Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Friday, 10 November 2017

COCKTAILS AND CONVERSATIONS



At the end of last month I made from Brighton to Aldgate in London for Black Ballad’s ‘Cocktails and Conversation’ event. This was my first Black Ballad event I had attended despite having followed their content for a while now. In the words of Black Ballad the event was ‘An evening of celebrating the talents, trials & triumphs of black British women, through honest conversation with the women that are creating and shaping our history today.’ The night was hosted by Ronke Lawal. Many influencers including the keynote speaker, Jamelia took part in the evening event with the theme of the night being ‘vitality’.

“The capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful and purposeful existence.”

I really enjoyed the layout of both panel discussions, the first panel focused on the entrepreneurial ventures of the food industry. This was lead by Great British Bake Off 2016 quarter finalist Benjamina Ebuehi and the Co-founder of The Nigerian Tapas Restaurant Chuku’s. Ifeyinwa Frederick.

 Bejamina updated us all on her journey since GBBO, being a food stylist and her future endeavors. As for Ifeyinwa, she was brutally honest with the crowd, and although she is aware of her success and achievements, she also knows the trials and tribulations she has faced along the way.  She is beautifully unapologetic about it as she is explaining her journey so far. Which was interesting and very humbling to hear. Reminding us that we are only human, the importance of self-care and not to be so hard on yourself.


Before the second panel was introduced, we got the chance to mingle amongst one another, meet familiar and new faces. The event also featured the craft and businesses of Dorcas Creates and Onua Home Décor, not to forget Cocktail Mania! They provided the tastiest cocktail mixes throughout the night. It is always inspiring to see BOB doing well and to see the owners doing what they are truly passionate about.

Aisha and I

The second panel was made out of three very experienced working professionals, who in my eyes after hearing their stories have most definitely #madeit. Shelley Collins, the director of Just Resources International told us of her experiences in the workplace and how it is important to correct and educating others so they know better for next time. Alongside Shelley was Karen Tippett-Lehane who is the founder of TippettPR and Dr Nike Folayan, the associate director of WSP, they both emphasized on the power of consistency. Nike made a great point about striving onwards and upwards to each your potential, not to stay where you are not growing.
The singer/songwriter Jamelia was the last to grace the stage with a beautiful message. Using her current state as a metaphor. She insisted on how we must all take care and nurture out pregnancies. That pregnancy being something inside of us, a dream, an idea we have that we must launch with courage. An inspirational night it was to say the least. Evenings like this one always remind me of the importance of representation. The representation of everyone in every institution in order for younger generation to know anything can be accomplished. Thank you to Black Ballad for bringing together such a brilliant event!




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