Bulelwa Mpinda: What you received in prayer, maintain in prayer

“God has not postponed your elevation you have just paused your prayers”- Bulelwa Mpinda

Bulelwa Mpinda is the Chief Executive Officer of Young and Spiritually Inspired. As a young woman from South Africa who is in love with God, she aims to lead through her experiences and testimonies. A woman who is completely invested in the lane created for her, Bulelwa loves nature, traveling, art galleries,  poetry and writing. “I am a friend, a daughter, a sister, mentor and God’s Reflection” she says.

Bulelwa Mpinda

Bulelwa, can you briefly take us through your journey from past to present?

I am Bulelwa Mpinda a young woman aged 26, who is a daughter of the Most High God and the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Young and Spiritually Inspired.

At the age of 3, I was adopted into the Mpinda family- the most loving, God fearing family. Prior to that I had stayed with different foster parents and at an orphanage. Growing up I found my self in love with writing, reading and loved watching Oprah! Little did I know that was preparing me for my destiny.

Due to lack of funds, after I matriculated I went straight into the work space. During that time I developed a keen interest in writing about issues relating to the youth, and so I decided to start a Facebook page and God lead it into a NGO which I called: Young and Spiritually Inspired.

Young and Spiritually inspired is a youth empowerment organisation which uses the digital space to help bring the lives of young people into alignment with God. What unites us best is the Love of God.

We don't impose change, we inspire and live the change that we want to see - Bulelwa Mpinda Click To Tweet

Christianity as a weapon to change the world. How have you been received so far by your target audience?

The key is to love people and to remain humble before you add titles to who you are. People relate to real people, the organization is the vessel through which we speak the truth of Gods love.

For instance, by reading about or attending our events many young people discover a new perspective to solving their issues. People have received us very well. We don’t impose change, we inspire and live the change that we want to see. The trick is to love God, be humble and let actions speak louder than words. 1 Timothy 4:12
Bulelwa Mpinda

Okay, before we go any further, how does an introvert manage to lay a foundation for a youth forum? How do you reach out to the youth?

I remember the days where I would battle with God about placing me on this path of leadership. It seemed insane that an introverted woman would be seen as fit enough to lead something of this nature.

But, God knew that He needed to work with my self -esteem, so He placed me in a position where I would need to confidently embrace the leadership role. When I was adopted by the most loving family who taught me about Him, God knew “Jeremiah 29:11” would be the signature of my life’s testimony.

God called me into Leadership in 2011 after I had just finished my Matric. At the time I loved poetry and writing,which I think was God’s way of helping me sharpen my craft for what was to come.

I never expected to create Young and Spiritually Inspired. In the early stages I battled with the concept of owning it. I’d literally shy away from this enormous task at hand because my comfort zone felt safe; this was a place where no one knew anything about me.

One thing our youth needs to learn is that owning any brand or business does not disqualify humility. This awareness has kept me sane throughout the 6 years of running this movement. People need to resonate with you as a human before you add titles, therefore, be authentic, be you.

I never tried to out run God by trying to fit in with what is called the “You can’t sit with us class”. I believe that one can’t inspire change when you isolate others, you need to mingle with those who strive to attain your goal.

People gravitate towards genuine souls, who they can talk to and confide in.

When you ask young people to speak out about their struggles you are essentially asking them to be vulnerable. How does Young and Spiritually Inspired emotionally protect these young people?

Young and Spiritually Inspired has created a forum of very real people. We don’t judge your experiences, we direct you to the Author and the Finisher of our faith only through love.

We had a collaborative event with a lady from Kenya. The event was primarily for women, and during that event we heard testimonies of women who had been to prison, women being abused and going into depression etc.

Essentially, Young and Spiritually Inspired has created a community of genuineness. At the end of the day people will never speak up if the feel uncomfortable. Vulnerability in Christ is the best way to go. The more we share our stories, we realize we are healing someone else through our testimony.


Bulelwa Mpinda

Bulelwa Mpinda, what will the world look like when you realize your YSI vision?

Our ultimate purpose is to lead a higher standard of life. The world will meet a Redeeming Saviour. Our light will expose people to Jesus and they will realise that they don’t need to settle in abusive relationships or situations that cause suffering. They need only to be guided by the standards of the Bible.

We want to eradicate the misconceptions around Christianity and being in Christ. We aim to travel throughout Africa and the globe to share our message with people. To help them realize that God is not allergic to their mess, but He can transform them, Revelations 12:11.

The world through the eyes of Young and Spiritually Inspired is healed from the pains and baggage we carry. People will love themselves more and know that they are worthy of being better versions of themselves.  We envision a youth that won’t settle for safe in anything they do because God will be their first priority.

What’s one thing your brain tries to make you do and you have to will yourself not to do it?

I am a deep thinker therefore my brain tells me a lot of things. Therefore, i have learnt to react prayerfully in all situations. I am a leader and the influence I impart to the world is massive. The way I speak and what or how I chose to answer are vital.

The enemy will want you to vent out or bring out your inhuman nature, yet God says, I’ve come to give you life abundantly. So when the brain and heart tells me to react impulsively, God always reminds me of the calling and the ministry.

I’ve also become very discerning about my friendships and I put my life under the microscope of heaven so Jesus may be glorified.

Instagram :@Bulelwa.mpinda

Facebook :Bulelwa Buli Mpinda

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Lucy Quist, CEO of Airtel Ghana: Have huge dreams and be extremely ambitious

Lucy Quist

Lucy Quist is a Ghanaian business leader whose commitment to Africa’s youth is palatable. CEO at Airtel Ghana, she is the first Ghanaian woman to lead a multinational telecommunications company. Trained as an electrical and electronic engineer, Lucy has received numerous awards for her vision and strategic planning for the expansion and integration of various telecoms businesses in Ghana and also across the continent.

Lucy Quist (LQ) sat down with SLA Co-Founder Afua Osei, at She Hive Accra, where she shared powerful insights on leadership and integrity. After her talk, Femi-Abena Senola (FS), former Vodafone manager and She Hive Accra content intern, spoke with her about more personal matters – from her family to her role models and her legacy. In this candid interview, we learn about the goals and dreams that truly inspire this global leader to continue her work.

lucy quist

FS:  Hi Lucy, Thank you for joining us at She Hive Accra. Lucy, boss, what are you most proud of?

LQ:  You’re welcome. I’m extremely proud of my family and my kids. My kids have demonstrated so much independence. I am also proud of the fact that over the years, I have been able to demonstrate to Ghana and the world that leadership is not a function of gender. I believe that black women, African women, are able to lead big businesses.

FS: What quotes sums up your career to date?

LQ: Impact driven by integrity, excellence and generosity.

FS:  Who is the first person that pops into your head when you think about leadership?

LQ: Tidjane Thiam. He is the CEO of Credit Suisse. I have never met him but really admire his professional record. He inspires me to sustain a global path in my career. From what I know about him, he was at McKinsey, then he became a sector Minister in his home country, Cote D’Ivoire.

After a while he left the ministerial job to become the CFO of Prudential, then rose to become the CEO. Because he did such a great job at Prudential, Credit Suisse poached him. On the world hearing that a black African man was becoming the CEO of Credit Suisse, the share prices of Credit Suisse automatically went sky high. I think he is a man of full of integrity and that also resonateswith me.

We talk about changing Africa; we talk about creating the Africa we believe in. We know all our entrepreneurs are really important but it is equally important to have visibility in big businesses. When you look at revolutions that have taken place in the western world, aside the economic ones, they were all led by corporations, by businesses which means that companies change the human story. As Africans, we must be willing to play the corporate games, not play it for personal gain but play it for positive change.

lucy quist

FS:  What are three things people would be surprised to know about Lucy?

LQ:  That I don’t have a favourite food, the thing is I like variety. I may want this today at another time, I may want something else. The second thing is that I really like to sing.

FS: Really? I’m surprised.

LQ: I love [ love, love,] to sing. I really look forward to being part of an organised singing group one day, whether it be part of a choir or a band, etc. I look forward to the opportunity but I do not have the time right now. If you’re going to work with other people, you must fully commit. I look forward to a time when I can make that commitment, but I am very passionate about singing.

FS:  So we can look forward to Lucy the professional singer maybe?

LQ:  Absolutely.

FS:  And the final thing we’d be surprised to know about you?

LQ: Final one: I feel very global, I really believe you can make a life anywhere. I tend to believe that I can live anywhere. There are a number of places I feel at home at, from DRC to Europe to Ghana, etc.

lucy quist

FS:  During your presentation, you stated that you could not have achieved what you did/do without support from your team and you made reference to your husband who has been very supportive. Many think that this may be the case because you met each other at a young age. Would you like to shed some light on this?

LQ: I was not very young actually; I was about 26 when we met and we got married a few years later. At that point I was mature enough to know what I wanted, who I wanted to be with and what values were important to me.

FS: Do you feel that if you met a different person your life would be different?

LQ: It is an unbreakable yes and I’ll give you concrete evidence: Before I met my husband, I had never heard of INSEAD [the business school]. I knew I wanted to pursue an MBA, but at the time I had no idea which school to choose. My husband said to me: “Lucy, you’re the kind of person who goes to INSEAD”. And I was like what school is that? And he said, it’s a wonderful school, one of the best in the world for MBAs. The rest is history. He literally sent me there.

There are so many examples and instances where he would lead and say to me this is what you need to do, go, go, go.

FS: OK, moving on to next question, what advice would you give an African woman at the start of her career?

lucy quist

LQ: Have huge dreams, be extremely ambitious, develop a consistent routine, make sure you’re known for some great things and make sure your name pops into people’s minds. Be very confident in what your dreams are and the rest of the world will conspire to get you there.

FS:  What’s one app on your phone that you cannot live without?

LQ:  Facebook

FS:  Really you still use the app?

LQ:  Yes, I do and I’ll tell you why. I use Facebook as a platform to mentor and coach people. I use Facebook to communicate, to engage and to inspire others.

FS: Ok, please elaborate.

LQ:  As part of my commitment to pay it forward, to mentor and coach people, I post on Facebook at least 3 times a week. This is my way of keeping in touch with people I would have loved to meet but cannot. I share lessons I’ve learnt or things that inspire me with the hope that it will spark something in others.

To lead, we need to learn. I like learning from other people’s lives and stories. I believe that when sharing my experience, I am helping people to shortcut. [And for others not to repeat my mistakes]. I want people to think, oh I heard Lucy speak about this challenge or mistake and how she overcame it – therefore I do not have to make that same mistake. I strongly encourage people to learn from other’s mistakes so that we can get there [to our destination] quicker. This is why Facebook is important to me.

lucy quist

FS: I didn’t know you had a Facebook page. I thought you were only on LinkedIn and even that I feel you probably do not have time for that.

LQ:  Actually, I do. I am quite active on LinkedIn although not as much as I am on Facebook and the reason is that as a professional, I believe that inspiring the next generation is extremely important to me. I would not have achieved anything if no one in this next generation is impacted, and that’s why Facebook is so important. Facebook enables me to reach out to people of all walks of life and receive immediate feedback.

I am active on LinkedIn primarily for professional news and knowledge sharing. There’s a lot you can learn on leadership, career progression, managing people, technology etc. on LinkedIn.

FS: I think people would be surprised you’re on Facebook that much. They may even think it not you but rather an Airtel initiative, an Airtel PR piece, etc.

LQ: No, it’s not. It’s me and I make it a point, as much as possible, not to post commercially oriented materials on my personal page. My page is to inspire people to reach out and engage a great number of people. Actually, to make it clear, my Facebook page is to inspire the potential of the next generation. I am there to help them to realise their full potential.

lucy quist

FS: What would you like your legacy to be?

LQ: For inspiring the next generation of Africans– to inspire them to lead the world. This is why Tidjane Thiam is so important. He demonstrates to us that we have what it takes to lead the world, not just our country or the continent. The world needs us but we need to step up and we need to step into the world of leadership.

FS:  Lucy, thanks so much for your time. Before we finish, do you have anything to say to your fans and our audience, and tell them how can they reach you?

LQ: They can engage with me via Facebook and Twitter. I usually tweet what’s on my Facebook page. I am also on Instagram but to be honest, I am a bit of a learner on that platform. I don’t post too often. I only post every now and then.

Facebook and Twitter are the best ways people can reach me and on these platforms, I share so that we can learn together.

Want to reach out to Lucy? Have any questions or want to request for mentoring or any other opportunities, you can connect with her via Lucy Quist Official.

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