This month, 9bills will be spotlighting various women who bring out the best in others and we wanted to start off by giving you the chance to bring out the best in yourself.
Remarkable, exceptional, extraordinary – that’s what it means to be phenomenal. Makeda Makes is a platform that hosts a variety of empowering events that allow women of all ages, backgrounds and interests to see that they’re just that.
To commemorate International Women’s Day, MM are hosting back to back free workshops and a live show on Thursday 10th March. This event is showcasing an ALL-female line-up of unlimited raw talent, from Motivational Speakers to Entrepreneurs and artists to DJs.
The women behind this initiative ought to be celebrated, they have not let the stereotypes exclusive to being a woman stop themselves or others from realising and reaching their full potential.
One of the challenges I face every day is being a young mum of 3 kids and finding the balance between parenthood and my career. People have looked down on me and continue to think that I don’t have any ambition or goals in life because I had children early. I overcome this stereotype by pushing myself to do things regardless of the circumstances I find myself in, no matter how hard it is.
I was very interested in planning events and being part of a team of independent, ambitious women, which led me to joining Makeda Makes. My proudest moment so far was securing funding for one of our external clients, a dance project called Body & Rhythm. I had never written an application before so it was all new to me, I did my due diligence it was perfect and my hard work paid off!
My biggest inspiration in the creative scene would have to be my big sister Makeda! I am so proud of her achieving her goal to start MM. I have seen the struggles and challenges she has had to face but she never gave up and was consistent.
She proved to me that being a young mum does not stop you having a successful career, it just means you must work harder!
Fem-nomenal will be a great opportunity to network with other like-minded women and a way to actively celebrate international women’s day. I’m particularly looking forward to the workshop led by Lateshia Howell, she is doing a session on empowerment and self-affirmations which I think would really help young women with their self-belief and building confidence.
I was a store manager for over 10 years in retail and always found it hard for my colleagues to listen and take me seriously. I quickly realised that being a young black woman that progressed into a management position quickly purely from working hard was an achievement for me, but not respected by everyone. I overcame this by continually enforcing professional standards and reminding myself that my role as a manager is by merit and has nothing to do with my age.
My biggest achievement so far at MM is managing ‘The Breakthrough’ event at The British Library. It was such an important event at a well renowned venue. I was so proud that it was a huge success and that I managed to stay relaxed through all the obstacles that were thrown my way.
I would say one of the women I respect most in the industry now is Zeze Mills, she doesn’t hold back and says how she feels, she’s unapologetically her and I think that takes a lot of strength and bravery today with so many social influences. As a young black woman, she isn’t intimidated to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in.
Dr Lady Phyll, the founder of UK Black Pride and Lateshia, the founder of Guided Souls are going to deliver workshops which I think will really empower guests through telling their own stories alone. The performances are all from emerging young talented black artists; Habiba, Ns Entertainment & Xaharah to name a few. They are going to be phenomenal!
Being a young black female starting out in the industry came with its challenges especially becoming a mum at 17. I’ve always had big aspirations, but there’s a huge stigma around having children and pursuing demanding careers. You’re told to limit yourself and not dream too big. That motivated me more to prove people wrong, I work my ass off.
My biggest achievement is challenging the norm and starting MM. Being able to pass down this mindset to other women is so important. Empowering women to reach for the stars they can’t even see and get what they want is the first step they need to become the best version of themselves. I’m very proud that MM is an advocate of that.
I have met many inspirational figures in the industry, but I would say someone who really has moulded me into the person I am today is my mentor Natalie Wade. She encouraged me to challenge myself and take the leap of faith to start my own company after working for her for 11 years. Having guidance and support from someone you trust that wants to see you flourish in the same industry is a game changer.
Our event on the 10th is about celebrating femininity in all its glory. No matter your age, race, sexual orientation or background. We are queens and together we are more powerful and impactful than ever.