Vaida Odongo: You can start a business anytime with the right mindset

Contrary to what many people and businesses might think, investing in your brand online is not just about spending money on the brand.

Instead, it’s about building an entity that will resonate with your customers and keep them coming back again and again—even when there’s no deal or promotion to entice them.

Who is Vaida?

Vaida Odongo is a young woman living in Nairobi who’s passionate about empowering women and leveraging on technology for sustainable development.

She studied Gender and development studies while in university but came to love marketing after a short stint working as a trainer in the Google Digify Bytes Program that was being implemented by Livity Africa, a youth-focused nonprofit based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Vaida loves seeing businesses grow and coming up with strategies to solve various business challenges. “You might be having a challenge with selling a product online, what I do is that I sit down and look at all the possible solutions that might help solve the problem then we choose one that works. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with brainstorming”. 

“I have always been interested in empowering women. When I was younger, my dream was to work in an NGO that would enable me directly work with women.

I hadn’t figured out yet what exactly I wanted to do when I actually landed the job, but I knew things would become clearer with time.

When you empower a woman, you empower the society - @vaida_odongo Click To Tweet

Fast forward almost ten years later, I have found myself working with women though not in an NGO.

I now help women brand and market their products and services online. I am very passionate about helping women grow and sustain their businesses because I believe that when you empower a woman, you empower the society.” 

Why Digital Marketing?

“The world is increasingly going digital. With more than half the population using online platforms such as social media, companies are now forced to look at how they can leverage these platforms.

The social space is set to grow and there’s a need for training so that the teams which are set on marketing online have the capacity to do so”. 

What does your work involve?

My work involves training women-led business and enterprises on branding online. This means creating a brand story that their online audience will be attracted to. I have been working on this for the last two years and I’m loving it every day.

My pieces of training are conducted over a one to two-day period and tailor-made to fit a customer’s needs.

I love the adrenaline rush that comes with brainstorming - @vaida_odongo Click To Tweet

Whether you are in beauty, fashion, construction or advocacy, I have the right curriculum to help you amplify your online voice. I also help companies come up with strategies that will help amplify their voices online.

I also offer mentorship sessions to my clients. Maybe along the road the strategy we picked might not work, I’ll come in again and we’ll come up with another one. I also offer refresher training to me customers for free. My aim is getting their businesses to grow so we do whatever it takes to make sure this happens.

To empower more businesses to grow, I also offer pro bono services to customers who are just venturing into business and need some advice.

I do this because at the beginning some people just need to know different ways they can market their products and services. 

When building your online brand, you need to:

  • Make sure you understand your audience, their needs, and why they interact with you.
  • Create an online persona that is fun and captivating at the same time.
  • Be consistent. Make sure you post when you are supposed to.
  • Take time to appreciate your customers e.g. through give away. 
  • Remember to have fun. Captivating your audience is trial and error. Have fun while at it.

How do you manage your business?

Being your own boss is a challenge because most of the time, you never know when to stop and take a break. I have learned to schedule myself so that I have enough time to catch my breath and relax.

Also, I enjoy reading and watching animated movies and cartoons.

I also love cooking and discovering how I can use different spices and herbs from all over the world in my food.

What is your advice for young women who are looking to venture into Digital Marketing?

My advice to young women out there is that you can start a business anytime and with the right mindset, you can take it to the next.

Becoming a digital marketing expert requires you to do a lot of research to know what’s happening in the online space. 

Remember that deciding to be your own boss doesn’t mean lots of free time on your hands.

You have to be willing work overtime because most of the time you will have to do everything on your own without a cheering squad. 

If you’d like to share a story with us at She Leads Africa, share your story us here.

MALEBOGO MARUMOAGAE: It is not about being your own boss, it is about finding a solution to a problem

This is a woman rooted in love. Love for her mother, work and for others. She is love. She is Malebogo  Marumoagae.

We were first introduced to Malebogo as a beauty queen when she was crowned Miss Botswana in 2006. Today, she still wears that crown, now as the belle of Belle Larissa. A consultancy company she founded in 2009 and went on to win a Woman in Business Award for, under the category of Young Female Entrepreneur of The Year in 2016.

Belle Larissa slayed at the end of 2017 when it hosted what would become the inaugural International Women in Mining conference (IWiM).  

Malebogo not only has a good business and a few awards to her name, she holds a degree in Economics and Population Studies, and an MBA from the University of Botswana.

I had a chat with her and this is her inspirational story.

Tell us about yourself.

I am Malebogo Marumoagae. I was born and bred in Tonota by one of the strongest women I know, Diteko Marumoagae. My mother has taught me how to be confident in my own skin, to respect others and myself and most importantly to know that I am nothing without God.

I believe in the law of attraction. That whatever you think, eventually becomes your reality. Even the Bible says in the book of Proverbs ‘above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”.

I love reading, in fact, I have learned so much from the books I read and I am always encouraging anyone who wants to be a leader to make reading a habit and not a hobby.

Tell us more about Belle Larissa.

Belle Larissa is a BQA registered and accredited institution providing training on personal branding, professional image, and etiquette.

Our main aim is to assist individuals, young and old to be the best that they can possibly be especially in today’s world where there is competition in almost every opportunity that arises. For organizations, we assist their employees to align their personal brands with their corporate brand.

How would you define etiquette? Are we a people that care for it, especially locally?

Etiquette is simply a set of rules that govern socially accepted behavior. It is about showing respect and making others feel comfortable and at ease when they are around you.

The word may be new to some, however, etiquette is not a new thing. In our Setswana culture, we call it Botho. It is behaving graciously in any given situation. It is not an issue of whether people care for it or not, Etiquette is a requirement for civilization.

I wish I could confidently say our services have gained the attention they deserve. We have done our bit, but I still believe there is still much to be done.

Winning the Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year, how significant was that moment for you?

That was a very surreal moment. I felt really proud of my team and I. As you may know, our business is relatively new in Botswana so to have that recognition was a great confidence booster.  

However, we also understand that it means we need to keep working hard to ensure that we stay on top of our game.

In 2017, Belle Larissa hosted the first ever International Women in Mining (IWiN) Conference in Botswana. What inspired the initiative?

Yes, together with Brandneue Media, we hosted the first-ever Women in Mining Conference in Botswana in 2017.  This initiative was inspired by the need to promote greater participation of women in the mining industry.

The numbers show that the mining industry is one of the most male-dominated industries in the world and Botswana is no exception. We wanted to play our part by bringing together women, who are already in the mining industry, those with aspirations of getting in the industry, policymakers, and financial institutions under one roof, to discuss the challenges as well as come up with solutions to increase the participation of women in this industry.

What does it mean for you as an African woman being in business?

African women have from time been in business to feed, educate and take care of their children. It means so much to me that I am part of a group of phenomenal women who have either by choice or default found themselves in business.  

Being a woman and in business has never been an easy thing.  I hope I am able to inspire other upcoming business women to follow their dreams the same way I have been inspired by hard-working, women who came before me.

How do you suppose one can recognize themselves as an empowered woman?

For me, an empowered woman is one who has a choice to be whatever she wants to be.  She knows her worth, is confident in her own skin and is not intimidated by the success of other women.

An empowered woman stands for herself, speaks for herself and is the voice to the voiceless.  As she goes up, she pulls others with her.

What three principles would you say drives your business?

Our business is driven by the love to see other people excel and become the best versions of themselves. We believe in team-work as everyone has their own unique abilities which can contribute towards ensuring that our clients get quality service.


What advice would you give to young women who want to be their own boss?

For me, it is not about being your own boss, it is about finding a solution to a problem or problems facing our society and then putting together a team that shares your vision and working together towards achieving that vision.  

For anyone who wants to take that path, I would say, it is not an easy road to take but if you want it so bad, you need to put in the effort, develop yourself, read extensively and have a never-give-up attitude.

Timipre Wolo: My goal is to build a legacy that would transcend my lifetime

Timipre Wolo is that proud Elder Sister who has risen from depths and is paving the way for the ones coming after her.

She is a former Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) management staff, who has now moved on to pursue ‘her calling’ as she puts it – through Centre for Gender Equality, Education, and Empowerment (CGEEE).

Her empowerment initiative for vulnerable girls and women, and her energy company; TFN Energy. She attributes discovering her passion to working at PTDF, where she has created opportunities for about 400 young people.

To start out, and stay relevant in your career, identify your purpose - @timiprewolo Click To Tweet

The Humble Beginnings

Ms Timipre Wolo lost her mother at age 12. She recalls filling the mom gap for her family by taking a night shift job at age 16 while juggling her law diploma, and many other daring opportunities she created for herself.

In her determination to bring the light home to her people in Niger Delta, Nigeria, and make her mum proud, she maximized every open door. Working at PTDF was one of them. Timi recalls initially not being well-placed but she excelled when she changed her focus to delivering.

“When I joined the PTDF Legal Department, it was also the Management Secretariat. In addition to my schedule of duties at the department, I was the assigned the responsibility of attending Management meetings to take minutes.

I was always fascinated by these boardroom meetings and looked forward to it because it was a great opportunity to learn more about the organization. I could only be seen but not heard because I didn’t have a seat on the table. Everyone seemed pleased with my drafting skills and I was subsequently deployed as special assistant to the Executive Secretary with increased responsibilities.

Timipre Wolo and PTDF Management with the former Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria

Despite the stress that came with my new portfolio, I counted it a privilege to be developing so many skills at the same time.

In 2012, the Industry Collaboration Unit was established to formulate strategies for capacity development under the Fund’s Post Amnesty policy and to foster collaborations between the PTDF and relevant stakeholders. An Oil and Gas lawyer was needed to lead the team and by providence, I became the youngest member of management by at least 10years,” she explains.

One tool for a woman to have a seat at the table is education - @timiprewolo Click To Tweet

Her role in Mentorship and Female Education

Timipre’s leadership at the Fund’s Industry Collaboration Unit, led to the actualization of scholarship awards to about 400 young people from across Nigeria, to study at various institutions overseas.

She also led the first-ever Helicopter pilot training for the petroleum industry in Nigeria which discovered Ruqayat Suleiman – the first female helicopter pilot from Katsina state, along with 3 other young women from Ondo, Rivers and Bayelsa States.

For Timipre Wolo, one tool for a woman to have a seat at the table is education.

“I have assisted several young women in facilitating educational scholarships at undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels. I assisted a young lady from eastern Nigeria who walked into my office frustrated from trying to get a scholarship to study in UK.

She was told in confidence by the security at the PTDF gate ‘if only you can meet Aunty Timi, she would do everything within her power to assist you.’ I have made a conscious effort to ensure that women were given priority placement, to bridge the gender gap.”

I have the most amazing relationship with my mentees! I remember when the pilots were still in training school, I would personally take them out for dinner or we would visit a game reserve or amusement park with them. However, for obvious reasons, I created more time for the girls. On one visit, I got a hair stylist to come over to my hotel to get their hair done, then we went to see a movie together.”

“When it came flying with them, I was the only member of staff who dared to even before they obtained their Commercial Pilot Licenses. I knew it would mean a lot to them because if we didn’t show them that we believed in them, then how did we expect them to get hired by others?

That singular act boosted their confidence. I see the success of my mentees as my success too because they are a part of my journey just as much as I am part of theirs. That is the sort of unique relationship I have with the young women and girls I am privileged to mentor.

It makes it very easy for them to relate to some level of trust and mutual respect, knowing that even when I’m tough on them, it is because I want them to succeed. For me, mentorship is truly about laying the groundwork for others to succeed and then standing back and letting them soar and shine.

My goal is to build a legacy that would transcend my lifetime - @timiprewolo Click To Tweet

What does a legacy mean to Timipre Wolo?

The CGEEE is committed to ensuring that internally displaced girls have access to education, whilst also empowering women through skills development and entrepreneurship.

Through Timipre Wolo’s organizations; CGEEE and TFN Energy, 5 girls from an Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) have been awarded scholarships to cover fees, school supplies, feeding and living stipend in 2017.

“At CGEEE we actually go beyond just sponsoring them to school to actually taking care of their welfare and mentoring them so we can get the best out of them. I know this is part of my calling because of the kind of joy and satisfaction I derive from seeing the eyes of these young girls light up with hope! This is not a one-time thing, it is a life-long commitment.

Timipre Wolo and her Girls at the IDP Camp

There is so much to be done, not only in northern Nigeria but also in every other part of the country, including the Niger Delta region where I come from.

I left PTDF to start my own company because most of the scholarship programs I initiated were discontinued in 2016 due to the economic recession. I figured that if I had the courage to pursue my dream of owning an energy company, I would someday be able to fund my passion.

Barely 1 year after, we have awarded 5 full scholarships already. A lot of the teenage girls in the IDP camps are either impregnated, married off as child brides and most recently, taken to work in farms for a fee of 400 Naira per day just so they can survive. That is why giving them scholarships is not enough.

They must be taken care of in terms of providing welfare packages; showing them love and mentoring them because of the traumatic experience they had been exposed to.

My goal is to build a legacy that would transcend my lifetime and that is only achievable through strategic partnerships. We are setting up a trust fund and as TFN Energy grows by God’s special grace, the broader the opportunities we would be able to make available for women and girls in Nigeria and across the sub-Saharan African region.

We are structuring the scholarships in such a way that it will be sustainable, recession or no recession. My dream is for every girl to have access to education and to see more women in leadership in Nigeria and across the sub-Saharan African region.

Three takeaways from Timipre:

  • To start out, and stay relevant in your career, identify your purpose. Then this should be followed by a plan
  • As a woman, define what success means to you and don’t live your life by the standards set by others, then and only then, can you be undefined by societal norms and expectations.
  • From my climbing the ladder experience, I have learnt that no matter what task or responsibility you are assigned, go the extra mile to ensure that you surpass expectations, you never know who is watching you.”

How Hobbies Can Help You Connect With Employers

Sometimes a hobby is more than a hobby

Do you like long walks on the beach and kittens? Yes, of course, you do. But what does that have to do with getting a job?

Sharing your interests on a resume is a way to build a connection and show off your personality. The tricky part is knowing what hobbies to put on your resume to give off a good impression and let the hiring manager know that you will be a good fit for their company.

When to list hobbies on your resume?

Listing hobbies on your resume is a much-contested matter. To some, a Hobbies and Interests section is a relic of the nineties — something generation X started doing to prove they aren’t just corporate drones, but actual people.

Nowadays, many hiring managers hate it when employees waste valuable space on their resumes to talk about their love of books and socializing.

But work culture is increasingly changing. Many companies are refocusing on personality-based hiring and finding employees that would be a good fit for their work culture.

Adding a hobbies section might just do the trick!

Work culture is changing. Many companies are refocusing on personality-based hiring Click To Tweet

How to match the company’s work culture?

Trying to figure out whether you should put a Hobbies and Interests section on your resume?

First off, you need to understand the company’s work culture:

    • Go to their website and have a look around. Read up on the company values and what        perks they provide their employees with. What events they organize.
    • Then, have a look at employee profiles to see if they mention hobbies.
    • Next, check employee profiles on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Employees are        more likely to put some hobbies on a LinkedIn profile than elsewhere.
    • Finish up with any general press to get a feel for how others perceive the company’s            work culture.
  • If you know who is responsible for hiring new talent, look them up, too. Interests are          great way to break the ice and create rapport with the interviewer.

What hobbies should you put on your resume?

Let’s say you want to work for a professional wedding planner. You did your online research. You checked out the company site and browsed employee LinkedIn profiles.

Perhaps you found out the company is looking for outgoing, playful, yet business-savvy employees with a basic understanding of social media.

You noticed the recruitment page even points to some specific hobbies that their employees engage in, such as, say, dance, cooking, and mixology (all these evidence from their Instagram profiles!)

How are you going to show those dream wedding planners that you’re playful yet business-savvy?

That’s right. You add your hobbies that mirror the general vibe you’re getting from that company.

Pro Tip: Don’t lie about your hobbies and interests. Assuming that adding them does the trick and you get a face-to-face with the recruiter, you’ll want to be able to leverage your hobbies and not stutter and stammer once you get asked about them.

 Don’t lie about your hobbies and interests Click To Tweet

How to fit in hobbies on your Resume

Once you’ve pinpointed a company’s work culture, there are a couple of ways you can flesh out your hobbies section.

Leverage your hobbies to signal cultural fit:

According to research on what employers look for on a resume, cultural fit comes in a close second right after work experience. And that makes perfect sense. According to this comprehensive study, good cultural fit makes for happier, more motivated employees who stay longer on the team.

If you think using hobbies as evidence of your value as an employee this is what you should do:

    • Choose a hobby that requires you to use a skill set that would compliment the skills               you need for the position you are seeking.
    • For example, if you’re applying for a creative job, go for a couple of creative hobbies.            Want to become a journalist? Photography might come in handy.
  • Another approach is to add hobbies that require the use of a skill set that the hiring              manager may have a hard time finding in other candidates because of a skill gap in the        market. Want to work for a travel agency and you happen to run a travel blog?                      Mention this hobby as proof of your interest as well as niche grasp of skills such as              wordpress and basic HTML.

Pro Tip: The hobbies section might be better for recent graduates rather than professionals with years of experience.

Now, coming back to signaling cultural fit.

Say you want to work for a travel agent specializing in crazy adventure vacations. Your love of whitewater rafting might just come in handy! Want to be a server at a restaurant and you have a knack for cooking?

Go ahead and list that on your resume. It’s relevant, plus, who knows, the employer might need a competent backup for the kitchen, too!

What hobbies should you avoid on your resume?

Are there any hobbies you should not mention on your resume?

Those include any hobbies that are of a religious, political, or sexual persuasion. You also might want to avoid hobbies that others might consider strange or awkward (taxidermy anyone?)

Or, if they are too general to make sense — like reading books and watching movies. C’mon, it’s like saying you are special because you breathe air!

Remember that the whole point of sharing your interests is a way for a hiring manager to get a fuller image of you, to connect with you. And, perhaps, to see what skill sets you have apart from those you developed in a work environment.

Sometimes a Hobby Is More Than a Hobby

If you’ve taken part in conferences, expos, and industry events, you might want to create a separate section like Conferences. Especially, if you were a speaker. Did you volunteer at an NGO? You might want to move that to a Volunteer Work section.

Although it’s not typical work experience, it does imply you can navigate the work environment.

And finally, command of foreign languages warrants a mention in the skills section. Don’t hide it among semi-relevant hobbies. You’re a superstar, show that off!

Will adding hobbies to your CV help you beat the applicant tracking system? Not really, but... Click To Tweet

Key Takeaways

Adding a hobbies and interests section is the fun part of resume writing. You get to write about things that interest you. Plus, you can show off your sparkling personality.

Just remember to research the prospective employer. You want to match their expectations and make sure they are a good fit for you, too.

Will adding hobbies help you beat the applicant tracking system? Not really. But that isn’t the goal here. You want to show your human side and prove to the employer that you get them.

P.S. There are many more ways to come up with the perfect resume for the job. You can read up on everything you need to know online.

Then again, if you want to save time, you might as well just use a resume builder. Here’s a handy list of the best online resume builders. Just make sure the creator you choose will provide you with expert guidance and tips!


Rinsola Abiola – Intellectual Capacity is key to career impact in politics for young women

Ms. ‘Rinsola Abiola is the SA (New Media) to the Speaker House of Representatives in Nigeria, President APC Young Women Forum (APC-YWF), Board Member – Young Women in Politics Forum (YWiPF) and a Youth Representative for the APC Board of Trustees

Her career journey in politics is one that has taken precision and determination and an example worthy for young women looking to make a change from a political platform to emulate.

The representation of women in politics and governance is dismal - @Bint_Moshood Click To Tweet

What is your career role? 

I’m a Public Relations consultant and a young woman in politics. I currently head the All Progressives Congress (APC) young women forum, a support, mentorship, and capacity building group for young women aged 18-35, who are members or supporters of the APC.

I am currently the youngest person appointed to the APC board of trustees, and one of the three youth representatives.


When did your career in politics begin?

My full-fledged political participation began in late 2013. Before then, I was a member of civil society, through a number of youth-focused NGO’s.

The decision to join mainstream politics was informed by a desire to be part of the process, as opposed to sitting outside of it and offering criticism. I came to the realization that a political office would enable me to do so much more, and for a larger number of people than I could as an individual.


What impact can women in politics bring to a nation? 

The involvement of young women through mentoring and capacity building would ensure the grooming of a new generation of women who are prepared to hold both elective and appointive positions and have a clear strategy for engagement.


Are there special qualifications you need to have a head start in politics?

For basic political involvement, no. But when it comes to the elective office, there are minimum requirements established by law, e.g – completing a secondary education.

For appointive positions, one would require certain skills or qualifications in order to be deemed worthy of such a position. Intellectual capacity is key and formal education provides a level of refinement which helps a great deal.

It is also important to have good communication skills – this entails knowing the right way to engage a particular type of audience, from the highly educated to the not so educated.


What can young women do to be taken seriously in a male-dominated field?

Same as anyone needs to do if they want to be taken seriously, have something to offer, add value, develop a good number of skills required and seize good opportunities to prove your mettle.

Be loyal, dedicated and committed to the ideals of your environment. Take a professional approach to everything and distinguish yourself.

Do not leave room for doubt, and know how to be firm without being forceful or harsh Click To Tweet


What roles have you held in the past and how did that help in getting you to where you are now?

I served as the founding PRO of the APYF in 2014, and some months later, as the PRO/Secretary, when the APC Young Women Forum was formed, I also served 

These roles increased my knowledge of what young people actually desire from the government. I learned communication skills and how to view time as one of my most valuable resources. Most importantly, I learned how to have a strong work ethic.

I’ve worked with a magazine brand, in a bank, I got the required certification in public relations, a profession I had always admired and set up a firm

Politics is expensive and you need resources - @Bint_Moshood Click To Tweet


As one of the executives of the Young Women in Politics Forum (YWIPF), how will this help in empowering other young women to pursue a career in politics?

I’m set to begin a peer mentoring programme with young women both here in Abuja and other states of the federation, which will be aligned with the objectives of YWIPF. 

Also, knowing that a Forum exists for young women with similar interests will encourage many to join, as one thing I have noticed is that some are interested but are just at a loss as to how to begin.

Dorcas Tshuma: Making Every Women Count

Dorcas Tshuma is the South African founding member and programme director for Triumphant Hand of Mercy Initiative (THOMI Africa). THOMI Africa empowers women and girls, who are helpless or homeless, with the skills and confidence necessary to secure a job, create a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children.

Dorcas has participated in prestigious events across the globe: The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York, the Civil Society Policy Forum in Washington DC and as the guest speaker for NIMSA (Nigerian Medical Students Association) on their Empowering women to Empower Humanity female international summit.

Please briefly highlight what THOMI Africa is about?

We are a non-governmental organization which support the UN Women’s flagship programme of ”making every women count”.  We look at challenges women face, and suggest different solutions.

We equip women with the knowledge that will enable them to be skilled at all levels, irrespective of their geographical location.

THOMI Africa is against the abuse of women and children. We also campaign against the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and form of substances. We raise awareness pertaining to breast cancer, TB, HIV & AIDS, including the care and counsel of victims dependents. Additionally, we make every women count by assisting the elderly, disabled and widowed in our community.


Why and when was THOMI Africa founded?

I founded this organization a long time ago, but it was officially registered in 2015; due to my natural passion for gender equality.  It  used to sadden me every time I saw girls and women suffering, begging on the streets with kids on their back, starving, being raped, abused and murdered.  That is what triggered me to be involved in making every women count, through empowerment programmes which equip women and girls.


As a Programme Director what does your role entail?

I oversee the administration of policies and programmes; and I monitor and report on the economic empowerment portfolio and provide assistance when needed. I also communicate with  all project/programme partners at all levels, and ensure that the organisation strategy is developed across all areas. I play a role in in decision making and provide financial analysis, and provide guidance on all activities, plans, targets and business drivers.


What is the best book you have ever read?

Animal Farm by George Orwell.


Since its inception what are some memorable THOMI Africa achievements?

Attending the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit (New York) in 2016; Being part of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings as part of Civil Society Policy Forum in October 2016 in Washington DC,USA; Being  guest speaker at NIMSA Female International Summiton on the topic, “Empowering Women to Empower Humanity”.

We also participated in the Anti Female Genital Mutilation Campaign which took place on Saturday, 19th of November, 2016; and were nominated by United Nations women  last year, as a 2016-2017 Global Champion for change.


Any challenges?

Being unable to secure adequate funding to execute programmes and campaigns. But, every organisation face challenges and they differ depending on the circumstance at hand.


For anyone who would like to contribute to ‘making every women count’, which qualities are you looking for?

Someone who will contribute to ‘making every women count’ must have, among other qualities, a natural passion for helping the underprivileged. That individual needs to be able to listen, give appropriate counsel and mentoring. They need to have a strong sense of compassion and empathy for people.

In conclusion they need to be able to meet deadlines and interact effectively across many levels of management. I have developed multitasking and prioritization abilities, and willingness to do whatever is needed to empower women. And a positive attitude!

Do you know of or run an organisation which positively impact women?

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



Would you move abroad in pursuit of the career of your dreams?

shehive new york she leads africa move abroad
Adulting is a journey of OMG laced with moments of YAAAAAAS and degrees of ‘I can do the thing’ Click To Tweet

I’m pretty sure many of us reach a point in our lives where we reevaluate some of our life choices. We finish high school and get accepted into tertiary institutions and study what we think we would like to be for the rest of our lives.

But who knows what they really want to become when they’re a teen choosing their core subjects whilst dealing with puberty, boy drama and growing pains?

Adulting and its woes

Adulting and traversing the world of work is a journey of OMG laced with moments of YAAAAAAS and varying degrees of ‘I can do the thing’.

So when the going gets tough and mind starts racing, one does consider that the grass may be greener on the other side. Releasing guilt and embracing our efforts as enough, and mistakes as lessons is often our biggest challenge and triumph.

If I was granted the opportunity to go abroad in pursuit of a career that I want, well…wpid-img_20150423_125212

Bye Felicia

We have all at some point felt like everything is working against us and not with us. A lot of us align ourselves to the internalized propaganda that exists in order make us doubt our intuition and the choices which we dare to make.

We can no longer silence the need for new and greater possibilities that exist outside of our paradigm. Presented with the opportunity to go abroad I would defs jump onto that bandwagon.

Presented with the opportunity to go abroad I would defs jump onto that bandwagon. Click To Tweet

Don’t need no hateration, holleration

There is absolutely no place for nursing prolonged feelings of doubt in this vocation dancery. For the longest time, women have continuously denied themselves the opportunity to flourish because they can.

There has almost always been a reason why one should think things through and why one ought not to go ahead and flex on that new portfolio. We need to block out the negativity and the trolls that continue with the ‘pull her down’ syndrome. For this reason, we also ought to take time for small consistent acts of self-care and self-kindness which will grant us the daily ability to can.

When one has opened oneself to the endless growth opportunities at their disposal there are a few things one needs to look into. These include what is more pivotal between a remuneration structure and job satisfaction? What are you willing to do regarding the roles and responsibilities which may come with the position? Will you be able to handle the responsibilities which come with the chosen career path?

We need to block out the negativity and the trolls Click To Tweet

We are reminded over and over again, the importance of setting boundaries and respecting our limits. But sometimes we ought to push just a little harder, for a bit longer. Sometimes we must just be strong and pull ourselves towards ourselves until we conquer the proverbial Mount Frustration-Doubt-Anxiety.


‘J’ is for job; but also for jet setter

So if I were offered the opportunity to go work abroad and pursue an accolade-worthy career, I would not think it through twice!

Even if there may lie challenges ahead and irrespective of the adjustments I would have to make and despite any reservations; I am sure of one thing. It. Gets. Better. This doesn’t even warrant an explanation. Then the only thing left to do would be to… WERQ!

I am sure of one thing. It. Gets. Better. Then the only thing left to do would be to… WERQ! Click To Tweet

Conscious growth and dedication to a cause may require all of the patience, trusting the process and effort 100%, all the damn time! The understanding that sometimes we may not feel like doing the work, but we will anyway and the effort will be worth it —tenfold!


At the end of it all; we will feel more enriched and empowered than we ever thought we might be. So, if you have a chance to move abroad don’t even think twice. Go get that career of your dreams!

Why we need to start empowering girls

zimbabwe girls empowering

A number of African cultures traditionally sideline girls leaving few opportunities for us to talk about the prevention of abuse. While some African governments have introduced laws aimed at protecting girls, protection alone is insufficient. We need the platform to show who we are and what we can do without being viewed as “just girls”.

Over the years, more women locally and internationally have responded positively to the upliftment of girls by taking on higher positions of authority in society and government, and pushing for change. Successful women respond to criticism by proving that life is not about being at home and raising the kids, but there is so much more we can do out there to change the political and economic situations all over. This stresses the need for us, as sisters to stand up and act.  Surely in a world where girls outnumber boys by 52 to 48 percent, the scales of authority should tip in our favour? We can’t have patriarchy controlling us from all corners.

The situation in Zimbabwe

Where I’m from, we are slowly reaching a far yet near destination in total emancipating girls. I say its far because of the mountains and obstacles to be moved and grappled with along the way. The situation of girls in Zimbabwe is a sorry state of oppression disguised as norms heavily imposed on girls. To adjust and adapt to the hostile environment and curve their own space in the world, girls use methods that often diminish their being.

Take for instance, the Blesser-Blessee “situationships”, where girls offer men sexual favours in return for their needs being met. It is exploitation, yet it happens because girls don’t see a way out. Then, some of us are criticized for our choices to remain single or childfree, even when it’s our choice to create our own path and not fall into traps created by society. Zimbabwean society even gives unmarried women nicknames such as “Chipo Chiroorwa”, which translates to “get married now or risk becoming ridiculed.”

quote-by-empowering-a-woman-we-empower-a-child-by-educating-a-girl-child-we-make-it-possible-winnie-byanyima-81-69-76Girls are good for more than marriage

I met a young girl from my hometown once, Ruvimbo. She fell pregnant at the age of 14 leading to a loss of parental love, education and deterioration of her physical health. She dropped out of school to look for work and fend for herself and the baby after been chased away from home and forced to elope. The boy, on the other hand, was allowed to continue with his studies. Ruvimbo suffered silently, unable to share her concerns for fear of rejection, stigma and discrimination. Her story brings to light how girls are more often than not, overpowered by societal pressure to get married even when they don’t want to.

Many young girls and women out there put on brave smiles that hide sad stories about the detrimental effects that adolescent pregnancy has had on their lives. By succumbing to such pressure, girls are forced to deal with the overwhelming psychological trauma of giving up their dreams, and being forced into parenthood at a young age without necessarily being prepared for it.

Stereotypes can be changed

We are brought up in a culture that indirectly promotes male chauvinism. Some of us believe that the only way to belong to society is to abide by social standards and chauvinistic rules. The problem is, behind these rules is a false idea that gendered roles, emotions and behaviors are biological. They say it’s natural for men to show superiority, dominance and aggression and for women to be weak and servile. Really? The truth is, these stereotypes can all be changed. Women need to kick start the revolution and increase the volume of voices to prove that we too can be superior and aggressive.

Ladies, let’s avoid people that try to belittle us and our ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great people make you feel that you too, can become great. Let’s review our own beliefs, attitudes and stop perpetuating the male chauvinism that limits our opportunities. We all want to see girls doing good for themselves. If each successful woman can hold one girl’s hand, imagine how many of our girls will be at peace.