Grace Ouendo: Promoting creativity and innovation in Africa

grace ouendo
To develop a unique voice, blog your passions - Grace Ouendo Click To Tweet

Beninese Grace Ouendo is very passionate about Blogging and Technology. When she founded the LadyGracious blog, her aim was to promote creativity and innovation in Africa.

The plan was not just to have a blog but Grace also thought it would be life changing to enhance African girl’s tech skills. So this #MotherlandMogul is a Founding Member and Communications Manager of the NGO, Access to Computer for Every Girl. To top it off Grace Ouendo is also a community manager.

Grace was interviewed recently and this is what she had to share with us…


What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?

There are two things that are quite frustrating in blogging. One is generating ideas when your inspiration is gone but you still have to produce content for your website it is quite frustrating.

The second thing is chasing your interviewees, when you have to get the information out of a resource person, sometimes you have to comply to the availability of your resource person and it gets frustrating when your meetup rendezvous is not working you just feel like giving up.

What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the LadyGracious website?

To enhance traffic to the LadyGracious website it’s all about networking with the category of people who are passionate about the development of Africa in every domain, broad-mind people who like discovering things happening on the African continent, and there is currently a wave of proud African youths that are trying to make Africa proud.

Grace Ouendo

Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?

Reading: Having a journalism background, one thing I loved doing since childhood is reading. I read a lot about blogging on the internet. He who reads cannot run away from writing. So knowledge acquired from reading was translated in writing for the web.

Curiosity: I single-handedly learnt how to start a blog, I have never received any training till today, just because curiosity is what is helping me come this far.

Observation: I observe a lot my environment, my circle of friends and things around me, so I try to learn from others by observing and thinking through what they do and pick the good from it.

Grace says, 'The best thing a blogger can give his/her audience is added value' Click To Tweet

What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers?

The best thing a blogger can give his/her audience is added value. When your audience reads from you and goes back with new knowledge or information they will always come back because you give them value.

I must say there are quite a lot of blogs these days showing almost the same thing, do you have any tips for the newbies on how to develop a unique voice?

For the little I know, to develop a unique voice, blog your passions. In reading, readers will feel that this is something you love and are passionate about.

Another, is to be creative, bring out something that is particular to you, by observing other blogs you can easily find something they don’t have that you can offer your audience.

Grace Ouendo

Great! So now moving on to the NGO, Access To Computer For Every Girl. How did it start and did you have a blueprint?

It all started with a text message, a male friend had the idea and was like, ‘Lets do this together’ and I was like, ‘Why not’.

With my knowledge in ICT, it’s the best way for me to share what I know. Yes, we did have a blueprint. Our blueprint is dynamic, we adjust it seasonally as we are growing in number, in years and in credibility.

How is the organization funded?

Currently, the NGO is funded by ourselves, family and friends. We are also actively applying for grants and funds offered by international structures.

What’s a typical day like training the girls?

It’s always exciting because we get to meet new faces. On a typical day the group of trainers assigned for that particular training go to the school to set-up the computers, there is a maximum of 4 trainers present.

We roll out the lesson and then move to the practicals, whereby you have to monitor if the girls have understood the assignment given or not.

Grace Ouendo says, Women should level up and take their businesses international. Click To Tweet

With the future in mind, why do you think its important for women to embrace technology now?

Technology is ruling the world, its a fact. To be successful, popular even professional you can’t get far without technology being involved.

Therefore women have to level-up, because international business opportunities are online which I often published on my website. Any woman’s dream or business can go international with the right use of technology.

Grace Ouendo

Grace, what’s your vision for Access to Computer for Every girl for the next few years?

The world of technology is quickly advancing and our aim is to break the digital divide by giving girls technology at a very young age.

In the next few years we want to get to the level where we are able to give out free computers to schools, communities and more especially to girls leaving in remote villages.

Basically with LadyGracious it’s just you and when it comes to the NGO, you are working with other people who are your co-founders. What do you find different working in both setups?

With the website, I have a team as well, my chief-editor, graphic designer, photographer etc.

The difference is that with the website you go and search for the information and deliver it to the world whereas with the NGO its more like giving out your knowledge to a group of people. When it comes to team work it’s always tough but the job gets done anyway.

Tell us, would you rather live your entire life in a virtual reality where all your wishes are granted or in the real world?

I would loooove to live in virtual reality forever but, if all my wishes were granted I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be of any help to myself nor society. So yeah, that’s why its called virtual reality.


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Jackline Aseyo Kidaha: God gave me a beautiful mind to inspire others to dream bigger

I believe in touching one life at a time - Jackline Aseyo Kidaha Click To Tweet

Jackline Aseyo Kidaha is a Kenyan lady who founded Golden Hearts for the Vulnerable (GHV Initiative), a CBO in Kangemi, Nairobi.  The 24-year-old is also the Program Coordinator at Edge Disability Mainstreaming Partners (EDMAP AGENCIES), an organisation that convenes disability mainstreaming training and workshops for government ministries and parastatals.

As a young social entrepreneur still in her baby steps, Jackie believes in youth power as key actors to development and agents of positive change.


Why do you say that youths are the best agents of change?

Young people make up the largest population in Africa. The youth are growing up with high energy, creativity, innovativeness, and talents which I believe are key to the attainment of various Sustainable Development Goals.

All this needs to be tapped into as it’s not only for individual benefit but also for the betterment of the African continent to bring up social and economic shifts.

What are your expectations from this generation?

Much sacrifice and aggressiveness in reaching this goal of restoring our mother continent to abundance, wealth, and diversity.

The previous generation achieved the political emancipation but I expect the current youth of Africa to achieve the socio-economical emancipation. Thus this generation of young people needs to be more open-minded, proactive in identifying gaps and addressing them.

Can you give SLA readers a sense of where GHV Initiative is at the moment and what plans you have for the future?

GHV Initiative (Golden Hearts for the Vulnerable) in a glimpse is a registered community-based organization in an informal settlement called Kangemi (Nairobi). It was founded in March 2015 and was officially registered in March 2017. Our main goal being to empower the vulnerable groups in informal settlements with relevant information on life skills, talents and helping realize their rights as enshrined in various legal documents. This is to give them a voice to speak up, be their own decision-makers in life and be actors in development too.

So far I can contently say that we are a notch higher compared to when we began as GHV Initiative. We are now equipped to challenge and ready to bridge the gaps identified in our community. More so I can frankly say that as the Founder I now have a more reliable, committed and dedicated team that I work with to ensure that we achieve the overall GHV vision.

jackiephotoOur future plan as an initiative is setting up a centre which will compose of unique an art space; crafts making and a talent space to nurture the spirit of dancing. The centre will entail teaching crafting, dancing, communication and entrepreneurial skills to more groups.

We are also strategizing on coming up with a charity clothing line/boutique within the centre where well-wishers can to donate. This will have clothes for both boys and girls from ages 5 to 16 to enhance decency and boost their self-esteem which is critical to many of them, especially those in their teenage years who are shy in relation to how they are dressed thus pulling down their self-confidence.

Our empowerment program doesn't give fish but teaches target beneficiaries how to fish themselves Click To Tweet

What programs do you provide and what are some of the setbacks you have faced?

We have two programs so far. One is ‘Limited Edition’ which is a continuous life skill program for teenagers. It mainly seeks to equip young minds with knowledge of life, its challenges and how to overcome them by sticking to their principles. The program aims to reduce issues such as early pregnancies and unsafe sexual behaviour leading to school dropout as early as primary level. Being limited editions means that they are not easily swayed by things which will cost them their lives and not realize their dreams.

The second one is ‘Nifunze Nijitegemee’ (meaning “teach me so that I can be independent”) which is a continuous empowerment program that seeks to teach practical skills. We believe in not giving the fish but teaching the target beneficiaries how to fish by themselves. This is to enable them to shift their talents and skills gained into profits thereby making them sustainable.

Rolling out the programs at the beginning was a great challenge, as with any idea or innovation to be diffused both early adopters and laggards are present. Our target beneficiaries are diverse, have different mindsets, knowledge gap levels, lack of enough resources in terms of funds for facilitation and other logistics.

jacklinekidaha2

What kind of response are you getting from the vulnerable groups you are empowering?

From the activities conducted so far by GHV Initiative, we have received positive and overwhelming feedback. This has stimulated and motivated us to do more despite the challenges.

We are constantly receiving calls and messages from the previous schools, children centers and hospital visited encouraging us to do these activities more often.

How are you measuring the impact or effectiveness of GHV Initiative in your community?

We utilize the theory of change in executing and evaluating our programs’ effectiveness. We have set a number of indicators and respective tools to measure that.

For instance, in determining self-esteem among the teenagers we use the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale which has ten brief questions that an individual is asked to respond to.

After each activity conducted we monitor and evaluate the success and gaps to measure the impact of our programs.

Jackline Aseyo Kidaha is showing the world that something good can come out of the slum Click To Tweet

Besides education, how else are you empowering the people of Kangemi?

I personally make DIY things such as cards, hair accessories, bow ties, crocheted mats, scrapbooks and journals all with an African touch or theme.

Art is cool. I believe in touching one life at a time thus teaching those around me who are still figuring out the next step in life how to make the above stuff and getting small markets for them too. I do this during my free time just in the house.

jacklinekidaha

Are there any GHV Initiative stories you really want to tell?

I have always believed in my life being someone else’s inspiration not to give up on themselves. I would really like to share my personal journey as a young lady with big dreams living and overcoming challenges in the slum until the birth of GHV Initiative.

Moreso demystifying negative perceptions and assure the world that something good can come out of the slum and there’s more rising girl power in transforming African continent.

Tell me about something you would happily do again

Serving humanity, saving the vulnerable and doing charity.

When I do these I feel more accomplished. I have or would not regret doing this for the rest of my life. I believe God gave me a beautiful mind to inspire others to dream bigger and be their own change agents.


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Valentine Mabaso: I am a warrior, I got scars to prove it

I aspire to help those with skin conditions and scars to see that their strength Click To Tweet

…Shape, size and scars. These are some of the common insecurities that massacre every shred of confidence one can possess. Women feel the pressure to weigh certain kilos, have a particular melanin shade and definitely a clear skin tone.

But trying to be something else is honestly a waste of who you truly are. You need to accept the areas that make you feel fragile and capitalise on your  strengths. A beautiful soul called Valentine Mabaso embraced her own scars and now gives hope to all those who feel trapped by their skin conditions. This #MotherlandMogul is a Marketing Specialist by day and a Rock Scars warrior every day. Her aspirations are to help others see that their strength is written on their skin and to help them see the beauty in their scars.

She lives with a chronic skin condition called Atopic Dermatitis and has been living with it for 10 years to date. The 23-year-old was born and bred in the rural villages of Limpopo and currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa. Valentine has two awesome younger brothers and they were raised by a single mother who is Valentine’s number 1 cheerleader in her mission to change the world.


What Rock Scars priorities are you focusing on right now?

At this stage we are prioritizing on the following:

  • To provide a platform and an environment that serves to empower and inspire people living with any form of skin condition or a scar of any kind.
  • To restore self confidence in people of any age and gender, living with scars by providing support, networking, mentoring, encouragement and health care activities across the nation (particularly concerning skin disorders, cancer and scars of any form).mabaso

Rock Scars also educates people about skin conditions. Do you do this personally or do you have professionals who conduct these sessions?

We have unfortunately not worked with any dermatologist to date but we hope to have a professional assisting with that in future. I personally made thorough research about different forms of skin conditions, the common ones and those that are rare. I look at how they can be prevented and/or treated and how to live with them and then I share that with others.

We call this Skin Condition Awareness and it is Rock Scars’ way of educating people about skin conditions. However, I always make it clear that our participants should in all cases seek medical attention with professional Skin Doctors. Also, as people come forward to share their stories about their skin conditions, I further research about the skin conditions and then create awareness about them, especially with our online communities.

rs logo

How do you tackle discrimination against the people you assist?

I believe that no one is born with a discriminatory mind, such things are learned from people and events around us. If we can teach people especially those not directly affected by us and our scars, then we can change their minds thus tackle being discriminated. We teach people to learn to appreciate diversity and respect people who are different in any way.

People may be disabled, transgender, dark-skin or have a different hair color, scars, stretch marks or a skin condition but the truth is, no one chose to be that way so why should we discriminate them. Rock Scars promotes dialogue on social media and during the events where we engage those living with skin conditions and scars and those who don’t.

In as much as I wish to protect the people I assist against discrimination and negative remarks, I unfortunately, cannot be there for them all the time. This is why during the sessions or our 1 on 1 conversations I remind them that they are warriors. That way they will be strengthened and will stand their ground under any circumstance.

I call them warriors not because I want them to feel better but because it is true. If you can survive a burning house, car accidents, cancer, and its many surgeries, live with a chronic condition for so long, why should words from someone you don’t know break you? I remind them that it matters NOT what others say. They should know that they fought bigger battles and won them and now they have the scars as medals to prove it.

rock scar

How do you respond when Rock Scars is held up as an object of ridicule?

The best tool I believe in is education. Most people make such remarks because of misinformation, so the best way to correct such behavior is through educating them about our conditions.

For example, I was told a lot of times that I must be HIV positive because of my skin and its scars. This example goes to prove that people can just look at you and make their own assumptions and conclusions. Through Rock Scars, I show people it is not ok to make your own conclusion just by looking at me.

Often when we get ridiculed for what we do, I always remind people that no one ever voluntarily goes out there to get a scar for the fun of it. We try to make those ridiculing us understand that even if they are not infected they are probably affected in some way. They have someone in their lives who has a scar or is living with a skin condition. We are patient with those who do not agree with what Rock Scars does and let them know that in any case the same happens to them they are welcome to our family of warriors.

To grow, do you advertise Rock Scars or do you rely on word of mouth? Why?

I use every opportunity I get to promote the good work Rock Scars does. We interact with most people online and therefore use that as an advertising tool. It allows us to reach a large number of people across the globe instantly and it is cost effective, which is beneficial for a small social enterprise like Rock Scars.

We are also occasionally given the opportunity at various TV and radio stations in South Africa to advertise our brand through interviews. Podcasts and videos are available on our website. We also attend seminars of other organizations with similar objectives which contribute to our growth.

Besides the struggle to get proper venues for events what other challenges are you facing as an NGO?

My biggest challenge is running this organization and having to do my 9-5 cooperate job. Rock Scars is a social enterprise and as much as I would love to devote 100% of my time to it, I unfortunately, can’t.

I depend solely on my income to run the Rock Scars campaign and help others. I am not complaining, I love my job but I would love to travel across the country especially schools to encourage and educate learners that scars are beautiful.

rooock

What are the key indicators by which you measure your impact?

There are various ways we use to measure the effectiveness of Rock Scars. One would be an increase in the number of attendants and participants to our sessions. On our second session, we realized growth in the number of participants who came through to share their stories.

We also measure the effectiveness of our work through testimonies and reviews. There is nothing that makes me happy like seeing someone who attended our session/s having the courage to wear anything they like and feel absolutely confident and beautiful in their skin.

With our online community, it’s very easy to measure our effectiveness. For example, we can post a story of one of the warriors with a picture of themselves attached and once we see people open up about their own scars and skin disorder stories, we know that our message has been positively received.

The number of likes and shares each post gets is also a good indicator of the impact our organization has. Another way is when people from other countries who contact us to share their stories which indicates that our organization is serving its purpose.

Valentine, I understand to date you are funding Rock Scars. How do you plan to increase your income streams besides calling out for sponsors?

It is very difficult getting people to invest into your idea and vision, especially one that is something totally different and is based more on changing people’s lives than profit. That is why I resorted to self-funding the organization.

We are currently in the process of making a few Rock Scars items that will be for sale and help us raise funds so we can be able to travel across the continent to reach more warriors. Items will include, Rock Scars shirts, caps, fruit juices, and more exciting things.


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Olubukola Adebiyi: The solution to poverty is to bridge the gap between the less privileged & the privileged

Olubukola Adebiyi
Be completely focused and committed to your passion against all odds. - Olubukola Adebiyi Click To Tweet

Buzzing with a powerful and uncompromising energy,  the social enterprise, Jakin NGO is a place that has become home to many who don’t have much that they can proudly call their own. Bearing at its core a commitment to improve the everyday lives of society’s most vulnerable, Jakin serves as space for transformation; it serves as a training ground. It is a place where hope meets education; where dreams meet technology. Jakin is for many, a temporal refuge away from home.

Olubukola “Bukky” Adebiyi, the President and CEO of Jakin, fully embodies Jakin’s commitment to serving humanity. Her service and commitment to change are championed through her passion and optimistic ambition to see Jakin serve even more people. Bukky is fully hands on as she not only obliges to her role as CEO but trains, serves food, greets, advices and lives the passion for her calling each and every single day.


How would you describe what you do?

As is described in our mission statement, I work with vulnerable groups to overcome health, economic and educational hardships. Our group targets are by majority orphans and vulnerable children, women —mostly widows, people living with HIV, people living in slums and hard to reach areas, particularly youth.

Jakin staff at work on Nutritional support for orphans and vulnerable children Children's day party

What inspired you to get involved in this particular field of work?

It’s my passion to put smiles on faces. By the grace of God, I realized that the “less privileged are simply those who lack the privileges of the privileged.”

The solution to poverty is to bridge the gap by creating a conducive, secure and encouraging platform for the “privileged” to share their resources with the “less privileged”.

What do you think has been your greatest contribution to your work?

My life and my time!

Your work can be challenging considering the fact that you are dealing with the vulnerabilities of people’s lives, what keeps you motivated?

It’s the joy that breaks forth in the life, faces, and households of the beneficiaries that keep me motivated. Once they receive any form of assistance, they seem to light up with some immeasurable hope that tomorrow will be better.

Thereafter, they seem to have a new drive to survive, despite all the odds. Most of the time you can hear them thanking God for remembering them for good.

Can you please share with us a great story of success?

Jakin has been in operation for 13 years, and yet we have never held a single fundraiser or partners forum. Nevertheless, we have over a thousand individuals, corporate and faith-based partners here at home (Lagos, Nigeria) and abroad that help keep us operational.

All our projects till date always record outstanding success. We have over 6,000 orphans and vulnerable children, and over 2,000 vulnerable families including youth, widows, and people living with HIV, that are receiving support from 17 different projects that we have.

How do you ensure that you maintain a level of commitment and integrity from your employees and the individuals that you supervise throughout the whole year?

Consistency with our organizational values of transparency, integrity, humility, passion and the fear of God make that easy.

I make my adherence to these values the first example that others follow.

The less privileged simply lack the privileges of the privileged. - Olubukola Adebiyi Click To Tweet

In your line of work, what are some of the things that you do to begin the year well?

I make sure I personally start my year annually with rededicating my life to God and seeking His direction for the year by fasting and praying for the most of January. We normally have staff prayer meeting on the first work day of the year before commencing with general meetings, reviews of the last year, and other activities.

Our annual training happens in that first week as work plans are completed by each department, in line with the organization’s yearly budget. Most implementation commences skeletally in January while the majority kicks off in February.

How do you ensure that all your departments are working in line with the goals that you set forth as an organization?

The organization is well structured. We have an organogram headed by a six-member Board of Directors that meet regularly.

The office is also run by a management team comprising of all departmental heads who ensure that all members of staff are working in line with organizational goals and objectives.

What word of advice would you have for a young woman wanting to do what you do?

Have a clear vision of your passion. Be completely focused and committed to it against all odds.

Start small, be transparent and always give feedback to your partners. Encourage your helpers and supporters. Above all, walk closely with God.

Start small, be transparent and always give feedback to your partners - Olubukola Adebiyi Click To Tweet

Medical outreach in pedro community fresh foundation project class session

What is the best part about being a boss lady and owning that power of freedom?

It teaches you humility and fear of God. You can’t afford to abuse power because it’s a privilege.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

I spend the bulk of my work life serving humanity so I make sure all my spare time is spent with my husband and children. Also, I enjoy being at home with my loved ones. I am blessed with the support of my husband.

How do you de-stress and/or unwind from a long day of work?

I watch TV, cook, dance to gospel songs and enjoy my time with lovely kids. I go out once in a while.


Here is how you can support and learn more about the work of Jakin NGO.

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Mouna Ben Garga: To create change is my life commitment

mouna ben garga she leads africa
Mouna Ben Garga is working to influence national and international agendas Click To Tweet

Are you familiar with the terms advocacy, social change or community development?

Well, you cannot separate these words from Tunisian-born Mouna Ben Garga because she lives by them. Mouna Ben Garga epitomizes the notion of active citizenship and innovation for social change.  

Community mobilization and development are her passion. When she isn’t advocating for the rights of immigrants in the US, Mouna’s working to influence national and international agendas.


Share with us what you do. How many people you touch and how long you have been at it?

Since 2009, I have committed myself to advocate and mobilize communities. I started as a member of the Junior Chamber International in which we build the capacity of youth to find solutions and be agents of change in their communities.

Moving to the United States, I got engaged with the African Diaspora advocating for the rights of immigrants and engagement in the continent through the AU Diaspora participation program.

Finishing my Master in Public Policy, I found myself doing what I always loved to do as a profession; “community development and advocacy”. I work to create strong alliances to influence national and international agendas around critical causes such as climate change, Agenda 2030 and youth engagement.

Currently, as a programme officer at CIVICUS, a global alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world, I support civil society organizations in Africa and Middle East to develop their innovation capacity in community building and mobilization.

What are you excited about lately?

I am excited about innovation for social change. For a long time, innovation was associated with business and science. However, lately we’re starting to witness the rise of innovation for social change and impact.

Lately, I am working to make it part of communities empowerment in Africa and Middle East.

Lately we're starting to witness the rise of innovation for social change and impact Click To Tweet

mouna-garga-at-george-mason

Why do you believe in the work you do?

Any sustainable positive change comes from within.

But together we are stronger, more influential and more efficient. Thus, I work to connect people and communities and build partnerships.

How do you stay motivated?

Reading and watching the impact that people are making around the world. It could start from a video advocating women’s right in India. Then, there is an innovative app which helps raise money for Syrian refugees.

I have also been recently motivated by an article about a solution for climate change initiated in small village in Tunisia by a young woman. These achievements empower me to keep working because I am not trying alone.

tunisia-diaspora-marching-against-terrorism-in-us

What is that one thing you think needs to be improved on in Africa’s development?

Full engagement! Decisions about Africa and its development are taken in offices far away from people who will be the final implementers.

Many plans and strategies are published every year and with any new international action, but the implementation mechanisms are not effective. This delays the impact and creates more tensions.

African citizens should play an important part in the continent’s development and not only limited to consultative role. A participatory approach is needed and a process of co-design in which civil society organisations (CSOs) play the interim agent between communities and governments.

African citizens should play an important part in the continent's development Click To Tweet

What do you appreciate most about your country, Tunisia?

Youth! As most of the African countries, our treasure in Tunisia is our youth. Despite the political instability, our youth is finding many ways to make a change.

It is true that many of us decided to be active in CSOs but they are working toward showing a real impact and influencing political process. We stand for our rights, against corruption and we demand transparency and engagement.

We’ve reached a point in Tunisia at which the youth are moving from protesting to influencing.

What do you think makes a good road trip?

Companionship is what makes a good road trip. Even though you can enjoy the good view and the trip journey alone, it is more nurturing to share it with others.

You learn new things from company and your eyes open to new facts and realities. In fact, you will probably pay attention to other details in the road that you would not see alone.

What three items do you always carry with you on a road trip?

  • CD and books
  • My favourite music
  • Cash

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Dzivhu Precious Tshiwalule: I know and understand my own purpose

Dzivhu Precious Tshiwalule

Dzivhu Precious Tshiwalule, a Dietician and co-founder of UPower Africa is one woman who makes being a superwoman seem easy. She attributes her balance in life to knowing and understanding her life’s purpose. As a wife and professional, she refuses to be limited by just her talent but strives to break new grounds.

She is also the author of an informative book on eating right, ”Shaping your Attitude towards Healthy Eating.” Lerato Motshana, our SLA contributor had the chance to talk with this awesome and passionate woman.


Tell us about UPower Africa

UPower Africa is a youth development initiative focused on developing disadvantaged students, especially in remote rural areas. We help them gain access to basic information and education.

So far, we have branches in Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia. And in South Africa, every province has a UPower Africa manager.

How did you become a part of UPower Africa?

Co-incidentally, my husband is the founder of UPower while I am the co-founder. My husband grew up in poverty and so naturally, he feels obliged to help kids in rural areas who are going through what he had experienced first-hand.

Aside being a co-founder, what are your other roles in UPower Africa?

In addition to being a co-founder, I am also a member on the UPower Africa board.  We are currently involved in a couple of projects, but I’ll mention a few. We donate computers, school shoes, online university applications and motivation to students in schools. I oversee these projects, liaise with provincial managers, and provide assistance where necessary.

20160803_075628-1_resizedUPower Africa is not a typical NPO. How were you able to achieve that?

I am inspired by the evident success and progression of those we’ve been able to help and motivate. Meanwhile, UPower Africa is just three years old but we’ve recorded successes in helping people get into universities.

Let’s talk about your book, what’s it about?

I wrote a book titled “Shaping your Attitude towards Healthy Eating”, and it extensively addresses the attendant health consequences of not eating right.

The book is significant to me because as a first-year student in 2005, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. As a Dietician and from the knowledge gathered, eating right contributes so much to good health. I never got to know the cause of the tumour but through research, I have come to believe there was a link to the kind of food I ate.

So, I decided to write a book, highlighting the importance of healthy eating and how to keep chronic health conditions like cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetics at bay.

Is healthy eating the ultimate solution to chronic health conditions?

Evidently, food plays a huge factor but there are other factors like smoking and so on.

Let’s move on to less serious stuff. What do you do for fun?

I am usually so busy and actually don’t relax much. I do a lot of seminars on purpose discovery and the like. I am also involved in a lot of church activities, indoor exercises, and travelling. Obviously, I don’t engage in a lot of what people qualify as fun.

UPower Africa, book-writing, being a Dietician, a mother, how are you inspired?

I am excited and driven by my life experiences and the need to be of help to the next person.

What would you say to an African young woman who views marriage as the ultimate life goal?

Marriage can be beautiful if you are married to the right partner.  My husband and I enjoy a unity of focus and that has helped our marriage. Notwithstanding, I don’t believe marriage is the ultimate life goal. A purpose-driven life should be the goal for everyone, man or woman.


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