A Day at #SheHiveJoburg: True SheHive fashion is epic

10:00: As a Joburger for the past few years, it was my first time experiencing Maboneng, where SheHive Joburg is taking place. Driving into Maboneng, which is known for it’s eccentric culture and vibe, you forget that you are in Joburg.

SheHive Joburg was held at the OPEN Collaborative City Workspaces on the 4th floor. I walked into a space with music playing in the background, and I was filled with excitement.

10:45: More people started arriving, registering and received their #MotherlandMogul name tags. You could sense the excitement, not only for the event but the great venue SheHiveJoburg was being held.

11:28: We had a full house, and it was time to start! Ellen, the MC, welcomed all the ladies. We found out that Joburg was the final stop of the SheHive tours. I must say, bringing women together around the world with such an event is an awesome initiative and learning experience.

To break the ice in the room, Ellen asked that the ladies turn to the person next to them and introduce themselves. This intro also had to include a selfie! Who doesn’t love selfies?!

After taking the selfies, we needed to post them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SheHiveJoburg. The ladies with the best caption on what they want to learn on the day would win a prize at the end of the day. Of course this was well-received. We love prizes!

11:35: The SheHive signature rap battle begins. The All Access ladies were the judges for this segment. The #MotherlandMoguls got into teams of 6 to prepare their rap.

Team names included Captured Africa, African Butter and African Dream. The best four names went to the final round to battle it out.

After watching the four teams battled for the rap title, I must say that Africa Has Got Talent! The judges finally announced the winners and Captured Africa took the title!img_0350

12:01: SLA Co-founder, Afua spoke about building winning partnerships. The ladies in the audience split into groups of 5-7 for the business exercise assigned by Afua. The exercise required that the different groups come up with a business name, a natural bath and body product and a partnership that would best align with their product.

Preparing for the pitch to their potential partners filled the room with excitement. I discovered that Motherland Moguls are creative, and having this experience will help them in the future when they pitch to their soon-to-be partners.

13:03: Networking is valuable but networking right is more valuable. Ellen encouraged the ladies to speak to 3 people they do not know during lunch, and of course, take more selfies and post on social media.

13:06: Lunch time. This was the perfect time to take more selfies, take pictures using the SLA props to and most importantly to eat and mingle.

14:00: Once lunch was over, Victoria, the Marketing and Social Media coordinator from Kisua announced that everyone is legible to a 15% discount on their first purchase at Kisua!! This was one of the many highlights of the event, the #MotherlandMoguls loved this.

Then, the media panel began with Susan Younis, Janine Jellars, and Leslie Kasumba. The panel was a discussion on their career journeys to date and the lessons learned in the media industry. Who better to learn from than from these media moguls!?

The media panel gave us pointers on how to know which offer to take. One of the panelists, Janine, pointed out that not every opportunity presented to you will be an opportunity you should take. It’s important to know what is good for you and understand what your path and your purpose is.

15:20: The next speaker was Irene Charnley, who is the CEO of the Smile Group. Her presentation was centered around the importance of you. She gave us pointers on how Motherland Moguls can be guided by their core values. Irene also asked a few members of the audience to tell us what their core values are.

This was important because what your values are should speak to both your personal and professional life. A lesson we took from the presentation is to always be present in everything that you do.

16:17: After that inspiring session, we needed a comfort break where more networking happened and Motherland Moguls bought branded t-shirts. We even had some ladies change into the t-shirts as soon as they bought them.

16:35: The last speaker of the day was Dorothy Amuah from Luxury Focus. Dorothy spoke of her journey after finishing her MBA,  and seeing that there is an opportunity for luxury to expand in Africa. She came back to Africa to see where she could play her part in growing the luxury industry.

We learned about the luxury business and for many of us, it was an eye-opener. We definitely learn something new everyday!

img_007217:15: Motherland Moguls got an opportunity to share their stories about themselves, their businesses and initiatives and everybody loved this. Having platforms such as SheHive that give women opportunities to talk about the great work they do are vital.

To end off the day, the rap battle winners and social media winners claimed their prizes and it was time for cocktails and more networking!

Nomfanelo Magwentshu: How to shape #MotherlandMoguls into leaders #SheHiveJoburg

nomfanelo magwentshu shehive joburg she leads africa
To be a leader, take a leap of faith, follow your dreams and add value to other people's lives Click To Tweet

Nomfanelo Magwentshu is a partner at McKinsey and was the lead organiser for the SA Fifa World Cup. She was previously the GM for South Africa’s national carrier, South African Airways. Nomfanelo provided some tips on how to be leaders at #SheHiveJoburg. She also opened up about her upbringing and her reasons for leaving certain roles in her career that did not fulfil her.

With that said, one saying we took from Nomfanelo and her journey and that can resonate with Motherland Moguls is this, Take a leap of faith and follow your dreams and add value to other people’s lives even in the smallest ways.

Nomfanelo shared what has shaped the leader that she is today:

Show up and take risks

Always show up and take risks when you are given opportunities in your career or in business. Show up and be counted.

People must know you, and acknowledge you. Ensure that you’re not just a number to an organisation, you need to make sure you leave your mark.

Nomfanelo Magwentshu advises leaders to find sponsors and mentors that will challenge them Click To Tweet
Find sponsors and mentors

According to Nomfanelo, find sponsors and mentors that will challenge you. Someone that will challenge some of  your deepest issues and fears. One of her deepest fears is the fear of failure, especially the fear of not being good enough in a new environment.

She pointed out that mentors will not make the decisions for you. It’s important to make yourself accountable for everyday decision, even if you have a mentor to help you navigate through your life.

#MotherlandMogul tip: Find people to coach you —different people who can coach you on different aspects of your life and find those people that will challenge to get the best out of you.

nomfanelo-magnwentshuThink about the bigger picture

When Nomfanelo joined the SA Fifa World Cup organising committee, it was not about being the best in football.

She shied away from the media but her biggest goal was to think of the bigger picture, and that was to ensure that South Africa delivers the best World Cup.

Always listen to your head and your heart to become the leader you've always wanted to be Click To Tweet
Listen, follow your head but don’t neglect your heart

At times where she lasted 5 months in an organisation, in her head Nomfanelo knew this MIGHT be the right place for her but her heart told her otherwise.

Ensure that you listen to both to make the right decisions for yourself.

Failure is a step towards success

You need to learn from your failures as they are a step to your next success. When you go to your next step, learn from your failures and you are guaranteed to be successful. If you make another mistake, always get up and keep moving.

#MotherlandMogul tip: Ensure that you reflect and you learn from the failures and make sure that you do not repeat them.

Nomsa Daniels: Putting capital in the hands of women #SheHiveJoburg

nomsa daniels shehive joburg she leads africa
Through New Faces New Voices @nomsa_daniels aims to link more women to financial institutions Click To Tweet

On the last day of SheHive JoBurg, the audience heard phenomenal woman share her equally amazing story. Nomsa Daniels is CEO of the Graça Machel Trust, she heads a team of specialists that support the trust’s work on women and children’s rights across the continent. Nomsa is working to ensure that more women in business are able to access the kind of capital they need to start and grow their businesses.

During her talk, Nomsa Daniels focused on the initiative, New Faces New Voices.

What is Nomsa Daniels’ story?

Even from a young age, Nomsa was already interested in development issues. She received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature & History and a Master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Her first job involved working for the US government where she was able to focus on issues pertaining to Africa.

This experience, while enlightening, made Nomsa realize that rather than look at Africa through the lens and agenda of a third party, she would much rather be on the continent, immersed in its issues and dealing with its development there.

As a result, she moved to South Africa in 1987. There, Nomsa was involved in several different projects before she was approached by Graça Machel to join the trust. At the trust where Nomsa, along with her peers, came up with the idea to start New Faces New Voices. This is to give the new generation of young, enterprising black women a space where they could be seen and heard.

What is New Faces New Voices and why should we be interested?

New Faces New Voices is an initiative established by the Graça Machel Trust in 2010 to deepen women’s participation and influence in the financial sector. Its three main objectives are to:

  • increase women’s access to finance and financial services,
  • build capacity and skills of women to access finance and,
  • promote women’s leadership in the financial sector.

Initiatives like this are particularly important because studies have shown that countries that have greater gender equality have more inclusive growth. Also, women tend to invest up to 90% of their wealth into improving the education, health and economic well-being of their families. This investing in women and ensuring that they have access to finance will not only benefit them but their families and countries.

In South Africa, only 7% of adults are engaged in entrepreneurship and the typical entrepreneur is male Click To Tweet

What is the landscape in which New Faces New Voices operates?

In South Africa, only 7% of adults are engaged in entrepreneurship. This figure is alarmingly low when compared to other African counties, also considering the fact that unemployment levels in SA are high. The typical entrepreneur is male, between 25 to 44 years old and lives in an urban area. He is involved in retail and wholesale sector and has a secondary or tertiary education. So where are all the women?

nomsa-danielsResearch on the topic shows that businesses run by women are most prevalent in the following sectors: retail trade, manufacturing clothing, professional services, restaurants/bars and social work activities. Comparing the activities of men and women, it is clear that there is a lot of potential for women especially in atypical areas where they have largely been under-represented.

Reflection point for Motherland Moguls: Challenge yourself to think more broadly and to think outside the box!

Women are faced with cultural constraints that limit their ability to participate fully in business Click To Tweet

Looking at the numbers, there is definitely a business case for investing in women and they represent a sizeable and viable market that can yield a return on investment. Given that this is the case, why are there not more women in business?

Part of the issue is that women face a number of challenges, which although not unique to them, do affect them uniquely. These challenges include that women tend to have lower levels of education and lower income levels. Women also lack collateral, exposure to the market, mentors and role models.

On top of all that, women are faced with cultural constraints, norms and belief systems that limit their ability to participate fully in business. In addition, women face several funding constraints such as lack of business training, lack of information on where to find funding, lack of understanding of what funders look for and lack of business track record.

Reflection point for Motherland Moguls: How do we reform the educational system to ensure that young girls and women are exposed to entrepreneurship at a young age?

How is New Faces New Voices tackling this issue?

New Faces New Voices aims to link more women to financial institutions and funding vehicles that target women. A lot of women are not aware that a lot of institutions have funds ring-fenced specifically for women. These institutions often complain that they cannot find enough women to give these funds to.

New Faces New Voices is working to bridge that gap by helping to connect the right women to the right institutions so that they can access capital that is ready and waiting for them. On the one hand, New Faces New Voices works with the women to bring them to the level they should be at. This is so that they can present an interesting value proposition to these institutions.

On the other hand, New Faces New Voices works with the institutions to help them tailor their programs. This way, their criteria are more realistic and actually suit the needs of the women they are targeting.

Reflection point for Motherland Moguls: Access to finance is important, but so is access to markets!

Final words of advice to all women out there looking to get into business.

  • Do your research. Who funds the type of business you are looking to establish? What is their funding criteria?
  • Understand the type of funding your business requires at various stages (working capital, bridging finance, overdraft).
  • Undertake “investor-readiness” training.
  • Be on the lookout for new ways of finding capital like crowd funding.

Bottom-line: Know what’s out there in the market and take advantage of institutions that support what you want to do!

#BossingFromBirth: Lessons you can learn for your career/entrepreneurial journeys from #SheHiveJoburg

lessons #bossingfrombirth shehive joburg she leads africa
Lessons on #BossingFromBirth from Linda Mabhena-Olagunji and Vere Shaba #SheHiveJoburg Click To Tweet

The final #SheHive tour was in Joburg this November. The Motherland Moguls in Joburg got a chance to hear inspirational talks from women making strides in their respective industries, giving us lessons on #BossingFromBirth. Two of the women were Vere Shaba of Shaba and Linda Mabhena-Olagunju of DLO Energy Resources Group.

One of the many valuable lessons we took from Linda and Vere was their entrepreneurial drive from an early age. Both women started in the corporate sector. Linda started off as a lawyer at one of the top five firms (Bowman Gilfillan) and Vere started off as a Mechanical Engineering at WSP Group but both left to start their own companies.

The aim of only making money is not a good idea to get into business

For some people, the driving force to starting their own businesses is to only make money. If you get into a business base with the intention of only making money, people will definitely see through that.

Vere pointed out that what helps in getting into business is having the passion for it. This is an important lesson because the passion is what will drive you to make your business and career path work.

In business/career failure will happen but it's all about having a good comeback Click To Tweet

Make sure you always have a comeback

Whether you’re in building your business or building yourself in your career, failure will happen but as Linda had pointed out, it’s about having a good comeback. It’s about continuing even after the failures and making sure you fail upwards and keep moving. You need to be resilient.

As with any business or career path you choose, things probably won’t go as planned or what you have wished for, so you need to ensure you have a strong support system. A support system could be your colleagues, family and close friends. Have those people around you who will encourage you to keep moving. Most importantly, you need to have a extraordinary confidence and belief in yourself, Motherland Moguls!

Value networking

Every person that you meet could be your potential client or business partner, therefore creating networks and maintaining those relationships is key. Always make sure that you leave a good impression on people.

This should not business or career wise but also all aspects in your life where you’re constantly meeting and working with people.

Planning is key! & other advice on #BossingfromBirth from Linda Mabhena-Olagunji & Vere Shaba Click To Tweet

Commit your dreams and thoughts into writing

Planning is key! It’s also important to commit everything into writing. Once you commit a thought to writing or once you tell someone about a dream or thought, you should hold yourself accountable. Ensure that you execute on those dreams and thoughts that are on paper. Linda pointed out that: Your word is your bond.

Making plans is important, and plans change but as a chaser of your dreams, learn to be adaptable. With all the changes happening, always make sure you know what your end goal is and whatever you do aligns with that end goal.


Put in the hard work

With growth, comes more learning. Learn and master your craft. It’s very easy to see through you if you don’t know your craft and you can easily lose credibility for that. Know that you are on a consistent journey of learning. You never really arrive at a destination of learning and once you feel that you know it all, then it’s probably time to check-out. This doesn’t mean stop learning, but it means find something that challenges you and continue the journey of learning everyday.

#MotherlandMogul tip from Linda: Make a plan, and know that your plan might deviate. Know and write down your short, medium and long term goals and execute on them.

You need to be clear on who your client base are and understand them to be a boss from birth Click To Tweet

Understand your client base

To understand your client base, ensure that you surround yourself with them. You need to be clear on who your client base are and understand them.

This will help in you better positioning yourself based on who your client base is. Everything about you and your brand and how you carry yourself, should align with your brand.

#MotherlandMogul tip from Vere: Have a clear plan about what you want, your client base, your brand and Live Your Brand!

Know when to continue or give up

In some cases, the breakthrough happens just when you’re about to quit. Stick through it during the hard times. Yes, it won’t be easy but it is so fruitful to work hard to make your own dreams a reality than to work hard towards making other people’s dreams a reality. When you know that this is your passion, continue until the breakthrough.


Irene Charnley: We women will lead fundamental change on our continent #SheHiveJoburg

irene charnley shehive joburg
Have the conviction & fortitude to put forth your ideas - Irene Charnley #SheHiveJoburg Click To Tweet

Irene Charnley is an ex-MTN exec who led the company’s expansion into Nigeria and Iran. She’s also now a telecoms founder whose company, Pan-African, reigns supreme in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Congo. At #SheHiveJoburg Irene Charnley dazzled the crowd by sharing the key principles she has followed throughout her career to get to where she is today.

With a net worth of around $150 million, it was clear to all in the room that Irene knows a thing or two about being a Motherland Mogul.

Irene’s key principles to follow if you want to be successful

Have some core values and let them guide you

The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. According to Irene, when it comes to succeeding in business and in life, you have to realize that there is no magic out there, the magic is within you.

You must cultivate some core values rooted in integrity, as these will help guide and sustain you on whatever path you choose to follow. Irene shared that her core value is this: everything is possible. There is always a way, it is up to you to find it.

She talked about the difficulties she and her partner faced when trying to secure a building for their business. They faced challenges in getting landlords to rent to them. But having this “everything is possible” attitude, they were persistent in knocking on doors till someone finally let them in the building.

“What are the core value that drove you to action everyday?”, Irene opened this question to the audience and the awesome ladies of #SheHiveJoburg shared some of the following responses:

  • “I have the power to make everything I want come true”,
  • “Be truthful to yourself and to others”,
  • “Always follow through on your promises”,
  • “Be present in everything that you do, both physically and psychologically”.

Irene encouraged everyone in the audience to be true to their values every single day, to forget everyone else and please themselves first, to simply, “Be you!”

Irene Charnley's core value is simple, everything is possible! #SheHiveJoburg Click To Tweet
Always aim to be a subject matter expert

Irene talked about the importance of working twice as hard as everyone else in the room to become the expert, the one that people turn to when they want an explanation of how things work.

This is the only way to stay ahead of the competition and to become comfortable being in a position of power and influence. When you prepare diligently, you’ll begin to see things outside the box and are able to come up with solutions that no one else has thought of yet.

At the end of every day, you ought to ask yourself, “What did I learn today that was worth it for me?”

My key takeaway from Irene’s wisdom was, “Know that it’s about you, know what your core values are and always be prepared”.

The only way to stand ahead of competition is to work twice as hard - Irene Charnley Click To Tweet
Business is logic. Business sense is common sense

Sometimes what trips most people up on the way to success, especially when it comes to success in business, is that they waste too much time overthinking things. Women especially have the tendency to dwell too long on things. We are afraid to speak up and share our ideas because we feel like someone in the room must have a better one.

Irene shared a very important lesson on this topic. After having spent a lot of time in several boardrooms, one thing that became clear was that no one in the room has all the answers.

Have the conviction and the fortitude to put forth your ideas, even if they will be shot down or criticized. Use every opportunity as a learning point: ask questions, share your ideas, learn from others. That’s the only way to keep growing.

irene charnley shehive joburg
Find voices you trust. Keep them around you

Again, as women we have this tendency to want to shoulder all our burdens ourselves and fight and toil to get the answers we need. But Irene, as successful as she is, shared a key insight, “You can’t go through this journey alone. You need to find your angels and let them help you out along the way”.

Irene talked about the importance of having mentors to guide you by offering advice and a fresh perspective. Also of importance is being a role model yourself to someone else who is a bit behind you on the same path.

And as a sign of putting your money where your mouth is, Irene offered to share her email and phone number with all the ladies in the room. She promised to be available to mentor anyone who felt they could benefit from talking to her.

At #SheHiveJoburg Irene Charnley offered to be a mentor. See what else you missed out on Click To Tweet
Be a value-add. To everyone. All the time

For a minute, stop and think about you. What is it that you bring to the table, to your business, to your community that no one else does? What is it that you do differently that makes you so special?

Irene reminded us that we all have gifts that we should be nurturing. It is up to us to bring these gifts with us to every relationship or partnership. We should start to view entrepreneurship as a way to add value to what is already out there.

Build sensible relationships, sensitively

Last but not least, Irene talked about the important of relationships. Of cultivating the right relationships, with the right people at the right time. On the journey to success, we must strive to do our best to listen and learn, and to truly understand where others are coming from so that we might know how to best serve them.

Irene ended her talk on a powerful note with a statement which I believe will resonate within everyone in the audience and anyone connected to the She Leads Africa community, “You as women will be the ones to make a difference in leading fundamental change on our continent. This is what She Leads Africa means to me, and I hope to all of you.”