She Leads Africa

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Ok, so Beyonce happened this weekend and apparently so did the Super Bowl! I don’t know who has fully recovered from it because none of my social media feeds have. That’s the Beyonce effect. I mean she has me wanting to eat at Red Lobster and I live in South Africa??!! Do they deliver?

Apart from the epic dance moves that I need to start practising, I think there is something we can learn as business-minded women from the event!

1. Let’s get information

Education and self development are important for us as women, especially in these days where almost every company/ institution/ government wants to be seen to be progressive by empowering the women in their societies. There are so many free learning opportunities that exist we have to look around us and take advantage of them- especially in tech and business management.If you can’t find free, look for cheap, but credible courses. We can find Chanel on the low low so lets channel that to finding Harvard learning on a budget. MIT has free online course materials; you won’t get a degree but it does boost your confidence.

Beyonce did an interview looking back at her 2013 halftime show and she said “part of the reason I rehearse so much and part of the reason I study everything is so that I can completely let go and relax, so I am not in my head and I am confident.”

Be like Beyonce and study as much as you can so when opportunities arise, you are confident to put your hand up in that meeting! You should lean all the way in!

2. Let’s see that coordination

How dope were the black panther women in their fros and leather ensembles? Wouldn’t you love to have seen Beyonce in an afro? I have read some interesting articles for and against Beyonce’s support of the black panthers.

I won’t get into the political debate, but I think we need to look at collaboration and coordination within the black community. It’s an open secret that black women have challenges working together. I have heard this story endlessly and have been a victim of black on black discrimination.

On 31 January 2016, thousands of black girls gathered in Johannesburg in a celebration of ‘militancy, magic and melanin’. I think the mobilization was great, the atmosphere electric – but my only criticism is there was no formation around a common goal. For example, we have to support black owned businesses or actively connect college black girls to career black women so as to help us survive the jedi mind tricks of corporate culture. Prime example, Beyonce gave a shout out to Red Lobster and their year to date sales went up by 33%??!! 

Beyonce said, “prove to me you got some coordination.” This reminds of a picture posted by Ava Durvenay of 3 little girls with their afros holding hands. The caption of that picture read, “if there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”  I think this challenge of working with other black girls comes from the ‘just enough’ mentality we were raised with. In our homes, there were just enough resources and we’ve transferred this mentality to our work. We think there is just enough ‘shine’, that the “enemy” is onto us, so they reserve only 1 spot for us at the 18 seater table, and we all clamour for it.

We don’t have to play by those rules anymore, especially if we play together! Come on, lets twirl on the haters together, it’s better for optics!

3. Slay…consistently

I think this is pretty self explanatory. Beyonce is a lot of things, but consistency is probably number 2 on the infinite list. She was on hiatus for almost a year, but when she hit that stage, it was like she never left. Be known for your craft and excellence: ” You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making!”.

Beyonce sparked something. We have to keep the flame burning so we can afford tickets to her Formation World Tour.

Side note to Beyonce: Africa is a part of the world, so don’t be planning world tours and excluding us! We are not represented by our colonisers in France and Britain. You need to come by and see us!

That said, I think black girls in Africa should start a petition for Beyonce to bring her tour to Johannesburg. Ok, now ladies lets get in formation!

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