With information from Oscar Chumpetaz, Special Envoy to Spain
“I have Peruvian friends in New York and I love ceviche. Of course I’m going to see Peru, it has great spots.” phrase from Bysila BokokoFounder African Literacy Projectwhich is a benchmark of entrepreneurship and is considered one of the most influential Spanish companies in business in Spain United State.
We found Pococo’s lit. 2022And the The World Conference on Education and Technology, which I organized in Madrid Telefonica CorporationThe La Caixa FoundationAnd the IE University s South Summit, where Interview with Republic.
“To make a pledge you have to believe in something you don’t see. It’s an act of faith,” he remembers when I told him about his American Dream. Not only is she a businesswoman, she’s also a public speaker, philanthropist, influencer, and writer.
Do you consider education as the ultimate investment to be made?
-“Of course. I read a lot to understand what American unity was, what were the consequences of colonialism, that the Afro-American and the black African are two completely different realities… And I learned everything from books. Also, with a book you will never be alone. My parents worked a lot And I was always reading.”
What is your vision of immigration?
– When Bisila listens to anti-immigration speeches, she always tries to teach. An immigrant adds value to society. Diversity is also richness and that is why you can never generalize about immigrants.” He undoubtedly has the most eloquent example.
– I have opened many libraries in Africa. How was this project born?
– “In 2009 it was the first time I set foot in Africa. This made my life change. I wanted to do something for them and I realized that I knew Africa through books. This is how the idea came about. The first model, which failed, was to build a library and maintain it for three Years, and from there, letting them run it. When we arrived it was abandoned. The second model, which is working in Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda, has been to do it in schools. They give us a classroom and we fill it with books.”
– Is there an interest of the African population in reading?
-“Absolutely. Moreover, children especially love travel books and other countries. We send all kinds of books, but we have to be sensitive because parents in Africa fear that their children will go too far in their education and do not want to go back to their traditions. That is why we thought the project would be It’s a family matter, and since the African tradition has always made them storytellers, we read for everyone,” he said.
What is the recipe for success at work?
– “Many entrepreneurs make the sin of having too many ideas, but you have to get it down to earth and focus on one thing at a time. ‘Multitasking’ is one very big trap that does us a lot of harm. The second is a great degree of discipline and commitment. Entrepreneurship Actions are a roller coaster. You have to believe in something you don’t see. “It’s an act of faith,” Bokoko said.
Surrounding yourself with a good work team, but also with people who don’t judge you or support you, is essential to Bisilla.
Bysila Bokoko She is of parents who immigrated from Equatorial Guinea, was born in Valencia and studied law, like her father, but also economic sciences. when i was working on Valencian Institute of ExportHe was given the opportunity he had always dreamed of: to live in it New York And work in the Chamber of Commerce.
She ended up becoming CEO of the foundation between 2005 and 2012. “It was a very beautiful year, we grabbed the shoulders of all the big Spanish companies that wanted to establish themselves in the US and where we were able to introduce Spanish fashion and designers to the circles of influence and investment.” We have to bring a little glamor!”, he explains.
However, after seven years in office, overnight, she was suddenly fired. “It was the hardest moment of my life. A turning point. I had a hard time, because you’re going through a very big emotional desert. But it also made me think.” I realized that success had gone to my head and that I was being arroganthe admits.
Start a company in New York
shortly after its creation BBESa New York-based company dedicated to helping other companies grow their businesses.
“In that self-knowledge, on that trip, I realized that if I didn’t want to be fired again, I had to do it. Because I couldn’t get myself fired from my own company. I did it with fear, and sometimes things had to be done with fear,” he asserts.
I tell him that in Peru there is a lot of inequality and discrimination and he remembers that once, after an unpleasant incident at school, his father said to him: “You have two problems, you’re black and you’re a woman, and you have to deal with that.”.
– Currently, do you still encounter these obstacles?
– “I never make other people’s problems my own. So when I encounter those barriers in others, I don’t take them personally. Women still face many hostile environments. And when you’re a black woman, imagine well. In this case, have yours before you.” Two options: to be a victim or an innovator and move on.”
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