Don’t be afraid to wear your pink panties

shehive accra she leads africa pink

Five years ago, I was certain that my favourite colour was purple. With time, I started feeling like it was suddenly everybody’s favourite colour so I started looking for a new favourite colour.

Why? I wanted people to wonder and ask me, “Why beige?” I didn’t want them to respond with a, “Oh not you too.” pink-panties-2

But, is it so wrong? Take chocolate, wine or coffee for example, would you give it up if the whole world said women loved it? I didn’t think so.

So, what are these pink panties and how do I know I’m wearing my pair? Pink panties are the “common and safe option.” Most people would describe those choices as “security” or “stability”.

Wearing your pair is simple, find your passion and stick to it whether it makes you part of the 99% or the 1%. When you devote yourself to it, you’ll find that there are many ways to kill a cat.

Real time effects

Of course, this issue stretches far beyond the sweet things in life. It’s the fear that roams in the workplace, in academic spaces and in business.

I remember having a chat with a 14-year-old girl from back home and I asked her what she wanted to do after matric. “I wanted to study politics but my sister is already doing it,” was her response.

1. The belief that to be unique or your own person directly translates to making a different choice from the next person is a problem even in young kids. I call it the “if I’m not the only one, then I’m not doing it” syndrome.

These kids spend a lifetime waiting to stand out, all the while missing out on all the opportunities that come their way.


prince-um-noThat attitude does nothing for you. Imagine walking into a supermarket only to find one brand of sanitary pads, the one you really don’t like and you don’t want to buy it because well, you know where this is going. Let’s get a tad more serious now right?

2. Look at all the current issues that women across the globe are facing. The possibility that someone with a sustainable solution could be sitting pretty somewhere because ‘there are so many women empowerment groups’ is a disturbing thought. Yet, we can’t ignore the fact that it is a real thing.


I recently finished writing my first novel, a short story about women and their incredible strength and I can’t believe how fulfilling it feels. Now, if I had written that book the moment I felt it was what I wanted to do —instead of worrying that people would think I did it because someone else I knew already had a book— I would have missed out on months of  questioning.

The journey to starting and finishing the book has allowed me to learn things about myself that I never, in a million years, thought I could ever possess.

3. The sad thing about it all is that we don’t realise it. In our hesitation and fear, we hinder not only the progress of ourselves, but possibly, the potential of the next young girl.

By trying to hard to be “unique” we may be stomping on other dreamers. The main reason why we don’t want to be like everyone else is because we are afraid of failing. This scares us more than the regret we’d have to live with if we gave up on our dreams.

For the future

I believe we are all meant to excel. How? It’s simple, be you and do you! Yes, but again, how? Okay, so maybe everyone chooses to study law or start an events management business or blog…at the end of the day, this is your life and your choices are for you.

Here is little check-list to help you find your best fit.


  • Stop wearing the green, blue, floral, white or yellow pairs, we love them!
  • Let social seasons and trends define your decisions and choices regarding what you love and your future;
  • Choose something because nobody has or because everyone has
  • Develop an “I either sit the round out, or obliterate the rules” attitude, there is place for all of us, even those who don’t mind the rules


  • Wear what you want;
  • Find your passion and purpose, work at it and stand out;
  • Remember that you don’t have to stand alone to stand out!

Your pink panties matter, go forth and wear them proudly.

Always be a dreamer: The story of Grace & other successful women

Taiye Selasi

Grace is a seasoned banker with over 20 years on international banking experience in Europe as well as several countries in Africa.  She boasts a successful career and a number of ‘firsts’ in her current bank. Though she at one time loved her job, the enthusiasm is waning as office politics thickens, even as she seeks a more fulfilling vocation.

But Grace has another burning desire – to own her own executive events management and floral business.  Having grown up in Nairobi, with her stay-home mother, being a keen gardener and floral enthusiast, Grace has a keen interest in flowers. She watched how the floral business flourished and prospered in Kenya –even at export level. Grace is also a good organizer and has a keen eye for events management, particularly corporate events.  She has dreamed of having her own events management and floral business for many years – but to date, fear of financial insecurity and stepping leaving her banking job holds her back. She remains frustrated with her job and her life, yet dreams of stepping out into the world working in the area of her passion.

Dreamers are daring people

They dare to imagine. They dare to imagine a change; they dare to imagine a possibility.  Where the audacity to dare becomes a limp hope is when the dreamer ceases to execute for lack of courage and for much of fear.

But when we cease to dream and to execute our dreams, we make a folly of our hopes. Our dreams form the very essence of our desires and hope –and we owe it to ourselves, and perhaps even to the world at large, to have the audacity to execute.

Oprah Winfrey

Ms Oprah Winfrey records that when she decided to move from Baltimore to Chicago as a Talk Show host, everyone thought she was insane, for she, a black woman, was going to the eye of the storm. Chicago was Phil Donahue land, and Phil Donahue was the king of talk show hosts. How and why on earth could Ms Winfrey do this to herself?  

Why would Chicago want to see a black woman hosting a talk show when they had Phil Donahue? Oh, but Ms Winfrey was a Dreamer. Ms Winfrey was not only a Dreamer but she was also a Doer.

She dreamed about her tomorrow, envisioned her futurist self, and had the audacity of hope. She packed up and moved to Chicago.  Her audacity delivered on to her – even far beyond what it did for Phil Donahue.

Taiye Selasie’s example

Let us bring it more home. I recently came across Ghana Must Go, a fascinating book by Taiye Selasie (in feature image). Reading her interviews and her book itself, I was reminded of what Selasie said in one of her interviews on the book: ‘I’m very willing to follow my imagination’.

She recalls that the idea for Ghana Must Go came at a yoga retreat in Sweden and got typing. For her, the book was entirely realized. It was a book that she wanted to read, a book whose characters she had dreamt about and conceived, and a book she dared to write.

She dared to dream, she dared to write, and the book has delivered much international acclaim. That’s the audacity of hope.

Writer, Producer, and Director Nicole Amarteifio with An African City stars Maame Adjei and Marie Humbert

Nicole Amarteifio’s example

Some of you may have seen the web movie series An African City, created by the fabulous Nicole Amarteifio. The story goes that whilst at University, and having recently seen Sex in the City, Nicole was intrigued to imagine what an African story line may look like. The intrigue literally captivated her, and Ms Amarteifio began the journey of script writing.

Research, research, research; script, script and yet more script and a few years down the line (even whilst working an international job), the final script was born. Still working a full time job, Nicole made time and used funds from her savings, friends, and family to gather actresses and all necessary resources to produce the movie, and now the rest is living history.

From CNN and BBC interviews, to Forbes Africa Woman features to speaking at the Cambridge University Business School, and being contacted by numerous international TV channels for Season 2 of An African City. Small, deliberate steps.

Yes, Oprah Winfrey, Taiye Selasie and Nicole Amarteifio could have fallen flat on their faces, like many others. Yet, the bottom line is that they took small, deliberate steps to actualize their dreams.   

Small, deliberate steps.

They bring us nearer to our hopes and dreams.


1. Oprah Winfrey. Fabrizio Ferri / Harpo Productions.

2. Writer, Producer, and Director Nicole Amarteifio with An African City stars Maame Adjei and Marie Humbert.