Journalist | Blogger | Advocate | Philanthropist
My name is Adiza Ibrahim popularly known as Kuburah Diamonds for my humanitarian and social activism in my community - Zango women and children in Ghana (low-income community). I had normal upbringing growing up – however, all I wanted is to have a positive impact in my community and be great at what I do. My dream was to become a cabin crew, so I attempted a few interviews while still in the University, but I wasn’t successful. However, since I was pursuing journalism in school. I decided to take a stab at that path – as my professional career, I have not looked back since. Moving forward, I was blessed to gain an internship opportunity with the then biggest Media station in Ghana TV3 Network. I worked so hard, later I was offered an extension to continue but eventually I went back to further my education. Afterwards, my national service led me to Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority working in their Public Relations Department. Life took a total turn afterwards, the hope to be retained as a permanent worker failed not because I was incapable but because there was no opportunity for employment. I stayed home for almost 2 years and then finally decided to work with my Godmother who had just started making made in Ghana accessories like handbags, shoes etc. I took this leap of faith because I wanted to change the narrative regarding university graduates who are perceived as jobless nowadays. Therefore, I accepted a few roles in her Startup business; that has now become an internationally recognized brand for the best African made accessories called SELINA BEB. I began as a salesgirl (only staff), shop manager and social media manager. I must say, it took some humble time to enhance my interpersonal relationship, personal branding, some self-actualization, communication skills, digital marketing, and exceptional customer service to get to this phase of my life and journey. I was a shy individual, but I was not often ready to compromise, especially when opportunity presents itself. Later, I got an opportunity working for an international fashion brand called MANGO as the assistant shop manager at WESTHILLS BRANCH; a few months later I was promoted to ACCRA MALL as a shop manager all in Ghana. I am proud to say my humble beginning from Selina Beb elevated me to that position. I spearheaded my team to record the highest sales ever since the brand started operating in Ghana.
Right after 2 years I was offered a career changing opportunity to work with the biggest electronics and Appliances company in Ghana called ELECTROLAND GHANA LIMITED as a Marketing Manager, and shortly after became the media relations manager. This position opened my eyes or doors to a lot of unfortunate stories happening in my community, I identified with. I am a proud Muslim woman but being a Muslim woman people often identify me as a Zango woman even though I did not live in a Zango (low-income community). However, I ended writing the realities of Muslim women/Zango women.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
The unrealistic standards and expectations society places on us in terms of marriage, education, career, social and family life. That is where the idea of my blog: KUBURAH DIAMONDS began. This platform opened up an opportunity for me to share real time stories and experiences targeted to shaping the thoughts and actions of the young ones from these communities. I was receiving real stories from women who suffer abuse in marriage, because of their gender etc. More of these women reached out for financial support, however I figured instead of giving money out let me introduce a project that will give them a lifetime support hence my own project called the ZANGO WOMEN LIVELIHOOD AND EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (ZANGWOLEAP).
I single handedly with the support of other women who have the skills in handcraft, have trained over 300 women free of charge. I do it not because I am rich but because the stories I receive on a daily basis breaks my heart: for example why would a wife or woman be abused due to financial difficulties. Importantly, I do this because I have been in this situation before, and it took another woman who had a skill and gift to give me my first employment and opportunity. Today, I am blessed to be a trendsetter and a voice for the many Zango women who think or are being told they can’t curve their own career or future path because of gender, religion, or class.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
I have had the opportunity to mentor so many young women to become a better version of themselves and reach higher heights no matter what. I sit on the highest table with all men at work and take part in strategic decision making not because of my beauty but because I have the capabilities. I added value to myself, I started in a humble way, my career journey changed, I am not a journalist, but I am the voice, and I am glad to know millions get to read and get back to me with positive feedback. So, stay true to yourself and be you.
Instagram: Adiza Ibrahim @KUBURAHDIAMONDS
Facebook: KUBURAH DIAMONDS
Facebook: @Zango Women Livelihood & Empowerment Programme