Nallah B. Sangaré: Becoming a global makeup artist and beauty brand

Nallah B. Sangaré is a self-taught makeup artist and beauty expert who doesn’t shy away from any bold coloured or textured fabric, accessory or makeup look. Though born and raised in France, she is a deeply rooted Motherland Mogul with her father originally from Ivory Coast and her mother from Mali.

For six years, she was the International Trainer for MAC Cosmetics sub-Saharan Africa initially based in Lagos, Nigeria and then Nairobi, Kenya travelling across the region from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa recruiting and training African makeup artists.

Nallah has also become a stylist, a creative director and has also evolved into an entrepreneur. She explores other industry segments including managing African models through her pan-African company Papillon.

What motivated you to join the beauty industry and how did you get started?

I have had an unusual journey. My background is in science and international business. After my bachelor’s in Business in the UK, I didn’t know what I wanted so I decided to shift to the business of Beauty and Luxury. My goal was to explore the beauty field in its entirety while maintaining my background.

I started in department stores for Givenchy so I could learn about skin fragrances and that experience revealed my makeup skills. Then I worked for several skincare brands, in wellness and trained in hairstyling. I learnt mostly on the job.

Afterwards, I was recruited by MAC cosmetics and went from a makeup artist at the counter to one of the very few black managers at their biggest store in the world on the Champs Elysées. When MAC launched in the African market, I applied to be the International Trainer for the sub-Saharan region.

I always had a love for beauty but never knew I could have a career in it as I wasn’t girly despite my sense of style.

The magical part is that with your hands and your kit this job has no boundaries – Nallah B. Sangare Click To Tweet

You started off as a makeup artist but have grown into a fully-fledged creative in the beauty industry. What motivated you to diversify and why would you say the growth was vital?

I wanted a full understanding of the field. I also realized that I wasn’t limited to one aspect and I could express my full vision in a project which has been important in bringing out exactly what I have in mind.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

As self-taught, it would be my role as International Trainer where I shared my knowledge and inspired African talents and worked on Mercedes Benz Fashion weeks. I also took part in projects to extend foundation and skincare lines for darker skin.

Look by Nallah B. Sangare. Source: Instagram


What has been your most challenging professional experience?

I would say working with Givenchy. I struggled with their idea of oppressing my sense of style and their idea of polishing me to their western standards of slick and straight hair & no accessories.

Do you have mentors in the industry?

Many people, cultures and landscapes inspire me. But if I have to pick one I would say makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur Danessa Myricks.

You can be a makeup artist at the counter of a department store or like I have been, an artist at a photoshoot in the middle of the Serengeti- Nallah B. Sangare Click To Tweet


Tell us about the available work opportunities for makeup artists.

From cinema to entertainment, they are so vast. You can be a makeup artist at the counter of a department store or like I have been, an artist at a photoshoot in the middle of the Serengeti with a Kenyan Victoria’s Secret model or designing the look for a Kenyan musical play that played on Broadway.

The magical part is that with your hands and your kit this job has no boundaries.

Do you have a signature look?

Yes, because I’ve gathered knowledge on skin and styling, I can say my craft has a 360-degree vision. I love beautiful glowy skin with freckles which brings out more realness. I also have a special love for colour and boldness.

Look by Nallah B. Sengare. Source: Instagram

Working on the African continent, I have developed the use of Afropointilism and Afrobohemian concepts. Afropointilism points to the use of tribal makeup from sub-Saharan tribes. The name is coined from pointillism, due to its similarity with the painting technique using dots discovered through Vincent Van Gogh. It is a great mark of our heritage in different African cultures.

In Afrobohemian, I fuse different traditional beauty ornaments from scarifications to body painting to show the paradox of similarity while expressing singularity. I also paint the African map on the eye to express my vision of the Motherland.

As a Beauty Educator, what influence does your work have on today’s African woman?

The makeup classes I give include knowledge about skin, hair and styling that enable professional makeup-artists and women to work on their image individually or in a group.

I incorporate self-love and self-confidence coaching as well as modules for African women to understand the history of our beauty and the specifics of our cultures.

What are your top 3 tips for young African women aspiring to be makeup artists?

  1. Be passionate and dedicated to your craft by practising. Maximise the opportunity to learn from mentors.
  2. Be patient when it comes to developing your personal artistic style.
  3. Love what you do.

5 Ways to Improve your Reproductive Health

As women, we take our reproductive health seriously. With our periods coming in every month, a lot of us are faced with a lot of discomfort and irritation. In the long run, this paves the way for disruptions to our daily lives.

While taking a painkiller and/or using a hot water bottle may work for many women, it is not as simple for some of us because we may suffer from the following disorders:

  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Depending on the severity of the disorder, we can experience symptoms before, during and after our monthly menstrual cycles. This makes it hard for us to function optimally in our daily lives and careers.


If you suffer from a reproductive health disorder, here are some tips to help improve your reproductive health so it doesn’t affect the world:

Consult a doctor

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexual and reproductive health problems are responsible for one-third of health issues for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years.

The first step in taking charge of your sexual and reproductive health is to consult a medical doctor and get professional help. This will help you diagnose and find a solution for your disorder.

Learn as much as you can

The best way to achieve better reproductive health is to learn as much as you can about your disorder. Click To Tweet


A healthy you can only make you more productive and successful. The best way to achieve better reproductive health is to learn as much as you can about your disorder. This includes knowing all the do’s and don’ts and what short term and long-term treatments are most advisable.

Consult your doctor and also do some in-depth research on the best diets, treatment, herbal remedies and exercise regiments. The more you know, the better.

Use an ovulation calendar app


An ovulation calendar helps you track your period. Knowing when your period starts, helps you plan your work in time and meet deadlines.

With an ovulation calendar, you are able to take note of inconsistencies with your monthly period, note your symptoms, the heaviness of your menstruation flow, mood and the kind of vaginal discharge at different times.

Ovulation calendar apps are available on the Android and IOS App stores.

Talk about your disorder with your manager or co-workers


This may seem rather daunting and uncomfortable, but disclosing your disorder to your manager or co-worker(s) benefits you. Through discussion with your team and disclosing your symptoms, you can discuss available options such as working from home on certain days, negotiating your hours for certain days of the month or moving your deadlines to earlier days so that your work does not suffer.

This may seem daunting, but disclosing your disorder to your manager or co-worker(s) benefits you. Click To Tweet

Talking about menstruation and reproductive health should not be a taboo. The more women talk about reproductive health, the more people get to know about the different issues they face.

Don’t be hard on yourself

A healthy you is a productive and successful you. It’s okay to rest when you need to. It’s also okay to ask for help from your co-workers and/or business partners when your health impacts your work.


For more articles to help you get ahead in your personal life, business and career, visit SheLeadsAfrica.org

What it takes to run a bridal wear brand – Ogake Mosomi

Ogake Mosomi is a bridal and accessories designer extraordinaire. With the Ogake Mosomi brand, she ensures the African bride is classy, distinct and authentic to herself.  She lectures at the University of Nairobi guaranteeing the future generation of designers doesn’t get left behind.

Was fashion always the plan?


I remember I wanted to join the police force! I also thought I’d be a lawyer. When the time came I was torn between law and fashion. A desire to be ‘different’ by choosing something a bit unexpected prevailed and I ended up studying fashion.

Growing up as a Kenyan child, what was your perception of ‘local’ luxury brands and now finding yourself running one, how do you feel Kenyans are embracing the Ogake Mosomi brand?

Elsa Klensch coloured my entire perception of luxury fashion. The only local designers I really knew about were Ann McCreath, Rialto, Carol Kinoti and later Patricia Mbela. I thought their work was inspirational but under-appreciated.

Now, I think the number of local luxury designers has really grown. Our individual interpretations of Kenyan luxury fashion are wildly different and I think that is a sign of progress. For Ogake Mosomi, we started out trying to convince people that they can get a high quality locally made gown and I am so grateful that the Kenyan bride has embraced us.

You studied in England, which is a fashion epicentre in its own right. Why did you feel like moving back home was the best plan and what specific things did you do to ensure a successful transition?

To be honest, it wasn’t entirely my decision. Work visas had become really difficult to get, I also felt that I could make more impact at home as our industry was still growing. Fortunately, I already had two job offers in fashion, I took that as a sign!

Right before I returned, I went back to a master tailor in London with whom I had interned while at university. I explained I needed to learn how to make made-to-measure clothes. The standard patterns which we learned in school were not going to be very useful because our bodies were very different. I will forever be grateful to Antonia Pugh-Thomas!

Next, I came back to Kenya for about three weeks just to reacquaint myself with home. I travelled around the country with my friend, and on that trip I saw Kenya in a different light, and I wasn’t scared anymore.

Lastly, my wonderful parents had given me a loan, and together with some money I had saved up from working odd jobs, I had managed to buy all the basic equipment I needed to set up shop in Nairobi.

What advice would you give to a new fashion business owner about investment particularly concerning who to approach and who to turn down?

Firstly, ensure that your investor has similar values to your own. Besides investing money, your investor will be involved to a fair extent, in your business so it’s important that you are aligned.  Choose wisely, and don’t be in a rush.

The more favourable the terms of the investment are for you, the better. Weigh options carefully- whether you want to get debt or equity financing and how it affects your business in those early stages. It’s different for every business though.

How do you go about learning new skills?

Learning never ends. I recently went back to school to learn how to balance being an owner/manager and that has been a breath of fresh air for me. My background is in design, and the other functions that go with running a business are not as straightforward. It has really enriched my process.

On the design side, we also try to do a lot of research, to learn new design processes that can make us more efficient and help us differentiate our brand. It’s an every day, ongoing process for the entire team. We also put a lot of emphasis on teamwork, so that we are all learning from each other.

What is the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

You never ever switch off. Even when you’re not at work, or on holiday; it can be exhausting. Also making big decisions on your own can be very scary- if they go south, you’re more or less on your own. And many times, there’s no one to give you answers!

What is the most rewarding part of being a wedding dress designer at Ogake Mosomi?

The finished gown, the happy bride, being part of her journey and helping her bring her dream to life!

Name a woman past or present that you look up to.

My mother and her unwavering faith.

What is your no-fail inspiration or creative rut hack?

I am yet to find a sure-fire one! But traveling helps….. Seeing different places, ideas, and cultures is always inspiring, calming, rejuvenating.

The Ogake Mosomi brand also produces accessories, you also have dresses with intricate designs that involve materials like beads and feathers. How difficult is it to source these materials?

When it comes to the more unusual materials, we import what we need from different suppliers mainly in Europe and Asia. Every time I travel, I’m on the lookout for interesting materials. Sometimes they’re expensive so we just get small quantities for sampling and keep contact with the suppliers in case a client is interested, then we can order specifically for them.

Locally the suppliers are becoming more creative, and stocking a wider range of materials too. It costs significantly more to buy in Kenya, but it really helps when we do not have the luxury of travelling to the source. The disadvantage with uncommon materials is that they mainly stock one-offs so it’s not easy to get the same product twice. But thank God for globalisation and technology! Europe and Asia feel like they’re just around the corner now.

What does success look like at the end of everything? How would you know you have achieved your dreams?

The day when the business gets to the point where it can run profitably without me being actively involved in the day to day running, when I know it can outlive me but still maintain integrity and authenticity, I will know I have made it!


For more articles to help you get ahead in your personal life, business and career, visit SheLeadsAfrica.org

MOLPED FEATURE ON SIMI DREY: AWARD WINNING RADIO AND TV HOST

Molped sanitary pad is a product from Hayat Kimya Limited (manufacturers of Molfix diapers), and is a skin-friendly, ultra-soft, sanitary pad, designed to make young girls feel as comfortable, soft, and secure as they feel beside their best friends.

Molped’s breathable layer keeps young women fresh, and it’s skin-friendly, cottony soft layer does not cause irritation. Molped sanitary pad is every girl’s best friend, helping them be more confident, and supporting them through their periods.

Molped has partnered with She Leads Africa to highlight the beauty and importance of valuable female connections. 

You can connect with Simi on Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT SIMI DREY

Simi Drey is an experienced multi-award-winning Broadcaster who has worked across media platforms in both the United Kingdom and Nigeria. 

With a First Class Degree in Broadcasting and Journalism from the University of Wales, she currently hosts the Saturday and Sunday morning shows on the Beat 99.9FM and on television anchors 53 Extra on African Magic.

Having won the Future Awards Africa for Best OAP (TV and Radio) in 2019, Simi Drey uses her platform to share her passion for entertaining and educating the youth; tomorrow’s leaders.

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship means family. My friends are people who know me, they know my strengths, they know my weaknesses yet they still love me. 

They have been there for me and always will be at different stages of my life and I will do the same for them.

Can you tell us of a time when any of your girlfriends connected you with a career or business opportunity?

There have been numerous occasions where my girlfriends helped me but the most recent would be Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi who nominated me for the OAP category of the Future Awards Africa. She did this without my knowledge and even when I won, she still didn’t tell me what she had done. Someone else informed me. 

Since then, winning the award has opened so many other doors for me such as being the Nigerian representative of a panel in South Africa, to discuss the role and emancipation of women in African society.

Can you tell us about a time when your friend (s) helped you through a difficult situation in your career?

In the first year of my career, while I was more or less fresh out of university, I did not know anyone in Lagos and I was hardly earning anything. I didn’t feel like I was making progress and I was extremely frustrated. 

During this period, I became friends with Dr Kemi Ezenwanne. She constantly encouraged me and prayed with me. She also helped me get a foot into the modelling industry which eventually brought about enough funds for me to move out of my aunt’s house, and rent my own place. 

Without her, I may not have continued pursuing a media career.

How many women do you have in your power circle, and why did you choose them?

I have three different power circles. One consists of four women including myself, the other consists of three people, myself included and the last, five in total.

I don’t think I chose them to be honest. I think we realised how much we had in common and we just ‘clicked’ as friends. However, they have remained in my power circles because of their loyalty and support throughout the years. When the world saw me as a nobody, they were there. We have grown together and stayed together through stages of our lives; school, employment, marriage, childbirth and even divorce. 

No matter what though, we see the potential in each other and we strive daily to bring it out. One person’s success is a success for the entire group.

How do you think young women can network with other women to achieve career success?

I think now more than ever, networking is much easier especially with social media. There are people I am friends with on Instagram for example that I had forgotten I had never met. 

However, because we talk a lot and exchange ideas, it feels like we know each other inside out. 

Social media networking can start simply by liking or commenting on a person’s picture. Search for someone in a similar industry as yourself or someone who has inspired you along your journey and send them a message. 

Don’t just write ‘hi’ though. Make it personal.

What is your fondest memory of you and your girlfriends, from when you first began your careers?

Before I started working in Nigeria, my friend Deena and I auditioned for the X-Factor. Neither of us made it past the first audition. Along with our friend Sully, we thought we were going to become a successful girl band- Deena and I as the singers and Sully as a rapper. We never released a single together. Our dreams of a girl band were pretty short-lived. 

Fast forward and Sully is now a successful Investment Banker in London, I have become a multi-award winning Broadcaster and although Deena actually continued to pursue a career in music, she now has been booked for shows across Nigeria and the UK and her songs play on mainstream radio stations.


Finally, what advice/tips do you have for young career women, to help them build and maintain valuable relationships with other women?

I think the phrase ‘women don’t support women’ has been one of the most damaging statements for young women.

 I would say first and foremost, do not compete with other women. See them as allies. Celebrate their victories and try to lift them up in ways you can. They will do the same for you. 

Society is difficult for women generally but when we stand together, we have so much power.

#MyGrowthSquad series is powered by Molped (@MolpedNigeria). Connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


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HOW I WENT FROM MY 9-to-5 TO PERFORMING ON A WORLD TOUR WITH MR.EAZI – SINGER-SONGWRITER, TOME

Building a successful brand is challenging whether you are a small business or individual. Historically, breaking out has especially been a tough job for women in music and entertainment.

One talent who seems to have cracked the code in navigating the music business is a 9-to-5’er turned singer-songwriter Tome. In just 2 years of becoming a full-time singer-songwriter, she has performed with Burna Boy, Wizkid and Mr. Eazi on world stages, and she is just getting started.

In March 2019, she debuted her single L’amour and released her debut EP, The Money, in February 2020. With her mantra, “I am enough. I am TÖME”, she’s determined to become a household name and empowering voice to African women across the world.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Michelle Oluwatomi Akanbi. I’m a Nigerian-French Canadian Singer-Songwriter born in Montreal, Canada. I was raised in the diverse city of Toronto where I grew up listening to Fela, Erykah Badu, and Alicia Keys.

Music is a very important part of my life. I am my art! I put 100% of me into my music – sound, vocals, lyrics – all of it.

How will you describe yourself as an artist?

My music is what I like to call Afro-fusion. With a fun mix of genres, my songs have messages of love, fun, and empowerment. As an artist, I would say I am a lyricist with a message.

What influenced your passion for the arts?

I honestly can’t say there was any specific influence on my love of the arts. But I remember watching Superstar (1999) with Molly Shannon as a child and thinking to myself, I’m going to be a superstar one day. #Day1Dreams

What motivates you to get up every day to make music?

My motivation to keep going in my career is to make my family proud. I hope to provide them the ability to live the lives they want to.

Other people also motivate me. I am so lucky to be around people I can learn from. They add to my experience and view of the world which makes it easier to write music. There’s always a story to tell apart from my own.

Tell us about your career journey.

I’ve always been making music. I released my first project on SoundCloud in 2015 – an EP titled One with Self. It was a really personal project of 5 songs I recorded on my phone while I played guitar. 

In 2018, while I was still working as a Marketing Executive at my full-time job, I recorded Tomesroom Chapter 1 and many other songs. I didn’t release any of the songs at the time because I had no team and didn’t want it to go “nowhere”. I planned to do another year working at my 9-to-5 job and “learn more about the industry”.

In 2019 my dad (who is now my manager) heard my song L’amour and asked me if I was ready to work. I said yes and officially started my career as a full-time artist.

So far, I have been really blessed. In my first year as a professional recording artist, I have shared the stage with incredible talents like Wizkid, Burnaboy, and done a tour with Mr. Eazi in Europe.

I have learned so much and improved my craft in such a short time. It’s amazing to know that it’s only the beginning.

What influence do you want your music to have on the African woman in today’s world?

I hope my music helps women accept their own strength. Every time I get on stage, I remind myself – “I am enough. I am TÖME”.

I want to show that the African woman can be and do anything. You don’t have to limit yourself to what anyone wants to tell you to be. All the obstacles in your way are only temporary. 

You attract what you think and if you are focused and know what you want, you can never fail.

What are your top 3 tips for young African women looking to make their mark in their career or business?

  1. Stay on-trend. You have to continuously push yourself to experiment to stay as relevant as possible and grow. 
  2. Stay open-minded and knowledgeable. It’s the same whether you have a 9-to-5 or business.
  3. Stay true to yourself. People can tell when you’re not being genuine. You will never make your mark if you don’t know yourself and get lost in other people’s vision of you.

Follow Tome’s journey and vibe to her music.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/Tomeofficial_/
Fanlink: https://fanlink.to/tome

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Hey Sis, Where Does All Your Money Go?

Have you ever wondered where all your money goes before payday? You are not alone in the struggle. Tracking your expenses is an important first step in financial literacy.

Zikoko, a culture and entertainment digital magazine based in Lagos, Nigeria, asked a sample of women how they spent the bulk of their income in the past month of the interview.

Here are some of the ways women responded. Can you relate?


I spend a lot on Uber rides

I don’t have a car and I hate moving around with public transport, so all my coins go to Ubers. Thankfully I can afford it.

It’s hard to calculate how much of what I earn goes to Ubers because I have a 9-5 and a pretty great side gig. But I’d say 20% of the income I get from my 9-5.

I’m aware that it’s a little ridiculous to spend so much money on just transport. But my life’s motto is comfort first. Plus Ubers saves a lot of my time, and I hear time is money.

Weaves. Weaves. Weaves.

I have a government job so my salary is a joke. But I have an online business that does quite well.

The average cost of my wigs or weaves is about 150k (~$400). My 9 -5 pays about 80k (~$210) a month. So I guess I spend like two-months salary on hair.

I’m not ashamed of it. It’s not like I buy weaves all the time. I can still afford to put food on my table and pay my rent thanks to my business.

My rent is expensive

The first year I moved out to live on my own, I had a flatmate. She left the country the year after, and I got stuck paying the full rent. I paid it in hopes of getting another flatmate, but I’ve had no luck yet.

I’d say the bulk of my money goes to rent. I earn 300k ($810) a month and my rent is 1.2 million (~$3,260) a year. This means 100k (~$270) of my monthly income goes to saving for my rent.

I really like my apartment and have no plans to move out. So for now, I have to keep paying the rent.

Internet is so expensive

I don’t have a job so my ‘income’ comes from an allowance from my parents which usually adds up to about 50k (~$135) monthly. I spend about 15k (~$40) on data every month. So data costs make up most of my expenses.

Food, I don’t like to cook

I don’t like to cook, so feeding can get a little expensive for me.

I’ve never sat down to do the math but between groceries, eating out and buying food every day I must be spending about 40 to 50% of my income on food.

My struggle skin won’t let me live

I have very problematic skin. I decided to start paying more attention to it about 2 years ago because a girl must SLAY.

The only problem is good skincare products are expensive. Don’t let those people telling you that black soap is all you need, lead you astray. They just have good genes.

I don’t buy skincare products every single month thankfully. On months where I run out of everything at once, I can spend almost 50k (~$130) on products. My monthly salary is 220k (~$590).

Makeup is expensive

I’ve always loved makeup and buying it wasn’t always so costly. But with the way the economy is set up, everything I love is now so expensive.

I just started a business as a make-up artist so I think most of what I make goes into buying new products. I spend like 80% of what I make on that.

I have way too many friends

In the past year, I’ve spent a ton of money on Aso Ebi. I’m at an age where all of my friends are getting married all at once and I’ve come to the realization that I might have too many friends.

I’m currently in between jobs so I can’t say how much I spend exactly. But based on my last salary, I’d say last month I must have spent 40% of my old income on just Aso Ebi. That’s ridiculous!


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world. Learn more about Zikoko here.

Here’s what you missed from SLAY Festival Joburg 2020

For the first time ever, SLAY Festival was held in Johannesburg South Africa, on March 7th and it was a VIBE!

More than 1200 women came together to attend a one-day learning and networking experience. There were speed networking sessions where we saw our SA boss ladies work the room, and make new connections, and then our Keynote Speaker Bonang Matheba, made her entrance and taught us all about making money moves. 

All attendees had direct access to some of Africa’s biggest and brightest innovators, including celebrity chef and entrepreneur Mogau Seshoene, youth activist Zulaikha Patel, TV presenter and model Kim Jayde, Africa Director for Global Citizen Chebet Chikumbu, doctor and mental health advocate Dr. Khanya Khanyile, Managing Director for TRACE Southern Africa Valentine Gaudin, actress Ayanda Thebethe, author and personal finance coach Mapalo Makhu, Head of Marketing for Google South Africa Asha Patel, Swiitch Beauty CEO Rabia Ghoor and many more.

It was a full day of interesting mainstage panel discussions, networking sessions, masterclasses, mogul talk sessions, shopping from local vendors and loads of fun. Our Mzansi queens showed up, and showed out!


So whether you missed the event, or you want to relive the SLAY Festival Joburg 2020 experience, this is your first behind the scene look, at the brands, experiences, and fun that went down at SLAY Festival Joburg 2020.

We upgraded our business skills with AUDA-NEPAD

In line with their flagship project, “100,000 SME’s by 2021, AUDA-NEPAD Senior Programme Officer, Unami Mpofu, led an interesting conversation on growing a sustainable business and accessing funding for a business.

We learned new career and digital skills with Women Will

Women Will, a Grow with Google program hosted private mentorship sessions and masterclasses throughout the day, focused on career growth for millennial women in the workplace, and tips on how women can use digital skills to grow their business.

We slayed our hair with Dark and Lovely

Dark and Lovely our official haircare partner, treated our queens to a full glam station, where they were able to try new products and get new hairstyles. During a special masterclass, they also got to learn the latest styling techniques, to keep their hair slayed and popping.  

We bloomed with Glade

Glade brought a one-of-a-kind sensorium experience that was just the breath of fresh air guests needed. They also hosted an engaging discussion on how women make Africa bloom with Poppy Ntshongwana, Monalisa Molefe, Nkgabi Motau and Martha Moyo and Christine Jawichre.

We discussed topical issues with Global Citizen

Global Citizen allowed attendees to engage in conversations on issues affecting women, and other topical issues, which was very enlightening for our  SLAY Festival attendees.

We vibed with Trace

Our official media partner Trace, brought in the entertainment and cool vibes with their interactive photo booth and green screen, and there was never a dull moment there.

There you have it, this was your official behind the scenes look at what went down at SLAY Festival Joburg 2020.

We Came. We SLAYed. We were WITHIN!

SLAY Festival Joburg 2020 was a vibe and more. The moment the gates were opened, to when the last person left the room, we learned, unlearned and relearned, while having so much fun.

So here’s raising a glass to all our SA queens who made the time, energy and resources that went into planning SLAY Festival Joburg totally worth it.

Click here, to watch the highlights from SLAY Festival Joburg 2020.

Molped Feature on Odunayo Eweniyi: Co-Founder, PiggyVest

Molped sanitary pad is a product from Hayat Kimya Limited (manufacturers of Molfix diapers), and is a skin-friendly, ultra-soft, sanitary pad, designed to make young girls feel as comfortable, soft, and secure as they feel beside their best friends.

Molped’s breathable layer keeps young women fresh, and it’s skin-friendly, cottony soft layer does not cause irritation. Molped sanitary pad is every girl’s best friend, helping them be more confident, and supporting them through their periods.

Molped has partnered with She Leads Africa to highlight the beauty and importance of valuable female connections. 

About Odunayo Eweniyi

Odunayo Eweniyi is the co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of PiggyVest. She previously co-founded pushcv.com, one of the largest job sites in Africa with the largest database of pre-screened candidates. She has 5 years’ experience in Business Analysis and Operations and is a First-Class graduate of Computer Engineering, Covenant University, Nigeria.

She was named one of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 Technology in 2019 and one of 30 QuartzAfrica Innovators 2019. She sits on the advisory board of TrainFuture, an education technology company based in Switzerland, as well as the Gender Lens Acceleration Best Practices Initiative, a collaborative effort of Village Capital, US and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi). 

In 2019, she was named SME Entrepreneur of the Year West Africa by The Asian Banker’s Wealth and Society and she is the youngest Nigerian on Forbes Africa list of 20 New Wealth Creators in Africa 2019.

Odunayo was also one of the featured speakers at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meeting in 2019. She is one of Business Day’s Spark 2019 Women to Watch and made the World Women in Fintech Power List for 2017; the YNaija Most Influential People in Technology 2017 and 2018. She is a 2018 Westerwelle Young Entrepreneurs fellow; and she is a recipient of The Future Africa Awards Prize in Technology 2018.

In honour of her work, she was named one of 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria 2019 by Leading Ladies Africa, one of 50 most visible women in Tech by Tech Cabal in 2019. She is also included on the #YTech100 2019 list of the brightest Nigerian technocrats. She is the Her Network Technology Woman of The Year 2019. She was also voted The Most Influential Young Nigerian in Science and Technology 2019.

She works to support the inclusion of women in technology by working with hubs and female-focused networks like For Creative Girls, GreenHouse Labs, She Leads Africa, Itanna etc. She is also the cofounder of the women’s community, Wine and Whine Nigeria.

You can connect with Odunayo on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

What does friendship mean to you?

Well to me, friendship means mutual understanding and reciprocity. I like to think of all my friendships as safe spaces that are characterized by genuineness, shared values and free of ignorance and discrimination.

Can you tell us of a time when any of your girlfriends connected you with a career or business opportunity?

Yes actually, in a previous life I was a part-time tech journalist and my friend, Dami, connected me with a well-paying, writing gig at an international magazine. I even ended up working there for well over a year.

Is there a time when your friend(s) helped you through a difficult situation in your career?

I have a  young career, so no difficult situations have stood out there, but my friends are constantly helping me out of sticky situations, and outside of work, they always come through for me.

How many women do you have in your power circle, and why did you choose them?

I have five women in my power circle and the thing is, I wouldn’t say I chose them, as much as they accepted me for who I am. As a person with Asperger’s syndrome, I am definitely an acquired taste.

So these five women, who are actually angels really, have moved through life with me with an understanding of who I am and I, them. But in addition to that, we share values, and despite having varied and many different goals, we work towards it together by supporting each other.

How do you think young women can network with other women to achieve career success?

To be honest, I think that would be much the same as they network with anyone else. There’s really no special way to relate with women. I think if you just treat people in general with empathy and respect, then you’re well on your way.

What is your fondest memory of you and your girlfriends, from when you first began your careers?

I actually started having girlfriends, or friends at all, after I started my career. So the memories we built, were built after we all started working and were at many different points in our lives.

Finally, what advice/tips do you have for young career women, to help them build and maintain valuable relationships with other women?

I think this is really general advice to maintain valuable relationships with everyone. It’s this simple, have empathy, have respect and always pay it forward. 

To add a caveat though, I 100% believe that female friendships save lives, so I definitely encourage young women to have specifically female support systems. But just overall, move through the world treating people fairly, whether you want from them or you’re giving to them.

#MyGrowthSquad series is powered by Molped (@MolpedNigeria). Connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.


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5 Experiences You Shouldn’t Miss At SLAY Festival Joburg 2020

Warning: This article might make you rush off to get your SLAY Festival ticket.

SLAY Festival is coming to Johannesburg, South Africa for the first time on 7th March 2020, and we are getting ready to have an absolute blast and unforgettable experiences.

Want to know what experiences to expect at SLAY Festival Joburg 2020? Here’s your ultimate checklist so you know when and where the magic is happening. You’re welcome sis, you know we always got your back!

Upgrade your skills with AUDA-NEPAD

AUDA-NEPAD is the development agency of the African Union with a deep commitment to providing economic opportunities for Africa’s next generation.

At SLAY Festival,  AUDA-NEPAD is coming through for all the ambitious Motherland Moguls with training and skills development opportunities. So if you’re coming for a mix of fun and learning, AUDA-NEPAD has you covered.

Join Glade in conversation and celebration of South African women

Glade South Africa will also be bringing a breath of fresh air with an exciting discussion celebrating how women make Africa bloom. So make sure to look out for Glade’s sensorium and enjoy an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

Slay your crown with Dark and Lovely

It’s okay to be obsessed with your hair and want all the details on how to keep it healthy and slayed all year long. Get all your hair tips and tricks from Dark and Lovely at SLAY Festival, so you can make a bold hair statement all through 2020.

Unlock new levels of growth with Women Will

Get the upgrade you have been looking for with Women Will. If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to learn new digital skills and connect with other young professional women like you, then don’t miss Women Will, a Google initiative at SLAY Festival.

Engage with Global Citizen on global issues

You can be a part of the change with Global Citizen. If you’re looking for an opportunity to have important conversations about ending world hunger and other topical issues, then join Global Citizen in conversation at SLAY Festival.

Get your groove on with Trace

Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to vibe all day because Trace will be at SLAY Festival, bringing music, positive vibes and fun for all the queens looking to unwind and have some fun.

There you have it girl. This has been your ultimate SLAY Festival Joburg 2020 experience checklist. So if you’re still wondering whether or not to attend, we just gave you 5 reasons plus one, why you should. 


We can’t wait to meet you at SLAY Festival Joburg 2020 queen, so until then, make sure you stay glued to our Instagram account, so you can see the updates as they happen.

Foodies Salone: Disrupting the Sierra Leonean hospitality industry

Foodies Salone is a Branding and Marketing Consultancy Firm founded by three young visionary women: Mariama Wurie, Aminata Wurie, and Onassis Kinte Walker.

In this interview, Mariama shares her story and thoughts about her journey as an entrepreneur.


How I turned my passion for food into a business

When I moved back to Sierra Leone in 2016, I started working for a local and an international NGO at the same time.

Since the NGO didn’t have an office, it was quite common to work from a café or restaurant to use the free Wi-Fi for the day. I spent a lot of time in my car driving between meetings and coffee shops.

Every day, my colleagues and I would work in a different place: new restaurants, new hotels, new cafes, etc.

Coming from Montreal where the food scene and customer service culture is amazing, I noticed this was not the case in Freetown. Everywhere I went, there was always a reason to complain to the manager, or ask to speak to the owner.

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Very quickly I realized that the same complaints were coming up wherever my partners and I went. We summarized that these problems were usually around product and service.

  1. In most restaurants, there was a lack of consistency in quality and menu variety – most restaurants served burgers, fries, pizza, pasta, shawarma.
  2. Most restaurants didn’t adjust their menus to focus on local ingredients.
  3. A lot of waiters were poorly paid and managers often did not invest in hospitality training.

We thought solutions to these issues will help restaurants achieve variety and consistency. Services like menu consulting, branding and customer service are just what many Freetown restaurants needed.

With Foodies Salone (Foodies), we decided to build something that would motivate establishments to step up their game and improve their standards.

How we started Foodies Salone

We tested out our business model through a lifestyle Instagram account. Our strategy was to highlight restaurants that were building Sierra Leone’s dining culture. Any featured restaurants had to be locally owned, pay fair wages and have good customer service.

With Sierra Leone’s small economy, restaurants rely on a limited customer base to make a profit. Within months of running an Instagram account, Foodies Salone began to influence consumer behavior.

Our social media test allowed us to establish ourselves as an authority in branding, marketing, staff training, online listing and advertising, and business development to the multiple restaurant owners who began to reach out to us to improve their product and service.

Soon enough, demand became bigger than 3 of us could handle. With our business model tested and validated, we created our service package, registered our company, and opened a bank account.

Lessons we’ve learned

Educating the market

At the beginning, restaurant owners did not understand what we were trying to do.

We were talking about apps, websites, and social media, but they barely knew how to use Pinterest. We worked extremely hard to find simple ways to explain what we did and how it would help them.

Factoring in knowledge and infrastructure gaps was not something we had initially considered. For startups looking to innovate in unstructured markets, this should be something to consider in your game plan.

Be patient with your monetization plan

As three young African women trying to run a business in our own country, we faced a lot of hostility. On top of that, my own friends were quite skeptical about what I was doing.

The beginning was quite hard because I had no money. I was dead broke for the first nine months.

Most people knew about the Foodies Salone Instagram page, but they did not understand how we planned to monetized the brand. They were constantly asking me: “do you even have a real job? How do you make money? How can you afford to travel?”

When we started, we made a conscious decision not to touch the money we made and to re-invest all the profits into the business. I was living on my savings and nothing was coming in. It’s only when it became hard to put gas in the car to drive to a meeting that we started using part of the profits.

When you start a business, times are going to get hard. But, just stick with it. Forget the haters. forget the gossip. You have something good here and it's amazing – @MariamaWurie_ Click To Tweet

Just stick with it. You’re broke? Yeah, it’s a start-up. It will get better.

Advice for anyone looking to start a company?

  1. Solve a problem. Necessity is the mother of invention. If you are looking for inspiration on what kind of business to start, think about things that are lacking in your routine.
  2. Do NOT accept freebies. Some people will try to get you to work for free with gifts. Always assess the value of what you are given and the reasons why they are given before accepting.
  3. Stay professional. As a woman, people will be more critical of you. Make sure you keep everything professional. Stick to business.

Looking to boost your business/career? Sign up for the Motherland Mogul Insider program here.