The Women Leaders Retreat was all sorts of exciting for us (in a dear friend’s voice). The entire experience reminds me of this quote from the Bible ‘man proposes, but God disposes’. The excitement began in our private WhatsApp group way before the 4-day retreat with all sorts of ‘self-conferred’ posts. It was just so hilarious and beautiful; I ended up typing ‘Ama Duncan left’ and this has become my go to phrase for whenever I want to avoid the responsibility of deciding who our true class prefect is hahahahaha
After a rather long (though truly short) wait, we met at DANN’s Residence – a gem of an event space for a small group. Among us were business women, medical doctors/lecturers, bankers and corporate women from Accra, Kumasi, Obuasi and New Edubiase. For some of us, it was a reunion as we had met earlier during the Women Leaders Workshop in March or at our previous events. Others were new to the group and yet we all blended in so well as if we had been friends forever.
Ps. Abbey of Mega Kharis International came to open our retreat and the word he shared was so powerful eh! I have read the entire Jeremiah and never got this text the way he explained it: Jeremiah 31:22 “How long will you gad about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth— A woman shall encompass a man.” As I mused on his words, I kept thinking ‘wow women are truly powerful!’ I could not have planned how timely his session was! All thanks to one of our fabulous participants for obeying God’s voice when He laid it on her heart to invite him.
Our Introductory session (led by Yours Truly, Ama The Duncan) before lunch was so engaging and there was so much deep sharing already, momentum was building up very nicely. Later in the evening we had the Deeper Introductions session which was just as the word describes, deep! The icing on the cake was the visit of the fabulous Catherine Engmann, President of the Association of Coaching Professionals. I handed over the mic to her as a question on forgiveness came up…ladies and gentlemen all I can say is it was truly an insightful session! I could not have planned it this way!
At 5.30am the next morning, I was doing my step-dad’s signature knock on doors – it was time for our Tik Tok Ab Dance Challenge! Mennn this was fun! Come and see moves. Some ladies took a dip in the pool right after this. After breakfast, we continued our conversations on Self Leadership using some fantastic tools such as Brené Brown’s List of Values.
The fabulous Dr. Nkechi Dike then took us through a session on Presenting as a Leader – How to enhance your executive presence. Chai, this was powerful! It was a mini Toastmasters session there! NB: If you are joining the Virtual Women Leaders Retreat, then I gatchu. You’ll have access to the replay.
The Wine and Art experience later in the day was meant to be a relaxing and fun activity. Little did I know that it would be a deep learning experience for some of the ladies. You see (like me), they thought they couldn’t draw/paint until they did! The artworks were just so beautiful. I especially loved that we were all in our branded T-shirts with ‘I am The Fabulous Woman Leader’ inscribed on it. One participant joked that she’d return an art piece she just purchased haha!
Ooooh my goodness, my heart is bursting with joy as I reminisce on what happened that night. So the original plan was to have a poolside conversation on personal finance led by Dr. Dike. Just when we started I had a call from one of my mentors Mrs. Janet Abobigu popularly known in Kumasi as Unijay. She was coming to visit us! What?!! My people, this is how we gladly gave her the mic for a rather prophetic session on business and money. Have I mentioned that this entire retreat reminds me of ‘man proposes but God disposes’? Imagine a group of fabulous women sitting around the pool at the feet of a super fabulous woman who has been there and done that! Was it my birthday? Haha
Our workout session that morning was with Leslie Sansone’s 30-minute Boosted Walk. This was the first time I’d done this particular workout with other people and I really enjoyed it. I then continued leading the conversation on Self-Leadership followed by an insightful activity on Decision Making.
After lunch, a rather stylish and elegant (Stylegant) man called Samuel Duncan led us on a conversation on Customer Relationship Management. Yes, he is my boo and he’s just bae! May I just add that it’s heartwarming to have him support what I do. May God bless supportive husbands (no, nothing happened that night! Please stay focused on the story)
Speaking of story, the fabulous Abigail Baffour Awuah of Abby’s Wand taught us how to ‘beat our faces’ (why do we call it face beat anyway? haha!). Thanks to Maybelline, all participants had goodie bags of makeup items to use. Aww God is good! And of course, Vera Obeng Photography was there live and coloured to capture our beautiful faces and all other moments.
Later that night, we had our vision board party.
Have you heard of Kukuwa Fitness? Well, this fabulous 63-year-old young lady and her daughter Coach Cass were even more amazing to workout with in person. What fascinated me was how the ladies were grabbing water after the dance workout with them. You see, I’d been leading the previous workouts and hadn’t seen the ladies sweat the way they did with the true workout professionals! As I reminisce on the duo, I am thinking Igweeeeeeee
The setup was different today. The fabulous Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, 2nd Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana was our Guest Speaker for the Mentoring Moment. Eish it was deeeeeep! I’m so glad we’ll get to share this conversation on Mind Your Business soon, watch out.
It was also humbling to have the fabulous Deputy Head of Missions Nicole Chulick of the Embassy of the United States of America to close our retreat with some food for thought. She also gave participants their certificates of participation. Also in attendance were representatives of the International Monetary Fund, Access Bank, Ghana Hubs Network, Leading Ladies Network, US Ghana Alumni Association, Fab Women In Business (my group of past coaching clients), Temple Advisory, among others.
Feedback from some participants
‘My first time attending such a program and it was great. It was a life changing experience’
‘It was an awesome experience for me, being the first of its kind I’ve ever attended. Very inspiring and made new friends too’
‘The program was so insightful and I wish I would have the opportunity to participate in more workshops like these’
This was definitely not goodbye because the retreat was part 1 of a 4-month program. The participants are continuing to learn, work, support and hold each other accountable in monthly mastermind meetings as well as our private WhatsApp group. If you missed the in-person retreat, chill I have news for you. The Virtual Women Leaders Retreat starts on Saturday 28th August, 2021. They will all be part of one private group as well as the monthly mastermind sessions. Registration deadline is Friday 27th August, 2021 at 5.00pm GMT or when the class is full – we have 6 spots left as of the time of writing this.
A heart of gratitude
To God be all the glory for the wisdom He gave us to pull this off PLUS all the resources He made available.
This program would not have been possible without the support of:
*Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, 2nd Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana
*Deputy Head of Missions Nicole Chulick and the Embassy of the United States of America team
*Dr. Nkechi Dike
*Mr. Samuel Duncan
*Taragon Edge Ltd
*Created by Yenua Adepa
*Mr. Emmanuel Baidoo
*Some Anonymous donors (many of whom are past event participants) and
*Our fabulous planning committee members
For now, we’ll continue with the Virtual Women Leaders Retreat and mastermind sessions as we plan more fabulous events. Indeed, God is good!