As a colorful and engaging postscript to our earlier post on Emelienne Nyiramana’s graduation from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Program at Rwanda’s School of Finance and Banking (available HERE), here is a brief documentary entitled “Emelienne Graduates” that captures the triumphant spirit of that day.
Link for blog subscribers HERE.
We at Indego Africa often find ourselves delicately balancing the importance of recognizing the tragedies, horrors, and traumas experienced by our artisan partners against our overwhelming desire to portray them as we see them every day – as promising, thoughtful, and increasingly sophisticated businesswomen. With that latter sentiment in mind, classify “Emelienne Graduates” as a tribute to a true rising Rwandese rockstar (in the business sense of course).
As Emelienne herself put it in a recent interview: “In my childhood I never thought I’d be anything. I never thought I’d be a woman who can make something to be sold in America. But today, the fact that I do these things, the fact that I was picked out of 100 women to attend the Goldman Sachs [10,000 Women] training, showed me that if I keep working with courage, I’m going to take another step, and I’m going to be somebody.”
Perhaps even more tellingly, she then shifted to the macro-significance of what she and her colleagues at Cocoki are doing: “We feel that we have pride because we’re good examples to the other women…we have that pride because we are women who accepted to work and who will develop the country.”
Carrying forward the flag of the recent centenary celebration of International Women’s Day, Emelienne’s self-awareness and grasp of her role not only within her own family but also within an increasingly crucial demographic in her native country holds immense promise.
In many ways, the future of Rwanda and many other African nations rests in the hands of entrepreneurial women like Emelienne. And, at least in the case of Rwanda, it is reassuring to know just how adroit and dexterous those hands already are.
(The full version of the above-referenced interview of Emelienne conducted by the ISOKO Institute for Entrepreneurship in Kigali is available HERE.)