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The Initiative Empowering Women Through Sports Across Africa


The Initiative Empowering Women Through Sports Across Africa

The Women Elite Sports Empowerment Initiative (WESIE) was founded in 2012 by Miss FE Adeniji who began playing basketball in her teens and was able to overcome a series of athletic and personal challenges to work her way up from collegiate level basketball in the UK to division 1, the UK’s premiere league for women.  Her hunger to learn and improve as a player led to a brief stint in Australia, after which she returned to the UK to play for the Sheffield Hatters whom she helped win back to back championships.

F.E Adeniji

Whilst experiencing some success, the series of challenges she faced on her journey led her to conclude that many women have limited options and opportunities to achieve their full potential as players; this realization would change her life forever. She decided to set up WESIE and qualify as a basketball coach with the aim of creating opportunities on and off the court for female athletes to achieve their full potential.

Her experience as a clinical pharmacist with an interest in Global Health Policies has also made her especially sensitive to current health challenges being faced by millions across the globe within the context of struggling health care systems, especially across Africa. While attending an international health conference she realized that she could easily combine her efforts to help women excel in sport whilst creating a platform upon which to improve the health and wellbeing of participants and their wider communities, starting with Nigeria.  There is an immense passion for WESIE events in Nigeria and they have become an effective health intervention tool there.  Nigerian women, and African women as a whole, face the same challenges that women in sports all over the world face but the problems are magnified due to weaker infrastructure and a lack of government support. By creating local opportunities for these women to excel and reap the full benefits of sports within their own communities WESIE is empowering these women in their communities.  Many of the young women who participate are considered  a high risk group for diseases such as HIV so WESIE events have served as an effective  mobilising and interactive tool to deliver health & wellbeing messages.


WESIE was founded with the motto ‘To Inspire, Empower, and Enable’ to encourage communities to live healthy and productive lives, the WESIE founder recently published ‘Truth About Health Exposed’ a holistic health guide to support people in their quest to live healthy. Alongside it she hosts a podcast called ‘The Ma Titia Podcast’ under the name of “Ma Titia” (which means teacher in the Efik tribe of Nigeria), in which she addresses trending topics in health as well as the issues outlined in her book. Proceeds of the book and related activities will go towards furthering the WESIE vision and outreach capacity.


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The Woman Whose Family Secret Gave Her The Courage To Bounce Back from Adversity

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The Woman Whose Family Secret Gave Her The Courage To Bounce Back from Adversity.


Rachel Osinaike, aka Grateful Rachel, is the author of “Bounce Back: Turning trials into Triumphs”, a book that chronicles her life journey and the lessons she has learnt along the way.  The book tells a story of victory against painful odds; Rachel has gone through extremely difficult circumstances. At only 8 years old, she discovered that the woman she called, “mum,” was actually, her grandmother. At 17, she finally reunited with the rest of her family, but her joy was short-lived as her father died seven months after this happy reunion. Her heart was broken, the loss and trauma from such a painful childhood made life unbearable. Determined not to give up, she moved on with her life studied to become a teacher, got married and had two wonderful sons. After 19 years of working through a difficult marriage, it ended in a divorce but she did not let that stop her from moving forward. She struggled with her weight for many years during the course of her tumultuous marriage and after her divorce she decided to work on her fitness and overall well-being.

“I remember being a size 20 during the marital challenges. I used food as comfort to manage the pain and the disappointment I felt, not knowing I was just damaging my health. I didn’t love myself and who I had become then. My self-esteem was zero. This went on for few years until I finally woke up one day and decided I had to do something about my present situation as I despised what I looked like in the mirror. I made a decision right there to look out for myself instead of allowing my marital challenge break me completely. This is where my journey of self- love started. I started by taking a short walk to the park and increased the distance gradually every day, which finally turned into running for weight loss. I changed my diet and stop eating for comfort. After a few weeks I noticed the weight was dropping off gradually which encouraged me to carry on.” – Rachel Osinaike

Rachel dropped down from size 20 to size 12 and now runs marathons to raise funds for different organisations and charities. This was her choice for her own journey of well-being, a choice to live a life of significance. She practices self-love daily by looking out for her well-being regardless of what life throws at her and she has used these lessons to become a better version of myself. Today, she is an accomplished woman and is living her best life, she is grateful, she is Grateful Rachel.

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Grateful Rachel’s life story is one of bouncing back and standing firm in the face of adversity. In her book, she shares her powerful testimony and how she was able to overcome her trials and turn them into triumphs. This book has practical tips and advice on how women from all backgrounds can rise above the challenges in life and bounce back so that they can become the person they were created to be. Chapters cover a series of issues including single parenting, forgiveness, emotional well-being and self-love.

“My passion is to encourage, motivate and empower women to enjoy life and live a life of significance no matter what you are going through or what you have been through.” - Rachel Osinaike aka Grateful Rachel

In 2012 Rachel founded the Women Empowering Projects (WEP) because she wanted to create a safe space of respite for women where they offload their burdens.  Her passion for women’s empowerment has developed over the years; she is known to be a source of strength and support to women who face varying challenges in their lives.  She has successfully organised various events to bring like-minded women together to encourage and support them at different levels. Rachel is using her book and WEP to change lives and make a difference.

For interview requests and more information

Ronke Lawal



Book Details 


Rachel is also a qualified teacher and has been successfully running a tuition centre since 2005.  She has also successfully organised various events to bring like-minded women together to encourage and support them at different levels. Between juggling a family, a career and business, a woman can lose herself and find it difficult to reclaim her own sense of self.  At WEP events women are encouraged to detox their minds and stop the juggling for just a few hours and enjoy themselves!  Rachel loves shopping, travelling, going out and meeting new people

British Nigerian Author Changing Perceptions of Race and Gender Roles with Her Series of Children’s Books

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British Nigerian Author Changing Perceptions of Race and Gender Roles with Her Series of Children’s Books

Tola Okogwu is a British blogger and author of the ‘Daddy Do My Hair?’ book series for children. Launching her third book in the series ‘Kechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way’ in May 2018, Tola wants to tackle the relationship between young black girls and their natural afro hair in a vibrant, entertaining and educational way.

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“For me it starts with teaching the next generation that they are beautiful just the way they are. By showing them positive representations of people who look just like them in the media, in the books they read and toys they play with. We live in a world where black people are often only shown in a negative light and that includes our natural hair and skin colour. For black people, hair is so much more than just what grows out of our heads. Along with our skin colour, it’s the biggest signifier of the differences between us and other races and for the longest time we’ve been made to feel that there is something wrong and unattractive about it.” – Tola Okogwu

‘Kechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way’ tells the story of Kechi’s beautiful big hair and how her daddy has to make sure she gets ready in time for school.

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 ’Mummy's away and it's up to Daddy to get Kechi and her hair ready for school. There's just one problem... he doesn’t know how! Fun and hilarity ensue as Daddy tries to tame Kechi's swirly-springy, fluffy-puffy, squishy-squashy, candyfloss curls.’

The 'Daddy Do My Hair?’ series was inspired by the relationship between Tola’s husband and daughter and is designed to challenge some of the perceptions and preconceptions around race, gender roles within parenting, bullying, friendships and  relationships. These books have been an excellent way of encouraging diversity and inclusion from an early age – having children from all ethnicities enjoy the book makes an important impact on how children can identify with each other.

The first book in the children’s picture book series, ‘Daddy Do My Hair? Beth’s Twists’, got the seal of approval from celebrities, parents, teachers and the highly respected Book Trust* “Softly rhyming text and glowing, illustrations in this calm, gentle book celebrate an apparently insignificant domestic ritual, which means everything to this father and daughter as they make time for each other.” Critically acclaimed actress Thandie Newton was a fan too sharing these kind words: “This book is so gorgeous - I love it! Plus, a guy doing his daughter's natural hair? That's sexy.”

The second book in the series,‘Daddy Do My Hair? Hope’s Braids’ tackles another polemic subject – school bullying – reinforcing the power of the family unit, the important role of fathers, and the need for greater respect and acceptance of diversity within our society from an early age. 

Through her books and wider writing, she constantly seeks to create ‘mirrors and windows’, allowing everyone the opportunity to read books that are reflective of their own experiences, backgrounds and cultures. Tola is passionate about parenthood, the role of fathers and strongly believes that resources for parents should be freely and widely available. Her journey as a black author has not been an easy one, the traditional method of publishing makes it extra difficult to get published as a BME author or write books featuring BME characters. There are many barriers to entry and gatekeepers to get through, from getting an agent to getting a mainstream book deal. “Unfortunately, there is this very myopic and stereotypical view of BME authors and their work. There is this expectation that as a BME author you can only write about BME issues e.g. racism, Black History, colonialism and if you try to step outside of that box, people don’t know what to do with you.” – Tola Okogwu

The success of ‘The Daddy Do My Hair’ series proves that there is a market for diverse books and diverse authors, it is not a trend or even a niche and it’s time that the mainstream society knew about it.




For More information and interview requests:

Ronke Lawal





Notes To Editor

Tola holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has written for several publications including Black Beauty and Hair Magazine and Metro UK.  An avid reader, Tola enjoys spending time with her family and friends around her home in Kent where she lives with her husband and daughters.

Illustrator: Naomi Wright

Price: £6.99

Publication Date:  15 May 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9954869-2-8

Format: 254 x 254mm, Paperback

Pages: 36


Suggested Age Range: 3+

Publisher: Florence Elizabeth Publishing

Distributor: Orca Book Services Ltd

Book Trust Source*(