Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim, a digital creator and strategist, had a breakthrough year in 2023. She launched her two-year idea, #MinaMeetups, which aims to build communities via responsible digital storytelling to contribute to sustainable and transformative gender change. She also challenged herself as a media professional by being a Chevening FCDO Africa Media Freedom Fellow. In addition, she picked up the camera again to do social impact photography.
In tweet she said “2023 was my breakthrough year for #creativity and #innovation. To launching my two year idea: #MinaMeetups, challenging myself as a media professional by being a @CheveningFCDO Africa Media Freedom Fellow and picking up the camera again to do #socialimpact photography.”
Mina Bilkis (full name: Yasmine Bilkis Ibrahim) coaches, trains and helps individuals, institutions and brands in Communications + Content Creation, Business Strategy and Personal Development.
Mina is the Founder + Director of an adolescent safe space for girls called Girl Up Vine Club Sierra Leone and is also the Founder of the social enterprise Ori from Sierra Leone. From February 2019 – March 2021 Mina co-produced and co-hosted the podcast Y Square POD.
Mina has been recognized for her work by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) in 2019 and is a QCT Scholar and presented at One Young World in London, United Kingdom, a Tedx Speaker (2018) and is an African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) Alumna (2020).
Born and raised in Normal, Illinois, USA, Mina graduated from Fourah Bay College (FBC) – University of Sierra Leone (USL) and holds a Division I bachelor’s degree in French with a certificate in Global Health from College of Medical Allied and Health Sciences (COMAHS) – University of Sierra Leone (USL).
Mina is a professional troublemaker as she is always shaking tables when necessary (and sometimes when not), she is unapologetically feminist and the self-appointed ambassador of the Salone Jollof Lives Matter Movement.
When Mina returned to Sierra Leone in 2014 right before the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, she tutored and taught at various schools in Freetown. It wasn’t until 2016, Mina decided to embrace entrepreneurship and pursue it full-time. From 2016-2019 Mina taught and trained Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and International NGO (INGO) staff in French and Krio (our lingua franca) and translated documents from English-French/French-English and Krio-English/English-Krio.
Digital Storytelling + Content Creation Takeover
However, Mina’s passion for digital storytelling and content creation consumed her and she decided to pursue podcasting and communication projects in 2019.
In 2018, Mina met fellow digital creator Yasmin Metz-Johnson and Y Square POD was formed in January 2019. Y Square POD is a podcast and content creation collective by two young women who returned to Sierra Leone from the diaspora and share their experiences of living and working in Sierra Leone from a millennial lens. The podcast has produced 40 episodes and was featured in two international documentaries; Why Are So Many British Millennials Starting A New Life In Africa? by Jannine Battis and in Michaela Guzy’s of Oh The People You Meet’s documentary on world renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.
With Mina’s love for talking, she had the privilege of being a Tedx Speaker in 2018 at the TedxYouth@Kingtom in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Mina has also been invited to speak at international conferences in Kenya, Ireland and Nigeria in the areas of digital inclusion, feminism and global health.
Read more about her here