DARREN PILLAY KHULA FLEET SOLUTIONS CEO
Dele Olodeje – Pulitzer Prize Winner Ntimbwe Mpamba – Oldest living person born with HIV Mose Kutadzaushe – Accountancy SA Award Winner The Impressive Kigen Sisters Anzisha Prize Pictorial
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 Darren Pillay - Khula Fleet Solutions CEO
15 Why people send money
18 Dele Olojede - First African Pulitzer Prize Winner
22 Ntimbwe Mpamba - The Boy Who Lived
26 Book Review - Nervous Conditions
28 Mose Kutadzaushe - Winnner of Top 35 Accountants
36 The Impressive Kigen Sisters
39 Dr. David Ikumi - Award-winning researcher
42 Kisua - Building Africa's first global fashion brand
47 Anzisha Prize www.theafricanpro.com
TRUMP: A NEW DUSK has cumulatively generated over R70 million worth of revenue, and has created employment for 77 employees. Today it supplies all leading retailers in Zimbabwe and occupies more than 80% of the nationwide toilet paper shelf space in some retailers.
ost people woke up on Tuesday 9th November 2016 to the shocking news that Donald Trump had won the U.S. presidential elections. I was not one of them. I had stayed up all night - something I have not done since November 2008 when Obama swept the electoral map on the promise of hope and a new dawn. This time the underdog Trump narrowly won ‘the electoral college’ on themes of fear and a new dusk. As the much celebrated first black president of the U.S.A comes to the end of his term, we close the year with our last offering whose lead story is one of the entrepreneurial journey of Darren Pillay. It is a tale of bravery being rewarded after he took a leap of faith in jumping ship from a well-paying job to form Khula Fleet Solutions. We have a similar story in Mose Kutadzaushe, a founding director of Supreme Brands in Zimbabwe. This youthful job creator has just been crowned winner of the Top 35 under 35 chartered accountant in South Africa, 2016. With patience and hard work, he teamed up with three friends and founded Supreme Brands that
Samuel Mensah, like Mose, came from an investment banking background to lead the charge in creating Africa’s finest fashion brand Kisua. Gabriel Wilson of MoneyGram gives us an indepth assessment of the reasons people send money using their service while I am privileged to provide an account from my interview with Dele Olojede, the first African to win the Pulitzer prize for literature. Perhaps even more compelling is the account of Chaitwa Mamoyo who speaks to the oldest known person to have been born with HIV on the African continent while Wanjiru WaichigoNjogu reviews Nervous Conditions, a book by Tsitsi Dangarembga. Three successful Kenyans also make this edition including Top 40 under 40 listed sisters from the Kigen household, and Dr Ikumi of UCT. We conclude this instalment with a pictorial from the young entrepreneur search competition, the Anzisha Prize.
KC ROTTOK Managing Editor of African Pro Twitter: @africankc www.theafricanpro.com
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KHULA FLEET SOLUTIONS CEO
arren Pillay is the founder of KHULA Fleet Solutions (KHULA), a fleet management company with offices in major cities across South Africa. Before starting his business, Pillay amassed a wealth of experience by starting from the bottom of the corporate ladder and ascending to being a Director at Bidvest Capital.
Pillay’s career can best be described by Colin Powell’s words: “A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”. After leaving Durban for Johannesburg in 1993, he only had a matric certificate to his name. He went on to obtain an undergraduate degree in transport economics from Wits and later an honours degree in logistics from the University of Johannesburg. In 2012, after many years of gathering fleet management experience and building credibility to his name, he jumped on an opportunity to tender for the management of Transnet’s Short Term Rental fleet through KHULA. Among other things, KHULA’s governance structures, Pillay’s long-standing history and experience in dealing with Transnet as a client, and a comprehensive tender bid ensured the award of the tender to KHULA. Subsequent to the tender, Transnet awarded a five-year contract to KHULA for the provision of fleet management services in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal (KZN) provinces. Through these contracts, Pillay started his journey in building what today remains a credible business in the South African Fleet Management industry.
TAP spoke to Pillay at the company’s head offices in Midrand. What does being an entrepreneur mean to you? Being an entrepreneur means that you must be willing to take risks, there is no such thing as creating your business out of nothing. To grow your business, you must be prepared to take risks with all you have. Being in this business, I have learnt the only way to find out whether your business idea will work is to put it to the test, and that costs both money and time. As an entrepreneur, I think 50% of my battles were won from the day I started working having the self-belief that one day I would run my own company. I managed to work my way up from the very bottom to being the youngest director on the board. I proved myself in an environment that was dominated by seasoned professionals and gained the respect of my peers and superiors I think that’s what moulded me, nurtured my courage, and instilled a sense of conviction for me to establish KHULA. It also involves a lot of rolling up your sleeves and being out there. If you have self-belief about what you are doing and where you are heading, then there is a strong possibility that people will follow you. Such was the case with KHULA. Funding was secured on the strength and credibility of the business case as opposed to any form of balance sheet or income statement because there was a sense of confidence in my vision for KHULA.
Tell us how you started off in business? With many sleepless nights. I was initially working from a house converted into offices in Fourways. The first 3 to 6 months were all about laying down a foundation for the business, building the brand, governance and a strong contractual and legal framework - all the qualities required to secure funding. I only employed my first employee seven months after starting the company so at first I was the driver, book-keeper and even made tea and coffee. It was in March 2013, when we realized that the business was growing exponentially and that we may need more space. The business started to generate revenue and there were other positive developments. We employed additional staff and thus sought more space in Modderfontein where we rented a warehouse with adjacent offices. We were there for three years before relocating to Midrand this year. To date, we have purchased assets worth R700 million and have also formed strategic partnerships with other businesses which we believe will help us grow even further. How was the decision to resign received? When I took the decision to resign, I literally finished on the Friday and started KHULA on the Monday. Fortunately, I have a very loving and supportive wife who stood by me, and that certainly made the weight on my shoulders lighter. I had a very good career ahead of me that was very progressive and financially lucrative so you could say that I was putting everything on the line. Thankfully, I had
a good relationship with my employer and there was no animosity when I explained that I needed a change of environment. What has been your greatest lesson in operating your own business? There are many, and it would be hard to single out just one. As an entrepreneur, you must believe in the impossible. As a young company, we are still building and discovering our identity and as daunting and stressful as it may be, I will not change it for anything. Mistakes and discovery are par for the course in any start up business, but it is perseverance and self-belief that keep you coming back. People will always be a challenge, especially finding people that buy into your vision. You are likely to deal with people from diverse backgrounds and need to maintain an open mind when engaging with them because the success of your business depends on the strength of your team. Having said that, it should be accepted that in business there are affairs at a micro and macro level beyond your control and one should focus on the things that are within your span of control and influence. What kind of challenges do you normally encounter in hiring people? When I look at skills today, I think you are likely to find people with degrees who are not necessarily employable and you need to ask yourself why? The attitude and work ethic vastly differs from generation to generation with individuals wanting to realize their dreams but very few are prepared to put in the effort. As someone who started as a Fleet Clerk and worked his way up,
“When I took the decision to resign, I literally finished on the Friday and started KHULA Fleet on the Monday. Fortunately, I have a very loving and supportive wife who stood by me, and that certainly made the weight on my shoulders lighter. I had a very good career ahead of me that was very progressive and financially lucrative so you could say that I was putting everything on the line….” I understand what the definition of true sacrifice is. So, when interviewing, I look for these qualities in people – you cannot teach attitude and commitment. It is for this reason that we have an internship program to assist graduates who don’t have experience and to create a platform in which they can identify with themselves and their skills in the work place.
Any advice to upcoming entrepreneurs out there? Setting the bar high in a competitive industry that is dominated by big business, you must quickly identify your niche and build on the value proposition that you wish to take to market. You must keep a positive mind-set and have a hunger for success. Always try to constantly move ahead and leave all your challenges behind. If you think starting a business is hard,
take that and multiply it by 100. Expect the unexpected and see each mistake as an opportunity. Always maintain the self-belief and the reason you started the company. Never doubt yourself.
We are looking forward to continually developing and growing the business, its brand and demonstrating that the impossible is possible in an industry dominated by big business.
What contribution do you feel you are making through your company? 59% of KHULA staff were previously unemployed, 63% are youth, 92% are people from a historically disadvantaged background and 61% are female. I think it is important to bring young black talent into the industry and it is in part for this reason that I gave up a career, financial stability and job security to start KHULA with no sense of guaranteed success.
We remain active in developing and supporting community based social programs through sponsorships and bursaries all targeted towards education. The executive and staff personally participate in feeding and sponsoring uniforms, stationery and essentials for a school in Krugersdorp that accommodates and supports an estimated 300 orphaned children. These initiatives resonate with the value system of KHULA Fleet and it is for this reason that I subscribe to the philosophy of “paying it forward”
Today we employ 50 staff members, have offices in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, (soon Richards Bay), and two offices in Johannesburg.
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WHAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE TO
oney transfer companies like MoneyGram exist primarily to enable people send money across the world to families, friends and relations. The question as to what motivates people send money may sound moot; don’t we know that already? Of course we do. A MoneyGram brand tracking survey instrument for instance lists some of the reasons as – to pay bills, to settle debts, to help support others on a dayto-day basis, for religious festivities, for a building project and so on. However, what does the remittance literature cite as the real motive for sending money? The literature on
motives for sending money is scant as most studies have tended to focus on the effect of remittance on the economies of recipient countries. (This is probably the most written about topic in the remittance literature). Understanding the real motives for sending money may generally help practitioners to develop new and relevant products/offers and develop promotional messaging that better resonates with consumers. What are the real motives for sending money? In reviewing the available literature, I came across two studies by Mim and Ali, in their work “Through which Channels can Remittances Spur Economic Growth in Mena countries”
(2012) and Salimano “Remittances by emigrants: issues and evidence” published by Economic Development Division of United Nations, (2003). This is in no way an exhaustive list of studies on this topic; but it does provide some interesting insights. Mim and Ali list the following 3 main motivations for sending money: 1. Altruistic motive: The researchers believed that a large portion of remittance inflows are motivated by the remitters selfless concern for the well-being of other family members and are meant to support/improve the living standards of family members. It is interesting to note that many of the
reasons listed in the MoneyGram brand tracking studies fall into this category. 2. Pecuniary gains/Self Interest: Some migrants may be motivated by gains the incentives offered by the recipient countries such as preferential interest rates and exemptions from income taxes etc. In this case, remittances are motivated purely by self-interest.
Solimano refers to this as the Self Interest motive. The story goes like this: the successful emigrant in the foreign country saves money. Then, the need arises on how (in which assets) and where (in which country) to accumulate wealth. An obvious place to invest, at least part of his assets, is in the home country by buying property, land, financial assets, etc. These assets may earn a higher rate of return than assets in the host country, although their risk profile may be also greater. Another motivation to remit is the emigrants desire to receive an inheritance from his parents. In this case, family members that have contributed to increasing the family wealth (e.g. by sending remittances) become obvious candidates for receiving an inheritance in the future. 3. The third motive for remittances is a combination of altruistic and pecuniary gains. In addition to the Altruistic and selfinterest motives outlined above, Solimano proposes an additional two motives based on the analytical literature available on the subject - Implicit family contract (Loan repayment) and implicit family contract (Co-insurance)
Implicit Family Contract I: Loan Repayment. Literature also considers remittances discussion from the perspective of the family rather than the individual. Families tend to develop an implicit contract among those who choose to live abroad and those who stay at home. The contract combines elements of investment and repayment. In the loan repayment theory, the family invest in the education of the emigrant and usually finances the cost of emigrating (travel and subsistence costs in the host country). This is the loan (investment) element of the theory. The repayment part comes after the migrant settles in the foreign country and his income profile starts rising over time and he starts repaying the loan (principal and interest) back to the family in the form of remittances. Implicit Family Contract II: Co-Insurance Another variant of the remittance theory is an implicit family contract between the migrant and those at home that relies on the notion of risk diversification. If economic risks between the sending and recipient countries are not positively correlated, then it becomes a convenient strategy for the family to send some of its members abroad (often the most educated) to diversify the economic risk. The migrant can then can help to support their family during bad times at home. Conversely, for the migrant, having a family in the home country also serves as a form of insurance in the event of economic difficulties in the foreign country. In this model, www.theafricanpro.com
emigration becomes a co-insurance strategy with remittances playing the role of an insurance claim. Being a migrant myself, I can identify with the self-interest and family contract motives. I remember sending money for investment back when I had extra funds and the Government of Ghana bonds had yields of over 30% per annum compared to a maximum of 7% per annum for the average investment in South Africa. Then again, this could just be me. It may well be that these are merely theories with little practical value. What is clear however is that there is definitely a need for further studies to determine the extent to which the other motives besides altruism influence remittance behaviour and more importantly how these insights can influence the business of money transfer.
Gabriel Wilson Snr Marketing Manager â€“ MoneyGram Johannesburg
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DELE OLOJEDE FIRST AFRICAN TO WIN THE
ele Olojede is a Nigerian journalist and former foreign editor at New York Newsday. Olojede is the first African-born winner of the Pulitzer Prize and is a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature. He is the chairperson of the Global Network Initiative International Advisory Council, and a member of the governing board of the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative. In 2010, the Global Forum for Ethics in Business honoured him as an exemplar of ethical business leadership, and Fast Company named him one of the 100 Most Creative People.
In 1982, Olojede began his journalism career at the National Concord in Lagos, a newspaper owned by aspiring political figure Moshood Abiola. He left the paper in 1984 amidst concern that Abiola was using the paper to advance his personal political ambitions. Olojede enrolled at the University of Lagos where he studied journalism. As a student he was particularly influenced by Nigerian literary luminaries like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Cyprian Ekwensi and other African writers like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Olojede became one of the founding staff writers of a Nigerian news magazine called Newswatch in 1984. The magazine was edited by Dele Giwa, a well-known Nigerian journalist who was killed by a mail bomb on 19 October 1986. Olojede publicly accused Nigeria's military leader Ibrahim Babangida of being responsible for the murder. In 2001, eight years after leaving power, Babangida refused to
testify about the murder before a human rights court. In 1986, Olojede penned an investigative report on the imprisonment of the popular Nigerian musician Fela Kuti which led to Kuti's release and the dismissal of the judge who imprisoned him. His efforts earned him a US$26,000 Ford Foundation Scholars grant in 1986 which he put towards a master's degree at Columbia University where he won the Henry N. Taylor Award for outstanding foreign student. Olojede eventually became a dual citizen of Nigeria and the US. On his return to Nigeria, Olojede launched 234Next in 2008, first on Twitter and then in print. Hiring 55 new journalists fresh out of college and working out of a diesel-powered 24-hour newsroom, NEXT worked to expose government corruption in the face of much resistance. Most famously, NEXT scooped the story that the president, President Yar'Adua was secretly brain dead and not "returning soon from a Saudi hospital" as promised. While this story resulted in the elevation of Goodluck Jonathan to the presidency, other stories such as the revelation that the Oil Minister Rilwanu Lukman was still in the oil business and involved in massive bribery were utterly ignored by officials. In 2011, Dele Olojede won the John P. McNulty Prize, which was created by Fellows of the Aspen Institute and seeks to reward the most innovative projects driving social change. The Prize was awarded for Olojede's vision and efforts www.theafricanpro.com
in creating NEXT in Nigeria. Under Olojede, NEXT paid its journalists a living wage, opposing the usual local practice of politicians paying journalists and expecting only favourable coverage in return. It scooped many stories of public interest, but found that advertisers would no longer support it. When it collapsed in 2011, it owed its staff more than five months' wages. Olojede spoke to TAP editor KC Rottok in New York in late September 2016. For what work did you win the Pulitzer Prize? It was for courage in reporting the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. As you know the genocide that killed close to a million people in that country happened in 1994. I covered the story at the time and subsequently visited the country a few times. In 2004, I returned to the country to do a series that looked at the state of the country ten years after the unfortunate mass murder of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The series was for Newsday New York and covered themes such as justice and the restoration of basic trust. What does winning the prize mean to you? The prize was a pretty big deal. It was conferred to me at my alma mater Columbia University with family and friends present. That was a proud moment and quite meaningful. It opened a lot of doors for me as it meant that people looked at me differently – like some sort of oracle although I
am just a normal person like you and everyone else here. Perhaps on the downside, it has come to define me. In fact, when it was first announced one of my older colleagues told me that at least I know how my obituary will start. For the most part though, I enjoy being a recipient of the prize. It is a thing of intense pride not just for me but for the whole of Nigeria. Your biography reads like that of a person who has been an achiever all his life. Do you believe success is a product of nature rather than nurture? I think it is mostly a product of nurture. There is some nature involved though as well a whole lot of luck. Of course, you need to apply your own effort and be ready to exploit opportunities when they come your way, but we cannot exclude luck. The prize for instance; there are probably another 100-literary
works that could have been worthy winners in the year that I won and had there been an international event of great significance happening that year which some other journalist had covered well, they would probably have won the prize instead. So the timing was right. Other instances of luck that I could cite include the Ford Foundation scholarship that brought me to America and afforded me the opportunity to join Newsday which ultimately led to my winning the Pulitzer Prize. When Nelson Mandela was released and South Africa was heading for its first inclusive democratic elections, I was fortunate to be sent to Johannesburg to set up the Africa bureau and cover that transition. There were many capable editors who could have been given that break. What you call luck, others would refer to as Godâ€™s blessings. Are you not a believer in the concept of a www.theafricanpro.com
supreme being? No. I am an atheist. The last time I purposefully attended a church service for purposes of listening to a sermon was in 1971 when I was a member of the church choir. It was the funeral of the priest who died at a young age from a heart attack. I had great respect for his teachings and believed he had a direct line to God. His sudden death convinced me that he had no direct line and that there was no God. That view has been reinforced subsequently because if there is indeed a supreme being, then he has made a real mess of the world. That said, I understand that religion plays a big role in society. People need something to believe in which gives them comfort in a tumultuous world. Religion has also inspired great art, architecture and music including the jazz that I enjoy. I try to avoid engaging in religious debates as they just result in circular arguments with no conclusion.
â€œThe Pulitzer Prize was a pretty big deal. It opened a lot of doors for me as it meant people looked at me differently as if you are some sort of oracle although I am just a normal person like you and everyone else here. Perhaps on the downside, it has come to define me. In fact, when it was first announced one of my older colleagues told me that at least I know how my obituary will startâ€Ś..â€? Looking back at your career and particularly the rise and fall of Next, do you have any regrets? No, I have no regrets although knowing what I know now, I would probably have approached NEXT differently. That is one of my proudest experiences; risking everything and going back to Nigeria was necessary. My number one error as a leader was to wrongfully account for the political risk of what we set out to do. We should have understood the
operating environment better. On the other hand, we set up an anticorruption newspaper that demonstrated that the country could have a haven where truth is told and high ethics upheld and proved that journalism could arm the population with accurate and fair information. It was a crusade against the political and business elite. Those two parties however controlled both advertising and circulation, and we underestimated the potential impact of www.theafricanpro.com
taking on them because they had the power to sabotage us. In retrospect, we should not have had a print edition and resultant high head count. If we kept it digital and with fewer people, our burn rate would have been lower and we could have stayed on long enough to attract greater international support. Do you have any specific plans to rekindle that adventure in Nigeria? Well that brand of journalism is what
I do best so I have not abandoned the desire to do something similar but this time on a wider and global platform. I have no specific plans at the moment. You must also remember that we trained an army of young people who are continuing that fight through various platforms including digital. That is good enough for me.
with a very low median age. It may sound cliché but the future belongs to young people. They are all over what is happening; they can make their voices heard and make their own mistakes without having to be forced into things
Do you have any political ambitions? None at all. I don’t think I am wired to be a politician - I am very impatient, don’t suffer fools gladly and can be very blunt. However, you never know. Things happen sometimes but I can unequivocally say that I would not rush into it. I don’t think I have the skills necessary to survive conventional politics. I believe I am more of a thinker than a politician. What is your message to young Africans? This is a great time for them to be alive. The seismic technological changes are an experience for them to behold. It is a time like no other in history; an egalitarian society that is armed with technology. The government no longer has the monopoly on information that was the case when I was growing up. Our continent has the youngest population
What are your thoughts around Nigeria more specifically? Nigeria was in a horrific condition where it was being run by the most corrupt and useless individual in Goodluck Jonathan. He lacked any basic leadership qualities; the treasury was looted in a free for all. They crushed the economy and it was the worst governed time in Nigeria’s history. The good news is that Nigeria had never unseated an incumbent through the ballot. The new president may not have been necessarily the best choice but replacing Goodluck was necessary and Nigerians managed to make a point. That is a victory in and of itself, and if the electorate is dissatisfied after five years they can do it again. That mindset has forced politicians to raise their game.
by social organisations. There is so much that they don’t need to deal with given that they can innovate easily. They can set up their own ventures from the comfort of their bedrooms on their laptops.
TO NTIMBWE MPAMBA
THE BOY WHO LIVED
oday I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it – Kevyn Aucoin Every so often, in the course of ordinary life, we are privileged enough to encounter extraordinary beings. On an ordinary Saturday, a few months ago, I went to the laundromat and, while I waited for my load to complete its cycle, I decided to get tea from a nearby coffee shop. It is in that coffee shop that I met a stranger who was so full of life and confidence, and talked so much that he gave those of us around him no choice but to engage with him or at the very least, listen. I listened.
That was the mundane beginning of my extraordinary encounter with Ntimbwe Mpamba. Ntimbwe, of Zambian origin who was born HIV positive and, at 34, is oldest person in Africa and the 2nd oldest in the world - only by a few months – who was born with the virus. You would think that that is what makes him extraordinary. It isn’t. What is it then you wonder? It might be the fact that his mother managed to keep his condition a secret from him for the first 23 years of his life. There were no antiretrovirals (ARVs), special treatment drugs, or specialist doctors. All he had was an extremely strict diet and herbal supplements prepared, administered and monitored by his mother who was a nutritionist by profession. To put this into perspective, the oldest person in the world born with HIV started taking ARVs at the age of www.theafricanpro.com
8. By the time the first ever case of HIV was recorded in South Africa, Ntimbwe had already been born. It might be that when he eventually wandered away from the nest, and repeated illness resulted in him finding out about his diagnosis, his viral load was overwhelming and his CD4 count was 36. A normal CD4 cell count in an HIV-negative man is between 400 and 1600 per cubic millimetre of blood. It might be that, notwithstanding the fact that his doctor recommended that he start going to a public hospital rather than his practice as there was nothing more to be done except to make him comfortable while he waited to die, he walked into that public hospital with music blaring from his earphones while his head bopped to the beat. That he could even walk unassisted was a miracle. It defied logic.
“That was the mundane beginning of my extraordinary encounter with Ntimbwe Mpamba. Ntimbwe, of Zambian origin, was born HIV positive and, at 34, he is oldest person in Africa and the second oldest in the world, only by a few months, born with the virus. You would think that that is what makes him extraordinary. It isn’t…..” It might be the fact he is the most defiantly cheerful person I have ever met despite the brutally trying years immediately following his diagnosis. The years in which his lungs nearly gave in, he lost his eyesight in one eye to herpes, he discovered the hard way that skipping meds - once you start your ARVs - leads to a dramatic deterioration of the body, and his family bore the crushing weight of the costs associated with his illness. It may even be the fact that he is in a relationship that transcends the physical with a remarkable young woman whom he wooed with his wit and charm. On her first birthday with him in 2010, he gifted her with roses and a can of coke with the tag that read “Don’t open me because I want to spend more birthdays with you.” The can remains unopened. For me, it is that he has somehow managed to focus on the positive www.theafricanpro.com
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it – Kevyn Aucoin” lessons of seemingly insurmountable difficulties he has faced in this life. He is on the cusp of publishing a book called “Crushed But Not Dis-Troyed” in which he explains how we often seek external solutions to our problems when we could in fact be the solution. How you are responsible for your own happiness - it’s a choice that you make each day of your life. How you can always choose
to start living your best life. If a man whose doctor told him it was ok to go home, lie down and die, chooses not to and lived, then ask yourself this, “what’s my excuse?” If not you, then who? Who should be in charge of saving you? How you must never hide behind the reason for your problems or blame others for your situation - it has no
effect on the situation but paralyses your ability to handle it. Instead, ask what your part is in creating the solution. He believes that his part is to use his story to inspire others to live. I believe that, unlike Harry Potter, he is the reallife boy who lived. CHAITWA MAMOYO
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NERVOUS CONDITIONS by Tsitsi Dangarembga
here are books that never get old, and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s autobiographical novel Nervous Conditions is a tantalizing throwback that relates the issues of women rights to decolonization theories. Postcolonial theory has always had a masculine and patriarchal energy that valorised the experiences of men with a few token mentions of women’s experiences. This silence in Africa’s postcolonial theory betrays a lack of agency in women as contributors and characters. Micere Mugo once highlighted this problem when she wrote, “our concern was that whereas, the part that men played in the struggle [and continue to play in nationalistic discourses] has been recorded by historians and biographers, women on the whole have been forgotten.” Archiving the narrative of the woman in postcolonial literature is imperative and Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, which been described as a modern classic, is an excellent contribution. One might even argue that it provides the missing set of issues that are either dismissed or ignored in texts by such writers as Achebe, Ngugi or Soyinka, hence making African literature classics whole. Nervous Conditions engages with the psyche, suggesting that political and national issues are not only played out in public spaces but also in intimate individual spaces: the psychological and the physical body. She explores her characters emotional and physical reactions to power, elaborating how they negotiate and sometimes resist opposition and control. These negotiations often take the form of private thoughts, wishes and dreams,
and sometimes include physical movement and vacation. The first two sentences of the book, for instance, prepare the imagined reader for a vivid psychoanalytic and emotional read. Dangarembga writes: “I am not sorry my brother is dead. Nor am I apologizing for my callousness, as you may define it, my lack of feeling.” This is a public declaration by the protagonist that she will not be modest about expressing her thoughts, actions and fears. Tambudzai, is the main protagonist and narrator. She shares her life journey as a young girl, with big dreams, living in a space that doesn’t allow women to freely express their thoughts or occupy certain spaces. This silence and vacancy is a recurring theme that is deliciously teased out in the book. Is silence a lack of agency? Or is it an act of agency? Or can it be both? Does it signify consent and complicity? Dangarembga’s novel suggests that such issues cannot be straightjacketed. What about absenteeism and vacating spaces? Moving out of homes, leaving family, or holding meetings to discuss women without inviting the women being discussed. Through Tambudazi’s thoughts and interactions with her family members and institutions, readers get to understand the depictions of women in most African societies. Coming from a poor family, Tambudzai’s life changes, for the better, when her brother dies. By the time of his death, their relationship was punctuated with cold wars and deep resentment that drove a wedge between www.theafricanpro.com
brother and sister. Babamukuru is the main male protagonist and Tambudzai’s uncle. He is also her ticket out of poverty. He is an educated man, married to an equally educated woman whose qualifications are irrelevant because she is a woman. They have an easy going boy called Chido and an eccentric and complicated daughter called Nyasha who modern day black twitter would describe as “woke”. Nyasha observes and absorbs the different types of inequalities in both domestic and institutional spaces, and these observations affect her both mentally and physically. She chooses to rebel, much to her parent’s disappointment. Tambudazi on the other hand is caught in between her observations and her desire to get a formal education and escape poverty. How can she remain loyal and obedient to a man who treats her as a daughter, but whose views of women are suffocating? Dangarembga blurs the lines between such binarisms: rich vs poor, illiterate vs educated, moral vs immoral, man vs woman, traditional vs progressive, dreamers vs lazybones, empowered vs shackled. There are overlapping identities that complicate such binaries, and the author muddles these representations. Obioma Nnaemeka once rightly argued that “agent and victimhood are not mutually exclusive.” There are overlapping identities that complicate identity. Kimberlé Crenshaw calls this intersectionality – a term she coined in 1989 to explain the idea that “cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems
of society.” The quote at the beginning of this article summarizes it well. Dangarembga’s characters are defined by different layers of oppression and empowerment. Tambudazi negotiates gender, class, traditions, language, and modernity. Babamukuru negotiates class and the burdens of colonialism. These burdens intersect and form part of the character’s identity and struggle. Nervous Conditions was first published in 1988 and is set in 1960 Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), nonetheless, it remains relevant not just as timeless contribution to African literature but as a metaphor of most African societies. If you are a reader who, in the wake of radical consciousness depicted in social media with hashtags such as “feesmustfall” “forblackgirlsonly” of “someonetell…” is searching for present resonance in texts, this novel is still fitting. Such hashtags capture the same disillusionment that Dangarembga’s characters display in the text. Lastly, the epigraph. The title may remind some readers of Jean-Paul
“It is the Englishness. It’ll kill them all if they aren’t careful… you couldn’t expect the ancestors to stomach so much Englishness” Sartre’s preface to Frantz Fanon’s abiding book Wretched of the Earth: “the status of ‘native’ is a nervous condition introduced and maintained by the settler among colonized people with their consent.” It is as if Dangarembga is further complicating Fanon and Sartre arguments using fiction (though she deliberately refrains from engaging with race in this text). Fanon and www.theafricanpro.com
Sartre’s arguments describe the effects of colonialism, slavery (and other forms of oppression) on both the material and the psyche. Dangarembga’s classic novel delves deep into the psyche of the lives of men and women.
Founding Director of Supreme Brands, Winner of Top 35 under 35 Chartered Accountant in SA
ust eight years ago, along with three million other Zimbabweans, today’s high-flying yet humble entrepreneur, Mose Kutadzaushe, fled his motherland in desperate search of a financial oasis. Disillusioned by the hopeless economic situation of Zimbabwe and by medical insurance companies that defaulted on payments to hospitals, leaving his sick father and many other patients stranded in a pitiful condition, he was driven to action.
responded, and then head home, only to return the next day. This went on for three long, hard months.
His financial oasis, South Africa, did not offer him the immediate comfort he had been anticipating. Mose Kutadzaushe tells how, besides cold calling contact people on websites, he walked 7 kilometres to the nearest Internet café in Johannesburg to send off job applications, then log off, sit outside and wait to log on again to check if perhaps some company had hopefully
And then one day, it finally happened. He managed to land employment at Deloitte Consulting after his critical skills work permit was approved by the Department of Home Affairs.
‘The job search phase in South Africa will always remain a crucial period in my life,’ says Mose. ‘I was a chartered accountant who had passed Level 2 of the CFA examination and yet I could not find an employer who was willing to sponsor me for a work permit.’
‘This episode taught me two critical lessons: first, failure is a reality of life that we all experience but can overcome with time and perseverance; second, and www.theafricanpro.com
more importantly, being unemployed is very painful – it diminishes selfconfidence and makes one doubt one’s self-worth.’ Employment meant Mose could provide for himself and his family and, most importantly, he could afford his dad’s dialysis. However, supporting his family alone was not enough for him. His challenge was now greater; the dream was bigger. He wanted to make a difference in his entire community and began searching for a way he could become more relevant. WITH THE TOP IN MIND Mose still has vividly painted memories of deep conversations with his uncle about his career as early as when he was in primary school, aged 12 years old or younger.
“With patience and hard work, in 2010 Mose teamed up with three friends and founded Supreme Brands that has cumulatively generated over R70 million worth of revenue and has created employment for 77 employees. Today it supplies all leading retailers in Zimbabwe and occupies more than 80% of the nationwide toilet paper shelf space in some retailers…” ‘My mother’s brother was one of the first black partners, if not the first, at Deloitte in Zimbabwe. Because of him, I grew up aspiring to be nothing else but a chartered accountant. As time passed, my resolve only strengthened,’ says Mose. Academically, Mose is known to be a top performer. He received various awards during his five years of articles he pursued straight out of high school and is said to one of the most solid recruits Deloitte Zimbabwe has made in the past decade. The then CEO of Deloitte Central Africa, Tawanda Gumbo, took a keen interest in Mose and soon became his most influential mentor. Crucial lessons Mose learnt during article years: ‘Of note, I learnt a lot about leadership from watching Hugh Wright, a partner in the Deloitte Harare office. He was always well prepared – he spent time with me planning the week and making sure that we always had an eye on the big picture, near term and long term. When I walked out of his office on Monday morning I knew exactly what was expected of me and when it was expected. He took me under his wing and staffed me on some of his most important assignments. I knew he trusted me and he consistently showed appreciation for any work I handed to him.’ Labouring by day at Deloitte Harare and buried in books at night, Mose successfully managed to complete his BCom degree through Unisa. His
studying towards the CFA Charter while also taking on his CTA examinations proved to be a tough challenge. With phenomenal results that placed him in the national top 10 candidates in Zimbabwe in 2008, Mose achieved his dream of becoming a chartered accountant. With his go-getter spirit, he lost not time and immediately sat for examinations to convert his CA qualification to a CA(SA) qualification and soon landed a secondment to work at the Deloitte Philadelphia office for a three-month stint.
manufacturing industry. ‘I sat down and made a list of very defensible products that would be somewhat insulated from prolonged severe economic downturns.’ Based on the list that he came up with, toilet paper was a clear winner. ‘It was an underpenetrated product in terms of local manufacturing in
When he returned from Philadelphia at the height of the economic crisis in 2008, inflation was soaring, imports were drying up, and shortages abounded; his family couldn’t even afford to pay for his father’s treatment using Zimbabwean currency. Mose handed in his resignation to Deloitte Harare and with ambitious hopes set sail for South Africa. EXCITED ABOUT TOILET PAPER Greatly inspired by the spirit of microenterprise that existed in Zimbabwe, he returned from South Africa in 2009. This time he was armed with new connections and additional business knowledge and an avid eagerness to be part of rebuilding his country’s economy. Mose quickly realised that one of the leading challenges that needed to be surmounted in Zimbabwe was the declining capacity utilisation in the www.theafricanpro.com
Zimbabwe and it was a necessity that all households would need to carry. With this knowledge, I read up on the manufacturing process, the available suppliers of the relevant machinery and production inputs, as well as the
things that would be required to build a successful brand from scratch’, he says.
‘At this time, I did not have any personal savings, but I found the toilet paper idea to be very exciting. I reached out to as many people as I could think of and sold the idea of starting a toilet paper manufacturing company with the view of raising money to build the company. I also hired competent sales, production and administrative staff to support my mother, who I had earmarked as the CEO. The company started as a small manufacturing concern that was consistently cash-strapped. Through this experience I learned how to manage a business which has very limited resources.’
With patience and hard work, in 2010 Mose teamed up with three friends and founded Supreme Brands that has cumulatively generated over R70 million worth of revenue and has created employment for 77 employees. Today it supplies all leading retailers in Zimbabwe and occupies more than 80% of the nationwide toilet paper shelf space in some retailers. ‘Although this can be seen as an economic contribution to the country, in my mind, this is also the greatest social contribution that I have made to my society. My employees can take their children to school, buy property, and most importantly, avoid the emotional torment of being unemployed,’ he stresses.
‘I am currently in the process of introducing Zimbabwe’s only locally manufactured baby diapers under Supreme Brand’s Maruva® brand name. I have been investing in Zimbabwe when many of my fellow citizens have been turning away, and I will continue to do so. The economics of the country and industry are compelling if one gets the branding and distribution right. I intend to leverage my wide distribution network to introduce multiple non-perishable “necessities” into the market. I am particularly drawn to the sanitary industry given this is where our current expertise lies. In the long term, I intend to grow the company into a regional conglomerate that operates in the SADC region.’
field- the only difference between him
centre, come wing, at the expense of
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names his first test side of 2015 which
boasted 17 my out part of 22 Afrikaans/Bulls ‘experiments’ to play in my country’s and In May 2016,backfired Mose spectacularly. started in his hope related players (I left De out, becoming a new role at Investec as an investment continent’s development byAllende because leader who cares what heemployment is, the boy Don’t get me wrong I amto notbesaying that business who provides specialist and is excited using his competition is on equal footing? Is it to the woman he is with financially?” the man is the head of the home.” sure canforming play!) Not has changed, toand see operational 15 black/English speaking through the team for the first RWC Supreme match is I want and much supporting experience executive director. for men to adapt to a societyscalable Is it not a greater showing of strengthon harder “How can you Through expect the man to sit at finance the squad for Saturday’s is players on the field. Not remotely. named,home the flank gets injured. ventures.’ African continent onceeven again. ‘I plan business Brand’s greatstarting successes, Mose applied the in which a woman quarterfinal can be while you earn. Chai! 18/22. again saying give to spend the rest of my career investing All I want is a situation where it does and wasdictates accepted by the Stanford Business andOnce should beI am annotequal? Logic bench warmer Women ofthat today. resign oooo!” “The minority agreed with my view we truly believe will!gives gifts. becoming a credible School wheresome he completed MBA in out Bok jerseys like he Oprah notAfrica, matterand what you look like, or asset your And - who needs game timehis - should that whether or not the guy was the Does the oft quoted biblical The minority agreed with my connect providers in 2013, also vast array who does heritage, who if youhelps havetodelivered, you have I’m just saying that if a player naturally stepopening up. But up no,ainstead, he of is manager view that whether or not the head of the home, the bills would still submission of the woman of capital with talented entrepreneurs possibilities. not fit the ‘traditional Bok mould’ as I every opportunity to play in the green replaced by a player out of position. If extend to holding back from guy was the head of the home, need to be paid and common sense that need assistance scaling their puts up give and gold and you cannot tell me that this see it, he needed game timestill should outdoing thetheir man?hand, I may notthem a the bills would need you to not businesses,’ he says. Thereafter he realised his dream of would suggest that the one earning chance to be great too. has been happening. What makes this rather put Schalk on the bench because know the answers but I sincerely be paid and common sense workingwould for Goldman Sachsonein less the hit home resign.” not.you Perhaps, the question maybe can ignore this for love even harder is the fact that this Surehope we know whatsuggest a beast that that the man is? Then should that over 90% of United earning States. less Employed as a senior ‘Knowing I should be asking is Is society should resign. LOVE OF there was the time when the position of current coach has had the biggest pool of country, but I can’t, -FOR to resign for the good of Oninthethe basis that the man in question are greater classified as theun- conspiring to emasculate its men? Could associate investment division, he Zimbabweans wing - generally reserved for people of of talent to choose from, some of whom COUNTRY! it be that in empowering family? How it being head of the majority, I suppose is a is sad realitya good that continues thrived agrees on the with three-year fast-paced and employed LyNN GRALA women, we happen to the have a higher melanin the higher melanin concentration in of thisthis justhome forgot to empower men deal with it? to make family survive on less the question at the root of all to hit me hard. To the extent possible, I exhilarating career. (Accountancy SAtoMagazine) than your others. countryfor- was fullback, cometied content YAW PEPRAH to protect manhood (read ego). me given is, “Is to a aman’s manhood opportunity. FROM THE SIDE DIRECTING With his mother CEO of Supreme To compound matters further, after Brand, today Mose manages as a non-
into whether or not he feels superior
Is it harder to be a man when the
TAP FINAL 20.11.2015.indd 46
2015/11/23 11:25 AM
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NAMED IN THE TOP 40 UNDER 40 KENYANS
EDNA KIGEN – SENIOR TECHNICAL CONSULTANT AT ENABLE-U
“Achievement motivates me. I always strive to do the absolute best in everything I do and love to see the end results. I also have great passion for the IT industry and endeavour to work for its betterment …”
Tell me about yourself? I am 31 years old, the third born in a family of four children. As siblings, we continuously push each other to succeed in our different chosen professions. Our family is very close knit and our parents have always been our pillars as we strive to excel in our careers. They have always encouraged us to work on our education and as a result, all of us either have or are working towards a Master’s degree. My husband, Kwabena Adjei - a Senior Business Improvement Specialist in South Africa - motivates and encourages me as I set high goals and work towards achieving them. I presently work as the Senior Technical Consultant and Architect for Enable-U, a company headquartered in the Netherlands but with the Middle East and Africa (MEA) branch based out of Johannesburg. Enable-U is an integration specialist for software-defined businesses. I am highly motivated with great analytical skills and an excellent work ethic. I am also very ambitious and driven and that has enabled me excel in all the different roles I have had. What is it that motivates you? Achievement motivates me. I always strive to do the absolute best in everything I do and love to see the
end results. I am also motivated by a great passion for the IT industry and endeavour to work for its betterment, especially at this point when IT is redefining itself; it is not just another cost to the company but a key driver to deliver operational benefits. What is your education background? I attended Moi High School Kabarak where I attained an A- in the Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE). I have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Information Systems and Technology (IST) from the United States International University (USIU), where I graduated top of my class. I also hold an Honours degree in Technology Management and a Masters in Technology Management from the University of Pretoria. How did you end up on this career path? What choices shaped your career path? Is it something you wanted to pursue? If so why? I did Computer Studies in High School when it was first offered as part of the curriculum. Part of my KCSE project was to write a program in PASCAL, which was very challenging at the time because it was new to everyone in the www.theafricanpro.com
school. It was then that I developed an interest in IT. I enrolled for a Business Degree with a concentration in IST and found that I enjoyed the IST courses the most. This for me, was validation for the path I was to take. After I finished school, I got a job as a Graduate Trainee at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), and started doing professional papers in IT that included Microsoft and Cisco. At this point, I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do. Moving to South Africa and getting a job in IT shaped this path and I have not looked back since. I am passionate about IT, its
“I was appointed to my first management position at age 14. The challenge of managing 32 teenagers, while still a teenager myself, shaped me for all my future management roles…” dynamism, how far we have come and I am excited about where we are heading. What are some of your achievements? I am the Africa project lead for my company and have worked on several high-profile integration projects that I cannot disclose. My work in Africa has led to more work in Europe and the Middle East and I therefore have a wealth of experience from different regions. Apart from your work, what other projects you are involved in including charities? If so, what are they and why are you involved in them? My passion for mentorship led to my involvement with the Ikamva Youth Program which aims to empower youth through education, e-literacy training and career guidance. I also mentor at Homebase - a church based organization - and I am in the process of getting involved in a Women in IT mentorship programme. What is the career moment that sticks out for you? The one you are most proud of and why? I started out as a Support Assistant and within three years, I was doing Support Level 3 - the highest level of support - as well as managing projects for the company. This was the result of being diligent, eager to learn, and constantly upgrading my skills through various certifications, all of which are important in IT. This was the beginning of the story for me and I have not looked back since. Where you start should not determine how far you go; there should be no limits.
Have you won any awards? If so, which ones and for what? I was on the Dean’s list for the 10 semesters that I was at the USIU and received the Top Student award in my school on completion. While at the University of Pretoria, I was also a recipient of the Golden Key Award that recognizes the top performing students. What advice would you give to those who would like to follow in your footsteps? There are no limits except those that exist in your mind. Set your goals, work towards them, and do not be afraid of challenges. In IT, remain relevant by continuously learning; because as soon as you stop, you are in the wrong profession. Keep track of changes in the industry as things change very fast in this sector. Most importantly, learn to adapt to the changes. What are your future aspirations? API Management is part of a larger movement; we are moving away from the internet age into an application age. I endeavour to continue to be part of the movement that is changing the world; removing the traditional enterprise boundaries and replacing them with newer consumer focused models. I am excited about where technology is and I am keen to remain at the forefront of it. I would also like to mentor of young women, in STEM especially, either by supporting more of the established vehicles or setting up an additional vehicle to do so. This is because I think we need to encourage young women to go into what is still a very male dominated field.
FIONA KIGEN – VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING IN CIB – BARCLAYS Tell us about yourself? I am 32 years old, born on 26 November 1983. Currently, I am a Vice President: Marketing in the Corporate and Investment Banking division of Barclays Africa Group Limited, where I work with different business teams to conceptualize and execute their marketing plans in line with business strategy, make recommendations based on business needs, and continually push for execution of campaigns in line with industry best practice. Tell us what you think stands out in your as an individual? I was appointed to my first management position at age 14. I had just joined high school and my class teacher, Mr. Lutta,
having had to pick one of us to lead the other 32 in Form 1 West, somehow picked me. The challenge of managing 32 teenagers, while still a teenager myself, shaped me for all my future management roles. I have come a long way since then. At 22, I joined Barclays Kenya as a Marketing Executive, young and excited to be part of a global brand’s marketing team. A few years later, I took on the challenge of acting as the Head of Marketing for Barclays Tanzania. This was a very exciting assignment for me and it prepared me for my next big assignment, which came a few months later when I took up yet another acting position, this time as the Head of Marketing for Barclays Kenya - one of the largest Barclays businesses in Africa. This was an even bigger challenge for me, as I now had to manage a team of eight, the entire marketing budget and numerous concurrent projects, including the Barclays Kenya Open and the Barclays Golf Circuit. Since then, I have held various positions in the Barclays Africa regional team, where as a Vice President, I manage a portfolio of products across Barclays Africa’s 11 countries, working with the different country teams. I have also been part of a team working on Absa’s South Africa retail banking business, which gave me deep insights into the one of the continent’s largest economies. What are you doing to further your career? Currently, I am pursuing my MBA at the Wits Business School. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a double concentration in Finance and Marketing from the United States International University (USIU) in 2005, where I was the top student in my year. I also hold a
post graduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK, a digital marketing certificate from the University of Stellenbosch, and a digital marketing certificate from Red and Yellow, a leading digital marketing school. I believe that mine is a story of consistency. I have been very blessed to have had some great opportunities pass my way. What made the difference for me is being able to identify and take advantage of them. What are your achievements and the milestones you have covered getting up the ladder? During my tenure at Barclays, I have had the opportunity to lead the marketing teams in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique. I have developed strong management and leadership capabilities, as can be demonstrated by the above positions that I held at the ages of 27, 28 and 29 respectively. Working in the Barclays Africa regional team overseeing a portfolio of products across 11 countries at the age of 30 was also a critical career milestone for me. My experience has given me a great understanding of the African continent, of which I am very proud. What is your contribution to the community? I have been very active on the community front, having been actively involved in our annual ‘Make A Difference Day’ where I have on many occasions been a member of a coordinating committee. I also sat on the Country Community Investment Committee which has oversight and responsibility for all of Barclays Kenya’s community programs and volunteer at my church. In addition to the community service, I was also a member of the Barclays Ladies www.theafricanpro.com
Basketball team, where I played centre and forward in both the Kenya InterBanks League and the Kenya Division 2 League. What are the challenges you have faced and lessons learnt over the years in your career? While it has been no easy walk, I have been fortunate to have mentors who have showed me the way and helped me make some crucial career decisions. Working in a big organization with thousands of employees means that standing out is so much more difficult. Consistency is important to ensure that you build a personal brand that people remember when an opportunity arises that matches your skills. Developing oneself is critical to remaining relevant. In the past few years, I have worked on my Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and digital marketing qualifications, and I am now back in school doing my MBA. This has meant that I have had to work so much harder to ensure that I am managing both at work and in school, not to mention my personal life. Along the way I have learnt some valuable lessons – developing great relationships that ensure you always have people to turn to for assistance, consistency in delivery and being true to your word, and going over and above what is required to get the job done. Specifically, for a marketer, keeping up with industry trends and a deep knowledge of best practice are key to making your mark.
DR. DAVID IKUMI
WINNER OF CLAUDE LEON AWARD
kumi’s research focuses on the mathematical modelling of wastewater treatment systems. His work, which he carried through from his postgraduate research, seeks to contribute solutions to averting the current water crisis in Africa. Ikumi spoke to Chido Mbambe.
in wastewater treatment for which UCT is renowned. Remaining at UCT for my postgraduate studies offered me the opportunity to work with and learn from successful individuals in the field, such as my PhD supervisor, Professor George Ekama.
Where were you born, and raised? I was born and raised in Kenya – most of my childhood was spent in Nairobi.
Please tell us how you came to be a lecturer at UCT’s Department of Civil Engineering. During my PhD studies, I became curious about the academic world which resulted in my taking up the opportunity to help teaching the wastewater treatment course whilst writing my thesis. Later in that period,
What drew you to the University of Cape Town (UCT)? I initially came to UCT in pursuit of my undergraduate studies in civil engineering. I developed a keen interest
I was granted an opportunity to work collaboratively in research with another research group in Laval University of Canada. After graduation, I was very happy to be offered the prestigious Carnegie Scholarship which allowed me to re-join UCT as a postdoctoral research fellow. Following my fellowship, I was fortunate to be offered a position in UCT’s civil engineering department as a senior lecturer in water quality engineering. Which of your research does the Claude Leon Merit Award recognise? My current research interests are centred around the mathematical modelling
“The award is given by the Claude Leon Foundation to young researchers in recognition of their ability to make a significant independent contribution to their field. The award serves as encouragement to continue outstanding scholarly achievements as a young researcher…” of wastewater treatment systems. The Claude Leon Merit Award recognises the use of mathematical modelling in conjunction with experimental methods towards development of augmented bio methane potential (ABMP) and augmented bio sulphide potential (ABSP) tests. What floats your boat in research? Bioprocess modelling is the main topic of discussion in our water research group. With this in mind, we are continuously asking ourselves exactly what the waste water treatment systems of the future should look like. Past researchers at UCT have been renowned for developing mathematical models that are used internationally. These models are based on the recurrent behaviour of microorganisms that
mediate wastewater treatment under various environments. The attempt to virtually replicate their behavioural patterns in the development of mathematical models is indeed an exciting process, akin to assembling the pieces of a puzzle. The models can then be used towards the design of ideal treatment systems together with their optimised operation. How does this area of research fit in with your personal interests? I am delighted that my research area involves the protection of our natural environment. Moreover, that it requires the application of sciences, such as mathematics and biology – I have always appreciated the application of scientific principles to make reasonable conclusions and predictions.
What do you wish other people knew about your field or research? The reality of the water crisis. The struggle for a clean, ample water supply to sustain life continuously intensifies and there is a need for the effective conservation, management and distribution of our water resources. What do you like doing off duty? I enjoy visiting new restaurants with friends and sampling craft beer. I am not much of an artist myself, but I appreciate going to open-mic sessions to see people express themselves with good poetry, hip-hop or comedy. When I can, I also enjoy taking road trips to visit new towns.
Chido Mbambe www.theafricanpro.com
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IN CONVERSATION WITH THE FOUNDER OF KISUA FASHION
SAM MENSAH T
here are more opportunities in creating African brands, that will one-day rival international ones. One person who is exploiting this is the founder of Kisua who saw the need to increase demand in African fashion and is now trading in South Africa and other parts of the world, such as Europe. The opportunities are endless, take a look at his story… Tell us about yourself and the creation of Kisua Kisua is a contemporary African brand. I am from Ghana, live in South Africa, and travel a lot across the African continent. I find that whenever I travel I always find beautiful locally made African fashion which I buy and give to friends, and people will always be interested in these African pieces. When they see things that I gifted to somebody, they offer me money saying next time you are in Lagos, or next time you are in Dakar, please bring me this dress or that top that you bought for this person. That’s how I realized that there is a lot of interest. And that there is contemporary good quality African fashion but people just didn’t know where to get it. That’s how I started investigating that we need to build an entire chain and distribution network behind this to create the ability to deliver to a larger number of customers. The name Kisua comes from an archaic form of Swahili that is no longer used. In Swahili, it means a well-dressed person, which is appropriate for what we are trying to do with the brand.
How would you describe the process of getting your products to market? Production is challenging. You must source your material and have it transported to wherever on the continent the production will be done. For instance, we source fabric from countries like Ghana, which we manufacture in a different part of the African continent. From there we have to ship it to Europe, the US or somewhere in South Africa where we also have a huge following. Bringing all of that together still remains quite challenging. We often talk about intra Africa trade and international trade, but sometimes the reality is quite removed from where we want to be. We aspire to a continent where trade between countries is easy, but there remain many barriers and challenges to doing business on the continent. To buy goods from one African country and have them manufactured in another then sold in a third is quite a process. That is what we have been doing with the logistics behind the scenes to make this process seamless and allow the brand to serve a global customer base. How do you distribute your product and who are your primary consumers? In addition to our South African Operations, we also have distribution centres in the UK and the US. We are available on online platforms and deliver globally. So, one can place an order on Kisua.com and we will deliver from one of our distribution centres in the UK, US or here in South Africa to anywhere in the world.
We will eventually start producing menswear, but women’s clothing was a good starting point. Women are constantly looking for fresh ways to express themselves and appreciate contemporary African fashion, and so we felt there was quite a lot of demand for women fashion. There is however also quite a demand for men’s fashion for which we get many requests from men so ‘Kisua Men’ will eventually happen. There is a lot of choice, because there is a lot of choices and that’s a good thing. The market on African fashion is not saturated. Africa has over a billion people so there lies a great opportunity for a brand like Kisua not just to serve our customers, but the African continent as a whole. To be a representative and advocate of African style and culture to the rest of the world. We find that many of our customers are non-Africans looking for something interesting or a little different that comes from the continent, is well made, and not your contemporary ‘grandmother fashion’. How has the experience been for you? There are many aspects of starting a business from scratch. I guess it is always going to be harder than you expect, cost more than you think it will, and take longer than you plan for. So, that to me is the tough part, just knowing however hard you thought it was going to be, it is going to be much harder. You just have to be prepared for it. Why do you think African fashion is so dynamic? I think African fashion offers the world a fresh perspective on style. Africa
“I am from Ghana and I travel a lot across the African continent. I find that whenever I travel I always find beautiful locally made African fashion which I buy and give to friends, and people will always be interested in these African pieces. When they see things that I gifted to somebody they will come and offer me money saying next time when you are in Lagos or next time when you are in Dakar, please bring me this dress or that top that I saw you bought for this person. That’s how I realized that there is obviously a lot of interest in contemporary African fashion of good quality….”
is blessed with a variety of cultures, traditions, and languages, all of which produce very exciting fabrics, textures and ideas that are not presented in a contemporary way. You have some global celebrities wearing Kisua. Do you think a fashion designer from Africa has something to offer that they can’t find from overseas? We are blessed in Africa with different cultures, each with its own style of dressing. Each type of fabric has a story behind it and a specific techniques for weaving it. So, we have a lot of content to share with the world that is still being discovered. That is why celebrities like Beyoncé who was seen wearing Kisua, all gravitate towards the brand. It offers something that is slightly different to what you will get from a normal international brand or retailer. And how do you source these pieces? Kisua has a network of stylists and designers. There is something unique about their style, something interesting about their perspective on fashion. We collaborate with these designers and have done different collections from different countries like Ghana, Kenya, the DRC and Nigeria. The feedback we have is very encouraging with people ordering from India, Australia and Germany and the United States, so it’s very interesting to see how people are responding to this platform.
Africa is on trend right now but do you think we have what it takes to compete globally? The African story is very much in its infancy. Don’t forget that we have one billion people on the continent. We have 54 countries each with multiple cultures and the creative talent that you find on the continent is quite deep. I think it will be a while before we run out of ideas and creative material to offer the world. African fashion has really evolved in a short period of time. How do you see it growing further in the next 10 years? I think over the next 10 years; African fashion is going to move from being a cottage industry which is pretty much the case in the most parts today. You have to go and buy some fabric, take it to a tailor and get it made for you. The convenience factor currently is very low. I think over time African fashion will grow to become more professional and become an industry with international brands and super stars. From working with African designers and wearing their clothes, I think professionalising African fashion will also increase the global appeal.
ALI Media Fellowship Programme
Cultivating Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism
Celebrating 46 distinguished leaders in media and business from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa who will influence and strengthen the future of financial journalism in Africa
Issa Aremu, NPOM, mni
KC Rottok Chesaina
Fatima Abbas Hassan
Ekundayo Ezekiel Kayode
Lucy Nyasi Kilalo
Chidi Henry Lemchi
Akeem Olabode Mustapha
Noel Kazungu Mwakughu
Nation Media Group, Kenya
SABC, South Africa
Yvonne Buliba Okwara
Sunday Trust, Nigeria
Citizen TV, Kenya
BusinessDay Media Ltd., Nigeria
Financial Mail, South Africa
Media Trust Limited, Nigeria
CCTV Africa, Kenya
The African Professional, South Africa
Nation Media Group, Kenya
I’M Original Productions, South Africa
Business Day, Nigeria
Freelance Journalist, Nigeria
EnergyTimes Newspaper, Nigeria
Mail & Guardian, South Africa
Guardian Newspapers Ltd., Nigeria
Citizen TV, Kenya
Primedia, South Africa
Nation Media Group, Kenya
eNCA, South Africa
Kenya Television Network, Kenya
Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria
Primedia Broadcasting, South Africa
Freelance Journalist, Kenya
The Times Media Group, South Africa
Financial Mail, South Africa
Silverbird Communications, Nigeria
World Vision, Kenya
Nigeria Television Authority, Nigeria
Businessday Media Ltd., Nigeria
Nation Media Group, Kenya
The Media, Nigeria
The Vanguard, Nigeria
Freelance Journalist, South Africa
eNCA, South Africa
Mail & Guardian Africa, Kenya
GetBiz, South Africa
The Nation, Nigeria
ALI Media Fellowship
ALI Media Fellowship • www.alimediafellowship.org
The Star Newspaper, South Africa
Bloomberg News, South Africa
ALI Media Fellowship Programme is made possible through a partnership with Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa, underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa is a pan-African programme to build media capacity, convene international leaders and improve access to information in order to advance transparency, accountability and governance on the continent. www.bmia.org
Anchorage Ltd., Kenya
Business Day TV, South Africa
Agriculture Entrepreneur from Madagascar wins
$25,000 2016 Anzisha Grand Prize for African Youth Entrepreneurship
he 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries. GAUTENG, South Africa, October 26, 2016/ -- African Leadership Academy (www.AfricanLeadershipAcademy.org) and The MasterCard Foundation (www.MastercardFdn.org) are pleased to announce Heritiaina Randriamananatahina, 22 year old agriculture entrepreneur from
Madagascar, as this year’s winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize in the sixth annual edition of Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship. Heritiaina is the founder of Fiombonana, an agroprocessing enterprise that manufactures dairy products and confectioneries using only Malagasy raw materials, employing farmers and providing local job opportunities. Heritiaina was selected from a competitive pool of diverse entrepreneurs from all over Africa. For the first time ever, www.theafricanpro.com
Anzisha Prize (www.AnzishaPrize. org) is pleased to award one of the top prizes to a finalist from Madagascar, creating a truly pan-African network of entrepreneurs who represent Africa’s best youth entrepreneurs. This year, Anzisha Prize celebrates increased representation of winners from francophone countries. The first runnerup was environmental entrepreneur Yaye Souadou Fall, 21, from Senegal (who will receive $15,000) while
agricultural entrepreneur N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier, 19, from Cote d’Ivoire was the second runner-up (and will receive $12,500). The presence of two agriculture entrepreneurs in the top three is emblematic of the important role agriculture plays in Africa’s economies. Agriculture represented the sector with the largest share of applicants for the prize this year. The Agriculture Sector Prize was also claimed by N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier who demonstrated the potential for agriculture to create jobs for youth. 48
As the grand prize-winner, Heritiaina impressed a pan-African panel of judges with his venture response to a real need within his community, effective business model, job-creation potential, scalability, and demonstrated leadership potential. Fiombonana has enjoyed significant success to date including sizeable growth as Fiombonana produces 800kg of cheese a week, with potential for rapid and low cost expansion due to innovations such as reverse-engineering machinery for food processing. “I am so excited to win the Anzisha Prize for 2016, even though I had to drop out of school when I was in grade six. My hard work in my business is paying off. I appreciate the training I have already received so far. Now that I have won, I will invest in my own education and grow my business,” says Heritiaina. The first runner up for the prize, Yaye Souadou from Senegal and founder of E-cover, is also the first Senegalese entrepreneur ever in the top three in the www.theafricanpro.com
history of Anzisha Prize. The core need the venture meets is to repurpose the many discarded tyres that are available in her home city, Dakar, into multipurpose tiles for paving playgrounds, pavements, roads, and other surfaces. Yaye believes that youth can be agents of change to solve the problems that Africa faces and can drive pursuit of opportunities for economic growth. Her win will enable her to build the production capacity that her venture desperately needs in order to meet customer demand. N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier from Cote d’ Ivoire is the remarkable second runner up who founded Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI. Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI is an agricultural group with the aim of producing and selling chocolate and food crops for profit and mobilizing youth for agricultural employment. It is unique for the manner in which Koffi operates his farm, through modern methods to ensure maximum yields during processing. Koffi has managed to tirelessly pursue this innovative venture, and create employment for 35 people. Koffi creates improved livelihoods for over 100 households through access to innovative farming practices. The Anzisha Sector Prize in Agriculture was also awarded to N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier. The Anzisha Prize in Agriculture is offered with the sponsorship of the Louis Dreyfus Foundation (www. LouisDreyfusFoundation.org), which promotes projects in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food security and self-sufficiency, particularly
through education and direct support to farmers. The Louis Dreyfus Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship in Agriculture was offered for a second year this year, and aims to recognize young African entrepreneurs who are making a sustainable impact in the agriculture sector. The MasterCard Foundation continues to support both entrepreneurs and the Anzisha Prize support program that the entrepreneurs will now access. “Joining the ranks of the Anzisha Fellows, this
impressive group of young men and women are igniting the entrepreneurial spark in young people across Africa,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “This ripple, the #AnzishaEffect has the power to transform the continent as these young entrepreneurs rise to become the next generation of African movers and shakers.” “Anzisha Prize is a truly inclusive and pan-African Prize. The program is run www.theafricanpro.com
in a multi-lingual learning environment in which entrepreneurs can learn regardless of their preferred language of instruction such as Arabic, French, Portuguese, and even Malagasy this year. The entrepreneurs really represent the true cream of the crop from the entire continent,” says Grace Kalisha, Program Manager for the Anzisha Prize. The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were
hand-picked from an applicant pool of 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries. Now in its sixth year, Anzisha Prize celebrated these outstanding young people at an exclusive, invitationonly ceremony on Tuesday 25 October 2016 in Johannesburg. The 12 finalists presented their ventures to a panel of judges after spending ten days in a business accelerator camp to strengthen business fundamentals. They join a now 67 strong pool of Anzisha Fellows and will receive ongoing businessconsulting support, access to experts, and access to networking opportunities to enable sustainable venture growth. Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2017. Nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round.
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The African Professional Issue 25 featuring DarrenPillay, Dele Olojede, Ntimbwe Mpamba, Moze Kutadzaushe and the Kigen Sisters