It was straight into a workshop on my arrival to meet other members of the African Women in Europe [AWE]. The workshop was led by Kanini Mutooni who did a fantastic job. Still bleary-eyed, I decided to visit the Berlin wall - well, you can't visit Berlin without seeing this historic wall. I thought a 30 minute round trip would earn me a sleep before the main event in the evening. How wrong was I!!! I ended up getting lost on my way back to the hotel - yeah, clever me disembarked at the wrong stop and ended up walking in the rain for almost 45 minutes to the hotel. By that time, I just needed a stretcher and a hot bath and probably my bed.
The main event started well meeting some dignitaries; His Excellency the Ghana ambassador to Germany - Mr Paul King Aryene, South African Embassy Deputy Head of Mission - Mrs Cassandra Mokone, the commercial attaché of Kenya embassy - Mr Konje.
Moving onto the award ceremony, I could not believe it when I received not 1 but 3 awards.
It was such a pleasure and emotional receiving the 3 awards in Berlin on 18th June 2011 for:
* innovative person
* company of the year
* AWE 1st award
AWE stands for African Women in Europe and it is a platform for socialising with other motivational & inspirational women.
I am still trying to recover from the event. I love what I do and just get on with it through trial and error. As a small business, we always insist on quality. We never compromise and this has led us to pursue our other passion which is looking after those at the 1st step of the supply chain - THE FARMERS!
We are pursuing this path because I feel it the right way to "put a little back" into their hard-work even if it means a lot of sacrifice including lack of sleep - I will continue to push along this path.
One of the awards included a FREE flight ticket to anywhere in Africa
and while most thought she would fly to her native Ghana, she chose Swaziland to visit Swazi Secrets.
"We are delighted that she is taking the opportunity to come to Swaziland and visit Swazi Secrets," said John Pearce, the International Marketing Manager of Swazi Indigenous Products, the company responsible for manufacturing Swazi Secrets products using the marula fruit.
Wood has another link to Swaziland as she uses her profits from Swazi Secrets sales to sponsor a young boy from Mpaka, Vele Maziya, to attend St Joseph’s School.
Pearce said she was very much looking forward to the opportunity to visit him and check on his progress.
"Akua has been selling Swazi Secrets for four years now and has built up quite a link with Swaziland, both with us and with sponsoring Maziya’s education," he said.
I would like to take this opportunity in thanking all our supporters and dedicate the awards to you and the farmers/supply chain.