Webinar with Chevening: How To Get Into The 2019 Chevening Scholarship Program (OCT 23)

Imagine yourself receiving a fully funded scholarship at your fave UK university that offers you a chance to achieve your academic goals and gives you the chance to develop yourself professionally or network extensively?

Guess what? Chevening is bringing you a chance to realise that dream and more with their global scholarship award program!

Want to know more?

We are inviting you for a Webinar with Jibike Faborode, Program Officer at Chevening Awards, who will be dishing out tips on how to apply for a scholarship with Chevening on Tuesday, 23rd October.

This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss ’cause you sure won’t find any of Jibike’s tips on Google! Yes, we went there…

Join SLA & @UKinNigeria for a webinar on October 23rd at 4 pm to learn how to get into the Chevening Scholarship Program @cheveningfco! Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • What you need to know about the application process
  • Do’s and dont’s for writing a quality application
  • Preparing yourself for a successful interview process
  • Scholarship troubleshooting

Register below to access this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Jibike to answer.

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Time: 4pm Lagos // 5pm Joburg // 6pm Nairobi

Location: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch the webinar here:

About Jibike

Jibike is a project management and strategic engagement professional, with over 4 years of experience working in the public diplomacy and international development space. She currently serves as the country programme officer for Chevening in Nigeria and also as Co-Chair of Her Majesty’s Government Women’s Network in Abuja.


Chevening Awards is the UK government’s flagship global leadership programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.

Young leaders are awarded merit-based scholarships and fellowships to study at any UK University of their choice, after which they are required to return to Nigeria to assist in the further development of their home country.

The alumni network is structured to maintain lasting positive relationships with the UK and help to advance foreign policy objectives.

Approximately 38 – 53 Nigerians and about 300 Africans are awarded are awarded annually. The Prime Minister recently announced an additional 100 awards for African leaders, starting in the 2019/20 cycle. Chevening in Nigeria aims to grow the representation of women on the programme from 39% to 50%, hence women leaders are strongly encouraged to apply.

Eyitemi Popo: How I turned my media brand into a lifestyle brand

If you're an entrepreneur who feels stuck with your business, I hope you find this article at the perfect time and it encourages you to keep pushing. Click To Tweet

After five years of building my online magazine, painstakingly growing a social media following, and nurturing relationships with global brands, I had found a comfortable niche in the media landscape.

The night after my magazine’s 5th-anniversary party, I quietly reflected on the journey. I read the congratulatory messages I had received, some reminding me that many online sites and magazines that started with – or even after – Ayiba no longer existed.

But was survival enough of an achievement?

Making my dream my reality was significant. Building a team to drive that vision forward had significance. I mean, I had gone from shooting the first cover of Ayiba Magazine on my college campus to having celebrity photographers shoot the cover with Hollywood actresses.

The growth was undeniable, that had to count for something. And perhaps it did. However, my side hustle was still a side hustle bringing in side hustle revenue. Was that the best I could do? And more importantly, what was next?

Almost a year to the date of my quiet contemplation, I have built Girls Trip Tours, a social venture that is a direct manifestation of my magazine’s mission. It leverages Ayiba’s readership, brand equity, and professional network to design unique travel experiences across Africa with a focus on female empowerment.

Our trips have the goal of empowering future female leaders through mentorship, while taking in the sites and dining around town in the company of high profile business women and local industry leaders. I like to think of it as ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ with less soul-searching and more self-actualization.

Where once you could read about Lagos’ nightlife, Nairobi’s startup ecosystem, or Rwandese artisans in the pages of Ayiba, now we can arrange for you to experience these things first-hand through group or solo travel with Girls Trip Tours.

The idea came from the opportunity I observed for digital brands to bring online experiences offline and create deeper more meaningful connections with their virtual communities in real life. The concept of Girls Trip Tours emerged from a perceived customer need. Ayiba readers were emailing to ask for travel advice.

Our articles had inspired our readers in the diaspora to want to visit the continent and they were looking to us as an expert resource. My mission with Ayiba is to connect Africans in the diaspora with those on the continent through storytelling. I have consistently done this through online and print mediums, but now I have the opportunity to create those connections in real life.

Lifestyle brands thrive when they figure out what their customers end goal and design their brand around the experiences that their customers desire - @AyibaMagazine Click To Tweet

Figure out your customers desire, along with the people, places, things, and ideas that inspire them to action.

After surveying 100 plus women in Ayiba’s online community, I decided to organize trips to Kenya and Nigeria in 2019. As per their feedback, there are a mix of experiences to satisfy those seeking ancestral travel experiences to West Africa, wildlife and adventure in National Parks, as well as urban exploration in Africa’s most vibrant cities.

In addition to satisfying a customer need, by expanding my media brand to include travel experiences, I now have a new avenue for creating content. On each trip, there are multiple opportunities to connect with new talents to feature or more contributors to write.

I also will be creatively inspired by my surroundings to shoot video series, photography campaigns, and write OP-EDS on social issues I am confronted with. In the long run, I believe it makes sense for Ayiba to become a lifestyle brand.

I am creating a customer journey that can start with exploring content online, which may lead to booking a travel experience or vice versa. The magazine and the trips will feed into one another. In this next phase of my entrepreneurial journey, I look forward to listening to my customers, as well as looking to broader industry trends for my continued evolution.

For any entrepreneur that may feel stuck with their businesses, I hope you find this article at the perfect time and it encourages you to keep pushing.

If your growth has become stagnant and you are looking for a new direction to go in, observe customer behavior, look to the industry for inspiration, and most importantly, ask your audience what they want/need, then test it out.

I did a soft-launch with a Girls Trip to Ghana in July. It was that small group trip, the women I met, and the girls I mentored that gave me the confidence to do more.My advice

  • Consider what other verticals may be profitable before you give up on a business you have put time, money, sweat, and tears into.
  • As tough as it may be, if you have a good foundation: reputable brand and loyal audience, there are many ways you can consider monetizing and scaling up.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

FACEBOOK LIVE WITH ANULI OLA-OLANYI: CAREER HACKS FOR MILLENIALS (JUNE 26)

Hello, millennials!

You’ve probably received advice on how you can “build a more successful career” from a handful of people. However, very few people give a break down of how you can advance yourself, or what to do when you face a challenge, like when your boss is not paying you what you’re worth – sounds familiar?

Designing a career you’re passionate about or deciding on a career path can be challenging, and the chances of getting a good class that can really teach you how to do that are slim.

Well, with a few career hacks, you can take small steps every day that will bring you success in the long run and that’s why you don’t want to miss this discussion!

Join us on Tuesday, June 26th, for a Facebook Live chat with Añuli Ola-Olaniyi, founder of HEIR Women Development, who will be giving advice on how to achieve the ultimate career for yourself.

Añuli believes women are strategizing to become empowered and rule the world alongside men. She has effectively delivered cutting edge training that has elevated people both in their professional and personal life.

Design the ultimate career with @anuliolaolaniyi, founder of @heirwoman on June 26th at 1PM WAT! Click here for more: bit.ly/AnuliOla Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • So you got the job, now what?
  • Career habits to avoid
  • How to maintain career capacity
  • How to handle job rejection

Facebook LIVE details:

Date: Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Time: 1PM Lagos // 2PM Joburg// 3PM Nairobi

Watch Facebook Live with Anuli:

She Leads Africa Facebook Live with Anuli Ola-Olaniyi, founder of @heirwoman, discussing career hack for millenials. Join the She Leads Africa community by visiting SheLeadsAfrica.org/join!

Posted by She Leads Africa on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

About Anuli

Añuli Ola-Olaniyi is the founder of HEIR Women Development, an enterprise created to support young women in capacity and skills building in a career.

Prior to this, Anuli began her career at John Lewis Partnership UK and she is currently the Deputy Managing Director of HM Ltd, ED of DV Solutions NG and an Advisory Board Member of the Women in Leadership Institute (WLI).

With a wide range of experience across a number of different sectors and having completed tasks for high profile companies, Anuli graduated from the University of Ibadan with a BSc in Psychology and holds a Masters in Human Resource Management from Middlesex University UK.

A believer in continuous professional and personal development, Anuli is a CIPD certified Human Resource Professional as well as a qualified Prince2 Practitioner in Project Management. She also holds certifications for Gender studies from the UN Women Training Centre.

PMP trained, Anuli is currently working towards her certification from PMI Institute.

 

WEBINAR WITH ABOSEDE GEORGE-OGAN: THE RISE OF WOMEN IN POLITICS (MAY 30)

For as long as we’ve known, politics has been viewed as ‘a big boys thing’ and not for women. Well, guess what world? It’s time to take a step back because ladies wanna play too!

From leading political organisations to being at the centre of political movements across the continent, women are increasingly taking charge of the political platform.

Admirable examples of #MotherlandMoguls in politics include Bostwana’s 29- year old, Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, who was recently appointed as Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry and Nigeria’s Ms. Rinsola Abiola, President of the APC Young Women Forum (amongst other titles) – the list goes on!

But let’s be honest! Even though there has been a rise in the number of women in legislatures across the continent, more work still needs to be done to integrate women into ‘political governance’.

That being said, ladies get in formation…let’s talk about building a fulfilling political career!!

To learn more, join us on Wednesday, May 30th for a webinar with Abosede George – Ogan, who is the Chief Facilitator of Women In Politics NG, as well as the Director, Strategy, Partnerships and Stakeholder Management at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. Abosede will be sharing useful nuggets on what it takes to build a successful career in politics.

Kick start your career in politics with @abosedea on May 30th at 11 AM WAT! Click here for more: http://bit.ly/BoseOgan #WomenInPolitics Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Why you should be interested in politics
  • The building blocks to pursuing a career in politics
  • Types of jobs available in the field of politics
  • Advice on how to build a successful political career

Webinar Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, May 30th, 2018
  • Time: 11AM Lagos // 12PM Johannesburg // 1PM Nairobi
  • Location: Register below to get access to this opportunity

Watch here:

About Adebose

Abosede George-Ogan is a tri-sector leader with over 14 years’ experience working across the non-profit, private and public sector as a development professional.

She is the Chief Facilitator at Women In Politics NG, an online platform that seeks to engage, encourage, equip and empower women especially young women to get involved and participate in politics in Nigeria. In addition to this, Abosede is currently the Director, Strategy, Partnerships and Stakeholder Management at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

Abosede began her career in development over a decade ago with ActionAid International Nigeria. From here, she moved on to lead Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship for Keystone Bank, FirstBank and Samsung Electronics West Africa respectively.

Likewise, Ms. George-Ogan has a degree in Political Science/Public Administration from Igbinedion University and an MSc in Communication for Innovation and Development from the University of Reading.  

She is also the author of the recently launched book, “Building a Conscious Career: How to build a fulfilling and financially rewarding career”. For more information about the book, you can visit www.consciouscareer.com.ng.

 

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.

Do you have a story you would like to share with She Leads Africa? Let us know about yourself and your story here.
 

FACEBOOK LIVE WITH THANDO’S: TRANSFORMING THE WORLD WITH AFRICAN FASHION (APR 25)

African innovators are capturing the world’s attention through their unique designs –particularly in the fashion industry!

Examples include African designers like Mimi Plange, whose works have caught the eyes of Michelle Obama and Rihanna or Kisua, a luxury African brand that Queen Bey is a fan of!  

Amazing shoe brands like Thando’s, are revolutionizing the fashion scene with Africa’s first fashionable, comfortable and foldable ballerina flat that can fit inside a small handbag, office drawer or the glove compartment of a car!

Talk about convenience with style!

That being said, if you are looking to break into the fashion industry or want to harness your passion for fashion – this is one is for you!

Join us on Wednesday, April 25th, for a Facebook Live with Jibolu Ayodele – co-founder, Thando’s, and Chioma Okonkwo – Winner of 2017 Thando’s Design competition, as they share with us all a fashion innovator needs to know about changing the fashion scene through innovative designs.  

Change the fashion scene through innovative #AfricanFashion, with @ThandosShoes on, April 25th! More info at: http://bit.ly/Thandos Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • The art of designing for social impact
  • How crowdsourcing/collaborative consumption can work for Fashionpreneurs
  • Disrupting Africa’s fashion landscape
  • What you need to know about manufacturing in Africa

Webinar Details:

Date: Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Time: 12PM Lagos // 1PM Johannesburg // 2PM Nairobi

Location: Register below to get access to this opportunity

Watch here:

She Leads Africa Facebook Live with Jibolu Adeyole, co-founder of @ThandosShoes and Chioma Okonkwo, winner of 2017 Thando’s design competition sharing insights on Transforming the world with African fashion. Join the She Leads Africa community by visiting SheLeadsAfrica.org/join!

Posted by She Leads Africa on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

About our experts:

Jibolu “J.G.” Ayodele is the co-founder of Thando’s, a Lagos and NY based fashion company that provides a platform for African artists to design for a global audience. 

Before co-founding Thando’s, Jibolu led the business development efforts of Viacom International Media Networks in Nigeria, where he co-created partnerships with brands such as Hewlett Packard and Lufthansa. He has also worked with Deloitte, Bank of America and GE Capital.

Mr. Ayodele holds an MBA in Finance, Entertainment, Media, and Technology from NYU – Stern School of Business. He received a Masters in Accounting from NC State University, and a Bachelors in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Jibolu is married to his co-founder, Taffi Ayodele.

Chioma Okonkwo, is a graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, with a passion for illustration and animation. She recently participated in Thando’s inaugural print design competition, where she won with her unique design – The Akonmi Print.

She used this design to interpret how heavy rains result in flooding that displaces hundreds of thousands of people. Chioma was inspired to illustrate after her internship at an imaging company in Port-Harcourt.

When she is not working at her 9 to 5 call centre job or illustrating, Chioma is busy experiencing new places, cultures and foods. 

Nnedi Okorafor: All hail Black Panther

All hail Black Panther!

For weeks on end, Africa has been celebrated across continents. There has been a glorious showcase of its beauty, wealth, culture, resilience and diversity, on screen. 

From both young people and the people, many around the world have come out to embrace the African heritage. The Wakanda fever has seen people dressing in African fabric, rocking natural and bald hairstyles, and chanting Xhosa battle cries. 

But, beyond the outstanding representation of African culture, the Black Panther production also featured award-winning actors of African descent such as Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’o, Zimbabwe’s Danai Gurira, and Uganda’s Daniel Kaluuya. 

Currently, Nigerian-American writer Nnedi Okorafor is writing the ‘Black Panther: Long Live the King’ comic book. Using her unique brand of storytelling, Nnedi hopes to inspire others to re-create the African narrative. 


With a worldwide box office record or $897 million according to Forbes Magazine, Black Panther has had a phenomenal influence on the world. Originally a comic book, this story has changed the narrative of black characters in comic books and in the media. And instead of the typical American superman, we are now seeing an African, black, superhero!

But this is not it! Other than T’Challa’s superhero skills, we see women who do more justice to #girlpower than Wonder Woman or Cat Woman ever would. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Ramonda (Angela Basset) and Shuri (Letitia Wright), showcase the strength and power of women who slay!

Writing about women who slay is something that Nnedi is familiar with. Her award-winning Afrofuturistic novels combine culture and science to break the limits and the usual narrative of girls can do.

This passion is what led her to bring her unique brand of storytelling to Wakanda land. As the latest writer for this Marvel comic series, Nnedi seeks to remind us that our stories as Africans, as women and as superheroes, need to be heard.

Nnedi Okorafor

 

In changing the African narrative, we help the world recognize that Africa can create solutions towards the world’s development. But more importantly, we showcase the depth and diversity of the African people and their heritage.

Finally, through her contribution to Black Panther, Nnedi hopes to challenge people to rearrange their thinking. It is possible to create a new Africa. By telling these stories of Africa’s great future and her present achievements, we will create this new world that others have no option but to believe in!


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

What To Do When You Hit A Wall

Earlier today I was minding my business and driving back home and just as I hit the turn to my place, I saw the rear end of Porsche Panamera 4 sticking out of my neighbor’s wall.

After I got over the initial shock, I was like “Yup, that’s an accurate depiction my life”.

Since 2009 I have dreamed of visiting Lagos, Nigeria and every year I passionately talk about it, to a point of breathlessness. In 2017 after I took part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship (“MWF”), my determination hit an all-time high as I got to meet some incredibly smart, fun, talented people from the rest of the continent and I added 10 more countries to my list places I wanted to visit.

In October 2017, I saw the She Leads Africa SLAY Festival would take place on 17 February 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria and I decided that “THIS IS IT”.

I sped off to write the event organizers and put myself up for any type of speaking opportunities that were available and was given the “thank you for getting in touch, we will get back to you.”

But they didn’t know who they were dealing with. I kept idling like a Porsche, waiting to make my move and then it happened!

As I was idle on Instagram I saw an insta-story of a friend/ client and he was with one of the co-founders of the She Leads Africa publication! I decided it was time to switch up lanes and accelerate this process by making a client an offer they can’t refuse, reduced legal fees in exchange for an introduction to the co-founders.

In December, a few days after Christmas I emailed the co-founder with my spiel and she said yes! Then on the other side, I started my application for a Speakers Travel Grant (“STG”) which is one the perks for alumni of the MWF and I was like “Yassss, I am cruising!!”.

So how did I go from cruising to hitting a wall?

Over hustling

The quality of your hustle will determine the kind of results you achieve. Over-hustling is like over-revving the engine, its fun and creates noise but you actually aren’t going anywhere. I turned every trick in the hustler’s handbook! I am resourceful as heck and got some good results:

  • The event organizers invited me to the event as a speaker hosting a masterclass and sent me a Visa application letter.
  • The Southern Sun hotel in Ikoyi agreed to sponsor me with accommodation for the duration of my stay.
  • I was able to negotiate with customs officials to leave me 2 blank pages in my passport which is almost finished.

Some hustles fail:

  • When my STG application was bounced, I decided to send sponsorship requests to every single airline that flies out of OR Tambo and I put them on notice on Twitter. Putting companies on blast on Twitter only works when you can go viral. I had 11 retweets. No bueno.
  • I had 2 pages left in my passport! Travelling under those conditions is very difficult.

The contingency

I put a lot of my eggs in the STG basket instead of working on other leads that would lead me somewhere.

When the STG responded to me I had exactly 1 week to shoot a new shot, which led to the frantic ‘spray and pray’ approach with almost 15 airlines, rather than a targeted approach I had towards Southern Sun which led to success.

Counting the Cost

Applying for a visa generally takes 2 weeks, or it can be more but I decided to travel 9 days before I would need to apply for the visa which was really cutting it thin.

As I would be taking this trip during a work period, which is a time to make coin- I hadn’t set up coin generating targets for the trip- if anything I was going to spend time and money in non-income producing activities.

I didn’t account for the cost of time and the cost of money in undertaking this exercise from the beginning to the end. I believe in miracles, but God isn’t in the business of covering up for laziness and folly!

Know Your Audience

In applying for the STG I wasn’t able to show the people controlling the purse string what they wanted to see, which was a high impact business event that would change and improve my business in a measurable way.

They saw a one-day social event that happened under the guise of entrepreneurship and I was basically asking them to fund a weekend getaway!

On a side note: imagine how much fun it would have been to watch Black Panther in Lagos though!

Creating Value

I was very excited to be part of the She Leads Africa SLAY Festival, but I hadn’t really thought of how I would use this platform to create value beyond the day. My talk I prepared was fantastic, but I was going to end up in a sea of speakers because I hadn’t really finessed my differentiator.

The same applies to my relationship with the hotel I should have stayed at. Beyond tweets and pictures, I hadn’t really thought of a way to add value to their brand in return for their hospitality.

After the Porsche hit that wall, it was pulled back and reversed onto a tow truck. In the same way, I need to reverse and get back to the drawing board.

The driver of the car will have to repair that wall, in the same way, I have to explain and apologize to the people who were expecting me.I have set a 3-month target to go to Lagos and this time it will be a beautiful, paced and thought-out journey!


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Evelyn Ngugi: Hard Work Only Makes Things Better

The YouTube world has grown exponentially in the past few years thanks to more and more people using it as a platform for content creation.

YouTube has produced big names in the digital world such as Lily Singh, Patricia Bright, Jenna Marbles and the like. Kenyan-American YouTuber, Evelyn Ngugi is well on her way to the creme of the crop of content creators with her channel, Evelyn from the Internets which currently boasts 150k+ subscribers and even got the stamp of approval from the Queen bee herself, Beyonce.

Evelyn recently took a trip back to her home country for the first time in over a decade and spent some time meeting her internet cousins (her name for her subscribers) and discovering Kenya again as an adult.

SLA managed to get some time to chat with the hilarious Texas native on her growth in YouTube, her thoughts on the creative industry in Africa and what’s in store for her in the future.


You started making YouTube videos way before it became the IT thing to do. What got you interested in that medium of sharing?

Tinkering with different media has always been an interest of mine. As a child, I would dub my “radio show” over old cassette tapes.

As a teenager, I would enlist my little brother to record “TV shows” and burn them onto blank DVDs. YouTube/the Internet was just next up, in terms of accessible technology.

How has social media helped grow your brand?

I’m more interested to know what people think my brand is, to begin with! Social media changed the game because it makes people and their processes accessible. For example, we used to only be able to interact with musicians or actors when their work was released or they had a press interview.

With social media, those barriers are gone. It’s scary and cool but mostly cool. Social media helps grow brands by putting creators directly in touch with consumers.

Focus on making an amazing product first. Social media algorithms will have changed 10 times by the time you’re ready to advertise - Evelyn Ngugi Click To Tweet

We love that you stan hard for various Black Girl Beauty Brands. What advice would you give to young women out there looking to start and/or build their own brand?

Focus on making an amazing product first. These social media algorithms will have changed 10 times by the time you’re ready to advertise anyway.

So many people want to be a “brand” but they don’t actually have a product yet.

 

You recently took a break from the daily routines of life as explained in your recent video. Why did that happen?

The break was the decision and goal I made for late 2017 and the rest of 2018! Something about being 27, girl… it makes you realize that you are in control of your time.

Do I want to spend the tail end of my precious twenties feeling stuck, or do I want to pivot into something greater? I chose greater.

What inspires you as a creative and what drives you as an entrepreneur?

I’m definitely a creative, but not an entrepreneur (yet). I think that’s just a misconception of being on the Internet. I’ve been #TeamHaveA9to5 my entire adulthood (which isn’t long) and I’m only now figuring out if I want to work for myself.

What inspires me as a creative are how innate and infinite my imaginations are and how hard work only makes things better.

So toddlers are creative, but those toddlers eventually grow up and become Martin Scorsese or something and that’s just incredible to think about. Not even trying to be funny, but as an entrepreneur, I imagine not being homeless or hungry would be the biggest driver.

You cut your own check and that sounds stressful fam!

You recently visited Kenya for the first time in over a decade. What are your thoughts about the creative space in Kenya vs other African countries?

Hmmm – that’s such a huge question for a first generation kid-essentially-turned tourist! From my brief time there, I noticed creative folks were frustrated.

What does it mean for music to sound Kenyan? Fashion to look Kenyan? When we talk about Nigeria or South Africa or even neighboring Tanzania, some of those things are more clearly defined or accepted.

I think Kenyan artists need more financial, governmental, and societal support to elevate Kenyan creative works where they belong.

Who are your top 5 YouTubers?

I feel like these answers change every time – thanks to YouTube algorithm! So right now, in no particular order:

KickThePJ: He’s just fantastical and whimsical and embodies what I still admire about YouTube. Making stuff up. Making stuff with your hands. Combining the two. A multi-media filmmaker.

Beleaf In Fatherhood: As a single, child-free person, it is difficult to find a family channel that holds my attention. This family combines my love of dope music with an attention to detail and story that is unmatched.

Oh, and it’s #blacklove all the way.

Patricia Bright: She is OG YouTube. She is still here. And she’s killing it. I think she’s gorgeous and hilarious and if you can make someone who wears black 90% of the time (me) still be thoroughly entertained by a 30-minute video of you trying on clothes??! SUBSCRIBE.

F0XY: Jade has such a distinct comedic tone and voice and I just want her to win. Because if she wins, I feel like I can too. She’s relatable like that. Inappropriate and so, so relatable.

Lavendaire: She is a sweet whisper of lavender essential oil infused vapor that calms me down and helps me be productive all at the same time. Gorgeously branded channel and impactful content.

Do you plan on moving on from YouTube to mainstream television or the big screen?

My plan for 2018 is to do more screenwriting and share more stories – both my own and those of my fellow earthlings.

Where those stories end up for your viewing pleasure isn’t necessarily the most important part of my plan. But if a TV show or movie wants to holla, I’ll definitely clear my google calendar!! Shoot!

What would you be if you weren’t a YouTuber?

YouTube is just a platform. I’d be doing the same thing I’m doing now, just on whatever website ended up popping off instead of YouTube. I’m a journalist, storyteller, funny girl, and hopefully, a friend in your head.

What is your mantra in life?

“Be thoughtful and silly.” That’s a quote from Hank Green about what it means to be an adult. Growing up and becoming boring/bored terrifies me, so I find comfort in that idea.

Being silly is still allowed – thank God. Stay childlike, not childish.


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