MyStory at WIML(Yielding Accomplished African Women, Ghana)

Eniola Ladipo
Dec 11, 2019 · 5 min read

Arriving at Ghana with my colleagues, the beautiful serene of Ghana welcoming us and holding high hopes for us. My heart was doing various backflips with joy unexplainable💃. I knew ‘this is it’. Women with great minds from different countries gathered in the same room, rubbing minds together and learning /growing together. AFRICAN Women…wooow……such chemistry. These thoughts and many more kept running through my mind.

Me at the airport at Ghana
My colleagues and I at the airport in Ghana

We were taken to the hotel(La Palm Beach Hotel) to settle down. Waaw, such a beautiful sight to behold. We were also welcomed with cold pineapple&ginger juice 😋.

Pineapple&ginger drink at La Palm Beach Hotel.

YOGA SESSION

Later that night, we had a yoga session which launched me into the awareness that I am not alone in my struggles as a woman. The fear, pressure, and battle we fight in our minds every day.

Beautiful Africans at the Yoga session

The yoga facilitator talked about Confidence. She described confidence as a muscle which when flexed more frequently, will wax stronger. I learnt that to build Confidence I must:

  1. Know my achievements and talk about it no matter how little it might seem to me.
  2. Take time to remind myself of the challenges I had to go through to achieve them.

In these things, I realized that I had belittled myself so much that I forgot all these things. I have been so blinded by goals that I had forgotten to enjoy the bliss of where I am.

THE POWER OF POSITIVITY

When this topic was brought up, what ran through my mind was ‘ I have heard and read about this more than once. Is it so easy to look at the good side of things when the bad side seems so real.’

‘When you repeat a negative thought, it becomes a belief’🤔. Is that what I have been doing? Have I been so tired chasing away bad thoughts and I just let them settle there? No, no, no 😣…..I know those negative thoughts aren’t true. I am beautiful, loved and enough.

NOTE: When negative thoughts pop up in your head, think positive thoughts to counter them. You can reprogram your brain. These limiting believes are not true. You gotta do the work.

What are your limiting believes and thoughts that have prevented you from taking that bold step, girl💁? FLIP THEM OVER 😎.

Ohhh….before I forget, we danced and screamed in the reality of these truths. Such a beautiful moment I would hardly forget.

DAY 2

We were welcomed again by Diana Wilson early that morning. She told us that ‘to make an impact that lasts forever, we must develop ourselves personally, have technical training or skills in that field we are launching into, network with other professionals in our fields especially women and do something with every knowledge gathered’.

‘There are no secrets to success. Success is predictable’.

Yaaw’s way = personal development + preparation + execution + changemakers

CEO of YAAW (Diana Wilson) giving an introduction speech on DAY 2
One of the slides from Diana Wilson’s Presentation

Keynote speech by Lady OMega Hammond

HerStory really resonated with me and many others. Her story gave me hope of a better tomorrow if I put in the work.

On that same day, our facilitators also took us on ‘Introduction to machine learning’ by Derek Kweku Degbedzui, Machine learning proper and Problem framing by Kimberly Milam, ML fairness by Kriti Jindal and People and AI Research.

Derek Kweku Degbedzui presentation on ‘Intro to Machine Learning’

DAY 3

What is a personal brand?

This was another session that got me analyzing myself and asking questions. I learnt that to market myself, ‘I need to be authentic, consistent, visible and valuable’. Social media is a great tool for personal branding and marketing. This talk was handled by John Appiah.

We also learnt about Building models with AutoML by Kimberly, Tensorflow by Zoey Sun, Building data pipelines by Kimberly and we did four Cloud fundamental lab work.

I left Ghana with my colleagues later that evening regurgitating the beautiful moments I shared with the new friends I made. I also started looking into how to make use of the knowledge I gathered over these few days.

I also enjoyed the food, the beautiful beachside of La Palm Beach hotel and wonderful hospitality rendered🙈.

I want to say a big thank you to Yielding Accomplished African Women(YAAW), Google, and MTN for the great opportunity and memorable time we spent together.

All thanks to everyone that made this happen👏

Finally, I want to really appreciate our sponsors who funded our traveling, AI Saturdays Lagos (Tejumade Afonja )and Data Science Nigeria who made it possible for us to attend this event. Thank you so much. I am sure great women will be birth out of this event.

NOTE: This is just my side of the experience we had in Ghana and it doesn’t capture all that happened during the event. Secondly, these were just the heights of the event for me. All the activities were very impactful.

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