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JUNE 2021





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Publisher’s LETTER


Publisher MentHer

Founding Editor Ntsiki Mkhize

Production M e D 8 M e d i a ( P T Y ) LT D

Cover Photography Xavi Montojo

Cover Makeup Artist Catriona McQueen

Cover Makeup NARS lips Dior eyes MAC

Contributors Adelaide Sheik Alice Dlamini Advocate Aureila Nxumalo Farai Mutiwanyuka Gugulethu Mfuphi Joni Peddie Kelebogile Molopyane Kholeka Mkhize Lianne Lutz Modiegi Mulaudzi Rebecca Mqamelo Wenzile Madonsela


he youth world over have never been shy to stand up for what is right and be counted when it has mattered most. Be it as groups or individuals, there are many remarkable young people who have played a part in breaking barriers and create access for their generation and those that followed. June in South Africa is youth month as we commemorate the Soweto Youth Uprising that took place on June 16, 1976, when 3000 – 10 000 youth took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the then apartheid governments directive to use Afrikaans as a language medium of instruction in schools. Four decades later and students are facing several different issues when it comes to their education. The studentled protest movement’s #feesmustfall and #rhodesmustfall of 2015 highlighted the cost of education which limited access and the need to decolonise the curriculum to remove numerous barriers, have sparked other movements, discussions and action. Another challenge that has come to the fore of late is that of period or menstruation poverty, where due to lack of funds to buy sanitary products or lack of access to water as well as clean and safe toilets, adolescent girls are unable to manage their period hygienically. Periods are still largely considered to be taboo and this socio-cultural dynamic means a lot of girls find ‘that time of the month’ embarrassing and often suffer from shame. These coupled together has meant more and more girls in developing nations are missing school. Our spotlight feature p.22 takes a look at five social enterprises working to break barriers created by period poverty and create

better access to education and sanitary products, while doing good for the environment and creating employment. Eunice Olamide is a Nigerian-Scottish international supermodel, broadcaster and curator, who epitomises breaking barriers and creating access through her career achievements and work advocating for people of colour and the environment through sustainable fashion. She shares her story with us and her views on how the youth of today can create a better future p31. Technology continues to present new opportunities that sit within our theme. We explore crypto currency breaking barriers as a disruptor and innovation p.50 and creating access as a potential avenue for inclusivity. Unemployment is a growing pandemic facing our youth; we explore the dynamic of being ‘young, black, gifted and unemployed’ in our business column p.38. An everincreasing solution to this is that of entrepreneurship, the youth need to not only learn future-fit skills, but again rise up to the times and chart their own path grasping the rod of servant leadership p.10 and staff of purpose p.7. As you journey through the digital pages of this issue, I invite you to consider areas in your life where the foundation was laid for you which have made some things easier and how you pay it forward. I hope you take away from these pages inspiration and a revived sense of empowerment to go forth and break barriers and create access for yourself and the generations to come. Purposefully Yours

N t s i k i M k h iz e Founding Editor

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Contents 5 7


10 LEADERSHIP Servant Leadership by Alice Dlamini

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT PERIOD POVERTY 5 social enterprises working to end period poverty READ PG 22 BOOK CLUB Emma Sadleir Selfies, Sexts and Smarphones

12 MARKETING Digital is equalising the rural business playing field by Modiegi Mulaudzi 15 INCLUSIVITY Breaking Every Chain by Wenzile Msimanga Madonsela 18 SUSTAINABILITY A Collective Responsibility by Adelaide Sheik 20

BOOK CLUB My Hall of Mentors Selifes, Sexts and Smartphones

22 SPOTLIGHT FEATURE Dignity Dreams Moon time Woman’s Warehouse The CoraProject Saage Qrate READ PG 20


COVER INTERVIEW Supermodel And Supertalent Eunice Olumide

38 BUSINESS Young, Gifted, Black an Potentially Unemployed by Gugulethu Mfuphi 42 WEALTH Too Many Shoes May Cause Long-Term Financial Distress! by Lianne Lutz 44 LEGAL The Access Axis by Adv. Aurelia Nxumalo 46 PODCAST Conversations 48 TECHNOLOGY Breaking Barriers & Creating Access for Women to Thrive in IT by Kelebogile Molopyane 50 INNOVATION Community Currencies by Rebecca Mqamelo 52 RESILIENCE Book-end your day, to self-manage so that you can break barriers. by Joni Peddie 54 WELLNESS Eat to Boost your Immunity this Winter by Kholeka Mkhize 57

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PRECIOUS MVULANE GAD Consulting Services Inc., CEO Precious is an award winning business woman, author and content developer. Her expertise lie in finance, compliance and governance. Precious has 20 years’ experience in multiple finance roles and has been involved with governance structures for the past 14 years. She is the owner of GAD Consulting Services Inc. a Training, Publishing and Development organization that aims to educate, empower and enable leaders to achieve organisation objectives academic coordination for the continuous education programmes. BUSINESS & PERSONAL LEADERSHIP

VANESSA BLUEN The Consultant Powerhouse, MD & Founder Vanessa has integrated what she loves doing with her business focus – working with individuals in organisations at all levels to realise their potential, challenge their work and personal paradigms, build critical skills and play to their strengths. She supports youth development organisations in building leadership, entrepreneurial capability and business confidence. The Consultant Powerhouse supports JSE listed companies, corporates and SMEs with customised learning and development and coaching initiatives across the full range of economic sectors, building high performing, resilient and competitive organisations. MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS

MATHAPELO MONTSHO Why Cook, Co-Founder & Co-Owner An advocate for SMMEs, especially women in business. Mathapelo through her entrepreneurship journey has managed to find ways to be innovative in business, finding different ways of adding value to clients, and winning new clients who have grown with Why Cook over the years. Why Cook is a 100% female black owned, level 1 BEE catering company. In addition to her role at Why Cook, Mathapelo is a mentor at Focused Network, she holds an MBA from Regent Business School, and is currently doing her Doctorate of Management in Technology and Innovation with Da Vinci institute.


DR. SANTIE VON BELOW Fundtech Consulting CC, Founder | Author | Management and Leadership Lecturer and Consultant. Owner of Fundtech Consulting CC, which serves SMME’s in their start-up and growth phases, as well as larger organizations that are in need of strategic market alignment and leadership development.A part-time lecturer at the Nelson Mandela University, George Campus, RSA. She lectures business management subjects to students in the fields of marketing management, management, tourism, sports management, game ranch management as well as forestry management.

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Nothing should be impossible to you especially if it is within the realm of your calling


he times we are in require that women step-up. The systemic foundation of how women are perceived and how power is defined is being challenged. Shying away from being a leader doesn’t work anymore. However, there is still a slight existential crisis; the world we live in doesn’t prepare women to take leaps, to be risky, to be ambitious, to dream big, and to take the path towards a bigger vision in our lives. It’s on the back of this that I founded Destiny With Purpose. In creating this platform, my

thought process centred on what purpose and destiny mean for our collective future as black women. My aim was to use this platform as

a springboard to creating context for healing, inspiration, influence, and impact.

DEFINING YOUR PURPOSE If you’re anything like me, and are cool and crazy enough to want it all, yet are in that messy middle where you don’t know whether you are coming or going you need to define your purpose. Chances are you are already stuck in that state of questioning what my purpose is. Why am I here? What am I meant to be doing with my life?

Founder & CEO of Sprouting Tree Group

My mother told me once that if

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MENTHER PERSONAL GROWTH your purpose it’s similar to taking a giant big breath and holding it there for the rest of your life. I’ve been through seasons of being stuck, under-appreciated, with a pile of self-limiting beliefs a mile high, but I realised I had to do some inner work, I had to step outside myself and critically self-assess. Purpose is innate; it is intrinsic and cannot be gained from the outside. Therefore it’s about inner conversations with self and with God. I must admit, it’s a painful, but very rewarding process because when you know your why - your purpose - you unwittingly begin to know yourself and your worth. Value is therefore an influencer of progress! In the pursuit of purpose, always be mindful of what you want to be remembered for when your life is completed. How will people remember you? That’s how you begin the journey to your purpose. BEING OPPORTUNITY READY I’ve been struck by how many struggle with this ever elusive “THING” called purpose and how it is that only when you are able to define your purpose can you truly move! Success is the progressive pursuit and fulfilment of a worthy goal. Once you know your why, you become unstoppable.

Purpose gives you momentum to move from average to barrier breaking, to industry disrupter, to legacy builder. The key elements I encourage women to apply to achieve this are threefold: 1. Power - Boldness Fear is only necessary as a

others around but it is the ability to command respect and radiate dignity without saying a word. Power is courage and poise under fire, uncertainty, and difficult times. It enables you to lead people to where they wouldn’t go by themselves or achieve what they wouldn’t imagine possible. Power is the privilege to speak for the voice-less. 2. Passion - Talent Where your passion lies is usually where your purpose is. Your purpose sometimes is tied to the thing that comes or feels too easy – your gift.

physiological need. It exists because it keeps us from putting our hand in fire! But it’s also the very thing that stops many women entrepreneurs and leaders from asking for what they want. This includes having the boldness to negotiate salaries, to ask for promotion, to charge what they are worth in the market place, or simply saying NO to projects that are not worth their while. I also struggled with this when I first started in business. From courage comes the ability to exercise your power. Power reveals character or the lack thereof. It has nothing to do with your corner office or bossing

You do it effortlessly! It could be writing, mentoring, mothering, leadership. A gift is something we didn’t have to work for, as such it always feels like there’s a catch. We doubt it because we believe that purpose is some unattainable ‘meant-forsomeone else’ thing, yet it is right there in your hands. Purpose provides confidence, boosts influence, and is contagious. As humans, we gravitate towards people with direction. The truth is when you do what you are passionate about; you attract people to you, and propel success. Passion is contagious! 3. Prosperity - Monetising your zone of genius You can only do this once you

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understand what your gift is - what I like to call “your zone of genius”. When you start operating in this zone, that place where you do something SO well, you do it better than anyone else. Find that – and money will automatically come. The “Bag Lady Syndrome”— the thought of being homeless and penniless—ranks as one of the biggest fears for women. Many ask themselves– “am I worthy?” We tend to under-sell ourselves and can’t break out of the “social, non-profit” mentality approach to business. We shy away from highlighting our accomplishments or the value we add to justify the raise. We need to embrace the fact that it’s OK to make lots of money without being apologetic about it. This is what men get right and what attracts most funders to projects. While it’s important to do social good, let’s not forget that we are in business to make money so we can do more good.

Empowered women make significant contributions to leadership, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation around the world. Essentially, when women are self-sufficient there’s a positive ripple-effect on health, education and economies because of their purchasing power. Women are an economy and their empowerment should be a business case for many organisations not a “grudge purchase”. SELF-MASTERY: THE MAGIC SAUCE The magic sauce to these elements is discipline and consistency. Never wavering in pursuit of excellence is the mark of one who has achieved selfmastery. You can be the most creative person, gifted even, but without discipline you go nowhere fast. Sticking with it - is the magic sauce right there! There are a gazillion talented people in this world, whom we will never know, see, or experience their gift

because they have not mastered the art of discipline. PURPOSEFUL MINDSET Failing and re-building, low selfesteem and confidence are issues I am all too familiar with. I am always seeking to encourage and motivate other women to find the confidence and clarity they need to grow, to find their purpose. There has never been a more compelling time to commit to the process of finding your life’s purpose – the kind of work that provides your reason for being and generates fulfilment. In order to exist in the realms of barrierbreaking success your purpose should become the air you breathe. Nothing should be impossible to you especially if it is within the realm of your calling, your assignment, your God-given gifts and passions. Never downplay the value of what you do, and if bringing yourself to the table was a person, be that person!

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Image credit: Getty Images




any people are attracted to the word leadership and in some shape or other we all aspire to be leaders. What most people would like to exclude from that leadership journey and process equation is servant-leadership. Leadership requires humility, humility requires vulnerability and vulnerability requires honesty. To be a leader you need to know that you are to use your gift to serve others and in this, focus of “breaking barriers and creating access”, it is about

making sure that your gifts make

room for others to thrive. It is not about you and the ambitions of standing on the podium and being applauded, you are to put others before you so that they can be applauded. When I initially started Alice’s Honey it was a means to create employment for myself as I struggled to find employment because I was pregnant and needed a flexible job that would enable me to be available for my children. As I grew in “wisdom”, and I say this devoid of all pride, I became more resilient, had

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more grit, unparalleled fortitude, and creativity I never thought I possessed. I managed to expand my pure and raw honey line and added various infused honey, lip balms and even wrote a book. So what does my story above have to do with leadership, breaking barriers and creating access for others? An important lesson to remember is that sometimes along your journey, or should I say your quest for success, in your endeavours you may be derailed for a short while because there is a greater purpose.

What do I mean? How many of you in your time of need have had people come to you for help? Be it financial, time, ideas, connections, whatever need that individual has? What goes on in your heart and head when you have someone who has a need to be fulfilled and you have an even bigger need? This is when your true character and your values are put to the test. It is easy to give and to avail of yourself when you have more than you need, but more challenging when you too are lacking or in need. In these times, know this truth: “whoever refreshes others will themselves be refreshed” – Proverbs 11:25. Kindness is doing ordinary things with extraordinary measure. Be encouraged always to sow seeds of kindness wherever and whenever you have been entrusted with the responsibility

of leading others in any and every capacity. Leaders will get tested more often because they have great responsibility in the position they hold and in their testing there is growth. Leaders understand that life is just like the seasons on the planet. There will be seasons of growth, seasons of trials and tribulations, seasons of sowing and seasons of triumph. In whatever season leaders are in they ought to never forget to be humble, especially when tested. Leaders are never deterred by extreme valleys and humps on the road. Those humps and valleys refine and channel the potential of leaders and inspire them to devise novel ways of solving challenges. In this process they create a platform where everyone is treated equally, the opinions of all are respected and valued, and everyone’s purpose unleashed. I believe that because of their psychological intelligence, psychological quotient (PQ), leaders can think laterally, making good decisions which come from experience. Experience and good decision-making are as a result of life experiences and at times making bad decisions along the way which makes for a colourful way of solving problems and adapting to new situations. This reminds me of scripture in Roman 5:3-4, “We can rejoice too when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance and endurance develops strength of character and character our confident hope”.

As a leader when you face challenging moments and seek alternate problem-solving tools and methods, reflect upon the following statements:

- Where you are now, someone is trying to get to. - Where you are now, someone else has already been. - Where you are now, someone will always be better. - What are you going to do about it? - What do you bring to the table that will benefit someone else even if you do not gain from it? That is a successful leader, servant-leadership is not an optional extra, it’s a necessity. An inspirational and transformational leader is able to blend all the colours and flowers to create a wonderful bouquet without overshadowing any flower or reducing the aroma of the flowers. Leaders create a perfect blend that brings the best melody from everyone. The trap that so easily ensnares us is believing that we are above others. When we are entrusted with this magnificent role, we ought to treasure the responsibility of humbly knowing and believing that we are to hold others and their needs before our own. The greatest leader who had no sin and knew no sin came to serve. He washed people’s feet, healed the sick, fed the thousands and still expected no one to pay Him back. How much more us mere mortals?

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Digital is equalising the rural business playing field


he growth of the Internet and the rapid economic development of the country have created a situation where consumers expect and need a variety of comfort and delight services for their products. Several brands in the market are evaluating consumer needs, creating products that do that, and finding new ways to reach their target audience. Online shopping has become a new marketplace

where you can see, touch, and experience anything. An article about digital marketing in India, which has a growing economy, looked at the different trends and how they work. The article gave a peek into digital trends and opportunities for the future. At the U.N. General Assembly in 2019, several leaders expressed their desire for borderless economies to allow more access to new players so they can invest in fast-growing

countries. The digital platform makes it possible for entry-level players and multinationals to create borderless and seamless economies. It’s a great way to introduce new terms related to digital marketing to students, because it combines research and survey inputs. The future of digitalization has been clarified as a result. As Lefa Communications, we had a look at the role of digital

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marketing in agriculture. Rural entrepreneurs benefit from digital economies despite economic, social, and territorial divides. Our analysis of micro and home based entrepreneurs in a mostly rural, underserved community illustrates the complexity of digital inequalities. Small, home-based businesses need broadband services that are fit for purpose in a growing digital economy. A changing nation and global economy threatens to leave rural businesses behind. Telecoms are also reshaping society today. Digital engagement is on everyone’s mind, but despite the phenomenal pace of change, there’s still a huge social, economic, and territorial divide between people with and without access to the Internet. Rural economic development can benefit from digital telecommunications. South Africa and other rural areas are falling behind when it comes to technology, largely because of insufficient telecommunications infrastructure. Different digital infrastructures in different countries make it hard to engage online. The digital economy offers a lot of opportunities for individuals, households, and businesses depending on their

age, income level, and digital skills. There are many uses for broadband technology. There’s been a lot written about the economic benefits of ICTs in this context. As far back as dialup connections, someone said e-business would be essential for business survival. Online engagement has grown in importance for companies of all sizes, across all industries and locations, thanks to the widespread use of the Internet.

advantages, whereby digital connectivity may harm the success of local entrepreneurs. While broadband technology is indispensable for today’s rural economy, it isn’t a panacea by itself. Microbusinesses are heterogeneous in rural remote areas, and households and businesses are interconnected. Additionally, small and microbusinesses lack connectivity and digital skills, so enterprise agencies and rural development agencies need to give these disadvantaged groups the support they need. As a result of the speed and scale of technological transformation, remote rural businesses need to have a more nuanced understanding of their needs, circumstances, and aspirations.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be hugely beneficial to SMEs, microbusinesses, home-based businesses, and self-employed individuals in rural areas. Businesses are taking advantage of the supply and demand opportunities the internet has to offer as they become more reliant on the digital economy. Small rural businesses can use the Internet for social support, to provide information and resources, and to boost growth potential. The Internet is also becoming more and more important for government services. There is however a warning with these Founder LEFA Communications

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BREAKING EVERY CHAIN A story of African Perspective


he term “cryptocurrency” is one that we hear increasingly in a world filled with alluring and enticing “must know” trends. As a social entrepreneur working partly in the financial literacy space I knew that this persistent and daunting new trend would eventually come knocking at my door and I would have to decide whether or not to answer the call. Having heard the inevitable knock, this article relays my attempt at turning the door knob (or, in line with the times: using biometric recognition to open an automated door) and letting in the winds of change. When mapping out the

feasibility of a new disruptive tool, platform or trend in a South African context, I firstly look at how its application is an enabler of access to the fundamental fruits of democracy that are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic. In this instance, the question that sprang to my mind was whether or indeed how cryptocurrencies would enable or interact with the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom which are specifically detailed in section 7(1) of Chapter two of the Constitution. You may be curious as to the gravitas of our Constitution in the context of cryptocurrencies. Simply put, the South African Constitution is held in high esteem by even the most democratically progressive countries in the world and should

therefore be a compass that guides our conduct and the mindset with which we drive and embrace innovation. In the quest to uphold and strengthen the democratic values mentioned above, three inevitable questions come to mind: 1. What universal problem do cryptocurrencies have the potential to solve? 2. Who is empowered by cryptocurrencies? 3. What barriers are being broken by these digital currencies? A good place to start is the very definition, according to the Oxford dictionary cryptocurrency is: ‘a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography, rather than by a centralized authority’. This definition is enough to trigger torrents of skepticism in most minds and

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left me with more questions than answers. ‘Decentralised’ and ‘cryptography’ sound to me like ‘legitimised secrecy’ or money being dealt out by an electronic ‘Board Of Secret Shadowy Figures’. So, where to start in the quest to understand The Thing? Until we know a little more about them, cryptocurrencies will be referred to as The Thing. I suspect that this is rather more creative than shortening the name to ‘crypto’. My first port of call was a trusty and wholly more familiar friend: Google. I spent days inquisitively

immersed in unpacking and interrogating the integrity of The Thing. Well before one should ask what it is that the Thing can do for humanity, it is essential that we get to grips with how it works. I was introduced to a key framework called blockchain. This is a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. At this point my brain was hurting, yet my curiosity about how The Thing can be used to create income security, inclusive

economic participation and women empowerment on the African continent. Now that we know what it is and kind of how it works, we can call it cryptocurrency again. Another angle for exploration was to look for young African people who were actively part of this so-called ‘new economy’. I reached out to friends, we’ll call them Mr.O, a tech-brain to be reckoned with and Imani, a crypto enthusiast in the fintech space. The questions I directed to Mr O and Imani were specific to what potential cryptocurrency brings to the ever changing and

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growing continent of Africa. The first point of departure was to understand how crypto could be a platform that changes the narrative when it comes to income participation of women in particular. They walked me through many avenues that have been created to shatter the prevailing #BoysChoirMustFall

conundrum. Easy Equity (a simple to use and understand platform that enables people to invest in small amounts) was one of the platforms of interest suggested for those of us who are starting to explore investments in shares and foreign exchange. Such platforms plug you into a community and networks that are sure to bring your investor appetite to a new level. A great concern around crypto currency is still security, which left unanswered can fuel skepticism and fear. We’ve all read about the tragedies brought forth by the illicit activities in the stock markets and banks

through stories like Enron, Steinheist, VBS and the list goes on of billions that were lost by millions of unsuspecting lives in investments. Here’s hoping cryptocurrencies could provide a long awaited reversal of ones fortunes. Assurance is necessary on how cryptocurrency is different that you don’t wake up and all that you have invested disappears without a trace. The possibility of your money disappearing overnight at the whim of an untraceable tech geek is enough to frighten the average person off crypto. Who do you blame if that happens? What leg do you have to stand on? On the upside of crypto, is a picture of how this disruptive technology could potentially be a game changer, considering our unique socio-political conditions. Anyone who has needed to borrow, send or simply access money knows how tedious FICA and other processes can be. Adding financial, logistical and a time cost to critical processes, such as when migrant and displaced Africans need to send or receive money. Imagine a world where your experience is not debilitated by “technical issue responses” or the very annoying and increasing bank fees we pay. Imagine completing a financial transaction within the blink of an eye, regardless of your geographical location or sociopolitical climate. I am convinced

now more than ever that we already use value driven systems based on trust to invest our money into banks or even traditional systems such as, stokvels and money markets, cryptocurrency seems to require the same faith and trust in humanity through ubuntu (our nature to be good people and to do right by others). The opportunities that cryptocurrency offers are endless – safe and pain free transactions, integrated communities, access for those previously locked out of the system. Here is a call for us to learn about how to use global platforms to shape Africa through our own lens. The prospects and possibilities hopefully leave you feeling hopeful, excited and with mental blocks unchained. The world is changing, as African leaders we can either be passengers or drivers in cultivating the way forward for the Africa we want.

Wenzile MsimangaMadonsela Co-Founder Unafundo, Children’s book author - Melos Kingdom Mental Health Activist, Speaker

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A Collective Responsibility


lobal sustainability is a collective responsibility not only to be left to government, but also part of each individual’s civic responsibility. Sustainability requires the availability of social, economic and natural resources for future generations. In simplified terms, it requires us learning how to meet current needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. There were 17 specific goals identified as crucial to the sustainability of the planet and of humankind. A renewed awareness and

emphasis needs to be placed on the all-important SDGs.

1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 4. Quality Education, 5. Gender Equality, 6. Clean Water and Sanitation, 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 10. Reduced Inequality, 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12.Responsible Consumption and Production, 13.Climate Action, 14.Life Below Water, 15. Life on Land, 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions and 17.Partnerships to achieve the Goal

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It’s interesting to note that of the SDGs listed, those most concerning for humanity as per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) survey – humanitarian challenges come in as primary concerns, listed in order of importance; SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 16: Peace Justice & Strong Institutions, then followed by environmental and economic challenges such as SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation and SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth. In the 2021 SDG Conference Bergen held in February, the focus was the COVID-19 pandemic. The unexpected surge of the pandemic creating a global panic, an international economic downturn and increasing mortality rates which presented totally new challenges worldwide. As a result, some of these important sustainability goals have been put on hold while trying to find suitable solutions to curb the pandemic. This context presents an opportunity for social innovations and impact measures that break barriers to be introduced that can aid in fulfilling the goals and in so doing create further access for societies world over. The good news is that in recent years the Third Sector, which includes civil society organizations, and more specifically social enterprise

have taken on the challenge to align organisational objectives to some predetermined SDGs. Social enterprise organisation’s are known for the dual mission objectives of balancing both social and economic imperatives and their mission is to ensure sustainable social and environmental impact. Sustainable impact is described as achieving sustainable impact in society or the environment which is evident long after intervention has ended. Impact measurement tools are commonly used in organisation’s tracking the impact over a period of time. Examples of some generally used measurement tools include corporate sustainability reporting, Triple Bottom Line accounting, the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI), and the Environmental Sustainability Index. It’s encouraging and important

to note that sustainability is still on the agenda and being promoted in various sectors, as well as being related to an array of relevant topics. In addition, social enterprise organisations are being recognized for the value they add. Overall, we need to take ownership and continue promoting the idea that sustainability is each and every individual’s concern. If each person chooses just one SDG to support in a practical way, that will make a substantial contribution toward long-term sustainability and ensuring that the next few generations have a secured future.

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Success is a journey we’re all on and it looks different from moment to moment for each of us.


ntrepreneur, speaker, Miss South Africa 2nd Princess 2015 and now author, Ntsiki Mkhize recently launched her first book titled, “My Hall of Mentors – lessons learned along a journey of success”. The presenter of Career Connect on Business Day TV says that, success is a journey we’re all on and it looks different from moment to moment for each of us. The best way to learn, grow and succeed is to look at those who’ve gone before us and ask those who currently find themselves where we want to be. Then apply their lessons to our lives. After all, the best way to fail forward, is to not fail in the same places’ others have. Ntsiki believes that a great way to learn from others is

through mentorship. “Not everyone has the chance to sit down one-on-one with CEO’s, self-made millionaires or guru’s who’ve taken on social issues, but eavesdropping on a conversation with one of them does just as well”. Her books shares lessons she’s learned from the likes of Jenna Clifford, Peggy-Sue Khumalo and Koo Govender who wrote the foreword, to her parents. In My Hall of Mentors, Ntsiki offers just that. Sitting with mentors from lecture halls to executive board rooms, she brings us close to sound advice from some of her mentors over a period of seven years. “While most people were partying throughout varsity, I started a business and found mentors to help me achieve my goals.

The path wasn’t clear at first, but it was better defined as I went, with each conversation I had with each mentor”. Not all business, the lessons learned tie into her personal life, character and perspective as they unfold and connect the dots through the eyes of a successful young woman from South Africa, learning to take on life one goal at a time. Committed to helping others and passionate about mentorship, Ntsiki volunteers as a mentor for Phakama Women’s Academy and Hadithi Wethu. She’s since founded MentHer. Book available from amazon or to-order, email

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A TEENAGER’S ONLINE SURVIVAL GUIDE Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones is the book every teenager (and their parents) should read.

‘Flirting, boasting, gossiping, teasing, hanging out, confessing: all that classic teen stuff has always happened ... It’s just that it used to happen behind the bike sheds, or via tightly folded notes pressed urgently into sweating hands in the corridor between lessons. Social networking sites and mobile phones have simply facilitated the whole business, a gadzillion times over .’ – John Henley, in an article in The Guardian As a teenager in today’s crazy online world, you may think you’ve got it all sussed out. But even you don’t know about all the legal pitfalls, hidden dangers and future implications

Smartphones is the book every teenager (and their parents) should read. It covers all of the major issues’ teenagers face in the digital age, including cyberbullying, sexting, addiction, internet safety, porn, anxiety, depression, privacy and reputation, and does so within a South African context. Accessible, informative and even fun, this book will help guide you to a happy, rewarding and, most importantly, safe online life.

of what you do, see and post online. Selfies, Sexts and


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Bleeding shouldn’t be limiting

As girls we’ve all had that dreaded day when your period starts randomly and you’re without your trusted pad or tampon. If in public you’ll signal a girl – any girl – and a perfect stranger handing you much needed coverage becomes a life saver in an instant. That time of the month comes with a physical and emotional rollercoaster, and ice-cream, chocolate, sleep, hot water bottles and baths or simply laying on the floor become common place. Now, imagine that whole experience without those added comforts and more than that, without access to basic sanitary wear or even water to freshen up. Most of us would opt to stay home on our worst period day, but for millions of women around the world staying home is their only option. A combination of social stigma and the inevitability of bleeding out while at school create a barrier and lock these women out from opportunity, human dignity and freedom. According to Act!onaid, most girls miss about 20% of the school year while others drop out altogether, with many not affording to purchase menstruation products or a lack of private and safe toilets at school. “Period poverty is already a reality for women and girls living in poor, rural and marginalized communities. Covid19 has increased exposed existing inequalities and further worsened this issue. The need to address menstrual health in society has become more important than ever. Overall, it affects societal development and the potential for economic growth. But most importantly, access to menstrual products every month will take away the stress and worry from every girl and woman each month and it will enhance their chances of living out their purpose in everyday life”. - Sarah Jacobs Another component of this topic is the environmental impact of menstruation products. We’re spotlighting women making a difference for girls and breaking barriers by ending the stigma, educating women on basic hygiene and creating access to education and opportunities through innovative, affordable and more sustainable products. Here are six impact businesses making a difference.

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GREENER SOLUTION TO SANITARY PADS Understanding that it is up to us to change the world, alleviate period poverty and support the green economy. What does your business do?

We manufacture and distribute washable sanitary pads

Why did you start this business?

We recognised a growing need in communities for a greener more sustainable solution to menstrual challenges

menstruation, menstrual health and products. Understanding that it is up to us to change the world, alleviate period poverty and support the green economy. Ensuring that our sewers earn in these difficult times.

Where do you operate?

How/ where can people sign up for your programme, buy your product/service/ register with you?

Support our initiatives by participating in one of the current campaigns. Find out more on . We sell online or contact us on info@dignitydreams. com for more information. Don’t forget to participate, like, share and subscribe to our social media pages for news on all our initiatives.

Estimated impact so far?

We have distributed over 29 000 packs to date - this represents over 25 million disposable pads. Our pads will last approximately 48 months making it a truly sustainable solution

What keeps you going?

Changing people’s attitudes to

Our incubator is in Pretoria and head office in Johannesburg. We distribute country wide and have distributed packs in some SADEC countries.

CEO Dignity Dreams

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Period poverty is already a reality for women and girls living in poor, rural and marginalized communities


hat does your business do? MoonTime is a registered (Pty) Ltd. that produces beautiful high quality handmade reusable sanitary pads using 100% cotton fabrics and works in partnership with MoonTime Community NPC which distributes buckets of pads to communities and provides educational workshops. Why did you start this business? I wanted to make a difference - being an earth warrior, the environment has always been close to my heart so when my close friend came to me with the reusable pads, I jumped at the opportunity to start a heart based business with a product that would help the earth, women and create awareness around the sacredness of bleeding.

That’s a tricky question! We have sold close to 7000 pads and distributed many more since we started which has kept many disposable pads out of the landfills. MoonTime has created much awareness, and is slowly but surely changing mindsets and making a difference one pad at a time. What keeps you going? Knowing that the world needs

MoonTime, focusing on the impact that we are making and trusting that we will be supported every step of the way. Where do you operate? Wilderness in The Garden Route How/ where can people sign up for your programme, buy your product/service/ register with you? Our website has lots of info about who we are and what we are all about. Our reusable pads are available from our online shop and in store nationwide (listed on our stockists page). Our community page on the website shares about MoonTime Community NPC, our community projects and gives donating options. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly for more information.

Estimated impact so far?

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels



Inequality, GBV and Period poverty In South Africa, women and girls face many battles daily. Woman’s Warehouse has identified 3 areas that affect them dramatically


outh Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women and girls in the world, and a femicide rate that is five times the global average, with an estimated 12 in 100, 000 victims each year. South Africa’s gender-based violence statistics are equal to a country at war. Not only do South African woman and girls have to face GBV but they face discrimination in health related issues like menstruation. Period poverty is a real issue in our country with the latest statistic indicating that 30% of woman and girls do not go to work and school because of their menstrual cycle. Woman’s Warehouse’s mandate is to eradicate Inequality, GBV and Period

Poverty in South Africa. We believe that these issues are far worse than us facing the current COVID-19 pandemic. Woman’s Warehouse is tackling these issues head on and taking it to corporates across South Africa through our Non-Profit organisation Cletech Cares. Corporates can now make an

impact and difference in woman and girls lives by putting their CSI spend to good use. Woman Warehouse has the framework that provides the possibility of ensuring that a culture of equal worth and the right to human dignity is fostered through the principle of nondiscrimination in the areas of gender, safety, and intimate health. We offer safety and intimate health workshops that uplift, educate and empower woman and girls in these areas. Through this we can positively effect communities and our country as a whole. Unfortunately we cannot do this on our own and are calling on all corporates to invest in the safety and wellbeing of their staff by rolling out these workshops throughout the year.

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KNOWLEDGE & RESOURCES TO END PERIOD POVERTY Through educating communities on menstruation, raising awareness and encouraging discussions around periods


he CORA Project (CORA) is a womenled non-profit whose mission is to support menstruators from underprivileged communities in South Africa by providing them with the knowledge and resources to end period poverty. Through educating communities on menstruation, raising awareness and encouraging discussions around periods, CORA seeks to normalise the rhetoric around periods, and eliminate period stigma and shaming.

Why did you start this business?

for now. We plan on expanding across SA in the near future

To empower and educate menstruators, and to keep them in school so that they can reach their potential.

How/ where can people sign up for your programme, buy your product/service/ register with you?

Estimated impact so far? So far we have supported over 20,000 menstruators.

Spread the word; share our content; start conversations around periods to normalise period talk, so we can end the stigma and shame around periods! Keep an eye on our page for opportunities. You can donate via our website or message us for any product drop offs!

What keeps you going? Our community and our mission. Where do you operate? Cape Town and surrounds

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Photo supplied



PROJECTS #RUNFORHERSA In August 2020, for Women’s Health month, we hosted a virtual run to end period poverty. We asked our community to accept the challenge of running towards combatting period poverty and pledging to donate R10 for every 1km they complete. Together we raised over R290 000, which we used to fund our menstrual health workshop. Menstrual Health Workshops We collaborated with SafePad South Africa to host a series of menstrual health workshops across various schools and communities in and around Cape Town. We taught both girls and boys about menstruation, menstrual health and period positivity - we believe it is essential to include boys and men in conversations about periods and menstruation. We also provided menstruators that attended the sessions with SafePads, a reusable, sustainable and eco-friendly pad that will allow them to menstruate with dignity for the next 5 years.

Aurora Marcopoulos and Cleo Marcopoulos - Sisters and Founders The CORA Project

Christmas Gift Boxes 2020 In December 2020, we collaborated with Future Females Foundation to gift 100 women in various shelters across Cape Town Christmas gift boxes. With the support and donations from our beautiful community each box contained menstrual products, sweets, chocolate, tea bags, stickers, nail polish, soap and other goodies. We distributed them to Saartjie Baartman Centre, Haven Night Shelter and St. Anne’s Home to spread the Christmas love.

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BUILDING RESILIENCE AND BRINGING PEACE Working towards making Safepad available to all menstruating women across the country


hat does your business do?

Through SAAGE, we focus on linking people to products and processes that contribute to building resilience and bring peace of mind to everyday life challenges. My work has for the past decade been in communities on the Cape Flats primarily focused on educating and creating awareness on reproductive health and hygiene and creating access to sustainable menstrual

products in schools, child and youth care centers and NGOs. My experiences have inspired me to find solutions to the prevailing problem of “period poverty” — a term commonly used to describe the experiences of women and girls who do not have access to menstrual management products and hygienic spaces in which to use them because of their socio-economic conditions. I have over the years, sampled a range of ecofriendly products and compared them in terms of durability, convenience

and hygiene to come up with a clear winner: Safepad™. This reusable pad is designed with anti-microbial technology to kill bacteria, thus preventing infections. I now distribute Safepad across South Africa both on a communtiy outreach basis to alleviate the issue of period poverty, but also making Safepad accessible via online platforms such as and retail stores. My mission is to make Safepad available to all menstruating women across the country. Inspire | Connect | Empower


MENTHER SPOTLIGHT Why did you start this business? During the past decade of working as an outreach nurse in the communities I have engaged in countless conversations with youth, staff and community members and kept hearing about the same issue; Our women and girls cannot afford proper menstrual products, girls are staying home from school and work. Girls are repeatedly getting infections, they are using rags, toilet paper, socks etc. Teachers are spending their own salaries to provide their students with pads. The menstrual cycle is the most natural part of being female and these conversations keep pushing me to do the best I can to alleviate the issue of period poverty and create awareness about it. Estimated impact so far? So far we have reached about 3000 women across South Africa with Safepads. What keeps you going? No girl, no woman should have to worry about how to manage her period any given month. I am driven to change the unfortunate reality, which period poverty is for so many in South Africa. When I am out distributing Safepads, eduacting people on menstrual health, people are opening up to me about this subject which can be intimate and difficult for many to discuss. I feel very humbled to have the opportunity to have these engagements in the communtities and with girls and women from all kinds of walks in life. To know that I am creating access to this long lasting, safe and hygienic menstrual product to those who want it and giving them an opportunity to feel safe and alleviate an issue that has been a point of stress and worry for so many, keeps me going.

Sarah Jacobs Founder of Saage

Where do you operate? Across South Africa. To reach as far as possible and to make as large an impact as possible, we collaborate with individuals, NGO’s and other initiatives across the country. In terms of retail, I am also working on reaching out to retailers across the country. How/ where can people sign up for your programme, buy your product/ service/ register with you? Get in touch either via email: sarah@ or check out the website for donation options or various ways of supporting. For wholesale purchases, bulk etc please contact me directly on my email or call 0739942569. For personal use, Safepad can be purchased from Nude Foods (Cape Town),, Organic Living (Cape Town) and

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CURATING CRITICAL THINKING Qrate is an NPC focused on curating critical thinking in young people through educational publictions and workshops on social issues. Candice Chirwa What does your business do? Qrate is an NPC focused on curating critical thinking in young people through educational publications and workshops on social issues. Why did you start this business? The majority of young people lack the essential skills necessary to critically engage with socio-economic issues that they encounter daily. However, within the context of South Africa’s complex social and economic challenges, resilience in changing the narrative is an important virtue. At Qrate, we are focused on ensuring that young people are equipped with a platform that provides knowledge to help shape their understanding of their society to allow them to engage about the issues affecting them which helps to navigate and make meaningful impacts within their

communities. Qrate is dedicated to creating informative content through service, education and advocacy work on a wide range of diverse social topics. With regards to the Menstruation workshops, whilst doing my Masters research, I came across a lot of information that suggested that a lot of young people felt like they were going to die when they first started menstruating. Thus, it was important to take my academic research and my love for critical thinking to create fun and dynamic workshops. Estimated impact so far? In response to period poverty, Qrate has interacted with over 300 participants in Gauteng alone in the year 2019 and over 150 participants in the year 2020 in an effort to change the societal narrative regarding Menstruation.

What keeps you going? I love experiencing the feeling that young girls and young people are empowered and educated about a social issue. Witnessing this form of empowerment keeps me excited at the possibility of empowering more and more communities. Where do you operate? Our office is based in Johannesburg; however we conduct our workshops wherever we can. How/ where can people sign up for your programme, buy your product/service/ register with you? People can follow us on social media and if they’d like for us to host a menstruation workshop, they can email us at


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Supermodel & Supertalent

Edinburgh-born Eunice was awarded MBE as part of the Queens Honours for services to Broadcasting, Charity and Arts. PICTURE: Eunice at the ceremony with Prince Charles

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CHANGING THE WORLD FOR WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOUR AND THE ENVIRONMENT At 15, Olumide was spotted shopping in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, and later scouted by Select models while visiting family in London.


orn in Edinburgh, Scottish Supermodel of Nigerian heritage Eunice Olumide is a force to be reckoned with. At 33 she has built an impressive career as an international supermodel, author, producer and host, actress, curator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Not one to shy away from difficult conversations, Eunice has lent her voice to advocate for people of colour and the environment. A passionate activist and campaigner she has worked with the Centre for Social Justice and spoken at the House of Parliament influencing the first ever inquiry into the impact of fast fashion on the environment. In November 2017 she was awarded an MBE as part of the Queens Honours for services to Broadcasting, Charity and Arts and in 2018 she obtained the prestigious title of V & A Design Champion for her incredible

contribution towards Design and Production. In 2018 she released her best-selling book ‘How To Get into Fashion’ which highlights her work in preventing exploitation, sustainability and diversity in the Fashion industry and in October 2020 she contributed to the book the ‘Loud Black Girls Anthology’. Her face is no stranger to catwalks or magazine covers, with a modelling career spanning across the UK, U.S.A, Africa, Japan, France, Italy, Holland, Spain, Germany and the UAE. In 2019 she created ‘Next Generation Regeneration’ curating exhibitions, talks and events at Tate Modern and The V & A, becoming the first ever Scottish Model to produce an onschedule BFC London Fashion Week catwalk show. After the success of her BBC Radio show ‘Music Match’ she went on to star in and produce the UK’s first ever award winning

podcast dedicated to women of colour on BBC Radio 5 Live called the ‘Sista Collective’. In November 2020 she worked with Simon Fredricks on the ground breaking documentary on the life of Stephen Lawrence and founded the ADBSF Fund primarily focused on supporting Afro-Caribbean businesses in a daunting Coivd-19 climate. She’s also blazing a trail on camera with a sell-out show at The Stand during the Edinburgh Fringe, the Apollo NYC and a five star review for her solo production Metamorph at The Traverse Theatre. Over the last few years she has secured multiple lead roles including BAFTA Award winning Trouble Sleeping and BAFTA nominate Middleman. A woman of many talents, Eunice has toured extensively as a disc jockey at festivals and gala’s from Gotha, Websterhall, Lovebox, Glastonbury and

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MENTHER COVER FEATURE has opened for music legends such as Grace Jones. Her passion for the arts and humanity come together in the form of The Olumide Gallery collection. Here she has selected some of the UK’s most pioneering talent to bring distinctive and unique elements, creating an intriguing and insightful exploration of the reality of life, the street and subculture; seen through the eyes of their creators that straddle both past and present. In March 2019 Olumide Galleries produced a major public exhibition hosted by Schroder’s Investment

Bank in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK. A bright mind set on the future and a heart of a lion, with a colourful tapestry that is her life, it’s no wonder a permanent gallery has been installed at the National Museum of Scotland on her life and work to date. It’s easy to see how Eunice is breaking barriers and creating access, she’s currently filming in London and with the global pandemic underway, we caught up with her virtually to find out her “why” in life.

BREAKING BARRIERS AND CREATING ACCESS Interview As a young black women in the global context we find ourselves in (post- “me too”, “black lives matter” etc.) what informs your identity and what do you hold onto that keeps you centered? I was always brought up to work smart. That’s something my mom instilled in me from a young age. Having string parents from a Nigerian background really centered me and taught me about the differences in culture and how life can be lived. Especially when maturing as a young adult and understanding that the world is a place full of different ways of living. One of the most important things in life is to ensure that you set your own standards of success and what success means to you instead of letting others dictate that. Your journey has created a colourful career. Where did it start for you? Is this what you

envisioned for yourself? Originally I wanted to be a teacher, and that’s something I still I want to do perhaps when I’m in my 40’s and I’ve had my children. Human beings tend to innovate from necessity and when I was growing up in a typical British council state, it was either excel and be excellent or possibly not make it at all. So I applied myself in every way that I could. I also understood that if I was going to be successful and reach my goals and targets, it was going to be important for me to stand out and be exceptional at everything I did, as well as make it easy for people to want to work with me and choose me because of the amount of experience I had. I’m all about understanding the 360 aspect of any industry. I didn’t plan on the career I have – I actually had no interest, particularly in fashion. As I grew older I was scouted a number of times and

eventually decided to give it a go, which catapulted me into this world and it blew my mind! It was really important to me to also study and because I studied media and the impact of media, its ideologies and the way it has become intertwined with state that caused me to look at and understand the full impact of the industry I was working in. I also understood I was the face of advertising and capitalism and that meant my career changed in many ways as it meant it was important for me to only work with brands with ethical policies, that were fair trade, that ran co-operative initiatives so that I was sure that there was no exploitation. That influenced the other walks of life I participate in; with my art gallery for example some of the first exhibitions and shows we did were centered on sustainability. It also come through in my ethical consultation work and protecting

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models from exploitation. Then working in film, production and broadcasting was also an accidental thing as people noticed I was excellent at it. I tend to do the things that I am compelled in but also have talent towards. What was the inspiration behind your book and each of your businesses? Most people know me as a model; I’m often referred to as Scotland’s first black super model. I recognise that being a model is an industry in which you don’t get to choose, you have to wait to be chosen. Unlike being a photographer, a booker, stylist or a director etc. you have more capacity to choose and train yourself to be excellent so you can’t be ignored or dismissed, but as a model – you can be the best but you might not necessarily be chosen as it’s more dependent on looks. My personality is naturally an entrepreneur and I believe and dedicate a lot of my time to philanthropy, a lot of that is the inspiration behind my book, which is focused on diversity and issues around that as well as sustainability, since the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world. I’ve done a lot of work to create policy not only for the UK in terms of environment but also protecting models and all of this was key to the book, as well as dealing with rejection and also highlighting the different available within our industry.

What’s the importance of having clearly defined goals and how does one stay the course? It’s essential to set clear and defined goals we can see the progress we are making as we do have the tendency to become disheartened, disenfranchised and even sometimes dislocated or alienated depending on what we’re doing. When we set goals, we’re not only creating a road map of what we’re doing, but it encourages us to think about how were going to achieve it and it also means we know when we’re making progress and stay on target. You’ve had both career and academic success. In a world of billionaires who’ve dropped out of college, do you rate education – is it important and why? Education is extremely important, in fact, as with computers education around the world ought to be updated so that we ensure history is recorded accurately. Especially as a consequence of colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade, there was a lot of history recorded which wasn’t accurate. I don’t think things should be changed or taken away, but additional knowledge and information should be added so that we a graduating with as much information and knowledge about the world as possible. I also think, had I not studied it would have affected the way that I live my life, how I interacted in my industry and

with the things that are important to me within my career and life. You’ve done incredible work centred on advocacy; you’re never one to shy away from strong debates or contentious points, especially when it comes to equality for women and people of colour. What drives this in you? What advice do you have for women who find themselves constantly banging against that wall? Reality is that those who go first are rarely recognised and are rarely championed in the beginning. Going first, trail blazing, being maverick are some of the most difficult things we can do. However they do benefit all of society. Unfortunately the sacrifice that you make as an individual is that you may lose an opportunity, because you are fighting for equal rights or justice. At the same time when we look at history we see that this is the way that things are and many of the most definitive contributors have in some cases not even been recorded and in some cases their successes attributed to someone else. When you are seen as unorthodox or controversial, or when you’re doing something that challenges the mains stream way of doing things you’re always going to meet resistance, however if you don’t persevere then no change occurs. I’d like to point out that for those who go first; it’s more likely that someone else is going to reap the benefits than

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MENTHER COVER FEATURE you will directly. You struggle, you sorrow and suffer to toil the field and plant the seeds, and then future generations pick the fruit. That’s why it’s so important that future gens study and understand history, so that when they do pock that fruit they understand that it doesn’t just belong to them. They should use the new benefits to help people within their culture and society and that’s important particularly when it comes to Afro-Caribbean’s In these moments when your truth or integrity is challenged, what helps you stand up? Being Nigerian and Scottish, I have respect for my Africanness, as Nigerians we are very proud of who we are and we don’t feel we need to hide who we are. For me growing up in the west, particularly in a time when there were so few people of colour and where racism was a serious issue both physically and psychologically – flight wasn’t an option, you had to stand your ground and that has always stayed with me. Also watching my mother work several jobs and not taking anything from the state was inspirational and all of that comes together to help me remain steady in my truth. How can women and POC create a seat at the table, especially in unchallenged or largely still untransformed industries? It’s important for women and people of colour to learn to work together and stick together, that

is essential. Also understanding that culture and cultural artefacts have equity, so ensuring that we create and protect cultural equality, but physical equity and assets as well, and build together. Ultimately the world we live in is largely capitalist and its essential for us to compete and the easiest way to do that and to compete is to work together as a team. How do you decide which fights are worth having? The galvanise support for your cause? When I’m really passionate about something, I will do my best to support that cause or issue. On one had I do believe that one person can ‘change the world’ and we’ve seen that with; Martin Luther, Malcolm X, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and so forth. I did take it upon myself to try save the world and that’s caused me a lot of pain and suffering and its only with maturity that I’ve realised that if its Gods mission for me to make certain changes on the plant then that will happen. If you look at many of the people who’ve contributed significantly to world peace, to protecting rights of every single human being – it sort of happened to them – that was a pivotal moment for me and my career. For the youth of today to create an inclusive future we can all be proud of, what areas or spaces do you think should be top of the list for barriers that need to be broken and

where access still needs to be created? We’re all created to live on this earth with our own mind and thoughts, separate to our parents and there seems to be a lot of pressure to do things in a particular type of way – a very conservative and western type of way. For me, life is about staying true to your culture and who you are and not changing that or conforming in order to make other people feel more comfortable, as ultimately you’re weakening yourself to appease people who might not necessary have that same regard for you. It’s important for youth to study history and their parents – we can often think our parents don’t know much – but when we look at recent protests, if we had looked at previous battles we would’ve learned a more structured, chronological way of organising to ensure we had policy and clear demands for the efforts that were made before they were made. It’s important that we have more intergenerational conversations in order for us to learn the best direction to move in. What does breaking barriers and creating access look like for you in a post-pandemic “new normal”? It’s really important to look at your locality, look at what’s around you and where you work and your direct environment and what you can do to create change there. The reality is that if we all do a little everyday then that has the effect that

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MENTHER COVER FEATURE can help all of us to be more successful and make our lives and those around us more positive. Breaking barriers is all about organisation and having a clear focus around what is the issue you’re trying to address and the resolution you want to bring about before going out and acting on it. Mobilisation is important, but organisation is fundamental to that. What is your experience with mentors – have you had any, what has been the value of those engagements? I actually got my first mentor this past month who’s in media, film and television, and it’s amazing. I wish I’d had somebody and some advice like that earlier in my career. I think it would have made a huge difference with my ascend into the industry. I’d really recommend it – it’s very valuable. Are there any projects or causes you’re currently involved in that you’d like to create awareness around or that people can support. There’s few organisations I’d like to highlight that people can support. I work with a number of different organisations from Children’s Hospice Scotland, who look after terminally ill children; to Zero Waste, who are all about promoting a circular economy, recycling and sustainability. I work with

Best Beginnings who look after children who might be suffering, the Well Foundation who supply clean water, P2P which is a Nigerian charity that offer education facilitates to children in Nigeria who have no home and no support. As well as Columbus Hospice who look after more elderly and infirm individuals. I’m an ambassador for Graduate Fashion Week who supports young people who’ve come out of university to get into fashion design.

Quick ones • Tea or Coffee: Tea (I adore coffee, but tea is better for me) • Ghanaian or Nigerian Jollof: I’m Nigerian so obviously Nigerian jollof • Must read: How to get into fashion by Eunice Olumide & Loud Black Girls by Adegoke • Fave city to live in: Dubai or Abuja • Go to style/fashion item: LBD • First place you’re going to travel to when travel ban lifts: Germany or Nigeria • Personal Mantra: If it’s not life and death, don’t worry about it.

www. @therealeunice

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Young, Gifted, Black and Potentially Unemployed The “Gig” economy is simply, a labour market characterised by freelance, flexible, on-demand work rather than the more traditional nine-to- five working model.


or many young black females, the prospect of creating the career of your dreams is a reality lived out by few, despite what we may believe as we are so often exposed to, “on the gram”. According to the Quarterly Labor Force Index (QLFS), a measure of employment numbers published by Statistics South Africa – the country recorded its highest rate of unemployment by peaking at 32.6%. The results of the QLFS show that the number of employed persons remained almost unchanged at 15 million in the first of quarter 2021. The number of unemployed persons also remained almost unchanged at 7.2 million compared

to the fourth quarter of 2020 – an increase of 8,000. Reality creeps in once we take a look at the broader and expanded definition of unemployed in South Arica which includes those who are “discouraged job seekers” – which then increases to 43.2% in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. The hardest hit – are young, black, females. These two groups are the most vulnerable. The unemployment rate of black women is currently more than 30 percent. The youth is also the most vulnerable group when it comes to finding a job. Citizens like myself – young, black and female continue to

find themselves on the periphery of economic inclusion despite concerted efforts, through policy to create space for them. In a country that prides itself on equality and creating equity – we need to ask ourselves, where did we go wrong? South Africa’s economic blues started before Covid-19. In the throes of several technical recessions, struggling with low growth, muted investor confidence and increasing debt levels, our economy has been on the precipice of a crisis in terms of job creation. The fall out of the pandemic and subsequent lock downs have cost most women like myself – their livihoods … and even more so, their lives.

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Consider the sectors of the economy that have been hardest hit – tourism, hospitality and leisure. Take a moment to reflect on the number of women who work in these sectors, as tour operators, restaurateurs, event coordinators and cleaners? In this sector alone, women make up about 70% of the workforce. This picture is grimmer when you consider that employed black women are paid the least for their labour. According to data from Business Leadership South Africa, “the average monthly income for black female professionals is almost 30% less than their white contemporaries and more than 60% off the highest earners, white male professionals”.

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MENTHER BUSINESS Without the necessary structural and systemic changes to address this challenge, black women will remain mere observers to the economic opportunities in South Africa. Can we fix it? Sure we can. While South Africa has policies through the employment equity act to increase and encourage more women to be recruited in the work place, the sad reality is that for many, job search opportunities remain limited, especially as our economy struggles to recover from the economic fall out of the pandemic. While we can’t control how policy gets implemented, most women turn their focus to what they can. Enter the “gig” economy and “side hustles”. Not new concepts, but the principles of these endeavours have been seen in our society before. The “Gig” economy is simply, a labour market characterised by freelance, flexible, on-demand work rather than the more traditional nine-to- five working model. Instead of being paid a regular salary, workers are paid for each ‘gig’ they do – package deliveries, cleaning services or being a virtual assistant. Recently workers in the gig economy continue to find jobs by registering on websites or apps and signing up for what they want to do. This way “marketing” their services to potential clients whilst opening themselves up to collaborate with peers in their industry. “Side hustles” on the other hand is generally defined as anything outside your main

source of income that adds money to your life. Think of it as keeping your 9 to 5 while selling a product or rendering a service on the side that augments this income – like selling homeware, make-up, catering on weekends or tutoring. While these concepts may not be new, they can be leveraged in a new manner to multiply the participation of women in the economy – especially when the power of networks and social media are harnessed. By creating awareness around your product or service, marketing and collaborating with a circle of women in related spheres, there is no reason why this cannot be used as an effective base to have more women able to secure their own bag. While this intervention may be a small step to addressing the deeper social construct of our economy – it does assist with

three themes that are required in the leadership of an organization, no matter how big or small.


Leveraging networks – this opens up opportunities for business owners to meet mentors, sponsors and coaches along the way, who assist with the development of one’s leadership skills.


Collaboration – ever heard the proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go further, go together. Many women are often told to bow down to the pressure of competition. This way the narrative changes to one of strength in numbers, failing forward and finding growth through the experiences of others.


Self-confidence women often think twice ( read several ) times about being bold enough to embark on their own business ventures – imposter syndrome, fear and anxiety are just a few of the elements to blame for this. However, by independently building a vendor that is led and shaped by ones vision, this can offer women more of the confidence they need to scale their businesses and take on more roles, as their ambition to be economically active increases.

We are indeed, young, gifted and black… and empowered.

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TOO MANY SHOES MAY CAUSE LONG-TERM FINANCIAL DISTRESS! Being in control will open up the path to a secure financial future LIANNE LUTZ


e all know the rush of excitement amidst a shoe shopping retail therapy experience. All that is needed now is a cappuccino and a chat with your bestie! However, when the credit card statement becomes a frequent feature of your nightmares, it’s time to take control and to understand that too many shoes may have a negative effect on your financial affairs. What is needed is a sensible, practical approach to

money management. Being in control will open up the path to a secure financial future. It’s essential to educate yourself to understand the concepts, terminology, and approaches to guide you along your financial well-being path. What is money management? Money management encompasses budgeting, saving, investing, and spending. Money management requires knowledge, introspection, and restraint. Always ask yourself –

is this the best decision at this time in my life? What is a credit score rating? A credit score is what most lenders use to help them decide how likely it is that they will be repaid on time if they give a person a loan or credit card. A credit score is based on your credit history. It ranges from 300-850 – the higher your score, the more likely you will be able to receive a loan or a credit card. How you’ve managed your finances in the past will contribute to your success when

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applying for finance or funding. A positive long credit history is established by making regular payments and having a mix of long-term debt (mortgage bond), cell phone contracts, credit cards, and store cards. A bad credit score usually results from having too much debt where the amounts owing are not paid regularly when due. Judgements or administration orders issued by courts will indicate that you could not meet all your debt obligations. Too many account applications and enquiry activity in a short period of time may show desperation or bad money management skills. Pace your credit applications as well as pay in full whenever you are able to do so. Check your credit score regularly to know how financial institutions will view your financial and credit history. What is debt consolidation? Debt consolidation is taking out one new loan to pay off all other existing loans. In so doing, you will only have one loan amount to pay each month. The consolidation loan usually has a longer-term payment period. For example, a five-year loan will be paid off in sixty months, resulting in more interest paid than a store account to be paid off in six months. Debt consolidation is not a step to be taken lightly. It is better to manage your finances

well to avoid the need for debt consolidation. However, if you are struggling to pay all your monthly instalments, the option of debt consolidation may be a solution.

Here are four steps to help you on the journey to effective money management:

Step 1

Create a budget listing all your sources of income and all your expenses. Become aware of your spending habits. Many small purchases can become a significant amount, and you can easily blow your budget. Keep track of your spending on an Excel spread sheet. Within a few months, you will see your spending on necessities and the types of purchases that lead to overspending.

Step 2

Create a list of all your debt. It must include credit cards, bank overdrafts, personal loans, vehicle finance instalments, and your mortgage bond.

Step 3

Divide the debt into short, medium, and long term. Take note of the different rates of interest that apply to each individual debt.

Step 4

Set saving and investment goals. It takes discipline, a degree of risk, and educating yourself on the many available options. Remember to diversify.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It is crucial to save for a rainy day and have enough set aside to cover at least three months of expenses that may be needed in the event of illness, accidents, or other unexpected expenses. Use your savings account to build healthy financial habits. No matter where you are on your journey, it’s never too late to get in the driver’s seat and take control over your finances – the sooner the better. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when those shoe sales come calling; • Never spend more than you earn. • Avoid debt whenever possible. • If you require debt consolidation, use it as a stepping stone to a better financial future. • Bring a financial advisor on board to assist with planning for investment, retirement, and taxation. • Having a squeaky clean credit rating will simplify the process when applying for credit or a loan. • Before applying for a loan, check what your credit score is. You can find this information on the following free service websites:

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he COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated a myriad of the challenges that South African’s face and more so the youth, due to historical and current psychosocial and socio-economic factors affecting majority of families in South Africa, in which these inequalities have a domino effect as each factor leads to the other. As the country applied restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus, there were closures of schools, disruptions of income generating activities and essential services.

To deal with the COVID-19

pandemic, young South Africans need to be a visible part of the solution, and to actively contribute towards efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact. We need to develop and promote awareness of national youth policies that promote access to services. The increase in youth population and more so in the rise of the youth’s voice needs us to look at proactive approaches in helping the youth to fully reach their potential and that goes hand in hand with accessibility. There is a growing need to

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develop legislation that is inclusive and protective of youth rights. To ensure there are adequate mechanisms of recourses which are accessible to youth, yet access does not equal accessibility. In providing the tools for taking part in a democratic society, doesn’t guarantee participation neither does it resolve the divide. People may be connected, but still be excluded politically, economically and socially if they don’t attain the ability and skills to use. To foster such inclusion, comprehensive approaches must be taken to ensure that not only equitable access, but universal accessibility is afforded to all. It is worth noting that the major contributor to poverty, inequality and unemployment amongst the youth in South Africa is the low levels of educational attainment and skills. The improving of the health and well-being of adolescents and youth is crucial for their wellbeing today, and for their future economic productivity because behaviour and health developed during these stages of life are key predictors of the adult burden of disease, and because health – like education – is a key factor in the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Poverty, in all its dimensions, undermines health and wellbeing through a variety of pathways. Poor nutrition, for example, impacts negatively on a young person’s capacity to learn, progress through school

and earning potential. The early childhood development and education, basic education, post-school education and training sector should improve equity in access and quality of education and training outcomes as well as collaborate with social development and justice sectors in providing effective second chance programmes for at risk youth. To ensure that South Africa realises the goals for the population, young people need to be supported with information, skills and services that help. Access to adolescent and youth-friendly health services and information related to sexual and reproductive health and rights needs to be availed and expanded through mobile clinics, in public and private health facilities, as well as in schools, and other venues. Healthy young people are likely to be productive and contribute to economic growth of the country. Further, education is a vital tool for empowering individuals. If the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the power of technology to connect, educate and empower. However, in South Africa, your access to digital resources still depends on which cell phone service provider you’re linked to and how much data you can afford. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) demands that the youth be equipped with technological and

digital skills. The skills pipeline is riddled with obstacles that undermine equitable access to opportunities in the labour market. Thus, inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access. Only through such approaches will the elimination of the lack of accessibility and the conditions set where we all have the capacity to fully participate in society, democracy and the economy. Physical barriers, once evident are now blurred and new structures of relationships and modes of interaction have been put in place. More often than not is the younger generation who are more comfortable using new information, communication systems and technology to either expand their knowledge or for accessibility. This allows the youth the flexibility to take charge. Barriers must be broken down to enable youth to utilise and gain real access to services. Be it in education, for connectivity, skills development, through mobile health clinics to leverage health promotion and disease prevention, funding, government organisations and other valuable aspects of the socioeconomic ecosystem. Access facilitates learning, which leads to an inclusive society, reduced inequalities and sustained growth and development. We should all be actively playing our part and lobbying government and private sector to play theirs.

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Conversations CLICK AND LISTEN

Tuesday evenings are for #MentHerConversations and with the launch of the magazine in March we’ve been chatting to our contributors about their industry and expanding on the rich content shared in their column. Catch more insightful and informative conversations on our Instagram TV page


MentHer Magazine Launch

Connect with our roundtable discussion with entreprenrs, leading women and frineds of MentHer at the launch of our magazine


Launching with the end in mind with Adv. Aurelia Nxumalo

We speak to Advocate @aurelianxumalo about her journey as an entrepreneur and pivoting from corporate to starting her own businesses @merakilegal. @learned_friend_ & @the_ professionista_za during the lock down. We touch on the exciting, enriching and challenging journey of being a woman in business.


Unlearning with Zanele Njapha

We talk how to be future-fit through unlearning. Zanele shares how simple acts such as changing your dominant hand when doing routine activities can get your brain thinking different. As well as a caution to not create an echo chamber by surrounding yourself with people who think the same.


Building Trust with Vimbai Schwalm

We’re talking Building Trust with self and others to live a more empowered life and to show up as your authentic self. Some fantastic nuggets from this conversation; - Our thoughts have creative power - Trust is a muscle you can build - Be authentic - Show empathy - Be vulnerable - Get competent - Stay consistent - Address your past hurts

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Purpose x Passion x Profit with Gugulethu Mfuphi

Women’s Wealth on Creating a Wealth Plan

Women and Drones with Kim James

Resilience: The Power of Restorative Sleep with Joni Peddie

We’re barely scratching the surface, but had a very insightful conversation highlighting the need for ways to better track the informal or third sector where a lot of volunteer work happens and the ripple effect of that impact isn’t known. We emphasize that social entrepreneurs can make a profit and need to think about scaling for impact and the importance of tracking impact for reporting

We were encouraged by Lianne to not be overwhelmed by our finances, but rather get comfortable with being in the driver’s seat and creating a healthy dynamic with our money. We talk about how asking for help and cancelling debt are a great place to start, as well as share a fresh perspective on how to define wealth.

Drone technology is here, the industry is bubbling and the opportunities are endless. We talk about the drone industry in South Africa and why you should jump on this wagon. There’s a wonderful opportunity at hand to define the space for yourself.

Did you know that even though our bodies sleep, our brains don’t? We sleep to restore our brain function and allow it to flush out toxins that develop. Resilience is not only about bouncing back, but bouncing forward as well and how you sleep is a great way to do this – find out how in this episode of MentHer Conversations.

Want to get featured?

We want to talk to you and share your impact story with our community. We’re launching #LunchChats, a new Instagram Live feature that’ll be on every Thursday at midday. If you want to go live over lunch with us to feature your business, send us a DM with the line #lunchchats


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Breaking Barriers & Creating Access for Women to Thrive in IT Women are underrepresented in key sectors as professionals, skilled workers and decision-makers.


ccording to the leaky pipeline report by Syson Kunda and Marilyn Radebe, “Women are the highest percentage of users of most technology globally as well as in South Africa. Women are the highest users of social media, equipment, and appliances in homes as well as business environments. However, women are underrepresented in the IT

industry, especially in design

and development. Women are underrepresented in key sectors as professionals, skilled workers and decision-makers.” So, if women are the highest users of technology why are they so underrepresented? What can be done to improve statistics and encourage participation of women in the IT sector? How do we break barriers and create access for more

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women to thrive in the IT sector with full recognition; not being overlooked or under looked for promotions and underpaid? There are a few women breaking barriers recently which is amazing, but how do we get more women involved, more women pushing boundaries and showing up? Most recently it was announced that Ms. Nthabeleng Likotsi will be the first black woman to own a mutual bank. At the age of 36 and from the Free State province Ms Likotsi is breaking the barriers showing the African child that it is possible to come from a small town, dream big and realise those dreams. Then there is Ms Queen Ndlovu, CEO and co-founder of QP Drones who is breaking barriers in the drone industry. She has partnered with Flying Labs and was nominated as a finalist for Women in Tech (2020) by the South African Tech Innovation Summit and has been featured in Drone Professional 2. One of the key ascriptions that

Ms Ndlovu indicated assisted her in realising her progress was the role that business incubation and mentorship played in her success. Business incubation is a programme intended to create an enabling environment to help businesses be more sustainable. Through business incubation entrepreneurs are offered business and technical training, mentorship and coaching and, access to funding and markets. Africa Beyond 4IR (AB4IR) is one such incubator, focused on supporting entrepreneurs in the IT industry. AB4IR has three programmes; the digital innovation hub where entrepreneurs are supported over 24 months, the Umbocoder which specifically directs effort to support, groom and grow women in the IT sector and finally drone technology. During the month of June, AB4IR will be hosting their inaugural Digital Youth Festival which will take place in three provinces. The event is intended to encourage youth participation

(especially the girlchild) in the digital economy while decoding the fourth industrial revolution. It is through platforms such as these where the participants interact with technology that they learn that it is ok to be a part of it. Often the playing field look like a landmine when one starts navigating them, but becomes more navigable with each step, along with guidance and support. The festival will take place in Gauteng on 10 and 11 June, in Limpopo on 17 and 18 June and in the Eastern Cape on 24 and 25 June 2021. Technology is an integral part of modern living and cuts across all sectors. Imagine how much more powerful it can be when more women are involved, as aptly stated by an old proverb, when you educate a woman, you educate a nation. For more information on the Digital Youth Festival visit

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Breaking Convention from Traditional Aid Models

hen most people think “cryptocurrency”, they imagine teenagers mining Bitcoin in their basement. They seldom think of rural women in Kenya buying tomatoes on the blockchain. At least, this is what I thought back in 2019 when I started working with a Kenyan nonprofit that has been tinkering with alternative currency models for the past decade. Grassroots Economics argues that most aid models do little to address the structural causes of poverty – and in times of economic crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, what you really want is a tool that addresses both people’s immediate welfare needs and the longterm economic resilience of the community. They propose something radically different: instead of giving people lump sums of national currency, sign them up to join a community currency network, where they receive universal basic income in the form of non-interestbearing digital tokens. What makes Grassroots Economics’s Sarafu Network unique is that the program uses a

decentralized ledger on an opensource blockchain, enabling transactions to be tracked in real-time. Tokens can only be spent with other members of the network and are therefore designed to encourage local trade. In other words, think “Bitcoin”, but applied solely for the purpose of socio-economic development.

A twist on conventional aid approaches

So just how well do these cryptocurrencies work as a form of emergency aid? Last year, I conducted what may be the world’s first randomized control trial (RCT) on community currencies. I transferred $30 in

the form of community currency tokens to roughly 400 individuals living in Nairobi. The transfers were sent out in weekly batches of $10 and ran for three weeks between November 2020 and December 2020. Two months later, when I compared community currency transfer beneficiaries to individuals in the control group, there were notable increases on several important indicators. Beneficiaries showed a $93.51 increase in their available wallet balance, a $23.17 increase in monthly income, a $16.30 increase in monthly spending, a $6.31 increase in average trade size and a $28.43 increase in expenditure on food and water.

Gender matters, a lot

One result that stood out was the stark difference in the magnitude of impacts for male versus female beneficiaries. Female beneficiaries’ wallet balances were still higher than the control group, but 91% lower than their male counterparts. Their average trade size and number of sales reflected a similar pattern. These results say a lot about how the effects of Covid-19

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have intensified existing gender disparities in the Kenyan economy. A 2020 study by researchers at Kenya’s Ministry of Health found that amongst youth in Nairobi, females reported significantly more time spent on caregiving and household work, with over 54% of them reporting an increase in financial reliance on others compared to 36% of men. The researchers also noted that with more men facing unemployment and being confined to the household, a skewed division of household labour constrained women’s income-generating opportunities. For practitioners and policymakers, this highlights the need to accompany emergency

interventions with additional support targeted at females, such as temporary employment opportunities, access to microcredit and psychological services. One takeaway here is that small-scale transfers used as an emergency humanitarian response should be seen as an important buffer rather than as a tool for gender empowerment – although large-scale transfers are likely to yield different results.

Looking ahead

Universal basic income, in any form, is not a silver bullet. But studies like this are an important prototype for how we can use new monetary design tools for the purpose of economic


recovery and gender-targeted development aims. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have made one thing glaringly clear: most low-income economies are dangerously fragile. Take away people’s ability to work in close contact with each other, and the ripple effects on small business owners, street vendors and day labourers can be devastating. Aggregate shocks call for unconventional solutions. If implemented correctly, could cryptocurrencies be a tool for economic recovery targeted at women? In these strange times, better to put these questions to the test.


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Book-end your day, to self-manage so that you can break barriers. Self-managing in a pandemic, given the uncertainty is much easier said than done.


ach one of us needs to look in the mirror and lead ourselves with intentionality. My personal mantra (I have a new one each January) for 2021 is “Attitude is Freedom. Intentionality is Everything”. Whether you are ‘leading yourself’, as a solopreneur or leading a team in a SME (Small Medium Enterprise), or leading many teams in a multinational business – personal and team leadership involves intentional work! How we ‘show up’ will influence how we break barriers and get access to what we want in life. Self-management takes discipline and consistency. Self-management is a key pillar of Emotional Intelligence often

referred to as EI or EQ. This particular article is going to focus on one very practical EQ technique! Self-managing in a pandemic, given the uncertainty is much easier said than done. Mental strain and lack of mental wellbeing seems to be at an all time high! I can almost guarantee that as you read this article, you are reflecting on ways in which you keep yourself ‘buoyant’ during these ‘waves’ of turbulent change. Without exaggerating, there are hundreds of great selfmanagement techniques which improve your self-awareness and will help you break barriers - the often self-imposed mental barriers. I’ll share one technique which is absolutely game-changing. It’s a lifestyle approach, which is called

the ‘book-end your day’ technique. The morning ‘book-end’ is 99% controllable and so simple and easy to implement. Simply set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than your significant others and / or family wakes up. You then need to start a morning ritual for yourself. Be consistent and do something nourishing, fulfilling and replenishing for yourself. You need to ensure that this ritual is something that you ‘do it alone’. My ‘intentionality’ for each day starts with a cup of steaming good coffee, followed by an eleven minute meditation and prayer. I start my day using this ritual and I do this 7 days per week! To ensure that you are ‘consistent’, it is always good to link a ritual to a specific ‘place’ in your home. Mine is linked to my

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The important aspect of a gratitude practice is to ensure that you do it consistently everyday and to be specific.

favourite comfy spot in our lounge. This is where I feel warm, relaxed and can also see the sun rising – a brilliant way to start my day! My evening ‘book-end’ is my ‘full stop’ to the day. I guess that’s about 90% controllable for me as my children are now adults. I choose to have an Epsom salts bath and read a really good, gripping novel. This is the place and time of the day when I make a concerted effort to consciously and intentionally switch-off, in order to recharge my brain and body. I allow myself to be absorbed in the drama of the novel (normally history-related human dramas), and I completely escape the stressors of the day. I make sure that I use lavender oil (or fresh lavender if I can find it) in

my bath. This is a well researched neuroscience brain-calming trick. And then, at the end of my bath, I make a point to watch the water running down out of my bath, as it runs down the drain. This is a trigger to remind myself, and remember to take DEEP, SLOW breaths. At the same time, I say out loud (to myself) one or two things that I am grateful for, on that particular day. I do this even if it was tough feedback from a colleague or family member. The important aspect of a gratitude practice is to ensure that you do it consistently everyday and to be specific. Building your confidence to be influential and break barriers takes self mastery. Self-mastery takes discipline and self management. If

you want to feel in control of your life, start with book-ending each day of the week. In that way, you are in control of each day, then each week and then your months ahead!


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Boo st Eat to

Immunity this winter


o one wants to have their business interrupted by illnesses that could be prevented. Eating well this winter season is very crucial to keep the body healthy and strong to continue business duties as usual. This can only be achieved by ensuring that the immune system is well supplied with nutrients that will support it and keep it strong. WHAT IS IMMUNITY Immunity may be defined as the resistance the body possesses to infection or toxin by particular action of substances in the blood. Microorganisms causing common cold are more active in the winter season because they live longer in lower temperatures and humidity; most people get sick not because of the weather,

Kholeka Mkhize shares useful tips but mainly because they prefer to stay indoors and in enclosed spaces longer which increases the risk of infection. The immune system is profoundly affected by the ageing process leading to increased vulnerability to infection which is why it is so important to teach ourselves to eat healthier at a very young age so one could age gracefully. The chances of infection are also heightened by stress, exhaustion, chronic illness and depression – all of which lower resistance. It is very important to keep our living environment aerated at all times throughout all seasons even in winter to ensure fresh air in the house and offices. Exercising is still crucial so keep active even if it is for a few minutes.

HOW TO PROMOTE HEALTHEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM Firstly, hygiene is important as one needs to avoid contamination from harmful microorganisms at all times; which become very opportunistic when one falls ill. Good hygiene starts with cleanliness. Working from home does not mean that one is exempted from bathing; when one starts the day by bathing the feeling of freshness and wellbeing wrap the body and state of mind then new ideas come flushing. The basic COVID-19 prevention principles of washing hands, avoiding close contact with other people and covering the mouth/nose when sneezing/ coughing are old basic hygiene principles that people have a tendency to ignore overtime.

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QUICK QUIZ how many times should one wash their hands? 1. Every time (throughout the day) 2. After eating 3. After visiting the loo 4. After handling dirty objects The correct answer is every time; before touching the face, handling food, before and after visiting the loo. Hands must be washed as often as possible to prevent harmful germs from entering the body. The quickest way germs enter the body is through the respiratory system and the digestive system. Technology is also challenging this basic simple principle of washing hands as one’s hand is always carrying everyone’s favourable gadget the “cellphone”, which is the dirtiest tool most of us handle each day. Our phones carry germs from each of the surfaces we touch and objects we handle and most people don’t sanitize or wipe them down and so the dirt builds up.

Here are some hygiene tips to avoid unnecessary illnesses:

1. Washing of hands is paramount. 2. Keeping nails short especially when handling food, which one does every day. 3. Keeping hair away from food by covering it or wearing it neat. 4. Cleaning of all surfaces with

detergents especially where food will be prepared. 5. Washing vegetables and fruits with clean water before cooking or eating. 6. Proper storage of food is important. 7. Rinsing eating utensils with hot water before dishing up. 8. Washing cans before opening to keep debris from falling into food. 9. Buying food and consuming it within the best before date/ expiry date. 10. Cooking meat and meat products thoroughly before consumption. 11. Avoiding eating certain food raw e.g. eggs, fish. IMMUNITY BOOSTING FOODS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DIET • Citrus fruits – rich in vitamin C. • Garlic, onion and ginger – natural decongestants (antibacterial and antiviral properties in garlic). • Paw-paw/Papaya, peppers, broccoli and spinach – rich in both vitamin A and vitamin C. • Kiwi – excellent source of vitamin C. • Shellfish, oysters and meat – rich in zinc. • Yoghurt/fermented milk – helps to replace valuable bacteria in the gut killed by antibiotics boosts the immune system. • Almonds and sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E which prevents oxidation of cell membrane by free radicals. • Turmeric – antibacterial properties. • Fluids (especially plain water) – for rehydration.

• Honey - provides antioxidants, also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It’s always a good idea to “break barriers of illnesses and create access to good health” by increasing the intake of these foods to stay healthy. Allow the body to rest and recover when suffering from a bout of cold/flu. If one insists on carrying on as usual, the body’s fighting efforts will be hindered, and one will increase spreading infection to others. Taking time off at the onset of illness will help to shorten its duration. When you feel well enough, take a gentle walk outside for some fresh air. Wishing you a healthy and whole winter. Recommended Recipe Chicken and garlic soup (Serves 4) Ingredients: 10 cloves of garlic, crushedd 2 Tbs of grated ginger 1 Tbs of fresh turmeric 1L of chicken or vegetable stock 1L of water 500g chicken breast, cubed 2 bunches of coriander, chopped 3 Tbs of tamari soy sauce Method: • Combine the garlic, turmeric, ginger, stock, water, and chicken into a large pot. • Simmer with the water for 5-10 minutes over low heat until the chicken is cooked. • Add tamari, and coriander just before serving. Add some thickening ingredients if too watery.

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Our Contributors

Thank you for coming together to make this possible and for the work you do to support and empower women Adelaide Sheik (Sustainability) Social Entrepreneur // Lecturer //School of Management

Lianne Lutz (Finance) Founder // Financial Advisor @ Women’s Wealth

Advocate Aurelia Nxumalo (Legal) Legal Practitioner // Digital Entrepreneur

Modiegi Mulaudzi (Marketing) Founder @ LEFA Communications

Alice Dlamini (Leadership) Self-published author // Writer// Creative International Speaker Farai Mutiwanyuka (Personal Growth) Founder & CEO of Sprouting Tree Group

Rebecca Mqamelo (Innovation) Head of Growth at Zerion // Blockchain-based development Wenzile Madonsela (Inclusivity) Co-Founder Unafundo // Children’s book author Melos Kingdom // Mental Health Activist Speaker

Gugulethu Mfuphi (Business) Conversation Strategist, Broadcaster, Financial Journalist Joni Peddie (Resilience) Speaker // Team Performance Facilitator MD @ Resilient People Kelebogile Molopyane (Technology) Chief Executive @ AB4IR

Kholeka Mkhize (Wellness) Dietician // Nutritionist

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