Career hacks from 4 Motherland Moguls for 2020 motivation.

As Motherland Moguls living in the new millennia, we have a diverse group of women in leadership to get inspiration from. Here are lessons from 4 African women who have #slayed the past decade to help you to reach your Vision 2020 goals.


1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Get your receipts 🕵🏾‍♀️

Chimamanda’s success in the literary world comes from her ability to consistently publish high-quality work. The secret sauce for the Queen of African Literature? Reading

Chimamanda is an avid reader and researcher. Half Of a Yellow Sun, her second novel and an international bestseller, took four years of intense research and writing.

This commitment to learning and research is a skill any Motherland Mogul needs for success.

"Read. Read. Read" – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche Click To Tweet


2. Bonang Matheba: Invest in yourself sis 💰

Nothing says investing in yourself like putting your name on something and sharing it with the world. Bonang has established her name as a valuable brand that will make everything from Champagne to mobile apps valuable.

Bonang’s success comes from years of strategic self-investment. If you ever doubt that you can do something, pull a Bonang.

Bet on yourself and see how far you can go.

 "…No one in the world owes you absolutely nothing. You need to wake up every morning and prove why it is you are worthy and that you deserve whatever it is that you want." – @bonang_m Click To Tweet


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3. Lupita Nyong’o: Don’t put yourself in a box 🙅🏾‍♀️

Since her breakout role in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita has fearlessly stretched herself.

In 2018, she announced she will be making her producer debut in Hollywood in the film adaptation of South African comedian, Trevor Noah’s book, Born A Crime. The movie is set to be released this year.

In late 2019, she debuted as an author with her children’s book, Sulwe, which instantly became a New York Times bestseller! #goals

Lupita gives us that go after your dreams inspo.

"No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid" – Lupita Nyong'o Click To Tweet


4. Yvonne Orji: Do it with what you got 🏃🏿‍♀️

Photo by Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (8962032ae) Yvonne Orji 'Insecure' TV show block party, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Jul 2017 WEARING ALICE + OLIVIA
Photo by Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (8962032ae) Yvonne Orji ‘Insecure’ TV show block party, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA – 15 Jul 2017 WEARING ALICE + OLIVIA

After a show she was writing for got cancelled, Yvonne focused on creating her own opportunities with the resources she had.

In 2016, Yvonne created and starred in First Gen, a sitcom she piloted on YouTube with the goal of selling it to a major network. While the show never got picked up, it caught the attention of Issa Rae and producers at HBO when they were casting for Insecure.

Yvonne has continued to leverage her resources and network to get things done. She created her hit podcast with fellow Nigerian comedienne, Luvvie Ajayi, launched an international comedy tour and is scheduled to publish her first book in March 2020.

The lesson from Yvonne – start with what you have and build from there.

“People are so interested in networking up, not networking out… In order to be successful… you have to work the things you can control" – Yvonne Orji (Forbes Interview) Click To Tweet


Want to invest in yourself for 2020?

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5 Career Lessons Sho Madjozi Taught Us In 2019

If you have not heard of Sho Madjozi, you must be living under a rock. This year, the 27-year-old proud Tsonga ambassador from Limpopo solidified her spot as an international superstar with hits like John Cena.

While she’s been in the rap scene for barely 3 years, she’s found major success in a short time. This year, she won the Best New International Act category at the BET Awards, launched her first fashion collection in collaboration with Edgards, and got the world taking the #JohnCenaChallenge.


After learning all we could about Sho Madjozi’s career, here are 5 lessons all Motherland Moguls can apply to accelerate their career growth.

1. Use your strengths

Maya (Sho Madjozi’s legal name) has spent years honing and leveraging her writing skills to build a career for herself.

Whether she’s doing screenplays, poetry or rap, she understands her core strength and has used that to explore career paths including journalism, performance poetry and rap.

Develop your strengths and use them to build your career. When you bring something valuable to the table, you set yourself up for accelerated success.

2. Get involved in your community

Sho Madjozi has always used her talents to try to shape or change the community around her.

As a poet and journalist, she discussed racial identity and the effects of colonialism on the modern African. Now as a rapper, she promotes Tsonga culture and inspires young Africans to be proud of their roots.

How does that apply to you when you get to the office in the new year? Plug into the issues of your company, clients, customers and see how your talents can change things. Your involvement keeps you visible and valuable.

3. Collaborate with strategic partners

One major way Sho Madjozi accelerated her career growth this year was through her strategic partnership with Edgars. Through her collaboration with the retail brand, she launched her first clothing line at the same time as her album.

To reach your career goals, it’s always easier and faster to get some help. Seek out strategic partners within your network that will help you reach your business goals. A great start is to find a mentor.

4. Know your worth

In an interview with Africori, Sho Madjozi explains that African artists need to understand that they are very hot in the market right now and need to negotiate their value appropriately.

Understanding the value of your skills and experiences is important to accelerate your career.

"In Business As In Life – You Don't Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate" – Chester L. Karrass Click To Tweet

5. Bet on yourself

The most important to take away from Sho Madjozi’s hustle this year is to bet on yourself. Sho Madjozi’s success in the past year has been with no label support. She has continuously taken chances and invested in herself.

You must take swings and get out of your comfort zone to grow – volunteer to be team lead on a project, pitch that idea in your head, and start that side hustle!

What lessons will you use to SLAY your career in 2020?


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Personal branding takeaways from Adenike Oyetunde

We share lessons from Adenike Oyetunde's successful personal brand story, which is inspiring audiences. Click To Tweet Personal branding expert, and Forbes contributor Glenn Llopis says; “A personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are and what you represent as an individual”. The boom of social media has also come in handy for personal branding. This is seen by individuals taking over the social media space (thankfully social media can afford us all our mini reality show) for self-promotion. Individuals may be as inauthentic, but their pages are curated to take on a persona. This goes by the Dramaturgy Theory by Goffman, where personal branding is regarded as a self-presentation. It is an act or drama in itself classified into the ‘front stage’; a premeditated image for everybody, and a backstage; the authentic self (not for everybody). Goffman’s theory seemed to have paid off a lot more at the onset of social media, when social media tended to be only for solidifying public image. Now social media content that get the most engagement are those of pages that have the ability to be vulnerable. Rather than centered on a premeditated image, they have a human face, add value, and connect genuinely with the audience. The social media content that get the most engagement have a human face and add value Click To Tweet Let’s talk about a successful personal brand story, Adenike Oyetunde, who has been up and about her authentic self and is inspiring audiences.

Introducing Adenike Oyetunde

Adenike Oyetunde is a spirited lawyer and on-air-personality. She was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma (cancer of the bone) at age 20 when she was in her second year in University. Adenike eventually had to accept the Doctor’s diagnosis and go for a limb amputation, after refusing to admit that she would live without one of her limbs for the rest of her life.

Adenike’s personal brand message: Inspiration

It’s rather a sad one to have your limb amputated but Adenike is such an energetic, happy, and inspiring soul. I like this statement she once made: “I, my name is Adenike Oyetunde, and I am living my life like it’s golden.” Adenike admits to the news of amputating her limb dropping like a bombshell, as the Doctor was as direct as possible. She had to even be the rock for her family because her parents didn’t take this so well. “I actually saw my dad crying… I would have to not cry before my mum because she was going psychotic.” Adenike’s is a case of courage and radiating so much positive energy. Yes, this was her source of strength, to pull through those times. Adenike survived it and now uplifts the world. Her message is such an inspiring, and uplifting one. She takes to social media every day to radiate light. Here is what I love about her -she’s a fun, free-spirited, warm and a good-natured soul.

Brand authencity: Her social media is such a fun and relatable place

The soul of Adenike’s social media page is in its spontaneity. It is not curated and comes with a ‘random’ vibe. Every Wednesday on her page, she shares funny witty randomly curated words from social media on ‘Wordy Wednesday’. Adenike sounds so relatable on social media, you would think that you have met her in person (and yes you have). Adenike also shares stories of upliftment. ‘Miracle Mondays’ are Mondays where she shares stories of people who have had miraculous interventions on social media. The warmth of her personality shines through all the time. And therein lies the authenticity of her brand. The authenticity of Adenike's brand lies in the warmth of her social media personality Click To Tweet

Impact

This is Adenike’s watchword, I think. She is like somebody who lives for everybody else; selfless. One of my initial encounters of Ms. Adenike was during one of her social impact causes, when she was raising funds for a cancer patient on world cancer day. Adenike is so passionate about spreading the word on cancer and other social causes. She recently launched Amputees United for amputee-activism, and January this year she began the gratitude jar challenge for people to tell their gratitude stories on social media for the 365 days of the year.

Career Lessons from Toolz

Tolu Oniru (popularly known as Toolz) is a big name in the Nigerian media industry. She was born into the royal Oniru family. Toolz is an on-air personality, talk show host and radio presenter. Currently, Toolz hosts The Midday Show on Beats 99.9 Fm and anchors her show called The Juice.

Everyone knows she is one of the best when it comes to radio presenting. But what exactly sets her apart from her colleagues? What drives her? How has she being able to create a name for herself in the media industry over the last few years?

Here are four career lessons we can learn from her:

Hard work

“Hard work does not necessarily guarantee success, but no success is possible without hard work.” – Dr T.P. Chia

While hard work might not necessarily guarantee your success; it definitely improves your chances of being successful in your career. I define it “as that extra effort you put into achieving your desired goal.” Toolz has carved a niche for herself, created a name and built her image through her relentless effort and hard work.

Be passionate about your work

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines passion as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” Passion for one’s work goes a long way in having a successful career. Toolz’s passion for celebrities, entertainment, music, and media has helped grow her career.

She loves what she does and she makes sure she puts her best into it. Whether she’s airing the Midday show or anchoring the juice, you can tell from how enthusiastic she is about her job from the way she relates with her audience.

Whatever career path you find yourself in, ensure that you have a passion for your work and use it as a source of motivation and direction.

Be willing to start

There are so many ‘what ifs’ in the career field. “What if things go wrong? What if I am not cut out for this? What if I make a mistake on air?” I am guilty of this habit too; I worry about the ‘what ifs’ before giving myself a chance to start. Before Toolz moved back to Nigeria, she worked with MTV Europe and Walt Disney pictures. These two companies gave her the confidence she needed to go far in her career.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, she talked about how her interest in broadcasting grew as she worked at a radio station in London. That prompted her movement to Lagos in 2009.

So no matter what career path you are aiming for, give yourself a chance to start. You will be surprised how far you will go. “If you take another step, and another, you will be surprised to know how far you can go from the point you thought was the end.”

Have a support system

According to socialwork.buffalo.edu, a support system refers to “a network of people- friends, family, and peers that we can turn to for emotional and practical support.”

In an excerpt from her interview with The Daily Mail, Toolz said, “my family have been supportive, but they don’t really get involved – my father wanted me to be a doctor/lawyer, so he wasn’t particularly thrilled with my decision to get into entertainment. Now he sees me on TV, in magazines, hears me on radio and he respects how hard I have worked.”

Having a good support system goes a long way in building one’s career. They are the people who encourage, support and stand by your side; they do not give up on you. In this present time where people seem to burn out easily, having a strong support system can help keep you going even when you want to give up.

8 markings of a strong #MotherlandMogul, as told by Mary J. Blige

Does Mary J Blige teach us that strong business women remain authentic? Find out how here Click To Tweet

I have been a fan of Mary J. Blige since my childhood in the early 90s and have taken great inspiration from watching the way that she has blazed trails, set trends and overcome adversity, both in her career and personal life, from then even up till now. This, in addition to the fact that her songs tend to surround themes such as female empowerment, make her a favourite.

With a title like “The Strength of a Woman,” her upcoming album seems set to carry on this important discussion. So, to celebrate, I was inspired to share 8 markings of a strong business woman through some of my favourite Mary J. Blige lyrics:

1. “Take Me as I am or have nothing at all”

There is a saying that goes “if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no-one”. Although it can be tempting to make your business all encompassing, one of the things that Mary teaches us about strong business women, through songs such as “Take me as I am,” is that they remain authentic.

When I say this, I mean that they are self-aware enough to know where their talents lie and who they can best serve. In other words they niche down.

An example of this can be seen via the overlap and differences between She Leads Africa and my blog. Both cater to women but they have different niches- in that SLA caters to business women whereas my blog caters to Christian women. Some of the benefits of having a niche in this way are that:

  • It allows you to play to your strengths
  • It allows you to work with the kinds of people you like to, making your business a joy rather than something you dread
  • It sets you up as an expert in your particular field, making you the “go to” person in your niche or specialism
  • Being seen as an authority has a positive effect on profit margins

2. “All I really want is to be happy”

Through songs like “Happy,” Mary shows us that part of the reason strong business women are able to be so authentic is because they know what makes them…well…happy! Not only that, these women have developed goals; so, they know what they want to achieve in future.

They also honour their dreams by going for them. This knowledge of self may have been hard won- especially if it was something that they didn’t always have- but, once it’s developed, it is what guides their business practices.

3. “No more drama”

In songs such as “No More Drama”, Mary is teaching us that strong business women refuse to tolerate negative entities. This is because they’ve battled through too much to make their businesses what they are today to let another person destroy it with negativity.

They are, however, also wise enough to know when the “drama” is coming from within (through things like fear, self-doubt or negative self-talk) and so will do the inner work needed to shake those things off to progress as well.

4. “Hate it or love it the underdog’s on top and I’m gone shine, homie, until my heart stops”

Sometimes it is not possible to eliminate negativity because it is coming from a family member or colleague, for example. Through songs such as her remix of 50 Cent’s “Hate it or Love It,” Mary teaches us that in such situations, we always get to choose how much we are willing to be affected by other people’s opinions or attitudes.

We may not be able to control nay-sayers or “enemies of progress” (as we Nigerians would call them), but we can control our own reactions. Strong business women realise that, and so they refuse to slow down, give up or let anybody steal their “shine”.

5. “…As long as it’s you by my side, I’m stronger”

In addition to breaking away from the negative sources in their lives, strong business women seek positive relationships and collaborations. According to another Mary song, this means relationships that make them “Stronger”. As already implied, this entails being around people that:

  • Love you for you (only suggesting alterations be made to contribute to you growth and progress, rather than make you feel “less than”)
  • Support your goals and dreams
  • Are positive sources of influence.

By the same token, strong business women are able to do and be the same for others (in the knowledge that a win for one sister is a win for us all and does not detract from them in any way).

6. “In each tear, there’s a lesson…”

Through songs such as “With Each Tear” Mary shows us that strong business women are constantly learning, even if the teacher comes in the form of a mistake or failure.

They roll with the punches, extract the lessons from that season and use it to become better rather than bitter.

Tweet: Mary shows us that strong business women are constantly learning, even if the teacher comes in the form of a mistake or failure

7. “I can see in colour, the first sign of spring…”

Mary demonstrates, through songs like “I Can See in Colour,” that strong business women lean towards such optimism because of a hope and faith in God, or another higher power, who means them good and not evil. This gives them a sense that everything, including bad things, happens for a reason; that even if the bright side of a situation is not immediately apparent- it will be.

They also understand, in line with one of my favourite songs (Total Praise by Richard Smallwood) that, that higher power is the source of their strength in the first place.

8. “[I] put my life all up in these songs just so you can feel me; so you can get the real me”

I’m going to end this ode to Mary J. Blige and strong business women with the song I began with- “Take Me As I Am”. In it Mary sings the words in the title of this 8th point. When we share these things with others, we let people who have the same challenges know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In being unafraid to share the good, bad and ugly of her life with her fans through her music, this is exactly what Mary does- teaching us that strong business women encourage and build others up. They use their platforms for good and live in such a way that they inspire others.

For me, that’s empowering Christian women by promoting the contributions of strong women of faith (both past and present). What is it for you? Once you know that, like Mary, you’ll know your purpose.

6 ways to remain calm under tight deadlines

shehive accra deadlines she leads africa
How do you keep your cool under stressful deadlines? Click To Tweet

Even if you’re lucky to have a job that doesn’t entail working with deadlines, one thing for certain is there will be a time in your life where you will find yourself under an intense pressure situation, that can either make or break you at work.

While it’s good to work with deadlines, they can be incredibly stressful. Deadlines give us an idea of the amount of time we have to work on something and help us to complete tasks on time; that’s the good. The bad? Tension mounts and we start to feel like we’re running out of time the closer we get to a deadline.

The biggest secret is to remain calm. Here are a few tips on how you can remain composed under deadline stress.

1. Make sure your deadlines are realistic

If your deadlines are always too short, you’re likely to feel stressed from the moment the deadline is set. The solution is to figure out whether the deadline you’ve been given is realistic; then to have a sense of how much time is needed for the task.

all-stressed-out-gifIf you’re given a deadline that seems unreasonable or too tight, find out whether the deadline is flexible and if you can make a case to have it extended. Deadlines are real but sometimes they can be negotiated. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time if you feel the deadline is really unworkable.

Deadlines are real but sometimes they can be negotiated. Don’t be afraid to ask Click To Tweet

2. Choose a positive response

I came across this quote which says; “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” When faced with a situation that puts you under pressure, you generally have two responses. You can choose to change either the situation or your response to it.

Even if you have no power to do anything about the set deadline, you have the power to choose how you respond to it. Instead of thinking negative or allowing the deadline to make you tense, you can choose to refocus your thinking to a positive response. This will lead to a positive action, such as “I can do this” or “How can I do this?”.

A positive response will help you to remain calm and focused on what needs to be done. Learn how to defeat the panic signals.

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3. Think about the progress you’ve already made

Instead of freaking out, it can be tremendously helpful to take a minute to reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far. Do this first before turning your attention to the mountain that remains ahead of you.

During a challenging workday, focusing on the meaningful progress you’ve made so far, can boost your emotions. Also, it can motivate you to keep going until all the work is done. It is the “small wins” that keep us going, especially in stressful scenarios.

It is the “small wins” that keep us going, especially in stressful scenarios Click To Tweet

4. Listen to a relaxing song

Certain people are naturally gifted with a calm personality, and it gives them a competitive advantage under stressful situations. But if you know you’re not one of them, you need to learn some calming practices. Calming practices are a lifesaver  when under pressure.

When under stress, you can strengthen your calming muscle by listening to music that really relaxes you. Listen to a calming song until you feel deeply relaxed. The experts say music has a unique link to our emotions; it can be a highly effective stress management tool. So put on your earphones and turn that music on.

beats-music

5. Take a deep breath

That feeling when you look at the clock and your heart rate starts going up. The easiest way to remain calm under stress lies in something you already know: you just need to breathe. When you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing.

Close the door or isolate yourself from all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe properly. The process of controlling your breathing will help your brain focus only on the task at hand and will lift the cloud of stress from your head.

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6. Total recall

Can you recall one or two situations that caused you serious stress in the past? Remember how you handled that stressful deadline and came out victorious! Bring back that feeling of being confident and being in control of the situation.

Let the positive experiences from your dealing with stressful situations guide you wisely through the new challenge you are facing. Remind yourself that today you are stronger than yesterday.

this_whitney gifYou can tackle it just like you tackled it before!

A battle of the mind: Leadership lessons from Sheryl Sandberg 

powerful women lean in sheryl sandberg
Our self-perception as women is actually what keeps you from moving ahead Click To Tweet

I was fourteen, maybe fifteen and straight out of primary school, it was my first day in high school. My incoming class teacher asked me if I was willing to be the class prefect. I flat out said no. I just was not willing to take up a leadership position to a group of people whom I had never met before.

This was despite the fact that I knew I was more than capable of doing the job and doing it well. Fast forward three years later I ended up taking a leadership position not only in my class, but in the entire school. Looking back though, I see the same trend repeating itself in my life over and over and that is what Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean InWomen, Work and the Will to Lead is about.

We do it to ourselves

Initially, I thought the book was going to be about your basic feminist tirade. I was pleasantly surprised though, when from the get-go she focused more on how the self-perception that women have is actually what keeps them from moving ahead. ‘Sit at the table’ made it to my top three favourite chapters of the book.

Sandberg discusses how women face a “battle from within” that prevents them from taking advantage of what rightly belongs to them. In the chapter, Sandberg gives a story about a certain meeting she hosted for government representatives —both men and women.

After picking their cups of coffee, the men sat around the conference table but the women opted to sit off to the side of the room, even after much prodding from her. It was an innate decision they made to keep themselves away from issues under discussion even though they had every right to be there.

Women hesitate to take advantage of what rightly belongs to them Click To Tweet

It’s possible to have it all

In the 8th chapter, Sandberg brings up a common argument as far as women empowerment is concerned when she talks about making you partner, a real partner. She talks about the traditional gender roles in homes and how to overcome the limitations that these roles throw at women as far as career planning is concerned.

The discussion revolves around empowerment taking place at home as much as it is being demanded in the work place. By having men take on more responsibility around the home, traditional gender roles are discouraged. Rather, this encourages an equal playing field in the workplace and at home.

An idea that if put into practice in our homes, will enable us to excel both in our careers and in our families. In Africa, especially due to our cultural inclinations this here is easier said than done. Yet, if we are going to let Africa see what we are capable of we must get the entire community involved in this mind shift.

lean-in-3 gif

The boys’ club mentality

Generally, Sandberg’s book gives quite a good insight on the limitations placed on women both internally and externally. This was my key take-away. What I hear mostly around the office corridors is the existence of a certain secret ‘’boys club’’ that seeks to promote only the men in the career journey.

Woman empowerment is only attainable when both men and women pursue them together Click To Tweet

What I don’t hear is talk on the limitations that we as women have placed on ourselves. It’s very easy to complain about how the system has been designed to work against our growth. While we are in that mind-set we forget to look at the limitations that we are placing on ourselves.

Sandberg seems to have begun a kind of movement from the book, a not–so-secret girls’ club that should hopefully get all of us out of the pity party we might have in and work hard to get what we are looking to get.

Lean In is definitely worth the read. It is witty, it’s well researched and very open, giving you a glimpse into the lives of top women leaders in the Silicon Valley. You see their weakness and failures and how they rise up in the leadership space.

If you haven’t already read it, I suggest getting a copy. Not just for yourself but for your partner as well because as Sandberg discusses in the final chapter of the book. The goals of women empowerment are only attainable when both men and women pursue them together, at home and in the office and it begins by thinking that it is possible and worth the pursuit.

Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice.

And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential

–Lean In  

5 life lessons we can learn from Becca

One failed option does not mean all is lost! Lesson learned from @beccafrica and her career Click To Tweet

Becca’s first appearance into the spotlight was on the second season of the TV3 annual singing competition, Mentor, where she was selected to represent the Ashanti Region, Ghana. The music mogul who barely had fame then, however had to pull out of the contest.

This was after discovering that participants had been secretly tested and cleared of HIV/AIDS without their knowledge and consent. Also, because the terms of contract were not up for discussion and rather was a ‘take it or leave it’ affair.

Upon quitting the show, Kiki Banson, under EKB records signed her and released her first debut studio album “Sugar” which got five nominations at the 2008 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.

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Today Becca is a multiple award winner (Kora Award, one National Youth Achievers Award, four Ghana Music Awards, and three 4Syte TV Music Video Awards) and one of the most influential women in the country; a status she may not have acquired if she had not been bold and daring enough to stand her grounds.

Here are five life lessons we can learn from Becca;

1. Know your rights and fight the system to do the right thing

Many people are being taken advantage of and have had their rights infringed upon because they themselves are not aware of their civil and human rights. Becca knew her rights and knew they were being trampled upon when her consent was not sought before the HIV test was conducted.

If you do not speak up against infringements and injustices, the world will assume you are okay with whatever treatment given to you.

Know what you are about and never accept just anything Click To Tweet

2. Know what you are about and never accept just anything

People who usually say “anything goes” are seen as indecisive, unfocused and complete pushovers. They are also often taken for granted.

Knowing and expressing explicitly what you want and deserve will convey the message that you are not a pushover or easy prey to sleazy commitments.

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3. Never be afraid to pull out of a negative environment

When Becca found out that the contract she was given was not going to help her reach her goal, she pulled out. As humans, we sometimes adapt to a toxic place or an unhealthy environment not due to the lack of options but mostly due to fear of the unknown.

Eventually, we end up paying dire consequences for our actions and choices. You need to learn how to let go of things, people and situations that can be a breeding ground for retrogression.

4. There are other ways to succeed

There isn’t one formula for success so if going one way doesn’t help, try the other. Identify and if need be, create avenues to thrive; what matters is reaching your destination.

Becca left a reality show and ended up with a record company which guided her to success and catapulted her to 5 nominations in the 2008 VGMAs. One failed option does not mean all is lost. In fact, it could be for a greater good or just the boost you need to get to your green land.

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Resolve issues amicably and in the best and most healthy way possible Click To Tweet

5. Always be the bigger person

Life will always kick your butt; that is something we cannot control. What we can put a rheostat on however, is how we react to difficulties and problems we face.

Don’t dwell too much on the past that you lose focus on the future. Resolve issues amicably and in the best and most healthy way possible so you can move on without any demons of the past.

The Omotola way: 3 lessons on work and life

The Omotola way answers a basic concern. As a woman, the one question that has or will cross your mind is how to pull off a successful career and a happy family all at the same time. This is a question that does not seem to bother the opposite gender so much.

Anytime we see one woman doing it well, it’s always a wonder how exactly they do it. Omotola Jalade is one such woman; with 300 movies under her belt, several awards to boast of, a music career, philanthropy, four beautiful children and a happy 20-year marriage to boot.

This is definitely one woman that works hard and has got everything to show for it. In many ways, Omotola exemplifies all of the advice I have received about life from many different corners.

Let the countdown begin.

#3  Success follows hard work

For the number of movie appearances that she has made, coupled with her modelling and music career, not to mention her philanthropic activities, Omotola has had to put in a lot of man hours.

Omotola seems to prove Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule for perfecting your craft. In one article, she told how she went back to work barely a month after her first child was born.

While some might frown at this decision, it would seem Omotola knew all too well what she needed to do to get her career going.

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#2  A happy family is a woman’s real success

Omotola has never been shy about showing off her beautiful children to the world. If the support she receives from them is anything to go by, then she must be doing something right.

A major piece of advice that I have never forgotten was from one of my aunts who told me that there was no such thing as a super woman. You can’t really pull it all off without making decisions that create room for you to do so.

Omotola shared with Ndani TV that one of the ways she was able to put in the needed time in her career was because her children were in boarding schools. It gave her time to focus on her career and trained her children to be independent.

Having her children at a young age also seems to have worked to Omotola’s advantage. She also says that she is not shy about disciplining her children as she was when she was growing up. Her tough mum act has produced some exemplary children who are off doing great things even at their young age.

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#1 It matters whom you marry

‘’Your spouse can break or make you career, so it matters whom you marry.’’

One of my mentors told me that once. Omotola says that her husband has been her biggest supporter; 20 years into their union, it is no wonder she has been able to make such great strides.

Matthew Ekeinde, himself a busy and successful pilot, has not failed to give his wife the space she needs to grow in her career. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Matthew said he has never been threatened by her success.

He, in fact, met her when she had just one movie under her belt and he has seen her rise in her career.

These lessons from Omotola inspire on balancing work and life. What more lessons do you think Omotola can teach #MotherlandMoguls?

4 career lessons from Akothee, Kenyan singer and entrepreneur

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Earlier this year, Akothee set off a storm on Kenyan gossip forums as curious minds wanted to know about her wealth. The singer is thought to be one of the wealthiest celebrities in the country and her rapid rise to fame sparked rumours. Wagging tongues suggested that she got her wealth from a rich man and that she is part of the Illuminati. She was even accused of human trafficking. Just goes to show that there is still a long way to go before haters will stop saying horrible things about successful women. Akothee has quite a lot to teach us about life and business, get your pens ready.

It’s okay to have a rough start

Akothee left school aged 14 to marry the man she thought was the love of her life. In her own words, she came from a stable family but rebelled against expectations placed on her. She stayed at home, working as a housegirl for her mother-in-law over the course of seven years. All this while, her husband was in school getting his degree. He would eventually leave her for another woman.

It was after ten years of marriage that Akothee returned to school. She was 24 years old.

It is never too late to make a change in your life. A bumpy ride should not stop you from moving forward.

Nurture your inner hustler

After her divorce, Akothee moved from her village to Mombasa. There she learned how to drive and took to driving a taxi as part of her brother’s business. Yes, you read that right, she drove a taxi (some sources say it was a matatu).

Akothee is known to be a great dancer and although she has made money from it, when she started she was dancing for free. It was others who suggested that she consider dancing as a business. She followed this advice and went on to earn a living as a professional dancer, dancing at high-end parties in cities across the world.

Write this down, you can make profit from doing something unconventional. Always persevere and like Akothee land on your feet not on your back.

Diversity is the spice of life

Looking at all the things Akothee does begs the question, what exactly is her side hustle? Is it her music? Is it her business? The parties she hosts? The acting she does on the side? On the business side of things, Akothee has admitted that her ventures fund her Instagram glamorous living.

She is the woman behind Akothee Safaris, a travel agency and transport service (remember the taxi company mentioned above? It has now expanded to a fleet of cars and will soon acquire a private jet). She also owns a 5 star boutique hotel in the coastal city Diani. In addition to this, she deals in real estate and property, buying and selling luxurious homes along the Kenyan coast.

These days, everyone is expected to find their niche and stick to it but Akothee shows us that you can choose to buck the trend.

You can be a mama and an entrepreneur

On top of managing all that showbiz and entrepreneurship, Akothee is a mother of five! She has said that having kids is a hobby and she won’t mind a number six. As a single mum, she’s both the mother and the father, add to this her diverse hustles and her as a person outside her celebrity status. Her children have seen her through all her struggles and respect her for it.

Akothee is a huge inspiration to single mums. You can be everything you want to be in addition to being a great mother.

It’s been said that her past European partners are the ones that gave her money but after studying Akothee’s entrepreneurial spirit, I’ll take that with a pinch of salt. Here’s to living life to the fullest while generating your own wealth!