Slay Festival is the first of its kind organized by She Leads Africa (SLA), an organization aimed at helping and encouraging young women, like me, achieve their dreams and become all they can and want to be.
Check She Leads Africa out here
Okay, real talk! You have heard this a million times before, and I have too. Every Chinyere, Bose and Hauwa wants to ‘empower’ women, don’t we have enough of those already? Everyday empowerment don do…or not?
Personally, I think not. There is always room to be a source of assistance to others, and there are so many ways to do this. The power in empowerment of people(see what I did there), not women only, cannot be exhausted, and it is so important to realize that as the world changes, people develop, ideas are reformed, thoughts evolve and methods to achieve progress are transformed and the Slay Festival is a testimony to this.
This event held on Saturday, January 21, 2017, and I attended the event with my kindred spirits, Phyllis (Pharmacist and Rising Organic Beauty Formulator and Cosmetic Chemist ) and Omotola ( Medical Student and The Venus Blogger) whom I hung out and took all my pictures with. Tickets cost 3000 and 10000 Naira (Online pre-orders) as well as 5000 and 15000 Naira (at the gate). Baby girls got the 3000 Naira pre-order of course.
The external look of the venue was quite underwhelming, people were complaining because we did not expect such. We were thinking hall, A/C chilling, but nope… it was an Outdoor event at an old train station. We were just hoping that the book would not be like its cover. We were pleasantly surprised.
We actually followed the time-table pretty well which started with Women In Tech Breakfast. We met this a bit late and because of my lack of interest and picture-taking, I did not learn anything from it.
Lessons were definitely learnt in other sessions and these are some of them:
- Love and be passionate about what you do. Life is not supposed to be about hating your job and yourself, we need to make choices eventually, which would please God and give us true joy, not just to please other people. It is okay to do certain things for a period of time to find your footing, discover your being or other reasons like your parents, but it is not okay for you to give up and settle into the life of dissatisfaction for the rest of your life.
- Hard work is Supreme: This cannot be over-emphasized. Work, work, work! Even when people think you are doing rubbish, but you are sure of the strength in your vision, keep on working, eventually, they’d get it and respect you for it. Even if they don’t, them be God? As long as you and God are happy, shikena.
- Yes, there are men who do some house chores and then some… In Nigeria: The panelists for the session ‘Being A Man In The 21st Century’ talked about the shift in gender roles in our generation and I felt blessed to see more men who truly see women as leaders,at work and in the homefront. It’s made me realize that I am not as crazy as I thought about my thoughts on gender roles. In our country, most homes have been brought up with the females being more domesticated than the males, so it was nice to see that in the generation coming, people are beginning to think and act otherwise.
- Do not despise the days of humble beginnings: I was also reminded that we should not despise the times and people during our struggles in life, and to focus on God’s plan only, not the world’s, not your family’s, not even yours.. only God’s plan is important and valid. We should never, ever forget the support system we had during tough times.
- Forgive, forgive, forgive: People will let you down, steal your plans and misuse your trust, but keep trusting, keep moving, and work to be the best version of yourself, not others. It’s not particularly easy, and it is harder for some than others, but it can be done. Being bothered by people while they are busy living their lives would only make you feel bad, the person/people would be jejely living life somewhere. Do not ever change the good in you because of the bad in others, it will not be worth it, not now, not ever!
- Do it afraid: In your job, relationships, schoolwork, everything! We may have to take life-changing, seemingly stupid and outrageous steps to move forward and understand that we can be different, no matter how saturated our field of passion is, we can find a vital problem and provide a solution. You contribute your quota, I contribute mine. Everyone is happy!
- Leave your ‘zone’ sometimes: I would never have been the girl to walk up to people to ask for pictures or introduce myself, because I am more introverted than extraverted naturally, I like to just be in my comfort zone, but at this event I took pictures and asked that pictures be taken for me, due to that, I have memories of this day…eventually and met a couple of people. Plus, your baby girl stepped out for the Trace Lyrically Correct Game Show which was basically a mini version of ‘Don’t forget the Lyrics’. It was a big deal to me because I never step out for things like this, I’d rather be in the background, but I decided that e don do. I need to branch out of my comfort zone. I got a shirt from the game. I know it might not be a big deal to you reading this, but it was for me and taught me that going out of my comfortable place can be rewarding.
If I can do it, trust me, anyone can.
- Focus causes blindness: Hence, we need to be careful about what we are focused on. When we are focused on something, we sometimes do not see clearly the risks or benefits involved, which could be good or bad. It is of utmost importance that we balance it out with the only strength we have, GOD! Sometimes, it is essential to look beyond what we have our hearts on to get a better picture of what or who we are focused on.
9. You can do it, I can do it, We can do it: Seeing these people I only see on TV, in books and on the internet in the flesh led me to the conclusion that we are all humans. They have one head and one brain just like we do, so why shall we not be great? We can actually become what we dream. Plus, we have all we would ever need, GOD, who strengthens us to do everything.
10. Do not judge a book by its cover: I agree, it is cliché, but it is so true. Getting to the venue, I not enthused because it was externally underwhelming and I was sweaty all day. However, when the event went down, I realized it was thoroughly worth every dime and my time. The event lasted about 9 hours and I didn’t even realize it because I was learning so much and having so much fun. It is important that we give trial to people and situations before reaching a conclusion.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY
Mr. Fela and Mrs. Tara Durotoye. I never, ever say ‘#Goals’, but these people are real-life Goals!!! Warrizit?
First off, they were punctual. While waiting patiently for Falana finish her performance (which was amazing, by the way), Uncle Fela got up and walked around giving handshakes to the attendees, with a ‘Nice to meet you’ to each person. Chei, I was shocked and smiling quite broadly ( I mean why shouldn’t I? Fela Durotoye thought it was nice to meet me). Aunty Tara followed suit oh! Then people went up to them for pictures and they were so gracious, taking pictures for people even. Tola and I garnered courage and went to take pictures too because, why not? They were super amazing, it was so cool!
They were so genuine and in love, it was palpable. They had so much humility and at the same time had so much charisma, it was a bit overwhelming. They made me realize that at the end we are all just humans and we truly can be really amazing as long as we believe that we can.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Don’t mind the vehicle, focus on the destination of the vehicle- Fela Durotoye
PROS OF THE SLAY FESTIVAL
- Every single advertised speaker/ vendor/ sponsor showed up! No ‘representers’.
- The venue was properly packaged. The book content was not like the cover at all.
- The time table was followed pretty well.
- There was no forming, the people were so real and so nice.
- The speakers were very forthcoming and seemed genuinely interested in ‘empowering’ us.
- The vendors were very useful from hair products and services, to snacks, drinks, candy floss, make-up, books, henna, cute throw-pillows, shoes
- Biko, nwanne m, there was free jollof!
- There was an awesome fireworks display at the end. It was pretty cool.
- Gosh, I learnt a lot!!!! *drops mic
CONS OF THE SLAY FESTIVAL
- Organization, especially at the beginning was not great. Late gate opening, Inadequate seats.
- No real demarcation for the Oga Madams (VIP). They had Masterclasses, but speaking to some of them, they were not very happy. They still had to hustle for seats like those of us that were Motherland Moguls (Regular).
- Dehydration, dehydration. The sun was working overtime and NONE of the vendors had water, and there was no place to buy. The struggle was real. I heard they eventually got water, but I was too lazy to walk to the place. (Okay, so this was partially my fault.)
RECOMMENDATION: My advice is that women and the men that love them should attend SLA events. It was worth my while and that of my friends too.
Bring the fun over here!!
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VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.