Nigerian I was born. I have the quiet to listen to what is needed. I see possibilities that exist in unity. My dance is deep within my being. My spirit flows as the wind with a desire with each breath to contribute to the wellbeing of all.
My name is Chidiogo Blessing Akunyili, which roughly translates as ‘God (Chi) is gracious with blessings and my cup overflows’.
I believe in the potential of people and of humanity to evolve in consciousness founded on the humanist African philosophy of Ubuntu — 'I am because you are. You are because we are’.
I have learned to speak 7 of the world's languages including Chinese, English, French, German, Igbo, Italian & Spanish as invaluable tools that help me along this journey of listening — and in hearing and in being, to bridge lives, people and their truths.
In reflecting on who I am and my evolution, I choose the metaphor of various expressions of art created and formed over time — capturing the various phases of this journey of ours.
I was born in Enugu
moulded in Lagos
marked in Vichy
carved in Philadelphia
sculpted in Paris
interim in Yaoundé
broken in Beijing
welded across East Africa
glazed in Beijing
exposed in Berlin
polished in Bologna
lost in D.C.
seen in San Cristóbal de las Casas
de-reconstructed in Lagos
re-constructed in Geneva
rooting in Toronto
My canvas is life, my strokes are conscious and my colors evolve.
This is an evolving space to create and to share with you on the constant flow that is the journey of life.
Chidiogo Akunyili is the Founder of She ROARs - Reimagining Our Africa Rising — empowering women across Africa to unleash their full potential and that of the continent.
She is a writer, storyteller, and movement builder who is impacting global narrative based in her belief and championship of the power of people to change the world. Her philosophy is founded on the humanist African concept of Ubuntu — 'I am because you are. You are because we are’ — upholding and celebrating our shared humanity. Akunyili believes in supporting individuals, particularly women and youth, to reaching their full potential which in turn will serve humanity. Having lived and worked across 5 continents, Chidiogo speaks 7 of the world's languages including Chinese, English, French, German, Igbo, Italian and Spanish — invaluable tools that bridge lives, people and their global realities.
She is a World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow; and Associate Fellow of Nigerian Leadership Initiative. She was named ‘100 most inspiring women in Nigeria’ by The Guardian; ‘100 most influential Young Africans’ by Africa Youth Awards; ‘100 most Influential Nigerians’ by Avance Media; and ‘Young Professional of the Year’ by Future Awards Africa.
Akunyili draws from over 10 years of professional experience in Community building; Business development; Intercultural dialogue; Sino-African relations & Strategy consulting having lived and worked across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, North America and Europe.
Chidiogo most recently led the Global Shapers Community — a community of inspiring young change makers — across over 120 Hub cities in Africa and the Middle East.
Chidiogo has been published in local and international media including Public Diplomacy Magazine; World Economic Forum Agenda; Institute for Cultural Diplomacy; Trop Libre; Pulse Nigeria; All Africa, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. You can read her stories on chidiogo.org
B.A. International Relations & Political Science, UPenn & Sciences Po Paris; M.A. International Relations & Economics, SAIS Johns Hopkins; Executive Leadership Program, Master in Global Leadership, World Economic Forum with certificates from INSEAD, Columbia University, Wharton School, London Business School, China Europe International Business School, and Cornell Tech.