“The results of philanthropy are always beyond calculation.” – Michael Jackson
Philanthropy can be defined as an altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to a needy person, by the endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.
Unfortunately, when a great charitable minded woman like Erelu Bisi Fayemi is being introduced to the general public, and her other vocations are often mentioned, little attention is often paid to her numerous charity works.
For the records, the Ekiti state First lady is a mixture of many things combined into one being- she is a Gender and Development specialist, Social Entrepreneur, Policy Advocate, Writer, Business Woman, Wife and Mother, motivational speaker and chief of all, a silent philanthropist who has been quietly touching lies of both the orphans, widows and poor student across the country and beyond
Her tireless gestures have no doubt gone unnoticed as the world appreciates what she has given out and subsequently rewarded her, some of her decorations include, but not limited to decorated with the “Changing the Face of Philanthropy” award by the Women’s Funding Network in 2007, and was named as one of the 20 most influential African women in 2009 by New African magazine.
In 2011, Women Deliver listed her as one of the top 100 people in the world, advancing the rights of women and girls, and again in 2019, she was awarded the 2018 Zik Leadership Prize for humanitarian Leadership by Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC). A very focused and tireless wordsmith, Erelu Fayemi is the author of Loud Whispers (2017), Speaking for Myself (2013), and an autobiography entitled Speaking above a Whisper (2013). She also co-edited Voice, Power, and Soul.
Her story of distinctions is not by accident, for she has indeed spent most of my adult life working on women’s rights issues. She worked for AMWA, an international African women’s organization based in the UK from 1991-2001. During that time she established the
African Women’s Leadership Institute which has supported at least 6,000 women leaders across Africa, including women in Nigeria.
She left AMWA in 2001 to co-found the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), and to serve as the first CEO. AWDF is an Africa-wide grant-making foundation which strengthens women’s organizations across Africa with financial and capacity-building support. Over the past 15 years, AWDF has funded over 2,000 women’s organizations in 42 African countries. Again, she left AWDF in December 2010 after her husband, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, became Governor of Ekiti State
. • TODAY, IN OUR USUAL STYLE OF MOTIVATING YOUTHS/WOMEN, FIRST LADY ERELU FAYEMI SPEAKS OUT
In her words, “There is no magic or miracle about success. Yes….There is no shortcuts to success. You should be prepared to put in hard work to see results. Focus on the things that you love and inspire you. At a stage in your life, you might have to take on ‘survival work’ which is a job that you don’t really like doing, but it pays your bills. The moment you feel you are able to, move on to doing things that really excite you.
” When you focus on something you are good at, your passion will shine through and it will encourage investors to support you because they can see you know what you are doing. No investor wants to back a failure, so when they see you are committed to success, you get their attention. Be professional in all your dealings, and cultivate good manners such as arriving in time for meetings, appropriate grooming, and being polite.
“Our youths and women today must also imbibe the spirit of gratitude to God and to fellow humans for I have learnt to be grateful for all the opportunities I have had in life, considering what life is like for the average African woman. After every experience, positive or negative, I always ask myself ‘What have I learnt from this’? This habit of reflection enables me to work on things I need to change or simply, to cut my losses and move on.
“I do not encourage negative energy around me, and I do not take on the baggage of other people, when you do that, it weighs you down
“To succeed today, aside from hard work and few points I mentioned, love and reverence of God is also very vital, how do we win when we do not recognize and appreciate the presence and what God has done for us in life” she postulated.
We thank the Erelu for the brief motivation.
~ Story courtesy: Mike Cerutti Osagie
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