“Whatever my mind can comprehend, I can achieve” these words are from 22 year old Kagiso Legodi, born and bred in the dusty roads of Gamashashane Limpopo, a rural Village tucked away from Polokwane CBD, South Africa.
A Social Entrepreneur,Writer and Founder of ‘I am She’; a women empowerment initiative that aims to address and redress the social gender inequalities of the past. Kagiso studied Accounting at Tshwane University of Technology; is a certified Emotion coach from MHI leadership firm; and recently she wrote a book, ‘Flooded But Not Drowned’.
Tell us about ”I am She”. What inspired you to start the organisation?
The reason why I started I am She is because I saw how as women we are still told of things that we cannot do. Some of us dream of only being housewives and most men still see us as objects. Therefore, I wanted to inspire women and to remind them that they are capable of achieving anything, beyond the stereotypes and labels.
We are living in a developing country whereby a lot of people still go to bed on an empty stomach. Why was it important for you to create and run an organisation like this?
I know that I cannot help everyone( I cannot feed every hungry child) but, the little that I have to give means everything to me. My hope is that those who I have helped, will one day go out and help other people too.
What are the challenges you face when running your organisation and how do you overcome these challenges?
What are your words of encouragement to young people out there who would like to be a helping hand?
Be in it for the people you are helping, not for yourself .
Be selfless and true.
Things will not be a walk in the park, but, remember your ‘why’- why are you in it? Is it fame, recognition or your love of people?
You recently wrote a book “Flooded But Not Drowned”, please tell us a bit about it.
Flooded But Not Drowned is a collection of real life stories by women. These are women who came out strong and victorious from the many storms they encountered. I have featured 7 different women who have been through child molestation, rape, rejection and low self esteem.
I want this book to touch lives, bring hope to the lost and heal the broken hearted. I call it ‘a book for the nations’ because of how it will change lives in Africa and beyond.
This means you will be playing a huge role in the media and people’s hearts . How do you plan on using this platform?
I plan to use this platform to groom myself into the woman I am destined to be. To create a positive name for myself in the media, and most importantly, to encourage other women to work on their dreams and transform their lives.
Where would you like the organization to be in the next five years?
My vision for I am She is beyond myself and beyond Africa. I see it as an international women’s empowerment platform. A platform addressing and redressing all the social gender inequalities of the past. I want it to teach women to embrace and inspire one another.
Facebook: Kagiso Princess Legodi
Are you involved in a women’s empowerment initiative?
Dorcas Tshuma is the South African founding member and programme director for Triumphant Hand of Mercy Initiative (THOMI Africa). THOMI Africa empowers women and girls, who are helpless or homeless, with the skills and confidence necessary to secure a job, create a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children.
Dorcas has participated in prestigious events across the globe: The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York, the Civil Society Policy Forum in Washington DC and as the guest speaker for NIMSA (Nigerian Medical Students Association) on their Empowering women to Empower Humanity female international summit.
Please briefly highlight what THOMI Africa is about?
We are a non-governmental organization which support the UN Women’s flagship programme of ”making every women count”. We look at challenges women face, and suggest different solutions.
We equip women with the knowledge that will enable them to be skilled at all levels, irrespective of their geographical location.
THOMI Africa is against the abuse of women and children. We also campaign against the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and form of substances. We raise awareness pertaining to breast cancer, TB, HIV & AIDS, including the care and counsel of victims dependents. Additionally, we make every women count by assisting the elderly, disabled and widowed in our community.
Why and when was THOMI Africa founded?
I founded this organization a long time ago, but it was officially registered in 2015; due to my natural passion for gender equality. It used to sadden me every time I saw girls and women suffering, begging on the streets with kids on their back, starving, being raped, abused and murdered. That is what triggered me to be involved in making every women count, through empowerment programmes which equip women and girls.
As a Programme Director what does your role entail?
I oversee the administration of policies and programmes; and I monitor and report on the economic empowerment portfolio and provide assistance when needed. I also communicate with all project/programme partners at all levels, and ensure that the organisation strategy is developed across all areas. I play a role in in decision making and provide financial analysis, and provide guidance on all activities, plans, targets and business drivers.
What is the best book you have ever read?
Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Since its inception what are some memorable THOMI Africa achievements?
Attending the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit (New York) in 2016; Being part of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings as part of Civil Society Policy Forum in October 2016 in Washington DC,USA; Being guest speaker at NIMSA Female International Summiton on the topic, “Empowering Women to Empower Humanity”.
We also participated in the Anti Female Genital Mutilation Campaign which took place on Saturday, 19th of November, 2016; and were nominated by United Nations women last year, as a 2016-2017 Global Champion for change.
Being unable to secure adequate funding to execute programmes and campaigns. But, every organisation face challenges and they differ depending on the circumstance at hand.
For anyone who would like to contribute to ‘making every women count’, which qualities are you looking for?
Someone who will contribute to ‘making every women count’ must have, among other qualities, a natural passion for helping the underprivileged. That individual needs to be able to listen, give appropriate counsel and mentoring. They need to have a strong sense of compassion and empathy for people.
In conclusion they need to be able to meet deadlines and interact effectively across many levels of management. I have developed multitasking and prioritization abilities, and willingness to do whatever is needed to empower women. And a positive attitude!
Do you know of or run an organisation which positively impact women?
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more here.
Want to do business in Africa successfully? Learn how to break down barriers and prove your worth.
On Friday, October 13th,Sneha Shah – Managing Director of Africa for Thomson Reutersshared with us how the African business landscape is currently positioned for female entrepreneurs, and how you can take advantage of it.
Sneha has initiated partnerships with leading international market development, and works in close collaboration with public and private sector organizations in each country, to tackle the opportunities and challenges around financial and capital markets development.
Sneha Shah joined Thomson Reuters in 2001 in New York and has held several global leadership roles across the financial and media business units in operations, product development, and technology.
She was appointed Managing Director of Africa for Thomson Reuters in April 2015, and leads all of the financial, risk, tax and legal businesses across the region, providing data, automation and digitization solutions to financial institutions, governments, and corporates.
She is responsible for driving the profitable and sustainable growth for Thomson Reuters in Africa in a manner that contributes positively to the region’s economic development.
Born in Kenya and having worked in many African countries, Sneha is particularly passionate about initiatives that help empower Africa’s success.
Sneha is a member of the Board of the US Chamber of Commerce, US-Africa Business Center. She is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the African Leadership Network (ALN) and has been actively involved in several initiatives of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, including the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) (current), and the Global Agenda Council on Governance (2014 to 2016).
Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Sneha was a commodities trader for Cargill in South Africa and traded money markets and foreign exchange at CFC Bank in Kenya. She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Politics with International Studies from the University of Warwick in the UK.
Anisa Mpungwe is a Tanzanian born, South African raised fashion marvel. She started her career at age 19 working for various fashion houses, magazines, and apparel factories within Africa, America, and the UK. Not a stranger on international runways, Anisa has showcased her work in fashion weeks in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Italy, Sweden and New York.
You might have spotted this Motherland Mogul’s garments on stars like Solange Knowles, Anele Mdoda, Lira, Simphiwe Dana, Amel Larrieux, Sharon Smith, and Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon. The former US first lady Michelle Obama donned Anisa’s clothing on her first visit to Johannesburg.
Anisa has won the African Fashion International Emerging Designer Award 2013 and was the MTV Transform Today Award nominee. She has collaborated with brands such as LG, SPREE, Samsung, Maserati, Converse, Nestle, BET and Bobbi Brown. You can find Anisa between Johannesburg, Pretoria and Dar es Salaam studios.
SLA contributor, Kutlwano Mokgojwa, checks in with the humble and spirited Motherland Mogul to get the lowdown on celebrating 5 years in business, creating a lifestyle brand and shipping worldwide.
It has been 5 years since you opened the door to your flagship store, what would you say you owe to still being in business today?
I think consistency is important in any business and across everything that you do. There are certain things that you must always do and always take care of. Another important thing is having a good team. There are days when you will not feel so great and you do not want to deal with customers, you can always pass the responsibility along when you have a good team and in my experience, getting a good team together takes a while.
Your brand is described as having a strong African influence, prints and modern tribal. Do you think this description limits the brand or does it open the right doors?
I think it is all of the above. People always need to relate your brand to something, whether it is an experience in their lives or something they have seen. I am African so that aesthetic cannot disappear, it will always be there. Our aesthetic will always be around the African heritage but I am also really interested in sportswear for example.
I have travelled and moved around a lot and because of that, I am able to come back and tell a story through the garments. The change in the design is not that I am trying to target a specific person but it is just where the LoinCloth and Ashes (LCA) story is.
You have paired up with vibrant talk show host and radio personality Anele Mdoda as your brand ambassador, how does she embody the LCA brand?
Anele is quite a complex woman and that is an LCA girl – somebody who is strong and vulnerable. Somebody who has something to say wants to elevate and fully enjoy her life. Anele is all those things and she is crazy too, she is completely nuts and I love her for that. I identify the LCA girl in her; she really aspires for better in all areas.
You are known to feature on a lot of runways. How do you come up with inspiration for each collection? How do you incorporate your brands aesthetic to ensure your collections are true to the LCA brand whilst still being fresh and relevant?
It has to do with what is happening for us at that time but also keeping in mind who our audience is. For example, if you do something like New York Fashion Week, what they would expect is a whole lot of bead work and when you show something else it creates a kind of shock wave.
When you take African print somewhere like Stockholm where they are known for being minimalist you will blow their mind with so much colour. Same goes for Germany or Berlin. I know we have one of the biggest client bases in Berlin and they love the print because they don’t have that sort of thing there. So when we create collections it is about flying the flag but doing so in a manner that is relevant to the audience and to the brand.
Since your establishment as a women’s wear brand, you have ventured into quite a number of things such as your junior wear, home décor, giving industry talks and consultations. What motivated you to head in that direction and how has that contributed to LCA being such a big brand in the fashion industry?
There was a time when you went into a clothing store and it only offered clothing but now many brands are offering a lifestyle. So if I can’t afford the dress, I can maybe afford to buy a napkin or to buy my little baby a dress.
I wanted LCA to also follow that suit because we don’t only talk about women’s wear when we are in the studio, we talk about everything else. I am not known to hide my experiences so that is where consulting and mentoring comes into play.
You have a new collection coming up, can you tell us more about that?
Well, I cannot say much but it is a summer/spring collection. We are looking to celebrate feminism and rediscovering the word sexy. What does it mean for LCA? It means there will be lower necklines and high hems.
You started shipping your clothes worldwide this February, how would you advise a small business owner who wants to extend their distribution in the same way?
Firstly, I think it is important for one to evaluate their international client base. A lot of research is also required. You need to research the best courier for you. For your client base, you also need to evaluate if they are ready for something like that as a business.
You have collaborated with some of the biggest brands – Bobbi Brown, MrP, Samsung – in industry, what is the importance of collaborations in the fashion industry?
For me collaborating with somebody like Samsung, it was a business strategy. I had to think, “If I align myself with this kind of company, how LoinCloth and Ashes be seen?” or which type of distant audience will it reach?
That for me is important, collaborating with brands that are aligned to what you stand for as a brand. I cannot overemphasise the importance of networking, attending events and talking to different people. That is the best way to meet people, possibly future collaboration partners.
Does it get better than having Solange Knowles sport your clothing?
I get this question a lot. People do not always realise the risk of having a celebrity wear your clothing. There is always the risk of a bigger company copying the design and mass-producing it at a cheaper or claiming that design so although it is great and has its benefits, at the end of the day it is all about the LCA customer.
Publishing aficionado, Thabiso Mahlape has been on our radar for quite some time now. Her publishing imprint, Blackbird Books has garnered a lot of success and already has memoirs and autobiographies by big names under its belt. Blackbird Books aims to bring stories by black authors to life, giving them a voice and a platform to grow and hone their skills as successful authors.
Being the first black woman with her own publishing imprint has had its challenges, but Thabiso makes it known that she is doing an incredibly important job of making sure that our voices, stories, and talents are being seen and heard. Below, Thabiso tells us how she is exposing black talent, one paperback at a time.
How did you get into the publishing industry?
I got into the industry by chance. I had done engineering for about 4 years before deciding to study for my first love, journalism. I didn’t get in to do journalism but my guidance counselor suggested I try publishing. After studying I didn’t have a job for 3 years until I landed an internship at Jacana Media, and my career took off from there.
Please tell us more about your brainchild, Blackbird Books?
Blackbird Books is pretty much the extension of the work that I was doing at Jacana. I wanted to expose stories that are unapologetically black and written by black people. After I had my daughter in 2014, I decided to finally venture into developing Blackbird.
Have you had any challenges as a woman, when it comes to making it in the industry?
As the first black woman to have my own imprint I have been undermined by all men, black or white. I have even been undermined by black women. I was walking with one of my author’s one day and my white male colleague told him, “if you’re looking for a real publisher, come speak to her” pointing at a white woman. I’ve had all kind of backlash, but that’s not to say that I have not been embraced by those that love Blackbird.
What problematic issues have you picked up from being in the publishing industry, especially as a black person?
The publishing industry is extremely white. It was definitely not representative of the majority of the country, but it is making progress as time goes by. More and more black authors are being exposed and the status quo is changing.
What inspired the name, Blackbird?
The name was suggested by a colleague of mine at Jacana. The name stems from the Nina Simone song called “Blackbird”. The song refers to the struggles of a black woman and how that woman wants to spread her wings but finds a lot of difficulty in this due to societal issues bringing her down.
What future plans do you have for the publishing imprint?
Some plans I can’t spill just yet but I want to see Blackbird grow and solidify it as a publishing house. I want it to be a platform for black people to find themselves and grow the amount of South African black authors in the industry.
What advice do you have for young black women who want to break into the industry they love?
Invest in your work, put in the time and work really hard at it. We live in this “Instagram” time where everything is seen and instant gratification is important. You cannot get anywhere without working really hard. Make sure you are doing the right thing, which is what you want and are most passionate about.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.
It is a public secret that the future of the Africa we envision lies solely in the hands of each and every young individual who dares to dream. The inclusion of women in various decision-making positions has better positioned and equipped young women to step up in their entrepreneur journey.
Barriers are continuously being smashed, as the African girl dares to take over, below is an interview with Morongwa Maifo, the owner of VintageKlozet. Morongwa, aka Mo, is a young woman determined to let her passion become her success ladder.
Hi Morongwa can you briefly tell us who you are and what you are currently up to?
I’m a young dynamic phenomenal woman named Morongwa Nesly Maifo. I’m just an ordinary person who grew up in a normal background. My journey has been very challenging, especially not growing around parents. I spent most of my growing years with my brother, as my parents were at home in the village. I can say that I started learning responsibilities of doing things by myself at an early age.
Growing up I had low self-confidence, I have always been that young girl who would do anything to buy a friendship or try harder to make sure people accept me. Nobody ever taught me it should start with you. But these happened for a purpose as it’s now revealing itself.
I enrolled for my first degree at the University of Witwatersrand in Chemistry, am currently in the completion of my honors degree in Chemical engineering. I also obtained a certificate in sales and marketing with Unisa.
Chemistry, fashion, and literature are worlds apart, tell us how you manage the playing field you have occupied?
In my growing up journey, I realized I get bored easily with routine. I’m an explorer, a huge fan of learning, and I’m more progressive when I learn various aspects of content. At the at the end, I noticed how everything is interconnected.
I enrolled for Chemistry with Chemical Engineering because I have always been fascinated by science. I want to become an engineer. My most motivation in obtaining this degree is to contribute back to society by using the knowledge I have gained to solve daily problems.
Growing up, I suffered a lack of confidence in speaking, reading, and writing, specifically in English. Because this bothered me a lot, I started reading books from high school, and slowly I found reading fascinating. This hobby continued until varsity, I started reading a lot, especially motivational books.
I have always loved clothes, initially, I underestimated it because I thought it was just a women’s thing. It became unique when I would play with my mother’s wardrobe. That lead me to notice that I’m not a fan of trendy fashion, then I finally figured my sense of fashion is vintage.
As VintageKlozet aptly describes, what motivated you to start your own vintage retailing business and how responsive has been your target market?
I have always been motivated by Bonang Matheba especially when she said, “If you love something, get someone to pay you for loving that thing, then you will never work in your entire life”. I started VintageKlozet because of my passion and love for old style, and how I have found myself through this styling sense.
As a final year student, I have never believed I was sent to college so I can work for someone else. I have always believed as African men and women, we all have the skills to start our own companies and improve our economic status as well as that of the future generation. As the business just recently started, the response has been good so far, most people seem to fall in love with the culture of vintage, how unique it is and how it tells the story. So far, I have got responses as far as Cape Town, and few people from Zimbabwe.
How important has social media been to your business and what lessons can other aspiring fashion retailers get from you?
I’m still in the journey of learning and exploring diverse ways to market the business and establish it. There is so much power in social media because so far 80% of sales VintageKlozet has made are from social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. Obviously, there are many ways to advertise, but so far these have shown a positive response to the business.
You mentioned that you are also CEO of Club Readership, briefly tell us what it is all about?
Club Readership it’s a book club before everything. It is created for readership in Africa, focusing on African literature, of course by African authors. This is the institution that noticed a gap of reading outside academics in Africa and is determined to bring back the culture of reading in a fashionable manner.
It believes we all have stories to tell and to embrace. It would like to improve and celebrate the culture of reading mainly in black communities. As it promotes this culture of reading, it ensures to produce relevant material for Africa, therefore it publishes books. Club Readership encourages people to write and makes it easy for them to publish, for more info, people can visit our website.
How challenging have all your roles been?
Honestly, challenges serve an opportunity to grow you as a person. I have found myself doing uncomfortable things but turned my being into effective. It is challenging, but it is the enthusiasm of learning that keeps me pressing forward each day, therefore I embrace challenges.
Aspiring young business women out there are dying to know how you balance your family, academic and business life. Tell us how do you do it?
I have never come across a programmed equation for balancing life. It always brings me back to prioritizing and ensuring every second is utilized effectively. Through falling and failing, I learn what is more important and less important.
I’m one that lives by the power of the law of attraction. What I send to the universe, I get the same frequency back. Therefore, I ensure I always release positive frequency into the universe even when it becomes hard. I’m a very strong spiritual human being. When I’m at peace, happy and content, people around me, family and friends automatically become happy. That’s how I manage my relationships with them.
When I’m in good health, good spirit, I work better, be it in academics or business. So in short, I firstly manage the person from within, she is the one who guides me to manage my other important aspects of life.
So who or rather what motivates Morongwa?
I always call it a blessing to be surrounded by people who see the best in you even when you are numb. People who see a potential in you and can actively help you to unleash it. These are the two young leaders, who are not celebrated every day, very humble, but they touch thousands of lives every day.
They motivate me, I call them doers of things. One of them is Mafule Moswane, author, and chairman of the most amazing non-profit called Faculty of Best Advisory (FBA) that is changing the education of black children. The other is the president of Club Readership, Sbusiso Gama, author, and entrepreneur, also serving as the CEO of FBA.
These are the two young leaders who don’t judge and have effortlessly given their time to serve the community. They are my pillars at this moment and keep me going forward.
Describe your fashion sense in five words and what’s your fashion must have item in 2017?
My fashions sense in five words:
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.
Zizipho Dyubeni is a communications specialist and entrepreneur from Cape Town, South Africa. She uses her creativity to promote and uplift fellow entrepreneurs in the township areas where she grew up. Through her company Blue Apple Concepts, Zizipho curates and organises bespoke events aimed at entertaining and empowering the youth, especially those interested in entrepreneurship.
One such event is the popular GlamHour, which serves as a platform for fledgling entrepreneurs in the beauty industry to showcase their work, network and gain new clients. The events also offer pampering massage sessions, facials, nail therapy and fresh delicacies for women who want to unwind in style- a rare and novel treat to the township areas of Khayelitsha. Then there’s the Lingerie Fair, aimed at encouraging young women from disadvantaged areas to openly talk about sex and practice healthy lifestyles.
Apart from the pioneering strides, she’s made in the entertainment industry, Zizipho is also a speaker, entrepreneur, event coordinator, concept developer, a freelance communications specialist, content producer and a much-loved radio personality for 2OceansVibe, an online streaming radio station.
Being such an inspiration, we just had to share her amazing story with you, our SLAy community, and find out what makes this ambitious creative tick.
Tell us about yourself. Who is Zizipho Dyubeni?
I am a young 27-year-old mom to 8-year-old Storm. I grew up in Milnerton where I went to high school. With a passionate love for all things creative, I furthered my studies at the University of the Western Cape where I later dropped out due to financial constraints.
Fast forward nearly 8 years later I have created a creative agency built on the premise of heightening the voice of creative Africa, work in media. I enjoy a life wonderous and eventful! I am also an events coordinator with a specific interest in women related lifestyle eventing.
What inspired you to start BlueAppleEye Concepts and where do you get the inspiration for all these innovative event concepts that you’ve come up with?
I was and still am a freelancer, I understood the struggle and pain of having inconsistent income.
The main idea behind the Creative Corner is to regulate work activity for creative freelancers and in doing so creating a solid creative e-commerce.
What challenges have you had to overcome on your journey in the entertainment and communications industries?
I would be lying if I said I have overcome a lot of the challenges, the creative industry is one that requires resilience. Right now our biggest struggle is merging business rationale with the creative concept.
Tell us about your other creative and business pursuits…
Elsie Mutsaka is an up and coming PR dynamo, social media marketer and blogger from Zimbabwe based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Her accessible fashion aesthetic is inspiring women from all walks of life to be confident in their style.
After discovering her personal style, Elsie started getting questions about her outfits and where she gets pieces. That encouraged her to start blogging and share her style with a wider range of people.
SLA contributor Anelisa Nokoyo had a chat with Elzie to find out what inspired her quirky fashion blog, and what she has in store for the future.
When did you start blogging?
Initially, I started blogging last year, April 2016 under the name differentlyconfident. Then this year I changed my domain name to my full name. I realised that my brand and I are one and so my blog should be the same.
What would you like to achieve with your blog?
I have always wanted to share my style with people and through this blog, I manage to do just that. Most importantly I wanted to bring about the idea that style is not about the price tag or label, and that you can look perfectly chic while still living within your means.
Growing up I had times when I was not as confident about how I looked, but as I grew older I became comfortable in my skin, looks, and style. That’s the exact same message that I would like the people that read my site to get each time they read my posts.
It’s basically a site for any type of woman to visit and get outfit inspiration, love the skin they’re in and know that they can create their own unique style. Also, while people shy away from thrifting, I find that it’s one of my favourite things to do with my sister each holiday, as you get stuff that nobody else has.
So I always mention where I get my clothes for each blog post and I’m not embarrassed that I shopped a SALE or that I thrifted. Ultimately, I intend on building a brand that inspires and speaks to women who fully know and understand themselves or who at least aspire to.
What do you enjoy most about blogging, and what are some of the challenges?
I really enjoy putting outfits together and reading comments from people who read the posts. Most of the time I really appreciate it when people give their honest opinion and usually, my family and friends do the most.
I think one of the challenges is when the writer’s block strikes. Sometimes you really have good photography but you are just not satisfied with your writing, but when I eventually get it together it’s amazing because I get to think out loud.
What are some of the wardrobe essentials that you think each woman should have?
Well, personally I believe everyone should have a really good quality blazer, a good pair of denim jeans, black pair of heels, very good quality handbag and at least one vintage or pop of colour item.
I could go on and on, but those are my faves, just that I own more than one of each. Whenever I am asked to, I style people or help them create their dream wardrobe so the essentials differ sometimes depending on your style.
Besides fashion, what else do you write about?
Besides fashion sometimes I write about things that matter to me like issues that women face, but I do this as a contributor for other platforms. Other times on my blog I share about my beauty routines which are quite simple.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt since delving into the world of blogging?
I have learnt that you must do what sets your heart on fire, sometimes trends in the blogging sphere are awesome but they are not always your thing. It’s okay to do what you feel comfortable in.
Also, there are so many bloggers out there and everyone has a niche and something unique they bring to the table, so it’s good to celebrate others. I enjoy commenting on other people’s blogs. It does not take anything away from me when their work and skill grows, and if you appreciate other people’s work oftentimes the favour is returned.
What else do you do besides blogging and how do you blend the two occupations together?
So, besides this blog, I do public relations, which means I spend my days working as a social media marketer for an online store and managing other platforms for clients. Because the social media thing is my 9-5, I usually blog in the evenings and do shoots on Saturday mornings.
It’s all about organising your very little time well. The two also blend well because it’s all use of the digital media, so sometimes I reply to comments on the job.
bcct You need to use what you have and what’s around you
Give us your top three tips that you’d give to anyone who wants to start blogging…
Once you figure that you want to blog GO FOR IT! I mean just do it. Secondly, just trust the process and even if like 3 people read your blog that’s okay, it takes time to grow an audience. When I first started blogging a close friend of mine offered to take pictures of me, she had no camera experience whatsoever but as my blogging got better, her photography did as well and because she believed in me so much I gained confidence.
What I am trying to say is you need to use what you have and what’saround you. I did not have a professional photographer but I had a friend and that helped me grow, and here I am.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.
Catch Elsie on her blog, elsiemutsaka.com to get some on-point fashion tips and lifestyle news.
Fikile Skosana is a Detective Constable and Investigator employed by the South African Police Service, under Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offense Unit. She is constantly solving critical cases related to women and child abuse and assault.
Fikile is giving women, whose rights are violated, the freedom to speak out and find justice and closure for their ordeals. This brave and compassionate 33-year-old always finds it rewarding when she solves a case and turns a victim into a survivor.
When most young girls dreamed of being nurses or working in other ‘feminine’ jobs, you chose to be a police officer. How did you come to that decision and what did your parents say about it?
I became a police officer because I like challenges, protecting others, and solving problems. My parents were not happy at first but now they believe in me.
Police work is seen as a field typically better suited to men, what has been your experience with working in a male dominated field and have you ever felt incompetent because you are a woman?
The job is not gender-specific, ultimately police officers have to be the same regardless of gender. As a woman, I don’t go out to fight but to calm the situation. I always feel competent, especially after solving a case.
For women who feel guilty or responsible for their rape ordeal, sexual assault or abuse, what do you say to them or how do you act in such circumstances? How do you create that safe space for them that allows them to speak up freely and be heard?
Some kids feel more comfortable talking to a mom-type person, same as rape victims, they feel free and safe talking to women.
I listen to them, I tell them they are safe, I help victims to become survivors.
What is your motivation every morning that keeps you going to work in a challenging and potentially risky field?
Helping people and stopping other people from becoming victimized. The difference I make in someone’s life is what motivates me.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of what you do?
The most fulfilling is when offenders get higher sentences. Solving cases and giving victims some type of closure is what I find most rewarding.
How can young women wanting to enter police-work mentally prepare themselves for work in such a field? How does one know that they are a good fit for this type of career?
I encourage women to consider law enforcement as a career if they are willing to put in time and hard work. They shouldn’t be discouraged and think that this is a male dominated world. They can do anything that a man can do.
Munozovepi Gwata is an ambitious entrepreneur and an aspiring Chartered Financial Analysts and Hedge Fund manager. She is the founder of the Aworks, a conglomerate with subsidiaries Arete’ Tech, Kukura Capital NGO and Kukura Capital Investment Trust.
Her personal mission statement is to inspire people throughout the African continent and to create innovative solutions that will bring upon development, wealth, and success for the continent.
Munozovepi’s goal is to build Awork to the same status and standard of Berkshire Hathaway which she has no doubt that she will accomplish.
Why is financial literacy important and why start an organisation that educates people on the matter?
I believe financial literacy is extremely important just like learning Maths and English. It is the fundamental skill that equips people with the essential ability to effectively save and make money.
Unfortunately, nobody is really taught how to manage their personal finances. Not at one stage in our lives do we come across financial literacy education in the mainstream education system. I find this very alarming and I am a strong advocate that financial literacy should be included in the mainstream curriculum.
The consequence that we have now, is that people are not equipped to manage their personal finances and they do not know how to save or grow their money. Therefore, instead of having the opportunity to pass down wealth to the next generation, they are passing down poverty and debt.
I felt that I could no longer sit on the sideline and watch this continue to happen, this is when I decided to become a part of the solution and build an organization that addresses the problem.
In starting Kukura Capital, did you decide to go solo or have a business partner(s) and why did you decide to go solo/partner up?
In starting Kukura Capital, I decided to go solo. I do have a great team of friends and family that help me and soon we will be adding another 8 new team members to the Kukura Capital team.
When I started Kukura Capital it was only an idea. A lot of people, even though they shared and agreed with my vision, didn’t share my hard work ethic, and because of this, I did not manage to find a full-time business partner.
It still worked out great in the end. I was given a lot of good advice on how to develop the organization, leaned on some great books and to my surprise in such a short time we have managed to pick up and maintain a great momentum. We also have the support from other well established NGO’s and Institutions which is great.
When did you establish Kukura Capital and what has been the biggest lesson you have learnt thus far?
Kukura Capital was established last year in November and it was inspired by my own journey to learn more about the financial industry. In gathering information, I kept thinking to myself there has to be an easier way to learn about financial literacy, and from there Kukura Capital was born.
The biggest lesson I have learnt? I have to say I have learnt so many things, but the biggest lesson is that knowledge is truly power. As an organisation, one of our main goals is to make knowledge about financial literacy easily accessible and to break down the complex concepts of finance and make it simple and easy to understand and apply.
Doing such a simple task has proven to be powerful. When you tell an individual of any age, be it a high school student or a young adult, that if you save this amount of money every month and reinvest it either in the market, or in a business and you can get this x% in return, people’s eyes really light up, and they really do change their spending habits. The things people always say to me is: “Why didn’t anybody tell me earlier? I would have been a millionaire a long time ago.”
What gave you the courage to start your organization? What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of going into business?
Fortunately enough, my past experience in leadership positions and community involvement gave me a lot of confidence to start. Also, having a business and finance background also gave me the confidence to start Kukura Capital.
However, to be honest, I didn’t really think too much about it, I really believed what the organization stood for and went for it. That would be my advice to anyone starting a business. In addition to running Kukura Capital I also run a FinTech business and when I started I had plenty of doubts but I quickly moved away from any negative thoughts and just went for it.
In addition to that, I will advise anyone who wants to start a business to fully commit to their business and make sure that they love what they do, so even when it gets tough they are still driven to keep going and succeed.
You have recently finished a children’s book “The Rich Life of Thabo”, what brought about the decision to write a children’s book on financial literacy and in what format and where will the book be available?
I really love this book and wrote it with my talented friend Charisa Mujuru. I am really excited for this book because it is definitely going to inspire a lot of young kids to be like Thabo.
Thabo is the main character in the book and he lives in a township and one day he decides that he is tired of never having enough pocket money so him and his sister, under the guidance of their grandmother, decide to start a business. The book really discusses the ups and downs of business and also the importance of giving back.
The reason why it is a children’s book, in particular, is for two main reasons. Firstly we want to instill financial literacy skills into children from a very young age so that they can grow up with a broad perspective and understanding about money. The second reason is we also want to help instill a culture of reading in children from a young age.
We plan to have the book in the form of a hard copy and will be focusing on distributing the books to primary schools and through book drives throughout townships in South Africa. We will also have an e-book version available for download on the Kukura Capital website.
You are planning to have accredited online financial literacy, business and entrepreneurship courses. How will these courses be different from those that are already available to the online community? Through which institution(s) do you plan to have your courses accredited?
We are planning to have a financial literacy course available on the website in the near future. Also, we believe ours will be different in the sense that it will be categorized to fit the needs of the three main age groups that we have identified as our target market.
We plan to design an online course that mirrors a game for primary school students to be engaged while learning. For high school students, we will focus on designing a course that bridges between video content and written content. Finally, for our more mature audience, the course is going to cover more advanced and complex aspects of investing.
The objective of the higher level course will be, that once an individual has gone through the course, they will have a strong knowledge and know what are the best saving plans and investment vehicles to achieve their financial goals are.
I think what will make our course stand out the most is that it is written to cater to the South African market, of which most online courses are not. Most online courses recommend retirement packages and other products that are only available to Americans because the course is designed for an American audience.
Ours will be tailor-made for the South African community. We do plan to make sure our courses are accredited, that way people can participate confidently in the online courses and be assured they are getting quality information. We plan to do this through collaboration with established institutions. Right now what we have in mind are some brokers and teaching academies that are already established in South Africa.
What other exciting things can we expect from Kukura Capital?
We have a lot of things in store, as Kukura means “to make grow” as an organization it is our mission to keep growing. For the second half of the year, we are planning to launch a new exciting range of video tutorials covering the different aspects of financial literacy.
In addition to that, we have 5 workshops planned where we will be discussing, Website Design & Creation; Trading and Investing; Entrepreneurship: How To Start and Passive Income; and the final workshop will be about Saving, Budgeting and how to achieve financial success.
Last but not least we have big plans to launch the Kukura Capital App before December with high hopes that it will be able to help people curve the high holiday spending and start smart rewarding investing.
Black Panther or Ghost in a Shell?
I had to Google this question, but I think I will go with Black Panther.
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