Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Williams sisters visit Nigeria to promote women empowerment

The much publicised visit of the Williams sisters' visit to Nigeria turned to reality after one of the world tennis icons, Venus Williams, arrived the Murtala Muhammad International Airport Tuesday.

Venus, who was dressed in black pants and a gray top to match, came out of the arrival hall at about 3.38pm local time with tight security in place and was barred from speaking to journalists. She however murmured to THISDAY that she was delighted to be in Nigeria.

"I'm delighted to be in Nigeria and the people look very lively," an obviously shy looking Venus murmured.

She was later driven away in a black Mercedes Benz E360. Her sister, however, arrived later at about 9 pm.

In a chat with Jaiye Opayemi, chief strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, which is the consultant for the Williams' visit, said their visit is a women empowerment initiative.

"The visit is targeted at women to encourage them at breaking whatever obstacle that may be standing between them and their dreams, as the Williams have some interesting stories to tell about themselves. Their personal experiences to life and their journey to the top," Opayemi said.

Meanwhile, the Williams sisters will Wednesday meet with the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola at the State House, Marina and will be involved in a tennis clinic at Ikoyi Club.

While the sisters will Wednesday visit a public school and there will be a gala night organised for them at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Meanwhile, Always, a brand of Procter & Gamble Nigeria, is supporting the visiting Williams Sisters to empower women and young girls to believe in themselves in a bid to achieve their full potential in life.

The Williams sisters: Venus and Serena are international tennis stars who arrived Lagos Tuesday as part of the African 'Breaking the Mould' tour; a programme that aims to empower women and young girls to believe in themselves and achieve their full potential.

Serena and Venus Williams embody the meaning of "Mould Breakers" as the story of their lives exemplifies how determination, passion, hard work and self-belief can turn dreams into reality.

Thursday, the duo will partner with feminine hygiene brand Always for a joint girls empowerment event at the Government Secondary School in Osborne, Ikoyi.

Together, Always and the Williams sisters aim to empower girls and inspire them to live their life to the fullest by: stressing the idea of sisterhood and that girls teaming up and supporting each other may achieve great things; teaching young girls the value of hard work, passion, determination and self-belief and leading by best example that neither colour or gender shall be reason enough to hold girls back and keep them from wanting the best in life and succeed.

Venus and Serena Williams will provide the school girls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only meet their idols but also be inspired and empowered by them. The William sisters will attend an Always puberty education class and talk to the girls before performing with the schoolgirls the Always song "Little Big Steps" to empower them through a shared singing and dancing experience.

Their visit will also help raise awareness of the Always School Care Programme that has helped empower millions of girls in Nigeria and across the globe by educating them on proper feminine hygiene and puberty over the last 12 years. Last year alone, the programme positively impacted 1.5 million girls across Africa.

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