Twitter Chat with Carol Nyazika: Moving back home as an entrepreneur (Nov. 3)

moving back home twitter chat

Thinking of moving back home? Thinking of starting a business? Thinking of moving back home AND starting a business? You’re not alone. There is a growing trend of Africans abroad moving back home and there are resources and organizations like Resource Nigeria and Movemeback that are helping people do just that.

Within the group of people moving back home, are also those that are doing so to start a business. Some do it because certain ideas they saw abroad have not yet reached their part of Africa or because the economy of certain African countries are ripe for entrepreneurship, others still do it because they want to give back to their home and they are passionate about the industry they are venturing into.

A UK resident who moved back home  to Zimbabwe, Carol Nyazika fits into many of these categories. She is the founder of the African Women Awards and the founder Ndanaka, a natural skin care line.

Join us Thursday Nov. 3rd for a Twitter chat with Carol Nyazika to discuss the perks and set backs of moving back home and starting a business, or businesses.

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SheHiveJoburg to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • Deciding whether it is time to move home
  • Knowing if your business idea will live on when you move back home
  • The importance of celebrating African girl magic
  • Balancing two busineses & a 9-5

Twitter chat details

  • Date: Thursday Nov. 3, 2016
  • Time: 8am NYC // 12pm London // 2pm Harare
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SheHiveJoburg

Help us spread the word:

I'm excited to learn about moving back home to start a business from @CarolNyazika & @SheLeadAfrica. : Click To Tweet


moving back home twitter chatSelf- motivated, dynamic, hard-working and goal oriented are some of the many characteristics that Carol Nyazika has developed through her few years as a successful social entrepreneur. With a focused mind-set, she has managed to centre her business ventures on the development of women in all aspects of their lives. This has primarily been based on the promotion of the beauty within through business initiatives and independence. Carol has packaged herself as a complete influential brand that reaches people through all mediums of life, whether through the radio, television or print media. Her effort to reach clients through the expansion of her brand is what has made her a rising personality in the Zimbabwean community, at home and the diaspora.

Through her popularity in the beauty industry, Carol founded Ndanaka by Carol Nyazika, a lifestyle brand platform that showcases beauty and hair. She then expanded this platform and launched her beauty brand with the same name which covers hair care, skin care and body care products. Her YouTube videos show the simplicity of beauty without breaking the bank with views of over three hundred thousand.

She is also Founder of African Women Association, a female empowerment association. AWA is not be a platform that excels in rhetoric but fails in practice; it is invested in making sure that people’s lives are truly changed. This project is highly rated by the experts in the industry. The African Women Awards are under the association and have been hailed as the ‘Oscars of Africa’ by most media outlets. The Awards have been well received by many across the continent and truly appreciated for the impact is has had on many African women. The other platforms under the association include AWA Foundation, AWA Media, AWA Network. Carol continues to break barriers, positively impacting women around her, pushing the boundary and challenging the norm.

Who you’ll meet at SheHive London – Charles Sekwalor

Charles Sekwalor she leads africa

Charles Sekwalor is the founder of Movemeback, a members-only community that connects professionals with career and business opportunities in Africa. He’ll also be speaking at SheHive London this year. We spoke to Charles about moving back —what to expect, what to pack and how to deal with (reverse) culture shock.

What do you think is driving the increase in diaspora moving back to Africa?

I think that there are 4 factors here but it is a trend that has developed over time.

  • Opportunity: In the last couple of years there has been a narrative about Africa rising. This is essentially a period of opportunity where people have become increasingly optimistic about Africa and the role its starting to play economically in the world.
  • Challenges: There’s been a slowdown in the global economy and so we’ve seen multinationals making more and more of a play for Africa, the local expansion of markets, increasing press coverage and universities focusing on recruitment from Africa.
  • Cultural changes: This new generation or millennials think slightly differently as to how they go about their careers. They are thinking 2-3 years at a time as opposed to long term careers like the generation before them. These people are far more open to try new things and experience work in different regions.
  • Macro factor: Globalisation is also a big factor as we no longer live in countries with borders. Markets have become more accessible and so people have become more open to moving to other African countries different from their home country.

What are the Top 5 things you need to pack with you when you’re moving back to Africa?

  • Your personal escape – whether its music, a good book, hobby
  • Your address book (or MMB login) – everything you do on the continent will most likely rely on the connections you have or will make in the future.
  • Foreign currency – for emergencies
  • Mobile phone – the minute you land, everything will be done with your phone. Make sure you already have plans to get a local sim.
  • Guilty pleasures – luxuries that are difficult to come by in Africa such as special sweets or food.

Big company vs startup? What is your opinion on the type of company to join when moving back to Africa?

There’s no right answer here and there doesn’t have to be a single answer. It’s very much a personal decision and journey that everyone needs to go on depending on what they’re looking for. It can also be a transition from big company to your own startup.

There are 5 questions everyone should ask themselves:

  • What is this company aiming to do?
  • What is my role and my ability to influence change in the broader sense?
  • How does the cultural fit of the organization align with me?
  • How much support and structure am I looking for at this stage? If you’re already moving back and it’s a new experience a start up environment can provide a little too much ambiguity and lack of structure. Then again, it depends on the individual
  • What are my financial needs? How much financial stability do I need going forward? In theory, a corporate job should be offering a little more financial stability.

What can people expect from their benefits package when they move to Africa?

This varies massively by region, sector and level but there are 5 things to consider:

  • Experience many people will take an absolute pay cut to maintain their quality of life.
  • You should expect something that is locally competitive but will not seem so when compared internationally to cities like London and New York. This is for obvious reasons such as the cost of living being higher there.
  • Expect to be paid in local currency and at the very least in the mid-term.
  • Expect employers to be open to negotiating a small amount for your initial transition/move – e.g. initial plane ticket
  • Finally, there is an opportunity for some potential perks such as housing allowance, drivers and health insurance packages.

It’s also important to find out upfront if there are decent compensation options available however no one should expect significant increases in salary.

What is a good way to face the cultural shock?

The clue is in the name, ultimately it’s a shock – like a pothole in the road you can’t magic it away… Your objective is to dampen that sock in any shape or form. In engineering we do that through increasing the time over which a force acts -the shock absorber! Here are 5 points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t have extreme expectations – be level headed… and expect ups and downs as the norm.
  • Build your own support network before you go with people who have similar backgrounds and aspirations.
  • Use resources such as MoveMeBack to find opportunities that are well suited to you and learn from the realistic experiences of others.
  • Maximise for stability, sustainability and happiness first – you can almost always find something for you if you prepare – this will see you through toughest of days
  • Be very clear on your ‘why’ – you need to know what it’s all in aid of and what your end goal is. This is necessary to keep you going when things are wavering.

Come to SheHive London to hear Charles speak about moving back and answer all your questions! Buy your pass here now.

Navigating cross-cultural relationships in the workplace

she hive nairobi

After years living in France and the United States, Aminatou, an experienced business development consultant, arrived in Abidjan to work for a local social enterprise. Despite the logistical hiccups of working on the continent, she didn’t think the transition would be that much of a problem. After all, she grew up in Saint-Louis, Senegal, and spoke fluent French. She’d worked across Africa for leading multinationals and smaller start-ups for the better part of a decade. But after a few months, she was struggling with her team and considering returning to her job in Paris. What was the problem?

Cross-cultural training isn’t just for the West. As many young African professionals contemplate moving back to the continent —to their home country or somewhere else in the region, they can suffer from the shock of navigating cross-cultural dynamics in the workplace. It’s no secret that business leaders need to understand the cultural nuances of the different regions where their business operates. Yet, aspiring Motherland Moguls returning home might underestimate the need to orient themselves to the minutiae of workplace dynamics across Africa, especially as the continent rapidly transforms. The Ghana, Kenya, or Zimbabwe of 2008 doesn’t look the same in 2016.

Avoid clichés

Clichés and stereotypes can lead to faulty assumptions. While generalizations can be useful, culture is complicated and can’t be measured by one or two factors. Individual people might not fit these generalizations. Even as we advocate for pan-Africanism, we should recognize that each country or region is unique.

For example, there is a prevailing stereotype that Africa is a sexist place and that men will be condescending to women in the workplace. This is not always the case. Assume best intent until proven otherwise, and ask questions to immediately clear up miscommunication. Overemphasizing stereotypes can have a real cost — misplaced fear of encountering workplace sexism may scare talented female professionals from taking positions in Africa.

As you enter the workplace, you might encounter differences along these four major areas:

1. Different Communication Styles

Across cultures, people communicate differently when it comes to verbal and non-verbal communication. Messages aren’t always explicit — more often than not, you’ll have to read between the lines.

Words and phrases that are common in one place might leave people looking at you in confusion in another. In some countries, there might be more of an emphasis on hierarchy than in others. In Francophone Africa, for example, there is more of an emphasis on formality than in Anglophone parts of the continent.

2. Different Conflict Resolution Styles

Not everyone always gets along. Some cultures approach conflict directly while in other cultures differences are worked out quietly. Feedback might be frank or more diplomatic.

3. Different Approaches to Time Management

Some countries, like Germany and Switzerland, are famous for their strict adherence to clocks. However, in most non-Western cultures, time is better viewed as a polite suggestion. Nevertheless, time management views can defer depending on the situation. People tend to have short-term or long-term orientation when comes to time. In parts of Southern Africa, for example, some people differentiate regarding the urgency of a project by saying “now” (sometime soon) vs. “now now” (right this minute).

4. Different Decision-Making Styles

A cultural frame of reference often shapes expectations about how to make a decision. Does what the boss says go? Is there room for dialogue? The roles individuals play in decision-making can depend on the egalitarian or hierarchical nature of a culture. This determines whether or not decisions are made unilaterally or by consensus.

To successfully navigate cultural differences, follow the three L’s:

  • Listen actively and empathetically to assume best intent,
  • Learn from generalizations, but supplement these with your own observations and,
  • Look at the situation from both the insider and outsider perspectives.

Arm yourself with these tools, and you’ll avoid misunderstandings and conflicts that can cost your team profits or productivity.