possible standard of health care to all.”

Wondering if the low income earners would benefit from such high end service? She says, “What I do hope is that more states will take up cover as well as making it increasingly available to the common man. I know that as Nigeria starts to take health care reform more seriously, this will begin to happen.”

But the road to achieving the appreciable level of success was anything but smooth. Ekiti State-born Orekunri recalls:

“I quit my job, said goodbye to my political aspirations for the position of the president of the British Medical Association and minister for the conservative party, I sold my car and my house, and bought my one way ticket to Lagos. I was rejected more times than I can remember.

“Sometimes I would spend hours waiting in an office only to be told to come back the next day and then be turned down.

“One time, on my way to Ondo State, I was robbed of all I had and was told by my companion, who was travelling with me, not to speak or else my accent would give me away and be the basis for my kidnap. Even in the face of difficultly, I was able to get some funding in addition to what I had saved up.

“In all of these, I was able to learn a great lesson— when you need something, people tend to avoid you but when you don’t need anything and seem to be making profit, they tend to become your best friend. The attitude towards me has changed immensely.”

She attributes her can-do and never-die-spirit to her love for her country.

She says, “I really do love Africa and Nigeria in particular because it is my identity. I have since realised that the earlier I re-integrate myself back to my roots, the better for me. I grew up in all-white environment and went to an all-white university. To be honest, until I moved back to Lagos, I never ever thought that Nigerians were capable of doing or achieving anything on their own.”

Born and raised in England, Orekunrin recalls: “I grew up in a seaside town called Lowestoft in the east of rural England, a completely white community. I went to a primary school run by Catholic nuns and was raised by foster white parents. We didn’t have much money even though it was a working class family and we sometimes struggled to make ends meet. Against all odds, I passed my A-Levels with flying colours, started my degree at the University of York at 15. I supported myself all through, working. I wrote my final medical examinations at 21, thus emerging the youngest medical doctor in England.”

She admits that her foster mother, Doreen, has significantly shaped her life.

“She’s a great, spiritual wise woman, who taught me so many valuable skills. I still think over some of the things that she told me when I was a child. They are all finally beginning to make sense to me now.”

She was one of the many recipients at the 2012 Thisday award. This is one of other numerous awards she has received for her work in research and clinical evidence.

“I used to think people who win these kinds of awards were politicians or people with the right pedigree so it came as a shock to me. I feel really humbled and overwhelmed and it will simply propel me to do more.”

She is afraid to experiment with colours and considers her style to be, “very casual, fresh and classy. I wear things that I think are reasonably stylish. I am not one to experiment with colours,” she says.

Source: ALM

Favour Odozorimage

Described as being the new hope of the African aviation industry, this 20 year-old has always dreamed of becoming a pilot.

He is young, gifted and Black. Favour Odozor has emerged this year as becoming the youngest person to have earned a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) in both Nigeria and South Africa. Favour graduated recently on April 13, 2013 along with 15 other trained pilots from the Afrika Union Aviation Academy (AUAA) in Mafikeng, South Africa.

“Flying a plane has been my childhood dream, and I am happy today that I’m a licensed commercial pilot at the age of 20,” says Favour as quoted in an Effiong Eton blog posted on April 15, 2013.

He adds that he “never expected to be the youngest Nigerian to get the commercial pilot licenses. I was just pursuing my childhood dream.”

Neil Armstrongimage

He was the first man to ever set foot on the moon.

Armstrong said, “The exciting part for me, as a pilot, was the landing on the moon … Walking on the lunar surface was very interesting, but it was something we looked on as reasonably safe and predictable.”
One of his quotes is this: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”
This assault shocked the world.

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