On June 21st, I travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, to put the final touches on the the Shero Runway Empowerment Conference.
After over a year of planning, co-creator Chandi Rae Bozeman and I set foot on African soil and immediately felt embraced by the people of Kenya.
We spent a few days in Mombasa before heading back to Nairobi to finish prepping for the conference. We absolutely loved our venue space (The Michael Joseph Centre) provided by Safaricom. Thank you Safaricom!!
Thanks to Chamicka for helping us prep the gift bags.
A couple days before the conference we got a chance to meet some of the speakers and models.
The big day – June 28th!!!
The event was a success! Women (and men) travelled from various parts of Kenya to attend the event. There was laughter and tears, but most importantly, there was love…and we felt it. A BIG thank you to everyone who attended!
After welcoming our guests, we kicked off the day with a keynote address by Lady Justice (retired) Mary Ang’awa. She talked about some of the highlights in her career and some of the challenging moments she navigated. She stressed the importance of resilience, integrity and planning.
Next came the panel discussion.
Our panelists were vulnerable and transparent. They shared their stories and elaborated on their journeys to becoming Sheros! Their stories moved the audience in a powerful way.
Caroline Kagia shared her story of battling alcoholism for 18 years. We discovered her story back in February and shared it with our readers. Now in recovery, she gave the audience tools she has learned along the way.
Chamicka Pollock, whose story we also shared on TWSC, opened up about being a teen mom, being ostracized by the church, struggling as a single mother, and eventually climbing the corporate ladder to becoming a Regional Banking District Manager and Vice President for Wells Fargo. She has since retired from her banking career.
Hon. Mary Ang’awa also joined the panel and talked about some childhood experiences that impacted her greatly, like the death of her father.
We had a Q&A session with the audience before breaking for lunch, which was catered by Vogotyi Catering Services.
After lunch, mental health advocate Mary Wanjiku Gichuhi shared a message of encouragement via video.
Next on stage was EQ Practitioner Mucha Mlingo. She educated the audience on what it means to be emotionally intelligent and why it matters, using personal examples to reinforce her points.
Following Mucha’s address, we highlighted the work of Shero Sharon Jesscah Awour whose organization, Peperusha Binti, donates sanitary towels to girls in rural areas and educates them on menstrual hygiene.
I spoke next about understanding the role pain has in shaping you into the person God wants you to be and the importance of the narrative you tell yourself about yourself.
Next, Chandi Rae Bozeman took the stage to present her workshop Vanish Board. By taking the audience through a series of exercises, Chandi helped them identify and uproot negative thoughts and ideas that were holding them back from living their best lives.
The highlight of the conference was the runway show. Our models, who are survivors of various circumstances and were celebrating their inner shero, took the stage. Each had an outfit designed by B-Design & Events that told the story of their journey. The models walked the runway one by one and spoke about what their outfit represented.
Our models (all of whose stories have been published on The Weight She Carries) were: Angela Mutie, Prisca Anyungu, Christine Alfons, Lucy Weisiko, Christine Khatima, Celine Njoki and Seleiyan Portoip.
The runway designer was Francisca Kaluu of B-Design & Events.
Check out some more highlights from the conference!
This whole experience just shows what we can achieve when we put faith into action. We planned an entire conference from abroad and asked for people in and from Kenya to connect us with the right people to help us. Pulling this off was a miracle.