LONDON, UK – I am so grateful that for this month’s theme “Women”. I got the opportunity to interview Her Excellency of Ghana’s High Commission, the Honorary Dr. Tina Allton for my Personal Finance column. Not only is she looking to pave the way to bring Ghana to the attention of the G20; but she is also passionate about empowering a billion women by 2020. Dr. Tina strongly believes that more women of color need to actively improve their financial knowledge.
Dr. Tina Allton
To understand her grit and the successful woman of color she is today; I felt it important to understand her past. So, I asked the Hon. Dr. Allton who in her family had the most impact in her life.
Now the person she named was in a way not surprising, but her answer was… It was her grandma! It wasn’t because she was the matriarch of the family, but because she was Tina’s first mentor. She spoke so proudly of her grandmother, I thought of my own grandma.
These unwavering lessons were, “Nobody is like you” and “Take no nonsense from anybody, including yourself.” As I listened, I got to thinking, was my Barbados grandma my first ever mentor?
I continued our conversation by asking her Hon. Dr. Allton, with all the titles she currently holds, did she find it necessary to change? To which she answered, it is not about the titles, but your purpose and the legacy you want to create. Now, I don’t want to give the impression that it was all smooth sailing for her and there were no hard lessons to be learnt. Daring to leave the wealthy and comfortable lifestyle she was accustomed to in Ghana. Only to end up practically homeless the day she arrived at a London airport; was the consequence a 22 year Tina was faced with. Back then she was in survival mode, which I’m sure many of us women of color can understand, only too well!
Grounded In Faith
The Hon. Dr. Allton’s faith keeps her grounded and she is also an avid reader from young. Books allowed her to imagine all she could become, even at one point believing she would be living in the White House one day. But as she grew older, just like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie the African writer also came to the realize; not everything you imagine for yourself can come true!
Today she has risen like the “Phoenix from the ashes”, to be a business woman, investor, mentor who has been to Buckingham Palace and hopes to one day with her work at the UN; be invited to the White House. Her Hon. Dr. Allton sees this as her contribution to women of color that they be inspired to raise the bar, so that our success contributes to leveling the playing field for us as colored women. Being a trailblazer in her own right, she hopes that other women with grit, sees it is possible to move from a difficult situation and that they too can step into their purpose!
The seeds sowed by the older generation
Collectively women today are once again pushing back against what has been spoon fed and accepted as the norm for many years. The torch we now hold in our hands, was passed from the previous generations, who have entrusted that today’s women of color will continue to pave trails for the next generation.
We bring with us the invisible cloak of hope! A prayer that one day the next generation of women will no longer have to fight for their rightful seat at any table!
As a woman, I am trying to do my part by speaking and educating women on the importance of Personal Finance. But as a woman of color, I feel we are held to different standards! We have a rich history of many successful women, who now lay peacefully at rest, never or too late recognized for their contribution. Today, I implore we remember history, but also start to acknowledge, highlight and bring forth the stories of today’s women of color, who are successfully leading the way by becoming today’s trailblazers.
Financial Lesson 3
As part of the Personal Finance column, I normally share a financial lesson. So, I kindly asked her Hon. Dr. Tina lesson(s) she wanted to share.
I remember her quoting Marianne Williamson to make her point that for other women of color to be successful, we need to have role models who as her Hon. Dr. Allton quoted, “… As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others”. So:
- Don’t be afraid to make money
- Your past does not define where you are going
- Let us not focus and be trapped in the past of History, because today and tomorrow will pass us by forever
I as a woman of color, feel the responsibility not only to her Hon. Dr. Allton to get her words correct, but I know they will inspire and bring hope to another sister of color, who currently feels burdened by the fear of success. See in this column, her words as your opportunity to be mentored by someone who believes comparing yourself to others only causes you to fall further behind of your purpose. I now leave you with a quote from her Hon. Dr. Allton’s, which I hope will be passed on to the next generation, “There is always enough in this world, you just have to go for it”!
To find out more about Dr. Tina Allton, visit www.tinaallton.com