Tag Archives: feminism

Read the Story of Kenya’s Serial Entrepreneur Who Went From Selling Yogurt to Building a Multi-million Dollar Telecoms Empire – Without a Degree

Before venturing into the ‘tech world’ I had tried various businesses before hitting this goldmine.

My first business was selling yoghurt from a friend’s car trunk to high school students. Also,
I was a part-time hairdresser, I was at the salon when I realized another business opportunity. Which was selling luxury merchandise to my high net worth clients. I would fly to London to get luxury goods for retail purposes.

In 2000, I co-founded East Africa’s first mass-market oriented Internet Service Provider (ISP), Wananchi Online (a Swahili word meaning ‘citizen’ or ‘the people’) it made Internet connectivity affordable for the average household in Kenya for the first time.

My name is synonymous with this company. The company is the reason why I am called the “Tech Entrepreneur” in some circles in Kenya. My business partner and I grew the business from a typical start-up to become the largest Internet Service Provider in East Africa, with a network of five regional offices.

As CEO, I raised the first tranche of $500,000 and the second tranche of $3M for Wananchi, eventually, the company’s worth rose to $238M.  I was responsible for raising the initial start-up capital for Wananchi Online.

In 2008 I was assigned to lead the restructuring of Telkom Kenya, a previously state-owned corporation. I oversaw and was instrumental in the retail brand launch of the Orange brand into Kenya and, in doing so, I handled a commercial budget of up to $44M. In commercializing the GSM network, I was responsible for 826 employees.

I do not have a degree however, I have done various certificate courses because I found that they were more practical in allowing me to achieve the things that I need to achieve.

I judge myself based on my performance vis-à-vis today’s challenges and opportunities. I am passionate about growth in others and myself. Success for me is defined by increased value – not simply financial rewards.  I think that there are lots of opportunities in this world and a lot of opportunities in Africa for both men and women.

I’ve demonstrated that being a woman is not a barrier to success. If you are determined, and passionate about what you do and work hard you can be successful no matter what.

First seen on BBC News

These are the things I as a strong independent woman want from a man

Learn How to Stand up to your boss (and Force Her to See What You’re Really Worth)

I have never had a problem standing up for myself, even when I’m crazy in love, my brain still rejects bullying. As an employee, I had to learn how to stand up to my boss. So, when I encountered a very difficult boss whose sole purpose was to put me down and make my life miserable, this is what I did:

I knew this was a business I wanted to learn and do on my own in future, I also knew my boss was extremely good at her job. Knowing all these gave me an incentive to work harder and put my ego aside. How did I stand up to a woman who could fire me from a job I loved and wanted?

Empower yourself: First, I learnt how to become really good at my job. I envisaged questions before they were asked and wrote down answers in anticipation. I would read up in my spare time and give intelligent contributions during staff meetings. I made myself smart, handy and invaluable. Initially she didn’t like that she deferred to me, but I was working harder than anyone else and producing results, so she didn’t have a choice. When I became assured of my competence, I moved to the next step

Plan what you’re going to say: I started to write down the things I wanted to say to her. It wasn’t for lack of confidence, it was a strategic way to get it all out without talking too much. So, I wrote things down, cancelled and re-wrote. I needed to say everything on my mind in few words so as not to bore her or look like I was rambling. This was a tough woman I was dealing with, I had to hold her attention or lose my chance. So, when I was satisfied with my complaints and how I would present them, I moved on to the next phase

Choose the right moment: Because I had become closer to her, I began to study her mood and her down times. I also made sure to find out the visitors that put her in a good mood, news that elated her…I knew there was a time and place for everything so I watched and studied her until I knew the time was right

Be Confident and keep your emotions under control: When I eventually got her in a good mood and presented my case, I spoke confidently and looked her straight in the eye. I smiled a lot too. I told her how much I loved my job and how desperately I wanted to learn from her. But, as much as she inspires me to work harder, I would also like her to inspire me to want to come to work too. I explained that I felt used sometimes even though that may not have been her intention, and she talked down at me especially in the presence of visitors which dampens my morale. I finished off by saying “ I hope someday my hard work will be acknowledged and you will find it in your heart to treat me with respect”

Never Criticize or Sound Bitter: I told her how I felt, not what she did. So this made the situation seem more about me and less about her

Needless to say that was the turning point for me. Although after airing my thoughts, she said “I have heard you, leave my office”, things got way better and we became friends. I was able to be my best and I looked forward to going to work….

…Until I had to resign to go do my own thing. She went back to hating me

Linda Ikeji marriage

Linda Ikeji, Chigul, Betty Irabor On the Pressure To Marry Before 30

“But don’t you want to get married soon?” This question comes up a lot in your thirties because at that age the traditional mindset is that that you’ve had plenty of time to date, and you should be settling down and starting a family by now. Linda Ikeji, Betty Irabor and Chigul talk to Genevieve Magazine about the pressure to get married at a certain age and how they handle it

Linda Ikeji

“Marriage is not an achievement. There is so much more to life than being someone’s wife. Get married please, but don’t be pressured into it. I don’t know how many of you single girls are under pressure to get married but I am. Pressure from family, friends and people who just can’t mind their business. Read: That time I called off my wedding

The pressure is so intense right now I feel like going to husband market – if there is any such thing- to buy myself some breathing space. Give me a break you people.


linda ikeji Chigul

“In my opinion, the pressure is not a fabrication. It is very real ! After you have won asoebi about a million times, you begin to wonder when it is going to be your turn to sell asoebi too ! And when you factor in mums and aunties constantly reminding you about the shelf life of women. It gets to you, even if it is just a bit.

People may even suggest some very strange things to you to do to ‘earn’ marriage. Well, I have come to realise that we allow ourselves to be pressured. The decision to get married should not be taken because you are being pressured, that could lead to a disaster. Don’t let anyone make you go into anything you are not ready for or your joy may be shortlived. And to those mounting pressure on others to go and get married, there is simply no justification for your behaviour

Betty Irabor

linda ikeji

“I don’t think women should be worried about being married before 30 because many women before that age have not yet gone through the school of life which prepares them for marriage”.

“If Your Husband is ‘Naturally’ A wife Beater, You need To Help Him Mange It”- Empress Njamah On Domestic Violence

“If Your Husband is ‘Naturally’ A wife Beater, You need To Help Him Manage It”- Empress Njamah On Domestic Violence

“If Your Husband is ‘Naturally’ A wife Beater, You need To Help Him Manage It”- Empress Njamah On Domestic Violence

“I will say this on domestic violence, when a man hits a women, it’s domestic violence but when a woman does it what is it called? The truth is some women are headstrong and they can traumatise their partners mentally and drive them mad. You need to work together with the man, if he is naturally a wife/woman better…” – Empress Njamah tells broadwaytv

Dear Empress Njamah,

In the US alone, it’s estimated by The Huffington Post that at least 3 women are killed by intimate partners each day in the US – over 1 thousand per year. This is in the US alone not to talk of Nigeria where there are hardly laws to protect the victim. Then you say, “women should work with their husbands to avoid being bashed?”

I am Sentimental towards the victim, not the gender so let’s be clear here. There’s nothing called “a natural beater”. Everyone has a responsibility to control their anger, except ofcourse we’re animals. In which case you’re saying we should train snakes to become friendly pets? Read: Mercy Aigbe’s Domestic Violence Experience

There is no excuse for DV. Anyone should walk away from situations that are unhealthy and go find a solution from afar. A man who is being nagged continuously by his wife or whose wife’s character he detests should step away from the marriage until they can both amicably learn to respect each other. Hitting anyone into submission or acting right is barbaric, it is time we all must unanimously say “No” to Domestic Violence

We have laws for a reason, anyone who flouts them should be treated to its wrath. Madam, it is not okay, let it not be heard from people like you that “instead of walking away, manage it”. It is because of statements like yours that people die untimely while trying to “manage it”

The other man who lodged in Kirikiri for 7 days will think twice before hitting any woman again. People are beginning to take this seriously, this is how it should be

hiring domestic help in Nigeria

Diary of A Nigerian Girl: This is My Reality as a HouseWife

My reality as a housewife has been far from the dream. The day I danced out of my father’s arms into that of my husband, was the day I danced from freedom to societal imprisonment

Many females dream of the day they leave the house of their parents for that of their husband; the day they transition from Miss to Mrs; the day they no longer have to live by the rules of their parents, but by their own rules – the day they are ‘free’. Did I have similar dreams? Ofcourse!

This is what a typical day for me is like. My alarm goes off at 6:30am. I wake up and turn to my husband who doesn’t even stir (alarms don’t wake him). My first move is to clean up the house. He had ‘suggested’ that since I wake up early to get him ready for work anyway, I ‘might as well do some cleaning here and there’. Cleaning doesn’t involve much, it’s a two-bedroom bungalow and few minutes of dusting, sweeping the corners and mopping parts of the house do the trick

After cleaning I see that it’s a minute past 7

After a minute of calling out his name and nudging him around, my husband is finally up and he proceeds to brush his teeth.

My next move is to prepare his breakfast because God forbid he goes to work on an empty stomach. Bread is the breakfast choice. He eats his bread with either eggs or stew. He says butter should be reserved for baking and nobody above 18 should have jam in his diet.

I fry two eggs and serve it with six slices of bread in hopes that he would be out of the bathroom soon. He emerges shortly after, dressed for work, jacket in hand (the jacket is worn after breakfast). He places his free hand on his waist and does his usual silent, one minute inspection of the house (to ensure it’s well cleaned), then hangs his jacket on the dining chair, gobbles down his breakfast, picks up his jacket and dashes out the house.Read: I am Strong but I am Tired

I go back to the bedroom and sleep till 11am. When I wake up, I’m immediately bored. I don’t have many friends in the neighbourhood because we are new and most of my other friends have jobs or businesses, none of which I have. Did I mention I have a degree in International Relations? But according to my husband, of what use is my working when he can conveniently fend for us.

After taking a bath and having breakfast, I watch TV till 2pm. Still bored, I consider calling my mum but immediately change my mind. In her world, I’m living ‘the perfect life’. I got married at an early age, my husband has a good job, he takes care of me, doesn’t beat me up or cheat on me. As a matter of fact, it’s about time I started having kids so I can ‘lock this marriage’.

I watch TV for another three hours, after which I start cooking beans (he closes at 6pm and always returns ‘famished’).Dinner is right on time as I hear the blaring of his horn right after turning off the gas. After opening the gate and ushering him in, he declares his hunger, reminding me he hasn’t eaten since ‘that small bread of this morning.’ He quickly removes his shoes, discards his jacket and tie, unbuttons his shirt and sprawls on the sofa to await his meal.

Immediately after the meal, he stumbles into the bedroom, leaving his jacket, tie and shoes behind.
After placing our dishes in the sink, I take his clothes and shoes to the bedroom, where he reminds me he would have ‘something small’ before bed. Fried yam and eggs are what I serve him a few minutes past 9

“Egg again?” He remarks.

I ignore him and shortly after, he dozes off on the sofa. I wash the plates, then wake him and we go to the bedroom.

I drift off thinking of the three meals I would cook the next day.

Noya Sadi

Life is Too Short to Attach Yourself to Anyone’s Boxers

Women like me are tagged “radical”, “fiery”, “tough” etc but I since realized a long time ago that my happiness stares me in the face.

I’m solely responsible for my own happiness.

Marriage doesn’t validate or quantify one’s success.

I’m not a manager of happiness. It’s ALL or NOTHING with me.

Prayers are good but only when both souls agree to it.

I won’t whittle out for anyone who doesn’t prioritize me.

I’m Afolake. I’m different. I’m not scared of societal labeling. I validate my own truth.

As I’ve prepared myself as a treasure as a wife then he who marries me, must be lucky to get me.

No half measures. No second guessing.

Life is too short to attach your happiness to another’s boxers, moods or emotions.

I will continue to challenge the unfounded traditional myths that equates marriage with suffering. NO. The status quo must change and give way.

There’s no special place in heaven for best Miss or Mrs.

Till we rid ourselves of the congenital and societal backed belief that marriage is the solution to life’s problems, certain women shall continue to live in grief, violent, grey and toxic marriages.

No woman’s worth should be validated by marriage much less an erring husband returning home as a prized possession.

This is my creed. _ Folake Oyetesho

“Despite The Constant Beating, I Stayed Because of my Children” Mercy Aigbe

Nollywood actor, Mercy Aigbe whose marital troubles caused by domestic violence have been making waves online, shares her story exclusively with Broadway TV.

Mercy had accused her husband of physical violence that has affected her sight and caused her to bleed internally from the alleged physical abuse on Sunday, April 16, 2017.

When she was asked why she came out to say her husband never touched her, she was quick to refute it. “I never for once came out to say that my husband did not beat me. The video people were referring to happened in 2013 when there were rumours of such and I did a video recording alongside my husband to debunk the claim. At that time I had to do it to protect his image and my marriage. I had to do a live video at that time”, she said. Read Dear DANG, Abusive Men Change

Read excerpts from the interview

On the beating and why she stayed: He beats me consistently I stayed because I loved him and because everytime he beats me, he begs and gets family and friends to beg me. He promised regularly to change but he never did. When my husband gets angry, he gets physical, not only to me but to anyone. He has done that with my house help who reported him to the Police years ago. I stayed because of my children and because a lot of people look up to me. I was a role model of some sort and I really wanted to keep it together. I just wanted a home.

On why she wants to leave now: It’s not like I wanted to walk away but I just feel like we need help. I spoke to my husband’s brother about it. I told him I was going to pack out for some time while my husband seeks therapy. I just wanted to feel safe, that is why I moved my things out. This last beating was brutal. I actually thought I was going to die. I’m still coughing and sneezing blood even after three weeks.

On the day of the incident: Mercy had informed her husband that she was attending a burial of her colleague. After his hesitance, she explained that it would not be fair on the lady since she had promised to be there and even invited him to come along.

Mercy revealed that it was her refusal to go and pick her husband up while she was still at her designer’s place that brought the fury of the man on her. He was said to have driven there and started to beat her in the presence of everybody.

She said: Immediately, I opened the door, he kept beating me. I was begging him and asking why he was beating me. He said he would destroy my face such that no makeup would fix it and destroy my career. He was acting like someone who was possessed. I told him “Lanre, mo ma bi mo fun e” (translated as “I have a child for you).

On her husband being detained: My husband was in detention for over seven months and I never left him or go anywhere. Why would I want to go now? He says all this is make-up. He is not showing any form of remorse and still sponsoring lies against me.

10 Choices I Hope You Don’t Regret in 10 Years

Here are 10 choices  that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, and how to elude them: “If only…” These two words paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.

Wearing a mask to impress others: If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it. Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you. You don’t have to be perfect to impress and inspire people. Let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.

Letting someone else create your dreams for you – The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find. A big part of this is your decision to stay true to your own goals and dreams. Do you have people who disagree with you? Good. It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path. Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing

Keeping negative company. – Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you. Don’t let them get to you. They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun. When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.

Being selfish and egotistical
. – A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those who you inspired and shared your love with will remember how you made them feel long after your time has expired. So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.

Avoiding change and growth. – If you want to know your past look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future look into your present actions. You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back. If you acknowledge this right now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success.

Giving up when the going gets tough. – There are no failures, just results. Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. Learn what you can and move on. The one who continues to advance one step at a time will win in the end. Because the battle is always won far away and long before the final victory. It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to that glorious moment of triumph.  Read Mrs Awogboro’s story

Trying to micromanage every little thing. – Life should be touched, not strangled. Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement. Learn to let go a little before you squeeze too tight. Take a deep breath. When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward. You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going to be headed somewhere great. Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not. It just takes some time to connect all the dots.

Settling for less than you deserve. – Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve. Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before. Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again. Don’t settle.

Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. – The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do. But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t

Being lazy and wishy-washy. – The world doesn’t owe you anything, you owe the world something. So stop daydreaming and start DOING. Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Take full responsibility for your life – take control. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.

From Angel Chernoff