First published in Amybanda.blogspot.com
Anyi Asonganyi: The women who have made it are no different from you in any way, we all can win.
Who is Anyi Asonganyi?
Born on May 11th, 1988 into a beautiful family which hails from Fontem Sub-Division in the South West region of Cameroon, Anyi Asonganyi was raised in ESSOS to be a unique version of passion, success and drive to things people say are difficult to be done. I am the CEO and creative director of OZI INTERNATIONAL; a fashion, beauty and lifestyle company located in Deido – Douala, Cameroon.
In 2007, armed with a set of skills and a makeup kit, I set out to change the beauty industry in Cameroon and thus Ozi International was born.
I was a young woman with a dream and i have dedicated the past 10 years of my life in building my business block by block. Today, Ozi International has as many as 8 employees and is the creative force behind some of the most glamorous looks in dozens of editorials, weddings, music videos, movies, fashion shows, etc.
I am not contented with just running a successful business, i am equally passionate about inspiring other young girls to be the best they can be. This is evident from the several young women i have taken under my wing as employer, mentor and friend.Anyi Asonganyi
It is worth mentioning that the artistic hand behind my brand image and great pictures is my younger brother, Nji Asonganyi, owner of Nji Asonganyi Studios… OZI INTERNATIONAL would not be the brand it is today without him
I have three supportive siblings. We were raised in Essos – Yaounde by my strong mother and my father who left us in 2016.
What fuels Anyi Asonganyi?
My support system keeps me going. I’m humbled to say that my journey has inspired a good number of young Cameroonian women to believe in themselves. These women look up to me for daily inspiration and the thought of that constantly wakes me up from slumber. I dare not let them down, so i have to work.
I also have a brain that is constantly ticking and coming up with one new idea after the next. So even if i wanted to get lazy, my creativity would not let me.
Who is your role model?
I was raised by a brave woman with a sound business mind. Growing up, I watched my mother globe-trot for business and i wanted to be an international business woman like her. My mother inspired my choices.
There is rich list of successful and powerful women around the world that i look up to and follow up closely for inspiration.
Where do you see yourself five years from today?
Five years is a short time from now but that is time enough to ensure that OZI INTERNATIONAL becomes a global household name. I see myself being one of the ultimate solution providers on the international fashion and beauty scenes.
What are the challenges of the African woman today?
In my opinion, the ultimate challenge faced by the African woman is self esteem. Society has tagged Africans (blacks) a minor race, as if that is not enough, you happen to be a woman- the minor gender. This double tag makes it difficult for most African women to exploit their full potentials due to lack of self confidence.
In some parts of Africa, women have equal rights as men, meanwhile in other parts, there still exists an outstanding difference which leaves the women uneducated and voiceless. It is difficult to excell under such an atmosphere.
How do you relax yourself?
Yes, i do get very tensed every now and then. My remedy is good company. I have a very jovial staff but sometimes i do need time away from them. My family and my friends are always there for me. They know how to pull the stress away from my shoulders with the right dosage of distraction. Basically; live, love, laugh.
I also read a lot. Books have away of taking my mind to another planet. It works like a charm.
What is your ICE Vision?
My ICE vision is to create job opportunities for as many young women as i possibly can in one lifetime. I currently have a hand full of young women working for OZI INTERNATIONAL and i will only keep adding them as we grow.
Any plans for the AU?
Let us see what the future holds. No plan is too big for a go-getter like myself.
What are some of those practices girls do that get you off?
Although hate is a strong word, i think it fits well in this context. I hate the fact that gils and women today opt for the easy way out. Nowadays, it is considered almost normal for a woman to receive money in exchange for her precious dignity against all odds. As demeaning as that sounds, it is today’s reality.
What are your first steps to right wrongs, should you be named Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family in Cameroon?
As the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, i would take education of the girl child as a crusade. I think that is the root of this cloud of inferiority complex that covers African women. Be it formal or informal education, every woman under my belt of authority would have to learn something that would empower them enough to make a positive difference in their lives and on their families.
What is your greatest influence?
My greatest influence is God. I am a spiritual person. I pray and meditate over every decision and action. The moves i make are basically spirit inspired.
What is your ICE Vision?
My ICE inspiration to employ as many women as i can comes from the women around me. I have lived and worked with many women in 29 years. I know the challenges we as women face, especially financial challenges and i also know the compromises some women have to make on their dignity in order to meet up with their basic needs. Creating job opportunities would literally save many women’s lives which would be of great honour to my person.
Any Advise to the African Woman?
To the African woman, believe in yourself! As Mo Abudu would say, “if you can think it, you can do it”. Forget the world and start, it just takes you to start. The women who have made it are no different from you in any way, we all can win
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