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.

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

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.

SHEAMOISTURE SPOTLIGHT ON THE ADIRE FASHIONPRENEUR: CYNTHIA ASIJE – CEO ADIRE LOUNGE

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 Cynthia Asije

Cynthia Asije is the CEO and founder of Adire Lounge and holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration. She is a multi-award winning textile designer at Adire lounge, a hand-dyed textile company that trains women in rural communities and creates job opportunities for them.

She has a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Enterprise Development Centre Lagos, and a Non-Profit Leadership certificate from Lagos Business School. Cynthia was on the Ynaija Power list 2018 for Fashion and Style and 100 Africa’s Next Startup by IFC-World Bank Group 2018.

Cynthia founded Adire Lounge because she is passionate about eradicating extreme poverty using capacity development and entrepreneurship by infusing old cultural practices and technology.

One woman at a time, Cynthia is working to eradicate poverty in her community with her brand.

To learn more about Cynthia’s business Adire Lounge, you can connect with her on Instagram, Twitter and on her website.

How did you start Adire Lounge?

I started Adire Lounge as a hand-dyed textile company that creates unique designs on non-conventional fabrics like chiffon, T-shirts, scarves and silk. I also train rural women, widows and out of school youths in adire making.

The vision behind Adire Lounge is to preserve our rich cultural heritage and traditions, while also closing the unemployment gap and creating job opportunities for women and youth in my community.

I truly believe that Adire lounge is making a difference in my community and country as a whole.

What was your motivation?

I wanted to build a brand that not only made profit, but helped my immediate community. Starting Adire Lounge was a way for me to preserve our beautiful culture while helping young people like me, earn a sustainable income and help their families too.

Most of the women in my community are of low social and economic status so they live below the poverty line and it can be quite difficult for them to provide basic necessities for their families. With my brand, I have been able to keep some of them on a salary which has helped them provide food, education and health care for their families.

What makes your brand stand out?

We have been able to build a premium textile brand that creates unique hand-dyed prints on non-conventional fabrics like chiffon, silk, T-shirts and scarves etc. We have also made custom prints for fashion designers and corporate organizations.

Our pieces have been used by other brands to make products like footwear, pillows and other products. We also collaborate with different brands to make new products.

Also, our approach to business which follows a community commerce model has helped us stand out as a brand that makes a significant contribution to our community.

Can you tell us 1 to 3 things you struggled with as a business owner and how you overcame them?

One of the things I struggled with was having access to enough finance when I started out. To combat this, I used the bootstrap method to finance my business.

Another issue I had was access to the market. It was a relatively new idea, so we needed to do a lot of marketing to increase our brand awareness. To combat the problem, we utilized social media marketing and influencer marketing to target our clients.

How have you managed to stay above the noise in this industry?

It can be quite distracting working in an industry that has a lot of competition such as the fashion industry but I have stayed above the noise in the industry by focusing on my “why.”

Focusing on why I stared Adire Lounge keeps me grounded and focused.


What impact have you made on your community since starting this business?

Most of the women in my community are of low social and economic status and they can’t afford to provide basic necessities for themselves and their families. So since starting my business, I have been able to help them gain economic independence by providing them with jobs. With the income they earn from these jobs, they are able to provide good food, health care and education for their families.

I believe this will cause a ripple effect and a larger impact in society as they will be able to achieve financial freedom for them and their families, thereby reducing poverty.

What is your major goal for 2019, and what have you done so far to achieve it?

Our goal for 2019 was to have an empowerment centre. So far, we have gotten the space from a community in Lagos, and construction work has started on the space we got.

Can you share 3 interesting facts about yourself?

I am creative, amazing and very resilient.

What is your fave skin, hair or self-care routine?

My favorite self-care routine is to meditate and I have a dedicated spa date.

How do you feel about this opportunity to promote your brand with SLA sponsored by SheaMoisture.

I am so excited about this opportunity to showcase my brand on the SLA platforms, sponsored by SheaMoisture because Adire Lounge will be able to leverage the network and meet more of our target audience.

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

When people think of my brand, I want them to think of it as a premium hand-dyed textile fabrics company, made in Nigeria.

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


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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.

4 self-care strategies for new career moms.

Adjusting to life as a new mom while balancing school, a job or business can be difficult. It’s easy to forget to prioritize your own needs.

When you forget to take care of yourself, it’s hard to give your best to the people you love and the things that matter to you.

After 6 weeks of being a new mom, Zimkhitha Mathunjwa shares her personal tips on how to prioritize your mental and physical health as a career mom.


No guide can prepare you enough to dive into the swimming pool of motherhood and career. Click To Tweet

1. Beyond the ‘bounce back’: take time for yourself

As a new mom, your postpartum recovery is about more than your body. Along with physical changes, you also deal with mental challenges like negotiating your identity.  Your life is more than work and motherhood.

Simple things like taking a lunch break away from your desk, getting my hair and nails done, drinking tea and curling up with a book, help remind you of your own identity outside work and parenthood.

2. Lean on your support system: it takes a village

A big kudos to any parent who has ever had to do it with no support.

If you’re lucky enough to have people around to assist you, accept the help. Without husbae and my family’s active involvement in our tiny human’s development, I would not be as snatched with edges intact as I am right now. 

Husbae with our little peanut

Use some of your time away to hang out with grown-ups. Focus on nurturing your most meaningful relationships. If you feel a little bit guilty – it’s normal. On my first date night away from the baby, I constantly checked in with my mother-in-law. I eventually allowed myself to relax and enjoy the time out. So can you!

3. Filter out the noise: set boundaries

As a new career mom, you become privy to a lot of well-meaning advice that might not be right for you.

You must be discerning and accept only the advice you deem resourceful. Filter out the noise by setting clear boundaries.

4. Learn to trust yourself

To every mother, biologically or otherwise – you are doing great. Trust the process and most importantly, trust YOURSELF! 

Ungazilibali is an isiXhosa (South African) word meaning ‘do not forget yourself’. It’s the word I think about when I’m faced with self-doubt and anxiety in balancing work and parenting. When those moments come, it’s important to have one go-to thought that reminds you of why you are a badass!

I think of my mother, grandmother (RIP) and mother-in-law, my role models. Remembering that I come from a line of strong women helps me re-center myself. They did a stellar job, and so can I. 


Life as a new career mom is not a walk in the park, but if you can take time for yourself, lean on the support of people who love you, set boundaries and learn to trust yourself, you’ll be physically and mentally okay. 

When all else fails, ungazilibali. Don’t forget (or lose) yourself on this journey!

Are you mentally exhausted? Get Peace Hyde’s free tips for fighting against the odds here.

Meet The 2019 She Leads Africa ACCELERATOR Participants

Its been 3 months since She Leads Africa launched the 2019 Accelerator program in Nigeria and this year’s boot camp is about to come to a close.

The SLA Accelerator program is designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.

This year, the program went digital and out of about 300 applications, 16 women with innovative businesses were chosen to be a part of this 3-month program.

The top 5 finalists will pitch their businesses on Demo Day (November 2 from 11 am – 1 pm) in front of Judges and a virtual audience all across the globe, where the winner will be selected.

The winner of the Accelerator program will receive a 2 million Naira funding grant from SLA.

Find out all you need to know about the participants and their businesses below.


Mariam Ofeh-Sule

Business: TheBookDealerNG

Mariam is a writer and the founder of TheBookDealer.

Her prose has appeared in the Guardian Ng, Brittle Paper, Arts and Africa, ITCH Creative Journal and Litro Magazine UK.

She writes monthly articles for ArtxJuJu, a brand committed to challenging the demonization of African culture, which Mariam also co-founded

In 2016, Mariam had a major depressive episode that caused her to fold inward and spend a lot of time alone, and avoid people. Books were her only companion.

In each book, there was a new story with new characters whose lives were different from hers. She had the liberty to travel far and wide within a book. For Mariam, reading a book was a form of therapy.

In a bid to share that warmth with people, Mariam realized that the average Nigerian is faced with inaccessibility to books.

TheBookDealerNG is an online bookstore that provides access to African Literature. African literature because the only thing better than the warmth of a good book is a book that sees and validates your existence. 

Dr. Rebecca Achokpe Andeshi

 Business: Awe Farms and Consult

Dr. Andeshi is the founder of Awe Farms and Consult.  A cloud-based digital platform that provides farmers in rural areas in Nigeria with instant financing solutions and veterinary services with the use of a drone for efficient disease diagnosis and delivery of veterinary supplies in remote livestock farming communities.

She was motivated to start her business because of the inability of smallholder farmers to afford high-quality input.

This has always been a pain point for her as a third-generation farmer. Thus discovering that farmers live on less than $1.25 a day was a rude awakening for her.

Dr. Rebecca now provides digital input financing to smallholder farmers in Nigeria from recycled agricultural waste increasing productivity by 33%. 

Nafisah Oseni Wahab

Business: NUFAESAH

Nafisah is the founder of Nufaesah – a fashion line that provides workwear for the urban Muslim woman.

Her products range between pants, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, shirts/blouses, jackets/blazers, scarves, and turbans. 

As a working woman, Nafisah has had two major negative experiences in her career.

A judge at the High Court of Lagos State once sent her out of court because of her headscarf.

Secondly, it was so difficult finding workwear that made her look the part for work, that was fashionable while keeping within the Islamic guidelines of dressing.

These episodes made her design her workwear for religious women – both Muslim and Christian.

Cynthia Omokhekpen Asije

Business: The Adirelounge.

Cynthia is a multi-award-winning textile designer passionate about eradicating extreme poverty using capacity development and entrepreneurship, by infusing old cultural practices and technology.

She learned the trade from her mother who used her Tie & Dye making skills to get her family through school.

Cynthia has been recognized as the top textile artist by World Bank & International Finance Corp as one of the Next African 100 startups for building a sustainable textile industry in Africa. 

Cynthia’s desire to sustain and promote Nigeria’s cultural heritage and indigenous method of hand-dyed fabrics, uses this method to empower women and the empowerment is reflecting in these communities by creating a sustainable industry.

She wanted to help others like her mother get more out of life, curb unemployment and preserve the Nigeria cultural textile heritage.

Omoh Alokwe

Business: Street Waste Company

Omoh is the founder of the Street Waste Company – a social enterprise in the environmental and waste management sector.

Their core focus is on waste recycling collection and waste upcycling training.

The company’s business goal is to encourage people to embrace a culture of waste reduction, reuse and recycle to attain a sustainable environment.

Her company also gives advisory services to corporate clients, collect recyclable waste and partner with organizations through their corporate sustainability programs.

Omoh’s motivation for starting the Street Waste Company was borne out of a passion for making an impact and creating a solution to the endemic waste problem around us.

Having studied environmental management at the masters level, she realized the basic solution to this menace is attitudinal. So she Co-founded SWCL where they encourage people to imbibe the culture of waste recycling through our incentive-based scheme. 

Tola Oyinlola

Business: Interg

INTERG brings to children the Fun and Learn Tablet.

This tablet comprises smart games with several stages of learning and engagement, providing an exciting new way to change the learning content as children grow.

In 2018,  Tola volunteered to teach with an NGO to give back to her community. She realized how difficult and boring learning can be for the average Nigerian Child. 

She spent a lot of time trying to find teaching aids online and eventually decided to create an app for mathematics, which was well-received by all her students.

Even though she was unable to create an app for all subjects, she had found a solution that she was determined to monetize. In many ways, INTERG is simply building a product that speaks to a historical problem with learning.

Lilian Chinweotito Uka

Business: EduPoint

EduPoint leverages on Artificial Intelligence.

It is an innovative online platform that connects students with verified local teachers who deliver one-on-one lessons in any subject, skill or exam, to help students or learners meet their learning expectations and also enable passionate tutors to earn extra income.

As a little girl in primary school, Lillian struggled with learning and understanding in a class of over 40 students. Her aunt decided to take her to a personalized class.

This involved a peer to peer learning and within the shortest period of time, she emerged the best in class and since then has been an advocate of peer to peer learning. 

This overwhelming class population density coupled with differences in student’s learning pace has resulted in a significant decline in learning outcomes of students in Nigeria over the past 10 years, reducing exams success rates from 40% to less than 20% in major exams.

Globally, conventional methods of education are transitioning from centralized to distributed, and from standardized to personalized. 

This is why she created EduPoint, which serves as a solution that bridges the gaps between helping learners meet their learning expectations while improving the livelihood by providing employment for these professionals. 

So far, they have delivered over 30,000+ hours of learning to over 100 learners directly and over 1000+ learners indirectly in Nigeria which includes K-12 children, youths and adults and has generated over $30,000 in revenue. 

Andrea Kamara

Business: The Balance Bowl

Andrea is the founder of The Balance Bowl.

She was motivated to start after she realized there was a lack of convenient, healthy, and affordable food for the busy African. 

Balance Bowl is a tech-enabled health and wellness company that offers busy Africans access to delivered meals, licensed dieticians, fitness coaching, as well as other healthy living content from the convenience of the mobile app.

Ifeoma Benjamin

Business: isabiDeliver

isabiDeliver started due to the increase in consumer’s need for on-demand delivery.

Ifeoma discovered that there will be a need for a more affordable and available service that meets that need which is what isabiDeliver is doing.

In 2016, Ifeoma decided to turn her hobby (Food blogging) into a business venture called iSabiFood.

iSabiFood is an online food ordering and delivery application where she experienced some inherent limitations of dealing with restaurants as a single vertical.

In 2018, she took the same last-mile delivery principle and applied it to other verticals.

It matched the expectations consumers have of the on-demand economy and smoothed out all of those inefficiencies in the operating model and that’s how isabiDeliver started.

Nyemachi Alexis Wokekoro 

Business: Welima Tea

Welima Tea is about transforming rich African medicinal recipes into teas that would combat different levels of pain ( menstrual cramps), promote well-being, and actualize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)Goal 3.

Nyemachi got the opportunity to do her pre-clinical rotations in The Gambia. 10-15 days every month, pains were the order of the day because of the menstrual cramps she suffered.

For a while, she thought something else was wrong because the pains were unresponsive to any medication prescribed.

This continued till her doctor suggested she research on alternative medicine and analyze it with her knowledge in medicine and that was how Welima Tea began.

Oyindamola Adesina 

Business: Simbi Interactives 

Oyindamola is the founder of Simbi Interactives – an edTech startup that is solving the problem of poor education in Africa by using Simbibot.

Simbibot is an artificial intelligence-powered product- that can give every child access to quality education and equal learning opportunities.

Oyindamola Adesina’s childhood ambition was to study medicine, because as an individual living with sickle-cell, she felt she needed the medical knowledge to help herself and others living with the disease live better lives, and, if possible, eradicate it.

She ended up studying Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology in the university motivated Oyindamola to help every pupil get access to quality education and equal learning opportunities regardless of the conditions that might hinder them.

Oyindamola is using Simbibot to ensure that quality education available, accessible and affordable to all kids.

Omobolanle Esther Oladapo 

Business: Farm Hire 

Esther started Farm Hire to give farmers access to the latest farm equipment, input, and information around them towards fully mechanizing agriculture in Africa and boosting food production.

Esther started farming with her co-founder in 2018 following the clamoring for youth involvement in Agriculture.

She had several challenges which included; where to hire equipment, get modern inputs and hire workers for the farm.

She later observed that millions of local and intending farmers in Nigeria have similar problems, which is why Farm Hire came to life.

Cynthia Keku 

Business: SafeHaus-UKNigeria

Safehaus-UKNigeria is a concierge service which provides working mums with young children thoroughly vetted staff to look after their home.

Cynthia was motivated to start Safehaus-UKNigeria as a result of the inability of her older siblings, their children, expatriates/investors to visit because of the insecurity in the country.

Safehaus-UKNigeria also helps expatriates and Africans living in Diaspora, with a trustworthy and security-conscious logistics service, so they can focus more on their business and less worry about their personal safety and security.

Jennifer Eneanya 

Business: Amaranthine Media 

Amaranthine Media is an indigenous storytelling machine, a content development firm and a production company that produces indigenous live-action and animated content.

They particularly focus on easily-accessible, entertaining and educational content for children and teens.

Jennifer started Amaranthine Media because writing, storytelling and creating content is second nature to her and she had worked in this industry for over a decade.

In addition, as she grew her family, she realized that there is a dearth of indigenous content for children and teenagers.

Jennifer then decided to transmute her life-long passion into a medium that would serve the dual purpose of providing educational and entertaining made-in-Africa content for children and teenagers.

Adaorah Momodu 

Business: Oncopadi 

Oncopadi is Africa’s 1st digital clinic improving access to “medically verified” information and survivorship services via integrated social features.

Oncopadi is a health-centered initiative that leverages data, research, digital technology and impact of scale to reduce the cancer burden in Nigeria.

In Adaorah’s 4th year of medical school, she lost a friend to hepatocellular carcinoma, 6months following diagnosis. 

She remembered feeling helpless, as she watched him become socially withdrawn and its effects on his family.

During her LUTH clinical rotation, even higher numbers of cancer mortality were recorded. It was in this pain Adaorah found the strength and purpose to pursue a career in Oncology.

As a grassroots cancer physician, she has learned that patients have sensitive topics surrounding their diagnosis & care which they preferred discussing with survivors, as many were misinformed and some just needed a less bureaucratic means to access their doctors.

Ifeanyichukwu Obidi-Essien

Business: EduLead Concept

Ifeanyichukwu saw the need for children to learn more effectively and express their innate creativity and that is her driving force.

Her business is solving the problem of unavailability of animation training platforms, with which children could learn more effectively and creatively. 

EduLead Concept is a company that provides Educational Technology Services to children in the nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Their core service is Animation Kids Club, an after-school training activity for primary school children where they are equipped with animation skills with which their creativity can find expression and also improve in learning.

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Find out more about the SLA Accelerator Here.

SHEAMOISTURE SPOTLIGHT ON THE FASHIONPRENEUR: SEKINAT AMOO – CEO OMBRE WOMAN

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 Sekinat Amoo

Sekinat Amoo is the CEO and founder of Ombré Woman.

Despite having an academic background in science and research, Sekinat made a switch and started Ombré Woman to provide classy ready-to-wear pieces for women.

Ombré Woman is a female-led and for women fashion brand that empowers women by helping them look and feel their best without compromising on style and comfort.

After spotting a gap in the fashion industry for ready-to-wear pieces, Sekinat decided to start Ombré Woman to provide stylish and comfortable ready to wear clothes infused with African prints.

Her goal is to make very fashionable pieces to help women become more confident and look their best, without losing their comfort.

You can connect with Sekinat and her business on Instagram


What motivated you to start Ombré Woman?

I started my brand because I had a passion to empower and build confidence in women through their everyday looks.

I also spotted a gap in the fashion market for work and casual wear infused subtly with rich African prints, which really inspired my fashion journey.

My desire to help women look and feel their best also led me to add an extra touch to the clothes I make. I made a decision to infuse the fabrics with rich African prints in order to create unique, trendy pieces that can be worn over and over again.

The clothes are specifically made to flatter the feminine silhouette and be multifunctional so that they can be worn in the workplace or elsewhere.

SheaMoisture

What makes your brand stand out?

There are quite a few things that have helped Ombré Woman stand out, from our unique business type to how easy and accessible we’ve made our clothes for our clients. We are also very committed to giving back to the community and helping other women with our business.

Some of the ways we’ve ensured our brand stands out in the saturated fashion industry are:

  • My brand is built as a “for women and run by women only” business.
  • Our business has a prime, central and accessible location for our clients.
  • We offer customization services for our Ready-To-Wear (RTW) items, which gives our clients control over how they look and feel in our pieces.
  • Also, we ensure that our clients receive their clothes when and how it was promised. Absolutely no disappointments!
  • We empower other women through direct employment and artisans by giving them scrap materials to make their designs with.

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

One major issue we had was getting the right people to build the business. After a few fails, we took a step back and started to recruit our staff through trusted government agencies. On our own part, we provide them with incentives that add value to their lives.

Another thing was getting high-quality materials for making clothes. This was a big issue because not having the materials we needed meant that the clothes won’t get made. So what we do now is use a few local vendors whom we found. We also supplement with international alternatives when we can’t find what we need locally.

When it came to business finance as well, I wasn’t the most knowledgeable person and I didn’t want my business to suffer. To combat this, I did a lot of reading, took courses and sought external input as well where necessary.

SheaMoisture

How have you been able to stay or rise above the noise in this industry?

For me, I have remained very focused on our “why,” which is to ensure that we are helping our clients look and feel beautiful every day.

We also ensure that we are delivering the best quality they can have at an affordable price. Lastly, we are constantly evaluating our business processes and training our staff to ensure that our service is top-notch.

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

When I just began my business, I had a big issue with budgeting and it almost affected my cashflow.

Since I all of a sudden experienced a rise in my personal expenses, it was a bit too much to handle at first and almost became an issue. When I got the situation under control, it taught me how to plan better. I now plan my yearly budgets and funds allocation for the business ahead so that there are no surprises.

SheaMoisture

How have you impacted your community since starting this business?

As I mentioned earlier, my brand is very invested in giving back to the community in general and women in particular.

Some of the ways we have done this is through providing employment via direct and indirect forms of labour. We also offer paid internships for our newly trained staff.

To reduce any form of waste and help with sustainable recycling, we also send our scrap pieces back to local artisans. The artisans are able to use them to make a living by making items like pillows, rugs and carpets.

What is your goal for 2019? And what have you done so far to achieve it?

I had two major goals for 2019 and they were to first launch and promote a ready to wear line and the second is to launch a school uniform line.

For the first goal, we currently have an ongoing campaign to promote our debut collection. For the second goal, we are currently visiting schools with samples for uniform production.

Can you share 3 interesting facts about yourself?

Well to start with, I have a purely science and research background (from secondary school to my Masters Degree). Another is that I love to cook and organize spaces.

Lastly, I love to travel and try new types of food (I’m quite adventurous with food).

SheaMoisture

What’s your favorite skin, hair or self-care routine?

I’m a low maintenance kind of lady, so anything that gets me out the door quickly is my favorite routine.

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

Ecstatic! It’s a great opportunity to showcase our brand to so many Motherland Moguls and we are very grateful to SLA and SheaMoisture.

Mention one word that should come to people’s minds when they think about your product/service

Classy

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.

You better get your Hot Girl Summer on, Motherland Mogul

Summer or no summer, you MUST live your best life.

You are a boss and keeping up with the trends in the digital world is the major key!

You must have come across the term Hot girl summer over the past month. If you’re not sure what everyone is on about, we’re serving you the tea in this article.

What is #HotGirlSummer???

The phrase #Hotgirlsummer was coined by American rapper, Meghan Thee Stallion. She used the term to tell women (and men) to be unapologetically themselves and fiercely go after their dreams and goals.

It simply means that summer or no summer, you MUST live your best life.

The term first appeared on Twitter after one of her fans posted a photo with the caption “I hear it’s a #HotGirlSummer”. Since then, the term has since caught on like bush fire.

Men and Women around the world are now posting fun and happy photos of themselves on social media with the same caption. The phrase represents women living out their best lives at their own terms, to make it the best thing to ever happen to them.

If you are looking to have your own Hot Girl Summer season like the Motherland Mogul that you are, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Review and Define Your Goals

In order to live life unapologetically, there must be a goal or vision that you are looking to achieve.

It is important that you have a vision of where you are going and come up with a plan of how you will get there. This may involve improving your current skill set or going back to school.

Choose your path and glow while pursuing your goals.

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward Where You are

In most cases than not, it will take time to get to your dream job/businesses/bosses and/or clientele.

While you are building towards your goals and dreams, it is essential that you grab every crucial opportunity that comes by. The journey to achieving your dreams is a culmination of all the work and effort that you are putting in now.

Use your current position to build a richer network as this will make your journey much easier.

The phrase, Your Network is Your Net worth should come in handy where you are now and when you finally get to achieve your goals.

3. Put In the Work

Nothing works unless you do.

To achieve anything in life, you must be willing to put in the effort and work required to get where you want to be.

It is also important to ensure that your voice is heard in meetings and in boardrooms. As you put in the work and effort, it is also very important that you are taking credit for your achievements.

You are much more memorable when your voice is heard, therefore, going forward ensure that you are the lady who takes credit for her work, contributes ideas and always have engaging thoughts in any meetings and conferences.

An organization or client will always value someone who adds value. Your work is then to add value. 

4. Have Fun While Doing It

Girl, work hard and play hard while you’re at it.

Going after your goals and choosing to be outstanding is definitely not always fun.

There is a lot of unseen hard work and in some cases, you are your own biggest cheerleader.

But, how about making it fun for yourself by having a weekly gratitude list?

Each week, write down something you are grateful for and also tick off a goal that you have accomplished. It is the consistent cumulative effort that eventually pays off and keeps a smile on your face.

5.Take a Selfie and Don’t Forget to Hashtag #HotGirlSummer

Lastly, while putting in the work and securing the bag don’t forget to take a bomb selfie as you live your best life, on your own terms.

It is always relaxing to get the perfect selfie and keep the movement going for all the women who are making it happen for themselves and their communities.

Have yourself a Hot Girl Summer.


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