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?


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SheaMoisture Spotlight On Award-Winning Midwife: Tolu Adeleke-Aire – CEO ToluTheMidwife

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 Tolu Adeleke-Aire

Tolu Adeleke-Aire is the CEO and founder of ToluTheMidwife.

She is an internationally trained, dual-qualified healthcare professional. Tolu is an accomplished senior midwife and nurse. Tolu has over ten years of clinical and management experience.

She completed an MSc in Healthcare Management, after which she worked with the reputable UCL (Department of Nutrition).

Tolu founded ToluTheMidwife to create a holistic experience for families. One that included preparing, supporting and empowering expectant parents as they transition to parenthood. She does this through evidence-based health education.

One parent at a time, Tolu is living her business mantra, “save a mother, save a child, save a community.”

To learn more about Tolu’s business and connect with her, visit her Website, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.

ToluTheMidwife Healthcare Solutions, how did you start?

I started ToluTheMidwife Healthcare Solutions (officially) in 2018. The aim is to prepare, support and empower expectant parents as they transition to parenthood through evidence-based health education.



Birthing a baby is a life-changing experience,and services rendered must offer a holistic approach. – @ToluTheMidwife Click To Tweet

At ToluTheMidwife, we offer Antenatal Classes, Postnatal Classes, exclusive “With Woman” services and Dads Antenatal Classes #DadsAntenatalNg.

Through effective health education, we can influence a positive change in health behaviors. This will drastically reduce Nigeria’s maternal and neonatal mortality rates.

We truly believe that informed and empowered parents will Save a mother, Save a baby and Save a Community.

What was your motivation?

While still working in England, I visited Nigeria often because I always wanted to move back.

So during one of these visits, I read an article about the atrocious maternal and neonatal mortality rates. I instantly became obsessed.

That article made me struggle to understand why so many women die just because they are having a baby. On further research, I noted many women lack basic evidence-based health education.

As a result, I created Tolu the Midwife to fill this gap, with the hopes of saving mothers, babies, and communities.

What makes your brand stand out?

I would say our dads antenatal classes, #DadsAntenatalNg. We are the first to incorporate antenatal classes for dads in Lagos and possibly Nigeria.

Society expects men to understand the beautiful yet challenging changes that happen to women during pregnancy. To support their partners in labor and in the postnatal period.

All that without being taught, educated, informed or even supported.
This is grossly unfair, drives men away and generational patterns are subconsciously repeated.

Our holistic approach covers the transition to parenthood right from conception for both men and women.

Another thing we do is offer our couples, round the clock online maternity support through our exclusive “With Woman” packages.

Couples feel very reassured knowing there is a midwife available to answer all their questions and alleviate any anxiety or refer them to the hospital (if required).

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

1. Time management: I had a demanding full-time job and was starting a business in Nigeria.  It was very challenging and I found no matter how hard I tried, the “naija factor” would disrupt my plans.

I am currently working part-time, as this gives me enough time to focus on building ToluTheMidwife and The Maternity Hub (Nigeria). 

I am also able to attend various courses which have been extremely helpful in building my brand.

2. Funding: I was unable to secure a personal space as I had planned and this threw me out of sync. I froze the plans I had for the classes for a while.

However, I am currently leasing spaces as required for my classes (pay-as-you-go) and this is working out really well.

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

As a brand new start-up, we are trying new and exclusive services such as dads antenatal classes and baby massage classes and evaluating the response we get from our clients.  

We also constantly monitor maternal needs and trends.

Do you have a personal experience that taught you a business lesson?

I didn’t consider the third party factor and it left me devastated at the start of my business. 

As an example, I write the handbooks for the classes and have them updated throughout the year.

I gave the first book to a printer and I didn’t receive them on time for the very first class. It made me upset because when I did receive them, they were not fit for purpose.

So when I updated the books again and sent them to the printer, I monitored every single step to avoid a repeat of what happened before.

It was a really helpful learning experience for me because as a startup, I can’t afford to have a stain on my reputation, so I take all the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t repeat itself.

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

I would say being able to make pregnant couples feel informed and empowered about their pregnancy, birthing options, and postnatal care. Most of them report feeling less anxious and worried because they know we are one call away.

They also ask the midwives and doctors to complete all aspects of their antenatal check-up. The women have their personal antenatal handheld notes, so they keep track of the important numbers in pregnancy.

All in all, I have been able to support more parents and help them become more informed and prepared to welcome their children to the world.

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

My major goal is to add new services to ToluTheMidwife. This is partially completed but we would love to regularise the frequency of the classes.

We are also working hard to open The Maternity Hub. A one-stop hub for maternity, with services from conception to 6 weeks postpartum.

Can you share with us three interesting facts about yourself?

I am a real foodie and funny too, so you’ll usually catch me chilling and laughing.

Another interesting thing about me is that I prefer a good movie and company, over living it up in the clubs and bars on a Friday night.

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

Absolutely ecstatic. SLA is an awesome platform for amazing African women.

To have our services featured on your sites, sponsored by SheaMoisture is truly an honor.


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


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Catherine Lesetedi: Botswana’s Boss Woman

Botswana

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

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

Her career so far…

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

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

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

Her journey there…

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

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

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

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


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

Her life experiences…

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

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

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

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

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

Her philosophies for life…

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Join the SLA #SecureTheBag Challenge

Hey Girl,

End your Hot girl summer by securing the bag and getting your finances in order. Our 30 Day #securethebag calendar helps you: save, invest, and live your best life! 

So without too much talk, enjoy your calendar as promised! 

And, if you’re new to our community, starting tomorrow you’ll get more information on what She Leads Africa is and how you can boost your personal and professional development as a part of our community! Otherwise, it’s business as usual. 😏

Can’t wait to see how financially stable you become this season, so ensure to share your progress/ journey to getting the bag with us, every day on our social media @SheLeadsAfrica.

See you on Instagram!
Lola Naija 


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SheaMoisture Spotlight on Finance Queen: Anie Ufia – founder of Kolo Lagos

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 Anie Ufia

22-year old Ufia Aniebietabasi is the CEO and founder of Kolo Lagos. She is a Mass Communication graduate from the University of Lagos.

After an experience where she was shocked to find out that she had no savings of her own in a bank or anywhere else, Anie made up her mind to create a system that will make savings fun and a priority for her. 

Seeing the immediate results it had on her finances, she was determined to help other young people like herself, take control of their finances.

You are sure to either catch Anie preaching the gospel of financial freedom or on the lookout for opportunities with which she can drive social change.

Connect with Anie and her business here Website, Instagram, Twitter


Tell us about Kolo Lagos.

Kolo Lagos is a proudly Nigerian brand that is passionate about bringing back the saving culture in a unique way.

We aim to achieve this by encouraging people to save money in a piggy bank, popularly called “Kolo” in Nigeria.

Our kolos are made from quality tested wood and specially handcrafted with love in Nigeria to help people curb overspending, grow a saving habit and stay disciplined while at it. 

How did you turn this habit into a business?

I started Kolo Lagos during my final year at the University. I suddenly realized that I had zero savings, not in the bank or even in a piggy bank.

This made me buy a piggy bank for myself and discipline myself to save money. I bought one from a carpenter that was introduced to me by a friend.

 Since it worked for me, I told my friends about it and everyone wanted a piggy bank so they could save money as well. 

That was how the journey began!

Having a niche business, how do you make your brand stand out?

At Kolo Lagos, our kolos are crafted and designed to promote the rich and beautiful culture in Nigeria and Africa. They have also added an innovative touch to an old approach of saving money which was used since the days of our forefathers.

The reusability of our Kolos has also added a modern twist to it and is the ‘WOW’ factor that attracts our customers

Can you share with us 3 things you struggled with at the start of your business, and how you overcame them?

The major challenge I struggled with at the start of my business was building brand loyalty. It was a new business and with the prevalence of online fraud, most people are scared to make a purchase from an online store.

However, as the business grew, people began to trust us enough to refer us to friends and relatives. I have now moved from selling kolos to just friends and family but to people who discover us via the internet.

Another big challenge I struggled with was finding artisans who knew their onions, could deliver neatly done jobs, and deliver them on time.

I am glad that I have overcome that challenge since I have a particular one I now work with…

Tell us about a personal experience that translated to a  business lesson for you.

My first business lesson was before I even began my business. I had given a fashion designer a fabric and style to make an outfit for me.

I decided to come to get it at the allotted time the tailor gave me, but despite the sufficient time I gave, my dress wasn’t ready.

It was quite annoying and frustrating, to say the least. So I took that lesson with me to Kolo Lagos when I started it.

Working with artisans means that I constantly have to follow up, make calls and even go there physically if need be, just to ensure that everything is done well and on time. That experience stayed with me and has been a major lesson that has helped my business.

What impact have you made in your community since starting your business?

Since starting my business, I have impacted my community by speaking at workshops and seminars to both young and old people about money, and why it’s important to maintain a healthy saving lifestyle.

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

My goal for 2019 is to get more local distributors within Nigeria and at least one international distributor in order to achieve the goal of selling 2,000 kolos this year.

I am currently speaking with someone who is interested in becoming an international distributor.

Share with us 3 fun facts about yourself

  1. I love food. Food loves me.
  2. Food makes me happy.
  3. I know how to play drums.

What’s your fave skin care routine?

My skin care routine is done at night when I get to nicely cleanse my skin with my organic skin products, and prep for the night before going to bed.

How do you feel about promoting your brand on She Leads Africa, courtesy of SheaMoisture?

To be totally honest, I am still in utter shock even as I type this.

I remember when I applied for it and a part of me wasn’t sure if my business would be selected, but I applied anyway.

I am deeply and sincerely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you so much, Shea Moisture. You ROCK!

Describe your business with one word…

The word is UNIQUE.

Missed our first Shea Moisture Spotlight? Click here.

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


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NNENNA OFOEGBU: 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING

Nnenna Ofoegbu holds a BA Hons degree in Public Relations and Communications and has recently started her own Events business.

She loves writing self-help themed articles and is a mentor. Nnenna is the founder of Yes You Can! A platform that inspires others to live a more focused, goal-driven life.

She also has a long-term passion for fashion accessories and has started her own fashion jewelry company called Exquisitely Yours London.

Nnenna is a huge advocate for giving up personal time for free in exchange for gaining valuable experience, knowledge and career advancement.

Through volunteering and interning, she gained some connections, opened doors and opportunities she would never have been offered otherwise had she not volunteered her time to work for free.

And that is why she thinks one should consider volunteering if they have never done it before. Whether you’re already employed in your dream job or you’re a fresh graduate looking for your first dream role.

It could be through a professional internship at a global organization or by volunteering in your spare time with an NGO.

There are many advantages to volunteering like being offered a job within the organization. Bringing your expertise in one area or learning a new skill in another area you’re interested in can benefit both parties.

You’ll also get to meet new people and expand your professional network.

However, opting to volunteer may not be a financially viable move for everyone. Although a lot of organizations can allow you to work remotely if you are expected to work from the office than expenses like travel and feeding may be left up to you to cover.

This can be off-putting especially if your finances are restricted, but there are ways around it. You could suggest agreeing to volunteer for a short period like two weeks for example, or on a part-time basis like one day a month. Do what works best for you. This will help you to limit your costs.

Nnenna Ofoegbu decided to #volunteer with a well-known charity to upskill her CV after being out of the UK jobs market for a year and not being able to land an interview. Read more… Click To Tweet

She was fortunate as the charity offered to reimburse her for her travel and feeding expenses, and she worked on a part-time basis of two days a week.

She thought it was going to be a piece of cake – oh how wrong she was! It was hard work and challenging. But she had a great mentor who helped her work on and improve her skill set.

It was all worth it in the end when she got to walk a well-known British celebrity down the red carpet at the charity’s annual awards ceremony and go to St James’ Palace for a private garden party.

There are some perks! So, why should you consider volunteering?

Here are Nnenna’s 5 reasons why you should volounteer.

1. Gain or improve an existing skillset

Taking up a corporate internship or volunteering with a social enterprise will give you the opportunity to level up your skillset.

Whether it’s your I.T proficiency or presentation skills, use volunteering as a valid way to learn something new or improve an existing skill.

Working with other skilled colleagues will also enhance your skills and improve your interpersonal abilities. 

Top Tip: Keep a list of any new skills you have gained both soft and hard as it will increase your market value.

By keeping a journal during your time volunteering you will be able to self-reflect on your personal and professional development.

Make sure you update your CV, as additional skills add value to it.

2. Shows ambition

Generally speaking, ambitious minded people are more likely to get ahead in the workplace. Whereas the passive and unassertive person tends to be overlooked for promotion.

Volunteering helps you to create the right impression within the organization. It shows that not only are you willing to give up your time for free but that you’re career-minded and take your professional development seriously.

It shows senior management that you’re focused, responsible and enthusiastic member of the team. It shows assertiveness.

Now all you must do is bring your A-game and add value to the organization by positively contributing to the team.

Top Tip: Set some goals or list the things that you would like to have mastered or achieved during your time with the organization.

Discuss them with your supervisor and come to an agreement on what support you will need to achieve your goals.

3. Improves your network

Volunteering can be a useful way of expanding your professional network. Get involved and try to participate with any department or team activities, social gatherings, and work meetings.

This is also a good time to look for a career mentor if you don’t have one already. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a senior manager.

It could be your co-worker or a colleague from a different team or department.

Top Tip: Add your co-workers and managers (if appropriate) on LinkedIn and ask them to endorse you.

4. Boosts your confidence

Not only will volunteering boost your skills, but your self-confidence will also benefit. It takes guts and tenacity to get out there and join a new organization as a volunteer.

It’s a positive achievement and something to feel proud of. It will make you feel good about yourself and confident in your capabilities.

Top Tip: Don’t feel undervalued because you’re not being paid a salary, rather see it as a chance to be a fly on the wall.

You’ll get to see behind the scenes which could inspire you to suggest some ideas like for a charity fundraiser or a corporate social responsibility activity for example.

5. Brings you closer to your dream job

Whether it’s your first role you’re chasing or you want to pivot into a new career sector through volunteering, it’s the sum total of all your newly acquired skills and connections that will bring you closer to where you ultimately want to go career or even business-wise (even if they don’t offer you a job at the end of it).

If you are looking for employment, then volunteering with the right organization certainly helps.

Top Tip: Add your voluntary work to your LinkedIn profile with any relevant links to the projects or work you’ve been involved in.

Volunteering shows potential employers you’ve got the initiative to do something constructive about your career path and sets you apart from those who haven’t volunteered. Read more Click To Tweet

Join our Facebook Live on August 22nd to learn how to drive social change through your business/ Career. Click here to sign up.

7 ways to make your space more liveable without breaking the bank – by Banke Ajagunna

Banke Ajagunna is the Founder of Decor Nigeria; an interior design company that specializes in designing functional and aesthetically appealing spaces for corporate and individual clients.

When you hear young professional, the first thing that comes to mind is budget. We’ve all been there and some of you are still there.

That being said, with the minimum wage in our Motherland, design for a young professional may seem far-reaching and unattainable.

In this article, Banke shares a few ways to make your space more liveable without breaking the bank.


Wall profiles

Wall profiles (also known as wainscoting) are usually seen as expensive because you only get to see them at high-end stores or homes but they are really not as pricey as you’d think.

They can be very affordable when made locally. Wall profiles make for a fantastic alternative wall finish than good ol’ wallpapers.

Additionally, if you are an old soul and intrigued about design in the 18th century – signifying a period of opulence and extravagance- wall profiles could give you that beautiful renaissance feels that you’ve always dreamed about.

Sign up to get our FREE guide which highlights 3 proven skills you need to impact and grow your business.

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Space

Make the most out of every space, they come freely but like free things, you might not appreciate it till it’s gone.

You may be tempted to stuff a lot of unnecessary decorative pieces in your home but don’t fall for it; ISSA TRAP!

Declutter as much as possible to give your room the much-needed airiness. Also, the spaces that bridge the gap between inside and outside can become the greatest allies in designing.

Restyling your balcony, back deck with natural furniture, plants if you like, will create an added extension to your home.

Wall shelves

You can easily put this together with a piece of wood and wall brackets for support. This design tip is very flexible and adaptable as it gives you the chance to choose your preferred style and also paint it to any color that suits your taste, anytime.

Wall shelves can be placed in the living area or the bedroom. Books, accent pieces can be kept on this shelf, making it look full but beautifully arranged.

Mirror

Mirrors have earned status as an effective interior design tool used to fulfill practical purposes and a multitude of creative motives.

Whether you want to add a polished touch to your interiors, make a statement with wall art or amplify light and space, a thoughtfully chosen, a well-positioned mirror is an answer.

A mirror in your space simply lets the light in, placing it next to a window or opposite a window increases the amount of light cast inside a room, thereby making the space if small, appear larger. It can be used in a shallow room, hallway, bedroom, etc.

Pro Tip: Place your mirror strategically so it reflects the best part of your room.

Repurpose Furniture

Grandma’s bookshelves and tables are great items to repurpose. A good coat of paint will completely change the look of a piece and allow you to fit it into any space.

A pair of old end tables can be painted and given a contrasting top to make an entertaining coffee table or dining room table.

Using pieces that have been used before and reimagine them in a modern way, and depending on the design style, it can also be refurbished to look antique. Sofas and armchairs can also be reupholstered in a new fabric to give a more modern look.

Infuse Some Greenery

A lot of interior styles now includes bringing the outside, inside. It has become a full-on movement in interior designing and has tons of benefits, from mood-boosting to cleaner air.

Bringing natural plants it isn’t the only way to decorate with plants, you can still do so with a plant print wallpaper. Luckily this method is quite in vogue and gives you all the same peaceful and happy feelings as live plants.

Artificial plants are a plausible alternative to live plants because they require little or no maintenance and can also give your home a greenhouse vibe.

Art Prints

Art prints are a cost-effective way to bring color and texture into your space while also making you look like a connoisseur of fine things.

Here, you need to be a bit selective because some art pieces shouldn’t be seen on your wall; they are just too busy and distasteful.

Think of art as the stylistic icing on the cake that is your home and is sure to select what you like. Always consider the ideal scale and proportions when installing your artwork.

For instance, small art prints can be placed in clusters or you can centralize a single large piece of art at eye level thereby making it the focal point of your room.

White Beddings Are A Must

Hard to maintain but it’s a trick that keeps on giving. You are probably wondering how a couple of plain white sheets will make a difference in your home.

White is the lightest color, it is very achromatic and is associated with light, goodness, purity, innocence, etc. They may seem basic and boring but a most noteworthy benefit is that using white bedspreads helps soften and counter the other colors in a room; bringing it all together.

If you are not sold yet, you can add colored throws and cushions to make it look cozier.

On the plus side, it looks quite hotel-like and inviting.

Final Notes: If you follow these tips, you might be tempted to call in sick at work just so you laze around in bed but that might not be a good idea.

However, you can rest assured that you will always return to a warm and cozy home after a long day at work. Nothing beats this feeling!

For more interior design tips and tricks, visit www.decor.ng. Photo credits: Pinterest

This article was written by Banke Ajagunna.

Banke Ajagunna

Join our Facebook Live on August 22nd to learn how to drive social change through your business/ Career. Click here to sign up.

The Queen of Representation – From Botswana to the world

“The A-Girls are exceptional, black vinyl dolls that appreciate the African girl of today, with all her versatility and diversity”.

Dolls are part of a girl’s introduction to what is considered ‘beautiful’. According to Bakani, creating the brand was essential in order to excavate and resuscitate what African beauty is. 

Until August 2016, Bakani July Johnson was a Lecturer at the University of Botswana (UB) in the Social Work Department. She holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work and has worked intensively in the psychosocial field since 2004, gaining experience with Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinic as a social welfare case manager.

Prior to that, she worked with the Government of Botswana as a Social Welfare officer. After years of ideating, planning and testing, Bakani left the UB and started her doll-making business.

Bakani is a social entrepreneur and is constantly looking for ways to enhance the lives of others.

She is also a founding trustee of Musani Family Care Foundation, an organization that focusses on the restoration of Botswana’s family unit, and offers accommodation to families in transition, mostly caregivers of hospitalized patients who come from far off villages.

Musani Family Care Foundation seeks to bridge the gap by providing temporary housing and support for these families who need it most, at no cost. 

Connect with Bakani and her business on social media.


Why it is important for me to make the dolls…

I have always loved children. I am forever looking for ways to enhance their wellbeing and this led to the realization that there were no black dolls to use during clinical sessions with my little patients.

As a social worker, dolls are some of the symbolic tools used for communication during sessions. However, more often than not, the dolls that were donated looked nothing like the children I worked with.

This became a query, to manufactures and it was not a pretty feeling as it was seen from the point of exclusion. 

I realized that I could continue with the feeling of being ‘left out’ as a black African girl, or I could do something about it.  The research allowed me to see that I, and others like me, were never a concern for doll-makers; they had their own market and concerns.

Whatever I could find was by sheer luck.  I refused to use divisive story-telling or to accept that it was ‘someone else’s fault’ that as Batswana – and Africans – we don’t have black dolls.

The more I searched, the more I was challenged to create the doll I was looking for. I worked from thought to product, beginning in 2007.

The effect representation has on young Batswana /African girls…

We have for the longest time been portrayed as ugly, and not a representation of beauty.

If you research dolls throughout history, you will not like what you see. We have been ‘caricatured’ through the years and our features ridiculed. Our natural hair is still a full-on debate today.

With the dolls, I am simply excavating and resuscitating a black girl’s beauty.

The idea of the @AGirls15 dolls was to trigger an emotional response and to ensure that we put African girls faces on beauty, with a clear understanding that it is our responsibility to raise a new, confident African girl. – Bakani… Click To Tweet

The idea of the dolls was to trigger an emotional response and to ensure that we put African girls faces on beauty, with a clear understanding that it is our responsibility to raise a new, confident African girl. 

The development of The African Girls Dolls is a winning communication tool targeting children.

These are one-of-a-kind vinyl dolls that appreciate the diversity of African girls and were created with the realization of a lack of representation both commercially and in messaging for African children.

Most props and toys used are of girls and boys are not of African descent. Through the African girls’ collection, I am constantly helping organizations to create a unique language of truths, trust, and symbols as part of visual storytelling and visual messaging.

I understand that symbolically, images help us to understand abstract concepts that cannot always be translated into words and dolls have throughout history been symbols to communicate, appreciate and represent.

Dolls are part of a girl’s introduction to what is considered ‘beautiful’, and speaking to that aspect we want to be able to say ‘she is so pretty, just like a doll’ – and actually talk about a doll that looks like her. 

Children are visual beings. They connect to things visually and will remember things seen more than things said. They connect with objects or pictures from memory.

Africa and Botswana are about symbolism, or what things represent and communicate.

By giving girls @AGirls15 dolls that look like them, we are communicating a million things without words. Silent messaging works well with children – Bakani July Johnson Click To Tweet

If you listen in on doll play, your child communicates with what she sees. If her dolly is wearing beads she will have a conversation about that. The idea was to have dolls that are relevant to the children, thus when one looks at the dolls, they will realize that some have tutu skirts and modern symbols which represents a ‘modern girl’ whereas others are dressed in traditional Tswana regalia.

Great dolls bring the thought of history, self, and admiration. Children from different ethnicities benefit from playing with dolls that are a different skin tone, make and versatility.

Though dolls are not photocopies of the individual, we believe that to a small child the most important thing is that her little dolly is beautiful just like her, validating who she is and how she relates to herself.

The role I see my dolls playing in a Motswana girl’s life

This product, created by an African woman for African children is girl-centered for now and is self-esteem/self-efficacy based.

More than play, the dolls are seen as communication tools that instill gender and ethnic pride as a foundation for social skills. What you see and is preached becomes a norm. If everyone talks about ‘light-skinned’ being better, children will want that.

I want parents to hand the dolls to the children without influencing the children’s taste about them. 

I have involved a few people in the crafting of the dolls from those that design the clothes to those that do the hair and packaging.

I am very committed from an economic point of view to create an ecosystem that will hire many people because the project has a lot of potential for growth.

I want a situation where the dolls will have ambassadors so that the young ones can appreciate the mortal presentations of the dolls, just the way they experience the princesses that they see at places like Disneyland.

I will build the momentum and I am open to ideas to help develop the brand even further. I am sending out a call to all African and Botswana girls to join the brand as re-sellers and distributors for their countries.

How I manufacture my dolls…

I have involved a few people in the crafting of the dolls, from those who design the clothes to those who do the hair and packaging.

Unfortunately, in Africa we don’t have companies that work with vinyl for doll making, so we have been forced to outsource.

However, we do have tailors and designers, crochet ladies and shoemakers working on other aspects of the dolls locally.

How the dolls have been recieved by people so far

The success of the dolls has transcended borders and continents, and they have reached international markets.

Botswana has been amazing! The relevance is clearly understood, the need is very apparent and we can only express gratitude for all the support.

Media has been keen at each stage of their development, and young, hopeful Batswana are eagerly working to join the brand and with open arms, we are welcoming ideas and collaborations.

The dolls are currently available across Botswana, as well as re-sellers in Johannesburg, the Netherlands and the United States of America.

We have worked with brands like the Netball World Youth Cup, International Women in Sport, Botswana Tourism Organization and we are currently working on a project with Botswana Netball.

The growth of the business will definitely be stimulated by partnerships.  Partnering at different levels with others is beneficial.

I am working with so many individuals who want to run with certain aspects of the product and I have never been as relieved as the agreements come to fruition. I know now I cannot do it alone! 


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

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4 ways to Deal with Stress as at work

Our work lives can bring along a certain level of stress upon us. The stress could come from dealing with expectations from bosses or supervisors.

There might be nerve-wracking deadlines that you have to meet up with. Or you could find yourself in a co-working space that makes it difficult to get work done. All of this could lead to stress.

Stress is not something that should be taken lightly, as it takes a negative toll on your body and mind.

It can cause you to either gain or lose weight, or result in physical symptoms such as having backaches or pounding headaches.

Stress also leads to a negative mindset. You can feel moody, or disturbed about your life. Needless to say, stress does no good.

Do not get overwhelmed by your To-Do list.

It is necessary to find ways to reduce and relieve yourself from it. I have some tips from my experience on how to find ways to deal with stress from work.


1. Prioritize and Delegate

As ladies, we often love to pride ourselves on multitasking. Multitasking is alright, but always trying to do too much all at once can lead you to severe stress or worse, a breakdown.

That’s why I’m all about prioritizing. You can still be productive by focusing on the most important things first, then, set aside time later or another day for other tasks.

Also, if you feel that too much is on your plate, don’t be afraid to speak up.

Don’t get caught up in wanting to be the “superwoman” but feeling completely exhausted.

In a workplace, there are often others around that you can lean on to carry some load off you. If there are members of your team that you can shift some responsibilities to, then pass on the information.

If you are a one-woman team but feel that there is too much going on, have a conversation with your boss. You might need to get an assistant or intern to help you accomplish all the duties.

2. Take that lunch break with Your co-workers

When the work seems to be pilling up and overwhelming you, having a fun conversation with your co-worker might feel like the last thing you want to do but it could help.

Having amicable connections with your co-workers could ease the tension and stress you feel from work.

Socializing with co-workers serves as an avenue for you to take a little break from work while still at work.

Your co-workers could even provide solutions to the stress you feel by offering their input or strategies to help you tackle a difficulty you might be facing. So do not spend your entire workday glued to your desk and laptop.

Look around at the people you work with, take a lunch break with someone.

3. Use Music to ease the tension


Music can bring some inner calm when work makes you want to pull your hair out. If you have a favorite artist and songs that will get you going, then have that playlist on your phone.

You can get your earpiece and tune into your favorite songs to help you get motivated or simply in a better mood.

If you’re not the type of person that can work with music on, then consider a short break from your desk. Often times, if we become too glued to a screen, it can cause headaches.

Get up from your desk and maybe stretch for a few minutes. Or get up from your desk and take a short walk outside the office building. After some time away from the desk, you could find yourself in a better mood. You could figure out a solution to tackle the task at hand.

4. Get your body moving to chase the worries away

Taking up a physical activity can be what you need to take your mind off the duties in the workplace. It can help you to feel better because of the endorphin that the body produces while working out.

Exercise can have numerous benefits. It not only keeps the body fit and healthy but it helps in the mindset.

When I graduated, left school life and started my first job, I had some level of stress. I had to get used to working structures, responsibilities and finding a work/life balance.

What helped me deal with the stress was keeping up with my exercise routine from university days.

Exercising was my outlet to not get so worried about whether I was doing things right. Exercise is was what boosted my mood to feel confident that I was capable of handling new responsibilities.

If you are not already taking up a physical activity, yet you have stress from work, then making time to workout matters. You could workout before or after your work or during the weekend would be helpful.


That money you want is in someone’s account: Amba Eyang – Ajakaye

Not every “celebrity” is known. There are powerful women who are not just breaking glass ceilings, but also impacting the lives of people they meet.

One of such extraordinary women is Amba Eyang-Ajakaiye, a Brand Storyteller and Business Strategist.

She is the founder of iDare.NotDread Nigeria, a social engineering platform promoting innovation, creativity, and enterprise through storytelling and value sharing.

She is also team lead of the Build My Business initiative born out of iDare.NotDread’s enterprise. Centered on building skills and capacities for young people in the business.

This project launched grand ideas such as the BMB Expo and BMB Training school (online) in 2017.

Amba has gone from transforming ordinary people who would have never thought of writing their own books, to making them authors.

She’s also supporting small businesses to achieve scalability and growth especially, by helping them identify and understand the importance of “target markets” and “market validation”.

In this interview with SLA contributor – Wuraola, Amba Eyang-Ajakaiye bares it all about IDare.NotDread and highlights why small business owners should “do it afraid”.


Do it Afraid. Fight your limitations – Amba Eyang-AjakaiyeI Click To Tweet

Tell us about your company – IDare.NotDread

iDare.NotDread is a social Enterprise promoting innovation, creativity, and enterprise in Nigeria.

Our focus is primarily to build women communities and empower them with creative and innovative skills for business growth.

What’s one business tip you wish most business owners knew and could wield to their advantage?

Network. Meet people.

That money you want is in someone’s account. That unspoken challenge can be solved by someone. Attend workshops, events, and meet people. Most people don’t bite.

How can entrepreneurs begin to understand the power of conducting market validation, and collaboration with other SMEs?

I believe in collaboration. This is why I try to build communities. We started the Abuja food community in May, and its amazing to see how much collaboration has happened in a group full of women.

Yet, we probably thought women prefer to fight. No. The moment businesses understand that collaboration first means ‘here is what I can give you’, before ‘give me what I want’, they will lead better businesses.

With a lot of fake business coaches around, what makes your brand different?

We didn’t just arrive. We’ve been here a while. In 2013 we started with creating a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories and inspire others.

Over time, we realized stories weren’t enough. Capacities needed to be built.

So we went all in to try to understand the real needs of the entrepreneurs we wished to serve, and since 2016, we started contributing to conversations around digital technology and creating a good impact in the digital space.

Since then, our efforts have birthed super brands.

In the past 3 years we have successfully trained 4,000 entrepreneurs on digital strategies as well as provided opportunities for business visibility.

Many thanks to the opportunity Google granted us through the Digital Skills for Africa programme and a host of other partners who have trusted us to work with them.

Why should SMEs understand their target markets before making an entrance into the market?

Because if we don’t, we would be hitting our heads on rocks. Hard rocks.

You can’t sell to everyone, and this is why research is key to identifying who your market is.

Ever tried selling a #ManchesterUnited jersey to an #Arsenal fan? It's just blind selling. Read more from Amba Eyang-Ajakaiye Click To Tweet

Tell us about your Ebook Challenge

Its amazing! I launched my first ever ebook on March 2019, titled ‘How to write your first eBook‘ and that’s where the ebook challenge began.

We are currently on our 3rd cohort and it’s been amazing!!! Every 2 months we launch a new set of authors who are super proud of their achievements. It feels great to empower people to create wealth with their knowledge.

We are looking to expand the community beyond eBooks to help more women create diverse digital products and generate more income.

How does the “Do It Afraid” catchphrase relate to entrepreneurs who don’t like taking risks?

We all have fear in us. It’s an emotion. I am still learning to tame my fears. And we all should. The best way to go about it is to go ahead and do that very thing you fear.

I have coached a number of businesses and one of the areas I tend to focus on is to help them fight those limitations – the little voices and beliefs that make them feel less of themselves and limited.

It’s important we act despite fear. Accept your fears but act.

What’s the worst that could happen? Failure? Then show me one person who NEVER failed.