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The Female Designer Movement (TFDm) reveals a new name and visual identity as it sets its sights on empowering 50,000 African women in Design and Tech

October 23, 2023

The Female Designer Movement (TFDm), an initiative started by Bolanle Banwo to train and provide free graphic design education to women in Nigeria in 2018, has revealed a new name and visual identity as it sets its sights on empowering 50,000 African women in design and tech.

The announcement stated that TFDm will now be known as Azari Women in Tech Africa. The new name and visual identity signal a new dawn for the initiative as it prepares to take its vision to empower the next generation of female designers to a higher level.


The beginning

TFDm started out as an effort to increase the population of women in Tech by training and empowering them for free with graphic design skillsets.

“I started TFDm (now Azari) because being a woman in Tech and Design, I noticed the underrepresentation of women in the industry. I wanted (and still do) women to know that they could excel in the industry" says Bolanle, the founder of Azari Women in Tech Africa.

Since its inception in 2018, it has held 4 training sessions across Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, and Monrovia (Liberia), training more than 3,000 women in design skills.

Training session during one of the design classes held by TFDm | Credit: Azari Women in Tech

New name and identity but the same mission

Speaking on this rebranding effort, Peace Akpeji, the project manager told The Creatives Note, “We wanted TFDm to evolve into something more. Formerly, TFDm focused on physical classes and taught just Graphic Design. Everything was spearheaded by Mrs. Bolanle but she always wanted to scale into having virtual events, partnering with inspiring leading women in Tech and Design, and reaching thousands of women. Rebranding seemed perfect to execute the plans.”

Speaking further, she said, “We were able to successfully register the name (took us 8 months) but that was the nudge we needed to launch Azari Women In Tech Africa, a registered Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria.”

“Mrs. Bolanle started the design direction last year and even if we've launched, a lot of fine-tuning is still going on,” she added.

More than just training women, Azari Women in Tech wants to create a community for them. “We want to nurture them and create a safe space for them to learn and grow and they in turn can mentor the next set of beneficiaries. We also want to keep track of everyone,” she explained. “We know it's going to be a lot of work but this is a project Mrs. Bolanle is truly passionate about and everyone on the team is completely dedicated to making it work.”

“Every other hour of the day, I am thinking of the structure and the entire event. I have the goal at the back of my mind and I'm thinking of different ways to execute plans easily and efficiently.”

Excited about this reveal, Peace said she looks forward to the impact this project will have. “Through Azari, I connected with beneficiaries of TFDm (now Azari) and they told me how they started, and where they are now, and it's mind-blowing,” she said.

According to her, 50% (possibly more) of the beneficiaries currently have international jobs while some of them have their own businesses. “They all say that they did not know that they could be successful in Tech if not for Mrs. Bolanle.”

She added: “Getting to help other women achieve amazing feats and hearing their stories in a few months or years is what I look forward to the most.”

“If anyone asks Mrs. Bolanle about Azari, she is likely going to say it's her life's work. That's how much it means to her. She always tells us how Tech transformed her life and now she gets to help others and empower them to transform theirs.”

While TFDm has rebranded to Azari Women in Tech Africa, the mission to equip African women with the skills, resources, and support to excel in design and technology still remains the same.

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