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Women in entertainment embrace unity

30 April 2015
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ent women 30 aprilNigerian businesswoman Suzan Nwanbueze Opute-Somosu last week extended an olive branch to all women in the local entertainment industry and urged them to unite as one in their various business pursuits.

 

Opute-Somosu, the first Nigerian woman to own a record label, made the call during a breakfast meeting she hosted at Protea Hotel Fürstenhof under the title Women in Entertainment.

Although the businesswoman has achieved many things in her career, she had to work hard and remain unwavering in her pursuit for success for many years.

She recounted that at the beginning of her career she worked as a cleaner, sold food in town and at some point worked as an unpaid intern for three months.

“Women are often overlooked, and society does not allow women to excel,” she said.

In Namibia, she only employs women because she has found that they do their work for the love of it rather than just for money.

Apart from living in societies that stifle women’s success, Opute-Somosu also said that often women are afraid to take risks, which holds them back.

It is in this light that she pledged to fund any woman who had a viable business idea.

“I have set aside N$300,000 for any Namibian woman who wants to start their own business; they just have to approach me,” she explained.

Opute-Somosu also said she want artists from her label Sustone Records in Nigeria to collaborate with local female artists.

She was quick to point out that she is not anti-men, but merely trying to level the playing field.

One of the guest speakers, former media practitioner Marbeline Mwashekele said there were three important factors women should take into account if they wanted to serve as an inspiration to others.

“Firstly, you need to take responsibility for your life and those around you...You need to feel inspired to act.

“Secondly, you need to be humble, never look down on those around you and lastly you need to love, which means to love caring for people, love winning and being on-top and love yourself to only want the best for yourself,” she said.

Mwashekele, MISA Namibia’s former national director, represents one of the success stories of women in entertainment, having started her career as an entertainment journalist.

The governor of the Khomas Region, Laura McLeod, who was the keynote speaker at the event, commended all the women in attendance, especially because they were all so young.

However, she said it was shameful that someone from outside the country should be the one to see the need to invest locally in the empowerment of women.

“Some people just want to receive and do not want to give at all... We need a 21st century mentality for women participation in the economic development of their communities,” she stressed.

McLeod further added that the way to achieve that was through educating girls because education was an important foundation for the development of women.

“It’s time to create a world where women can fulfil their dreams without prejudices or impediments,” the governor concluded.

Women from the various entertainment sectors attended the meeting, including the likes of former 7 de Laan actress Hazel Hinda, award winning musicians Lady May, Freeda and designer Nicola Conradie, to name a few.
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