Josephine Ladipo crowned 1st Tegloma, Dallas, TX Chapter Female President
Mrs. Josephine Ladipo has it all: the looks, talent, fortitude, creative expression and vision to see her dreams come to fruition, even in the summer heat. “Even though politics is often not seen as a career goal for most women, women should not sideline their ambition for a political life that they want to pursue regardless of the hindrance or many road blocks and hostilities”, the words of Mrs. Josephine Ladipo, first female Tegloma Dallas Chief, on her inauguration night. This reporter was given the honor by Mrs. Ladipo to have a tête-à-tête with her in her presidential suite following her swearing in ceremony.
Mrs. Ladipo is no new kid on the block when it comes to Tegloma and leadership roles. When asked about her reason for contesting the position of chief, she explained her experiences within Tegloma and outside the organization and her competency to hold this honorable office. “As evidenced in the many roles that I have successfully carried out during the past eleven years in which I have served the Dallas Tegloma Chapter, I have almost always served in an administrative capacity with each of the 3 presidents that this chapter has known. Some highlights include but are not limited to: Social Secretary – 2000-2004, Women’s Leader- 2004-2008, Vice President for 2 terms 2007-2010,” she concluded with a smile.
Composed and poised she laid out her strategies in twofold: “This administration is going to be result driven:
- Short term goal: Creating a Dallas Tegloma Youth Wing to empower youths, such as in Canada which has been accomplished within five months of administration.
- Long term goals:
- Design programs that will attract all members including supporters of my opponent GOAL Unify the chapter.
- Re-focus the Dallas Tegloma core values by helping the needy in Sierra Leone and Dallas Metroplex.
- Maximize the privilege of our 501-C (3) status, to raise money from private enterprises to finance Tegloma projects.
- Create an educational advisory committee to help guide our youths in university and make scholarship available to them in the USA.
- Improve benefits to members including insurance to children and grandchildren.
- Making Dallas Tegloma Chapter stronger, more formidable and rejuvenating our core values while, working with the federation is my utmost goal.
Mrs. Ladipo’s advice to women, she reiterated is “to believe in yourself and do not let or allow individuals to easily get under your skin.” “As women, we need to support one another to penetrate the structures which are still hostile to the empowerment and equality of women. Statistics indicate that there are more women in the world today than men. Therefore, women who have the qualification and capability as their male counterparts, should have confidence to compete to break through the political ‘glass ceiling’ of a male dominated culture. I end this interview by reaffirming Margaret Thatcher’s idea that “If you want something said, ask a man… if you want something done, ask a woman.” So women should be equally considered for higher political office as their counterparts”, she ended.
Earlier on that historic day (August 6, 2011), Mrs. Ladipo enjoyed good company with Elite members, Tegloma Federation executives, friends and family at the Radisson Hotel on Lyndon B Johnson Freeway, Dallas, Texas.
In a Presidential motorcade to the inaugural hall, Mrs. Ladipo was greeted by ladies in Ashobi, singing and dancing, while Elite members and Chiefs were recognized and walked in the Tegloma Dallas way.
After positioning ourselves, Mr. Henry Gegbe, called us to order and introduced the MC, Mrs. Helen Kuyembeh. Prayers were said and the guest speaker was introduced – Tegloma Canada chief, Mrs. Elizabeth Jatu Samai’s who’s message was to the youths.
The climax of the occasion was the swearing in of Mrs. Ladipo by Tegloma Federation Chief, Mr. Alfred Moi Jamiru with her husband by her side. Jubilation and roaring filled the room, when she was announced the first female Chief of the Tegloma Dallas Chapter, she was honorably carried in a hammock like a chief from the hinterland in Sierra Leone, members and well-wishers danced around and in front of her even though the MC Mrs. Helen Kuyembeh kept cautioning the jubilating crowd to stay behind her. The gorboi concurrently started dancing with Mr. Yayah Bio whipping the gorboi while Mr. Solomon Pieh was throwing raffia in the air swaying back and forth.
The most intriguing and admirable part of the ceremony was the introduction of the young adult group formed few months ago (the first in the US). These young ladies and gentlemen are children of Tegloma Dallas members ready to continue the good work by their parents at the same time effecting positive change. The youths were standing with the first lady as she delivered her message. To grace the occasion were, Mr. Eddie Williams (North Carolina, Chief), Mrs. Miatta Smith (Georgia Chapter), Tegloma Federation Treasurer, Mrs. Jeneba Bangura (New York), Tegloma Federation Secretary General, 7 delegates from the Texas, Houston Chapter, Mrs. Siafette Jamiru, Indiana Tegloma (Board member), Board Chair Alhaji Aleou Mustapha (Philadelphia), Assistant Board Chair Mustapha Sheriff (Chicago), Assistant chairlady Mrs. Rebecca Johnson (Minnesota), Mrs. Helen Kuyembeh (Arizona, Chief), Mrs. Elizabeth Samai (Toronto, Canada).
The night was spent with members, guests, family, and friends eating, drinking and dancing intensely.
To crown the weekend of the events was a picnic in Mesquite, Texas, with most if not all in Tegloma T-shirt, with Mrs. Ladipo’s picture elegantly emboldened in the front. On the whole the weekend was memorable.
by Jeneba Bangura, former SLBS/TV presenter
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