Welcome to the DYGL Africa blog!
My name is Nwanyibuife Adaeze Ugwoeje (Founder of DYGL Africa) and I’m glad you’re here.
As I write this post, I smile because this is real – the DYGL Africa community exists.
I have to smile because of how serendipitous we came to be. To be honest, DYGL Africa was born out of disappointment.
I moved back to Nigeria from the United States in 2015 and didn’t have a strong female network already established in-country so I was eager to build one. One day, I came across a social media flyer for an upcoming women’s networking event that promised to be a grand time.
I was thrilled! It was a paid event that was going to be held in a different state – that didn’t bother me. I was so excited by the marketing and publicity for the event (and speaker lineup) that I just knew it was going to be a worthy return on investment (ROI).
A day before the event, I got on a flight and headed towards my destination – ready for the experience of a lifetime. On the event day, I arrived at the location on time and joined the long queue outside waiting to get into the event hall. I willingly stood in the heat (it was a sunny day) knowing that once I got inside, everything I invested was going to be worth it – money, time, energy and standing in the heat for over 30 minutes.
The event in itself wasn’t bad. There were good speakers that shared insightful tidbits and good food (I love to eat).
The problem was that it was marketed as a friendly and warm networking event for women to meet and connect with fellow women however I didn’t connect with a single new person.
Let me be clearer.
There were over 1,000 women at this event and I did not connect or leave with a single contact.
The vibes…also known as ‘the energy in the room’.
From the minute I got into the event space, the air in the environment felt stuffy. It felt like I had walked into a ‘slay mama’ competition and not a friendly environment where I could easily connect, converse, and laugh with the woman next to me. It seemed that it was a space where the women seemed more concerned with what each other was wearing and sizing up who looked good enough versus who did not. Some of the looks I received and saw passed between women were off-putting and uninviting. I stayed quietly in my seat for most of the event and left without approaching anyone, and no one approaching me.
I was disappointed.
I had spent money to attend this event. I had traveled from one state to another. I had built my hopes up…and did not get what was marketed.
I was disappointed…and dare I say, angry.
After the event, I called a male friend of mine to complain about how disappointed I was by the event and he stopped me midway and said: “why don’t you create what you wished you’d had?
Huh? I called you to complain. Who asked you for advice? Mcheww.
He was right though.
I was complaining about a problem without discussing a potential solution.
And so, after that call (and a year of brainstorming plus planning), DYGL Africa was born – a company committed to providing kinder coaching, mentorship and networking platforms, products & services for African women to achieve their goals.
Ironically, a women-centered company was born thanks to inspiration from a man.😎
So, what’s up with the name? DYGL stands for Design Your Great Life.
Why this name?
We want every African woman to be able to ‘design her great life’.
We believe that every African woman should have accountability and ownership of her life, and can get that through coaching, mentorship and networking platforms/products/services that develop her professional and personal abilities.
One way we do that is through fun networking events. Another way is through virtual webinars. And yet another is through this blog.
An online community where you, me, and fellow women can share our life experiences, stories, and lessons learned that are helping to make us better professionals and people in the world. The more we share, the more common ground we discover between us, the more we help each other, and the more connected we will be.
One of my favorite quotes is an African proverb:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.”
Let’s go farther together ladies.
I want you to be excited for what’s to come – it will be worth your while!
Sending you lots of e-Hugs.
Nwanyibuife Adaeze Ugwoeje
p.s. Let’s stay connected. I’m not just saying it – I mean it. Connect with @dyglafrica on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.