This past weekend, I was humbled to be one of the panelists of #mommyconversations, an event held by Amira Africa. Amira Africa is an organization that seeks to Motivate, Elevate and Encourage young moms. Founded by Fiona Okadia following her pregnancy at a young age, Amira Africa provides a virtual support network for young moms, and puts together events like this, both to empower and inspire.
I ‘met’ Fiona online through a lady I follow on Twitter. The latter invited me to the event as part of the audience, then thought perhaps it would be better to talk about it, and just like that, I got a chance to talk to young moms about Postpartum Depression. My very first speaking engagement! *excited shrieks* It is an honor really, and I am glad we are having these conversations about a taboo subject. I love to share my experience and hope it encourages a mom. If you know me, you know I am passionate about Postpartum Depression.
The event was held on the rooftop of Clarence House, a serene location perfect for a chill weekend. Since the event was set to start at 10AM, and I have a knack for getting lost in new places, probably with the sense of direction of a goldfish, I got to the CBD at a few minutes to 9,and you guessed right, missed my stop by 3 stages (busy tweeting, LOL LOL). So I had to get another bus back to the stop where I was supposed to have alighted. Then I alighted, and followed the directions I had been given, and got lost – but I told you guys!- before meeting up with 2 other lovely ladies heading to the same event.
We arrived a little early, had a few minutes for pep talk before the invited moms started streaming in. Soon, we had a good number to start with. The panel included Ann Mitu (an amazing lady doing big things with Young Africa Mothers), Brenda Wanjiru (a dedicated lady in the police force), Silvia Njoki (renowned stylist and blogger) and yours truly (Postpartum Depression champion in Kenya, because you gotta believe in yourself).
Ann Mitu is passionate about reproductive health and gave an insightful talk on the same, in addition to different family planning methods. Brenda Wanjiru on the other hand, shared a story of resilience, determination and sheer grit in the face of her life’s most trying moments. A single mom to a beautiful girl, Brenda’s rise through the ranks in the police force both inspired and challenged all of us.
Silvia Njoki is an accomplished stylist in her own right, and she gave a refreshing talk on style with insights on balancing motherhood and career. She spoke of how, the best time to start working on things you are passionate about was last year; the second best time is NOW. Her blogging journey which you can read about here, is testament to her passion and hard work in the world of fashion.
I talked about Postpartum Depression (PPD), the associated risk factors, the symptoms and treatment options available. I believe that awareness is key to ensuring that as many moms as possible can get help early. The moms present also shared on their personal journeys and some of the challenges that they had encountered, a number of which bordered on PPD. It was an interactive session, and I am hopeful we can have many more of these forums.
Special thanks to Fiona Okadia, the founder of Amira Africa and Nyagz for making this possible after just one tweet 🙂
Below are some of the photos that captured the highlights of the event. Photo Credits: Amira Africa