2009 Speakers

Amabel "Belle" Nima

Amabel Niba is the Editor In Chief of African Vibes Magazine, a glossy general interest lifestyle magazine she founded in 2006 to counter the negative stereotypes about Africa and Africans perpetrated by mainstream media.

The publication reaches across the borders of national origin to engage bicultural individuals who have a desire to stay connected to Africa through stories that are hopeful, inspiring, educational and motivating.

When she first came to the United States from Africa as a teenager 14 years ago, she found herself embarrassed by her heritage. Africa was portrayed as a dark place with endless wars, disease, poverty and strife. Her country, Cameroon, didn't stray too far from the stereotype yet she knew Africa's story was broader than the negative but had nowhere to turn for reinforcement. Being one who believed very much in taking action where action was needed, Niba tasked herself to represent that missing voice and the African Vibes Magazine was created.

Early this year, Niba continued that journey and launched a new initiative called the "I Wear African" campaign to promote contemporary Africa inspired fashions and designers. She also put together an initiative called the Village Effort, which she plans to use to garner support for charities that promote sustainable development in Africa by rallying the magazine's subscribers behind the cause.

She holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Information Systems from Devry University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Keller Graduate School of Management. She recently participated in Standford University's Diversity Fellowship Program for Magazine Publishers with industry professionals from all over the world to investigate the publishing industry crisis and identify a new business model for the industry.

Despite her hectic schedule, Niba makes time to motivate young women and students and has been invited by Devry University on multiple occasions to speak at events such as Devry University's HerWorld event; a strategic initiative of the University to increase the number of females enrolled in non-traditional university programs, as well as Devry University's commencement ceremonies for Graduate and undergrad students. She was one of 6 recipients of Devry University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.

She has been on NPR to discuss education; Voice of America's Straight Talk Africa to discuss unbiased journalism; LA Watts Times and Our weekly to talk about the Village Effort among other media interviews. She writes a regular column in the African Vibes Magazine called "From the Heart" which carries positive messages to readers of the magazine. It is her belief that people need a source of empowerment and motivation to better cope with the day to day challenges we all face in our lives but ultimately it is the choices an individual makes and the actions they do or do not take that will make the difference.