My grandmother was a special woman. She was fierce and loved by everyone who knew her. From praying for everyone, to sharing fried fish with the neighborhood, to straightening my 4c hair with a hot comb on the kitchen stove - Grandma was amazing.
When I was younger, Grandma had a dream that Oprah gave her an apple. I remember how much of a big deal the dream was. Thee Oprah Winfrey was in her dream! She asked my aunt to write the dream down for her in a notebook that housed dreams and the phone numbers of her equally fierce friends. I never forgot it.
Grandma was an open book, filled with unexplainable wisdom and love for all, but a lot of people didn't know that she was a child bride. Growing up, she expressed how important getting an education was to my siblings and I. She didn't have the opportunity to get the proper education that her children and grandchildren were fortunate enough to receive.
After she passed away a couple of years ago, we found out that she was helping children in the neighborhood pay for school. I immediately remembered her magical dream from years earlier. Something about the connection between Oprah’s apple and the importance of education led me to my very own aha moment - I call it Afro Girls now.
Social-Impact Strategist + Founder
THE AFRICAN GIRL
It breaks my heart to know that 52 million girls are currently out of school in Africa. I wish more people understood that if we invest in the future of our girls, the impact will indeed reap immeasurable growth. Ironically, girls, are more likely to share what they have learned with their family and friends when they are able to go to school.
Afro was created to influence education reform and impact generations by achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through quality education for girls across the continent. Afro provides scholarships and mentorship - in the form of creative entrepreneurship workshops for primary through secondary school girls. Afro programming includes but is not limited to; STEAM and non-traditional programs, literacy and feeding initiatives, WASH and menstrual hygiene practices and products. We're tackling the barriers keeping girls out of school.
We also partner with schools and organizations in Africa who are advancing girls education. Our current partners positively impact the lives of girls in Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Nigeria and Liberia.
AFRO GIRL MAGIC
As a people, we are connected by what we value. I think it's safe to say that hair is of significant value to African women in more ways than one. Whether long, short or magically placed, it represents something different to everyone. One thing I know for sure is that if you take care of it and invest in the right tools and products, it grows. Unfortunately, tradition, which is important in our culture in some areas, can be a barrier to growth. Traditional societal gender norms can become a hindrance to prosperity; ultimately stifling purpose, a respected voice and the investment of quality education.
While our focus is on girls education, Afro celebrates the untapped truth, growth and radiating excellence of African women and girls across the continent and the Diaspora. We do this by promoting inclusion, education, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. As we invest in the lives of our girls, our curated digital platforms, impact workshops and materials feature original content and build community engagement for women.
We're including the fellas on our journey as well. As a community, we are responsible for teaching our men and boys how to respectfully and effectively collaborate with the empowered versions of ourselves. Successful inclusivity in Africa involves everyone.
I hope that Afro Girls and our initiatives continue what my grandmother started and we begin to see real change. Welcome to our village, where Queens are made. xo.