elf0916pg018small-2 - Roberta Annan Consulting

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elf0916pg018small-2 - Roberta Annan Consulting
BEHIND THE SCENES
@robertaannan
WOMAN OF
THE MONTH
COVER
UNCOVERED
L I YA K E B E D E
R O B E R TA A N N A N
How has Ghana shaped your life?
I come from a modest, hardworking family. I was raised to value
relationships and education. I have
known from a young age that respect
for everyone regardless of race,
economic background and place in
society is the best gift that you can
offer fellow human beings.
What does Africa mean to you in your
everyday life?
We are blessed with natural resources,
beautiful surroundings and, most
importantly, talented, kind and
intelligent people.
How are you affecting real change in
West Africa?
I have dedicated my work to investing
in social and environmental impact
projects. I’ve worked to highlight
African culture, but also package it as
a space for opportunity – particularly
in the luxury goods market. My work
is about educating and changing
the perception and narrative about
Africa, with a focus on building
capacity for those less fortunate, those
who are struggling.
18
Cover uncovered.indd 1
18
18-year-old Liya leaves Addis Ababa
and moves to Paris to pursue
a modelling career
2005
marks the beginning of her
philanthropic work as maternal
health activist with the launch
of the Liya Kebede Foundation
Growing up, what were you taught about
the role of a woman in society?
Most of the women in my family are
highly educated and empowered, so
I had great role models to look up
to. Yet, outside of my family I saw
women who were marginalised and
didn’t have equal opportunities
like men.
How are the women of the continent
making the changes required to be
further empowered?
Women are stepping up! They are
receiving education and assuming
leadership roles in prominent
companies, in government
and beyond.
What do you do in your down time?
I like to spend time reading,
travelling, dancing, listening to music
and volunteering.
What’s the best piece of advice you got
when you first started out that remains
true today?
2010
Liya is named in
Time Magazine’s Top
100 Most Influential
People’s list
2011
2
sees the release of
Desert Flower with Liya in
the lead as supermodel and
activist Waris Dirie, based on
the best-selling autobiography
of the same name
Two children, Suhul and Raee,
with ex-husband and hedge fund
manager, Kassy Kebede
‘All you have is your NAME –
protect it.’
Second ever Ethiopian to be
listed in Forbes’ Richest List
What’s your mantra?
Love. Simple, but to the point. £
First woman of colour to
represent Estée Lauder in 2003
COMPILED BY: TIDI BENBENISTI / PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED COURTESY OF ROBERTA ANNAN CONSULTING, SHUTTERSTOCK
Roberta Annan is passionate about
female empowerment and the African
continent: she is facilitating major
impact investing contributions
that will further boost the African
economy, and is also focused on
empowering designers to grow their
brands and business.
We meet the Accra-born and
New York-based entrepreneur
and philanthropist behind
Frallain, a non-profit focused on
expanding the global footprint
of premium African brands
@ ELLEmagazineSA
2016/07/28 5:04 PM

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