Have you thought about what kind of company you’d like to work at? If your dream job is a traditional 9 – 5, where you get to send out a couple of emails and scroll through your IG feed for the rest of the day, this is NOT for you!

Now, if you’re wondering how you can land a job at a global organization or work with a dynamic and innovative team that’ll inspire you to learn continuously and be part of something bigger – don’t sweat it, girl, we’ve gotchu!

Join us on Tuesday, 27th February, as we host a Webinar with Bunmi Simoyan, who will be sharing exclusive advice on how to land a job at a global company like She Leads Africa.

Bunmi is the Head, People Operations at She Leads Africa. She is passionate about building successful careers and connecting the right people with the right jobs.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Creative ways to get a recruiter’s attention with your job application
  • Traits global recruiters look for in candidates
  • How to slay the interview process
  • How to demonstrate that you are capable of doing a kickass job
  • Do’s and don’ts of securing a job at such companies

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

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

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

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

Watch here:

About Bunmi

Bunmi Simoyan currently works as the Head of People Operations with SheLeadsAfrica.org, where she adopts innovative HR solutions to drive and promote leading-edge people strategies. She is also an independent HR Consultant for various small to medium-sized companies.

Prior to joining SheLeadsAfrica.org, Bunmi spent the first 8 years of her career at Ecobank Limited Nigeria, where she worked in e-business, transactional banking and operations before pursuing a career in Human Resources.

Born in France, raised in Nigeria, Bunmi is a trained HR professional who is passionate about providing innovative HR solutions. She is convinced that her purpose is connecting the right talent to businesses and providing solutions that can help businesses succeed.

Bunmi graduated with a Distinction in Human Resources and Knowledge Management from Lancaster University – UK. She also holds a Post-Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Laval University, Quebec, Canada.

5 Innovative Initiatives Transforming Education in Africa

We live in exciting times where our daily lives are dominated by innovation. The education landscape is also gradually changing as new inventions and new ways of teaching become the norm.

It’s worth noting that innovation does not only mean technology, but it encompasses any creative, new way of doing things.

If it improves learning, processes, and systems, or solves a real problem, then it is innovation.

We want to highlight some of the ways in which creativity has been applied to solve some of these plaguing educational issues, across the African continent. They include:

  • High and unaffordable fees.
  • Lack of access to learning material for pupils.

Maths Meets Hip-Hop

One of the biggest flaws in the education system is the assumption that all children learn in the same way. A single, age-old learning method of sitting behind a desk and absorbing facts and numbers is still used across the world.

While this technique works for some learners, it does a disservice to others, who are left feeling academically inadequate.

A maths teacher in Cape Town is turning the traditional teaching method on its head.  He is using rap music to help learners remember their multiplication tables.

Kurt Minnaar, a former hip-hop dancer, and choreographer has creatively come up with a system of turning maths concepts and numbers into hip-hop lyrics – a language that his grade 8 learners understand very well.

“There are four types of learning methodologies – kinaesthetic, visual, audible and the traditional reading and writing.

Kinaesthetic learning is when pupils learn through movement; visual through sight; audible through what they hear and the traditional reading and writing method is when pupils are more independent and able to learn in the traditional sense,” the Cape Town teacher explains.

“When you fuse creativity into lessons, you cater to more pupils, and more will understand because now you’re speaking their language.

Whereas if I just ‘chalk and talk’ and stand there in front of a class, it predominantly only caters to one type of pupil, who is also in the minority.”

Minnaar used to struggle with maths in school. At the time, he thought he was incapable of grasping the complexities of the subject but later realized he needed a different way of learning.

He says his students are incessantly in a cheerful mood as they come to class eager to break it down into his rhymes. The pupils’ marks have also improved, says Minnaar.


Mobile Schools

In some parts of Africa, the tradition of nomadic pastoralism is still alive. People move from one location to another in search of grazing lands for their livestock.

For children who grow up in such families, the on-the-go lifestyle proves to be a barrier to education as they struggle to attend school regularly.

Fortunately, for some nomadic school children in Kenya, access to education has become easier as they can now move around with their school!

In 2010, the Kenyan government joined forces with UNICEF to launch mobile schools which brought education to learners whose families had to relocate frequently in order to survive. As part of the initiative, teachers now live and travel with the nomadic groups, setting up tents and temporary schools.

The mobile schools normally plan their calendar around rainfall patterns. Most of the learning takes place during the rainy seasons when children do not have a lot of household chores.

Crowdfunding Fees with Feenix

The #FeesMustFall protests in South Africa shone a glaring spotlight on the issue of the rising costs of education.  Many students are struggling to pay for their tertiary education.

In an effort to help students, who cannot afford high university fees, crowdfunding initiatives have mushroomed.

Feenix.org is an online platform which allows donors to donate money to students registered on the site. 1068 Live student profiles have been uploaded onto the platform which features their biographies and fees statements.

Once a profile has been verified it, and the fees needed, becomes visible to anyone who visits the site. With the minimum donation set at R100 (USD $7.5) anyone is welcome to make a donation.  85 Students have been fully funded since this initiative started.

Up to date, R4.3 million has been raised by 744 funders (of which consists both individual and business funding).  Donors are also required to upload their information and go through a verification process.

E-learning is Growing 

Technology is transforming education in Africa at an unprecedented rate. With the rapid growth of mobile learning, the e-learning market is set to be worth well over US $530 million by 2018.

E-learning is not only helping students learn better, but it is also giving underprivileged learners inexpensive access to educational content.

In Kenya, adoption of e-learning is happening at an impressive rate.  Schools in low-income areas are using technology to boost their learning. In Nairobi’s Kawangware area, students are using eLimu, an app for primary school learners to learn and revise for their exams.

The platform contains educational content in the form of locally produced and culturally relevant videos, animations, songs, music, games, and quizzes to improve learning.

One of the other successful e-learning platforms in Kenya is Kytabu, a textbook subscription platform that provides low-cost digitalized books to millions of students.

Kytabu allows users to rent textbooks, chapters, and pages on a low-cost Android app and pay with M-Pesa, the successful East African mobile money transfer service.

Learning Through Robotics 

Ghanaian company, Metro Institute of Innovation and Technology (MIT), offers school children training in robotics and mobile app development.  Their aim is to promote science and entrepreneurship in this way.

The company applies innovative ways to introduce technology to learners and help enhance their learning.

Offering lessons to children of all ages, MIT established the National Robotics Summer School.  Attending this school, learners can take their science skills to the next level by programming robots and designing games.

“We’re trying to use robotics as a tool to inspire the study of science and maths, to relate classroom theories using robots so that if we’re talking about a scientific principle, they [the learners] shouldn’t just memorize the facts,” explains Ben Nortey, Founder, and CEO of MIT.

Read this when you are ready to master adulting

As members of the SLA community, we normally feel like we have so much to do but so little time.

From juggling days and side hustles to attending networking events to building our online presence, traveling the world… we want to SLA-Y.

Phew! It can be daunting since we can not afford to drop the ball in our private everyday life which is supposed to bolster our public presence.

Part of owning your life is adulting. Simply put, adulting is taking up responsibilities so that you can free your time and money to succeed in all facets of life.



Here are some of the basic things that every SLA sister should master in order to get her private act together:

Managing your money

Right off the bat, we have to address this issue because it is the root of everyone’s sanity. You may have heard that having a budget is the most important thing that you can do ad nauseam but it seriously is.

A budget can be as simple as tracking your incomes and expenses on a specific notebook or an Excel for the math gurus. If you are into apps, you browse app stores and downloads like Mint.

The most important thing is that you can regularly review where your money is going and where you are investing.

How to feed yourself

Regardless of your gender, cooking is that skill that you should have in your back pocket.

Yes, delivery services are popping up, left, right and center but there is a sense of fulfillment that comes with making something from scratch.

It saves you money and you can trust the food that you make at home more than someone else’s kitchen.

It does not have to be rocket science since you can take time during your free time to do even the most basic-est of meal preps like boiling legumes and meats (for non-veggies) and then stew or sautee them during the week. Then have lunch or dinner ready in under 15 minutes during the week

Launder your clothes

This is one of my least favorite chores but it must be done. Decluttering does go a long way in reducing the amount of dirty laundry because you have fewer things to wash.

Truth be told, you will prioritize the items that you REALLY need to wear to shine at that important presentation. 2017 was the year that I rediscovered the magic of reading care labels, especially when buying secondhand clothes.

Try to avoid ‘dry clean only’  items like the plague to reduce your laundry bills. Plus you will be doing the environment a favor.

DIY and embrace minimal living

If there is ever a time to be more environmentally conscious, it is now. You can play your part by re-using things around your home.

Simple ways that you can try out is like reusing glass jars in your kitchen to store your spices or cotton balls, which makes you look more organized without even trying.

Those old towels and t-shirts can be great rags around the home. I have to mention that cleaning magic does happen when you use equal amounts of water and white vinegar.

Scheduling your cleaning

If you spend hours in traffic jam daily, you are probably thinking how is this even possible?

I was like that too till I discovered how much you can achieve in between TV commercials or when you distract yourself with your favorite jams.  By breaking down, that long list of chores into chunks in the week, you can make deep cleaning less daunting.
Hopefully, by tackling the above basics you will be able to reclaim your time and peace of mind so that you can other things outside your home.


Do you have a story to share with us? Share your story here.

Master the art of the side hustle in school

If you are an active person in school you probably have 2-3 things going on at the same time Click To Tweet

In university, it becomes important to effectively balance the primary purpose of being on campus (school) with every (and I mean every) other activity you have going on.

From my first year in school, I was always involved in multiple activities. I worked at the school’s radio as an OAP, I worked as an event host within and outside the school and the state. I worked with several magazines, writing for them, raising funds, planning events etc. I had obligations in church…phew!

In my final year, there was the main school project, several committees, freelance writing jobs, a sewing and a buying and selling business, a costume creative group, and of course church.

For a student, this is equivalent to having side jobs and a main job. In this case, the main job is school and that is your starting point. How do you juggle all of this?

1. Your primary focus will determine the spare time you have

Like it or not, love the school (course) or not, you are bound by your academic schedule. That is your 9-5. (Or 6.30-5 in some cases ).

When you have your school schedule (timetable ) down to a pat, then you can begin to fix other pieces in place.

2. Work smart,not hard.

Cliché but true. And no, I am not advocating for class skipping. It will go a long way to help balance your multitasking if you quickly figure out which classes are necessary, important, compulsory and useful.

I have seen students wait around for the next class, staying on in spite of there being no classes. They just hang around. Except when you are networking or gathering information, you don’t have that luxury.

3. Every second of the day counts.

Tick tock.

You work with time. 30 minutes is ample time to fix one or two things within a given period. You might end up wasting time if you have no idea how to effectively use the free moments you have.

4. Know those who can help you ease your burden.

In this case, the “who” will be your class representative. A cordial relationship with your class representative puts you in a position of information.

A typical day for me starts the night before. I call my class representative to ask for shifting class schedules, classes most likely not to hold, vital information and anything that will save me from making an unnecessary trip inside school.

A good school squad (if your squad is not in your class), is needed to cover up lapses in the case you get stuck conducting other business. They are your support team.

5. Follow a daily plan

My planning culture from school has helped me till this moment. I make a weekly plan, a very big one. It is colour coded to accommodate classes, meetings, jobs, church obligations, business and whatever I might have going on, including fun time (totally needed). Then I break them into smaller blocks by the days.

I then proceed to pen into my mini planner (small enough to fit into an average clutch purse) the activities that are high on the priority list outside school, because that is a constant. The list in my mini planner are the things I must complete. These are the jobs, clothes to sew, meetings, assignments, etc. You consult this planner like an Oracle on an hourly basis. Ticking off one completed task after the other can be fulfilling.

Finally getting yourself into a good head space each morning will go a long way to prepare you for your almost topsy-turvy day. Personally, for me to start a productive day, I need the following; prayer, exercise, a glass of water and a good breakfast.

NB: Priscilla’s all important bag contents for a work day

1. A tote bag (to carry everything!)

2. Bottled water

3. A fruit/chocolate bar

4. Bubblegum


6. Slippers (for when I wear heels or loafers)

7. My planner

8. Any work related items

9. Earphones

10. Hand lotion

11. Lip gloss

12. Wipes and mini tissues

13. Pens

14. A cabman. He won’t fit into a bag but is necessary for mobility.

Webinar with Odunayo (PushCV): Writing your cv and cover letter for your dream job (July 13)

What do the first six seconds of your CV say to a recruiter?

If you’re attending many job interviews but never get a call back from employers, we’re about to solve your job hunt misery.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how much skills you possess, having a bad CV and NO cover letter can end your chances for a job in no time.

Learn all you need to know from @OdunEweniyi about rewriting your CV and cover letter. (July 13) Click To Tweet

Now, whether you’re planning to write your CV yourself or get a professional writer, you also need to understand the difference between your CV and cover letter and know how to construct and present both to potential employers.

We’ll be chatting with tech founder and Chief Operations Officer of PushCV – Odunayo Eweniyi on Thursday, July 13th, about how to get the attention of recruiters, through your CV and cover letter.

Odunayo launched PushCV for both employers and job seekers – to fully harness the power of technology in the search for the perfect candidate or the perfect job.

Register for this webinar below.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Techniques for Job application
  • Rewriting your CV and cover letter
  • How to get the attention of a recruiter in 6 seconds (Presentation)
  • Interviewing processes every job seeker must know of

Webinar Details:

Date: Thursday, July 13th, 2017

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

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

Watch here:

About Odunayo

Odunayo Eweniyi is the Chief Operations Officer of Sharphire Global Limited – which owns subsidiary companies like PushCV, Piggybank.ng and FrontDesk.

Odun, as she is called, is very passionate about education, employment and most importantly, female empowerment, which enabled her to work with her team to build products to achieve that goal over the past 4 years.

She graduated with a first class degree in Computer Engineering from Covenant University. She loves to write a lot, and when she’s not working or eating, she’s watching TV shows.

Degree in view: Five things you must start now

Don’t pause your life in university, you can't expect to play it back after your degree Click To Tweet

Shout out to those of us that are yet to officially stop getting monthly allowances and still basking in the euphoria of the school life freedom.

enjoy lafayette gif

Undergraduate life can be amazing, and besides attending lectures (and partying non-stop), there’s a lot more you can do while still in the ivory tower which would be healthy for you and your future, sista.

So before, you join the 9-5ers or labour market or whatever it’s called, here are five things to start now to save you some stress in the future

Be independent and explore your options. (Yass girl, start learning to do things on your own).

how jessica gifTake responsibility for yourself and your actions now and start gathering up skills and those sorta things you would require to be your own #MotherlandMogul. Start making great and valuable decisions that would do you good years from now.

Regardless of the course you might be studying (whatsoever course) try your hands on a couple of other extracurricular activities and studies. You could learn a second language or some photography, or even try participating in an art exhibition. A professional job and a side hustle never hurt anybody, plus you never know where your big break would spring from in the long run.

Talk to your career counsellor, get a career mentor...and other things to start while in uni Click To Tweet

Get all the advice you can and enjoy the process

Talk to your course adviser or career counsellor (inasmuch as it might be boring). Get yourself a mentor, gain as much mentorship knowledge as you can about your career path. The internet is also a great stop for amazing career advice.

Read with a lil’ dash of fun

Immerse yourself in schoolwork, attend classes, never miss an assignment, read, read, and read, anything to come out with a turn-up degree, and do this while having a good time (cause we girls, are smart like that). You could try organizing a creative and fun study group with a few smart friends, that way, studying wouldn’t be so boring.

michelle obama dancing gif

Have safe fun as much as you can, but whatever you do, don’t stay partying on the eve of your exams, you are on your own.

don't try it kenya gif

Spice up your profile

spice it up gif

Create a professional online presence for yourself towards whatever path you are looking to take in the future. Know what you really want to do; the kind of job that excites you and start building yourself and your resume in that direction (you do not want to come out of school with only your name and personal profile barely half page on what should be called your resume, nah).

You can start building yourself and your career strategy while in university Click To Tweet

Research on specific companies you’d love to work with in the future and apply to intern with them, chances are that they might want to retain you after you get a degree, or not (anyways, you still lose nothing).

Jumpstart your career

really gif

School is the best place to start your career and your friends and classmates are the best customers you could have. However you start up, chances are that you will likely get loyal classmates and friends that’ll want to help your hustle. Don’t dull, take advantage of the university environment before you are shown the door out.

Start gathering your Oprah money:

get the shmoney gif

I know everybody talks about money, and honestly, we all need money to survive. So whether you’ll be gathering up from the tons of free money that comes your way while in school or from all the monies you’ll come to earn from doing jobs or having a business, start investing your money and saving enough cash for you and your great future of responsibilities.

Start making every second count now. Don’t pause your life, expecting to play it back after you’ve gotten a degree- nah, because when the degree comes, you’ll be in for some shocker reality check. Don’t take it personal though, everybody faces the check.

Michelle Orlendo: Helping women appreciate African-textured hair with the Nywele Chronicles

michelle orlendo
There is no harm in trying. Do not be afraid of failure, keep trying - Michelle Orlendo Click To Tweet

Natural hair, especially 4c textured hair, styled in a simple yet luxuriant look has been frowned upon by many. We often hear people classifying it as an unkempt and unruly look. However, Michelle Orlendo, is changing that perception daily one head at a time. Michelle is seeing to it that as many women in Kenya transition and embrace the beautiful and natural look as possible.

Tired of chemically and heat treating her hair, which had lost volume, and inspired by the fact that African women were rocking their natural hair and slaying, the 23-year-old Michelle woman embarked on a journey of being a naturalista.

The big chop

Michelle Orlendo went for the big chop in July 2015, to the chagrin of many. She had shoulder-length, flowing heat-treated hair, an ideal look for many. As she began her journey slightly over a year ago (on 25th November, 2015), Michelle vowed to involve other women. She especially targeted young girls who would aspire to go natural but lacked the motivation and/or guidance.

The journey ahead was full of trials, criticism, moments of almost giving up and a lot of doubts. However, it began with the opening of a Facebook page dubbed “Nywele Chronicles”, (Nywele is hair in Swahili).

Michelle invited her friends to like the page initially. Only a few liked it, but the fan base gradually picked up through her consistency in giving what the audience wants.

The Nywele effect

A few months after her big chop, Michelle’s hair grew tremendously and ladies started asking questions. Michelle describes her hair as a reflection of her soul, and her hair was glossy and really kinky —in every sense of African amazing kinky.

Questions came pouring in, people wanted to know what Michelle applies, how she styles it and protective styles they could use. With every question came the realisation that she could start a blog. Michelle thought to move away from only posting pictures on her social media platforms, but also write reviews of the products she used and how she styled her hair.

michelle-orlendo-2From it’s inception, Nywele Chronicles gained a huge amount of followers who genuinely wanted a smooth transition from chemically treated hair to natural hair. Michelle became a hair consultant of some sort. Ladies would approach her to feel her hair and request her to cater to theirs the same way. Her glorious mane turned heads in school, Moi University, as people started calling her by her page’s name, Nywele Chronicles.

“It has not been an easy journey to keep my focus on updating my social media pages, getting the time to do tutorials amongst other things.” Michelle says. “I’d have given up were it not for my passion and the strong support system I have.” This is how Michelle Orlendo persevered through the challenges to get to the one year mark.

Aiming to encourage women to love their natural hair

Michelle hopes to have her own products that cater to African-textured hair in the market, in a span of less than 5 years. With a salon to her name and a degree in Trichology —a branch of dermatology that deals with the scientific study of the health of hair and scalp— a consultancy will come in handy.

With her experience, Michelle always looks at people’s hair and analyses it even before touching. She can easily tell hair that lacks moisture, too much heat treatment and malnourished hair.

Michelle Orlendo stays motivated by the fact that Nywele Chronicles will soon be a business Click To Tweet

Now in her final year studying Actuarial Science, Michelle Orlendo stays motivated by the fact that she will soon be turning Nywele Chronicles into a business. Aiming to encourage women to love their natural hair is her tag line. This is being actualised as Michelle is helping transitioning women to wear their natural look, and feel glamorous while at it, through Nywele Chronicles.

She further adds that the initiative has really helped build her confidence and esteem. Going natural has made Michelle appreciate herself holistically and opened a new window through which she views herself.

To everyone that wants to venture in the formally perceived ‘not-so ideal’ courses and activities Michelle Orlendo says;

“If you feel like the timing is right to do anything that you want to do, go ahead and do it. Forget what people will say and do it. There is no harm in trying. Do not be afraid of failure, keep trying.”

Want to see women you know featured on SLA? Tell us what amazing things women are doing in your communities here.

Amal Oumimoune: Stand out from the crowd by doing what you admire

amal oumimoune she leads africa
It’s always beneficial to stand out from the crowd by doing what you admire - Amal Oumimoune Click To Tweet

Amal Oumimoune is another Moroccan student running things. She’s in her fourth year studying business at ENCGA (Ecole National de Commerce et Gestion d’Agadir) —that’s National School of Trade and Commerce in English. As a #MotherlandMogul in the making, Amal has started making moves while in school.

With friends, she started an English club at ENCGA that helps other students practice English while developing leadership skills. Through this club, Amal has boosted her organisational skills and has come in contact with important personalities from all over the world.

Amal also started a Korean-Moroccan Association with fellow students which is bringing the Hallyu (Korean pop culture) wave to Morocco. On top of that, she’s a polyglot who speaks/understands 5 languages! Basically, if you’re a student, you should be like Amal Oumimoune.

Tell us about ENCGA’s English club, what are your plans to grow it in the next five years?

The ENCGA’s English club was created in 2014 by a group of English enthusiasts; it’s a space that gathers ENCGA students in order to practice their English and develop their debating and leadership skills through holding weekly talk sessions and also hosting international speakers to share their experiences.

Last year, we had the pleasure to host authors from the US and Singapore, and some exchange students from Guatemala and Brazil. Also, we had the chance to indulge in the company of two Fulbright exchange teachers.

I am so thrilled to be this year’s team leader! There are many plans I would like the club will accomplish. For example, the first “little free library: take a book and leave a book” in our university to encourage students to read more. Also, organizing leadership and writing workshops, as well as continuing hosting inspiring personalities.

The English club is from students to all the students so we work as a team and we welcome everyone’s suggestions and ideas.

Based on your experience at ENCGA, what tips do you have on hosting international personalities for local events?

When it comes to hosting international personalities having a wide network always works. Also, keeping an eye on every opportunity is quite important. If there’s someone in town, why not contact them and explain the whole concept of your organization?

Most people nowadays are open to sharing their ideas and experiences while discovering another culture and meeting people from different backgrounds. What matters the most is to stay updated and have the needed information about the person you’d like to host.

Amal Oumimoune shares her tips on working with embassies from her experience Click To Tweet

Why start a Korean-Moroccan Association? Is there a particular reason young people should want to learn Korean?

Korean culture is well promoted nowadays and many youth in my community wanted a space to share their passion for the land of morning calm. Since there are many people interested in this culture, we resolved into founding Hanmate the Korean-Moroccan Association in order to encourage cultural understanding through both education and entertainment.

Although there’s a lot of difference and distance between the two countries, we strive to bring their cultures closer. The Korean language is not widely spoken in Morocco; it’s always beneficial to stand out from the crowd by doing what you admire.

However, many young people desire to learn this language due to the Hallyu (Korean wave). This refers to the popularity of Korean entertainment such as TV dramas and pop music. The Hallyu wave gives consumers a glimpse of South Korea and makes them want to learn about every aspect there is, including the language.

amal-oumimoune2As you’ve partnered with the South Korean embassy in Morocco, what advice do you have for other young people looking to collaborate with embassies and international organizations?

In order to collaborate with embassies and international organizations, it is really important to build a notoriety and visibility for your organization. This starts from adopting an effective communication plan, to share all the amazing work your organization is doing.

It is always helpful to differentiate yourself from others by taking measurable risks and thinking outside the box. What matters the most is to work earnestly and being creative.

In this regard, we organized the first event of its kind in all Morocco, “Taste of Korea: the Korean cuisine contest”. This contest was the beginning of our partnership with the Korean embassy.

Besides, we had the opportunity to have a native speaker as a Korean teacher. That sort of worked as a tie between us and helped circulate information better. Overall, we are lucky since the Korean embassy is quite helpful and encouraging.

Tell us about the current project you’re working on. What kind of educational program(s) are you in the process of designing to encourage girls’ education?

The project that I’m currently working on is an educational program that will provide young girls with a place to express themselves and develop their potentials. Zahra Program will focus on four components; language, creativity, leadership and orientation.

Learning English can be very empowering, and allowing young girls to express their talents and emotions through artwork is very healing. Zahra Program’s mission is to empower and enable young girls to develop their skills and self-esteem and encouraging them to give back to their community by educating them in different aspects.

I’m really passionate about this project. As a young girl, I struggled with a lack of confidence and self-doubt. I was given the chance to be a part of Access program and that helped in shaping the person I am today.

I really want to provide as many girls as I can reach the same opportunity I’ve been given.

Amal Oumimoune: I really want to provide as many girls as I can the same opportunity I’ve been given Click To Tweet 

I’m assuming you’re multi-lingual, what’s your secret to learning/speaking many languages?

Indeed. I’m fluent in Arabic, French and English and I’m yet a work in progress in Korean and Spanish. The mystery of learning languages is actually to indulge in it, don’t confine yourself with textbooks and classes.

Just carry the language you’re learning wherever you are and be as creative as possible. You can’t separate language from the culture, so try discovering it either by tasting food or having foreign friends with whom you can practice the language.

I’ve always been driven by my curiosity and passion to explore everything that’s new. In times when that spark fades, I remind myself why I started or take a brief break to return with more energy.

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

Twitter Chat with Iman Mkwanazi: Building your brand while in school (Nov 10)

build your bran with iman

Your university years are an important time to lay the groundwork of your career and build your brand. Many people even choose to begin a side hustle while in school. This side hustle can become a full blown business or just work towards establishing your authority in a certain field.

While the idea of building a brand is great in theory, the practicalities of doing so can be daunting. We assure you it’s not too complicated. Building a brand consists of not acting a fool, and planning your moves. Whether you are looking to be a blogger, a model, an entrepreneur or simply be an authority in your field even before you receive your diploma, building your brand while in school  is essential to all your future endeavors.

Join us Thursday Nov. 10th for a twitter chat with South African entrepreneur, blogger & model, Iman Mwkwanazi. While studying for her BSc Honours, Iman was also hustling to co-found a construction company, build her modeling and blogging careers and establish herself as a creative director. Needless to say, it took lots of branding and planning ahead. She will be sharing her advice and processes for establishing her thriving brand while completing her studies.

Whether you are in school or not, this webinar is one you will not want to miss.

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • What it means to have a brand
  • Balancing school & your side hustle
  • Finding and networking with people in the right industry
  • Establishing your voice & authority early one
  • What to do when your studies and the industry you are going into don’t align

Webinar Details:

  • Date: Thursday November 10, 2016
  • Time: 7:00am New York City // 12:00pm Lagos // 1:00pm Johannesburg
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats

Help us spread the word:

Tune into #SLAChats on twitter Nov. 10 @ 11am GMT to learn from @ImanMkwanazi about building your #brand in school: Click To Tweet

build your brand

About Iman Mkwanazi

Iman Mkwanazi is a busy girl. As a Bsc Graduate, entrepreneur, blogger, model, creative director, influencer and speaker, she works with companies and brands to optimise their brand awareness through digital, content and social media marketing. She is also the co-founder of Mkweni Groundwork.

Mkweni Groundwork was founded two years ago and they are contractors for City Parks and Studio Six interior design. In the short time that the company has been around, it has been featured in Forbes Woman Africa and Iman and her partner Nene Mboweni  are Levi Pioneers Nation speakers.

Iman is also the Creative Director and contributor for online magazine; MadMash, which focuses on lifestyle, health, wealth and fashion. She most recently covered Africa Fashion Week for MadMash.

Iman has collaborated with various brands on an array of projects, including Puma, Spitz, and Styling for Mr. Price. Iman has also modeled for companies such as Edgars, Legit, Cell C, Adidas, Nike, Samsung and Foschini.


7 fashionable pieces to shop for in varsity for the office life

Start shopping for the office life while in university with these tips Click To Tweet

Most people who make the transition from being a student to a working individual know the truth. Contrary to the popular notion that it gets better once you can tweet “pay day”, the financial side of your life won’t get any easier for a while… Those first few months will have you catching a case while you wait for the bank’s notification.


With justifiable reason, companies that hire and place interns/trainees to low-earning entry-level posts expect them to dress in a way that’s not just fashionable but professional. School-leavers then face a huge challenge. How can you quickly adapt to the professional standards at the office while stuck with a very small rigid budget?

After struggling to put together a ‘formal’ outfit for my very first presentation during my first year of varsity, I made up my mind to start shopping smart. I have become one of those people who spend hours in one shop, mixing and matching outfits, trying on tens of clothing items.

Since then, I have learnt something new about shopping. It is fun and fabulous, but it is also a whole process on it’s own. Unless your budget stacks plenty of digits, you need to take your time and be strategic about it.

Following some research in my own closet and on trending fashion blogs, I have 7 dress ideas for just-graduated women.

1. Wide leg pants

Better known to me as palazzo pants. When I first spotted these in the market years ago, I didn’t think I could ever wear them. But when they came back in a whole variety of heavier fabric and colours, I couldn’t help myself. They had suddenly become more fashionable.

I loved and got this simple but gorgeous high waist black pair early this year and I have been Olivia Pope’ing successfully since. For the office, you can go for a normal button-up shirt and throw on a blazer, complete the look with a simple neck-piece and graceful heels.


Once you leave the office, you can ditch the shirt for a fun top and finish off the look with a pair of sandals or pumps.

MotherlandMogul Tip: This is the best time to play around with different fabrics, try to keep your selection light because heavy fabrics tend to formalise most outfits.

The benefit of owning a black pair of wide leg pants is that it makes it easier to play around with the colours of the top and shoes. Popular colour alternatives that are just as easy to transform between the two styles include beige, khaki, brown and rose gold.

If wide leg pants aren’t your style, you can opt for the newly popular paper bag waist pants or classic straight leg formal pants.

2. Black pump

I know a whole lot of girls that can testify that the black pump saved their lives, I know I can. Whether it is for the walk to the office or for school, this fashionable item can do it all. Not only are they durable if you take good care of them, but they are affordable and can be found almost everywhere.

Remember to give them a good wipe down every now and then. Also, keep them in a cool place, dirty or smelly pumps don’t do much for anyone.

7 dress ideas for just-graduated women navigating office dress codes Click To Tweet

3. Plain t-shirt

That is actually a men’s shirt (yes, that can be fashionable for ladies too). I had bought it as a gift for a friend, but I found myself falling for it so I got him something else instead. I would suggest you settle for colours like white, grey and black or any light shade.

If you can make any other bold colour work then by all means, go for it. You can finish off the shirt for both styles with dark accessories (depending on the shade of your shirt).


For the office, it helps to cut the shirt off way up top, a high-waist skirt should do the trick. For a more laid back look, pair the boyfriend jeans with walker boots or pumps instead of heels and if it tickles your fancy, throw a kimono over the shirt.

This look is especially convenient for when you have a casual occasion to attend after a short day at the office because you can quickly change out of the skirt into the jeans.

4. Court heels

Where do I start? I absolutely love courts! Whether they are floral, lace-ups or just plain, these babies are beautiful and fashionable. Once you find your ideal pair, you’ll find that they go well with almost every outfit you can scramble together.

When shopping for court heels, like with every other shoe, it is very important to shop your correct size! If you buy a size that’s too small for you, you might not have any toes after walking in them!

The truth is, that pointed little front can be quite cruel to your feet, if you give your toes little to no room for movement.

Did you know a delicate chiffon shirt is one of the easiest pieces to style? Click To Tweet

5. Chiffon shirt

Whether it is long sleeved or short, a delicate chiffon shirt is one of the easiest pieces to style. It is a very light piece of clothing so ideally, make sure you wear heavier bottoms with it. These type of shirts usually have some kind of detail along the neckline or collars so you need not worry much about accessorizing.

Any plain pencil skirt works with this shirt. To bring the fashionable look together, add in a bold pair of platforms or boots. Platform and boot heels are usually heavier than any other heels for obvious reasons and like I said, the heavier your bottom, the better.

7fashionable-image4For a casual look, switch the skirt for a blue denim. If your shirt has a lighter shade (between white and blushes) pair it with a lighter shade denim, and if it’s more solid and saturated, pair it with a darker denim. Finish the look off with a colourful pump or wedge.

6. Skinny scarf

Whether it is made into a tie, or a bow, or just hung casually around the neck, the skinny scarf is definitely a good investment. This very humble yet fashionable item works perfectly with almost anything you can think of. It is found in a wide variety of textures, colours and prints. This super skinny silk piece is one of the hottest in the fashion scene right now.

If you can’t find a skinny scarf, you can settle for an ultra slim tie or the fuller summer scarf. There are hundreds of tutorials online that show different ways to rock any type of skinny scarf. If you hopped onto Google right now, I promise you wouldn’t come up dry.

This very humble yet fashionable item works perfectly with almost anything Click To Tweet

7. Casual skirt

This is my absolute favourite, the playful skirt. This little number is perfect for budget-conscious young women because it looks great with stockings and boots for winter too.

For the office, I choose a very soft brown chiffon shirt and strappy heels, lace-ups are also good for this look. Although you can opt for any other heels, try to make sure they don’t cut your feet off, let your feet breathe!

7fashionable-image-5I pair the skirt with a bold burgundy short-sleeved turtle-neck for a flirty and fun look. Pair it with your All Stars or similar shoes and a cute backpack for a young clean finish.

So now you know! The next time you plan a shopping trip, be strategic about it, make the fitting room your friend and most important, take your time!