ARIYIKE'S SPEECH AT THE WAW AWARDS IN LONDON
Good evening great women!!! Before I start, I would like to say that every woman in this room is beautiful and you all look amazing. Tonight, In celebration of International Women’s day, I would like you to turn to the person next to you and celebrate the woman you see by saying – Hey beautiful! Be bold for change! Fantastic!!! My name is Ariyike Akinbobola, I’m a TV Presenter from Nigeria, I also run a Charitable Organisation called the Ariyike arise initiative where our primary focus is on the well being of Children, Teenagers and Women. We also teach young People about the importance of world peace as we let them understand that the world would be a better place if we all showed more love towards one another. My life is vey simple maybe because I live by the slogan – Do unto one what you wish you could do for everyone.
As Women, we go through so many things and sometimes, it gets really tough. I remember after I first became a mother, I started living my life for everyone else but me. I had big dreams but I was afraid to go after them. Fast forward to 9 years later, I have been able to embrace my fears and forge ahead. I wasn’t sure if I could succeed at being a Mother and a Media Personality at the same time but guess what? You’ll never know the outcome of a situation until you try. I attended a seminar this year by aunty Betty Irabor, the Publisher of Geneivive magazine and it really changed my perception towards life. I learnt that it’s okay to feel the fear and still do the things you want to do. I also learnt that I cannot quit, I can only transition and in all that you do, make sure you put God in your plans because when you take a step towards God, he takes a hundred steps towards you. We worry ourselves over so many thing that God has already sorted out for us. He just wants us to take that bold step and step out of our comfort zone. Tonight, I stand before you as a mother of 3 boys to tell you that as a Woman, your dreams are valid and you can pursue your dreams and still have a family if you want to. You can make it work. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? What’s stopping you from doing it? Do you feel stuck with no sense of direction? Or are you trying to make a career switch? There has been no better time than now to start the process. It is time to start getting yourself ready for that big dream to come true because when success comes knocking at your door, if you are not ready, it will move to the next door. Success comes when preparation meets opportunity. If the opportunity you’ve always prayed for comes right now, are you prepared?
I also want us to all As an exponent of World Peace, I will be bold and campaign against every form of violence. A peaceful world is a better world for us all.
Woman, learn to love you, love yourself. How do you want to love others when you do not even love yourself? Develop a deep appreciation of yourself and be happy being you because you are special and there is no other you in this whole world so how about you knowing today that you are actually a big deal. There is no one like you. Learn to celebrate your achievements and complement the achievements of other women. Be happy for others. There are many women who are never happy when good things happen to and for other women, they don’t hate you but they just don’t want anything good to happen to you. They would rather want you to be in a situation of pity. We are not like that and we would never be like that. We are bold for change.
As women, we must be united regardless of race, religion or social status. We must speak out and not be oppressed by anyone; we will make our voices heard. We must come together to become our sister’s keepers. No woman is an Island, you can’t say you don’t need anyone, I need you and you need me. My prayer for everyone here is for you not to leave here the same way you came. Make sure you network, meet other women and collaborate. Do you know how much we can achieve as women when we become united? We are here to network so why wouldn’t you want to mix and meet new People? I mentor young girls back home in Nigeria and I always encourage them to unite and support each other to achieve goals together. I encourage them to show love towards one another. I let them understand that they can become leaders and change makers. I realized that a lot these young girls believe that being a President is a man’s job but I continue to tell them that they can one day become Presidents. It is possible, it is happening.
It makes me sad when I see women come at each other on social media and even go as far as bringing the rifts to real life. If only they knew how much more beautiful the world would be if women could genuinely support one another. Most of the negative comments I have ever received on social media have been from other women. Who can relate? How do we become a strong force if we are busy trying to tear down the next woman? Why is it so hard for you to tell the next woman her dress is beautiful? And some of you that believe that when a woman compliments you, it means she is being mischievous, you need to change your mindset. EXPERIENCE!!!! A simple statement of appreciation could build another woman's self esteem. I once saw this quote online and it goes "Behind every successful woman, there is a tribe of other women who have her back".
Lets all remember that when women support and appreciate each other, incredible things happen. We will speak out and not be oppressed by anyone, we will make our voices heard. I will end my speech by borrowing the words of a great woman, a Nobel Prize winner, the late Mother Teresa – “Not all of us can do great things, But we can do small things with great love”. Be bold for change. Take action and make a difference. Thank you.