Challenging Mindsets One Head At A Time With Curl Expert Rumbie Mutsiwa

Every entrepreneur has a story of how they started and what led them on that path. Rumbie Mutsiwa the founder of Rumbie & Co (a Sydney based hair salon) is a Zimbabwean who relocated to Australia 15 years ago and stumbled into the entrepreneurial world.

Her story is one of resilience, pushing the boundaries and taking up space where minorities are often overlooked. She’s been recognised by Vogue Australia for having a unique hair product line that caters for most curly, afro and wavy hair textures.

Rumbie Mutsiwa (Founder of Rumbie & Co)

What was the turning point for you as a Zimbabwean woman living in Australia that prompted or inspired you to start your own business?

Starting a business was never something I thought I would do, let alone the idea of being an entrepreneur. However, I am very grateful that God pushed me in this direction. Early on in my career as a nurse, I started to have this impulse, this impulse was to pray and to work out what I was truly gifted and talented at doing because back then, most people I spoke to and asked whether they liked their jobs  were only resigned to sticking to their jobs because it provided them with an income and life doesn’t always turn out to be a fairytale as we know it.

Something within me just couldn’t take that and I went on this introspective journey. To answer your question about what inspired me to start my own business, I would say there is two parts to this. The first being when my sister suggested I go into hairdressing. At the time, I was not impressed with her suggestion and actually found it to be quite insulting and disrespectful. These feelings probably stemmed from my upbringing in an African household and environment. Those of us who have grown up in these environments can probably relate to this because majority of the time you are encouraged to go down an academic path instead of a creative path.

Despite these negative feelings towards the idea of being a hairdresser looming in my mind after my sisters suggestion, I decided to take a step back to find out why I was so upset about what she had said. I started to write down and unpack the reasons why I felt the way I did and began writing my vision.

This was the first time I was truly honest with myself about what my passions were and I remember that process of writing being quite therapeutic for me. As I wrote down the things that inspired me, I discovered that I loved hair dressing. The moment I felt that I had written my heart out on paper and fully expressed my vision, I threw the pen and paper across the room and in that moment it hit me that I was passionate about hair. I loved hair and I loved the transformation and the power of it and a whole lot of other things about hair and the psychology attached to curly hair.

The second part to me realising I needed to push through with my vision was when I had just opened up a salon space. I thought I would just have something small for myself and my clients but little did I know how busy I would get and how booked out we would be during the early stages. From this I started to realise that no matter how many times I tried to push in another direction, being a hairdresser is what I was meant to be doing.

Back when I was still starting out, I tried to focus more on extensions but there were specific types of extensions that I wanted to pursue, yet those doors kept on getting closed. No matter what I did, and how good the work was people never came back. I started to get curly hair clients and that is how we coined the term “texture specialist.”

 

Rumbie & Co (Hair Salon)

 

How do you feel having your unique brand in Australia has had an impact on people who struggle to find hairdressers that with work with curly, wavy or afro hair?

65% of the world’s population has curly hair. To me that statistic is mindblowing because when you look at this space it’s underacted to. I do understand that there may be various factors at play that have shaped this narrative but I do feel it is now long overdue and having knowledge and information around products and on how to take care of your hair is a basic hair need that everyone should have access to. More work needs to be done to ensure that products which saturate the market are backed with research to minimise having people feeling frustrated with products that don’t work, damage the hair or are deer in price.

Being able to work on my brand everyday allows me to cater a service in Australia that is unfortunately not available everywhere. My goal is to change that narrative and reach as many people as possible be it with my services, products or just my story alone of why I embarked on this journey.

 

Do you see yourself expanding beyond Australia and introducing your brand to the African market?

We are definitely expanding beyond Australia, we want to make Rumbie & Co available to all people with curly hair and we do look to get into the African market because, wearing your hair natural in Africa still is (while it is getting better) something that tends to be shunned upon and seen as a poor persons option for hair styling. When you wear your natural hair, you are seen in an unsavoury light, so collectively with our simple routines and the products, our goal is to definitely bring our brand into the African market. As to when and how that is going to be very interesting because the African market is very new to me even though I was raised in Africa, all I can say is if there is anyone out there who would like to reach out feel free, I am more than happy to link up with people so I do not know the when and the how but I do know this is the goal.

 

What advice do you have for young African women who find themselves in a similar position to where you have been, in terms of living in a foreign country and starting their own successful business?

My advice for anyone who ever finds themselves in a position similar to mine where your dream or passions might not be the most trendy or popular path to take and the odds seem stacked against you is to always remember that God has the answers. I firmly believe that if I don’t have the power to say whether I live or die tomorrow, then I have to take these things to God. So if you take nothing else away from me here are the top 4 things to always keep in mind when pursuing your own entrepreneurial journey:

  1. Find a higher power to believe in: “Take it to God or a higher power (whatever it is you believe in) but I believe in God and that he directed me to what I do and continues to do so.”
  2. Keep your eye on the prize: “Once you are certain on what you love, do not waver. Keep your eye on the prize.”
  3. Sometimes cheap doesn’t always yield great results: “Do not skimp over price because  sometimes cheap things will cost you more if not most times.”
  4. The importance of having a mentor: “Get mentor, find people who have done it before and have them help you and take you through those spaces.”

“I Discovered My Passion During An Extra Year” Meet Ibukun Martins, CEO FitandPro Gears

Ibukun Martins is the real definition of “circumstances don’t define who you are.” She found her passion while in school and turned it into a successful business. 

She is an athlete, engineer and also the founder of FitandPro Gears. If you’re looking for some inspiration this week, read her story.


What ignited the spark to start FitandPro Gears?

It was getting closer to the end of the school year, and I had that relief that I was finally leaving school. Sadly, I got an extra year at the university I felt bad because this meant Ibukun wasn’t graduating with her mates! For a second, I thought of my future plans and asked myself, “Is this it?” The whole situation may have gotten to me but I made sure I didn’t dwell on it.

I had so much free time because I wasn’t taking as many courses. I would go to the sports centre to relax and watch people doing all types of exercise. The frequent visit, soon got me interested. So, I started. Sports and fitness activities became a lifestyle for me! Sometimes, you never know where you’ll find your passion.

ibukun

After months of enjoying my fitness journey, I noticed something. All the sports and fitness enthusiasts had a common problem. They couldn’t get good quality gym wear at an affordable price. I saw the problem and decided to fill in that gap. That was the silver lining for me!

What business challenges have you faced and how have those challenges shaped your mindset?

Businesses go through highs and lows and that’s something I’ve come to acknowledge. The important lesson is, “don’t dwell on the lows for too long!” One challenge I face sometimes is low sales. When I experience this, I take some time to reflect and think of possible ideas to make things better.

I start by reaching out to our customers to give feedback on the products and how they can be improved. I note and discontinue products that haven’t done well. This changes the way I approach many aspects of my business. I go back to the drawing board and restrategize! 

ibukun

One thing, I, Ibukun Martins is proud of is product improvement. I’ve been able to create better fitness gears due to customer reviews. This has led FitandPro Gears to gain partnerships in sports and fitness-related fields.

What is the heart of your business?

My customers are the heart of my business, every positive comment or feedback they share pushes me to work harder. I feel I’m getting closer to my dream, the bigger picture which is to be the biggest sports and fitness brand in Africa. I know it’s not impossible!

Also, seeing the impact and growth of the business and how far it has come gives me joy. Overall I would say, being passionate about sports and fitness got me here! A “not so good experience” turned into favour!

ibukun

What have you learned so far from running this business?

A lot! I’m going to drop them all because I believe my fellow sisters in the entrepreneurship game will be reading this.

  • Believe in yourself!
  • Have a vision to always remind you why you started.
  • Always track your growth and improvements.
  • Face your fears! To build a successful business, you must take risks.

Ibukun is a participant in the High Growth Coaching Program 2020. Catch up on her business journey on Instagram.

Forget your job! Build your career.

Dupe Akinsiun, is a seasoned HR professional with extensive years of practice that cuts across Management Consulting, Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG and career-building across West & Southern Africa. She is a certified professional with leading international HR associations like SHRM, HRCI, HRMA.

She currently works as a Leadership Capability Development Expert with a leading multinational FMCG company with presence in over 20 countries.

This is a summary of Dupe’s insights on building the career of your dreams and tackling career challenges.


Having a job is different from building a career. A career is a combination of jobs, skills, experiences, relationships, and qualifications you gather over an extended period of time to add some sort of value. This can be through entrepreneurship or employment.

When it comes to career building, I advise professionals to think long term. Thinking long term gives you the chance to look beyond current limitations. Focusing on a job instead can restrict your thinking and make you myopic.

The career you decide you want to have will influence the kind of jobs you seek. Building the career of your dreams starts with knowing what you want. While it might sound easy, it can be difficult to articulate what you want.




Here are some tips for building the career of your dreams:

1. Look within

Spend some time to identify what you have to offer. We need to learn to be able to reflect without paying attention to the noises or distractions that come from what people think we should be doing or not doing.

To help with your reflection, ask yourself questions like:

  • What are my strengths and skills?
  • Are there problems I can solve?
  • Which of these problems do I feel inclined to solve based on the skills, education, relationships or resources I have at my disposal?

2. Look without

Spend some time with a professional who can guide you. Some people find reflection challenging and are unable to do it effectively. These people may need to get help either from a coach or a more senior professional who can help them light the path.

3. Define your career challenges

There is no blanket solution to all career challenges so you need to find out what your challenge is.

I have seen people wrongly define their problems and as a result, they do not get the desired solution. The first step to solving any challenge is defining the problem.

Find those who have the same career struggles as you, but are successful. This will be a lot easier if you are actively connecting with your network. Seek advice and make necessary adjustments.

Keep reviewing and iterating the solutions until you get on the right path

4. Beware of Imitation

Learn from people, but remember to adapt their recommendations to your reality. This is because you are unique, the circumstances surrounding their own issues may slightly differ from yours and so may not make their recommendations 100% applicable.


Follow She Leads Africa on Instagram to connect with Motherland Moguls like you!

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.

Molped Feature on Chidinma Ekile: Award-Winning Musician

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 Chidinma Ekile

Chidinma Ekile is a Nigerian singer and songwriter, popularly known by her stage name Chidinma. She worked as a business promoter in Lagos, prior to auditioning for the third season of Project Fame West Africa, in which she emerged as the winner in 2010.  

Following the release of the music video for her “Emi Ni Baller” single, she became the first female musician to peak at number 1 on the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 chart.  In 2011, she released her first solo single “Jankoliko” featuring Sound Sultan.   Chidinma, her self-titled debut studio album, was released through the music platform Spinlet.  It was supported by the singles “Jankoliko”, “Carry You Go”, “Kedike” and “Run Dia Mouth”. Chidinma won the “Best Female West African Act” category at the 2012 Kora Awards 

Considered one of the most loved and respected African female artistes, Chidinma is verified across ALL social media platforms. 

A responsible, classy and elegant woman, devoid of scandals, Chidinma has over the years comported herself in a ladylike manner, evolving from the girl next door to becoming a role model and mentor for several young girls across Africa.  Chidinma recently signed an endorsement deal with the premium sanitary towel line, Molped, where she features in all Molped’sTV and radio commercials as the Face of the brand in Nigeria. She released a critically acclaimed joint EP with Africa’s foremost musician, Flavor.  

Chidinma is the founder of Nma Care Foundation, a non-governmental organization set up to cater to visually impaired children.  

You can connect with Chidinma on  Instagram and Twitter.

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship to me, means identifying the traits and characteristics you favour in people. It means that you accept them for who they are, recognize their flaws and help them improve on themselves.

It also means being there for them as practically as you can.

What advice or tips do you have for women trying to build a professional relationship with mentors?

While learning from your mentor, it’s important that you make sure you never take their time, access and opportunities for granted.  You should recognize and respect their boundaries.

Also, always offer value, because a person’s gifts will make way for them.

What skills or character traits have been most helpful to you in building your career?

I definitely think it is treating the music business as just what it is; which is a business, something akin to a 9 to 5.  I am deliberate about my actions, my team and I plan ahead. We also don’t compromise on our standards or the quality of relationships we cultivate.

What advice do you have for women trying to build a career in the music industry?

As much as I am still learning, I will humbly state that any woman willing to build a career in the entertainment industry, must be ready to work twice as hard as the guys.  Make sure you pay more attention to details and cultivate quality relationships.

Do you think it is important to have a mentor as a young woman trying to grow her career?

Yes.  However, I think that it is important that any woman takes very careful time to evaluate the person she is submitting herself to as a mentee. This is important, in order not to have a misrepresented view of the industry they are working in, and also not be taken undue advantage of.

Since you are the Brand Ambassador of MOLPED, in what ways does the brand remind you about friends/friendship?

Ok I need to actually share this with the world☺. Let’s start with how the features of the product remind me of friendship. It’s not just soft, but cottony soft with no nylon and wide wings and because of these features, it causes no irritation or leakage. 

Those are definitely qualities that I expect of a friend. For them to be soft and comforting, with us having minimal to no friction or fights. I know we might fight at times though, but not all the time you know, and of course she always keeps my business my business.

In addition, the brand promotes friendship and girls being there for each other, and drawing inspiration from each other at all times.

Do you have any words of advice for our Motherland Moguls, trying to be successful like you?

Please ensure you are bringing value to the table. Develop your craft, hone it and guard it like a mother protects her baby.


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


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2020 World Economic Forum Davos: 4 things you need to know

Global leaders from the public sector, private sector, civil society and academia met this week in Davos, Switzerland for the 50th Anniversary of the World Economic Forum. The theme this year was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”.

Africa.com has curated hundreds of keynote speeches, panel discussions, focused spotlight talks, exhibits, and sideline events to give Motherland Moguls the scoop on what happened.


1. A Zambian teen is changing the women’s health game

Natasha Mwansa, a Zambian teen got the world’s attention when she talked about her work in Africa. The 18-year old runs her own foundation and is the most compelling advocate and activist for girls and women’s reproductive rights.

She has used her voice to address the underfunding of maternal health and forced marriages of young girls. Mwansa explained that young people want more than to simply speak at conferences or become spokespersons for meaningful causes: they want to become partners in political change.

Intergenerational partnerships are necessary to help translate youth mobilization into political change.

“The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas. We have energy” – Natasha Mwansa at WEF Davos Click To Tweet

2. Climate change is #REALAF in Africa

For the world’s most vulnerable, climate change is not a distant existential threat: it is killing people right now. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, gave a powerful reality check.

‘In my region, people are dying because of climate change’

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim at WEF Davos

In the video below, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim explains what it’s like to live in a place where the effects of climate change are #realaf.

3. The Motsepe Foundation is supporting Social Entrepreneurship

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the newly elected Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, hosted several events showcasing the success of her work through the Motsepe Foundation.

Through a partnership with the Schwab Foundation, the Motsepe Foundation sponsors an Executive Education program for African students at Harvard Kennedy School.

4. This woman is leading education reform with Ethiopia’s Sesame Street

Originally a primary school teacher in Addis Ababa, Bruktawit Tigabu Tadesse developed the Whiz Kids Workshop, a multimedia enterprise that makes shows like Tsehai Loves Learning, the first educational pre-school TV show in Ethiopia.

Bruktawit founded the company in 2015 with her husband while looking to make high-quality education accessible to children on a mass scale. Working from their living room, they used sock puppets, computer graphics, and their own voices to produce Tsehai Loves Learning.


The most important take away from WEF Davos is that we all need to play our part to create a peaceful and sustainable world – no matter how small.

How are you changing your communities?


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HOW TO MANAGE DIFFICULT CLIENTS IN 2020.

With the decade is almost over, it’s the perfect time to check the relationships that are important to us.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, side hustler or corporate climber, maintaining a good relationship with your clients is an important part of your success. Unfortunately, not all clients make it easy to build a positive relationship.

How do you get that schmoney and manage difficult clients without losing your mind?

Apply some Emotional Intelligence!

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand other people’s emotions, empathize with them and respond to them appropriately.

Here are 3 tips to help you manage tough clients using Emotional Intelligence:


1. Be self-aware

The first step to empathizing with your difficult clients is evaluating yourself.

Think about how you communicate with your clients – are you showing them that you care? If you are a manager or business owner, is your company encouraging a culture of empathy for clients?

2. Listen Intelligently

Just like your personal relationships, listening is an important part of maintaining positive client relationships.

Sometimes, clients are difficult because they don’t feel heard. Consider what your clients might want from you, even if they haven’t expressed it. Listen actively by noting pain points, asking follow up questions and keeping the lines of communication open.

3. Understand your clients’ personalities

Clients are people too. When you manage people, it’s important to understand their temperaments.

Cholerics tend to be logical and use focus on facts. Stay proactive and result-oriented with choleric clients. Melancholics pay attention close to details. You must your processes for efficiency with them.

Phlegmatics can be indecisive. Be patient and helping them understand the information they need to make a decision. Sanguines tend to be carefree and impulsive, so you might consider keeping communication informal to keep their attention.

Understand your clients, their personalities and deal with them appropriately.

Which of these tips will you use to manage your difficult clients in 2020?


Ready to SLAY 2020 in Johannesburg?

Get your SLAY Festival tickets HERE.

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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Jobs – Product Manager

She Leads Africa is a digital media and events company that believes in the power of young African women to build amazing careers and businesses, serve as community leaders and influencers, and eventually take over the world. Our organization has been featured on CNN, Black Enterprise, Forbes and CNBC Africa.

We’ve worked with brands including Dark & Lovely, Uber, Cointreau, Samsung, and Facebook.

Our #MotherlandMoguls, as we affectionately call them, are the reason we exist. Our mission is to provide them with inspiring, educational events and content to help them live their best lives. 

We’re looking for a product manager to help drive product planning and execution throughout the product development lifecycle, from gathering product and customer requirements to product introduction. 

Reporting Structure: The Product Manager will report directly to an SLA co-founder. 

The Product Manager will be responsible for improving all aspects of SLA’s end-to-end community journey and drive product decisions to meet business objectives.

Responsibilities:

  • Design and manage product roadmaps, ensuring timely completion of deliverables along the entire product lifecycle: from concept through production, from sustaining improvements to value engineering. 
  • Generate detailed documentation (including market/product requirement documents), communicate these requirements to the appropriate teams, and ensure timely cross-functional execution.
  • Manage an outsourced development firm and determine product priorities and resource allocation.
  • Facilitate the design of creative and innovative solutions that encompass the entire customer journey and actively question solutions to ensure alignment with product/company vision.
  • Determine the best metrics for product success. Combine intuition with data analysis to continually drive product improvement.
  • Provide input into product pricing, go-to-market, development budgets, and sales forecasts.
  • Cultivate a deep understanding of our customers throughout their lifecycle, and advocate for solutions based on their needs and pain points.
  • Monitor and report on sales and customer satisfaction metrics and offer data-driven insights about what new products or product lines will have the greatest impact for our customers and business.

We are looking for someone who:

  • Has 3+ years of relevant product management experience.
  • Has a strong project management background, with demonstrated ability to execute on tight deadlines.
  • Has recorded huge success working in a startup environment where you have taken ideas from conception to execution.
  • Has the ability to juggle multiple priorities.
  • Has exceptional communication skills, and demonstrated ability to build high-trust relationships.
  • Has an engineering or design background; experience bringing a physical product to market required.
  • Has experience guiding cross-functional teams in a highly iterative, rapidly evolving agile environment.
  • Has excellent analytical skills with demonstrated experience turning data into actionable insights.
  • Has experience with A/B testing, UX/UI principles and customer research techniques.
  • Has a can-do attitude and is flexible enough to take on any task we throw at them
  • Is passionate, hungry and eager to build SLA into a world-class institution
  • Has high professional and ethical standards i.e. understands that there’s no such thing as African time – you’re just late
  • Is comfortable taking and giving feedback
  • Has a good sense of humor – because we’ll be working hard so we better keep each other entertained
  • Is comfortable working in a startup environment where we’re making the rules up as we go along.

Ultimately we’re looking for someone who wants to be part of something great. Someone who wants to help us create one of the best African companies in the world. 

Submit your application here:

5 learning points from the Employability Fitness Program organized by CareerLife Nigeria

CareerLife Nigeria was conceived out of the passion to help solve the issue of un-employability among graduates.

SLA contributor, Yewande Jinadu who is also the founder of CareerLife Nigeria is someone who had earlier struggled with interviews which she dreaded so much until she decided to pursue Talent Acquisition as a career path and learned how it felt to be at the other side of the table.

The pilot edition of the Employability Fitness Program(EFP) held on the 13th  July 2019 was aimed at helping jobseekers overcome interview phobia by putting them in an interview with HR Professionals and Subject Matter Experts so that the feedback they would get would be personalized to their unique need and deficiency.

The following steps will help you deal with Interview phobia:

1. Understand yourself

Overcoming phobia has a lot to do with you! Understand your shortcomings and work on it.

Being self-aware is much more than knowing your weakness. It’s also about knowing your strengths accurately.

If you know why the organization should hire you, you would definitely do better. When you saw the job description, you looked through and were convinced this job was for you.

All that is left is to prepare yourself ahead and establish why you should be given the job. Preparation is VERY IMPORTANT!

2. Go in with the mindset of “Why wouldn’t they hire me”

It’s only if you have lied in your application that you would be scared. When you go with a convinced mindset, you are one step closer to avoiding fear.

Most job seekers go into an interview with an uncertain mind so they cower at any slight intimidation. 

3. Communicate your value to your employer

An interview isn’t all about you and what you stand to gain if employed.

Employers are hunting for value in talents and if you’re not able to portray that during the interview, you would most likely get a rejection email.

So think through your value and ensure you communicate it clearly.

4. Always have transferable skills

Most fresh graduates believe they have nothing to offer just because they don’t have a long list of experience to show forth which is WRONG.

Transferable skills are mostly soft skills and competencies that are important for the role you are applying to. You may have led a team while in school or provided a solution to a big problem during your NYSC.

Don’t despise those ‘little’ experiences because they can be very relevant in your new role.

5. Don’t go into an interview feeling defeated

What’s the worst that could happen after an interview? You get a NO! You move on…

I realized that when you put your whole life into something and have packed yourself with so much fear, the interview becomes a do or die affair.

This increases the likelihood of you messing up. I’m not saying you shouldn’t prepare well and take it seriously but don’t spoil it by putting too much pressure on yourself.

I wish you the best in your career! If you would like to join the free 3 months post-coaching session, visit CareerLife Nigeria.


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