16.01.2024 Uncategorized Film Screening of the Stories of Resilience of Self-Employed Young Women

The Advancing Resiliency in Self-Employed Women in Nigeria (ARISE&WIN) Project team successfully hosted a film-screening event on December 7, 2023, to spotlight the remarkable stories of young, self-employed women who have shown resilience in the face of life challenges and disruptions. Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS, the Principal Investigator for the Project, led initial conversations during the event and was supported by the Lead Post-Doctoral Fellow, Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah, the Communication and Research Uptake Manager, Mr. ‘Seun Abimbola, and a self-employed woman consultant on the project, Mrs. Oluwatomisin Owoade.

Ten stories of resilience were played capturing varied themes of perseverance and growth in the face of significant or disruptive life events for self-employed women. The emotional impact of these narratives on the attendees was strong, and it sparked a vibrant exchange of thoughts and opinions. Invited policymakers, self-employed associations, researchers, other stakeholders, and the general public actively engaged in discussions, offering their valuable insights and recommendations to enhance the quality of life for self-employed women. The feedback provided great insight into what kind of interventions or targeted support systems that will be helpful to self-employed women.

The Film Screening was not only to showcase the resilience of storytellers but also to act as a catalyst for meaningful conversations. Please, watch out for the public release of these stories in the coming days on our YouTube here or Website here.

Mapping the Timeline

March – April 2023… Team Members Participate in Capacity Building

The Film Screening event’s journey started in March, 2023 when two team members, Oluwaseun Abimbola, the Communications and Research Uptake Manager, and Opeyemi Atolagbe, a Postdoctoral Fellow, undertook capacity-building training in digital storytelling. This intensive training was facilitated by the Storycenter which lasted for about six weeks from March 15th to April 19th, 2023. As part of this training, Oluwaseun and Opeyemi developed digital storytelling video projects which they shared with the rest of the research team and received good feedback.

StoryCenter is a media organisation based in San Francisco that supports individuals and organizations who use storytelling and participatory media for reflection, education, and social change. Their decades of experience in community-based storytelling and participatory media allow them to offer high-quality consultation, training, and production services to organizations around the world.

September 11th – 28th, 2023… Digital Storytelling Training Workshop Holds

From September 11th to 28th, 2023, the Digital Storytelling Training Workshop successfully took place. This workshop served as a dynamic platform for self-employed women to express their creativity by crafting their personal stories. Throughout the workshop, participants were guided in the process of crafting, refining, and enhancing their stories with multimedia elements. The ultimate goal was to prepare them to share their compelling narratives with the world. Ten participants with compelling stories of perseverance and growth were supported through the workshop so they could tell their stories of resilience to inspire other self-employed young women and advocate for social change.

 October – November, 2023… Developing the Stories

For two months after the training, the ten self-employed women storytellers who were participants in the digital storytelling workshop continued to refine their stories. During the training workshop, story circles were formed where participants were paired with mentees (staff of the ARISE&WIN project) and co-participants. Individual storytellers could bounce off ideas with their story circle members every time they needed to. After almost 5 weeks of writing and refining, the storytellers completed their storyboards.

 Photostory: Behind-the-scenes Moments of the Digital Storytelling Film Production

First day of the team’s field shoots for storytellers. From L-R: Chuka Ononye, Communication Consultant on the ARISE&WIN Project; Bukola Adeoye, Research Associate; Opeyemi Ajibola, Postdoctoral Fellow; Olajumoke Arije, one of the storytellers; ‘Seun Abimbola, Communications and Research Uptake Manager; Temitope Ajayi, a self-employed consultant; and Timothy I. Ibe; Programme Coordinator.
The ARISE&WIN Digital Story Media Crew at the shop of one of the storytellers, Mrs. Oluwakemi Oyebanji (4th from the left in a wine t-shirt)
From L-R: Opeyemi Ajibola, Postdoctoral Fellow; Timothy I. Ibe; Programme Coordinator; Bukola Adeoye, Research Associate; and Temitope Ajayi, a self-employed consultant.
From L-R: Pemi Adedewe, Storyteller and Self-Employed Woman; Michael Siyanbola, Assistant Communication Support, and Chuka Ononye, Communication Consultant on the ARISE&WIN Project.
Pemi Adedewe and her husband acting in one of the scenes in their story.
Mrs. Adenike Adeniji, a storyteller and self-employed consultant on the ARISE&WIN Project with Michael Siyanbola capturing one of the moments.
From L-R: Temitope Ajayi, a Self-Employed Consultant; Oyeteju Odufuwa, Postdoctoral Fellow and Samuel Sijuade, Research Assistant.

27th November, 2023… Our Countdown Begins

By November 27, 2023, the full countdown had begun towards the event through the sharing of our “Save the Date” designs across our social media handles. The event’s theme was: The Film Screening of the Digital Stories of Resilience of Self-employed Young Women in Nigeria. The venue of the event was the Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan at the University College Hospital premises. During this period, countdown designs were shared across all our social media platforms. Some of the self-employed women storytellers also shared video invitations for the event talking about their experiences throughout the digital storytelling production process.


6th December…A Day to the Film Screening Event

“What I found fascinating (about the digital storytelling process) was that telling my story was actually therapeutic for me…While having to go back in time to get pictures and videos that spoke of my story seems to be a bit of a strain, by and large, the whole process made me see the uniqueness in my life’s journey and I’m more grateful for those experiences. Finally, my story is about to be shared with the world and I am excited about it. Yaaay!” – Deborah Ayanleke [Watch the full video here]

Deborah’s invitation video (an excerpt shared above) published a day before the event provided the perfect context for the Film Screening event. First, the digital stories at the Film Screening were original stories of self-employed women on the project. While they were supported through the training workshop and story circles, the stories shared were crafted by the self-employed women themselves. Two, Deborah’s sentiments were shared by other participants in the Digital Storytelling Training Workshop. The therapeutic aspect of the storytelling process was a consistent theme, wherein individuals, by revisiting and articulating their personal narratives, found a form of catharsis and self-discovery. Participants often reported gaining a renewed perspective on their life’s trajectory and a heightened appreciation for the richness of their experiences. It became clear that the significance of the training process lay not only in the technical skills acquired but also in the emotional and psychological impact on participants.


7th December… Day of the Film Screening

The Film Screening event started at about 10:30 am where the self-employed women who were sharing their stories that day showcased their work in an exhibition.

The principal investigator, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS, delivered the opening remarks, setting a tone of anticipation for the event. She invited the Lead Postdoctoral Fellow, Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah to give an overview of the project. Iyeyinka presented the objectives of the project, and discussed the expertise, experience, and efforts that every member of the project – administrative staff, research associates and assistants, post-doctoral fellows, self-employed women consultants, policymakers, researchers, investigators, and consultants alike – bring to the project.

The Communications and Research Uptake Manager, Oluwaseun Abimbola, took the audience through the importance of digital storytelling, emphasising its significance in the project context. He also provided insights into the digital storytelling process and set the stage for impactful stories to follow. After that, the ten stories of the self-employed women were played, organised into two different story sessions with feedback from the audience, moderated by the Principal Investigator, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun and a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Opeyemi Ajibola.

The full titles of all the stories played are:

  • ABENI: A Journey of Perseverance
  • Ìtàn Ìfaradà àti ìk’ógo já (A story of resilience and triumph)
  • Still, I rise
  • Breaking Chains of Child Marriage: A Single Mother’s Journey to Resilience
  • The Switch
  • You are enough
  • God’s love through the difficulties of childbirth
  • Everything that has a beginning has an end
  • Birthing hope from travails
  • Driven by Passion, Moved by Compassion: The Birth of De’rayo Vocational Limited

The event culminated in a general discussion that further highlighted the significance of the narratives shared and the need for more resources to be made available for self-employed women who need support to manage the impact of any significant life events and thrive in their respective businesses.

The successful completion of the digital storytelling training marked a pivotal moment in the mission to empower and amplify the voices of self-employed women whilst the film screening event provided a platform for these women to tell their stories of impact, resilience, and triumph.

Sights and Moments from the Film Screening Event

During the film show of Mrs. Adenike Adeniji’s story at the Film Screening event
Professor Olapeju Aiyelaagbe, Focal Person and Coordinator of The Gender Mainstreaming Office at the University of Ibadan, sharing her views on some of the stories.
Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah, Post-doctoral Fellow, introducing the ARISE&WIN Project and various workstreams and their members.
Owoade Oluwatosin (CEO, Abeni Prints), a storyteller and self-employed consultant on the project, setting up her the exhibition stand in front of Paul Hendrickse Hall, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.
Professor Olayinka Omigbodun, Principal Investigator of the ARISE&WIN Project.
 Storytellers and Self-Employed Women Consultants line up for a red-carpet photograph. From L-R: Olatunji Oluwatosin (Mamalac Foods); Aderayo Aminat Animashaun (De’rayo Vocational Ltd.); Deborah Ayanleke (D’Chophouse); Owoade Oluwatomisin (Abeni Prints); Temitope Ajayi (Bumesthy Fashion Affairs); Oluwakemi Oyebanji (Glams World of Crafts Ltd.); Pemi Adedewe (Adedewe Fashions); Hellen Alli; and Arije Olajumoke (Olarry Bridals).
Olatunji Oluwatomisin speaking on her experience with ARISE&WIN team during the process of developing her story.
Deborah Ayanleke, a storyteller and self-employed woman consultant on the ARISE&WIN Project also speaking about the process of developing her story on the project.
Pemi Adedewe, a storyteller and self-employed woman speaking at the event
Mentor-mentees photograph session. From L-R: Oluwakemi Oyebanji (Storyteller); Bukola Adeoye (Story Circle Mentor and Research Associate, ARISE& Project); and Deborah Ayanleke (Storyteller).
Cross-sectional view of the Paul Hendrickse Hall with Management Team Members of the College of Medicine sitting in the front row.
From L-R: ‘Seun Abimbola, Communications and Research Uptake Manager; and Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS, the Principal Investigator of the ARISE&WIN Project, addressing the attendees of the Digital Storytelling event.
Professor Olaoluwa Senayon, Head of the Diaspora and Transnational Programme of the University of Ibadan, reacting to the stories of self-employed women.

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