See the original publication on Medium.com.
When I quit my full time job as a CPA in August 2015 to give more time to the United for Kids Foundation, an organization I co-founded in 2002 and that I manage pro bono, I knew 2016 was going to be a busy year. However, no crystal ball could have predicted I would take time off that and my exciting book tour to take up a hectic job as an organizer with the Hillary Clinton campaign in Michigan, almost 700 miles away from home. I have been with the most amazing organizing team in Grand Rapids since September 3, and most of the time I still cannot believe how quickly and easily I made the decision to be here.
Although I had been dreaming about “President Hillary Clinton” even before she officially got into the 2016 race, I really didn’t plan to do more than I did for President Obama in Ohio in 2012: volunteer my time for a couple of days before the election. However, my plans changed on July 21 when I attended President Obama’s Eid ul Fitr celebration at the White House. I still can’t find the words to describe the joy and honor I felt when I shook the President’s hands that day, but let’s just say I was very happy. As I drove to my home in Columbia, Maryland, after the party, I got quite anxious. I could feel the sweat in my palms on my steering wheel as my four times minority status being a Black, Muslim, Immigrant Woman began to dawn on me. If I wanted to continue feeling at home in the United States of America, if I wanted me or anyone who looks like me to feel like they deserve this type of honor in the future, I had to get in the in the ring.
I knew that simply volunteering to help get out the votes a couple of days before the election wasn’t going to be sufficient. I knew it was time to suspend the book tour, pack up, and go join the fight wherever it was. I got home, switched on my computer, and submitted my application to be a campaign organizer. I was clear in my application — I wanted to organize Muslims, Africans (both immigrants and U.S. born), and women. I wanted to organize people like me; I wanted to tell them what we had to lose if we refuse to show up for the fight.
I have now spent three hectic and exhausting weeks in Grand Rapids, and I am glad I am in the ring with Secretary Clinton because I know that when she gets to the White House, she will fight for me everyday.
Tope Ganiyah Fajingbesi is the author of Love in Cancun, an amazon.com best seller. She is a Muslim Nigerian-American woman passionate about building social and economic bridges between the United States of America and African nations. In addition to managing United for Kids Foundation, Tope hosts the Impact Africa podcast.
When you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning,
Act like the sun when it shows up for its life’s work everyday no matter what.
When you feel unappreciated and ignored,
Act like the sun when it comes out and works full time, even on the coldest winter days when no one notices.
When the waves and storms of life threaten to drown out your efforts,
Act like the sun when it struggles and successfully overtakes even the darkest clouds every morning.
When the devil tries to sow the seed of pride and arrogance in your heart, telling you such and such are beneath you,
Act like the sun, which ignores class and wealth, and shines it’s light equally on all.
When you know it’s time to walk away but the cheers and fears keep holding you back,
Act like the sun when it sets every day no matter whose watching.
May God help you to act like the sun, to release your purpose and show up for your life’s work no matter what!
July 31, 2016
PART 2 of 2
For more details about the “Love in Cancun” mission, including a growing list of outlets where Love in Cancun can be bought in Nigeria, please visit the Love in Cancun Page.
Please visit the photos section of the House of Ganiyah Facebook page for beautiful photos of the #LoveInCancunNG tour.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 21, 2016
For some people, it isn’t a big deal, but for me, it was and still is a huge deal that I met President Obama up close and personal, and he spoke with me. You see, this life is full of struggles and hustles, and a little high here and there is always helpful to help refuel our tank so we can keep going.
I was privileged to attend the President’s inaugural ball in January 2013, but there were almost 15,000 other guests at the convention center that day, so meeting him was not even a possibility. My next attempt was in 2014, when I was invited to be a part of the planning meeting for the US-Africa Leaders summit. I was excited about being in the White House for the first time, but a little heart broken that we could only enter the Eisenhower executive office building and their was no POTUS. So you can imagine my excitement when I got an invitation to the first ever White House Eid party (the White House always hosted an annual iftar dinner during Ramadan, but this year an Eid party was hosted for the first time.) Not only was this a dream come true because I had bought my dress with the intention of wearing it to a party at the White House since 2014 even though I didn’t know how I would get invited to one, it was huge because I knew the president would attend and the party was being held inside the East Wing of the White House. I mean, we were going inside the first family’s house!
It was an exciting time yesterday, proof that God listens to every prayer, and a chance to meet so many amazing Muslim-Americans doing wonderful work across the country.
The gathering shattered the myth that Muslim Americans don’t contribute positively to the USA. I saw and spoke with people blazing trails, saw Thomas Jefferson’s Quran, and heard from the President how African slaves were mostly Muslims. Most importantly, it was what I needed to see so I can organize folks even harder so that the evil hater of all things that define me: a Black Immigrant Muslim American Woman doesn’t set foot in the beautiful White House ever! More photos on my Facebook Page.
The video of the President’s full address, and of course, a giggling Tope is below. Enjoy…
My Amazon.com best seller – Love in Cancun is now on sale in Nigeria, the USA and beyond! Kindly see a list of places where the book can be purchased at the retail price of N1,500 below. More outlets will be announced here, so please bookmark this post!
- Patabah Book Store, Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos
- Baytuzzeenah outlets in TBS, Ikeja and Lekki - Suite 19, East Pavilion, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) Complex, Opposite The High Court. OR A2, 2nd Floor, Alausa Shopping Mall by (LSPC), Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja. Opposite Zenith Bank on Oregun Junction/Obafemi Awolowo Way, Radio Bus stop, Ikeja. OR 7A Wole Ariyo Street, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I.
- Abuja: Achisco Arcade, Suite B6, Sharrif plaza (ground floor)
Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2
- Port Harcourt: Bookville World, Port Harcourt: 2 Ezimgbu Link Road, Off Stadium Road
- Order Online: Amab Book Store, Suite C4, Shamaras Plaza, Minna, Niger State (Email: email@example.com. Tel:+2348129333031)
- Download an electronic copy of the book at Be Better Books
Outside Nigeria, especially in countries with amazon international sites: you may buy Love in Cancun on amazon.
What is so special about Love in cancun? Why should you buy/read it? In addition to the 5-star reviews on amazon.com, Here are some of the reasons the book is so refreshing and appealing:
- It is a clear and empowering proof that dreams come true, self love is possible and a catalyst for success and a chance for you to go on holiday right there in the comfort of your room!
- One third of the gross profits from each book will be donated to United for Kids Foundation and other genuine causes set up to alleviate the pain and suffering of children from low income families and displaced children in Nigeria and beyond.
Visit the Love in Cancun Page for reviews updates and news about the next chapter! I truly hope this book inspires you to love yourself, find moments of stillness to connect with and hear from your maker, dream big, ask boldly and understand life’s pauses.
About Love In Cancun
How does one deal with the passing of the most important person in their life, and then deal with the loss of a six-figure job? Nurah hit the pause button on her hectic life and went to Cancun, Mexico, leaving everything she owned behind outside of a change of clothes, to reconnect with herself on a spiritual journey with unknowns around every corner helping guide her back on the path she was meant to be on from the start. Love in Cancun, a heartfelt documentation from a middle aged, single woman’s perspective reveals the challenges of having to face the constant emotional struggles that one who feels as if life had passed her by had felt. She deals with them in a way that few outside of her shoes could understand, and finds herself in an entirely new setting than she had expected.
About the Author
Ganiyah Tope Fajingbesi is the host of Impact Africa and Coordinating Trustee of United for Kids Foundation. She is the noted author of What Color Is Your Money? Your Personalized Road Map to Business Success, which was published in April 2013. Love in Cancun is loosely based on her six-day holiday in Cancun, Mexico in August 2015
Why Should You Attend The Launch?
I am ready to be inspired and to change the world in the process too. Will you join me? RSVP for the April 17 Launch Event.
The nail in his boot created magic, what will yours create? Imagine the possibilities of your “pain.”