On loving you: 5 powerful videos on self-love to begin the year with

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection.”- Buddha

Loving oneself is one of the most profound and yet also most difficult things to accomplish- it takes practice, patience, unlearning old ways of being and forming a new understanding of who you are as a person.

This is a journey I have personally been on for the longest time, I still find the need to remind myself to practice self-love even after reading and listening to tons of material on it. The truth is that practicing self-love is a lot like practicing good hygiene- it must become a daily ritual.

For those new to this incredible journey or for those looking for a slight reminder of what it means to love oneself, here are a few TEDx talks to inspire you, to love you.

Caroline McHugh: The art of being yourself

The message from Caroline in this talk is simple; your individuality is your greatest gift. You weren’t put on earth to be a cheap imitation of anyone else, you were put here simply to be yourself.

Caira Lee: I search for it blinded – the power of self-love and self-esteem

In this TEDx talk, Caira Lee, an award-winning slam poet uses her gift teach us about the power of self-love through her own personal story.

Marisa Peer: “I’m not enough” – The biggest disease affecting humanity

In this talk, Marisa Peer opens our eyes to the powerful connection that exists between thoughts about ourselves, our health, wealth and quality of life. You are enough. Pretty enough, intelligent enough, talented enough, strong enough, courageous enough…

You are enough.

Searching for love to escape ourselves Hayley Quinn

This wonderful talk by Hayley Quinn helps us realize that romantic love and the pursuit of it can be a form or escapism, simply an excuse not to deal with the real issues we have with ourselves.


Niko Everett: Meet yourself: A user’s guide to building self

“You need to meet yourself. If you could meet yourself, you might really like her!”

Allow me to finish this article off with a radical thought from one of my favorite books, “The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz”- In this book, the author uses the analogy of a magical kitchen to illustrate the importance of self-love.

He compares self-love to having a magical kitchen inside of us, if you had a magical kitchen in which you could produce all the most delicious meals you can think of, you’d never starve but most importantly, you’d never allow anyone to dictate to your being you while using food as the reward.

No one would come and offer you food in exchange for control over your life, your habits, and your decisions. However, if the situation were reversed, and you had no food, you’d allow anyone and everyone to control everything about your life.

This is the same with self-love; when you have a deep love and respect for yourself, you won’t let others control you, use you or even abuse you. A person might come offering love in exchange for control but you won’t let them in.


“But what is going to happen if you are starving for love, if you don’t have that love in your heart, and someone comes and says, “You want a little love? You can have my love if you just do what I want you to do.”

If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention.

Your heart is like that magical kitchen. If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need.

There’s no need to go around the world begging for love: “Please, someone love me. I’m so lonely, I’m not good enough for love; I need someone to love me, to prove that I’m worthy of love.”- A mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz.

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5 Powerful TED Talks every MotherlandMogul must watch

Getting addicted to TED is a habit that would not only spur you to greatness but would keep your mind bubbling with ideas. If you only watch TED videos once in a blue moon, it’s time to make a switch and come to the winning team. TED seeks to share great ideas with the entire world through storytelling and sharing insights. 

With the many TED Talks I’ve watched, it’s been hard to choose my favorite. However, those I liked were by women who have ignited my passion and encouraged me to chase my dreams.

The following videos have left me sprawling with laughter, and I must tell you, they are the top TED Talks that every Motherland Mogul should watch.

1. Natasha Case and Freya Estreller –Female and Millennial Entrepreneurship

If you think you’ve reached the peak of your entrepreneurial journey, this video is definitely for you. In this TED Talk, two co-partner entrepreneurs talk about their journey starting a distinct ice cream brand – Cool Haus.

With over four thousand stores in the United States alone, Natasha and Freya are making a huge impact and taking a fair slice of the market. In this talk, they talk about their experiences navigating the business world as female CEO’s and the changing trends of women in business.

Though a lot of data shows that there is still work to be done in bringing more women to the top of the corporate ladder, some women such as Natasha and Freya are already slaying!

3. Sara Nuru  -Finding your Identity

Do we get to choose what we do without existence? In this TED Talk, Sara presents a strong message of an identity of how we can make a choice on positive living. As a model and an Ethiopian activist, Sara has spent her life bringing impact to young children in Ethiopia.

Her talk is both insightful and inspiring. She shows us that nothing stops us from being who we truly are if we dare to believe.

“Who you are right now might not be who you will be in the next five or ten years, sometimes all you need is a breathing space, to step back and look at your life” @therealsaranuru Click To Tweet

3. Whitney Thore – Living without Shame

No one can achieve much without a healthy self-esteem. Having self-confidence and loving yourself should be something we strive for every day.

Whitney is bold, powerful and very unlike any other speaker you have heard before. She spares no ground in sharing her experience of Obesity and it’s grappling effect in her life.

She dealt with shame, something we all have experience in one way or the other. Using emotional intelligence, Whitney keeps you captivated with her story of self-confidence.

At the end of the Talk, you are left with one lesson: learn to love yourself because nothing changes until you do!

4. Yvonne  Orji – The Wait is Sexy

You may not agree with everything Yvonne says but this girl knows how to work her space! She knows how to knead her dough. Yvonne is audacious in her choice of waiting until marriage and she explains her reasons for staying true to her stand.

According to Yvonne, we all have to sacrifice short-term comfort to get a long-term quality relationship. This principle can be applied to everything including business and personality.

When making decisions, we should consider principles such as compromise, purpose and taking a stand for what you believe in. Whatever you’re working towards will definitely be worth it.

“The wait is powerful, disciplined and focused. The wait keeps the main thing, the main thing.” @YvonneOrji ‏ Click To Tweet

5. Courtney Ferrell – Girl Up! The Secret to the Extraordinary Life

This has to be my absolute best video! From the moment she walks on stage, Courtney keeps you wanting more. She cleverly engages the audience through picking one random person who she delivers her message through.

Courtney’s intimate yet personal talk carried a strong message for women and girls. She believes these are the key to development in every society. Sometimes, all we need is to be who we are and say what we believe in.

Though these are just a collection of some of my favorite talks. There are many more TED Talks that will inspire you, challenge you and expose you to many more great ideas.

From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to film director Wanuri Kahiu, there are a lot of Motherland Moguls who will definitely set you on the path to slaying.

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10 more TED talks by African women that will inspire you

siyanda ted talk

In January, we shared 10 TED talks that will inspire you this year. As we’re already midway through the year, we figure inspiration levels may need a reboost. So, here are even more TED talks by African women running things that will remind you how awesome we all are at winning.

1. Siyanda Mohutsiwa

Siyanda Mohutsiwa is a 22 year old blogger and writer from Botswana using the Internet to pursue her pan-African dreams. She is the person behind the #IfAfricaWasABar hashtag that went viral gaining over 60,000 tweets in July last year. Siyanda’s TED talk is a funny look into how young Africans are using the Internet, particularly through Twitter to get to know each other better.

2 Kechi Okwuchi

Kechi Okwuchi is has achieved a whole lot in her lifetime. She survived the Sosoliso plane crash in 2005 that took the lives of 60 of her schoolmates who were flying home for the holidays. Kechi used her second chance at life to uncover her passions and went on to graduate magna cum laude from university. Her story inspires us to know ourselves and our vision. To remember that scars that don’t define us and that our passions can make our dreams a reality.

3. Achenyo Idachaba

Achenyo Idachaba’s idea turned a plant associated with death and destruction to a source of lifelihood. In 2009, Achenyo left the United States to relocate to Nigeria where she put to life her concern for sustainable development in the country. She took the water hyacinth, a plant that clogs many Nigerian waterways and found a way to dry and weave its stems, transforming the plant into ropes that make pens, purses, tableware and much more.

4. Kakenya Ntaiya

As a young Maasai woman, Kakenya Ntaiya already did things that no one else in her community had. She bucked gender expectations, negotiating with her father to stay in school, getting the male elders to support her to go to university in the United States and returning to set a girls’ school in her community. Kakenya’s story reminds us that when there’s a will, there will always be a way.

5. Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich is the co-founder of Ushahidi and iHub. Ushahidi is a Kenyan open-source software used globally that collects and maps out information while the iHub is a collective tech space in Nairobi. In her TED talk, Juliana shares how she and her friends developed BRCK, a service that offers stronger Internet connectivity specifically designed for African needs such as power outages.

6. Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh is an activist who regularly reports on the going-ons of the Kenyan parliament. She started the blog Mzalendo that shined a light into the goings-on in the parliament, bringing citizens closer to their government at a time when what went on in the Kenyan parliament was secretive. Here she gives insight into her heroic work as an activist.

7. Kah Walla

Kah Walla is a Cameroonian entrepreneur, activist and political leader. She is also the first woman to run for president in Cameroon. Kah has worked in developing solutions to encourage economic growth and democracy in her country. It doesn’t get more inspiring than listening to the words of a pioneer.

8. Panashe Chigumadzi

Panashe Chigumadzi is a writer and storyteller from Zimbabwe. Her debut novel, “Sweet Medicine” is highly acclaimed and she has produced a documentary, “Africa’s Upstarts”. Here, Panashe reminds us that stereotypes can shape the way even we view ourselves. While this makes them hard to shake off, technology can change that by more equally distributing power that Africans can use to their advantage.

9. Jepchumba

A digital artist and founder of the African Digital Art Network, Jepchumba is a role model for working where your passions lie. At TEDxEuston, Jepchumba says her entire life is based online and reveals that Africa’s digital potential is hidden submerged under the surface just waiting to rise.

10. Lindiwe Mazibuko

Lindiwe Mazibuko was the youngest parliamentary leader and the first black woman to be the Leader of the Opposition in South Africa. In her talk, Lindiwe gives her reasons why young Africans in the Diaspora should return to work in civil service in their respective countries. Lindiwe reminds young people not to run away from politics and find ways to give back to our countries for the better.

10 TED talks by African women that will inspire you this year

Chimamanda’s Danger of a Single Story remains the most popular TED Talk on Africa of all time. The talk boasts more than 9 million views on the TED website and 1 million+ views on YouTube.

I researched other African women sharing great insight on the TED stage and found 10 of the best that was produced in 2015. Here are 10 African women who gave inspiring Ted Talks last year:

Memory Banda

At 18, I was most concerned with getting the latest Iphone. Memory Banda on the other hand, successfully influenced the Malawi parliament to raise the legal marriage from 15 to 18. After watching her sister get pregnant at 11, Memory vowed to defy the traditional practice of kusasafumbi, a practice in which young girls are forced into marriage once they begin menstruation.

Now an avid girl’s rights activist, Memory shows a glimpse of her strength and resilience in this passionate speech about girls right to choose at the TEDWomen 2015 conference.

Taiye Selasi

Discounted by some as a “First World Problem”, Taiye’s Selasi asks the question, “Where are you from?”  in reference to migration around the world.

Taiye has lived in four continents, and her critically acclaimed book “Ghana Must Go,” details the complexity of human identity.

MaameYaa Baofo

Although Nollywood has established itself as an industry to be reckoned with in Africa, many African parents are still unlikely to be thrilled with a child actively choosing acting as a desired profession. MaameYaa Baofo, a New-York based Ghanaian actress, is also gifted orator.

In this talk, she uses her experience of pursuing acting despite discouragement from others to discuss the importance of being your authentic self without apology.

 Zodidi Jewel Gaseb

Zodidi is a Namibian woman who discusses the impacts of Western beauty ideals on women through her personal journey of wearing her hair natural. She was inspired to grow out her naturally kinky hair after she realized that her daughter perceived her long flowy extensions as the standard of beauty.

She challenges negative stereotypes about black hair in this short but poignant video:

Yawa Hansen-Quao

“Your voice is your Power” is the key message of this inspiring video by Ghanaian born and US raised Yawa Hansen-Quao, the leader of the Leading Ladies Network (LLN).

Her talk aligns with the ethos of the LLN, an organization dedicated to encouraging young women to participate in entrepreneurship and leadership.

Mallence Bart-Williams

Malence is the founder of Folorunsho, a Not-for-profit organization that she says is “not a charity”.  Mallence believes charities in Africa foster the rhetoric of poverty and dependency on the West.

She briefly explores the impact of post-colonialism on African countries as the impetus for her collective which connects a group of street boys aged 14 – 20 living in the slums of Freetown, Sierra Leone Lion Base and encourages them to be self-sufficient through creativity:


Ola Orekunrin

Becoming one of the youngest medical doctors in England at the age of 21 was just the tip of the iceberg for Ola Orekunrin’s promising career. She went on to create The Flying Doctors initiative, West Africa’s first emergency air ambulance service.

The success of her initiative earned her a New Voices Fellow at the Apsen Institute and a Young Global Leader title by the World Economic Forum in 2013In this TEDxTalk, she address the sexism women in business and positions of power experience, despite their noteworthy achievements.

Afua Hirsch

An experienced journalist, Afua Hirsch is the social affairs and education editor for Sky News. In this refreshingly honest video, Afua asserts that we do not live in a post-racial society as there are still several stereotypes associated with blackness.

She refutes the popular “ I don’t see colour” rhetoric by explaining that we cannot transcend racial tension and microaggressions without having honest conversations about race.

Ekua Armah

Ekua was a senior at the University of Southern California majoring in health promotion and disease prevention students at the time of this speech.

As a public and women’s health educator, Armah discusses using social media as a transformative tool to enhance women’s lives.

Salima Visram

Visram is the founder of the social enterprise, Solour Backpack. The problem: school children in certain rural areas in Kenya do not have access to lights and electricity to complete their school assignments, thus creating a vicious cycle of poverty.

To address this issue, the backpack company leverages the power of the sun by outfitting their backpacks with solar panels which provides electricity to the school children at night. In this TedxTalk, Visram discusses children’s inability to stay in school and the work we can do to prevent this.

What were some of your favourite speeches in 2015? Do you plan on giving a speech or TED Talk this year? Do share with the community.