Co-founder of Blackboard Africa, Amonge Sinxoto was one of 50 girls invited to the 2018 Black Girls Lead Conference in New York from 29 July to 4 August – a leadership programme aimed to provide girls (aged 13 to 17) with the tools and resources to become dynamic leaders and innovators.
Black Girls Lead Conference 2018
‘I was selected amongst 50 girls across the globe to participate in this jam-packed, week-long, learning experience that allowed for engagement and wisdom from an array of experts in a variation of industries such as finance, music, television, journalism and activism,’ says Amonge of the conference.
‘The annual summer conference is designed to advance young women’s leadership development, critical thinking skills, civic engagement and philanthropy. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! continues to be committed to empowering girls to lead, innovate and serve,’ she added.
‘The programme, to me, serves as a passing and sharing of knowledge of overall leadership skills to the girls who will be leaders and change agents of the future. It also serves as affirmation that there are no boundaries to what black girls can do and be. It is critical that we celebrate one another and build a community of women to stand behind the next generation of girls, and open those doors and opportunities for one another. What I also want to take away from the experience is the relationships with leading girls across the globe and start to develop a network of such individuals that will plug in to one another’s projects moving forward,’ she said about what the camp means to her and what she hoped to gain from attending.
I am unbelievably overwhelmed by the knowledge, lessons and wisdom shared with me this week @blackgirlsrock lead conference. It has been one extremely emotional and equally stimulating experience that I believe more people should be able to experience. I feel full, my heart is full, and my spirit is full. I met the most incredible women and broke bread and created bonds with even more incredible girls. Thank you @djbeverlybond for creating this special safe space for us to grow and leave empowered. Leaving the camp was bitter sweet, because I was sad to part from the beautiful souls I have met. Wow I love you guys! The word sisterhood was personified this week in an incredible way. I also know I’ve now been tasked with a lot of work ahead, and I am extremely excited to create similar environments for more African youth back home. I am my sister’s keeper. She is my light and I will do all that is required of me and more to make sure she shines in full view of the world ahead of her. #iammysisterskeeper #youngi #africangirlmagic #blackgirlslead #blackgirlsrock #bbainNYC
New York itinerary
Besides attending the Black Girls Lead Conference, Amonge has a jam-packed month ahead of her in the Big Apple.
‘While in NYC, I will be interacting with some incredible “big sisters” like Terry Pheto, Nandi Madida (executive producer and television personality on Made In Africa and BET), Makho Ndlovu (television personality of Amazon, Essence and BET International) and Abosede George (African studies lecturer at Columbia University and author).
‘Engagements with these women serve the purpose of building sisterhoods between African women and creating a lineage of women who help build younger sisters through different stages of their lives. This is being done via mentorship, interactions and conversations, and then making those interactions available to a wider pool of young Africans to similarly share in the knowledge expressed from these women. #iammysisterskeeper.’
Apart from engaging with these influencers, Amonge will be visiting various NGOs within the US with the hopes of learning new skills she can bring back with her to South Africa.
‘Throughout the month of August, I will be interacting with various youth NGOs in order to learn new skills and incorporate them into our own projects. I will be visiting Voices of Youth, UNICEF’s online community for young people; Dallas, Texas to do some volunteer work with City Square; and Washington DC to do some work with Guerilla Arts and The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture,’ she shared.
She’ll also be attending the BET Black Girls Rock awards and Afropunk Brooklyn at the end of the month.
You may remember Amonge from our 19 Under 19 series, where she was highlighted for her role as co-founder of nonprofit social entrepreneurship organisation Blackboard Africa.
‘Blackboard Africa is aimed at eradicating the youth’s major issues regarding identity, self-esteem and developing leaders who are going to transform the African narrative by being the next generation of global innovators,’ she said. ‘We hold various workshops to upskill African youth and have specifics focus on both the development of the girl child as well as the boy child.
‘With Africa having the largest youth population in the world, we want to ensure and build a network and ecosystem of like-minded people doing amazing things on the continent and connecting with one another to make an even bigger impact,’ says Amonge about the organisation.
Amonge’s role in the organisation includes content curation, writing, as well as seminar and workshop facilitation.
Amonge is leading the way for young African women and we’re so here for it!
We can’t wait to see more from her trip – for updates, follow her on Instagram RN!