The HealthCare Giant of Botswana

“Bridging the gap between Policy and Implementation in Gender, Reproductive Health, and HIV/AIDS”

Professor Sheila Tlou – whose surname translates literally to ‘elephant’ is a veritable giant in the gender, health care and sexual and reproductive healthcare space in Botswana, Africa, and the world.

To Professor Sheila Tlou, the themes are inseparable, and much of her work includes activism at the intersection of these spaces.

Professor Sheila Tlou is the co-chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition and the co-chair of the Nursing Now Global Campaign. From 2010 to 2017 she was Director of the UNAIDS regional support team for Eastern and Southern Africa.

She is a former Member of Parliament and Minister of Health of the Republic of Botswana (2004-2008). 

Also, Professor Sheila Tlou was the former Professor of Nursing at the University of Botswana and Director of the WHO collaborating center for Nursing and Midwifery Development in Primary Health Care for Anglophone Africa. 

Professor Sheila Tlou has conducted research and taught courses like nursing, pre-medical and social science students on Gender issues relating to HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and Ageing and Older Persons.

She has played a key role in the development of national nursing and medical education curricula, working to broaden the scope of Health Sciences education in Botswana.


Her work on HIV/AIDS

The first case of HIV in Botswana was reported in 1985.

As was the case with the pandemic in the early years, the virus spread quickly, and with Botswana’s small population, the implications for social and economic stability were devastating.

However, Botswana responded to the pandemic and implemented a number of health care reforms and programs including the PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission) in 1999 and universal access to ARVs (antiretrovirals) to those who were at an advanced stage of the disease.

The management of the virus in Botswana is due in large part to the role that Professor Tlou played in those years, and she continues to lend her voice, wisdom, and expertise to the healthcare space worldwide, today.

For example, the transmission of HIV from mother to child decreased from about 30 percent in 2003 to about 8 percent in 2008. Maternal mortality due to AIDS also decreased from 34 percent to 9 percent under her leadership.

Her work is ‘numbers’ and report-based, however, one cannot forget that the work that Prof. Tlou continues to do has a major impact on the lives of women, and by extension, their families and communities.

“I am hoping that what I say will inspire young people to be able to ask themselves how they will be able to participate in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals because as far as I’m concerned, all 17 of them are… Click To Tweet

Professor Tlou worked tirelessly at the intersection of gender and health, to generate research and forge important partnerships between academia, government, and civil society.

She advocated for real change at the grassroots level in Botswana.

As Minister of Health, she led a forward-thinking and focused HIV care, prevention, treatment, support, and care programme that is used as a model all over the world today; a testament to her knowledge, resolve and leadership.

One of the hallmarks of great leadership is the ability to translate ideas into plans that are actionable – Professor Sheila Tlou Click To Tweet

Professor Tlou is aware of the role that young people have to play in continuing the challenge of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths – effectively ending the disease by 2030.

Her work on gender health

Professor Tlou is the United Nations Eminent Person for Women, Girls, and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. She is also the International Council of Nurses Goodwill Ambassador for Girl Child Education.

In her past assignment as UNAIDS Regional Director, Professor Tlou provided leadership and Political Advocacy for quality sustainable AIDS response in 21 African countries, from Eritrea to South Africa, including the Indian Ocean Islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros.

She has been instrumental in the formation of advocacy bodies such as The Pan-African Positive Women’s Coalition (PAPWC) and the High-Level Task Force on Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV in Africa.

Professor Tlou initiated and chaired a High-Level task force on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Services for Young People in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Because of the uniqueness and peculiarity of the cultural context of African societies, HIV/AIDS thrived in a thick cloak of ignorance, denial, and secrecy that Prof. Tlou has recognized as a deterrent to the success of any programs that may be implemented.

Again, her sensitivity to the fact that women empowerment is a key issue that lies at the heart of HIV/AIDS prevention means that her work is alive to the issues that are particular to African women.

“Gender inequality, gender-based violence, including sexual violence and sexual exploitation, are at the core of young women’s vulnerability and need to be addressed if we are to achieve that SDG of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030″.

This very goal gives us a platform to deliver services based on rights, inclusiveness, universality and ensuring that no one is left behind.

Her Recognitions/Awards

Professor Tlou has received many national and international awards. Among them are… “the Botswana Presidential Order of Honor, the Florence Nightingale Award from the International Red Cross Society, the Trailblazer Woman Leading Change Award from the World YWCA, the Leadership in Health award from the Global Business Council (Health)”.

She also got “the President award from the US National Academy of Nursing, the President award from the US National League for Nursing, the Princess Srinagarindra award from Thailand, the Christianne Reimann award from the International Council of Nurses, and The Princess Muna Al Hussein award from the American Nurses Credentialing Centre”.

“Leaders who are able to communicate the importance of their activism are often able to inspire groups to pull together towards a common goal”.


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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I have evolved as a traveler: Senzelwe Mthembu shares her ultimate travel guide

27 years old Senzelwe Mthembu is an explorer at heart, a South African traveler, researcher, content creator, and photography enthusiast.

When she’s not curating travel experiences, Senzelwe works as a social researcher at the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA). She focuses on youth transitions into adulthood, youth (un)employment, and on other topics related to young people.

She has a background in politics, philosophy, and economics and obtained her Master’s Degree in Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2015.

In this article, she highlights how she’s evolving as a traveler and her experiences traveling on the continent.


What made you fall in love with travel?

My passion for travel started at a young age when, as a family, we would drive down to rural Kwa-Zulu Natal during the festive season.

I remember being fascinated by the change in terrain and context. The first memorable trip for me was to the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga. So my passion for travel and the African continent started right here, in South Africa.

I later realized the need to showcase my love for travel and to highlight Africa’s beauty to other Africans and to the world.

What kind of traveler are you?

I think I have evolved as a traveler and will probably continue to evolve as my interests change. I was once primarily interested in going to the main tourist attractions and wanting to do things because so many other people had done them.

Travel felt like quite a selfish endeavor. I now take a greater interest in the people from the place that I am traveling to and I want to fully immerse myself in the culture and learn as much as I can.

What interesting social customs have you encountered while traveling the continent?

There are two things which I found interesting. The first was just how friendly and helpful people in Kenya are.

I have not experienced hospitality in the way I experienced it in Kenya. It felt like there was a real concern for other human beings, especially those visiting their country.

The second, which we generally don’t practice here in South Africa, was taking your shoes off when you enter someone’s home. Not only was this the case in the traditional Swahili settlement of Lamu where most of the population is Muslim, but this practice was also found in Nairobi, Kenya where on one evening we invited friends we had made over to our Airbnb home and they did the same.

I found it interesting that young people in Kenya were also taking their shoes off when entering someone’s home.

Paradise on a plate… Your favorite meal on any of your travels?

My favorite meal on my travels was at a very unpretentious, buffet-style traditional Swahili restaurant.

It was the first meal I had in Lamu, Kenya and consisted of pilau (a rice, meat and vegetable dish that is very popular in Kenya), lentils, fish in a spicy tomato stew and other vegetables.

I was so impressed by the flavors.

What do you know now about traveling on a limited budget that you wish you’d known earlier?

I wish I took the plunge earlier! Travel is possible for many people and a range of budgets can be accommodated.

But I do wish I learned the art of saving ahead of time and drawing up a budget. There are so many ways of making travel more affordable, whether it’s taking local public transport, staying in someone’s home or eating where locals eat.

Traveling on a limited budget does not necessarily make your experience any less enjoyable.

Got any travel & safety hacks for passport newbies & solo travelers?

Here are 3 tips for keeping safe and for saving money, especially as a solo traveler.

1. Do your research ahead of time.

The first important things to check for international travel in Africa is whether or not you need any vaccinations such as for Yellow Fever or Malaria.

Also, check luggage dimensions and free baggage policies for the airline or be prepared to pay extra, risk missing your flight or be forced to leave things behind!

2. Choose your accommodation wisely.

Solo travel often means paying more for accommodation since you won’t be sharing the costs with anyone. But that is not always the case!

It’s important to ask yourself what you can afford but also, what you can’t compromise on when it comes to accommodation. If your budget is low, you can still find good accommodation but manage your expectations.

Use Airbnb to book your accommodation as it allows you to book a private room in someone’s house at your stated budget. This makes it safer for you as most of the time you are living with a local who can provide invaluable information and tips about the neighborhood.

Also consider staying in a hostel or backpackers, which will work out to be much cheaper and makes it easier for you to meet like-minded solo travelers.  For both these options, remember to read reviews!

Be as prepared as possible.

Prepare for possible long layovers at airports by having a pillow or blanket, WATER (I cannot stress this one enough) and snacks from the plane or from home.

Carry a moon bag or small backpack for your valuables. It’s so much easier to remember the important things when you can access valuables easily. Write out important contact details and information in multiple places, including on your phone and have extra copies of important documentation in case you lose anything.

And make sure you can access your money from more than one bank card.What is your next travel destination, and why?

I will be traveling to Rwanda and Tanzania soon, but this time it’ll be as part of a beautifully curated group trip where West Africans and Southern Africans, amongst others, will meet in East Africa for an experience of a lifetime.

My sister and I have a shared passion for travel in Africa and so we launched our destination travel company, Lived Experience Travel, this year. Our first international trip is in partnership with Ghana-based, The Travel Clan (@thetravelclan on Instagram) and we are heading to East Africa.

This will be a two-country, 11-day trip to Rwanda and Tanzania that fuses culture, art, traditional food and that celebrates what Africa has overcome and what some of our achievements are.

 

Your final travel advice for motherland moguls?

I think we need to take advantage of what technology and social media have enabled us to do and that is – connect.

The best way to experience a new place is by meeting the locals, having real conversations with people and exploring together.

Another piece of advice is not to wait for others to come along and that local travel is valid! If you notice a pattern of passing travel opportunities up, save some of the money you would have spent on eating out and shopping until you can comfortably do a solo trip or an organized group trip.

Be open-minded, humble yourself to the ways of others, be yourself and learning from my past mistakes – draw up a budget (even if it’s rough).


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Nobuntu Webster: I let go of the parts of my business that were not aligned with my purpose and values

Nobuntu Webster is Director of African Pursuit, a social enterprise using media and story for economic and social development and Avad Media, a content production, content distribution, and content marketing company.

She has extensive leadership experience in development organizations such as the International Women’s Forum, Businesswomen’s Association of SA and KZN Youth Chamber of Commerce.

She holds a BPhil Honours degree and postgraduate qualifications in Strategic Leadership and International Trade Management.

Nobuntu Webster expresses her joy of living out her purpose through her business and career and contributing to meaningful work on the continent.

In this interview, we asked her how other aspiring Motherland Moguls can use their businesses and careers to do work that fulfills them and impacts lives.


 What is your purpose and how are you using your career and business to fulfill it?

I’m a storyteller and I am moved by injustice. I want to see economic justice, economic equality, and social justice.

You’ll find me using stories to create narratives for justice and to bring in new thinking and ideas. I develop Media strategies and content for social justice and economic inclusion through African Pursuit.

I am also perturbed by distorted narratives. With Avad Media, we create content that challenges people to question the narratives that we have been taught.

My heart is for Africa, so we create platforms and content to engage, grow and build Africa.

We are building towards an Africa that has enough for its people - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

What steps did you take to turn your career and business to fulfill a purpose?

My faith drove me to pursue purpose. The first step was looking to God and growing my faith.

The second step was to sacrifice. I had to let go of the parts of my business that were not aligned with my purpose and values.

The next step was going for it! I discovered that where my purpose would be fulfilled is in Media. I had to make the bold, courageous steps towards Media.

Go boldly into what and where your purpose is. Be humble and willing to learn from others if you’re getting into a new craft.

Learn the technicalities of the craft, and know what your specialty is. Also, know what the business model looks like in that craft and then think about how you turn that craft into a profitable business.

Using business for a purpose is a long journey, you have to be willing to be in it for the long-haul. It is going to unravel layer by layer, you just have to keep taking the steps as you discover them.

Learn the technicalities of your craft, and know what your specialty is - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

What meaningful work on the continent have you been able to contribute to and which have you found most fulfilling? 

One of the projects I am working on currently is Abundant Africa. We are building a narrative for a restorative economy in Africa; saying, ‘how do we create an economy that is influenced by our own unique African values?

How do we go back to Ubuntu and create an economy that is good for people; to making sure that the poor are given opportunities to pull out of poverty?’

I am part of building teams that create content that moves from policy ideas to stories that people can relate to. We are building towards an Africa that has enough for its people and that protects its environment.

How does one discover their purpose and identify meaningful work they can contribute to, as a business?

The clues to knowing your purpose are in the things that you do without trying hard; things that you would be willing to do for free.

To identify meaningful work you can contribute to, you have to know your calling. Ask yourself, ‘what moves me?’ What can you not ignore? What do you want to change?

There is so much need on the continent and that need is an opportunity - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

How do we grow from a survival and profit mindset to a service and purpose mindset?

There is so much need on the continent and that need is an opportunity, and you can still have a profitable business. Every entrepreneur should have a service and purpose mindset.

As Africans, we are people of ‘Ubuntu’. If we go back to who we are and we go back to the need around us, we easily move to a service and purpose mindset and build sustainable businesses that contribute to the continent.

How do you turn your business to fulfill purpose without losing profitability and your current clients?

I had to let go of clients whose work did not align with my values. There is always a risk in these kinds of bold and courageous steps. The greatest rewards in life come with sacrifice. There are things that you are likely to lose.

How do you secure your team’s buy-in into the new purpose and vision of your business?

A great leader is someone who is able to bring the people that they lead with them on the journey and get them to buy into the vision and own it.

People though are also on their own journey. Give them the option to come along on the journey or not. The new direction of the business might not feed into their purpose and career.

I had to relocate anyway so I had to start new teams that are passionate and that buy into the new vision.

Go boldly into what and where your purpose is - @NobuntuSA Click To Tweet

“I have the blessing of living my childhood dream… It looks completely different than I thought it would but it is so much more meaningful!” – Nobuntu Webster 


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Busayo Oladiran: Changing the lives of Girls Living in Slums through The Ìgboyà Project

According to UNICEF, 13.2 million children are out of school in Nigeria, 60% of them are girls. This figure puts Nigeria as the country with the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.

This proverbial gun powder poses a serious danger not only to the present day Nigeria but also the future of the nation. Notably, one patriotic Nigerian is doing her bit to stop this gun powder from exploding. Her name is Busayo Oladiran.

Busayo is a graduate of Microbiology from the University of Ilorin, co-founder of Pep Naija and 2018 YALI fellow. She grew up in an average Nigerian family where she didn’t lack basic needs.

She was, however, treated unfairly at some point because she is a girl child. So she vowed to create opportunities for girls, especially those who are underprivileged.

This was why she founded The Ìgboyà Project to help girls living in slums/underserved communities become role models worthy of emulation. 

In this article SLA contributor, Kofoworola Ayodeji highlights some of her achievements in helping Nigerian girls living in the slum.


 Hope emerges for girls living in Dustbin Estate…

On a bright Saturday morning, Busayo and her team made a triumphant entry into the Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle, Lagos Nigeria.

As they alighted from the car, the four-person team was swarmed by a group of enthusiastic girls who have been waiting eagerly to start a journey that would change the course of their lives in the weeks ahead.

That moment birthed The Ìgboyà Project in Ajegunle.

The journey began. And then the sad moment ensued.

Busayo and her team members arrive at Dustbin Estate, Ajegunle Lagos.

“I heard stories that made me shed tears for days. There’s the story of a girl who was doing well academically on scholarship. Then she was molested, got pregnant and lost her scholarship.

Her education stopped. She lost her dad in the process and had to sleep in an uncompleted building with pregnancy for months.” -Busayo said in a low voice.

“Another of the girls lost her two parents and had to stop going to school because her guardians couldn’t send her. It was such an emotional moment for me, for all of us. They broke down in tears while telling their story. They cried. I cried too.

I couldn’t help it. But I’m happy that with our coaching and investment in them, they have braced up to get the best out of life.” She continued.

The Ìgboyà girls during a class session.

Why it was called -The Ìgboyà Project…

“The name ‘Ìgboyà’ is a powerful word in my native language, Yoruba. It simply means courage, confidence, or boldness.” says Busayo as she thrusts her fists into the air with so much passion.

“The Ìgboyà Project was created to help girls living in slums or remote communities. Basically, we’re working to help them build their self-confidence, self-esteem and communication skills. They are also trained in public speaking, branding, sexual and reproductive health.

I really want our girls to be bold, and to believe in themselves - @OladiranBusayo Click To Tweet

The project has so far empowered a lot of girls currently living in Dustbin Estate, Ajegunle Lagos. The Ìgboyà girls, as the participants are called, get trained over a period of six weeks with intensive classes, class exercises and simulation.

After that, they were organized into a brainstorming session during which they analyzed and highlighted some of the key problems facing their local community. They are then mentored and supported by the Ìgboyà team to solve these problems.

A cross-section of the panel of judges on the grand finale of The Ìgboyà Debate

“When we arrived at Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle, my eyes were welled up with tears. It was unbelievable that some people live in this kind of environment. I began to think about the girls who grow up in a place like this.

I knew we had no choice but to rewrite the story of some girls living around here. Thank God for LOTS charity that has been doing so much to groom the kids in that community, ” says Busayo

“After six weeks of rigorous training sessions, I knew the change had finally come. Our girls have now become so bold that they can take on anyone on any issue about their community or nation.

They are now doing their community project and we will continue to mentor and expose them to life-changing opportunities. I recently went with four of the girls to #TLC2018, a speaking event which held at the American Corner, Yaba Lagos.

This inspired them and exposed them to many more opportunities. Our next stop is Mushin in Lagos and we look forward to having a great experience there.”

Busayo with some of the Ìgboyà Girls at #TLC2018 held at The American Corner CcHub Yaba Lagos.

My dream is for the @igboyaproject to reach millions of girls living in slums/underserved communities across Africa - @OladiranBusayo Click To Tweet

That you were born a girl child in a particular community should not limit your potentials in life. Every single girl in the world deserves to live a fulfilling life of purpose.

Dear Motherland Mogul, make your life a story worth telling. Within every person lies an extraordinary story waiting to be told.


 How are you making a difference in your community? Click here to share your story.

African Women Entrepreneurs – A Different Perspective

I recently came across a TED talk by  Natalie Case and Freya Estreller. They are co-founders of CoolHaus, a company that creates architecturally designed Ice cream in the U.S.A

I found their passion and drive for their business fascinating. They started their business with an old postal van, which they converted to an Ice cream truck.

In less than a decade, CoolHaus has grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise. It now has over ten trucks, two scoop shops and is being distributed in over four thousand groceries stores across the U.S.

They currently oversee seventy employees and they plan to broaden CoolHaus to the number 1 recognized Ice cream brand in the world.

Bringing this home to Africa, with the entrepreneurship buzz going on right now, I began to look at the reasons for the springing startups we have right now, especially the businesses founded by women.

Why do women want to be their own bosses? What makes entrepreneurship exciting and interesting right now?  I asked around and found answers like:

I.  More income will help me take care of myself and my family

II.  A business will help to beat the recession crunch

III. It will enable me to be independent of my spouse/ partner

IV. No one wants to be a stay-at-home mom anymore

V. I want to be respected and admired as a capable leader

All of these are great motivating factors but are these all there is to entrepreneurship? These do not have the ability to project a business to global standards. 

It is important we know the motive for creating a business because of this, in most cases, determines how far a business will grow.

A woman may want to augment her spouse’s income. She may start a business to achieve this and this will determine the kind of business she goes for and what her vision for her business will be.

If her trade achieves that goal in a few years there might not be a need to expand the business any further. While earning enough to cater for her family is important, having this mentality about the business may stifle it.

If we survey all outstanding businesses, we would discover they were created by people who had a vision of making their companies prominent in the world. This factor may be deficient in Africa’s startups. It is imperative that African women entrepreneurs must first begin to develop a different orientation towards startups.

As entrepreneurs, we have to begin to look upward toward progress and acceleration Click To Tweet

Building the right business starts from the core, but the right questions need to be asked. Why is it being started? What motivates an individual to start a business?

If these questions are answered correctly, this would change the way African women entrepreneurs approach their businesses. Sadly many entrepreneurs do not know the ‘WHY’of their business.

This crucial step is neglected AND camouflaged with reasons like “Everyone swears by it on Instagram“, “It’s what brings in the cash” and “It just seems like the best thing to do now”

The ‘why’ of a business also establishes if a business is the right thing to do. Does it really meet a need? Does it emerge from an undeniable conviction in the entrepreneur’s heart?

Listen. There are two ways to go about it.

1. Find a passion to turn to a business or find a business to turn to a passion

While a business is something entrepreneurs should be passionate about they shouldn’t be delusional about the relevance of their business. Every business should satisfy the needs of people while accruing profit.

2. Striving onwards

While being financially liberated may be a reason a business is started it should not be the sole reason a business continues. 50% of the United States GDP comes from small businesses employing less than 500 people.

African women entrepreneurs should seek ways to come together and build a conglomerate enterprise that can employ young people from every scope and status in Africa thus helping young entrepreneurs off the streets.

Women should be encouraged to dream big and start businesses that can grow into mega-corporations in their lifetime. This indeed is possible.

Entrepreneurs should understand that within them lies the capacity to create a lasting legacy Click To Tweet

African women entrepreneurs shouldn’t be constricted to starting businesses that are short termed, escape routes to financial challenges.

Entrepreneurs should be made to understand that within them lies the capacity to create a lasting legacy and they should regard their business as legacies.

They should be encouraged to have prospects and plans for expansion into the future. Therefore partnership and public corporation are the way to go if these businesses would outlive their founders.

All of these start with a different perspective and a clear vision of what entrepreneurship means and what African female entrepreneurs can do. Some of which include: 

  • Influence the decision making in a nation if they drive its economy in a significant way.
  • Sponsors lawyers, activists and projects that will push the goal for women rights and achieve gender equality faster.
  • Reducing the risk of young girls being raped by removing them from the streets through the provision of jobs.
  • Put communities in Africa in the spotlight, they can influence global decisions and drive Africa’s economy.
  • Create brands that outlive them and change the world.

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WEBINAR WITH YETUNDE SHORTERS: THE P.O.W.E.R OF PURPOSEFUL PERSONAL BRANDING (JULY 19)

What comes to mind when you hear the term ‘personal branding’? A perception of oneself? A unique identity?

No matter the thought, your personal brand reflects your reputation, your legacy, the people you surround yourself with, your authenticity…the list is endless!

Having a well-defined personal brand requires you to be proactive about how you manage it. This starts with thinking about what you want to be known for and then taking purposeful action to ensure that’s the image you’re creating.

So, what does it mean to have a ‘purposeful personal brand’? How can it earn you top dollar without blowing lots of schmoney on stuff that won’t even do justice to your brand?

Join Yetunde Shorters, on Thursday, 19th July, as she shares secrets that will earn you multi-six figures without spending a dime on advertising or marketing through purposeful personal branding.

Yetunde Shorters helps the inspired go-getter create an authentic, purposeful and fun personal brand that helps you do what you love while helping others, in a way that creates financial freedom for you and your family. 

Discover the #power of purposeful personal branding with @Yetunde on July 19th at 12PM EST! Register here: bit.ly/yetundes Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Identifying where your purpose comes from and get clear on it
  • Ways to elevate your personal brand
  • How to develop a brand statement that represents you best
  • Secrets that will earn you multi-six figures without spending a dime on advertising or marketing

Register below to get access to this opportunity and submit questions you would like Yetunde to answer.

Webinar details:

Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Time: 12PM Miami // 5PM Lagos // 6PM Johannesburg

Watch Part 1 below:

Watch Part 2 below:

 

About Yetunde

Yetunde Shorters is an international publicist and an industry leader in helping women entrepreneurs discover their purpose and provide value to the right people to make profits. She is also the creator of ICY PR, the Afropolitan Chef and Founder of ICY ACADEMY and a 4-time Amazon best-selling author. 

With over 15 years of experience working and securing publicity for multiple Grammy Award Winning Artists, International Celebrities and Entrepreneurs, Yetunde has been featured in Elle, CBS, Zen Magazine, Tropics and more.

She is masterful at connecting her client’s sense of purpose to prosperity. She also uses her skills to help emerging entrepreneurs create value, save time and increase productivity.

In partnership with She Leads Africa, Yetunde is launching A Purpose Breakthrough 101 session, a 90 minutes intensive brand clarity session, where she delves deep into your purpose to connect it to profits.

She also runs the ICY ACADEMY PERSONAL BRANDING MASTERCLASS, where you learn strategies that get results, techniques that save you time and access to a powerful network of go-getters who provide the support you need to thrive in your purpose.

Revealed: The Secret To Staying Motivated

The year is almost halfway done, and chances are, the energy you started with is most likely not as powerful as it is now. Being motivated for a whole year can be quite challenging when life is constantly throwing us different surprises. Even then, motivation can only take you so far when trying to achieve your goals. 

So, how do you stay motivated amidst all? The secret is – drum rolls please – ‘Find your Vision’! Your vision will guide you and keep you going on your journey to success. Vision ensures that you don’t go around in circles and get frustrated when things go left. 

But how do you find your vision? The following tips offer a few steps on how you can find your vision and stay motivated. 


1. Listen to your inner voice

To have a clear idea about your vision, you must look inside yourself. Vision comes from within, from the spirit or subconscious, whatever you choose to call it. Everyone has a vision that is unique to them, and you are no different.

When searching inside, you should yourself questions such as what stirs you? What is your greatest desire? What kind of dreams do you have? Once, you ask yourself these questions, chances are your vision will start become clearer for you.

2. Prepare yourself mentally

Your vision begins in your mind and heart. It is something that burns within your soul. it should be greater than your all of your past memories, mistakes, and accomplishments. If you know what your vision is, you will have a purpose and won’t get lost on your journey.

Sometimes, when you don’t have a distinct vision, it is easy to become distracted. If you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, the journey will seem a lot longer and harder. To avoid this, make surer you prepare your mind for challenges ahead.

3. Surround yourself with people who have a clear purpose

Greatness breeds greatness, and it is for this reason that you should seek out the company of others who can appreciate and support your vision. Network with winners and it will keep your motivation high.

4. Develop your vision

Do you want to be the next Bill Gates but because of the way your bank account is wired it may seem impossible? The truth is, there are times when it is hard to understand how to apply your vision to your life in order to reach your goals. Don’t worry, all visions start from scratch!

Your vision will grow from your experiences, talents, dreams, and desires. So don’t worry if your bank account is not growing as fast as you would have wished. Great visions take time to develop and perfect. Allow your vision to slowly but surely reveal itself to you.

5. Keep a notebook and pen handy

All too often, we come up with great ideas and thoughts and by the time we want to write them down, they are forgotten. With that in mind, you never know when your vision is going to come to you, you have to keep a small notepad with you at all times. Even on your nightstand when you sleep. Write down whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly it seems at the time.

You may write down a hundred crazy ideas but number one hundred and one just might be the vision you were searching for. Don’t try to filter right now, just write down everything that comes to mind.

6. Follow your vision

The vision you are seeking will most likely come to you in ways that you won’t fully understand at the moment. That’s okay. Even your friends or family might not understand it. That too is fine. Just follow as much of your vision as you can right now, and more will be revealed to you as time goes on.

All truly successful people have a vision that they follow, no matter what challenges they may face. Begin following the above steps to seek your vision today and remember that true, lasting success will never come to you until you know what your vision is and how you will follow it.

And you will be unstoppable if you combine your personal vision with a healthy dose of motivation.

This article was originally written by Tariro.


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Babalwa Fatyi: Serving my Purpose with my many hats on

Meet Babalwa Fatyi the South African Environmental Scientist who is a wife, mother, poet, author. She is also the managing director for Myezo Environmental Management Services Consulting company, Myezo growth and development institute, and co-owner of the ZenQ fashion line.

In recognition of her outstanding contribution towards the development of the economy, Babalwa has been awarded various accolades.

She won the Standard Bank 2016 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, and in 2016, she won the Most Influential Woman in Business and Government Award. 


 

What factors have helped you achieve as much as you have?

The biggest factor that has contributed towards my success is not contradicting who I am. I aim to produce outputs that are authentic. My outputs should be aligned with my inner being and bring me peace.

To ensure this, I’ve made sure that I understand my purpose and that I align my goals with that purpose. That way when I’m faced with challenges, I am strengthened by focusing on my purpose which God revealed to me. Therefore, when I feel out of tune with what I need to do, I talk to friends and to God. They remind me of purpose and keep me on track.

Secondly, I am driven by serving others. I see my gifts and talents as a means to achieve greatness.

You wear many hats, tell us your secret ingredient for achieving it all.

The things that I do revolve around my core and serve my purpose. My responsibility revolves around showing gratitude and taking care of the environment that has been entrusted unto us. Poetry allows me to respect and feed my soul, by nourishing it.

My ZenQ clothing line in an expression of my artistic creativity through clothes. I believe clothes can reflect the essence of who we are. They can show how we feel as well as how we wish to be viewed.

A dress designed by Babalwa from ZenQ clothing line.

All these different things are just a tangible expression of who I am. My gifts and talents, which are given to me, to fulfill my role as an environmental ambassador and a steward. So I do not wear many hats but I wear one hat: I wear me.

What led you publishing your poetry book “Greetings from My Core”?

Poetry to me is an expression of who I am and a conduit through which I could find my voice and reach out to others and request them to engage with me on some of the matters that affect our society.

Through poetry, I could share my authenticity, experiences and love my surroundings, including its beautiful diverse people I encounter, who inspire me or bring life to those experiences.

This enables me to be more conscious and is also an opportunity for me to give reverence to God.

Babalwa with African Fashion Pioneer Vanya Magaliso

What can you tell us about your company – Myezo Environmental Management Services consulting? 

At Myezo, we seek to serve the environment, communities, and developers through guidance on how to best take care of the land we have. We help developers with regulations and assessing the impact of developments on both the land and the communities.

Through our work, we learn’t that our solutions must be tested by our clients who are our partners. As respect, empathy and listening to others are key in what we do, we must incorporate all the diverse views we face.

How has Myezo developed in terms of creating jobs?

Our greatest strength is our heart for youth and solidarity to the challenges our country face in terms of unemployment and poverty alleviation. We aim to bring to life the National Development Plan goals by playing a role within our areas of influence and capacity.

Through providing a platform, we’ve helped youth penetrate into the job market and therefore provided them with the needed resources to improve their lives and their families.

The youth were not only exposed to scientific knowledge but also to self-awareness, project management, and organizational skills among others.

Captured with the colleques.

What does the Myezo Growth and Development Institute do?

At this institute, we do coaching and mentoring through our collaborations with some universities. We contribute to ensuring that there are no wide gaps between what is taught at schools and what industries expect from graduates.

Our other collaborations with other organizations include projects such as the Princess D Menstrual Cup. Through this, we hope to put girls back to school and not miss out on learning due to natural biological processes.

This is aligned with our environmental stewardship role as this cup reduces the sanitary pads that go to the landfill or medical waste disposal sites.

Finally, together with the Tsogang Re Direng Youth Foundation, we empower girls with career selection decisions and also help connect them to skills development opportunities. These include skills such as events management of vintage recycling where they learn practical environment-friendly skills that generate income.

What do you do to relax?

I’m a very outdoor kind of person. So for fun, I take walks at the nature reserves around my neighborhood. This helps me find peace and tranquility in just giving my self-time to be alone at times and just recharge.

I also believe in being spiritually fed and therefore fellowship with other believers. Other than this, I spend time with my husband, family, friends. Listening to the sound of my kid’s laughter and running around brings joy to my life.

Nnedi Okorafor: All hail Black Panther

All hail Black Panther!

For weeks on end, Africa has been celebrated across continents. There has been a glorious showcase of its beauty, wealth, culture, resilience and diversity, on screen. 

From both young people and the people, many around the world have come out to embrace the African heritage. The Wakanda fever has seen people dressing in African fabric, rocking natural and bald hairstyles, and chanting Xhosa battle cries. 

But, beyond the outstanding representation of African culture, the Black Panther production also featured award-winning actors of African descent such as Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’o, Zimbabwe’s Danai Gurira, and Uganda’s Daniel Kaluuya. 

Currently, Nigerian-American writer Nnedi Okorafor is writing the ‘Black Panther: Long Live the King’ comic book. Using her unique brand of storytelling, Nnedi hopes to inspire others to re-create the African narrative. 


With a worldwide box office record or $897 million according to Forbes Magazine, Black Panther has had a phenomenal influence on the world. Originally a comic book, this story has changed the narrative of black characters in comic books and in the media. And instead of the typical American superman, we are now seeing an African, black, superhero!

But this is not it! Other than T’Challa’s superhero skills, we see women who do more justice to #girlpower than Wonder Woman or Cat Woman ever would. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Ramonda (Angela Basset) and Shuri (Letitia Wright), showcase the strength and power of women who slay!

Writing about women who slay is something that Nnedi is familiar with. Her award-winning Afrofuturistic novels combine culture and science to break the limits and the usual narrative of girls can do.

This passion is what led her to bring her unique brand of storytelling to Wakanda land. As the latest writer for this Marvel comic series, Nnedi seeks to remind us that our stories as Africans, as women and as superheroes, need to be heard.

Nnedi Okorafor

 

In changing the African narrative, we help the world recognize that Africa can create solutions towards the world’s development. But more importantly, we showcase the depth and diversity of the African people and their heritage.

Finally, through her contribution to Black Panther, Nnedi hopes to challenge people to rearrange their thinking. It is possible to create a new Africa. By telling these stories of Africa’s great future and her present achievements, we will create this new world that others have no option but to believe in!


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Bathsheba Bryant-Tarpeh: Young women of color have a unique perspective that should be valued, and we deserve a seat at the table

Meet WANDA Woman Bathsheba Bryant-Tarpeh, M.A., a doctoral candidate in the Department of African Studies and Research at Howard University, specializing in Public Policy and Development.

Supported by the USAID Feed the Future program and motivated by her desire to advance the well-being of communities within the black diaspora, Bathsheba performed her six-month dissertation fieldwork in northern Ghana where she focused on the gender implications of land-use change as a result of large-scale commercial agribusiness.

Despite rural African women being put forward as the main beneficiaries of policy changes that underwrite agrarian transformation, women are often left most vulnerable when commercial agri-business interests are put above the interests of smallholder farmers.

Bathsheba worked directly with local farmers, both men, and women, to provide strategies to maximize their productivity. 

 


What are you studying at Howard University?

 

I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of African Studies and Research.  My specialization is Public Policy and Development.

Why do you think this area of study is crucial to the development of your country and the African continent as a whole?

 

As an African American, I believe strongly in collaborating and forging relationships, networks, and organizational and professional work in helping to advance the lives of all peoples of African descent within the diaspora and on the African continent.

As the world continues to become more integrated, it is important that national development policies and international agendas are designed for the benefit of people on the continent. The Diaspora can play a critical role in the development of the continent and we must see this as a collective challenge.

As Black people, we cannot be fully liberated until we ensure our fellow sisters and brothers are free, from the United States to the continent, to Asia and Europe and the Caribbean. Learning from each other and building coalitions whether through business, non-profits, educational institutions, is a key strategy in the era of globalization.

Tell us about the project you worked on in Ghana. 

 

I was a U.S. Borlaug Global Food Security Fellow, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Feed the Future Leadership Program.  As a U.S. Borlaug Fellow in Ghana, I was provided financial and institutional support for my six-month dissertation fieldwork.

I am really interested in how the advanced global economy and international policies impact the livelihoods of rural, agrarian communities, especially for women and their families.  This is an incredibly important topic because women play such a significant role in providing food and managing the nutritional needs of her family.

My project focused on the gender implications of land-use change as a result of large-scale commercial agribusiness. I conducted a focused ethnographic case study on Dagomba communities in northern Ghana that were affected by the biofuel industry collapse in the country.

I am really interested in bringing the experiences of the women and men to the fore and how they are adapting to changes in their environment and the implications on their food and nutrition security.   

Often times during agrarian transformation, women are more vulnerable to losing access to land within societies that are already discriminatory against women with respect to land-use rights.  Additionally, the large-scale agribusiness, in this case, was destructive to the environment, damaged the soils through use of harsh chemicals and pesticides, and deforested vital trees like the Shea tree and Dawa Dawa tree.

These trees are significant culturally and also economically and nutritionally as products derived from these trees are a great source of income for women and provide nutritional and medicinal benefits to the communities in which I worked.

What did your experience in Ghana teach you? 

Being in Ghana was my first time on the African Continent.  As a woman of African descent, being in Ghana was one of the most exciting, meaningful, and transformative experiences of my life.

The beauty of the country and the warmth and hospitality of Ghanaians and the friendships I made was such an incredible part of my time in Ghana.  Visiting Cape Coast and Elmina Slave Castles and the Pikworo Slave Camp in the Upper East Region, near Burkina Faso allowed me to learn about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade from the African context and it helped me connect the dots, so to speak, about our history and was one of the most memorable parts of my trip.

On a personal level, it made me want even more to discover my roots through genetic testing.

Academically, through my collaboration with other students and researchers in the country and most importantly, my work in the villages, I learned that I truly want to work in the arena of helping to improve the lives and welfare of vulnerable communities.

What intrigues you the most about the people you have met and supported through your work?

 

What intrigues me most about the community members in the villages in which I worked was the sincere level of gratitude shown toward me.

The communities were very much aware of their challenges and were so open to sharing their experiences with me and together we devised ways to improve their livelihoods in the short-term through creating farmer’s groups.

This was not an initial plan but evolved, as a response to community needs. I was able to provide informational sessions to communities, both women and men’s groups, on how to register their farming groups and provided strategies to maximize their productivity, how to get technical training from the local agricultural extension and gain support from the local assemblies for community needs.