World Pulse Storms Lagos: My First Spectacular Encounter

Olaoluwa Abagun
Posted April 29, 2016 from Nigeria
An inspiring moment with Chi Yvonne Leina - independent journalist & globally renowned women's rights activist.

"Nobody speaks for me. I speak for myself." I have never heard these words spoken with such sense of purpose and deep clarity...until today.

"World Pulse" was a strange name in my 2 decade old vocabulary until 10pm last night, when a dear friend informed me that the World Pulse Team would be convening a session in Lagos at noon today. After apologizing for the barely 12 hour notice, she strongly urged me to attend the programme. In her words "I am assuring you, it would be awesome".

Somehow (despite my super hectic schedule) fate took me to the Feminar Hall at LTV Ikeja, to attend the session today. A group of 7 energetic women constituted the panel for the day's session, including Smeeta Hirani - Global Community Impact Director at World Pulse. When the panelists charged up the room with a thought-provoking song about women's status as "moulders" of the society, I needed nothing else to convince me that I was in a dynamic circle.

One by one, they shared their amazing leadership stories, highlighting how the organization has contributed to scaling up their dreams, amplifying their voices, and connecting them with a dynamic global network. I was particularly inspired by the stories told by Vweta Chadwick and Busayo Obisakin, about their participation in the World Pulse "Voices of Our Future" programme. While Vweta transformed from an insecure young woman to a vocal and confident advocate, Busayo became a globally renowned voice through her laptop - all the way from a rural town in South West Nigeria.

Perhaps, my highest point of the day was listening to the passionate Chi Yvonne Leina as she engulfed the audience in her fire for social change. For about 2 years, I have read all about Chi's inspiring efforts to combat breast ironing and other socio-cultural shackles which hold girls/women back in Cameroon. Nonetheless, I felt something undescribable, while hearing her tell her story first hand in relation to the platform that lifted her voice.

Fired up and ready to go, I found myself registering on the World Pulse website and applying to volunteer as a Community Listener, barely 1 hour into the session! With the resources and opportunities available, I am amazed by the wonderful possibilities that the online community offers women all over the world. As a member of the community, I hope to stay motivated, learn new things to improve my pro-girl NGO, and spark global conversations about issues that I really care about while holding the hands of other young women across the world.

Dear World Pulse, thank you for keeping your promise. Indeed, I came curious and left super inspired. The journey has only just begun...

Comments 12

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  • Carolyn Seaman
    Apr 30, 2016
    Apr 30, 2016

    Dear Olaoluwa,

    I remember you bright and beautiful face in that crowd and i am excited to be reading such an incredible piece you have written here. I agree with you that the event was full of energy and inspiration. And I am glad to be connecting again with you. This is the power of the internet we shared about at that event. Now, we can remain in touch with each other as we continue to share our stories of change.

    I run a non-profit for girls and I am more than excited to share anything you need as you improve your pro-girl NGO. I have sent you a friend request so we can also exchange private messages where necessary.

    I am so glad to read your journal and I look forward to hearing more from you. 

    In warmth and love,

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    Apr 30, 2016
    Apr 30, 2016

    I am super excited to read from you! Thank you for your very kind words.

    I keep asking myself what would have happened if I had turned down the invitation to encounter World Pulse. It is such an amazing platform filled with inspiring women like you.

    Thank you for stretching a hand of collaboration. Coincidentally, Mrs Olanike Olugboji had promised to link us up, as she felt our connection would be highly beneficial to my growth.

    Of course, I would be in touch.

    Thank you for bringing World Pulse to me. I wish you and Girls Voices only the best.

  • Carolyn Seaman
    May 01, 2016
    May 01, 2016

    I am very glad that you did not turn down the invitation to encounter World Pulse. And I am humbled to have shared my World Pulse encounter with you.

    You are onto great things and I look out for all the wonderful work you are doing with girls in your community. I am excited to work with you and the internet is a great tool to get us started, you know.

    Thank you for your well-wishes and I appreciate you liking our Facebook Page.

    Love,

  • chizor
    May 01, 2016
    May 01, 2016

    I wish i was there to see my sisters.Please is it possible have another one soon?

  • Sarah  Murali
    May 02, 2016
    May 02, 2016

    Greetings Olaoluwa, and welcome! This is such a powerful story about your experience meeting members of the World Pulse community in Lagos. Wow!! I'm also glad you didn't turn down that invitation!

    I hope you'll keep sharing your powerful voice, and tell us more about yourself, your interests, and the work you are doing.

    Best wishes! Sarah

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    May 02, 2016
    May 02, 2016

    Dear Sarah,

    Thank you so much for dropping by :)

    I am now part of the World Pulse community to stay! I will be glad to let you into my world, and I look forward to coming into yours as well :)

  • ikirimat
    May 04, 2016
    May 04, 2016

    Dear sister

    I can hear loud and can feel how you felt and the impact of this event to Lagos. Im super excited it did so. Indeed we at WP want to create impact through our voices, sharing our expiriences and create more women leaders creating change in their communities and global.

    Thank you for sharing the story

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    May 04, 2016
    May 04, 2016

    Thank you so much Sis!

    I am glad to share this beautiful platform with you :)

  • Leina
    May 07, 2016
    May 07, 2016

    Dear Ola,

    I rejoice to know that our efforts in Lagos  led us to you!I admire the passion in you.If I can remember well,you were the first of our invitees to arrive the venue.You are typical World Pulse material.We are more than blessed to have you with us.I can`t wait to witness your journey of transformation on this platform.

    Keep the fire.

    Love,

    Leina

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    May 07, 2016
    May 07, 2016

    Awww! Thank you so much Leina.

    The fire will definitely burn more brightly. I wish you ground breaking achievements in your advocacy work and engagement with World Pulse :)

  • OKOCHA NKEM
    May 25, 2016
    May 25, 2016

    Dear Olaoluwa, I am glad that despite the short notice I gave to you, you made it to the Workshop and left inspired, remember telling you it will be awesome, and it was.

    I am also glad you met my other amazing World Pulse sisters whose stories inspired you to take action.

    Keep impacting babe, and pay it forward by inviting other women to join World Pulse.

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    May 25, 2016
    May 25, 2016

    Thank you once more Nkem.

    You are so amazing :) Already paying it forward! We will keep moving...