In Her Shoes: Dorothy Ghettuba

I was utterly inspired after reading about Dorothy Ghettuba, a daring African entrepreneur who left her job at a venture capital firm in Canada , packed up and moved to Kenya to follow her dreams and  work toward the creation of a major African entertainment company, called Spielworks Media. Dorothy Ghettuba believed that there was a great need for local media, talent and stories that represent the people in African entertainment derived from racial pride and cultural heritage. Ghettuba provides an uplifting tale of her journey and urges African youth to continue to dream and remained empowered.

 In her interview with “How We Made it in Africa” Ghetttuba describes the challenges  and lessons she experienced during her journey to success as a “baptism in fire” but enriching her with lessons she will forever remember. One of the lessons Dorothy Ghettuba learned was:”Giving up cannot be an option. If you fall down, because we do, you get up and go again.” After almost having her dream destroyed before ever coming off the ground due to lack of financial resources, Ghettuba looked to her inner-circle for support. Her message is :”people don’t buy into an idea, they buy into people.” She believes that no matter how impossible her dream seemed, people that believed and cared for her were willing to support her.  I encourage everyone to read about her amazing story and how this amazing African entrepreneur is building her brand and empire in the continent.

Check out the full article: How We Made It in Africa

photo taken from: Dorothy Ghettuba Twitter

In Her Shoes: Dentaa Amoateng

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Dentaa Amoateng: Female icon and African Women in Europe 2013 Award recipient

Dentaa Amoateng is an amazing trailblazing businesswoman that demonstrates African women’s ability to lead, multi-task and reach thousands of people internationally.  But, Amoateng’s most recent achievement was the recognition of her endless entrepreneurial contributions with the prestigious African Women in Europe (AWE) 2013 Award.

Amoateng’s sets an exemplary standard for young aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world. Amoateng,  30 year-old-entruprenear and businesswoman was born in Juaso, Ghana but moved to the United Kingdom at the young age of five. Since growing up in the UK, she dedicated her work to both celebrating Ghananian people and there achievements internationally. Dentaa Amoateng has proven to be something of a visionary and a female icon being the founder of the annual Ghana UK Based  Achievement (GUBA) Awards, manager of  the Ghana Black Stars Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan,  and a humanitarian supporting her charity that supports autistic children in the Ghana and the British-Ghanaian community.

This icon has achieved success in sports management,  medicine, business, humanitarianism and the list continues. Dentee Amoateng’s work cannot be stopped!  She has helped to empower African women all across Europe encouraging them to contribute to their homelands. Dentaa Amoateng is most certainly a well deserving  recipient of the African Women in Europe Award. In additions to her charity work, founding of the Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards, and managing Ghana Black Stars athlete she also devotes herself to the sick and to her family working as a pediatric nurse, and wife and mother.  There is absoultely no question that Dentaa Amoateng is an incredible role model to women everywhere. Ladies, be inspired! You, too can achieve great heights.

Sources:

Harvison, Anthony. “Dentaa Wins Prestigious African Women in Europe (AWE)2013 Award,” Buisness. My Joy Online.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Malehlohonolo Moleko at TEDxWomen

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“…I am not alone. I know there are hundreds of millions of women like me throughout the developing world who can achieve what I have achieved. We have the passion. We have the determination. Bring forth more partners and mentors like I received, and you’ll see a world where that gap between poverty and plenty closes more and more each day.”

Photo Credit: Coca Cola 

Women Entrepreneurs Drive Growth in Africa

Bethlehem Tilahun

The New York Times — Far too often, in the view of Africa’s budding female entrepreneurs, their continent is characterized as the recipient of aid that enables residents just to struggle by, and as a place that mistreats and marginalizes its women.

Late in 2010, after a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on sexual violence called that country the “rape capital of the world.” Last month, a South African politician named her own country the “rape capital of the world.”

Data analysis from Google shows that since 2004, the most common single term related to searches from the United States for “Africa” has been “AIDS.” This year, the charity Save the Children named Niger the “worst place to be a mother.” On the United Nations’ Web site, Africa is the only continent listed under “Issues.”

It was into this world, and against it, says Bethlehem Tilahun, that her shoe company SoleRebels was born.

“I kept hearing over and over the phrase ‘poverty alleviation,”’ said Ms. Tilahun, now a footwear mogul whose company grossed $2 million in sales this past year. “The media, preoccupied with a singular narrative about ‘Africa’ that missed the story of Africa — part of a larger spectrum of endless entities that have monopolized Africa’s image, our brand.”

With SoleRebels, she said proudly, “We’ve inverted the whole paradigm.”

Continue reading at The New York Times…

Shout Out To the Leading Ladies Network.

We just wanted to give a quick shout out to the Leading Ladies Network, a non-profit that provides leadership and personal development training for young women. The organization was founded by Yawa Hansen-Quao, a dynamic young leader that has been named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and inducted into British Council’s Pan-African Network of Emerging Leaders.

This organization has already trained dozens of women in Ghana’s high schools and colleges and we can’t wait to see the great work they will do in the future.

You can support the Leading Ladies Network by checking out their website or liking them on Facebook.

Naana Tennachie Yankey on Coccolily, Luxury, and What You Can Do With 10 Cedis

Naana Tennachie Yankey - The DesignerNaana Tennachie Yankey is a promising young designer who is quickly becoming a force in Ghanaian and Canadian fashion. Commonly known for her brand, Coccolily, she continues to demonstrate exceptional talent not only in her designs, but also in the fashion business.

Her entrepreneurial flair was doubly emphasized when she succeeded in a single-handed expansion of her brand’s product lines in two short years. Coccolily, which started off as just a clothing label in 2009, now counts for much more in the business. In 2011, she introduced her new line of luxury women’s handbags and then added yet another new line of cosmetics later that same year.

She had a few things to share when I caught up with her for a chat.

Learn your craft:

Although fashion had always been a part of her life growing up, Naana’s initial intention was not to end up with a career in the industry. Like many other little girls of her time, she hoped to become a lawyer or doctor in future. However, during her studies as a business major in the university, she took an internship that rekindled a love for the art she had long forgotten about. After her experience, she began to delve more into fashion as her passion for it grew tremendously. She decided to take some time out to learn her craft properly and soon she got better at it.

Coccolily

What you put in is what you get out:

Everyone who has achieved an amount of success in life will tell you that you need to work hard to achieve success, and Naana is no different. She stresses on hard work and great focus as essential to the success and health of any business.

When she started out at first, she had no extensive background or education in fashion. Some of her skills were gained while interning for Marc Jacobs during her undergrad years. Upon graduation, she moved to Montreal, Canada, to pursue fashion design at the Academy of Arts and Design and gained further experience working under Eve Gravel in Québec afterwards.

She stressed that the same process applied in every other situation. When you want something, you have to put in the effort it requires to get it.

Be efficient with your resources:

Naana also shared on the absolute importance of learning to be efficient with whatever resources are available to you in a given moment. Many people make the huge mistake of thinking they need large sums of money or capital in order to start a business. But the truth is you can actually start a business with very little. You only have to learn to be very efficient with the little resources you have and build on them.

She said, “If you are inefficient with 10 cedis worth of capital, you cannot be efficient with a 100 cedis and if you cannot do very well with a 100 cedis, you certainly cannot be exceptional with a million!”

Coccolily 2

Keep learning new skills:

Naana’s demonstration of solid branding skills over the past few years continues to shine through her success with Coccolily and the creation of yet another brand called The Fashion Preacher, which aims to project another dimension to her fashion prowess. This set to launch in the coming year.

She attributed all of her successes so far to God’s bountiful blessings and was quick to add the importance of putting God first in everything we did if we wanted to have fulfilment and satisfaction.

The Coccolily products are available in both stores of the Boutique 1861 in Montreal, myasho.com and the brand’s own online store. Visit www.coccolily.com to learn more about Naana and her latest collections, including her SS2013 collection, “Into the Exotic”, which showed at the Ghana Fashion & Design Week held recently in Accra.

Photo Credit: Coccolily

About the Author: Francesca Andoh is a style and career writer for The Savvy Madam. You can read more from her at http://francescaandoh.blogspot.com.

A Tale of Faith, Love, Life, & Betrayal! Nike Campbell-Fatoki Spins a “Thread of Gold Beads.”

Nike HeadshotWhile working in the field of international development and the municipal government for over a decade, Nike Campbell-Fatoki relentlessly pursued her passion for writing.  Born in  Lvov, Ukraine , Nike’s parents were medical students in the defunct USSR but she spent her formative years in Lagos.  Her time spent with her grandmother gave rise to her interest in stories. The stories  piqued her interest,  prompting her to ask more questions. She has just released her first book, Thread of Gold Beads, a historical fiction novel which chronicles the life of the daughter of the last independent king of Dahomey, present day Republic of Benin in West Africa during the French-Dahomey war of the late 1890s, her flight to South-Western Nigeria, and the challenges she faced adjusting to her new life.

In a chat with Afua Osei, Nike Campbell-Fatoki tells us a little about her background and the inspiration for her historical themed novel.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I truly enjoyed the arts, in particular literature, in school.  However, I was encouraged to pursue the sciences or social sciences and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Howard University, Washington DC. My interest in fostering sustainable development in Africa, prompted me to attain a Master of Arts degree in International Development from the School of International Service, American University, Washington DC.  I worked for several years in international development consulting firms managing overseas projects and recruiting consultants.  Then, I made a career move into the municipal government in the Washington DC area where I continue to work in the budget and finance division.  All this while, I began to weave the tale of Thread of Gold Beads.

What inspires your work? 
The number one thing that inspired me were my grandparents. My grandmother always shared with me her personal life stories and those of her own grandmother. She told me this story when I was 8 or 9 years old and the particular story stayed with me. I used those stories as a foundation and then wove this story together with so many other stories of women in my life to form this book.

Why do you believe it is important to tell these kinds of stories?
This story is about faith, love, life, and betrayal. These are emotions that we all experience. It’s important that people recognize that how you react to situations matters. That is what determines where you are in life. The main character in Thread of Gold Beads goes through so much negativity but she rises above it all. The message is that bad things happen to good people but we can all rise above it.

Thread of Gold Beads book cover

What advice do you have for young people looking to become writers?
I encourage people to write because you have a passion, mission, or a story to share. I personally went to several writing classes when I first started thinking about writing a book. It’s important that when you are starting your career as a writer or in another field that you never stop learning. You should read as many books as you can to learn about how others are telling stories and how you can improve your craft. When you are first starting, take advantage of any opportunity you can get to practice and develop relationships. I started writing as a kid and my sister was my first reader. I then became a writer for the church magazine and took advantage of any avenue I could find to write.

What projects are you currently working on?
The book was just released on Amazon and is also available for download to Kindle. I am working to have the book distributed in Lagos and Abuja. Right now, I am working a second book to discuss and share the social issues of our time. As writers, we have the special opportunity to share with readers the stories that are not being told or talked about. I believe we can do more to talk about injustices and unspoken issues that can be stopped if we discussed it openly.

Tell us about the road you’ve taken thus far
Focus and hard work.  With every position I’ve found myself and with every task I’ve been given I made sure that I learned the work and knew how to do it by myself. I’ve ensured that I could always take something from the position regardless of how difficult it proves to be.

What is the most rewarding part of being an author and writing this book?
The most rewarding part is being able to proudly say to my son: “yes I have finished this book” The message I want to share with him is that whatever you set your heart to do, with God and hard work you can do it. I am happy that through this book and my story I can hopefully empower other people to follow their dreams as well.

Watch the promo video for the novel “Thread of Gold Beads”

Originally posted at Bella Naija.

Photo Credit: Nike Campbell-Fatoki