It started out with my love for African Fashion and after that, the vision had changed. I wanted to highlight innovative businesses, creatives, events etc shedding a positive light on the Africa in North America. .... Network within your peers, there’s so much hidden potential in a room full of professionals. You might find someone who needs your expertise and someone who has what it is you are looking for. Collaboration is the key to growth.
I am passionate about human rights and social justice issues. I have been working in the field of human rights with particular focus on women and children in African and now in Canada. I have keen interest in working with vulnerable and marginalized groups and had the opportunity to develop and manage programs aimed at protecting and promoting the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable children and women, including victims of gender-based violence.
I would say my biggest accomplishment is to move to Canada (Vancouver & Toronto) with no English and within four years completed the Chartered professional Accountant (CPA) program, created a corporation and built a strong network. Self-motivated, I believe anything is possible with motivation, confidence and good organization.
My first few months in Canada were a big influence. It was really important to me to remain rooted in my African culture while integrating into life in Canada. Over the years, I found myself seeking out unsuspecting strangers to get the contact information of their African service providers.
... My networking philosophy is contribute. We are family and we need each other. Don’t focus solely on what you can get out of a connection.
I’m from Ivory Coast - former French colony – and I left my IT job in 2008 to study in Canada. After obtaining my MBA degree from Sherbooke University in Quebec, I moved to Toronto on Dec 25th 2009: Christmas day, to improve my English and find a job. After 9 months, I got a job at Dell Canada as a Sales Rep.
A bit about Dissirama.
Dissirama is a Senior Consultant at KPMG Advisory Services where she specializes in Financial Risk Management. With over 8 years of experience in Financial Services experience she has built an expertise in Corporate Governance and Risk Management. She is also the Leader of the Manyatta Network, a networking group which advocates for stronger relationships within the African Diaspora with over 700 subscribers in Toronto and 250 subscribers in Montreal.
If there is one thing that has remained a constant in my life, it has been my unwillingness to accept the status quo. Growing up, I watched as my family opened one of the first Ethiopian Restaurants in Windsor. In a time when African food had not hit the western scene, they had the drive and foresight to create a new opportunity. This fostered not only my interest in entrepreneurship and desire to challenge the status quo but also my love of food!