Who is Olutope (Topsie) Olatilewa E,? Olutope Olatilewa E. (nickname-Topsie) is a visionary entrepreneur, born and raised in Nigeria. She is Hillary Clinton – Vital Voices Fellow, Ashoka Changemakers Scholar, and Lead City Voices. She is a business strategist teaching economic empowerment by helping people turns their ideas into reality. She is the Founder/CEO of Business Without Boundaries(BwB). Being an African lady, Olutope is passionate about Africa, the people and passionate about transforming Africa. She is also the founder of African Changemakers, a catalyst for empowerment and change for African people (youth, women, men and girls) and diaspora African around the world. She thrives to give back through mentoring, training, and public speaking to empower people. She is championing entrepreneurship, leadership development and social innovation education for people in Africa. With foresight and passion, Topsie goes beyond the status quo and makes things happen. She is an inspiring leader, great team leader, and for those of who had the opportunity to collaborate with her, they could agree that not only is she a woman of great energy and intelligence, but she also has a big heart for social change in Africa. Get to her more: https://olutopeolatilewa.com
1. Why start another African youth magazine in addition to all that is already out there? African Changemakers Magazine is a media platform we deploy to align with the overall mission of the parent company “African Changemakers”, whose vision is larger than life, cutting across all African countries and beyond which was to use every medium or platforms available to amplify and showcase African leadership, entrepreneurial ingenuity and social innovations in every community across Africa and beyond, by harnessing values-driven innovative solutions with sustainability in mind to champion transformation across Africa and beyond. With than visionary mandate, African Changemakers strategically launched the ACMagazine as a holistic approach, where everything we do is interconnected and comes in full circle connecting one dot at a time from one Africa community to another.
African Changemakers Magazine is not limited to youth only as we are no respecter of age, geographical location or cultural background. The Magazine focus on people “Doing Good”, “Making Impact”, “Can Do Spirit”, “Diversity in Interconnected World” in business and social enterprise. Therefore, it’s no brainer that launching a digital magazine publication such as African Changemakers Magazine will be another strategical media platform to achieve the objectives of identifying, spark new ideas, nurture creative innovations and develop an engaged change-making leaders and communities that will bring about transformation and impact across Africa and beyond. African Changemakers Magazine will give voice to the voiceless, changemaking Africans, diaspora and friends of Africa to the global stage and opening to the world for opportunities.
2. What does the first issue of the AC Magazine offer for readers? The first issue of African Changemakers Magazine published May 2018, serves as catalyst for empowerment and change by giving insight and showcasing all that happens during the maiden editions of African Changemakers Fellowship Program 2018 as ACFellows Cohort 1, showcasing the six weeks intensive training program, ACFellows team spirit, passion and determination to develop a new Africa. Readers will get insight into how healthcare sector is using technology as a tool to collect health data and the gaming sector as well. The magazine will introduce readers to an amazing African Changemaking woman Simotwo Zainabu from Kenya, co-founder of Mashinani Hub, a mobile solar-powered hub that provides internet connectivity and electricity to youths in the rural areas. Lastly, readers will get a feeling of “It’s a new dawn in Africa”, “This is Our Time” with a positive wave of energy of can-do-spirit, resilience, and Africa ingenuity among African.
3. Tell us briefly about the African Changemakers Fellowship.
African Changemakers Fellowship (#ACFellowship) is a signature program of African Changemakers that selects impressive African visionaries between the ages of 25-40 years to train and empower them to change their communities positively across Africa and beyond. These committed changemakers know best how to transform businesses and their communities’ social issues–we make it more possible here. In 2017, the first African Changemakers Fellowship Program received 614 applications from 44 Africa countries for 2018, after rigorous selection screening and selection process with the support of all #ACMentors, 284 applicants were selected among the 614 applications from 44 African countries. ACFellowship Program began January 2018 and ended March 2018, and it was a blended learning format – both online and face-to-face meetup events. ACFellows were super engaged and active through-out the program, sharing, learning ad collaborating on various projects and opportunities. The highlight of the ACFellowship program was one of the program assignment that requires each Fellow to write a statement campaign why “I’m African Changemakers”, which was made into a postcard with ACFellows picture, information and published on all African Changemakers social media channels. Also, ACFellows engaged in a face-to-face meetup events African Changemakers Leadership Forum(#ACLeads) where all Fellows connect and collaborate on projects offline and meeting each other for the first time.
Social Media communities went crazy as they read each Fellows campaign statement, seeing all ACLeads events/activities pictures where ACFellows were showing their love for Africa, the people, their passion, their resilient, tenacity and strong desire to make Africa a better place for everyone and generation to come. Social media gladly and wholeheartedly loves African Changemakers, what we stand for and hope to accomplished. There was an outpouring of emails, messages and request to join and be part of everything African Changemakers, people could not wait for another year for the next fellowship program or other African Changemakers programs. With so much overwhelming love for African Changemakers by people and request, African Changemakers Team (AC Team) decided to organize another ACFellowship Program in 2018 as Cohort 2 to accommodate more people and keep the African Changemakers momentum on. Therefore, immediately ACFellowship, Cohort 1 ended in March, a new application process was launched in April by AC Team for Cohort 2 Fellows, coming up in September 2018.True to our dedication and listening to people’s request, we now have application of over 1,800 for ACFellowship Cohort 2, tripling all our expectation and we look forward to welcoming ACFellows Cohort 2 in September 2018.
African Changemakers Fellowship Program will continue to develop African leadership and entrepreneurial skills through training, mentorship, civic engagement, project management, social enterprise and collaboration to a connected network of local and global changemakers. African Changemaker is strongly advocating for global and local sponsorship and partnership of all African Changemakers Programs (ACFellowship, ACLeads Forum, AC Exchange Program, #ACMentorship, ACMagazine and much more) to be able to reach more African people both online and offline giving every African an opportunity with us. Please visit African Changemakers website to get to know what we do and contact us immediately to open doors of opportunities for African Changemakers. https://www.africanchangemakers.org
4. Where can one access the magazine from?
African Changemakers Magazine can be access and downloaded at African Changemakers website https://africanchangemakers.org/magazine or view it live at http://bit.ly/2t1VSEj .We encourage people to subscribe on the same page for all upcoming editions of all ACMagazine quarterly issues as not to miss out on any publication.
5. Any final comments. A big “THANK YOU” to all African Changemakers editorial team for their hard-work and contribution in the launching of #ACMagazine, without them it will not have being possible – THANK YOU. African Changemakers is here to stay to make impact across Africa continent and beyond, taking it program by program and community by community. We will continue to ignite team-spirit, taking leading initiative, and sharing it with a connected Africans. I want people to translate all of African Changemakers opportunities to business and innovative social cause to be a change agent in their business and community and pay it forward to others Africans as a whole. Africa destiny is in your hands and you cannot afford to be careless with this great opportunity given to Africans. It’s time for you to dust-out your various ideas from your desk, ask for help, seek guidance/advice, collaboration and leverage on skills among African Changemakers Community.
Interview by Afia Bobia Amanfo- Cofounder StudentshubGhana.