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Refresh Issue 2016

Celebrating Women of African Heritage



10 women share tips on how to stay motivated and words of wisdom they swear by.

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Afroelle Magazine is a monthly digital publication celebrating and empowering women of African heritage in Africa and the Diaspora. FOUNDER & EDITOR

Patricia Miswa PUBLISHER



Photographer: Makhfou Ndiaye Model: Isseu Dior Makeup & Styling: Erica Samm Afroelle Magazine is published by Afroelle Media copyright Š 2016 All rights reserved.







SUBMISSIONS If you have a story idea or would like to share your wisdom or insights with women globally email with „Submission‟ on the subject line. Do you know a phenomenal woman impacting their community or making a difference in their field? Simply email their bio and links to their work to for a possible feature in our upcoming issue.

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REFRESH ISSUE 13 Monthly Gift Guide 14 2016 Book Recommendations 16 Spotlight On: Roe Nelle 18 Light‟s, Camera, Action! 22 Patricia „ The Black Pearl ‟ Apolot 24 Conversation with Dr.

Tlaleng Mofokeng

30 Hyasintha Ntuyeko with Starting Small But Dreaming Big 35 Focus on Black Foodie 40 April Jackson 47 Refresh Special Feature

INSIDE 10 women share tips on how to stay motivated and words of wisdom they swear by. Pg. 47







appy February! We‟re excited to usher in a the month with a brand new issue. Being the first issue of the year, in our special feature, we asked 10 women from different professional backgrounds to share with us some of their New Year traditions, personal and professional goals and share tips on how we can stay motivated throughout the year. In this issue, creator of An African City, Nicole Amarteifio, talks to us about the success of season 1 of her web series and what‟s next for the show. Read about the reigning Ugandan female kickboxing champion, Patricia Apolot, as she opens up about her triumphs , challenges and her mission to change the face of female kickboxing in Uganda and beyond. We also chat with Reproductive Justice activist, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng , and she voices her thoughts on feminism, sex positivity and body positivism. Find out about Black Foodie, a platform that explores food through Black lens by spotlighting the best of African, Caribbean and Southern Cuisine. Discover our stories, culture, traditions and flavors. In our business feature, BBC’s Apprentice star, April Jackson reveals some of the lessons she‟s learnt while starting up her restaurant venture Three Little Birds. Plus, we‟ve put together a Self-Love Gift Guide featuring amazing gifts to encourage you to treat yourself during this month of love. We hope you enjoy this issue and share it with the women (and men) in your life! Till next time, I leave you with the words of Ijeoma Umebinyuo , "Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don't stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start."

Happy reading!

Founder and EIC

Book of the Month 20 Beautiful Women is a collection of personal short stories from 20 more authors, speakers, and life coaches from all over the world who are bonding together for the common goal of sisterhood and to transform women from the inside-out.


Gift Guide Treat yourself to some amazing Africa-inspired products.

2016 Book Recommendations

Compiled by Ezibota members

Ezibota is a multi-media platform tailored for the African diaspora. Home to over 200 members, Ezibota is designed for the community to be able to share stories, ideas, and resources with one another. Ezibota serves as a protected platform that hosts discussions, events, and activities allowing young people to diversify the African narrative. Founded by two African women, the company understands the importance of empowering women as key to creating lasting legacy. Through the combined efforts of inspired individuals and organizations alike, Ezibota believes that a connected and empowered global, African community is not only possible but inevitable. As online community builders, Ezibota will change the way young Africans interact with their identity, heritage, and one another."

An African City‟s Esosa E. To Star In African Superhero Film Executive Produced By Tim Reid Esosa E, best known for her role as Ngozi in the hit international TV and web series An African City, has been cast as the lead actress in the upcoming film Rise of the Orisha, written and directed by Nosa Igbinedion and executive produced by veteran actor, producer, and director Tim Reid. The film is about Adesuwa (Esosa E) a shy barmaid struggling to survive in the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, who has her world tossed upside down when she discovers she is the reincarnated fiery goddess of storms called Oya. Rise of the Orisha, will be the first of the trilogy of films that develops the group of Orisha superheroes. The story is a part of a shared fictional universe that features a range of ancient African deities, known as Orisha who are represented as modern day superheroes. The shared Orisha universe will include stories told across various mediums, beginning with Yemoja: Rise of the Orisha a web series that will serve as a precursor to the feature film. The Orishas came from the folklore of the Yoruba people from Nigeria, and in the 21st century, and they are followed by millions across the world. No concrete dates are set for production yet. Nosa Igbinedion, Creator and Director of Rise of the Orisha, who birthed the idea for this franchise which he launched with the short film Oya, Rise of the Orisha, is focused on making afro-futuristic movies. Nosa says, “It‟s a huge responsibility to take this ancient culture of Orisha and portray them onscreen; we are trying to make these supernatural deities relatable to

audiences while staying true to the initial mythology.” “I have always wanted to play a superhero, or take on a role that would demand physical training, so being cast in this role is a dream come true. What excites me the most about the world that Nosa created is that he is using African mythology as the foundation. It‟s a narrative we have never seen on the big screen and I feel privileged to be a part of it.” says Esosa E, Star and Producer of Rise of the Orisha. - BRENDA IBARAH

Spotlight On

independent artist/songwriter from Toronto Ontario

Roe Nelle

My first musical experience started in church as a young child but I wouldn't say my love genuinely grew for it until I was in my early teens where I started to really express myself through music and my craft. My musical journey has been pretty bitter sweet in the sense that I have been in an on and off relationship with it as a career for some time. I decided in 2011 that I was going to pursue my music as a career but have actually really committed to myself and my craft in late 2014 to early 2015. I'm so old school so many of my influences came from the 90's music from the likes of Lauryn Hill, Nas, Foxy Brown, Jay Z and 2Pac. I attribute everything to my sound, as in individuality, experience, emotion, fear, versatility, perspective and knowledge. I am so afraid of being vulnerable directly with people but with my music I am 100 percent vulnerable, which is kinda a catch 22 because eventually people will listen and I will be unmasked. I guess the difference is the art doesn't judge, its a free expression. I always find it hard to "explain" my music just like sometimes we find it hard to explain feelings. I'm not just one genre or sound. Its art and I am an artist and yes there are some who paint one particular type of picture but I feel like I am so experienced and seasoned that I find myself tapping into every and anything. Sometimes I don't think people will understand it and chances are not everyone will but that's how it goes with some of the finer things in life. I guess id describe myself by saying one must have an acquired taste. My biggest challenge in my career was comprehending that its okay to be different, to be so crazy about a dream and goal and to want something so bad and be willing to make certain sacrifices to

achieve milestones regardless what that looks like to others. The biggest lesson I have learned along my journey is that worrying about how my success and drive to attain my goals affects the comfort of others is such a waste of time. I have learned that timing is everything and there is no stopping, you have to keep going no matter what. You also have to believe 100 percent in you and your craft.

I am currently working on a project that will be titled "pieces of me" which will showcase my versatility and familiarize those who are not yet familiar with myself, my voice and my art. My words of encouragement to anyone who wants to pursue a music career is to grind, believe, network and always create

Keep updated with Roe Nelle through Instagram @roe.nellemusic

Light’s, Camera, Action! Season 2 of “An African City” is here!

The Ladies of “An African City” are back and Afroelle‟s Erica Ayisi chats it up with Nicole Amarteifio, creator of “An African City” about the success of season 1 and what‟s next for Accra‟s five fabulous single ladies. Written by Erica Ayisi


ana Yaa, Sade, Ngozi, Makena and Zainab are back on the scene in Accra, Ghana with new adventures, romances and challenges- but Season 2 wouldn‟t be possible without the creative wits of Nicole Amarteifio-the brainchild of “An African City.” As executive producer, creator, writer and director, Amarteifio is excited for fans to watch Season 2 and perfectly fine with her web series being dubbed “The African Sex And the City.” “The original “Sex and The City” was so addictive” Amarteifio explains. “But instead of New York City, I thought it would be nice to see the same kind of story lines in a city like Accra. Why Accra? It‟s my home. Some fans don‟t like that we are "the African version of" something. But, I‟m OK with it. I was inspired by the show. I guess the ultimate goal though is for “An African City” to have its own voice and it does. We capture the life of five women in a way that is rarely depicted in the media, if not at all.” The central plot of five single women returning home to Africa in search of a new life carries a heavy weight. African living isn‟t for the faint of heart. Aside from their messy love lives, our lovely ladies experienced authentic

At the end of the day, creatives need to be able to make a business out of their art otherwise it is just not sustainable.

challenges of third world living within an emerging metropolitan city. Amarteifio‟s Ghana girls aren‟t immune to inflated rent prices juxtaposed with intermittent running water and electricity, suffocating traffic and high gas costs. Most of the cast wears natural hair, where overseas the look may be considered “too African” and ironically in Africa considered “too Western”-a dichotomy Amarteifio feels can be perplexing to depict on screen. “That‟s a burden that many TV producers from the African Diaspora face, they are not allowed to just entertain. I am not a historian. Not an anthropologist. Not a health practitioner. I am a TV producer who, ultimately, set out to entertain.” When Sade went looking for her missing dildo vibrator at the Customs Department of Tema Port and Nana Yaa had to check her boyfriend on his condom etiquette in Season 1, viewers were instantly exposed to an unconventional dialogue on the sexuality of African woman. A notion seldom explored in African film. Sugar daddies and sugar babies are real in Africa and not everyone is ashamed of their dirty deeds. Needless to say, these highly educated, fashionforward, born abroad babes are westernized. Amarteifio says getting that multifaceted voice on the screen is intentional.

“Globally, there is a double standard for men and women when it comes to sex. Whether one wears a hijab or a thong bikini, I hope they do so in a selfconfident way - in a way in which they own their own sexuality and sensuality. This is a global issue, not just an African one.” Can owning one‟s sexual freedom suffice as mindless entertainment? Yes. The proof is in the numbers. There are over 1 million views on Season 1 of AAC‟s YouTube page. What can fans expect from Season 2? Amarteifio says stay tuned. “There is nothing that happens on the show that hasn‟t happened to me or a friend or a friend of a friend. I people watch all the time. I love hearing people‟s stories. That‟s what makes the show.” There are literally thousands of comments following each episode

of the show. One watcher says it “resonates with women everywhere” and another writes the series off as “condescending, pompous, and pretentious.” Amarteifio says she loves the irony of it all. “I do have some Ghanaians who stop me and say the women complain too much. I say in response, "you mean, like how you are complaining to me right now?" We receive emails from Korea to Italy to Rwanda; I think women around the world can relate to when Charlotte (from “Sex And the City”) said, "I‟ve been dating since I was 15! Where is he?" On the set of “An African City”, Nana Yaa (played by MaameYaa Boafo) had to say the line, "Sex has been great. It‟s love - real love - that seems so unattainable." When I was directing her I remember telling her, "This line is for all the single

women out there. Say this for them." It‟s been nearly 2 years since fans have been able to enjoy the fine threads adorned by the actresses, as well as the topnotch Afro beats accompanying the show. Amarteifio wants AAC fans to know Season 2 is available for purchase on their new platform. “At the end of the day, creatives need to be able to make a business out of their art - otherwise it is just not sustainable. It‟s beyond a show. It‟s a movement.”

Find “An African City” Season 2: Find Erica Ayisi Facebook: Twitter: @akosua0906

Patricia ‘ The Black Pearl ’ Apolot

Boxing Her Way Through A Man‟s World WRITTEN BY BRENDA IBARAH

At only 25, Patricia Apolot is the reigning Ugandan female kickboxing champion. She also holds the World Kickboxing Federation title, which is the first title to be held by a Ugandan female kick boxer on an international level. Besides kickboxing, she also enjoys taekwondo, football, and boxing but it‟s kickboxing that has her heart. Afroelle‟s Brenda caught up with the aggressive, multi-talented sportswoman to talk about her passion. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX It is raining non-stop but I still make it to Patricia‟s house on time. She opens the door, half asleep and seems surprised that I made it. She invites me into her living room and tells me to make myself comfortable. She offers to make me a cup of coffee and disappears into the kitchen. As I wait for her to return, I take in the room. There are boxing gloves, sneakers and belts strewn across the floor. On the white walls are taped photographs of her during training sessions and kickboxing matches. When she returns with the coffee, she apologizes for the mess, „I‟m always too tired from the training when I come home‟ she says. Handing me my coffee, she asks me to join her at the dining table where we sit. After several weeks of intense training, Patricia is prepared for her upcoming match which is due in a few days. She has been training tirelessly with her coach in a gym where she is the only female. „It‟s tough being the only girl in the gym but I know my way around‟. Raised by her grandmother in a household full of boys, Patricia learnt how to fend for herself at an

early age. „I had to fight just to get food!‟ she says and laughs. She was also often bullied by other kids at school and this helped her learn how to look out for herself. When she finally moved to the city to live with her mother, Patricia had no idea that her experiences in the village would lead her on a least expected path. Though her mother had brought her there to finish her studies, Patricia was quickly lured by the sports world. Many people had complimented her on her physique and encouraged her to try out sports. And so she tried out football, taekwondo, boxing until she finally settled for kickboxing. Initially her mother discouraged her because she felt that kickboxing was too violent but after seeing how determined Patricia was, she let her be. With her mother‟s blessing, Apolot picked up the boxing gloves and never looked back.

and sexual harassment. „If it wasn‟t for my determination to prove people wrong, I would have given up myself‟ she confesses. She believes that the only way to end this bias is if more people were more supportive. „I don‟t expect the government to do much about the situation. It‟s up to us as the people to change things, we are the real government after all‟.

Despite all these challenges, Patricia is determined to change the face of female kickboxing in the country and beyond. „I want to see more women join kickboxing. That‟s the only way we can change society‟s perception towards us‟. Her dream also includes creating opportunities for the underdog female kick boxers who she says remind her of herself when she had just started out. „If Five years, and seven victories later, „Black Pearl‟ someone hadn‟t given me the as she is popularly known in the kickboxing opportunity to fight my first match, I circles, is the national female kickboxing wouldn‟t be here today.‟ she recalls. „I champion. She also recently won the World want to do the same for someone else‟. Kickboxing International title after knocking out Hungarian Serbian Ivana Mirkov. She is the first When she is not training or fighting, Ugandan female kick boxer to win outside Apolot spends her time teaching Africa. But for Patricia, this is only the physical education in schools or beginning. She believes in the impossible and is working as a personal trainer. She is determined to change the face of female passionate about promoting physical kickboxing in Uganda and beyond. However, fitness in her community and in the she confesses that there are many challenges country. especially for female kick boxers. „People don‟t The rain has long since stopped and it‟s take us seriously. No one wants to see a time to go. I wish her the best in her woman doing what is supposedly a man‟s upcoming match but I doubt if she sport. And because of that we don‟t get the needs it. She doesn‟t seem nervous at same attention or support like the guys. And even the few people who try to help sometimes all. In all her five years of kickboxing, want something in return, something sexual. It she has lost only one match, and that was her first match. She has won all her is very frustrating‟. Many of the girls Patricia fights ever since and she is confident started with have quit the sport due to unfavorable conditions like lack of sponsorship that she will win this one too.

Conversation with

Reproduction Justice Activist

Dr.Tlaleng Mofokeng A graduate from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng has always had an interest in women‟s health. She runs a practice, which concentrates on sexual and reproductive health for individuals and couples. She is also an activist for reproductive justice and in the process of opening a medical aesthetic practice and spa. She chats with Afroelle‟s ASHLEY MAKUE about her journey in feminism and reproductive justice.

Many children always say they want to grow up to be doctors but only a few of those people actually become doctors, did you always want to be a doctor? How did you know that it was more than just a childhood dream? That is indeed true, especially being a black child, we grew up in a time when doctors where some of the most respected members of our society and even as a young child you were always seen to have ambition if you answered with doctor, lawyer or accountant.. I have always had the inquisitiveness into medicine and the empathy required to be a good medic- even though I didn‟t think I would become a doctor- I knew in my heart of hearts that I was meant to be a doctor.

You are an activist for reproductive justice, can you please tell us what that is and why it is so important to you? I am a medical doctor in private practice and I dedicate my work to impacting positively on individual lives, shifting the norms and attitudes (often cultural in the context of the black child and women) by empowering girls and women with the knowledge through comprehensive sexual health education to understand all their rights and specifically their reproductive rights and to understand how their bodies work. I am a member of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition and my involvement in the Coalition is as a service provider and activist. The mission is to promote and protect physical, sexual and reproductive health and rights, including decriminalization of sex work, access to safe termination of pregnancy, voluntary fertility management, gender and nongender affirming interventions through advocacy, social mobilization, research, monitoring and surveillance of implementation of the applicable policies. I have worked in both public and private hospitals and most of the rotations that I enjoyed were those in the primary health facilities for example community clinics,

emergency departments and obstetrics and gynecology. By default, most of the patients that present at these facilities are either women who themselves are ill or they are bringing their sick children. It was during this time that I realized that there are many social constructs and health system failures that contribute immensely to the poor health outcomes of women for example; unsupported pregnancy, coercive reproduction, high HIV incidence among girls and women, late presentation to clinics for termination of pregnancy due to lack of information, lack of compliance to contraception, malnutrition and poor school performance due to lack of financial support for children and a general lack of understanding on how the female body works. Why do women, especially from impoverished backgrounds, continue to struggle to access and carry out their reproductive rights? From the latest statistics around maternal health it is clear that poor women in South Africa have a much higher chance of poor pregnancy outcomes, more likely to die in childbirth and from preventable complications of labor. When a woman has no money or resources to support her choices she is vulnerable. Private healthcare is only affordable to the minority of women.

“ I want to live in a world where women have true autonomy over their bodies, time, intellect and economic resources to be truly liberated.” We rely heavily on the government to live up to the constitution and provide services and its failures are detrimental to women‟s health. The patriarchal society means that women and girls remain the default for domestic chores, child rearing and elderly care at the expense of school attendance or work. It means that we are less economically active therefore have limited and sometimes no financial freedom. How important is choice? Choice is everything. Informed choice is even more important. But choice as an abstract notion isn‟t enough. I want to live in a world where women have true autonomy over their bodies, time, intellect and economic resources to be truly liberated. Our rights need to urgently translate into equality amongst all genders and abilities. We have some good legislations for example, the choice of termination of pregnancy act, and in theory the act provides women with a choice however what good is a piece of legislation when the intended benefactors do not know the details of the choice provided for in law, do

not know timelines for certain procedures and when to present to clinics for services? When the very clinics which are meant to offer the services are allowed to die a slow and quiet death? We have to engage the research, practice evidence based medicine, improve sexual health education content in schools especially and actively do policy analysis and become true activists in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and rights so that women have the information they need to make informed choices. Do you identify as a feminist or womanist? I am a feminist. And I can say that I am a womanist in terms of Alice Walker‟s definition of womanism. Please tell us about your feminism. I was raised by a strong-willed, determined and successful mother who reared my brothers and I using the same gloves. But of course I was aware of the deeply patriarchal society outside of my home and what too stood out for me was

economic inequality. Being a medical doctor I have seen some bad things humans can do to other humans; rape and violence are amongst the worst. I am troubled by the perpetuation of rape culture and gender based violence in society. I speak to girls, women and feminist allies from all walks of life to reenergize the battle for gender equality and reproductive justice. I dedicate my time to amplifying the feminist voice and fighting back the deliberate narrow narrative that portrays black women as eternally voiceless, powerless and not deserving of respect. I grew up listening to mostly hip hop and yet now I can‟t even sing along to some of the songs because of the misogyny that once I became older and decoded some of the lyrics, I could only weep because the beat was so good. I recently watched a talk by Roxane Gay and she describes herself as a “Bad feminist” and I immediately thought, hey that‟s me. I am acutely aware of my imperfections and equally those of my fellow humans. You speak very liberally about sex and sexuality; please tell us about sex positivism as an integral part of feminism. I realized early on, from listening to the reasoning of the many women I was interacting with, that many were not even aware of the myths and misconceptions about their own bodies and sexuality. When women do not know how their own bodies function, what the significance of certain body changes are, how

I want to live in a world where women have true autonomy over their bodies, time, intellect and economic resources to be truly liberated.

contraceptives work etc they are less likely to be confident in the face of some of the biggest nonsense that some men say to us about our bodies and what certain things signify. There are still many people, mainly women who are my clients/ patients who still think that sex is mainly for the enjoyment of men, they do not know the magic that lives in their clitoris and the fact that you can have different types of orgasms and that having an orgasm is natural and powerful. Many women are not aware of rape culture and how that continues to inform their experiences. We then continue to internalize the insecurities and abuse by our partners and make decisions based on that fear. There are challenges that affect womenâ€&#x;s sexuality; medical conditions, abuse and trauma, access to reproductive services and the economics of health for example mean that some girls and women do not have access to sanitary products. All these challenges influence the way we feel about ourselves, the internal body shaming dialogue, the pressure to look a certain way, procedures that we undergo to modify our bodies.

should be informed. Therefore I dedicate a lot of my time passing on the knowledge to women and girls through comprehensive sexual health education using language that is positive, affirming and empowering to women and giving them information about their rights which are protected by the constitution. The only way to do it is by being truthful when dealing with sex and sexuality and be of assistance to womenâ€&#x;s sexual empowerment. And body positivity? My mother played an important role in building my self esteem. She never hid her naked body from me and exuded confidence and never put herself down, ever. I would look (sometimes poke) at her hips, breast, bums and she looked beautiful and looking back I see how that was so important for me. It counteracted that Eurocentric body image in the magazines and television that myself and many young African girls try to become. I would look at my momâ€&#x;s body and ask her questions about why her body was in a certain way and compare with my own. She was very open about the different phases; menstruation, pregnancy.

My view is that women should be taking decisions about who, where, I could ask her about giving birth why, when, what about their sexuality and the way she dealt with those without fear and coercion and topics did not turn me off. And I

did not feel that she was burdening me with her life experience and I felt more confident to read up and ask for clarity. I truly believe that parents need to be more open with children, age appropriateness in our discussions is important but never lie or shut children down. Being inquisitive is a natural way of learning and rather be honest when you don‟t know and then commit to finding the answers.

have been closest to your heart? In 2015 I produced and presented Sex Education videos for The Higher Education and Training HIV/ AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) which provide information to South Africa‟s public Universities and Technical and Vocational and Training Colleges.I am a member of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC) and have made connections with amazing individuals who together advocate for all sexual and reproductive services including, but not restricted to, safe abortion access, sex work decriminalisation and health care for marginalised sexualities and genders.

A positive body age is strongly linked to a good positive self esteem.

I too go through times when I don‟t feel so confident and don‟t like my weight or the way I look in certain clothes. I‟ve recently been blessed with my own set of glistening stretch marks after a journey of pregnancy and my internal dialogue has shifted immensely after giving birth to a better place now where I am not so self conscious but I look at them as part of my life story. A positive body image is strongly linked to a good positive self esteem. What are some of the projects that you have worked on that

I am also a medical contributor to a Sexual health radio show on Kaya FM for many years now and it is absolutely incredible how many people give me feedback on how I have assisted them become more empowered and confident.

Connect with Dr. Tlaleng on Twitter @drtlaleng

Hyasintha Ntuyeko Starting Small But Dreaming Big

Written by Lisa O'Donoghue-Lindy According to those in the know, there are 22 things creative people do differently. For starters, they get inspired at the least expected moment. When they fail, they try again. They are repeatedly told to get real jobs but more often will follow their heart even when this seems unwise. But probably the biggest giveaway that Hyasintha Ntuyeko, a Tanzanian small-business owner with big dreams, sports the creative gene is her uncanny knack for creating opportunity where others only see difficulty. “You don‟t need to move mountains to make a difference. My experience has taught me that the capacity to dream big is not confined to any country, age or gender. The desire to take initiative, be your own boss, advance your life and improve the world is universal as long as you keep in mind, the roadblocks are universal too.” Ntuyeko was born in the Dodoma Region of Tanzania, almost smack in the middle of the East African nation that borders the Indian Ocean. The eldest child of four raised by her mother, Ntuyeko was fortunate to have the financial support of her uncle, a medical doctor, to attend St. Joseph College of Engineering and Technology in Dar-esSalaam, where she received a Bachelor of

“Learning is ongoing process to me. As my business grows, so do the challenges so my skills also need to grow.”

Engineering in Information Systems and Network Engineering. “Learning is ongoing process to me. As my business grows, so do the challenges so my skills also need to grow.” Believing in the value of a university degree to secure employment, Ntuyeko‟s family was proud when she seemed firmly on that path, pursuing a career as a network engineer with several telecom companies. And Ntuyeko herself truly believed this is what she was meant to do.That is until the day her aunt Victoria planted the seed of inspiration. “I had sent off my job applications and money was tight, I was leaving for home the next day. Aunt Vicky had urged me to do something temporary until I got a „real‟ job and invited me over. „I have something I want you to see,‟ was all she said,” Ntuyeko recalls. Ntuyeko‟s aunt was waiting with a friend who had stopped by to sell some cosmetics and sanitary pads. As a gift, Victoria sponsored her niece $35 to buy some supplies that Ntuyeko in turn could sell. With the items in hand, the 25-year-old visited a friend and, encouraged by her support, decided to postpone her trip home and see if she could have

some success selling the make-up and pads. “The next day, I took my products around the street and managed to collect $12. I was so happy because I only had the $12 fare to get back home, and I kept it for a month carefully making it last. And then, in just one day, I doubled it. I was amazed.” Amazed and highly motivated to repeat her success, Ntuyeko went out again, and again, and again. “I realized I am actually a pretty good salesperson. I managed to sell a lot within a short time, even my aunt was surprised. I loved selling, but I also really believed in the products. The money definitely motivated me, but I also enjoyed interacting with my customers, the women.” Ntuyeko spent all her time walking the streets along with other vendors, finding customer after customer. For the first four months, she purchased supplies from her aunt‟s friend but after a while she had to go to the source as the woman was unable to meet her demand. “I travelled to Mombasa (Kenya) for the first time to collect the products. After that, I returned every two weeks. It was very tiresome. I did that trip for some months, building my savings all the time, until I finally had enough capital to connect with the main supplier in Nairobi.”

With the money she saved and some extra chipped in by two university friends, the determined Ntuyeko closed the deal with a Nairobi supplier, returned to Tanzania, and opened an office where she sold her goods. “I started to see the big picture of my business and how I could create jobs for others. As I did not have anyone to support me financially, I could only depend on my savings. I spent only on essential needs and opened an account where I placed the rest pledging to never touch that money no matter what.”

take off. Ntuyeko offered free classes on sales and entrepreneurship to women who in turn sold her products. Noting some gaps in her own experience, she took some classes in marketing, record- and stock-keeping and management. “Learning is ongoing process to me. As my business grows, so do the challenges so my skills also need to grow.”

During this time, she missed several interviews from her initial job applications and then completely stopped applying for jobs. While very happy with herself, Ntuyeko‟s family and friends were less than impressed. Her aunt was blamed for turning her on to the sales job and her uncle With a reliable supplier, and repeat hounded her to drop the silly venture customers, her business started to and take up a position as a lecturer that her alma mater had offered in the meantime. No one seemed to understand why she felt so strongly about her small but growing business. And then the rug was pulled out from under her after a few months. Her Kenyan

supplier became highly inconsistent and Ntuyeko‟s customers noticed. “I was so frustrated. I shut down the training classes. I didn‟t want my family to know my business had started shaking. It was so painful for me when I remembered all the effort I had put in it and now it was dying.” But instead of looking for employment, she decided to create a solution to her supplier problem. She spent hours researching local medicinal plants and discovered bamboo charcoal, an environmentally friendly material used in alternative medicine to neutralize poison and prevent infections that also has excellent absorption properties … eureka! “I knew no factory in Tanzania would be able to make herbal pads without chemicals, so I went to the Chinese embassy in Dar asking them to refer me to a factory in China. It took a lot of visits but I finally got a name.” And, just like that, off she went to China to meet the soon-to-be manufacturers of Glory pads. Ntuyeko‟s business received a boost when she was accepted to join Femtanz, a program funded by the Finnish government that provides business support training to women

who wish to establish and grow their own technology-enabled businesses. “I cried after receiving that phone call. Femtanz really opened my eyes and empowered me to move from a sole to a limited company.” One year later, Kasole Secrets Company Ltd, specializing in organic sanitary pads and panty liners, has sold in more than 12 regions of Tanzania, and has a fulltime staff of four. There are plans to open a Tanzanian-based factory in 2019 and produce other less

expensive pads targeted at lowincome women. In the meantime, the accolades keep coming. Ntuyeko has become a thought leader in Tanzania on menstrual hygiene and organized a rally in the capital earlier this spring. In 2015, she attended Dartmouth University as a prestigious Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders. She was awarded second place in the trailblazer category of the Tanzania Annual Young Professionals Award, and was selected to join the 2016 SLUSH Innovation Summit in Finland via TANZICT, an ICT sector development project run by the Tanzanian and Finnish governments,

and was one of only four female entrepreneurs joining the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. And what do all the naysayers think of her success today? “One day my uncle heard me being interviewed on the radio and he called in. „I didn‟t know you are so confident. I am so very happy for you my darling. You are an inspiration.‟ As Nelson Mandela used to say „It always seems impossible until it is done.‟ I carried those words with me on my journey and truly believe anything is possible if you decide it so.”

This article originally appeared on She Inspires Her, a website dedicated to story-telling the lives and lessons of female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. By sharing relatable stories of women who have achieved a certain degree of success, we hope to offer role models and lessons for others. We want readers to understand these entrepreneurs‟ motivations, the barriers they face, the challenges they have overcome, and the plans they have for the future. Our hope is to paint a picture of what differentiates women who go for growth from those who stay small. We also aim to change people‟s perceptions (especially in the banking and investment community) of women entrepreneurs in emerging markets and show they possess the abilities, traits and determination to be successful and sustainable business owners. You can follow She Inspires Her on Instagram (she_inspires_her), Facebook and Twitter (@sheinspiresher).

Black Foodie is a platform that explores food through a Black lens by spotlighting the best of African, Caribbean and Southern Cuisine. Discover our stories, culture, traditions and flavors. Founder of Black Foodie, Eden Hagos, hails from a small city in Canada on the border called Windsor, but currently splits her time between Toronto and the US. Eden, who describes herself as “a young entrepreneur who can‟t live without hot sauce or my passport”, chops it up with Afroelle and shares with us her mission to expose the world to the wonderful flavor and cuisine that comes from the African Diaspora.

What inspired your love for food, cooking and what inspired you to start Black Foodie? My family definitely inspired my love for food and cooking. My family opened one of the first Ethiopian restaurants in my hometown in the 90‟s. And before moving to Canada from Eritrea my mother‟s family owned one of the largest spice markets in Asmara and my fathers family owned a cafe. I guess you can say it‟s in my blood. I love to eat! And I always had an incredible curiosity for all things food. What really inspired me to start Black Foodie however was a negative experience I had last year on my birthday. I had invited a group of friends to an Italian restaurant in downtown Toronto to celebrate with me. But the service I received was so racist that I left because I honestly didn‟t feel safe. I was so upset and felt so powerless in that moment. I shared my experience on my social media pages and was flooded by messages from others who had similar experiences. It was then I began to really think critically about how Black people experience food differently. I began asking myself questions like why I hadn‟t considered celebrating at an African or Caribbean restaurant? Why were certain cultural foods assumed to

be better than others? Why weren't experiences like mine reflected in mainstream food magazines and outlets? That year, I became more intentional about the places I chose to dine at and a made an effort to support Black owned restaurants and food entrepreneurs whenever I could. Eventually these experiences led me to create a platform to fill the gap that existed in the food world and create a site to explore food from a Black perspective.

You started hosting Injera + Chill events as a way to encourage people in the African Diaspora to visit and take interest in East African foods, what has been the response and

The response has been so incredibly positive. People from within the diaspora around the world have been hitting me up. It‟s crazy to see how far an idea can go. I had made a conscious decision last year to support businesses in my community. Back while I was in university I use to run one of the largest East African student groups in Canada. The events I hosted always drew big numbers because young people were looking for a way to re-connect with their roots. Although I had since graduated, Injera + Chill was to me a great way for me to introduce young people in the diaspora to great businesses in their community as well as introduce other folks to the beauty of East African food. The restaurant owner was really moved by the fact young East Africans were supporting her businesses and enjoying their dope cultural foods. It was really great to see a shift in business and have young people contact me and say that was now their go to place for lunch. I think often times we‟ve been taught to look outside of our cultural foods when dining out. Celebrations are held at Italian or French restaurants. I love both, but why not check out some of the really interesting and delicious cuisines from our community?

You don‟t have to look at Jerk chicken as something you can only get for take out or African food only prepared at home. There are lots of amazing things happening in the food world now. Hosting Injera + Chill events in other countries was such a moving experience for me. It showed me that this is truly a global movement. In Atlanta Black Foodie brought together amazing chefs and cool foodies- some who were trying Ethiopian food for the first time. It was here I got an African American perspective on our cuisine and gained a new appreciation for Ethiopian/ Eritrean cuisine as one guest described that the communal way East African food is eaten brought him closer to family and friends. And in the UK I listened intently as food bloggers spoke about the beauty of Eritrean food in a British accent. It was so exciting to see how an idea could take shape into an actual event that brought people together spanning multiple countries and cultures!

Any new events or destinations planned for this year? Of course! Last year alone, my Black Foodie travels led me to Montego Bay, Rome, Stockholm, London, ATL ,DC, Chicago, Montreal, Detroit, New Orleans etc and the list goes on. The best part is no matter where I go I meet Black Foodies- we are out here! There are a few places I‟d love to go to this year, but first and foremost I want to be back in the Motherland. My goal is to dig deeper into Ethiopian cuisine and host an event there but that would have to be much later in the year. For now, I plan to explore some interesting cities with a rich Black history here in North America this spring. Starting with Halifax and learning about what Black Foodies are up to there in a part of Canada I‟ve never been to. I‟m also very interested in exploring food in Charleston and highlighting Gullah cuisine.

Speaking of exploring, from your past travels and culture, where have you enjoyed the food culture the most and why? It‟s really hard for me to pinpoint a favorite. I‟ve travelled a whole lot in the past year and had such amazing food in each city I‟ve visited. But if I really have to choose, I‟d say New Orleans. I love that city. I‟ve been three times already and can‟t wait to go back. Everything from the music to the spices make it worth the trip. I don‟t think I had one bland meal while I was there. It seems like every dish there from the street food to the bougie spots have more flavor.

Their spices in combination with the seafood are a match made in heaven. The shrimp étouffée and special praline filled beignets were my absolute favorites. I have yet to have anything like it anywhere else. One of the best times to visit New Orleans is during Essence Festival. It honestly feels like the biggest Black family reunion ever- except with all of your favourite musicians included. And you can experience the beauty of Louisiana while enjoying some of the best music ever.

Groundnut in which they would prepare African inspired cuisine in South London. They then wrote a cookbook to document their journey. It‟s people like the guys behind The Groundnut and around the world who are bringing African cuisine to the forefront who really inspire me. In Atlanta I tried Kitfo rolls, another twist on an Ethiopian classic. And in Toronto I see these twists happening everyday with Caribbean cuisine- from dressed up duck Trini doubles to Jerk fried chicken and waffles. People from the diaspora are finding new ways to prepare traditional comfort food.

What‟s something people would be surprised to know?

What food trends are you currently excited about? I‟m currently most excited about the ways in which the diaspora is highlighting our cuisine and adding their own unique twist. I saw this as I travelled to Europe this past fall. In Brixton I had some of the best Suya ever and tried jolloff inspired fried chicken at a pop up restaurant. Sounds crazy but it tasted amazing. I also had the chance to interview and dine with some amazing African British chefs who created a hugely successful supper club called The

Growing up I use to beg my mom not to cook Ethiopian food during school. She would make it in huge batches so my home and everything in it including me smelled like onions and spices! Although I loved the food I dreaded explaining my lunch to friends as the only African kid in class. Now I can‟t imagine my life without Ethiopian food. I‟m so grateful to have had a mother who didn‟t listen. I hope the next generation of kids will take their spicy meals to class proudly.

VISIT to find great foodie events , tutorials, recipes and guides.

Interview with Apprentice Star

April Jackson INTERVIEW BY: Patricia Miswa

Raised by an entrepreneurial father and self-made man with interests in shipping, remittances and property, who built his business with a strong work ethic and tenacity, 26 year old entrepreneur April Jackson was a champion of Jamaica long before she was crowned a beauty queen and Miss Jamaica Universe in 2008. As a child she witnessed the grit and resilience required to build a multi-million pound business, watching her father bounce back from hard knocks and an expensive divorce, to eventually see his determination pay dividends with a successful shipping and money transfer business. April‟s founding of one of Brixton‟s most desirable eateries, Three Little Birds, since appearing on BBC‟s Apprentice is not unexpected. Boasting delectable Jamaican cuisine small-plates style, rum- based cocktails and an array of the island‟s condiments, coffee and clothing, it is far from a typical Caribbean haunt. All Photo Credit: April Jackson

“I wanted to create an authentic Jamaican environment which invited people in and stayed to true to The Caribbean island I know. Jamaica has far more to offer than sunshine and rum, the country has Played a significant part in influencing culture globally. Three Little Birds is my celebration of all that is wondrous about Jamaica – think romantic beach villa in Negril infused with a Kingston injection, with an international twist to reflect my transatlantic influences.” Taken under the wings of Former Head chef of Nobu Lloyd Roberts, the acclaimed chef‟s distinctive mark can be seen in Three Little Bird‟s kitchen layout, while the menu is the fruit of April‟s own creativity and experience, featuring Stamp & Go (signature Codfish fritters) served in bamboo boats with her homemade pepper jelly. The bespoke cocktail menu is overseen by former bar manager of Aqua at The Shard‟s Vital Petiot, and includes I Shot the Sheriff, an Aloe Vera daiquiri, and Three Little Birds, the rum punch garnished with pomegranate, cinnamon and rosemary. April‟s model past is only one facet of the entrepreneur‟s person. Founder of foodie blog in which April shares her food adventures and Jamaican inspired recipes.

Her love for food grew from some of her favorite memories being around a table. With two workaholic parents, April says it was always a treat to go to a nice restaurant. The Yummy Truth has allowed her to share her travels with friends back home by sharing pictures and recipes inspired by places she has visited, which seems to have fuelled her career path from event planner to restaurateur. At just 26 April is the foodie entrepreneur to watch – and determined to make Jamaican food a firm fixture on The UK palate. She shares with Afroelle about her experience on The Apprentice and the business side of running a restaurant. HOW YOUR EXPERIENCE ON THE APPRENTICE SHOW AND WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAY?

I am pleased to have been a part of the recent series of The Apprentice, as a fan if I didn‟t get called back I would have been very disappointed but having been a candidate it is another thing that always seems far greater from the outside. I didn‟t find the tasks as challenging as the process of production. I left the show disappointed that I didn‟t learn more business skills and after seeing a few episodes I was surprised to see that I had been portrayed as a quiet person with very few opinions, which is actually

laughable. My biggest takeaway from The Apprentice is that it has provided me with the platform to talk about my latest business venture and have people in the UK listen. SPEAKING ABOUT YOUR LATEST VENTURE, YOUR CAFÉ/RUM BAR, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THREE LITTLE BIRDS?

In the summer of 2014 I had a pop up shop in Brixton selling all aspects of Jamaican culture, from handmade jewellery to Blue Mountain Coffee. Seeing people‟s positive response to the merchandise I brought from Jamaica I realised there was room to expand. Hence I combined the passion for my country with food and rum to create Three Little Birds, which exposes guests to a less cliché version of Jamaica.


Three Little Birds stands out from other establishments in looks, taste but most importantly we offer a personal touch that has already shown much success considering we have a lot of regulars. I am very proud of this considering we are so new, and once more of my “Jamaicaness” rubs off on my team I think we will continue to do well. I do not offer a formal manner of customer service; I am very familiar, love to joke with guests because treating them like friends rather than customers makes my job most enjoyable and ensures that they are happy, it‟s a win win.


Where to begin. Let‟s start with the fact that I have never designed a restaurant and bar so I did a lot of what I call informed guessing and using as much common sense as possible to bring my vision to life. Construction was a huge challenge, converting the property from an office to a restaurant with unreliable workmen was frustrating. Staff is another big challenge, culturally what I want from my team is not the norm, so finding the right people with the right work ethic who are going to represent me on the floor and at the back of house is difficult. Hospitality is notorious for staff turnovers but I still want to create a second family as we spend so much time together and we‟re getting there slowly but surely.


The only thing I would do differently is enjoy it all a lot more. I have a habit of achieving something I set out to do but instead of enjoying it, once I have it I am already on to another goal. In a way I know this is what keeps me motivated but constantly chasing achievements does grow exhausting if you do not take any time to reflect. Also, if an experience isn‟t as I had imagined I am already thinking about what I am going to do next before the journey is even over. I did this with Miss Universe, Columbia University and The Apprentice; they didn‟t live up to my expectations so whilst in Vietnam, studying in New York and filming I created new goals that I could focus on achieving whilst those chapters of my life were still being written rather than being completely present in the moment.



Lesson 1 – Talk. Talk to people who are doing what you aspire to do, talk to people you trust and talk to your staff. Many things can be learned, many solutions can be found and people will not know what is inside your head unless you tell them. Lesson 2 – Step back. Especially when starting a new business it is easy to become so consumed by your dreams that you start to see things less clearly because you are exhausted. Taking the time to have a birds eye view of the business will only have positive effects. Lesson 3 – Do not be afraid of change. Not everything that works in theory worked once we opened and we have had to make adjustments but it is the ability to adapt quickly that I think has helped us do so well in the first two months.

My friend gave me a card once and it said “Tell the negative voices that meet inside your head to sit down and shut up” It is the decision to abide by this that is always the most important as without dismissing doubt the journey to success cannot begin. IF YOU HAD A DINNER PARTY WHO ARE THE 5 GUESTS YOU WOULD INVITE AND WHY (DEAD/ALIVE)?

Maya Angelou –we are born on the same day and she is one of my favourite authors. Her last book Mom & Me & Mom helped me deal with my own issues that stemmed from abandonment and I wish I had met her before she passed. At my dinner party I am sure she would have lots of wisdom to share and jokes to tell. Nelson Mandela – His power of forgiveness is admirable and his smile is contagious. I would be able to learn from him but also have a laugh.

President Obama. Great humour and plenty stories to share. Morris Chestnut, circa 1999 The Best Man days, to look at; he can arrive and smile slowly in a fitted suit please. Will & Jada Smith, they‟ll share a seat. They can share relationship advice, discuss how to stay at the top of a competitive industry and of course be hilarious! IF ONE WAS TO VISIT JAMAICA, WHAT ARE THE MUST TRY MEALS AND RESTAURANTS TO VISIT?

If I was guiding someone visiting Jamaica I would not send them to any restaurants, I would send them on a trail of what is now called “Street Food”. First stop is by the coconut man as you leave the airport in Kingston, he will be waiting on the left and after tasting a cold coconut and devouring the jelly you will never have coconut water in a carton in the UK again. Next try a Tastee patty so they can see what a real Jamaican patty is all about, on day two have another

patty but with coco bread. On your first night we would have to get pan chicken and I have the best pan chicken man who is in Manor Park, leg and thigh, no ketchup just pepper please. A lot of people call pan chicken and jerk chicken the same thing but I am a firm believer in differentiating between the two. Jerk is cooked on pimento wood and the seasoning is very different than pan chicken, which has a less smoky flavour, it is more tender and the seasoning is a fresh marinade rather than fermented paste. On the first Sunday we will go to Hellshire in the morning for a massive fried fish and festival, make sure you get all the escoveitch sauce on top. You will drive to Portland for authentic Jerk Pork with roast sweet potato and go for a swim while you‟re there. On another day it‟s time to take a drive to St. Elizabeth for pepper shrimps aka swims and as you make your way to Negril to see 7 miles of white sand stop for the best roast conch I‟ve ever had, in Whitehouse.

Check out April‟s blog

Photographer: Makhfou Ndiaye Model: Isseu Dior Makeup & Styling: Erica Samm

Renew, Reset,

REFRESH This special insert is a 10 page compilation of inspiration from 10 women sharing their New Year’s traditions, personal and professional goals for 2016, tips on how to stay motivated and words of wisdom they swear by.

Stacey Flowers International Speaker @staceyflowers

At the top of the year, I also create a vision board. I've been doing this for almost seven years. I adore vision boards because one, they work and two, I grew up in poverty, created out of a legacy of young mothers, so I didn't have people and things around me to show me how glorious life could be. While my family equipped me with resilience, love, and enduring strength I didn't know how to apply these qualities to live and create a good life-- a life without constant struggle. Creating a vision board was one of the first time I got to dream, out loud and awake. It was the first time everything I desired became real, even it was magazine cut outs. I don't set resolutions, but I do set an intention for every area of my life: spiritual, financial, educational, professional, family, personal, and leisure. Setting intentions allows me to connect more with how I want to feel in each area as oppose to what I must do to reach a goal in each area.

“ This best thing we can do to stay motivated is to create a Vision Board that represents what we desire in each of the seven areas of our lives, frame it and put it somewhere we can glance at it everyday. These simple actions will set us up to do small visualizations everyday. Visualization is a powerful tool that keeps us focused, focus produces clarity, and clarity keeps us motivated.�

Tameka J. Harris Host, Emcee & Moderator for TV and Live Events

2016 is the first year I decided to design my life in a whole new way. Instead of the annual ritual of compiling vision boards and wish lists, my New Year traditions now involve me creating what I call an intention board. The major focus of an intention board is to call me to the carpet. Simply put: whatever I put on the board, I am committed to complete exactly what I put on the board--it's not optional or negotiable. In other words, I intentionally move things around in my schedule to accommodate accomplishing my goals. By doing this, I create priorities, I make a conscious effort to say yes to what I want to see happen in my life and I most importantly, I know what to say NO to. Ultimately, an intention board keeps me focused on building a


solid system around getting my goals completed. The number one tip that I can share to help you stay motivated is to commit to one thing this year. This one thing doesn't have to be big. It can be a great start that possibly leads to something big, but big for now, is not the goal. Consistency, commitment and successful completion is the goal. Being intentional about going after one thing this year narrows your scope, gives you the energy to complete your goal with excellence, and keeps you from exhausting your attention on distractions and other secondary outlets. Finding success with one thing will push you forward with the momentum you need to secure more wins on the horizon


Bola Onada Sokunbi Money Coach & Strategist @Clevergirlfinance

I'm a huge fan of having one or more accountability partners for my life and money goals because I‟ve realized that once other people know about my goals, I‟m more likely to achieve them. My accountability partners are usually close friends who are working towards similar goals or mentors - people who have already achieved the goals I'm trying to attain. Their job is to hold me accountable, check in on me frequently, keep me motivated and basically cheer me on. In turn, I owe it to them and myself to be open and honest about my progress and to proactively reach out to them to ask for and provide updates. I also keep my goals constantly visible – as my phone screensaver, written out in my planner, printed out and taped on my closet walls, via images on Pinterest or in the Evernote app on my phone – this way I have a daily reminder of where I‟m trying to get to and it helps guide the decisions I make on a day to day basis. Even on days when I‟m not motivated or inspired (and I have those days!) having my goals visible keeps them in the back of my mind and helps me seek out the motivation to get back to doing what I need to do to achieve my goals.

How to stay motivated to keep your resolutions.

1) Talk to God (or what ever higher power you believe in) daily and throughout the day if need be. I tell you I'd lose my marbles if I relied on me alone. 2) Bottling up your emotions is toxic so I say SHARE your stressors, and pains, and your joys too, with a few confidants you trust and respect. Just beware with whom, chatting with fools is a quick way to compound your anxieties.

Loide Rosa Jorge Immigration Attorney Afro-Lusophone Jazz vocalist @loidemusica

3) Exercise, rest, and eat as much healthy real foods (vegetables and fruits are essential) as possible. I'm constantly working on this because the older I'm getting the more I realize how much staying balanced, motivated and inspired is connected to how well we maintain our temple. We can do it good people!

At the end of each year/beginning of the New Year, I take the time to do a year in review. I look at what worked, what didn‟t work, and then I figure out what changes I need to make, if any.

Vashti Patrick-Joseph Award Winning Content Creator Twitter: @veepeejay1

vision, make it plain”

I also take the time to write down my goals, and outline the steps I need to take to achieve them. I do have a vision board which serves as a constant, visual reminder of everything that I want to achieve for that year. I‟m a firm believer in “write the

My advice on staying motivated with your goals this year is defining, and constantly reminding yourself of your “WHY”, is a great way to stay motivated. Anytime I feel overwhelmed, tired or unmotivated, I go back to my reason for setting the goals that I set for myself. I also think it‟s important to surround yourself with people who are going to hold you accountable, help to motivate you when you want to give up, as well as (lovingly) give you a reality check when you need one.”

Mary E.N.Kiganda Founder, Zion Daughter Ministry

“ My New Year traditions in terms of goal setting begin during Crossover night services at my Church. Ending the year thanking God for what He's done for me and loved ones while also being in His presence to begin the new year asking for guidance is the most important tradition that I started years ago. I will pay attention to whatever message is sent forth as the theme for the year and apply that to my personal life and in how I approach goals for the year. I stopped making "official" New Year's Resolutions so as to make room for me to be more aware of the direction God wants me to go. As I've implemented this in the past 2 years I've seen themes developing. Last year it was to concentrate on beginning my Zion Daughter music ministry. This year it is turning out to be spending quality time with relatives and friends I haven't seen in a long time. In both cases, I've been awed by God's presence and confirmation that I am where I need to be. “

Personally, I am embarking on a new work out regime that takes me back to weight training. As women get older, bone density becomes important, as does flexibility. I am also committing to read a minimum of 10 pages of business text a day to increase my scope and learning and keeping up with the tradition of watching one cartoon a day! It relaxes me. The big one that I planned to do got done yesterday - I started the first Lean In circle in Cameroon! (

Viola Llewellyn Cameroon General Manager Ovamba Solutions, Inc.

Your “resolutions” should relate to your overall life and career plans so that they have synergistical meaning. No point planning to run a marathon if you have never been to the gym unless you can define, explain and “feel” the reason that you want to do it. Its easier to stick to something that integrates well is achievable and has drive behind it. You can stay motivated by rewarding yourself for consistency and forgiving yourself if you fall off, just get back to the plan. We all tend to berate ourselves way too much with negative inner dialogue. Don‟t quit, just try again!

Diana Ramsey Beauty Empowerer Twitter:@SisWithBeauty


One of my resolutions this year is becoming an author. I am on the heels of releasing my first self-published book called Butterfly Transition. I'm heavy in the process of making sure I don't just release a book; I'm releasing a lifestyle.

To stay motivated with your goals, know your why. I revisit my why statement when things get difficult. My "Why Statement" changes based on the things I'm doing but revisiting it always keeps me focused. If I find my why is not strong enough or just not making me want to push through procrastination or lack of motivation, I know I'm not pursuing the right thing for me.�

When it comes to any goal, resolution, or simply an intention we have for our lives, we have to put the blinders up. Our world is very noisy. It‟s full of distractions and disruptions. So, when it comes to the things we set out to do because of the conviction and purpose bursting inside of us, we absolutely have to put the blinders up.

“ Tyece Wilkins Editor-in-Chief, Twitter | IG: @tyunscripted There‟s a Zora Neale Hurston etched on my heart: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” I‟ve certainly had a handful of both. And, no matter how many plans I make or goals I set, the Universe steadily reminds me that I will still always end up with some questions and a few answers. The last blog post I wrote in 2015 was entitled, “No Resolutions, Just Evolution.” That concept–the idea that we grow and evolve naturally, sans goals or resolutions– has stuck with me for the past few years. So, I don‟t have any traditions in terms of how I set my goals for the year. However, I do always make a point to write purposefully and thoughtfully, especially at the beginning of the year. It‟s amazing how many times I‟ll revisit my writing from January at the end of the year and see how much has come to pass, or how much I was able to speak into existence.

Maybe that means taking a social media break. Maybe it means not announcing our plans or projects until they‟re finished. Maybe it means turning off the phone when we sit down to write. Putting the blinders up looks differently for each of us, but it‟s so crucial in order to achieve our goals while maintaining a sense of inner peace.

Tara Jones Founder & Personal Finance Coach YPP Financial Coaching & Services, LLC Twitter: @yppblog

One major New Year‟s resolution I set for 2016 is to be completely debt-free. Before I began offering financial coaching services, I paid off over $18,000 in less than two years as a single mother earning a college student‟s salary! After this experience, I realized that financial freedom is attainable to anyone who is diligent and intentional with her money. So, not only have I continued to pay off debt quickly, I have avoided acquiring new debts. In 2016, my financial goal is to pay off the remainder of my student loan balance with great momentum so I can focus on building a high net worth investment portfolio.

Ways to stay motivated 1. Utilize the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting strategy to create robust, actionable goals. 2. Make your goals visible - Place them in an area where you can view them on a daily basis. 3. (e.g. Place your goal-list in a nice frame that matches the décor in home office, bathroom, or kitchen.) 4. Find an accountability partner who is able to be discreet, encouraging, and compassionate. Also, she should challenge you and provide constructive criticism when necessary.


Gift Guide

Afroelle Magazineâ€&#x;s monthly gift guide features gift ideas for everyone, every budget and every season. If you own a small business, Etsy store or are a blogger and youâ€&#x;d like to advertise your brand, products or services to our global audience in our upcoming Gift Guide Email for more details.

Arama Top A beautiful light chiffon top with African print on the sides, rock the Arama top with blue jeans or a high -waisted skirt.

Headwraps Tufaha and Matunda headwraps

High quality natural cosmetics and hair care products for women of colour.

African Nouveau Fashion and Travel

Daffina African Print Weekender & Duffle Bags

Daffina Comforter Set

Daffina Throw Pillow

Daffina Wooden Handle Clutch

Daffina Lumbar Pillow

Daffina Envelope Clutch

Koélé was inspired by Leilani who is the Founder and Creative Director for the Koélé brand. Born to a Togolese father and a Ghanaian mother, Leilani spent over half her life in Cameroon and Nigeria where she developed a unique appreciation for the diversity in fabrics and designs that lie within West Africa: bright colors, bold prints and a variety of textures. Koélé is an amalgamation of those African experiences that makes Leilani who she is today. Koélé has set out to change the perception that anything made in Africa (Nigeria in particular) cannot be of good quality. Koélé's eccentric bags and sandals are proudly made in Nigeria!

„Present to give to a loved one.â€&#x; A New and Wonderful Little Friend! Grace & Elie Teddy Bears are ready for some cuddling, hugging, and playing. Featuring colorful, dazzling African prints, these adorable and super soft little friends make a great gift for new parents, babies, kids, and even adults with a playful heart. Plus, Teddy makes a unique home decor accessory and looks Teddyrific in baby's nursery!

Nana the Teddy Bear

Nana Ataa the Teddy Bear

Nana Grey the Teddy Bear

Nana Akosua the Teddy Bear

Nana Sunrise the Teddy Bear

Handmade Purses and Accessories for Modern Chic Girls!

Wallet Wristlet Bridesmaids Gift Black and White African Tribal Print Bag Purse

This is a beautiful tribal print mud cloth with a black and white design. The wallet wristlet is a chic accessory to carry your money, iPhone, credit cards for a night out

Snakeskin Faux Bag This is a beautiful faux snakeskin bag that really sparkles! The colors are bronze, tan, and gold and when I saw this fabric and knew this would be perfect as an evening bag. Its the perfect bag to carry when you

Small African Print Pouch Beautiful African Wax Print Pouch makes a lovely addition to my collection of small purses. Perfect way to carry all necessary essentials when you don't want to carry a larger bag.

African Print Evening Bag This beautiful blue African Clutch is beautiful. I have been sitting on this fabric for quite some time. There is a limited supply so if you decide to buy it you have a one of a kind bag. This bag is perfect to compliment any outfit with a beautiful pop of blue.

Osu Peplum Belts are a fun

way to add flare to your outfit. They are fully reversible, therefore you get two looks in one! The City Girl clutches are combined with the soft durable cotton of Woodin fabric and luxurious 100% Ghanaian goatskin leather (there are non leather options available) The Denimu Toti Embroidered bag The Denimu Toti Bag is a highly functional denim tote this is tremendously sturdy, durable and also extremely stylish! Made in Harlem, New York, it is constructed with denim, canvas and ankara fabric.

Eye catching, stunning and one of the most versatile bags, The City Shopper Bag is everything. Excellent for the on the go woman

R O Y A L || K U M A S I Dashiki Men's Shirt

H O N E Y || B E E MIDISKIRT Bright, bold African print midiskirt

J A C K I E || S C A R F Stay warm, but stay fly with a bright, bold African print scarf

Y E N D I || D R E S S Beaded and handcrafted to perfection

Zipped & Printed

Wax Print Zipper Pouch

Wax Print Foldover Clutch The lined fold over clutch is made from Ankara print material and faux leather and features a tassel at the zipper.

The fully lined and machine washable pouch can be used as a makeup bag, pencil case, or whatever you need.

Mo Sama BCN African Wax Prints.Fashion & Home Decor


2 1. Afrobot peplum top- Simple yet stylish print peplum top.

2. Eyoma print bodysuit - vibrant print bodysuit for the curvy lady! Plus sizes UK12 to UK 30

Diley Hi Lo Dress Dazzle your way around town in this riveting Ankara print dress featuring a scooped neckline and lace insert

Kwabs Dashiki Top A bold crewneck shirt designed with a modern fit brings cutting edge style to your look.


"Be Love" Earrings

"Passion" Necklace

African print on wood, heart stud earrings with hand-painted, gold detail

Reversible and adjustable, African print on wood and gold leaf necklace

Rock Paper Chic

„Blue Moon‟ Celebrate your unique femininity with a mixture of blues, greens and yellows

„Golden Girl‟ Brass and burned wood come together to form a piece that is simple yet regal.

Afro-Caribbean Inspired Earrings For Women

Earrings made of the Adinkra symbol Gye Nyame, acknowledg es and pays homage to the Supreme Being.

Large stud earrings with an Adinkra charm attached at the end.

Diaspora Neckwear Diaspora Neckwear incorporates elements of culture into neckwear. This neckwear is a jabot (ZHA-bĹ?) and is a modern interpretation of Victorian era neckwear.

RUFINA ACCESSORIES 1. Green and Yellow fabric handbag, Kente bag A simple colorful, stylish large Kente (african fabric) bag is a fabulous way to bring a taste of culture to any outfit. This bag can be used for everyday use, hand luggage or as a weekend bag.

2. Pink and black ladies platform shoes with a matching purse Limited handmade Kente Fabric Embellished Flower Hi-Heel Shoe. Heels: 5.5" / Platform: 0.6", standard Size: standard and slim fit

All items available on and check out more updates on @rufaccessories

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Afroelle Magazine Refresh Issue 2016

Afroelle Magazine Refresh Issue 2016