#InspirationShared: The I’mPOSSIBLE. conversation youth edition returned to the House of Commons for the second time to inspire London schoolgirls


The second, annual youth edition of the successful, global event series, the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation took place at the House of Commons on September 4 in partnership with Diane Abbott MPs ‘Black Women Mean Business’.  160 London school girls attended the inspirational event to see a young but accomplished panel that were like them talk about their journeys to being POSSIBLE.


Supported by Ernst & Young Black Network, Margaret Casely-Hayford and Kwabena Ayirebi the panel lineup of Hannah Balogun, a 25-year business owner who runs two hair salons, Honey Hand across East and South London. Patricia Bright, a wildly famous YouTube vlogger with over 400k followers who get to see a slice of her life each week. Anne-Marie Imafidon, a British computing, mathematics and language child prodigy who is still the youngest person to have gained a Masters at the age of 19 from Oxford University and Shavani Seth, an actress better known as ‘Davina’ from E4s ‘Youngers’ show and is about to star in award-winning US drama, ‘Homeland’ all hosted by Ria Hebden.




Founder of I’mPOSSIBLE. Global CIC, Simone Bresi-Ando said: “Presenting examples to young girls of colour of what success could look like is one of the most powerful pieces of work I’mPOSSIBLE carries out. Essentially, we’re enabling this group to identify themselves with success and achievement while giving them proven roadmaps and misalign themselves with a popular rhetoric around this group that’s not wholly empowering or positive.



Diane Abbott MP, founder of Black Women Mean Business commented: “It is such a privilege to bring together these amazing young women with the Impossible Youth Conversation.  They are the future, and there is nothing more important than instilling in them the confidence that they will need to make the very best of themselves.





Al Adedayo, Chair of the Ernst & Young Black Network said: “Truly inspiring and captivating experience! The panel’s stories highlighted for me that hard work alone is not enough. Self believe and the ability to pick yourself up after a set back, allowed them to reach and live their ambitions…and it was clear that their ambitions continue to grow.




I’mPOSSIBLE is deeply grateful to Ernst & Young, Margaret Casely-Hayford and Kwabena Ayirebi for their support in making this event a reality. Changing the lives of young girls of colour is important, legacy creating and powerful.


View the photo gallery:


The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation youth edition returns on September 4!

Showing the POSSIBLE to our young girls is an overarching aim of our organisation.

We’re incredibly excited to see the return of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation youth edition take place at the House of Commons in partnership with Diane Abbott MPs ‘Black Women Mean Business’ and supported by Ernst & Young Black Employee network and ImP convo alumni, Margaret Casely-Hayford. This is all taking place on the afternoon of September 4 with a stellar line up:


ImP convo youth edition Sept 4, 2014 e-flyer FINAL

POSSIBLE girls and young ladies from secondary school upwards are invited to come along and experience being inspired by seeing others like them and hearing their journeys.  If you’re interested in sending a group or a young lady along to this event, please email [email protected] no later than 12 noon on Wednesday, August 27.  For some, this will take place during school time so they will need permission to be absent to attend the event, parents/carers/guardians are able to escort the girls during the event also.


Hannah BalogunHannah Balogun

is a 25 year old, God fearing woman who at the age of 17 started her own hairdressing business called ‘HoneyHand’, which now consists of two hair salons in east and south London.

Raised in a single parent household in the heart of east London, Balogun is characterised as a strong willed visionary. She is currently working hard to expand her brand HoneyHand further.

Patricia BrightPatricia Bright

is a YouTube star that created her channel as an outlet to share her passion for all things fashionable and beautiful. The channel started out as a random post here and there while she was a student, but in Late 2011 she began taking it more seriously and ensuring that her quality of execution and interaction with subscribers was at its very best. In a few short years Patricia has grown her channel from 4k subscribers to over 400,000.


In her words:

“I’m a sister, a daughter and a wife and have been ableto get my family and friends to be part of the journey, my sister and husband are often behind the lens helping me, it’s always good fun working with them.


I love to travel and have been to many different countries within Asia over 4 times, I am especially a fan of the food – it always draws me back.

I wouldn’t call myself daring but I don’t mind putting myself in situations out of my comfort zone, I hate heights but recently I travelled to Malta and did my first abseil, it was super scary but I love to try things I don’t think I can do.”

Anne-Marie Imafeidon 1Anne-Marie Imafidon

has amassed a wealth of experience in industry through work at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers. Most recently Anne-Marie has set up the award-winning social enterprise “Stemettes” which is inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics roles through panel events, hackathons and exhibitions.


She is also a board member at Inspirational YOU and the Urban Development Music Foundation and a Fellow of the RSA as well as an advisor to the European Union on digital matters.

Shavani SethShavani Seth

has filmed two series of Youngers on E4, playing the series lead, Davina Foster. She is currently filming a recurring guest star on Homeland series 4 alongside Claire Danes and Rupert Friend.


Television credits include BBC film drama My Murder, directed by Bruce Goodison and a guest lead in Casualty on BBC 1. Before that she had a role in The Westrbidge at The Royal Court Theatre and filmed HBO comedy, Documental, directed by Justin Theroux. Shavani trained at Identity Drama School.

Lisa Bent photo

Lisa Bent (host)

is a qualified counsellor, TV and Radio Presenter, Blogger and founder of Self-Central.


Lisa entered the media industry as a TV presenter in 2003 having interviewed Lemar and went on to co-host live and pre-recorded topical and lifestyle shows, quickly becoming known for her straight to the point views, wit and smile. Whilst working for Black Filmmakers (BFM) as a presenter on movie review show Rollin’, she clinched interviews with Danny Boyle, Jennifer Hudson, Mark Wahlberg and Cuba Gooding Jr to name a few, both on and off the red carpet. She also facilitated Q&A sessions with directors within The British Museum and The British Film Institute for BFM’s yearly International film festival.


Becoming more and more interested in peoples stories beyond their media personas, Lisa decided to re-enter further education in 2006 and trained to become a counsellor. In 2009 she created her award nominated blog Deeper than Twitter, intertwining her psychology knowledge to provide greater depth and perspective to the raised issue. Lisa graduated from Greenwich University in 2010 with a First Class BA (Hons) degree and quickly realised that the skills and techniques she had learnt transcended beyond the counselling room, which led to Self-Centralbeing created in 2011. In the same year she became one of the winners of The Future 100 Awards, an award sponsored by Ernst and Young highlighting people who are considered to be social entrepreneurs of tomorrow.


Lisa now produces and presents her own radio show ‘Self-Central’ on Colourful Radio every Sunday 10:00am -13:00pm. Self-Central means to embrace and accept who you are, in order to be all that you are; her aim is to awaken and inspire through the air waves by playing music with meaning, discussing interesting topics, hearing inspiring stories from guests and nudges from leading life coach, motivational speaker and author Rasheed Ogunlaru.


Who we are is central to everything, though different mediums Lisa continues to nudge people into their own self-exploration; strengthening, empowering and transforming from the inside-out.

This is an invite only event with open spaces for POSSIBLE ladies of secondary school upwards with their escort. Please email [email protected] no later than 12 noon, Wednesday, August 27 to be a part of Her-story.

The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation autumn 2014 edition – September 10

ImP convo e-flyer autumn edition Sept 10, 2014 LOW RES

September 10 plays host to the autumn edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation powered by Mizani!

Revealing yet another sizzling line up of trailblazing women of colour, the international event series returns to the home of Mizani UK – L’Oreal in Hammersmith, to fill the room with inspirational stories form this dynamic group of women.

The line up includes:

Rozan Ahmed

Rozan Ahmed lives her life fulfilling a passionate mission of connection: a “locally global” vision to empower, celebrate and merge diversity through creativity as an influential voice for the African continent across the UK, the Middle East, Africa and the US.

As an established writer, brand consultant, culturalist and social commentator, Rozan continues to break cultural barriers by connecting and curating people, projects and products from the city of London (where she grew up) all the way to regions and societies in which she likes to call “returning markets”. A stern believer in additionally merging the arts with social development and entrepreneurship, Rozan has become a motivational personality when it comes to advocating the concept of “cultural ownership” – taking pride in identity, shaping it and embracing it.

She’s been hailed as one of the ‘hardest working women in showbiz’ (Pride Magazine UK), ‘the woman who can’ (BBC Radio 1), ‘a powerhouse’ (POSE Dubai), “formidable” (Drum Magazine KENYA), a “mogul in the making” (DSTV’s AFRICA MAGIC), “one of the region’s most inspiring women” (VIVA Magazine DUBAI), and “The new Oprah Winfrey” (Marie Claire Italia)

Currently, Rozan sits on the MOBO music panel as a contributing thought leader when it comes to new music, she is a board member at the MAD global initiative and an ambassador for the Young & Gifted Foundation. She’s an avid supporter of the amFAR organisation, an advocate for Dubai’s Fashion Forward (the region’s leading fashion platform), Africa Yoga Project (Kenya), Sudan Change Now (Sudan) and has mentored for the Unreasonable Institute as part of the Unreasonable at Sea program, sailing from South Africa to Ghana in March 2013.

Rozan was recently appointed as Congo Fashion Week’s global ambassador, Style.com Arabia’s cultural ambassador and is one of the youngest double nominee recipients at 2014’s Women 4 Africa awards (Inspirational Woman & International African Woman).

Kerry Chandler

As Global Head of Human Resources, Kerry Chandler is responsible for all HR operations, including employee relations, compensation, performance management, learning and development, recruitment and budget for Christie’s locations worldwide.

Previously, she was Executive Vice President of Human Resources at the National Basketball Association (NBA), where she led the league’s global human resources strategy, including recruiting, employee relations, compensation, human resources information systems (HRIS), learning and development, as well as the HR generalist function.  Prior to the NBA, Chandler held senior roles at The Walt Disney Company, including roles at Hong Kong Disneyland, and ESPN, Inc.  Her impressive career also spans HR leadership roles at McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Exxon Chemical Company, Motorola, Inc., and IBM Global Services.

Chandler is currently a member of the Human Resources Policy Institute and the Executive Leadership Council, and serves on the ESPN Advisory Board as well as the board of the New York Urban League. She has previously served on the boards of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications, InMotion, the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association, the Senior Human Resources Forum of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the University of Exeter Center for Leadership Studies in the United Kingdom, and the Asia Pacific Human Resources Council of The Conference Board. In 2005, Chandler was named one of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal magazine, and in 2012 was named a “Game Changer” among women in sports by the SportsBusiness Journal.

Chandler graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. She later earned her Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as a Master’s degree in Management from McGill University in Montreal. She also participated in the International Masters in Practicing Management (IMPM) Program, where she earned a certificate from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.



Laura Mvula 

Laura Mvula (née Douglas) is a British soul singer-songwriter from Birmingham. The orchestral re-recording of her 2013 debut album ‘Sing to the Moon’ was released exclusively online via Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound on 23 June 2014.

Mvula grew up in the Birmingham suburbs of Selly Park and Kings Heath with two younger siblings and was influenced by the girl band Eternal. In 2005, Mvula sang with Black Voices, an acappella group set up by her aunt. In 2008, she formed a jazz/neo-soul group called Judyshouse, singing lead vocals and writing material for the band. Laura was Director of the Lichfield Community Gospel Choir, founded by Black Voices and Lichfield Festival in 2009. She has also previously directed the Alvechurch Community Choir.

Laura graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire at the Birmingham City University with a degree in composition. While she was working as a supply teacher in a Birmingham secondary school, she started writing songs on her laptop. She was working as a receptionist when she sent out two demos to several people in the music industry. One of them, Steve Brown, heard the songs and sent them to his manager Kwame Kwaten who would become Laura’s manager. Laura is married to singer Themba Mvula.

After several showcases, Laura Mvula was signed by Colin Barlow to Sony subsidiary RCA. She released her debut extended play, She, on 16 November 2012. The title track, “She” is the first song Mvula ever wrote. Her debut studio album, Sing to the Moon, was released on 4 March 2013. She worked on the album with producer Steve Brown and mix engineer Tom Elmhirst. Paul Lester from The Guardian described her music as “gospeldelia”, calling it a new musical genre. The album was preceded by the single “Green Garden”. The song is an elegy to her home in Kings Heath.

On 6 December 2012, Mvula was shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice award at the 2013 BRIT Awards. On 9 December, she was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, and finished in fourth position. On 1 February 2013, she gave her first live TV performance on The Graham Norton Show on BBC One, singing “Green Garden”.

Mvula stated her influences include Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill. Sing to the Moon reached number 9 on the UK Albums Chart and within the top 100 in seven other countries and has so far reached 173 in the US Billboard 200 In October 2013, Mvula won awards for best female act and best R&B or soul artist at the 2013 MOBO Awards. In March 2014, Mvula re-recorded an orchestral version of her debut album Sing to the Moon in collaboration with the Metropole Orchestra, conducted by Jules Buckley, and was released on 23 June 2014 as a high quality download via Bowers & Wilkins’ Society of Sound. The album is currently available for pre-order and will be released to the public on 11 August 2014.

Sharmadean Reid

Sharmadean Reid is a creative consultant and founder of WAH Nails.

WAH life started in 2005 as a fanzine, promoting underrepresented women in hip-hop and street wear and gave voice to a new wave of feminism. Following the opening of the salon in 2009, Sharmadean was named as one of “15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain” and featured in Vogue’s “New Generation”.

Since, she has secured the Topshop flagship store, painted nails all over the world (NYC, Hong Kong, Moscow, Shanghai, Paris, Berlin to mention a few…) and published two books. Sharmadean continues to innovate the creative market, with feminist values always at the core of her motivation.  



 Lukwesa Burak (host)

Lukwesa Burak (host) was born in Zambia and her name comes from her royal tribal family.

She gained her first degree in Geography & European Studies at the University of Sussex. Part of her studies were spent in Switzerland (University of Neuchatel) through which she became fluent in French. Awarded an EU scholarship she gained a Master of Science degree in Geographical Information Systems from Leicester University.

Lukwesa worked in IT consultancy for three years before starting her media career as a Broadcast Meteorologist at the world renowned BBC Television Centre in London. She joined BBC East Midlands as a weather presenter on TV and Radio, before being appointed News Anchor on the Lunchtime and Evening news. Whilst at the BBC she presented within the studio, on Radio and for LIVE outside broadcasts. She also developed, produced and presented a series of programs and features for TV and Radio.

In 2006, Lukwesa moved to Sky News where she anchored Sky World News covering a broad spectrum of world news stories, most notably the execution of Saddam Hussein and the Indonesia and Haiti earthquakes.  In 2012, she moved to eNCA, in South Africa, where she anchored The Africa Edition broadcasting across Europe & Africa.  In 2013, Lukwesa returned to Sky World News where she continues to break and present global news stories.

Lukwesa caught Malaria at an early age and fortunately, recovered fully. She is now committed to preventing this often deadly disease and works with the charity Malaria No More. Lukwesa is also Patron of the charity All Star Kids, working towards improving the lives of children in Southern Africa.

Tickets are on sale now from Eventbrite and costs £25 for standard tickets and £18 each for a group of three or more.

Get ‘em quick, it’s going to be a roadblock!

I’mPOSSIBLE and Deutsche Bank team up to give young ladies work experience

ImP Deutsche logo


I’mPOSSIBLE. Global CIC a social enterprise which empowers women and girls of colour globally has teamed up with leading global banking and financial services provider Deutsche Bank to offer a limited amount of work experience opportunities to young women within their IT department based in the City.


This is a great way for budding professionals to get experience within a corporate environment where they can pick up valuable skills and knowledge in the heart of London.  They will rotate around the various teams in the department including administration, Audio Visual and IT helping to get them a full understanding of the office.

Work experience collage


Born to Be, Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, is committed to helping young people to fulfill their potential, through a range of programmes that develop aspirations, skills and access to opportunities. IT offers many opportunities for future careers, but women are under-represented across the industry.


The work experience programme is for one week during August to December 2014.
There are 6 places available.
Travel and lunch expenses are not covered.


How to apply:

Get a POSSIBLE young lady to send a copy of their CV with the dates they are available for one week’s work experience to:

[email protected]

no later than 5pm, Friday August 1.  


Help someone recognise their POSSIBILITIES!

I’mPOSSIBLE founder appears on BBC2 Newsnight!

In Simone’s capacity as contributor for the Voice Newspaper, the social commentator, global PR expert and founder of I’mPOSSIBLE gave comment on BBC2s highly respected Newsnight show.  The topic was BBC 1xtra’s Powerlist and folk singer Ed Sheeran getting the number one position!
Take a look:

#JadaPose Reminds Us There’s Joy In The Violation Of Women

Founder of I’mPOSSIBLE, Simone Bresi-Ando felt moved to write on the topic of #JadaPose for the UK Voice Newspaper:




Read more here.

Founder of I’mPOSSIBLE is a double nominee at this year’s National Diversity Awards!

Vote for Sim title header

Exciting news!

Founder of I’mPOSSIBLE has been nominated twice in this year’s National Diversity Awards sponsored by Microsoft and the Guardian!
Her work has been recognised in the categories of Entrepreneur of Excellence and Positive Role Model.Voting closes this Friday (July 18) and we need your help!  Please take a minute to vote for Simone and the work she does here.
The more recognition I’mPOSSIBLE gets, the more we can affect change!
Simone Bresi-Ando founder of I'mPOSSIBLE ImP convo summer edition June 10, 2014 a
Always grateful!
ImP team

Milestone reached! Three years of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation

Panellist group photo ImP convo summer edition June 10, 2014 - credit: Benedetto photos

Three years strong.

Putting women of colour at the centre of changing women’s lives, inspiring others and being positive role models for everyone.  The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation is changing the way women of colour (and everyone else who comes into contact with it) sees themselves, sees the world and how they define success on their own terms.

On June 10, we celebrated our third anniversary with a stellar #ImPconvo event powered by Mizani UK and held at Pearson plc. For the first time in London this year, the panel line up shone: Tameka Empson – Eastenders, Melanie Eusebe – Black British Business Awards, Ijeoma Hunter – Dentons, Charlotte Mensah – 2013 Afro hairstylist of the year and Arieta Mujay – Creative Consultant. And fans of TV series’ ‘The Wire’ and ’24’ were treated when the actor Gbenga Akinnagbe (pictured below) dropped in to wish us well.

ImP convo June 2014 collage credit: Benedetto Photos

There is a a divine energy when women gather with a positive purpose to leave that space taller, more inspired and closer to realising their dreams. The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation embodies a movement of women, particularly women of colour owning every part of their success, the lows and the highs and sharing that journey to inspire.

See what our guests had to say:

Here’s to many more years of inspiring change in women’s lives.

I’mPOSSIBLE founder joins Dotun Adebayo on Sunday show on BBC London on June 1, 2014 show

Dotun Adebayo on Sunday BBC London radio June 1, 2014


Last Sunday, the founder of I’mPOSSIBLE joined Dotun Adebayo on his show to discuss a new report on attitudes to race in the UK.  She was joined by esteemed guests such as Professor Gus Johnson, Adam Elliott-Cooper and Ehwunah.


Take a listen:



The summer edition of the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation returns on June 10, 2014

ImP convo June 10 e-flyer with A

It’s back!  For the first time in London this year, the trailblazing event series; the I’mPOSSIBLE conversation returns on June 10 with a sizzling panel line-up!

The only event to solely focus on the life stories of women of colour globally, returns to it’s birthplace London after the blazing first international edition in New York in March.  Celebrating its third anniversary, June 10 is set to be a memorable one.

Tickets are on sale now for £25 (refreshments included) and concessions for groups of three or more at £18 each.  This is one not to miss, take a look at the line up:

Tameka Empson

Tameka Empson

Tameka is a writer, actress and voiceover artist.  She was first brought to our widespread consciousness with the popular BBC1 show; ‘3 Non-Blondes‘; a hidden camera comedy programme, in 2003, they were listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest British comedy acts. Also a theatre actress, Tameka was nominated for an Olivier Award for ‘The Big Life’ in which she wrote and played the role of a 60 year old Jamaican woman.

Tameka has also lent her voice to the world of audio books and animation. You can hear her as ‘Mrs Higgler’ in the BBC radio dramatization of Neil Gaiman’s book ‘Anansi Boys’, as ‘Tick Bird’ in the children’s CBeebies cartoon ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ and currently on the Nick Junior channel in ‘Driftwood Bay’ in which she voice ‘Hatsie the Hen’.

As a writer, she created her one-woman play; ‘Marcia Brown – The Unsung Diva’, a Motown inspired cabaret style show which transferred from The Trafalgar Studios in London to The Edinburgh Festival to rave reviews. She also wrote a web series for the affectionately adored character she plays in Eastenders ‘Kim Fox’. You can see the spoof documentary ‘The B&B Kim’s Palace’ on the Eastenders website.  Tameka will be returning to Eastenders later this year.

Melanie Eusebe

Melanie Eusebe

Melanie is a management consultant with over 17 years international commercial business experience, specialising in strategic transformation initiatives for leading global brands.  While working at IBM and Ernst & Young, Melanie specialised in designing and delivering business transformation programmes and has demonstrated success in identifying strategic priorities for revenue generation and delivery of products and services for profitable growth.

Passionate about uncovering role models and inspiring a new generation of exceptional black business leaders, Eusebe founded the Black British Business Awards in 2013 to reflect the outstanding achievements and contributions of black business people to the British economy. These awards will challenge outdated stereotypes and most importantly, be a vehicle for economic empowerment and partnership.

After graduating from University of Toronto, Melanie gained a Masters in Philosophy (Ethics) from Birkbeck College at the University of London.  She is a regular speaker, lecturer and broadcaster who is respected for her contribution to promoting business leadership skills, harnessing entrepreneurial talent and economic empowerment. She has delivered and participated in sessions for organisations such as Sky, BT, GE, IBM, EY, Inseec, Hult, UCL, The Guardian, Better Bankside Women in Business, Trade School Westminster and works with various schools as a mentor. She is a member of everywomanClub for senior women of influence, a business radio show host, and the Director of The Fresh Ideas Company, a business services consultancy.​

Ijeoma Hunter

Ijeoma Hunter

Ijeoma Hunter leads the marketing and business development for Africa at Dentons, one of the world’s largest law firms.  She is responsible for coordinating the marketing of the Africa practice across 70-plus offices and works closely with each of the firm’s 20 associate offices on the continent – the largest such network of any international law firm.

Her role involves advising the Managing Partners of some of Africa’s leading law firms on their marketing strategy and on the investment required to take advantage of the international opportunities before them. She has recently returned from visits to Uganda and Rwanda.

Ijeoma studied law at Nottingham Law School and started her professional services career as a Marketing Administrator at Norton Rose. Since then she has worked in a variety of business development and marketing roles at leading firms including CMS Cameron McKenna, Hewitt, Salans and Travelers.

Ijeoma has always been passionate about the similarities shared by different cultures and one of her proudest moments was when she was chosen to go on secondment to Moscow, Russia. Prior to that she had spent a year living in Okayama, Japan. Whilst there she taught English and took the opportunity to travel across the country exploring Japanese traditions.

Ijeoma lives in London with her husband and young son. She enjoys cooking, travelling and visiting contemporary art exhibitions.

Charlotte_Mensah_2Charlotte Mensah

Charlotte Mensah is the owner of Hair Lounge, London and Afro Hairdresser of the Year 2013.  Mensah is at the forefront of creative Afro styling in the UK, famed for her flair of embracing natural hair textures, this internationally renowned celebrity hairdresser is a stylist very much in demand. If she’s not in Africa training young hairdressers in the art of hairdressing, then you’ll find her working with some of the most famous names in the world of entertainment, high finance and business including celebrity chef and former model, Lorraine Pascale.

 As well as scooping a number of the biggest accolades in British Afro Hairdressing and being the owner of the multi award-winning salon, Hair Lounge on Portobello Road, Charlotte’s work is regularly featured in a number of leading hair publications which has brought her recognition on a global scale.

Having served her apprenticeship in one of London’s leading Afro salons in the late 1980s, under the tutelage of legendary Winston Isaacs, Mensah has over 28 years experience under her belt in the highly competitive hair industry.  Charlotte has proven that she is a survivor and one of the biggest talents in Afro styling.


Having received numerous accolades for her contribution to the world of hair and business, 2013 saw her scoop a string of titles for her work, that included Afro Salon of the Year at the 2013 Hair Awards, Weave Stylist of the Year 2013 and Styling Team of the Year 2013 at the Black Beauty/Sensationnel Hair Awards. Charlotte’s success didn’t stop there, as she claimed her third award in one week when she was crowned ‘Afro Hairdresser of the Year 2013’ at the prestigious British Hairdressing Awards 2013. Her winning ‘Texture’ collection was the result of a partnership with photographer John Rawson and the magical fusion of their talents created a ground-breaking and stunning shoot. She was also handpicked by L’Oréal’s luxury Afro haircare brand ‘MIZANI’ to create the spectacular campaign shots for their celebrity ambassadors, pop singer Shingai Shoniwa and more recently,Queen of UK Soul, Beverley Knight. This led to her being invited onto the prestigious judging panel for the L’Oréal Colour Trophy MIZANI Afro Catwalk Look Award held in May 2013 at the Grosvenor Hotel.


Ideally placed and with a wealth of practical and technical experience, it seemed the next natural step for Charlotte was to embark into the educational field of the hair industry. Since making this transition, she has designed and developed a number of workshop programs which has seen her travel to countries that include Eastern Europe, USA and Africa and is currently in the early development stages of setting up The Charlotte Mensah Academy which will offer less fortunate young Ghanaians an opportunity to learn a vocational skill that will enhance their lives and the lives of their families.  In addition to concentrating on her career, her family life is very precious to her and as a dedicated mum of two, it’s this part of her life along with her faith, that keeps her grounded. Her own charity, L.O.V.E (Ladies of Visionary Empowerment) was set-up in honour of her late Mother; this benevolent fund is aimed at furthering the education and empowerment of young women in Africa.  Recently she was engaged by the Princes Trust as specialist business mentor, mentoring young entrepreneurs who are trying to start or expand their business within the field of the hair and beauty industry.

Arieta Mujay

Arieta Mujay

Arieta Mujay is  a 35 year old fashion creative that has been working in fashion at various capacities for 15 years across the UK and Africa.  Mujay is currently the creative director and owner of African Creative Collective, a UK Based consultancy created with the sole aim of nurturing and promoting African fashion and design talent. Clients include, Chichia, Orange Culture, Kenema and UK Trade and Investment and start up beauty brand, MDM FLOW.

Starting out as a window dresser for GAP in Brighton, Mujay started to get involved in styling.  She assisted veteran stylists like Didi Danso, Karen Klarkson and PR Guru, Sarah Walter on a weekly basis working on fashion stories for the UK’s Daily Mirror and Glamour Magazine. She also gained work experience from RED, Just 17, Sneak and Smash Hits where she met Henry Holland, the renowned fashion designer.  She then moved into fashion PR and worked as press officer for New Look while still styling part time, she rose to the position of PR Manager before leaving the company for River Island. While there, alongside her PR role, she was also the Fashion Editor of the River Island In store Magazine as well as shoot director and stylist for all the online content.  Arieta was selected to go on the 777 Tour with pop star, Rihanna and as such, became an integral part of the team working closely with Rihanna to design her ‘Rihanna for River Island’ collection, the London fashion week show and all the subsequent noise on the launch. As head of PR  for the brand, Arieta worked on all the other subsequent collections in this collaboration.  Mujay has been head of PR for three major brands across the UK high street.

A Veteran stylist of the Arise Shows since 2008, Arieta styled over 75 collections at the ARISE  SHOW In Lagos to date. Arieta has styled shows for the best and most sought after designers across Africa including, Maki Oh, Christie Brown, Duaba Serwa, Amine Benidourich, Okunore Twins etc.  In August 2012, Arieta embarked on a solo trip across Africa to understand the business of fashion, visiting nine countries over four weeks. The outcome of this trip is currently being documented in a book soon to be released.  Currently heralded by the international fashion press as one of Africa’s six stylists/creatives to know, Arieta lives and breathes all facets of fashion with a massive passion for promoting all things African Culture and style.

Hannah Pool

Hannah Pool (host)

Hannah Pool writes regularly in the national and international media. She has written features, interviews and comment for the Guardian for over a decade. Her work also appears in: The Times; The Independent; Grazia and others.

Hannah is curator of talks and debates at Africa Utopia and Women of the World (WOW) festivals at the Southbank centre, London. Hannah’s memoir ‘My Fathers’ Daughter: A story of family and belonging’ (Penguin2005) was described by the Washington Post as “a significant and moving book.”

Hannah appears regularly on BBC Radio 4, has spoken at TedXEuston, Africa Gathering and Africa Writes. She is chair of UKFeminista and former associate editor of ARISE magazine and was the subject of CNN’s African Voices.


The I’mPOSSIBLE conversation summer edition (and third anniversary)
Tuesday, June 10
£25 (including refreshments)
Concessions available

Pearson plc.
80 Strand
London WC2R 0RL

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