“I LEFT THE USA TO PURSUE MY PASSION IN NIGERIA.” MEET UGOCHI NWOSU, FOUNDER OF RELIANCE CLINICS

ugochi

Not everyone owns up to their purpose especially when it takes you from one continent to another. Ugochi left the United States to pursue purpose in Nigeria.

Ugochi is the founder of Reliance Clinics. She’ll be sharing insights into her life as a medical practitioner, health tips, the numerous challenges she faced and how she was able to overcome them. 


Who is Ugochi Nwosu?

I was born in Nigeria and lived there until I was 7 before my family immigrated to the United States. That was where I did all my schooling. After my undergraduate degree, I did my residency training in the States also until I returned back to Nigeria in 2019. This kick-started my goal to start a business that provided quality private healthcare services. 

What are you passionate about?

Healthcare! I really want to live in a world where everyone has full access to adequate healthcare. In Nigeria, the rate at which people in their early 40s and 50s die is really alarming. All of these can be avoided. 

I just want to help people live healthy and productive lives where they get to see their grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Although this would be beautiful, it’s not easy. If people want to live till their late 80s, it starts from now. So, I want to keep educating people about this. 

What ignited the spark to start Reliance Clinics?

For me, the inclination to work in healthcare came since my undergraduate studies. I learnt about the possible challenges, the requirements and mapped out the areas to make an impact. It was important to be properly grounded in what I was planning to do to avoid making any silly mistakes.

I also worked with a whole lot of NGOs to ensure I had a feel of what I was about getting myself into. I didn’t really plan to start a business for myself. The decision to do that came after I kept searching for an NGO to work with but couldn’t find any at that point. This made me start looking for other possible opportunities

During my residency training, I met people who were interested in digital healthcare services and connected with them. They encourage me to just do what I need to do because no one makes actual change by talking and observing. It was great for me because I didn’t see myself as someone that could take up that level of responsibility upon myself. The plan had always been to work for someone who was already doing the things I needed to do. That’s basically how the business came alive. 

How was the startup phase of your business?

I’m not going to deny the fact that everything was new to me. Firstly, we had to scout for a suitable location, then we had to figure out a way to get supplies for the clinic and basically test these supplies yourself because everything had to be reliable 100%. 

For funding, I met the founders of a health insurance company during my residency training so things sort of worked out for me in the sense that they needed a trusted clinic that they could send patients to so they kind of gave me the initial funding for the clinic. 

What business challenges have you faced and how have those challenges shaped your mindset?

One major challenge has been hiring and training staff. For those in healthcare, the quality of services offered has to be nothing but excellent. Most times, doctors, pharmacists, nurses etc expect some things to be done in some certain way based on what they’ve seen before or something which might not necessarily be the right thing. 

When you tell this category of people that there’s a standard that should be met and we’re not going to overlook that standard just because we’re operating in Nigeria, it turns into a situation where it feels like you’re telling them that they’re not properly trained or something so that was a major challenge for me. 

Another challenge we had, in the beginning, was dealing with patients and staff who were used to things being done in certain ways and then we do them in totally different ways. For instance, most patients that come to our clinic are used to being given so many drugs even for not so serious cases. When we give them just 1-2 drugs, they feel like we’re not treating them the right way or we don’t really care about their wellbeing which is why we’re given them little amounts of drugs and that’s not the situation at all. 

What have you learned so far from running this business?

When it comes to hiring, you have to ensure that those people actually have the skills they claim to possess. It’s mandatory that you do. I’ve learnt over time that you have to be very intentional when deciding who to bring on board, how to evaluate their skills and how to train them so that from day 1, they can actually deliver. 

 

Ugochi is a participant in the High Growth Coaching Program 2020. Catch up on her business journey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Meet Didi Morake: How her passion and creativity is decreasing youth unemployment in South Africa

didi morake

This is the last part of “Inside Global Citizen”, a limited series. We pull back the curtain and highlight members of Global Citizen staff who are key parts of the organization’s advocacy, impact, and more. Be part of our community of outstanding women by joining today.

Didi Morake had a lucrative career in the corporate banking industry. After completing her Masters in Strategic Marketing from the Wits Business School, Didi landed a position working as the Customer Value Proposition Designer for Youth at ABSA Bank.

 

Didi’s position at ABSA allowed her to pursue her passion for helping the youth. However, when she heard about Global Citizen, she saw a whole new world of possibilities for making a difference.

 

Resonating deeply with the organization’s goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, Didi took the leap and left the corporate world. Didi Morake now works as the Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships where she spearheads the Global Citizen Fellowship Program powered by BeyGOOD.

 

Morake believes that she is now doing the work she was always meant to do.

 

“Growing up, I always thought I was going to be a doctor. I was always that one friend that was there for others – to pick them up when they fell. I thought being a pediatrician was befitting to me and my personality. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that it wasn’t about the title, it was about the purpose – which I had at heart – helping young people.”
Didi Morake

On Creating Sustainable Programs to Tackle Unemployment

 

Unemployment in South Africa is staggeringly high, especially among young people. According to Trading Economics, South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020 from 29.1% in the previous period. It was the highest jobless rate on record since quarterly data became available in 2008.

 

Whilst this might seem like a crippling challenge to some, Didi and her team are doing something about it. “Young people are the future, and with the right access to skills and training opportunities, everyone can achieve their full potential. This is exactly why the Global Citizen Fellowship powered by BeyGOOD exists,” says Morake. 

By working together through the fellowship program, the partnership offers young people an opportunity of a lifetime. Designed to empower young people with work experience, the program is not only supporting the vision of a South Africa that nurtures its youth.

 

The Global Citizen Fellowship is also equipping young people with the skills they need to play a role in social justice, helping their communities achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and amplifying causes that they believe in.

 

Take how the program is structured for example. It has multiple phases designed to offer each of the 10 fellows a fully immersive experience. The program covers subjects such as leadership, advocacy, international development, and global citizenship.

 

“Fellows will also have the opportunity to take part in a series of masterclasses given by industry leaders. The program also features educational field trips designed to help fellows develop into value-centred, community-driven leaders,” Didi added.

 

Didi added,“The past cohort were learning about using digital technology to drive social change; how storytelling can help spark cultural shifts; and the role of innovation in an ever-changing world.”

 

“ I think our youth are really passionate, and they’re very hungry to be heard, especially the females. What I pray for is that they keep that consistency to ensure that when they get to the top, they are bringing in other sisters into the workforce.” — Didi Morake

Cathy From Limpopo: A Rewarding Success Story

“I remember Cathy from Limpopo, who has her blog called Millennial Mirror, a platform born out of the need to create a space for young people to share their experiences. She came in with a very analytical brain since she had a background in Mathematics and Information Systems. It was so beautiful to see her discover her creative side by the end of the fellowship and become more in touch with it.” 

“Now Cathy hopes to one day be able to use technology to find solutions for society’s pressing issues and tackle injustices,” Morake added. This is Didi’s why — helping young people reach their full potential. This success story is one example in which Didi finds her work rewarding and helping her fulfil her purpose. 

Thrive: Didi’s Call to Women in 2020

2020 has been an especially tough year in youth development and employment for women. While the situation is not all grim, Didi comments that in her work, she continues to find herself asking one major question — ‘where are the women?’

According to Didi, there are a lot of spaces women still need to occupy. This is why Didi’s mandate to all women this year is — thrive.

“Thrive in what it is that keeps you up at night. Thrive in your personal and spiritual relationships. Awaken to who you are and unleash your potential.” — Didi Morake

Interested in making an impact in your community like Didi? Learn more about how you can take action at globalcitizen.org or Global Citizen Twitter page.

Meet Chebet Chikumbu: The Global Citizen trying to solve Africa’s youth development and education crisis

Chebet Chikumbu identifies as Pan-African

“Inside Global Citizen” is a limited series that will run during the month of August. It will pull back the curtain and highlight members of Global Citizen staff who are key parts of the organization’s advocacy, impact, and more. 

Be part of our community of outstanding women by joining today.

The United Nations estimates that a quarter of the world’s illiterate population lives in sub-Saharan Africa. With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic further crippling Africa’s already fragile education systems, the challenge to develop the future of Africa remains a daunting task.

At Global Citizen, Chebet Chikumbu is leading an all-women team focused on youth development across Africa to solve this big education and literacy crisis.

CHEBET’S JOURNEY INTO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Chebet’s passion for seeing growth in Africa started at a very early age. When she was 10 years old, her parents whisked her away from Kenya to boarding school in South Africa where she developed an appreciation for Africa’s diversity. 

While she initially wanted to become an accountant like her father, her goals shifted as she began to learn more about countries across Africa, and noticed the prevailing inequalities that were similar across the board. 

With this new awareness, she found herself leaning more towards humanitarian work than accounting.

young Chebet Chikumbu

Today, Chebet works as the Regional Director for Southern and Eastern Africa at Global Citizen and identifies herself as a Pan-African woman with roots in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

“I have really come to understand our similarities as Africans but also the nuances in a way that has given me a very profound appreciation for what it means to identify with a Nationality like a singular place.” – Chebet Chikumbu.

INSIDE CHEBET’S JOB: SOLVING A MAN-MADE CRISIS

To create sustainable and practical solutions to the problems of youth development and education, Chebet’s team identifies governments and corporations that can support priorities around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), develop campaign strategies, and mobilize support across sectors.

With her all-star team, Chebet oversees Global Citizen’s campaigns and ensures that commitments made through the Global Citizen platform are delivered and have a real impact on the intended recipients.

“It became clearer to me that a lot of what we see is man made. And, if these are man made problems, it means that there are man made solutions. And if we collectively put our heads and our hands to work, we can come up with the necessary problem solving that is required to address the world’s most pressing problems.” – Chebet Chikumbu. 

BeyGOOD: A SUCCESS STORY IN AFRICAN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Chikumbu has had great successes with her team at Global Citizen. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s passion for youth development and education, as well as his legacy of empowering future generations, Chebet and her team launched the  Global Citizen Fellowship Program Powered by BeyGOOD.

 

The Global Citizen Fellowship Program Powered by BeyGOOD is equipping young people with the skills they need to play a role in social justice, helping their communities achieve the SDGs, and amplifying causes that they believe in.

Global Citizen Fellowship Program class of 2020

Now, the Fellowship program is kicking off for its second year — with an extraordinary class of 10 young people. Designed to empower young people with work experience, the program is not only supporting the vision of a South Africa that nurtures its youth.

Each fellow will also have the benefit from personalized mentorship from leaders in entertainment, business, government, and civil society — all aimed at enabling them to realize their potential to become global agents of change.

Chikumbu encouraged young people to apply and engage in the paid, year-long fellowship aligned to one of Global Citizen’s four pillars of activity: creative, campaigns, rewards, and marketing. The next application period would be in 2021. 


ADVICE: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MENTOR  

The mentorship program is an aspect of The Global Citizen Fellowship Program powered by BeyGOOD that Chebet is especially proud of. With a career that has spanned over 15 years, she emphasizes that an effective mentor can create an open environment for young African women to express themselves and be heard.

“I can attest to the fact that mentors have really helped me shape my career in my 20s, and especially now in my 30s because I am thinking more broadly around how do I deepen my thought leadership and how do I truly become the light that I want to be and that I want to see in the world.”- Chebet Chikumbu. 

To find the right mentor, Chebet advises that you look for somebody who believes your intentions and is invested in seeing you be great without any strings attached -the key is you have to ask!

SOLVING A CRISIS DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

The pandemic has not spared Chebet and her team. According to Chikumbu, prior to the pandemic, Africa had been making progress to meet the 17 goals. Now, even those targets where that had almost been hit are under threat of having decades of progress wiped out in a matter of weeks.

“Due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods …we know that people of colour are disproportionately affected and we know that on the continent it means that the majority of those people of colour will be young and under the age of 30.” – Chebet Chikumbu. 

The UN says global school closures have kept over 90% of students worldwide – 1.57 billion pupils – out of access to education, and among them, 370 million children are missing out of school meals that they depend on. For those without access to internet and computers at home, remote learning is not an option, meaning almost no education for the duration of the crisis.

In short, if we thought it was real out here, COVID-19 is teaching us things can be a whole lot more real with existing inequalities and injustices. 

THE FUTURE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION IN AFRICA

While progress might seem daunting, all hope is not lost. Chikumbu and her team are making a collective response to the pandemic, which can serve as a ‘warm-up’ for their preparedness in revamping the progress they had previously made.

“What we are now having to, I suppose, absorb as a shock but beyond that, that’s why we are gathering stakeholders around now to try and think of ways to turn that around and ways to immediately find effective solutions in the spirit of catching up,” says Chikumbu. 

Interested in learning more about Global Citizen? Visit the Global Citizen Twitter Page.

Kene Rapu: Find something that makes your brand different from everyone else

Kene Rapu is the founder and CEO of ‘Kene Rapu’, the No.1 Nigerian footwear brand championing local production, established in 2011.

Her brand has played a significant role in changing the face of ‘Made in Nigeria’ footwear. Kene is a fully qualified lawyer with an LLB law degree from the University of Bristol, UK and a Masters Degree in Fashion Entrepreneurship from the London College of Fashion, UK.

In 2016 she was selected by the Tony Elumelu Foundation as one of 1000 African Entrepreneurs who’s idea could “change Africa”, in 2017 as one of 100 ‘Most Influential’ women in Nigeria by Leading Ladies Africa and most recently listed in the prestigious Forbes Africa ’30 under 30’ class of 2018, in the business category.

All Kene Rapu slippers are proudly made in Nigeria for the global community.


Dream big but start small, grow as organically as possible - @KeneRapu Click To Tweet

What vision did you have when you started out, is it different from what you are experiencing now?

Our vision was to be the No.1 Nigerian footwear brand championing local production, and it has
remained the same.

We are excited about the progress we have made so far, and are looking forward to getting the nations wearing KR.

What is it like making it to Forbes 30 under 30 lists?

The journey so far makes me more excited for the road ahead. I’m passionate about what I do, and it is humbling and encouraging to know that something I started 7 years ago, has morphed into a business that is recognized globally.

How has this exposure impacted your brand?

Having a world renown brand highlight your business as one of 30 emerging brands in Africa, is definitely gratifying for a business owner, increases consumer trust and opens you up to a new network of professionals and investors.

How can an entrepreneur build a solid brand?

 

In whatever area you want to go into, do your market research. Find a unique selling point, find something that makes your brand different from everyone else in that market.

Know your customer, define him or her, have a clear vision of where you want your brand to go; stay focused and remember why you started.

Having come this far starting out in 2011, what important lesson can aspiring entrepreneurs take from your journey?

Dream big but start small, grow as organically as possible.

Understand that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Hard work pays. Consistency and integrity are important. Provide value; a quality product will market itself.

How do you deal with gender biases you encounter as a woman running an enterprise?

As a female in business, sometimes there are unnecessary issues you have to deal with, that
should not be the case. However, challenges make you stronger, whether gender-related or
otherwise; deal with them head on and move on.

When you jump past hurdles, it is a testament that indeed you are a survivor. I also believe surrounding yourself with the right company is helpful. I have female friends in the business, and we spend time discussing how to resolve our common challenges. Having strong ladies in your corner certainly makes the journey easier.

What message do you have for women who need the courage to follow their passion?

Go for it. The road is not easy, in fact, it is difficult, but it is certainly gratifying when you begin to break through. Seize the moment and start now.


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How to overcome the fright of starting a business

If you have decided to ignore all the advice of well-meaning individuals and friends and have still gone ahead to start a business this year, you must have some real guts. Starting a business is no easy task. There are endless challenges that often discourage you from even starting. 

When looking at all the challenges entrepreneurs face, it’s easy to question how your business would thrive. If your business was a soft, supple, newborn baby, your goals as a business owner is to see that this business survives its first years. 

But how do you achieve this and start your business like a boss?


1. Face your fears

Spending nights rolling on your bed, worrying about your business goals won’t make you cause you to achieve them. Unfortunately just thinking about your business will not turn it into reality. You may have several doubts about the likelihood of people getting your products and services, but until you put your business out there you won’t know for sure.

Start by creating your sample products, sell them to family and friends and get feedback about them. With every action, you take you to become less and less afraid.  Every action you accomplish will help your confidence grow and you’ll begin to see your fear diminish.

2. Surround yourself with positive people

Surrounding yourself with positive people can make a huge difference on the success of your business. There are people who would do nothing to encourage you and will not give any positive feedback. If you stay close to such people, you will begin to doubt your ability to reach your business goals. 

The truth is, the people closest to you may be more susceptible about your business than strangers. Expect it. They may not believe in your ability to drive your business to fruition, you shouldn’t make it your aim to prove that point to them.

On the other hand, having a supportive people chip in a suggestion or two will stir your faith in your business, you’d start to believe in this brand becoming tangible as you hear them talk about it like it already exists.

3. Be Patient

If there is one thing you will most likely encounter, is roadblocks! And when you do, you will need lots of patience. When things get tough, don’t through your hands in the air and shout “I don’t have time for this”.

Firstly, try and understand that the problem you face is not always your fault. If you cannot go through the problem, find a way to go around it. Do not compare yourself with what you see on the news and social media. Seeing everyone move on a much faster pace may be discouraging. 

When you do his a roadblock on your journey, figure out how to deal with it while putting other aspects of your business in track. You should always be ready to take off when the roadblock is removed.

4. Dance upon disappointment

As an entrepreneur, managing disappointment is a skill you can’t afford to live without. So what if things do not work out as you plan? What if a key team member decides to leave at the last minute, or a trusted supplier fails to supply your ingredients on time? What would you do when people fail you?  

You cannot always control all circumstances when working with people. When things go wrong, you shouldn’t beat yourself over. Try and come up with new alternatives. Though this may be tough, it will become a lot easier if you stay positive about it. 

Take a break, play some music and dance away your disappointments. You can also create a warm environment where everyone can come together and decide on the next steps for the business will be.


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Ekemini Dan Abia: I decided to help people identify potential abusers through Abuse survivor

Ekemini Dan Abia is a legal practitioner who got inspired by her work in the criminal justice system to create a community which supports and educates victims of domestic abuse through her Instagram page, Abuse Survivor

Abuse survivor aims to create awareness of the damaging effects of domestic abuse by educating members of the public, using Narcissism as a subject.

She believes that helping individuals understand narcissism can greatly reduce domestic abuse in the home and its result in the larger society.

Through Abuse Survivor, she identifies potential abusers and identifies abuse dynamics. She also provides materials and support for the recovery of survivors and counsels victims of all forms of abuse.


 What has been your biggest achievement as a prosecutor?

Watching adults, children, as well as pre-teens who are victims of sex offenses, look their abuser in the eye and testify against him or her in open court.

I am filled with a sense of accomplishment because I know that the person is taking back his or her power and getting out of the abuser’s control.

What prompted you to start the platform Abuse Survivor?

I was deeply shaken by the death of Ronke Shonde in 2016, who was allegedly murdered by her abusive husband. Reports of spousal abuse/homicides seemed to increase in 2017, and I recall asking myself “why couldn’t they heed the red flags before walking down the aisle”?

So I decided to help people identify potential abusers and also highlight the long-term effects of remaining in abusive relationships on adults and children.

I came to realize that a large percentage of those convicted for violent crimes are products of dysfunctional home environments and are people with unresolved childhood trauma.

The pain and anger they carry around makes them gravitate towards crime or other anti-social behaviors. Knowledge of the above facts propelled me to create Abuse Survivor.

Are you an abuse survivor yourself?

Yes. I have been a victim of malignant narcissistic abuse.

How do you vet the authenticity of the stories people send to you since its all done virtually?

Most stories sent to us are accompanied by imageries which are very compelling with the victims pleading for their anonymity. I ask certain question which aims to validate their assertions without leaving them feeling we disbelieve them.

It calls for tact and sensitivity, else we could leave a victim of abuse with invalidated feelings which is against everything we stand for.

Would you consider yourself to be a social entrepreneur and if so, what would you say is the most challenging part of this role?

Yes, I do.

We live in a society where an in-depth discussion of abuse is given a passing interest, thus accessing funds to have more impact has been really challenging. Like most start-ups, this is the biggest challenge I have faced so far.

You use NARCISSISM as a subject to educate your community. How has this impacted them positively?

Lots of people have undergone narcissistic abuse without knowing it. As a result, they lived in utter confusion, depression and other health complications which is characteristic of victims of narcissistic abuse.

Watching some members of our community gain clarity, stop blaming themselves and take control of their lives has been very fulfilling.

Since starting the platform ‘Abuse Survivor’, have you had any support from anyone?  And how has this contributed towards your success?

A survivor of narcissistic abuse, who is also a member of our community reached out to me sometime in February 2018. Although living in the UK, she volunteered to build a website for our community.

I am very grateful for this gesture.

She has also become one of our resource persons. She is always on standby with brilliant and innovative suggestions. Having her as a support system right now propels me to keep doing what I do.

What is the one motivation that gets you up every morning?

I wake up every morning with the zeal to put out more information in order to reach more people. The knowledge that far too many people in our society are ignorant about narcissism motivates me.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman suffering from domestic abuse?

I would tell her that she is stronger than her abuser is trying to make her feel. All she needs to do is to see herself the way God sees her and learn to love herself.

Only then will she have the strength to walk away for herself and to provide a better environment for her children (if she is a mother).

How do you juggle your full-time job with managing your platform?

To be candid, it is very tasking. However, it is easier because I am passionate about this topic and my full-time job inspires me too.

I make time in the early hours of the day from 4 am to 6 am to plan my content. That way, members of our community never experience content drought.

You currently run Abuse Survivor solely on Instagram. Any plans to move it to another platform? (Website, blog etc).

Right now, we are working on our official website. We plan to make use of other social media platforms while retaining Instagram as our primary means of reaching out to members of our community.

Do you ever meet with the women whose stories you share?

The vast majority of those who share their stories in our community are impossible to meet geographically because they do so from all over the world.

However, I have met a handful of them and they are the most resilient women I have ever met.

What future plans do you have for ‘Abuse Survivor’?

My vision is for Abuse Survivor to become the number one support system and resource outfit for victims of any form of abuse in Africa. We plan to innovate along the way.

What’s your favorite book / Ted Talk of all time?

My favorite book is Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Purple Hibiscus’. I think that is where my interest in domestic abuse was aroused. I was 19 when I read that novel.

My favorite Ted Talk was given by Warren Buffet. If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.


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Smangele Nicolette Ngwenya: I am Enough

Born in the east of Johannesburg in Ekurhuleni, Smangele Nicolette Ngwenya is a self-motivated, systematic and confident woman.

Having grown up in her grandmother’s green shack, she sums up her background as colorful and supportive. 

This background inspired her to start the WomenYouAreEnough organization. Through her organization, Smangele hopes to empower and inspire women. 


What was the motivation behind your organization? 

I’ve always wanted to be involved in meaningful & fruitful things. My prayer has always been, God helps me to give more than I can receive. Being raised by a giving grandmother made it natural to me.

When the organization started, I only wanted to help take a disadvantaged girl child to school. Then suddenly, I also wanted to collect sanitary towels so that no girl child could miss class because of something that occurs involuntarily.

The organization has since become a movement with a hashtag #WomanYouAreEnough which reminds all women that it’s okay to be imperfect, that it’s okay to help other women without taking the glory once they reach to the top. WomanYouAreEnough means that when Queens(Women) gather, wonderful things happen.

What does confidence mean to you?

Personally, confidence means complimenting another woman’s beauty & understating that their beauty is not in the absence of mine. It means recognizing the strength of another woman & knowing but also knowing that I too am enough.

So confidence is about being happy in my own skin and also appreciating the strength of those around me. 

Has your confidence ever been compromised? 

Women have often compromised my confidence every now and then. I have had a very strong personality which has often mistaken for being a miss know it all.

I was teased for my body weight and facial features. However, despite all these negative comments, I have never felt any less confident. In fact, I have been fortunate enough to attract confident women who see each other as Queens and not threats.

What is your mantra?

My daily mantra is reminding myself that I am enough. Even on my worst day, I wake up and dress up knowing that without any reasonable doubt, I am enough. I don’t have to force what’s meant for me as it will find me.

Are women empowered today?

I have to say that women empowerment is definitely on the rise. Especially with the use of social media, we are seeing more women in the corporate world holding higher positions. Different organizations and movements are making sure that women empowerment is on the rise.

WomanYouAreEnough is one of those. We have different empowerment programs such as the matric dance campaign where we dress up disadvantaged girls for their big day. We also host seminars and share personal struggles to continue encouraging women. Therefore, females are inspired by everything we’ve done.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

My late grandmother Salamina Mafoka Molakeng Mimi truly inspires me. Though life has dealt with her, she has remained hopeful. My mother NoNhlanhla Ngwenya who from the age 18 has worked double shifts at various restaurants so that we can have a normal childhood also inspires me.

Finally, every other female who decided to go for it even though their background didn’t allow them also greatly inspires me.  

Does overconfidence cause more problems than under-confidence?

There’s nothing like being overconfident according to me. So, I’d say there are more problems caused by being under confident. Society still tries to tame females.

They tell us we are too old, too confident or too much. At the end of the day, these things make us doubt ourselves & we end up in a certain box hating each other as females.


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Master the art of Hunting for Opportunities: Adeng Leek

Many people believe that getting opportunities is just about luck. This is true to a large extent. But most times, getting opportunities is about hard work.

You cannot afford to be lazy when searching for opportunities. In life, it is your responsibility to develop yourself first before others do.

Adeng Leek, a passionate young African from Sudan and founder of Opportunities for South Sudanese Initiative shares a few steps on hunting for opportunities.

You need to make sure opportunities are running behind you and you are not running behind them - @adengmalual Click To Tweet

But what does it take to find opportunities?


1. Know who you are and what you want

It is very easy to say I know who I am. But the truth is, it takes ages to discover yourself. Knowing yourself is a process that requires you to sit down and answer a few important questions. You need to ask yourself questions such as:

  • What is my purpose?
  • What are my goals and objectives?
  • How will I bring them to reality?

Once you have answered these questions, then it will be much easier to execute your goals. It will also ensure that when you get distracted or sidetracked, you will still have a way of getting on track.  

2. Read, Read and Read

I don’t think I can emphasize the importance of reading enough. How many times do we ignore reading articles, stories, and other material because we don’t have the time or are not interested?

Reading is quite important as it can widen your experience. Many people such as bloggers share inspirational stories and tips that if you read, they can help impact your life.

Through reading these articles, you may find solutions to help you overcome any obstacles and challenges you’ve faced in your journey. 

3. Network

Networking is very essential. From meeting people in the same field you are interested in or meeting other diverse people, it is important to widen your sphere of influence. These different people can help and mentor you towards achieving your goal.

On the other hand, networking is not only about getting but also about giving. If you can, it is important to also be of help to others.

Perhaps you have a connection that can help a friend or a networking event that you could invite someone to. 

4. Share the opportunities you receive

When we get opportunities and succeed, it is often quite easy to forget that others are searching for the same opportunities. Once you see an opportunity that others would benefit from, always try and share them with as many people as possible.

This is what inspired the creation of my blog ‘Opportunities for South Sudanese Initiative’. Through this blog, I share opportunities from different websites. These opportunities not only benefit me, but they benefit a wider group that will eventually impact the whole nation.


[bctt tweet=”No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want – Pablo” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”

This article was written by Adeng Leek.


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Francisca Ogunlade: My Scars are My Strength

Francisca Onyinye Ogunlade is a car crash survivor who decided to make her second chance at life very impactful and interesting.

She is also known as the “Side Business Queen” because she helps corporate employees leverage their strength to start and grow a profitable side business in 90 days or less.

She is a banker with 12 years experience, a founder of an event tech company and a business coach.

In this interview with Francisca, she talks about surviving a car crash, and how she got into the business of event planning and management.


Your location should not be a hindrance to your dreams. The internet has made life easy Click To Tweet

Having being involved in a car crash, what impact did this have your life and business?

The car crash turned my whole life around. I had two fractures in one leg and also a cranial injury. As if that’s not enough, I had to carry my pregnancy to term on crutches and a cane.

The biggest blow was that I lost the use of one eye – imagine having to be very careful when applying eyeliner because you only have one eye!

This accident taught me that life and business are always full of twists and turns. Sometimes, you lose almost everything (like I almost lost my life) and you are left with deciding either to remain conquered or rise up to fight the storm. For me, I chose to live and live well. I charge you to do same.

From your experience, how can young women maximize their locations?

On July 16, 2017, I changed the narration of the events and wedding industry in the Southwest of Nigeria. My team and I planned and hosted a beauty and bride exhibition, and this event has created so much ripple effect within and outside the many states in Nigeria.

The interesting thing about launching out from your location is that you are probably one of the few people with that idea and boom, you are in the limelight. In the last year too, I created Nigeria’s first events budgeting app on the Google play store (Eftinzz Events and Budget Planner).

All this taught me that your location should not be a hindrance to your dreams. The internet has made life easy. Make your dream clear enough and your location will be your Launchpad.

How do you create a balance between your day job and your business?

I must confess that this has not been a box of chocolate. I had to identify my support system and carry them along with my plans. They are a part of life.

On my part, I had to make some sacrifices which include reducing my social life. Unfortunately, I lost some few friends who couldn’t understand the new direction I was going but we are now on the same page.

What are some key lessons from your journey you’d like others to learn from?

I could never have imagined that I would go through some of the things that I have been through. However, through every experience I learned the following lessons:

  • Your scars are your strength
  • Your dreams are valid
  • You must be crazy enough to believe in your craze
  • You are human – it’s okay to ask for help

What advice can you give young ladies building their careers or businesses?

I won’t tell you it will be easy because it won’t be. But the good thing is, even if it is easy, you can do it. Be true to yourself. Never be scared to dream and make sure you live an enjoyable life because your dreams are valid.

 


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Vivian Atenaga: The Gospel isn’t Enough Without Impact

Vivian Atenaga is a pastor, conference speaker, and an educationist. As a preacher, Vivian believes that the message of the gospel is not complete without making a physical impact on peoples lives. 
Driven by this, Vivian co-founded a project named Smile Naija. Smila Naija is a platform that is used to reach out to the indigent in the society. In this article, Vivian tells us more about her passion. 

What inspired the Smile Naija Project?

Seeing the sufferings of people in our society has truly touched me. I thought to myself that though I was encouraging people through preaching the gospel, this was not enough. So, with a team of other passionate people, we began collecting food items, furniture, and kitchen utensils to donate to those who needed them through Smile Naija.
Through our diverse team of professionals, we offer free legal counseling and medical checkups from experts. After the medical checkups, patients are given free drugs also. The services we offer are open to any member of the society and so far we have reached a number of people.

What is your plan for the project in the future?

By the end of this year, we are hoping to feed and clothe at least five thousand families. It sounds ambitious but we strongly believe that we can achieve these goals. When looking at the future, we hope to have empowerment programs. Through these programs, we hope to give startups the training and funding they need to be able to start their businesses.
We also plan to establish scholarship programs that will especially benefit children in the Northern part of Nigeria as it holds a larger population of children that are out of school. All in all, we have many plans for Smile Naija and hope to make it more impactful.

Can you tell us more about your mentoring program?

I have often heard about this phenomenon that the younger people will outlive the older generation. Therefore, I believe that impacting the youth is a deliberate effort to designing the desired future that we want.
Through our program, we look into all the aspects of life that affect young people. We then deal with these aspects through teachings and dialogues. I’ve realized that the reason we keep having challenges in society today is that young people usually lack the requisite skills and tools to deal with challenges as they face them.
Therefore, I hope through mentor-ship, young people can get the help they need to face challenges.

How do you stay motivated with your various projects?

I understand that I am here on an assignment, and mediocrity is not one of the kingdom traits, which means that excellence is a basic mark I must meet. I keep setting new standards based on the vision God has given me for my life.
I know my purpose, and I ensure I stick to it through prioritizing my life, whether it is focusing on the home front, pastoring or even running my business. However, I have prioritized my life in a way that my home comes first, ministry second and my business third. With this order, I give to Caesar what belongs to him.
There is life after your wedding day, you are more than you think you are. - Vivian Atenaga Click To Tweet

What will your legacy be?

 At the end of the day, I hope that my legacy will be that I served God through everything that I did. I also want to have impacted humanity without any reservations.

Any inspiring messages for women seeking to start pursuing their dreams and fulfilling their purpose?

 You only live once here in this world. I know the period of giving birth and raising the kids are quite challenging, but I also believe that you can find time to document your ideas and sketch your plan to execute them once the kids are a bit older.
Don’t ever allow being married to be your life’s last dream.There is life after the wedding day and you are more than you think you are.

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