iCreate Africa, building skills for the next generation of Nigerian youths.

Held in one of the vibrant cities of Nigeria, Lagos, by iCreate Africa, the iCreate Skill Fest is Africa’s biggest skills competition with over 2,500 people gathered to experience 80 skilled candidates compete at the National finals.

What went down at iCreate Skill Fest!

The two- day event featured 14 skilled trades varying from Construction, Creative Art & fashion, Technology, Educational Training Conference, the iCreate Skills Awards, and lots more. Out of the contestants, 13 ladies competed in cooking, fashion, art, carpentry, barbing and more, of which Mojisola Akin-Ademola emerged the only female gold medalist and Champion (top in her category, fashion).

As a way of curbing unemployment and empowering youth, the iCreate Skills competition is an innovative strategy designed to promote skills-trades professions amongst the youth as a means to bridge the skill gap, thereby boosting the economy.

The iCreate Skill Fest partnered with GIZ SKYE, Robert Bosch Nigeria Limited, Sterling Bank Plc, AGR Ltd, Siemens Nigeria Ltd., The Fashion Academy Abuja, Trace, House of Tara, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Society of Nigerian Artists, Soundcity, ULDA, Pedini, amongst many others.

The iCreate Skills Fest 2019 champions!

Emerging top in their category are, Ibraheem Ridwan (Carpentry), Christopher Olaniyi (Tiling), Miracle Olasoyin (robotics), Mojisola Akin-Ademola (Fashion), Ifedayo Emmanuel Bello (cooking), Emmanuel Abanobi (make-up), Kelvin Hassan (Barbing),

Oluwaseun Akanbi (Electrical installations), Chima Solomon (plumbing), Leonard Manzo (automobile technology), Toheeb Ogunbiyi (Website development), Precious Audu (graphic design), Lot Madaki (leatherworks), and Oluwaseun Akinlo (Art).

The Idea behind iCreate Africa

The Founder/CEO iCreate Africa, Bright Jaja aims to use iCreate Africa to create five million jobs in five years. Bright Jaja aims to rebrand the general perception of skilled workers and place more importance on technical and vocational skills through the skills fest. 

iCreate Skills Fest is a platform that promotes skills excellence, showcases skills standards and careers, demonstrates benchmarks of excellence in teaching and learning and creates interest in public sector agencies and private organizations to invest in skills development. Winners of the iCreate Skills Fest 2019 receive technical training from various partners.

"Nigeria is full of many talented, resilient and entrepreneurial young ladies but the society is not giving enough support to promote their endeavors." – Anne Dirkling, Director of partnership, iCreate Africa. Click To Tweet

The platform iCreate Africa has created for young female artisans, is paramount for gender equality and inclusive economic growth in the continent.

After recording huge success last year by hosting 4 competitions across four regions, directly empowering 180 skill trade professionals with startup capital and equipment.

iCreate Africa is creating a skills ecosystem and projecting skills in the mainstream, they are most convinced that the concept is a viable solution to curb youth unemployment and prepare the youth for the future of work.

Skills are the future of Nigeria! iCreate Africa urges the public to invest in skills and target the next generation of Nigerian youths. These youths will power the economy, across the world.

iCreate Africa,
Skills change lives.

5 Career Lessons Sho Madjozi Taught Us In 2019

If you have not heard of Sho Madjozi, you must be living under a rock. This year, the 27-year-old proud Tsonga ambassador from Limpopo solidified her spot as an international superstar with hits like John Cena.

While she’s been in the rap scene for barely 3 years, she’s found major success in a short time. This year, she won the Best New International Act category at the BET Awards, launched her first fashion collection in collaboration with Edgards, and got the world taking the #JohnCenaChallenge.


After learning all we could about Sho Madjozi’s career, here are 5 lessons all Motherland Moguls can apply to accelerate their career growth.

1. Use your strengths

Maya (Sho Madjozi’s legal name) has spent years honing and leveraging her writing skills to build a career for herself.

Whether she’s doing screenplays, poetry or rap, she understands her core strength and has used that to explore career paths including journalism, performance poetry and rap.

Develop your strengths and use them to build your career. When you bring something valuable to the table, you set yourself up for accelerated success.

2. Get involved in your community

Sho Madjozi has always used her talents to try to shape or change the community around her.

As a poet and journalist, she discussed racial identity and the effects of colonialism on the modern African. Now as a rapper, she promotes Tsonga culture and inspires young Africans to be proud of their roots.

How does that apply to you when you get to the office in the new year? Plug into the issues of your company, clients, customers and see how your talents can change things. Your involvement keeps you visible and valuable.

3. Collaborate with strategic partners

One major way Sho Madjozi accelerated her career growth this year was through her strategic partnership with Edgars. Through her collaboration with the retail brand, she launched her first clothing line at the same time as her album.

To reach your career goals, it’s always easier and faster to get some help. Seek out strategic partners within your network that will help you reach your business goals. A great start is to find a mentor.

4. Know your worth

In an interview with Africori, Sho Madjozi explains that African artists need to understand that they are very hot in the market right now and need to negotiate their value appropriately.

Understanding the value of your skills and experiences is important to accelerate your career.

"In Business As In Life – You Don't Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate" – Chester L. Karrass Click To Tweet

5. Bet on yourself

The most important to take away from Sho Madjozi’s hustle this year is to bet on yourself. Sho Madjozi’s success in the past year has been with no label support. She has continuously taken chances and invested in herself.

You must take swings and get out of your comfort zone to grow – volunteer to be team lead on a project, pitch that idea in your head, and start that side hustle!

What lessons will you use to SLAY your career in 2020?


SLAY Festival is coming to Joburg in 2020!

GET YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKETS NOW

The Millionaire Housewife’s rules for every side hustler

Whether you are looking to make some extra income or start a business while working, side hustling is no small feat. You must learn to balance your commitments, stay consistent and grow while you’re at it.

Temi Ajibewa, founder of The Millionaire Housewife Academy – an online platform that has helped over 5,000 women start their online businesses, shares her golden rules for side hustle success.


Rule 1: Discover Your Passion

Your passion could be an issue you feel strongly about or something you do effortlessly.

Side hustles based on passion tend to be more sustainable because you are self-motivated to go on even when things get tough.

If you are not sure what your passion is, here are 3 ways to get started:

  1. Look out for things you do well without incentives and recognition.
  2. Ask people who know you what they think you are passionate about.
  3. Consider problems people often ask you to solve because you find them easy to solve.

Rule 2: Turn Your Passion into Profit

Doing what you are passionate about is one thing. Knowing how to make money from your passion is a whole different ball game.

Here are 5 basic steps I teach my clients to monetize their passion.

1. Find the problem your passion solves

Your passion cannot bring you money unless it solves a specific human problem.

People may not pay you to get into heaven, but they will pay you to get out of hell – @temi_ajibewa Click To Tweet

For you to monetize your passion, you have to discover the hell your passion can get people out of. If you cannot find a hell, you might not have a monetizable passion. It is best as a hobby.

2. Find your money tribe

The next step to monetizing your passion is finding people who are willing and able to spend money on solutions to their problems. These people are your money tribe.

If you are not sure how to identify your money tribe, ask yourself this question – If I throw a concert, who will be first in line for tickets?

3. Turn your passion into a skill

To have a passion valued by other people, you must be able to do it competitively well. When this happens, your passion becomes a skill.

You can prune your passion by volunteering, learning through a mentor or taking online classes.

4. Create a product from your passion

Your passion must become a product or service for you to make money from it.

A great way to turn your passion into a product is by teaching people what you know for a fee. When I started to monetize The Millionaire Housewife Academy, I created e-books, DVDs and online classes to teach people what I knew about starting and growing an online business.

I always recommend starting off with digital products because they are easier to maintain and become lifelong assets people all over the world can buy.

People pay for products and services, not passions.

5. Promote your hustle

You must shamelessly promote your passion if you want to make money from it. 

You can’t afford to be shy if you want your passion to be more than a hobby. If you are nervous, start off by promoting your hustle to people in your network.


Price is only an issue where value is in dispute. Once people realize the value they’re getting from you, paying you becomes non-negotiable. It all starts with finding and monetizing your passion.

Learn more about how to start a successful online side hustle at The Millionaire Housewife Academy.

6 Things You Missed From SLAY Festival 2019

Warning: This article might leave you with a lot of FOMO. 

SLAY Festival went down on September 28 in Motherland Mogul history as the one that brought more madness!

While you can now enjoy the best of the festival with the SLAY Festival 2019 Digital Pass, there are a couple of IRL moments you might have missed.

Here is a list of everything you missed from #SLAYFestival2019. 


Anita Brows shared her secrets to the perfect look with Maybelline NY

No one could stop the makeup enthusiasts who wanted to see The Makeup Surgeon at work. Anita Brows shared her secrets to creating the perfect brows at the Maybelline Beauty Masterclass.

All attendees went home with exclusive Maybelline NY gift bags.


Google helped 50 Motherland Moguls shoot their shot with mentors

What would you ask if you got a chance to have lunch with your role model? 

Women Will, a Google initiative, gave 50 women the chance to connect and get advice from women in leadership across industries. Talk about a networking opportunity that will change your life!

The initiative also powered the Redesign Stage which brought in panelists like Akah Nnani, Fisayo Fosudo, Lola Masha, and Onyeche Tifashe.


Jemima Osunde gave fans a little bit of herself with Lux

Jemima Osunde came glowed up and hung out with her fans at the Lux Meet & Greet. Fans raved over the exclusive gift bags designed with Jemima’s face and free samples of Lux Even Complexion.  


Motherland Moguls secured the bag… literally  

Motherland Moguls got a headstart on their personal and professional finances. 

FSDH powered the Refresh Stage and brought in their experts to share investment advice and help Motherland Moguls open new investment accounts.

Get access to all Masterclasses from SLAY Festival 2019


Celebrities showed out for the fans

If you wanted to show out on the ‘gram, SLAY Festival was the place to be. 

Celebrities who came for this year’s festival included Smart Money Arese, Chigurl. Dimma Umeh, Juliet Ibrahim, Osas Ighodaro, Deyemi Okanlawon, Akah Nnani, the cast of Men’s Club (Ayoola Ayolola, Baaj Adebule, Efa Iwara, Daniel Etim Effiong), Mama Burna and more. 

Imara Africa Consulting hooked up the VIP and Speakers lounge where all celebrities and influencers stayed.


It. Was. Lit!  

SLAY Festival would be incomplete without the fun, food, and freebies!

Foodies found their haven with Maggi Nigeria‘s free jollof rice bar. Moms kicked back knowing their babies were in good hands with The Baby Lounge. No music lover left Vaseline’s Karaoke session with ashy skin.

Thrill-seeking Motherland Moguls enjoyed This Day’s funtopia featuring the bouncy castle. Molped got everyone hyped and competitive with the spinning wheel of freebies. Rexona had everyone swagged out and smelling right. 

MAX brought the ultimate photo booth for creating social media FOMO for that cool biker chick post. 54 Gene hooked it up with free reproductive health tests and educated attendees on the importance of early diagnosis in detecting cervical cancer.   

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Feeling the FOMO? Experience SLAY Festival 2019 with your LIFETIME digital pass. Get it here.

SHEAMOISTURE SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTHY LIVING QUEEN: LYNDA ODOH – CEO HEALTHIFY AFRICA

SheaMoisture is the enduring and beautiful legacy of Sofi Tucker. Widowed with five children at 19, Grandma Sofi supported her family by selling handcrafted shea butter soaps and other creations in the village market in Sierra Leone.

Sofi became known as a healer who shared the power of shea and African black soap with families throughout the countryside.

She handed down her recipes to grandson Richelieu Dennis, who founded SheaMoisture and incorporated her wisdom into the brand’s hair and skincare innovations.

SheaMoisture products and collections are formulated with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients, with the shea butter ethically-sourced from 15 co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of the company’s purpose-driven Community Commerce business model.

SheaMoisture has partnered with She Leads Africa to support and showcase Nigerian women who support their communities.

Meet Lynda Odoh

Lynda Odoh-Anikwe is the CEO and founder of Healthify Africa.

She is a Medical Doctor from the University of Nigeria and started Healthify Africa. Healthify Africa is an enterprise that strives to tackle the dietary risk factors for non-communicable diseases.

In the course of her daily interactions with patients, she realized that people were most driven by convenience and availability when making healthy lifestyle choices.

Lynda decided to start a fruit delivery service. She hopes this will create an enabling system for busy urban dwellers, to conveniently meet the World Health Organization’s daily fruit recommendation for a healthy life.

Her vision is to see an African continent where adopting a healthy lifestyle is easy, practical and sustainable.

You can connect with Lynda and her business on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Tell us how you started Healthify Africa.

When I began to practice as a medical doctor, I saw that there were so many instances of non-communicable diseases that could have been avoided by a simple dietary change.

I started Healthify Africa because I wanted to create a solution to the problem of non-communicable diseases. My goal with Healthify Africa is to address dietary risk factors.

I do this by providing a service that helps busy people adopt healthy eating habits. This is done through a simplified system and healthy lifestyle advocacy.

At Healthify Africa our focus is on increasing the consumption of fruits for busy urban dwellers through a delivery platform. By providing affordable fruit boxes, fruit cups, fruit and dip platter to school children, homes and offices, we’re building a healthier Africa one person at a time.

SheaMoisture

What was your motivation for finally starting your business?

For me, it was because I had been in similar situations and I understood the challenges people face in trying to adopt and sustain healthy dietary habits.

I grew up in a health-conscious family and I grew accustomed to having a very healthy diet. However, when I became a young adult and my schedule became tighter especially during my internship, it became extremely difficult to eat the right things.

It was a situation of knowing the right thing to do, but being unable to do it. I knew then that there must be other busy young people like me, men, women and even mothers who wanted their children eating fruits but were pressed for time as I was.

"I realized that just like myself, people were most empowered by convenience and availability rather than just knowledge." – dr_lyndah Click To Tweet

That for me was a huge community need that I passionately wanted to see addressed. So I made the decision to become the change I desired by creating an enabling platform. A platform that supports healthy food choices so as to help myself and others with the same challenge.

What makes your brand stand out?

Healthify Africa is not just another food company, that caters to only satisfying hunger. Instead, my brand is particularly focused on ensuring that everyone has access to the daily consumption of 400g of fruits, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).


The vision is to create a world where healthy eating is most practical and the dietary risks of non-communicable diseases reduced to the barest minimum.

That, as well as our commitment to healthy lifestyle advocacy, has been a huge attraction for our clients because they can see it.

SheaMoisture

What are three things you struggled with when your business kicked off and how did you overcome them?

When I first started my business, a lot of people did not understand what we were trying to do and that equated to zero orders. We had to create a lot of awareness about the health benefits of patronizing our convenience-based service.

Also, through our follow-up and feedback system, we tried to encourage our clients to make referrals and this has continued to help our brand.

Secondly, being a fruit delivery service, food hygiene, presentation and safety during transit were some of my topmost priorities. It was a challenge finding the ideal packaging that met all the criteria and would still fit into our production cost.

I did my online research and eventually was able to find a reliable supplier that we now work with.

SheaMoisture

Finally, it was important that our fruit packs get delivered in a cold temperature range for a great client experience. This was a challenge when we had to deliver long-distance orders. This was an issue because there is currently no thermostat equipped delivery services operating in Abuja where we operate from.

To overcome this, we currently partner with a reliable express delivery service and improvise with ice packs in the chillers for long-distance deliveries. Hopefully, in the near future, we can have our very own thermostat equipped delivery bikes.

How do you stay above the noise in your industry?

We made sure to implement a system of receiving and acting on feedback, from early on in the business so that we know what exactly our clients want and tweak our approach to offer them that.

This has been really helpful in building a business that our clients love and customer retention as well.

Did you have any personal experience that taught you a business lesson?

Before I started my business, I had a few unpleasant experiences with logistics. On one occasion, I was to make a trip and I had made an earlier arrangement with a cab driver. However, on the morning of the trip, he was a no show, which made me have to find another one. To cut the long story short, I ended missing the bus I was to get on.

When I began my business, I took that experience with me and created a better delivery structure. I ensure that all delivery arrangements are made on time to avoid communication-related challenges. As a second step, I also make backup plans to ensure that I don’t disappoint my clients.

SheaMoisture

Can you tell us of any impact have you made in your community since you started your business?

As a medical doctor, I am really passionate about helping people live healthier lives and I made sure to infuse this into my business.

Through my brand, I have been able to raise awareness about the prevention of non-communicable diseases. Also, we have encouraged people to sustain a healthy lifestyle by organizing health and fitness challenges.

Most recently, we actively participated in the 2019 global week for action against Non-Communicable diseases. We engaged in a social media awareness campaign (#enoughNCDs #healthifyafrica) and an educational video series with a team of Doctors.

It is of great value to me that my clients are enlightened and empowered to make the right decisions for their health. – dr_lyndah Click To Tweet

Can you share your 2019 goals with us and what you’ve done so far to achieve them?

Since we had already introduced our business, our 2019 goal was to broaden our client base. Our method was to strictly implement feedback from clients. Also, we started building partnerships that will ensure quality product delivery and unforgettable customer experience.

After doing this for some time this year, we have recorded an increase in the number of clients that have requested for our service. This is something we are going to keep doing since it’s bringing positive results.

We believe it has laid a great foundation for more successes with so many growth possibilities ahead and we are optimistic about that.

What are three interesting things about you?

The first is that I love DIY’s. I have actually painted my room from start to finish on two different occasions just for the fun of it. The last is that I love the power bikes but I’m too scared to get one yet.

SheaMoisture

What’s your favorite self-care routine?

I like to get soaked in a warm bath after a stressful day. I simply light my candles and toss in some petals. After that, I take a mental trip to wherever the CALM Meditation App takes me to, preferably the waterside.

How do you feel about this opportunity to promote your brand on SLA, sponsored by SheaMoisture?

I feel absolutely ecstatic! When I first saw the email from SLA and SheaMoisture, I was so excited. I had to read it over and over again to make sure it was really for me. Thank you so much She Leads Africa and SheaMoisture for this opportunity.

What is one word that should come to people’s minds when they think about your product/ services?

Authentic!

You can find SheaMoisture products at Youtopia Beauty stores nationwide and on Jumia.


Sponsored Post

SheaMoisture Spotlight on Hospitality Queen: Frances Omanukwue – CEO Pro Event Hostess Hub

SheaMoisture is the enduring and beautiful legacy of Sofi Tucker. Widowed with five children at 19, Grandma Sofi supported her family by selling handcrafted shea butter soaps and other creations in the village market in Sierra Leone.

Sofi became known as a healer who shared the power of shea and African black soap with families throughout the countryside.

She handed down her recipes to grandson Richelieu Dennis, who founded SheaMoisture and incorporated her wisdom into the brand’s hair and skin care innovations.

SheaMoisture products and collections are formulated with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients, with the shea butter ethically-sourced from 15 co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of the company’s purpose-driven Community Commerce business model.

SheaMoisture has partnered with She Leads Africa to support and showcase Nigerian women who support their communities.

About Frances Omanukwue

Frances N. Omanukwue has over seven years’ experience as an Event Hostess and Event Coordinator.

She is also the author of “Becoming A Profitable Event Hostess” which is the first event hostess book in Nigeria.

After seeing the potentials in the event hostess industry and how young ladies can maximize this opportunity to be financially independent while bridging the unemployment gap, she started empowering young ladies through event hostess jobs.

To increase the number of young ladies who will benefit from this opportunity, Frances founded “The Pro Event Hostess Hub,” a social media platform to groom young ladies who will not only attain a level of financial independence but most importantly, will be hostesses that abide by the ethics of the industry.

Recently, The Pro Event Hostess Hub was nominated amongst the top 15 Most Creative Businesses in Nigeria by Global Entrepreneurship Network-Nigeria.

Frances interests range from entrepreneurship to volunteering. In her spare time, she loves to volunteer for many causes that cut across health and young women empowerment.

Frances tells us more about how she started providing jobs and supporting young women in her community.

Connect with Frances on her Website, Instagram, & Twitter…


How I started thePro Event Hostess hub…

After graduating from the university and not being able to find a job, coupled with encountering some financial challenges on the home front, I decided to look for ways to survive as well as support my family.

At the time, I started working as an event hostess which is what most people refer to as an usher.

As I grew in the industry irrespective of the setbacks, I observed how the money I earned over the years had helped my family especially my siblings in paying for tuition and fees, as well as sorting out their personal needs. 

With this realization, I started linking more young women within my community to event hostess jobs.

Over time, they’d come to tell me how the opportunity had helped them to pay for school fees or sort their other financial challenges in school, learn a trade and are about to start a business. Seeing the difference it made in their lives, I decided to take it more seriously so that by doing so, I can help other young women irrespective of their location.

How I’ve impacted my community since starting this business…

So far, I’ve been able to link more than 100 young women to event hostess jobs which they have used to raise money to support themselves in school, learn skills and start businesses of their own.

Some have also used this opportunity to learn skills that helped them get into corporate employment as well.

3 things I struggled with at the start of my business…

  1. Understanding how to structure the business: I struggled with this in the beginning but I started going for training and I have definitely gotten better since then.
  2. Training existing and new event hostesses: It wasn’t easy to convince them to go through the training process at first, but from the feedback and results of other ladies who have attended our training, others can now see the benefit of it.
  3. Business Acceptance: Initially, I struggled with convincing people to accept my brand. However, through constantly promoting our work, more people are starting to understand and value the importance and benefits of event hostessing.

3 interesting facts about myself…

  • I am naturally an introvert but people think otherwise.
  • I love driving and playing video games.
  • Learning about new things excites me a lot.

My fave skin, hair care product…

Shea butter

A message to SheaMoisture & She Leads Africa…

I am really excited and grateful to She Leads Africa and SheaMoisture for providing a platform where women can showcase their businesses and how they impact their communities.

You can find SheaMoisture products at Youtopia Beauty stores nationwide and on Jumia.


Sponsored Post.

5 Simple Tips To Improving Your Career in Any Sector

The fourth industrial revolution (4th IR) has many of us in a bit of a tizzy! Because we either do not know how we can keep our skills up to date in our various industry.

Or we are not sure whether we will have jobs once the full-on 4th IR movement takes over.

I would like to zone in on the financial sector, as we have seen cases of some big banks letting staff go in a bid to drive up efficiencies.

They also do this to give a customer-centric offering to their clientele and to meet their shifting expectations.

Gone are the days when your study designation has to be finance-related before you can get a job in the financial sector,

You can acquire both soft and critical skills in various other disciplines such as digital innovation, social media, digital marketing, communications, and PR.

In fact, the list is relatively exhaustive, a simple Google search should have myriad options pop out for you.

We are moving away from the era of traditional disciplines and working in jobs that require only one thing from you.

Now more than before, it works to your advantage to be savvy and knowledgeable in systems outside your focus area.

This not only makes you invaluable as an employee but challenges you to grow sis.

We are right on the cusp of digitization and the move for a business to be tech or digital-first, as more customers want to services rendered at the customer’s convenience.

Technological developments in the 4th IR do not necessarily have to translate into job losses and retrenchments in the financial sector, but rather encourage us to think about how we can collaborate and create better solutions to marry human activity with artificial intelligence.

As individuals, the following tips will ensure that not only do you remain competitive in your sector but that you are agile enough to move along with your organization as it expands and moves away from traditional modes of conducting business.

1. Never Stop Learning

You know that saying that says if you’re the most intelligent person in the room, move to another one?

You can never reach the point of ‘knowing it all’ continue advancing yourself and applying your knowledge base, even if it is through short courses. Stay learning, stay on top of your A-Game

2. Identify and Connect with Influencers in your Industry

Nothing beats learning from titans of industry. Identify someone within your business unit that you can shadow or learn on-the-job capabilities from.

This will put you in good stead should you want to take your shot at a different position within the team.

3. Show up for yourself.

Sis, be on time and put in the work. Most importantly, when you have gotten a seat at the table, make your voice heard, do not cower behind self-doubt or allow the dreadful imposter syndrome to cripple you.

Show up for yourself sis, be on time, put in the work. And most importantly, when you have gotten a seat at the table, make your voice heard, do not cower behind self-doubt or allow the dreadful imposter syndrome to cripple you.

4. Create a personal and professional development plan.

Ensure that you have your PBOB (personal board of directors) holding you accountable to keep on smashing those goals out the park!

5. Remember to self-care.

Everybody knows that fatigue ain’t one bit cute. Take time out to do things that rejuvenate your soul and genuinely bring you joy.

You can never underestimate the importance of rebooting in this fast-paced world that we live in.


Go out there babe, and be the corporate maven (or entrepreneurial queen) you know you are and secure the bag! Join the SLA #SecureTheBag challenge.

The Tech and STEM pioneer of Botswana

The goal is to have a national coding competition where all the students will come to Gaborone and showcase their projects. 

Captain Kgomotso Phatsima is best known in Botswana for her pioneering work as one of the few women pilots in the country. Her career began in the military, and she diligently worked her way up to becoming a real force to be reckoned with. 

Captain Phatsima’s work as a pilot and her passion for youth development led her to discover that there were very few girls who were adept at – or even interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which are key for the aerodynamics space.

Not only are STEM subjects integral for becoming a pilot, or engaging in the aerospace industry, they are also essential for the development of human capital and the future of business in Botswana, Africa, and the world.

She founded the Dare to Dream Foundation (of which she is the President) in 2008 which deals with the advancement of youth, women and girls in STEM, aviation and aerospace as well as entrepreneurship development, with the intention to get young people interested in STEM-preneurship and the aviation and aerospace business.

Connect with Kgomotso Phatsima and her business on social media.


Why I founded Dare to Dream…

When I was growing up, I never had the chance to sit like this with a pilot or get into an airplane until I had the chance to fly one.

After I qualified as a pilot, I sat down and thought: ‘What can I do to give the upcoming generation – especially those who grew up in a village, like me – an opportunity to do that?’.

I started Dare to Dream to give back to the community and to try and open up their eyes to opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.

On the ‘barrier’ to girls’ entry into STEM & traditionally ‘female/male-dominated’ subjects…

I will talk about myself and my own experience here.

When I told my parents that I want to fly and be a pilot, my mother said ‘In our time, a girl could never fly a plane. You cannot be a soldier!’

Sometimes it goes back to our upbringing and the culture. A girl must be domestic, and boys also have prescribed activities.

So we separate ourselves from engaging in these things. The same mindset goes on to say that ‘Some things are hard, and are only for men’, like piloting or engineering.

With some of our families, their backgrounds are what can hinder the involvement of girls in certain subjects and limit girls to certain careers.

But as the times and technologies change, and with other women and organizations such as ours showing that it’s possible, there is more of an acceptance that you can be and do anything you want.

Is Africa / Botswana in a good position to keep up with the world’s “breakneck’ speed?

I think so because the demographic dividend of the youth in Africa indicates that young people make up most of Africa at 60 percent.

I think that the whole of Africa is at a good advantage to participate in the technological changes that are taking place right now.

There are a lot of young people who are interested in technology. I also think that Batswana are in a good position to take advantage of what is happening.

We just need to channel the youth in the right direction to take advantage of the technological era, and prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the businesses of tomorrow, which will be different from the businesses of today.

How Botswana (and Africa) can prepare for ‘The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)’…

In other African countries such as Rwanda, you’ll find that coding and robotics are taught in schools and they are part of the curriculum.

Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa stated that coding will be taught in schools. We in Botswana are a little slower in catching on to these developments.

At Dare to Dream, we partnered with Airbus to sponsor 1,500 students across the country in rural places and trained them in robotics in order to prepare them for 4IR.

We need to channel the youth in the right direction to take advantage of the technological era and prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – @KPhatsima Click To Tweet

It was also important that they know that there are careers in the aerospace industry that are STEM-related that they can take advantage of.

We are looking forward to partnering with the Ministry of Education, but there have been some delays, which I hope will be overcome in the future.

Dare to Dream’s most engaged stakeholders…so far…

We have engaged Airbus and also partnered with Botswana Innovation Hub, the University of Botswana and Botswana International University for Science and Technology – BIUST.

BIUST created an initiative to encourage young girls to get into STEM subjects because they realized that the number of girls applying for these subjects was low. They had called 100 girls from Central District schools to participate. 

We form partnerships with organizations with the same mandate as us. For example, Debswana is interested in the 4IR and getting young people engaged in it, so we have partnered with them and they have assisted us to roll out our programs.

We have also done work with Major Blue Air, who own planes. The girls get a chance to get onto the planes, and I fly the children.

It’s not just about STEM, it’s about exposing the girls to new experiences and igniting the passion within them. There are other organizations doing work in the same area, and we are looking forward to also having them on board.

There is something very powerful about collaboration.

We have also recently partnered with EcoNet, who have chosen me to lead the Youth Development Programme in coding and entrepreneurship.

What we are doing differently is that we are teaching the kids how to code and build websites, but also entrepreneurship and leadership skills. We have enrolled the first 500 participants and we are starting in July this year. 

The role Dare to Dream is playing in the conversation (and action!) towards Africa’s readiness for 4IR…

Even though we have trained 1 500 students, we realized that there is a gap with the teachers, and so we are preparing to train teachers in order to fill that gap.

After going around the country and doing work in 40 schools, I realized that the teachers themselves don’t know about 4IR, coding or robotics. Coding isn’t part of our curriculum at the moment; only a few schools have robotics kits, but they don’t know how to use them.

So, then we pulled in Debswana and other sponsors to train the teachers for a week at the University of Botswana. From there, the teachers will go back to their respective schools and train the students.

The goal is to have a national coding competition where all the students will come to Gaborone and showcase their projects. 

How young African women can be a part of The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)…

We want young people to solve African problems using technology – @KPhatsima Click To Tweet

Also, we want to teach them that they can look around for themselves, and identify where the problems are, and create devices and apps to overcome them, and make money out of them.

The fact that we are training teachers and students is a good step because we are pushing them towards appreciating the importance of 4IR and the power of technology in building businesses.


Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories, from one of Africa’s poorest countries to a vibrant, developed, middle-income African state.

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Catherine Lesetedi: Botswana’s Boss Woman

Botswana

Catherine Lesetedi is a graduate of Statistics from the University of Botswana. She has built a career in the insurance industry since she joined it in 1992. Currently, Catherine is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL).

She has built her career from scratch, and over the years, she has been adamant that adopting a flexible style of leadership is beneficial for leading an organization and getting the best out of her team.

Her career so far…

Looking at Lesetedi’s career, nothing about her story and her leadership principles and philosophies are ‘textbook’. Her style of leadership is pliable and acrobatic. It lends itself to whatever situation she and her team are in.

She’s extremely driven, open and open-minded, preferring to lead from behind, pushing her team forward, encouraging their gifts and honoring their intellect, allowing them to innovate, to grow and give to the business what she cannot.

Catherine maximizes on their strengths and makes sure that wherever there are gaps, there are people who are passionate, willing and able to execute and fill them.

Her journey there…

There is nothing predictable about Catherine Lesetedi. Even her choice of Statistics as a field to study at the University of Botswana (UB) was a bit of a wild card, even for her.

She describes it saying, “when we were making choices about what to study at varsity, we didn’t really know much about careers, to be honest with you, I didn’t know anything about Statistics until I got to the Department of Student Placement at the Ministry of Education.”

“I was late; my father and I had run out of fuel. By the time we arrived, I was out of breath, and I had forgotten my initial course choices. My brother, who I really admired, had studied Public Administration and Political Science, and that’s what I wanted.”

“They said that that weird combination didn’t exist, and told me that I was going to do Statistics and Demography.”


“If you think something is difficult, it becomes really difficult. If you think you can do it, sometimes you even surprise yourself.”
– Catherine Lesetedi,
CEO, BIHL Group

Her life experiences…

She studied Statistics at the University of Botswana, and even though her journey into that field was incidental, once there, she made the best of her situation, excelled and gleaned many things that she took forward with her into the rest of her life.

Certain experiences and her mindset set the stage for her early career and propelled her forward.

According to her, “in terms of decision-making, logical thinking, the confidence, and aptitude to learn; the program grounded me.”

“I may not use the formulas every day, but there are skills that I gained that I apply on a daily basis, even if I don’t recognize that ‘this is Statistics.”

The mathematical element empowered her to be able to engage with budgets and numbers, and not shy away from that aspect of whichever job she did.

Her philosophies for life…

All of the disciplines in the world are interrelated, so having a good understanding of what is going on across the board is beneficial for one; especially if a young woman wants to build herself up and build her career.

This is something she practices herself because, throughout the course of her career, she has gradually improved upon her leadership skills, attending leadership courses and taking on the responsibility of self-improvement.

Doing this has encouraged her to take a deeper look at herself; what drives her and pushes her beyond her own limitations. This outlook has put her in good stead as a leader, as someone who encourages others, ensuring that they are able to get the best out of what they need to do.

As a mentor, both personally and professionally, the story that she tells, the
example that she sets, is one of “show up and do your best.”

Ms. Lesetedi is big on recognizing talent and putting it to good use within the BIHL Group. These are some of the elements that make her up as a woman, as a leader, and these are some of the things that she has imparted to her mentees.


Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories, from one of Africa’s poorest countries to a vibrant, developed, middle-income African state.

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Think, plan and intentionally work towards your career goals: Jane Egerton-Idehen

Jane Egerton-Idehen is the founder of womenncareers. A platform that supports women globally in growing their careers through career advice, practical tips, tools and resources from different female executives

She is an accomplished Executive of thriving divisions within two Fortune 500 firms, as well as an advisor, spokesperson, and board member of nonprofit organizations.

Jane Egerton-Idehen is also an expert in the Telecommunication industry with over seventeen years of experience. She is currently the country manager Nigeria for an international satellite company, Avanti communications limited.

Recently she was celebrated as one of Nigeria’s “50 Leading Ladies in Corporate Nigeria” by Leading Ladies Africa. She has an MBA from the University of Warwick and an Executive Education from Havard Business School.

In this article, SLA contributor Anwuli speaks to Jane Egerton-Idehen as she talks about her impact on young women as she’s helping them in their career growth.


“Your career is a marathon and not a race so don’t beat yourself up” – @nk_amadi Click To Tweet

Since founding Women and Careers, what unique challenges have you helped women tackle in their growing careers?

Since starting Women and Careers, we have seen a lot of awareness about issues facing women as they grow their career.

Most women in their mid-careers, are seeking skills and a support system to help them grow their careers while they manage their home and family. While the single ladies are seeking to combine a career with building family relations and obligations.

I have noticed that most women in the early part of their career need guidance and some form of mentoring to guide them as they grow. To consciously invest in developing themselves and maneuvering the dynamics of the office place.

These challenges form a wide spectrum from like microaggression at work to lacking sponsorships for leadership roles.

We also have the impact of the patriarch in the workplace and society at large. There are also common ones like work-life balance.

I recognize that we need to talk more about these issues, share our stories and support each other through the journey

What level of progress has Women and Careers achieved in reaching out to women globally?

Since officially starting in 2017, Women and career has taken our passion to a larger audience. Our passion is to support women to grow their careers and encourage young girls to start one.

We have touched a lot of lives through our events and activities. We also celebrate a lot of women who are successfully paving a way in their fields no matter how unpopular those sectors or industries are.

WomenNcareers has worked with outside organizations to discuss these challenges women are facing bringing awareness to them and making sure relevant stakeholders are involved to support in addressing these issues.

We have co-sponsored events like TEDXAjegunle women, Sozo Networks Before I Turn 18 program for teenagers. To reach out to women and young girls in underserved areas.

We have just finished a mentoring program for young female undergraduates at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa Ghana.

Our hope is that this can inspire and motivate a lot of women to work their paths as well.

What kind of support would women starting their careers in STEM fields need from professionals in the field?

Firstly Organizations need to be more deliberate about the pipeline problem especially in STEM fields.

Data shows that women are still underrepresented at the entry levels. This requires that companies relook at their hiring process.

A study by Women Matter states that;

Men are often hired and promoted based on their potential, while women are often hired and promoted based on their track record. This may be particularly acute for women at the start of their careers when their track records are relatively short.

Secondly, we noticed a lot of leakages when it comes to female talent in the STEM fields. Women starting their careers in the industry need a lot of support from the organizations they work to ensure they grow their careers in the field.

Quite a lot of them leave the field when they start getting married and probably having kids. One of the main challenges is managing their young family with the continuously demanding professional life.

Organizations can consider flexible working hours. They can consider maternity and post-maternity policies that are supportive of such women.

I would also recommend women in this phase seek a lot of support from loved ones and seek mentors that can guide them to navigate this phase.

Metaphorically I would relate the discussion about Women in STEM fields to what Charles Blow, an American Journalist for the New York Times, once said;

It requires that you fight on two fronts; trying to reduce the size of the hill and climbing the hill – Jane Egerton-Idehen

This is how I have always felt about women who try to grow their careers in the STEM fields.

I have come to acknowledge that it is a constant battle to have this. With all the challenges, they must face, it feels like climbing a hill.

It needs to be recognized that we ( Policymakers, Corporate organizations, etc) need to reduce the hill for women who in the past century have started to branch into these fields where the rules of engagement were created with male folks in mind.

What lessons can other women take from your journey when they feel discouraged?

I would say “your career is a marathon and not a race so don’t beat yourself up”. Life will throw you curveballs, There will be highs and lows. There will be upward movement and sometimes lateral career moves. Learn to keep pushing forward no matter what.

Invest in your personal development, as you grow and become better your confidence increases, you become more valuable to your organization or industry. – @nk_amadi Click To Tweet

Be in the driver seat when it comes to your career. Most times we look for a boss, organization, etc to cart our career path.

We should learn to intentionally think, plan and work towards our career goals.

How do you effectively combine work, pursuing your passion and the home front?

Whatever we feed or spend time in, grows. One of the secrets is daring to be bad at somethings and not feeling guilty about it.

Decide what is of priority to you. Focus your time on things that are of priority. That for me is key.

Also learn to seek support, delegate or outsource activities that are less important or impactful. This will free up time for family, work and your passion.


Missed our Facebook Live on August 22nd on how to drive social change through your business/career? Click here to watch here.