literacy

One Year Later: Memunatu and Promoting Literacy

School is in full swing and it’s certainly been quite busy. Three exams done so far and I’m proud to say it’s all going well (updates on school to come later). About a year ago, around this time, I mentioned I was working with Memunatu magazine as a campaign manager for their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. During that period, I had the opportunity of working with a startup whose mission I believed in – promoting literacy, leadership, and empowerment for West African girls through a classroom magazine. It was a cool experience working with the Memunatu team; I even had my first radio appearance through this role. Well fast forward to last week, I finally received a copy of the inaugural issue! I’ll be honest, I almost squealed with excitement when I opened the package and saw it was really here.

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I had the opportunity to contribute to the magazine as well. Yep, right there on page 7.

mem1 A lot of work was put into making this publication happen and I am so immensely proud of Mariama and Fatmata (the co-founders of Memunatu) and the rest of the Memunatu team. Do check out their website to learn more about Memunatu.

covermemSpeaking of literacy and education as a whole, have you seen Michelle Obama’s 62 million girls campaign? It’s a part of the Let Girls Learn Initiative. I love it! Every girl deserve an education. Check out 62milliongirls.com and post a picture on Instagram or Twitter with a caption on what school taught you.

My First Radio Appearance: Impact Africa!

In a previous post, I mentioned that I recently joined the Memunatu Magazine team as a campaign manager for their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Just a brief synopsis, Memunatu is a classroom magazine for teenage girls in West Africa that promotes literacy, leadership, and empowerment. It was started in 2011 by two friends of mine, Mariama and Fatmata Kabia (sisters and fellow Penn alums). The launch event I mentioned in my previous post was a success. Although a modest turnout, the audience was very engaging and asked some really thought-provoking questions.

Me and Mariama Kabia, co-founder of Memunatu Magazine, Inc.

At the end of the event, we asked individuals the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There were some pretty cool responses i.e. “#BOSS.” The goal is to include these images in the magazine, alongside the answers of girls in Sierra Leone to show, hey, we’re actually very similar. Here was mine:

Doctor. Public Health Expert. Change Maker 🙂

As a campaign manager, my goal is to raise awareness about the campaign, reach out to my network, and tap into any opportunity that gives us a platform to spread our message. This is a volunteer position, so it’s not too demanding. Well, in the midst of reaching out to my network, an awesome opportunity presented itself. A friend of mine put me in touch with Ibukun from Impact Africa radio and Tope Fajingbesi, the creator and producer of the radio show.

Impact Africa is a weekly radio talk show that tells the African story of opportunities, development, and resilience through guest interviews, case studies, and audience participation. The primary mission of the show is to inform listeners about important developments in Africa, and to inspire them to invest in African development through enterprise. Via site.

The talk show aired live on Sunday, November 23, 2014.  In the interview, we talked about the Indiegogo campaign and my involvement. Mariama and Fatmata also spoke at length on how Memunatu got conceived and the impact they hope it will have in West Africa. I feel blessed that we were able to capitalize on this opportunity. You can watch the interview with Mariama (in the video), Fatmata, and myself (who both called in) below. The show begins at 2:44 mins and I come on at 8:36 mins and 27:03 mins. 

Thank you to Vienna Mbagaya for hosting us on the show!

Photo Credits: Memunatu Magazine, Inc.