Speaker Spotlight: Gillian Benneh & Rachel Mwakule

Europe’s relationship with Africa is complex, and cultures in modern African countries are often a kaleidoscope of old colonial legacies, ancient tribal influences, modern pop culture and new technology. This is particularly relevant to this year’s eurobest, given Italy’s fascinating historical connections with Ethiopia and Eritrea.

African countries are frequently misrepresented, misunderstood and are often associated with war, famine, corruption, disease and of cause the obvious refugee crisis (on which Italy is on the front line). 

Rachel and Gillian are on a mission, which began back in 2015, when they travelled to eight out of the 54 African countries – Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and most recently Ethiopia and Eritrea in preparation for the talk they’re planning to give at eurobest. 

As Rachel Mwakule and Gillian Benneh will tell you, out of the 10 fastest growing world economies, five of them are within the African continent – Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania and DR Congo. In addition to their day jobs as creatives for a global agency, Rachel and Gillian also run a consultancy called Nea Onnim, which specialises in the providing guidance and insight for businesses looking to work with different African markets. 

Gillian is a digital marketing professional with 15 years’ experience working in leading digital and creative agencies in the UK and for the last four years in Dubai. She’s a second generation Ghanaian and has a keen interest in showing the diversity and unique characteristic of each country on the continent. 

Rachel was born in Kenya and is a graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design (BFA, Advertising Design). She’s on a mission to change the world one mind at a time. She loves to travel and is a product of a nomadic lifestyle that is a source of her constant curiosity. 

On the course of their travels and interviews, as they prepare for their eurobest talk (called ‘The Elephant in the Room’), Gillian and Rachel have met some amazing people who have joined their mission to change the narrative about African cultures and their relationships with the rest of the world. 

Discover why Gillian and Rachel feel it's important to unlearn in order to accept the truth of an ever-evolving world, only at eurobest. 

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