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I spend a lot of time reflecting – it’s in my nature – but probably also because I’m always agonizing over my future, my past, and my present.  Trying to figure out how to be better, how to be bigger, how to be smaller (in weight) and what it is I want out of my life.  Sometimes it disturbs me that at my age (30 something) I still question my life goals.

‘Be still’, a friend told me.  If you know me, you’d know that’s the worst thing anyone could say to me – I am that girl who is always on the move.  Be still?  What does that mean?  If I’m still, I’m asleep – I fall asleep in yoga!

Nah, being still wasn’t for me.  But I thought I’d take a break, go visit some friends and get energized.  I couldn’t afford the trip to New York (where I usually go for energy), neither financially nor time wise.  Lagos it was!  People thought I was crazy – why on earth would you go to Lagos on holiday?  Clearly they hadn’t heard Banky W’s anthem, ‘ain’t no party like a Lagos party…’

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My girlfriend and I hopped on an ET flight via Addis to Lagos.  By the way, why does it cost so much to fly inter-continental?  My airfare to London is cheaper!  Anyway, off to Lagos we went.  In my inability to Be Still, I added a couple of business related meetings into the trip.

I was in Lagos for a week, I partied, I drank, I ate, I lounged, but I never felt I was inspired.

I came back to Lusaka, feeling rested, but restless (who knew you could feel both at the same time?).  Contracts for new work weren’t signed, relationship drama, it was just making me stressed again.

Be Still, my friend said.  I had no choice at this point.  I had issues to resolve and without being still I couldn’t hear through the noise – the noise included social media, people’s perceptions, my childhood beliefs, and more.

So I sat alone, in my room, unable to sleep, as sometimes happens when I have too much going on, too much stress, too much uncertainty.  And I was still.  In my stillness I first realized I had a great time in Lagos, and I was inspired.  I met up with a woman I greatly admired – Biola Alabi, whom I first met when we were at DISCOP in Ghana together like 7 or 8 years ago.  Her candor and knowledge about her work, about the industry we both work in was so inspiring me – and she’s absolutely beautiful.  She reminded me what a strong, successful, happy black woman looks like – the kind of woman I want to be.

I thought about my friends out there – hanging out with them, having new experiences that spoke to me, made me acknowledge that there are people out there that enjoy spending time with you, sharing with you, and just staying connected.   I met new people, working in diverse industries – like oil and gas – learning about their focus, their growth, their success and how they chose to live their lives, being happy, and social with friends.

I met up with old friends – people I worked with at MTV in London years ago, and still shared a connection with – plotting how we can work together again.  Learning about their journeys post MTV, and feeding off their energy and drive.  On the flip side there were also some people that showed me they didn’t have the time of day for me – it’s interesting to see how people perceive or treat you when they can’t see what they can tangibly get from you, especially since I’m no longer at MTV.  It was an aha moment, but I wasn’t bothered for too long.  The entertainment industry is fickle – I get that, understanding where the longevity lies, where the real power is was way more interesting for me.

In that moment, I realized that Lagos inspired me more than I thought.  Not only inspired me, but taught me a lot.  Lessons were compounded a few days after I arrived back in Lusaka, while having dinner with girlfriends – a bunch of successful, strong, beautiful women.  Though I had maybe one bottle of champagne too many (champagne hangovers are the worst, think I’ll stick to wine or vodka now), I enjoyed every minute of being around like minded people who allowed you to just be you.  We weren’t worried about taking the best selfies to post on IG, or tweeting our night out.

I went back to think on the last week and the ups and downs I’d had from before going to Lagos, to Lagos, to being back in Lusaka.  My phone camera being broken definitely allowed me to be present, but during my moment of being still, I realized that my best moments, not to mention my worst, have never been lived out on social media (at least not in the last few years).  Yes, we can look at some amazing photos on Instagram that make us envious of people’s lives, but we don’t know the real story behind the photos.

When we are still, it’s easier to remember who you are as a person, what you value, what grounds you, and even the clarity of what we want in life starts to appear.  I haven’t completely figured it out yet but definitely will be still more often now, and be grateful for all I have, for the people in my life, and for the experiences I’ve been blessed to have.  So my advice to you all, be still every once in a while – life demands it.

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I love Zambia.  No, really I do.  But sometimes, stuff happens that makes you question the economical imbalance of this country, and what they think of us.  Can you imagine being in a club in Lagos and not hearing a Naija song?  Maybe it happens but because they have a thriving nightlife you can easily just avoid those spots if you choose.

Last Friday, I was out with 10 girlfriends celebrating one of our girlfriend’s achievement (emancipation I say), and after a great dinner at Urban Yard (their pizza is so good!), we decided we wanted to go dancing, and the girlfriend said she wanted to go to Capones.

I had been there two weeks previously, with a friends, including a former MP, and we were in the VIP area.   We had a bottle of wine and a couple of beers, and left soon after because we were tired.

So Friday, I called the owner and told him we wanted to be in the VIP, was that all good?  Yep, he said, no problem.

Well the problems started as soon as we sat down.  First of all, those chairs are the most uncomfortable chairs ever – it’s a struggle to get out of them, so you end up having to sit on the edge and even then…

Then the waitress comes – we order a bottle of wine and some cocktails.  Nope, she says, ‘you need to order a bottle of champagne or bottle of whisky if you want to sit here’.  No and no I say.  Let me speak to the manager I insist.

End up arguing with the manager, and I was ‘like this is ridiculous, I was here two weeks ago and ordered wine.  Imma call your boss’ and he was like – whatever, fine – have your wine.

I still text the boss who was like ‘yes that’s the rule’, despite the fact that a month previously he had told my girlfriend and I that people had it all wrong about VIP, “you don’t need to order a bottle just call ahead”.  Yeah he thinks I was too drunk to remember! LOL.

Anyway, he sends me a text saying “Relax, be a lover not a fighter, life is so sweet’.  Sexist much?  I was livid.  I would have left there and then except the girls were having fun and the wine had been ordered.

But we just couldn’t do the chairs so moved out of VIP.  Where we had way more fun… for a minute.

The music started out ok, then it got to be like ‘really?  We’re in Zambia, Africa, can we get some Zambian, or even African music?’.  I think I requested it 3 times at the DJ booth.  When JK, Slap Dee, CQ walked in, I thought, oh maybe now we’ll get local music since these artists are here – isn’t that what they do in normal places?   Gosh, what was I thinking – this is Zambia!

At this point I’m just furious at the whole thing – why am I here?  I asked myself.  I look around at the crowd (and there was a lot of them) of dark faces, and wondered why any of us were there.  I asked Slap – why are you in a place that won’t support local music?

I’m sure they all thought I was drunk and angry – ok the angry part I was.  Angry because I felt I had been treated like a ‘little’ girl from the moment I walked in and I was just done with it at that point – I suppose being with the former MP helped last time, probably thinking we were his girlfriends.  I’m just not about that life – at all.  I’m not a little girl, don’t talk to me like one, and don’t treat me like one.  And make your damn policy clear so that we can choose where and how we want to spend our money.

I’m sure everyone has had a different experience of Capones, and yes I know that I can be sensitive about ish, but I decided that night that I wasn’t spending any more of my money there – it won’t make a difference in their books, but I’ll feel better about it.  Now I just need to find a new spot to go dancing… or open my own joint (one day).

So this has been long coming!  Each year I try to sum up my year with some reflections, and thoughts for the new year.  This year I thought I’d do that while I was laying on the beach in Koh Samet, Thailand, sipping on a cocktail, counting my blessings.  Alas I was busy still doing work – but on the beach in Koh Samet, so I can’t be too mad!

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2016 was an interesting year for me – perhaps a year I entered into a different cycle of my life.  I ended the year completely burnt out but definitely worth it.  While 2016 was a ‘surviving’ year for most, it was a challenging year for me.

At the beginning of 2016, if you recall I blogged about this, I decided it was time to believe in myself more and push myself to do things that scared me.  At that point I had already been toying with the idea of launching a female led talkshow.   I wanted to give women a voice, I wanted to actively engage in dialogue that contributed to the development of the country and our lives, and I wanted to show that women can and do support each other.

There were many times in that process of developing the show that I wanted to quit – it was scary, not easy, not to mention costly.  But I told people about it, knowing they would hold me accountable to ensure it happened.  And it did!

The show was quoted in the Daily Mail, and now it’s airing on Zambezi Magic – across the region.  My heart literally stopped as I thought about that – people outside of Zambia are seeing my face and listening to what I have to say… it is surreal.

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But that was just the beginning of the year!

Loads of work in the middle of the year, and then my most challenging work fell squarely on my lap – Our Perfect Wedding Zambia.  The project that gave me sleepless nights and exhausted me (and had me looking like a homeless person).  Adapt the hugely popular South African show, how hard could it be?!

Hmmm.  Let me back track a bit.  The set-up of our company is usually myself and Mary write the proposal, secure the deals and client manage.  Tasha does the research and insights.  Freddy is the creative lead – he directs and produces.  We still work on the creative side inputting in character development, script, wardrobe, art direction etc.  But in a very basic way that’s the make-up.

So after writing the proposal, doing the pitch, we win the bid!  Great.  Just one small problem; Freddy is unable to direct or produce the show.  Probably the obvious decision would have been to hire someone to direct.

I like to think of myself as a business person, I looked at the numbers and realized it would be pointless for us to do this show if we hire a director.  I’d just produced and semi-directed (ha!) a talk show, how hard could a 4-day reality shoot be?

Famous last words.

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I like to surround myself with people who are good at what they do but also people I can work with.  There were a lot of people in the industry who I thought had bad attitudes and who I just couldn’t imagine doing a 52-day shoot with.  So I chose a crew I thought I could work with, mainly young up-and coming and hungry.

No one had shot a reality show before, or one of this nature.  In fact client expectations were to exceed even what the South Africa’s were doing, the pressure was immense.

I’m pretty sure I spent a lot of time crying and wishing I could quit!  But quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.

When I wasn’t shooting, I was in editing mode.  It was non-stop.  And pleasing the client was even harder.  Some of our seasoned editors were also suffering, getting the format right was hard on everyone.

The season is coming to an end and while I can definitely agree there were some bad episodes, there were also some amazing stories and great couples – it almost made me believe in love again! LOL.

I did learn though that maybe hunger wasn’t enough, on certain projects you have no choice but to put personal differences aside and bring in the best people for the job, at least close enough to the best (though not sure they would have done it for the budget).   However, because of the attitude of some of the crew, I know I will be working with them for time to come, because at the end of the day, attitude is so important in getting ahead and moving past mediocrity.  The ones who chose to be unprofessional, well those are their career choices.

I was then fortunate to get away for 10 days to experience the sights and sounds of Thailand.  It was exactly what I needed.  I didn’t get to consciously do the reflections I needed but I think the downtime, the rest and recovery allowed my mind to settle, clear out the noise and focus.

There were things I wanted to do last year that I never got to do, my experience last year proved that anything is possible, so this year I plan on soaring, trusting in myself – in God – and taking that next step to greatness.  We can all achieve it if we believe!

Have a great 2017!  (I won’t even promise to blog more because… well life gets in the way, and I’m busy on my grind and living my life!)

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I woke up this morning to a message from a friend of mine ‘You have to watch Survivor’s Remorse SO3E08, it’s the one!’.

Thankfully for me I’d taken a much needed day off, so was easy enough to watch it immediately.

The last few episodes of Survivors Remorse have been so enlightening, dealing with important issues such as colorism, circumcision etc, in such a way that reminds me why I want to create content. So I was eager to watch this episode.

I watched the entire episode wondering where the amazing message or insightful commentary was going to come in. I didn’t get it, they were just negotiating a contract. Being an entrepreneur – and so is the said friend – I thought the message was on how to negotiate a contract, how your kind deeds are remembered for positive negotiations etc. (It is kind of true). I got to the end and then had the ‘aha’ moment.

There were great nuggets of insight in the negotiation process, but the biggest were self worth and trust.

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The last few months have really tested my belief in myself and what we (my siblings and I) set out to do. I found myself angrier than usual at everything. We met people that we thought would be great to join our team and they turned the jobs down. I took it personally. Did they not know how much they would learn? Did they not know the fantastic work we get to do, even if it’s not always publicly visible? I was crushed.

In the meantime the online views on my talkshow were getting lower each week. I couldn’t understand it, but I was also focussed on how to push my main business forward. I just couldn’t focus on the talkshow at that point, but it was equally crushing that it didn’t seem to be resonating the way I would have liked it too. Didn’t help that a few days later I met someone who purposely sought me out to tell me everything that was wrong with my show. Don’t get me wrong, I can take constructive criticism, but there was just too many other things going on – you know that quote about being nice to people because you don’t know what they’re going through, at that point, I truly understood what it meant. I thought I was at my breaking point.

That experience taught me something. As much as I’m critical of celebrating mediocrity, and boy is there a lot of mediocrity in Zambia, you have to respect the effort, and remember most people are doing things with small budgets and doing things with no experience, in industries that are in infancy stages. While I hope they know it can be better, I know and understand how tough it can be to chase your dreams, especially in this environment.

But back to Survivors Remorse. The episode reminded me to remember how much I have achieved and that while I still have a ways to go to where I’m trying to get, I can’t lose focus on my path. People, circumstances and more, will come into your life to test you, but when you reconnect with who you truly are, embrace your greatness, all of that is water off a duck’s back.

You have to believe in yourself. Not because no one else does, but because so many people, people you may not even know, believe in you, are watching you, are rooting for you. Your actions do enable others to walk through the doors you open, to follow their own dreams. But it all starts with you believing in yourself first. Use that inner strength to weather the bad storms, because it is true, the darkest hour really is before the dawn (or after the rain, the sun comes out), learn to dance in the rain and ride out the storm (OK, I’ve thrown in pretty much every cliche I can think of, but it’s true, and I can’t emphasis this point anymore!). You don’t need anyone to validate you, you are enough. If your regular cheerleaders aren’t around, be your own cheerleader!

So no matter what you might be going through, don’t break, but do take time to regroup, recalibrate and remember your goals. Namaste (I bow to the divine in you)

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the glamour – everyone speaks about being an entrepreneur like it’s sexy and so cool. But it’s not easy (yep I said easy three times!).

Even when you read or hear about times when entrepreneurs fail (usually the ones who are now super successful), you think, it can’t have been that bad because, well look at them now. Their definition of failure must be that they had to drink sparkling wine rather than Veuve Clicquot.

But failure is a part of the journey of being an entrepreneur and the definition of failure is different for everyone. Sometimes it’s the feeling of personal failure.

This feeling is what prompted my hiatus this month. Failure might be too strong a word, maybe dissatisfaction is what it was. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, the company wasn’t where I wanted it to be right now. But these were my personal ambitions so it’s easier to beat yourself up.

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Either way my close friend’s wedding was a good excuse to travel and do some internal house keeping. Not quite a yoga holiday, but I envisioned lots of soul searching, reflecting and exercising.

What I did not expect was to attend a conference.

I believe pretty much all my time is valuable and it should be spent enriching myself – even if that is lying on the couch watching a movie to still my mind. But I also thought being in a city as vibrant as London, I should find ways to stimulate my brain. Reaching out to my contacts to go into their companies and find out new innovative technologies they are using, new approaches, just something that would re-energise me.

My sister asked me to visit her in Oxford – see her new apartment – ok it was more than that, she wanted me to visit – her dose of home to keep her sane. Honestly I wanted to stay in London – mope if I didn’t have anything else to do (which I didn’t). But I knew my father would never leave me alone if he knew I never went to check in on his baby girl.

She had arranged for me to go with her and her friend to this conference on Africa put together by the Said Business School and the Oxford African Society. iROKOtv were going to be present and I’m truly fascinated by them as a business. They really are proving that there is a demand for African content and online is a platform to feed this need. So I figured going wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

The conference started shortly after lunch with a keynote speech from Kennedy Bungane CEO of Barclays Africa (i.e. heads up all Barclays outside of South Africa). Mr Bungane did speak a lot of sense – actually his response to questions were better than his speech – but I have real issues with the lack of creativity and risk taking of the banking sector in Africa so I was a bit hostile to that talk. It’s great for banks to talk about supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs but it really is just talk, they need to put their money where their mouth is! My question – that I only thought about after his talk – was why can’t relationship managers have more of a function of helping to develop SME’s – helping them getting their ducks in order so that they can remain in business and therefore be more profitable for the bank? He did challenge those in the disapora to help local entrepreneurs by providing them with non-financial support, such as processes to operationalise their businesses etc – but why can’t the bank do that? That bank would add more value to their clients and might even take the lead with the number of banks they have to compete with in market – I’d pay more to have those services too.

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The next session we attended was on how technology was helping businesses transform. This session surprised me as it really focussed on the internet – which I didn’t expect – I thought it would be all about mobile phones, as that’s usually what is talked about when referring to digital technology and Africa. John Mathwasa CEO and founder of SEACOM really blew me away in his talk. It’s so amazing to listen to African’s working on the ground, succeeding and challenging the way we think about things. His big idea was about the skies above us, the fact that are orbital space is already owned by foreign entities with their satellites, but how else will we connect the rural masses if not with satellites?

He talked about the disruptive entrepreneurs who find an opportunity in chaos. For Africa this is particularly important because let’s face it, we live in a chaotic society. It reminded me of a talk I attended at Bongo Hive with Irene Banda from FSDZ talked about how as entrepreneurs we should be looking to address a problem (not, as Bob Collymore put it find a solution and then look for the problem to apply it to!).

But John didn’t stop there, he talked about the challenges of start up capital and how we could all become Angel investors, even if it means investing in your young nephew. It’s kind of that idea again of bringing people up as we come up – isn’t that just another definition of Ubuntu which we inherently believe in? We just need to act on it more.

This is something I’m also passionate about – seeing that the financial sector isn’t really working for us (to an extent), we do need to see a new way to support each other’s businesses and get businesses lending to one another, bringing each other up.

After the short coffee break, we went onto the Thinking Digital, Delivering Entertainment – the one I was really looking forward to – the iROKOtv panel. It was an interesting panel. There was Jessica Hope Head of Global Comms iROKOtv, Arthur Bastings EVP for Millicom and Audu Maikori CEO Chocolate City Group. Three different and interesting perspectives.

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iROKOtv are seeing huge traction especially with Africans in the diaspora, but the reality is that again, so many people on the continent are yet to access their services because of the challenges of the internet. Audu’s answer – for Africa, we still need a hybrid offering. We also talked about training. At the end of the day, the capabilities of the internet and other mobile technologies are a great platform, but we need the content for the platform, and the reality is that, a lot of people simply don’t have the formal training to produce the high quality exportable content (actually the moderator asked what we needed to do to make the content exportable, i was thinking, lady where have you been, it’s been exportable for ages! we just didn’t have the platform or the believed interest to sell it!). Audu agreed and spoke of his conversation with Nigerian officials to look into developing more centres of excellence for the arts.

I left the conference making new connections and feeling totally inspired. We can’t forget the numerous challenges that Africa still faces, but the reality is the opportunities are even greater! As entrepreneurs we need to be focusing on how to find those opportunities that also bring others out of poverty – either through job and wealth creation, or by creating opportunities for better qualities of life and that the African transformation is now. We need to take hold of it, or allow others (i.e. those not of the soil) to do it and make money off us, our rich resources, our creativity and everything else Africa has going for it.

I’ll have to write a part two of this blog as I have to run now – people waiting for me! For now, I’m inspired, and everyone should attend the Oxford Africa Conference at least once if they can!

Happy Africa (Freedom) Day (well weekend now).

2013

2013 has been a year full of ups and downs, massive successes, at huge prices. If you’ve been following me, I don’t need to remind you of the year I’ve had. But we’d finally been making progress – seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when two things happened that sent me reeling.

Loyalty has always been something that I value, in all aspects of my life, and most certainly in the business. The last week of the working year for us, I felt as though I had been stabbed in the back. The hurt I felt can not even be described, one act compromised the business and was just plain evil, the other was just a bit of a double cross. But put together, it was in short the straw that broke the camel’s back.

After discussing it, and thinking about it, we knew to grow, we needed to always put the business first. Even if it meant sacrificing.

There are definitely parts (and people) of 2013 that I’d like to erase altogether, and I think mentally I have done that. But as I believe every day is a learning day, I’m not mad (anymore), it’s just another lesson learnt that I’ll take into 2014 to build the businesses bigger and stronger.

Before going into 2014 we’re taking a much needed break, and we will be back.

Merry Christmas and a Very Prosperous New Year.

So the new rage seems to be natural hair. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, people are embracing natural hair and the media is having their take on it (despite the fact that loads of people have been natural for years, so what’s new?!). Last night I read an article in the Bulletin and Record – quite a long piece too. And was not slightly frustrated about it!

Nothing original, just the same angle that having natural hair is about liberation, about proclaiming our Africanality (if such a word exists), ok Africanism, and showing that ‘I’m proud to be Black’! Ok, very good. And for the rest of us who just have it natural because we’re trying to grow it back healthy? Without trying to make a political statement?

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I started my ‘natural hair journey’ a couple of years ago after getting fed up with my previously long luscious hair thinning and looking with envy at my sister’s down to her shoulder ‘fro. She had previously suffered a similar fate and decided to go natural. So I thought why not? Of course I completely forgot that my sister and I have totally different hair textures!

I was recommended by another ‘naturalist’ to join a facebook group that supported ‘us’ on ‘our’ journey. It was interesting in the beginning but I realised it was really hardwork! Once I figured out what EVOO was, and to DC, pre-poo and all sorts, I realised the line about how you can just wash and go with a ‘fro was far from true! And worse still the fact that everyone’s texture is different so what works for you might not work for me. (Also the group seemed a little bit cult-like too).

But more and more there seemed to be an us vs them argument – the naturalists vs the weave/perm team – the pro-black vs the sell out. It simply was not that serious for me. In fact I daily contemplate going back to relaxing my hair, it’s just right now (because I don’t follow the religious regiments others do), having natural hair is far more affordable. However, if I was to follow the regiments and treatments as suggested on the blogs, or the ‘cult’ group, I’d question which was more affordable – EVOO is not cheap!

The thing that gets to me is also the misconception that your hair can only be healthy if it’s natural. Not true. Hair can equally be healthy if you have a care and maintenance routine even when relaxed (though how something that’s dead can be thought of as healthy anyway is beyond me).

The other issue the article pointed to was that ‘lots’ of celebrities have weaves and this is why ‘normal’ women prefer that to natural hair. Erm ok, but what about the fact that a weave can be a protective style? And that actually some of these so called ‘lots’ of celebrities do in fact have natural hair under those weaves?

The thing I’ve always loved about black women is our ability to express ourselves though fashion, interesting hairstyles and just things that are part of who we are that makes us stand out. So why should our hair now be confined to one thing? And how come this debate does not rage on about white women? They tan, do they want to be black? They have weaves, so what is their shame? Does Kim Kardashian want to be black because she dates black men?

I mean why is it that we are the ones with issues?

I love my hair – even when it’s hair that I bought! I think that my hair is an expression of who I am, what I’m feeling at that time. I feel equally empowered when my full on afro is exposed (not quite shoulder length but getting there), as I do when I’m rocking a dead straight ‘whip it in your’ face, down to the middle of my back weave. And you know what? Either way someone is going to ask me if that’s my hair!

So when you see me in my cornrows or my natural hair out, know that I’m not Team Natural, I’m Team My Hair, My Choice.

If it grows out of my head, is not natural regardless to what I do with it?

If it grows out of my head, is it not natural regardless of what I do with/to it?

Time flies! I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since I last blogged, just been so hectic. I feel like I say this every time I blog! Time moves on and so much happens, good and bad.

Season two of Love Games is finally being broadcast, which is great! I’m really excited about season two. I went back and forth on this season, it was a hard one for us as it’s the last season of the show, so it’s pretty heavy. We learned a lot from producing season one, so season two is the result of all these learnings, so I’m super proud of that.

I can’t even begin to discussing the difference between shooting season one and season two. The sleepless nights I faced during season one, weren’t there in two! But it came from the experience. I think even the crew who worked on both seasons can say this. And that’s something that I’m big on – constant learning. We can’t sit on our laurels and say ‘it’s good enough, therefore I don’t need to learn any more.’ And it’s also important to listen to the critics (not the haters, the critics), listen to it, take it in, and do what needs to be done. I don’t believe in listening to the negativity that makes you beat yourself up, but honestly dissect it and say, does that add value? And if it does, take it on board.

You can never please everyone, you have to ensure that you are happy first and foremost. Because you have to live with your decisions and your work is your legacy after all, if that’s your calling card, are you 100% happy with it? If so, then don’t sweat it. But if you’re not, then keep it 100 and do something about it.

But Love Games has come to an end and there are lots of changes at Media 365, which at first had me in serious worry mode, but then I remembered my motto ‘start with the end in mind’. I had to check myself to remember where this journey is going to end, and that excited me again. We’re fighters, we don’t stay down for long!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that apart from business, the next thing I’m passionate about is empowering women. I’m so pro-women that it hearts my heart when I hear about other women not supporting each other, and I’ve seen it in practice, so I’m not foolish enough to claim it’s just a man-made thing to keep us women down (but it’s tempting to say it!), but I’ve also seen amazing women that support each other. This is no truer than in Octavia Goredema.

Twenty Ten Club logo

I get so proud when I look at the strong women in my life and their trailblazing success. Octavia is one such woman. She started the Twenty Ten Club in London to inspire and connect with like minded black business woman to get them to reach their true potential and grow their businesses. When I started running Media 365 a couple of years ago, I reached out to Octavia to share with her my own frustrations of not only running a business, but of being a business woman in a country that didn’t necessarily respect women in the first place. I spoke to her of the challenges I found of being taken seriously and finding my space in this male dominated society. And I mused about how great it would be to have a supportive organisation like the Twenty Ten Club.

Little did I know that it was just at that time that Octavia, who had not only received an MBE from the Queen, but had also started another business, while also relocated back to the States, was already toying with the idea of expanding her network into Africa. Talk about the right timing!

Recently, I was honoured to champion the ideals and values of the Twenty Ten Club, by becoming the Chair of the Twenty Ten Club Zambia – the first one in Africa.
On one hand, I worried about where I’d find the time to take this on as well, with everything going on at Media 365, but then I also know that not only will it help me be a better business woman, it also allows me to pursue my other passion – empowering women to achieve the success they deserve.

While there are other networking organisations that connect woman who are climbing up the corporate ladder, or helping them achieve their dreams, there isn’t one that is specifically for business owners. I think as career women, we all have similar ‘issues’ but as business owners we also have specific issues that corporate employees don’t necessarily have. So I thrilled to be taking on this challenge and really hope that I can mirror the success of the Twenty Ten Club in the UK.

I’ll obviously keep you posted! In the meantime, I hope you’re getting your Love Games fix too!

The Heroes and Unity Day holidays should have been a great way to relax – we just wrapped a seven week shoot for Love Games season 2, already fully packaged and edited the first six episodes, so it’s been intense.

But the long weekend became an opportunity for reflection. It started good, had a double baptism for my friend’s kids, as well as a panel on Lusaka Social Media Day. Both were great events. The baptism was great for family and friends to get together and just chill, no drama, no stress, and I got to cook for people who love my food (I only made salads and desserts, but still :)). Then I had to run across town (changed from 6 inch Calvin Klien heels, to even more comfy 6 inch H&M wedges!) to attend my panel at the Lusaka Social Media Day organized by C1rca 1964 and Bongo Hive. That was really exciting too. I got to talk about my social media experience, especially on how I use twitter as me, as my own brand, and my company, as that brand. I wish I’d been able to stay longer as it really looked like a great opportunity to share experiences and learn a lot. I know I’ve definitely learnt a lot on using twitter from my former colleagues Julia and Ben, so would have enjoyed learning more. I look forward to the next LskSMDay! Or more events from Bongo Hive and C1rca 1964. It did get me thinking about some of our own events that we’ll be doing soon – starting with our Love Games special screening for press in a week or so ahead of the TV premiere of season two.

Unfortunately on Monday – Heroes Day, while working on my fro, I got some sad news – Dominic Mulaisho had passed away in the early hours of the morning. Our families have had a long history together – four sets of siblings are all friends – with the youngest child Francesca, being one of my close friends, we even used to stay together in London. He was also a close close friend of my father, only the night before he’d called my father to check in on him, a call he made at least every two weeks, helping to keep my father in good spirits during his own illness.

Dominic Mulaisho is a great part of Zambia’s history, in both the political and the arts fields. He was the economic advisor to our first president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and former Bank of Zambia governor. He also authored a few books, notably The Tongue of the Dumb, probably one of the first post colonial books to get international attention.

tongue of the dumb

So, as sad as it is that he has passed on, it also felt appropriate that he passed on Heroes Day, as he should be remembered as a hero.

Whenever someone in my life passes away, I am reminded that life is really short. We always think that we have time to do everything we want and we prioritize things that might not mean that much in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work, I love the grind, and I don’t regret any of my career choices. But sometimes I remember that I forget to stop and smell the flowers.

Even yesterday, I sat at home thinking that four years ago today, I buried my brother. Four years. It’s still a painful memory, yet, I was so wrapped up in my own issues that I completely forgot. It’s bad enough that I don’t remember the exact day he died (I was on the other side of the world, taking two days to get back for the funeral), that I only remember the day we buried him – I think it’s a mental block for me.

Time is something we can’t get back, and it’s something we really don’t have a lot of. How we use it defines what we is important to us. It’s not that you can’t do it all, or have it all, it’s just about ensuring that your soul is happy, so that when it’s all said and done you can say, I lived a life I enjoyed.
We’ve entered the second half of the year, and it’s time to reflect on what you want in life, to have a fulfilled life. What changes and decisions you need to make to include more positivity in your life and rid yourself of toxins. Don’t be afraid to be selfish and put yourself first. The reality is that if you don’t put yourself first, don’t expect others too. Being selfish doesn’t mean treating others badly or unfairly, but just ensuring that you are being good to yourself and your spirit first.

This week will be a tough week, hard for my dad, hard for my friends, but we have to be strong, remember those we’ve lost for the positive influence they’ve had on us, and use their legacy to shape our future – to live life to the fullest and impact and touch the lives of the people around us.

Have a good week and go out and make yourself happy!

They say you’re only as good as your last success, so as we get close to wrapping the shoot of Love Games and it’s subsequent broadcast date of July 17th, I think, what next?

court set up

It could also be my insatiable desire for successes that never allows me to be complacent, and to be constantly challenging myself regarding what to do next.

Love Games has been a great run – if you’re a regular reader of my blog, or avid follower on twitter, you’ll know that it came not without it’s own challenges. Challenges that cost us – economically, as well as spiritually! It also allowed us to see people’s true colours – really in business not everyone is your friend despite what you think! But we learned, and season two has gone far more smoothly, and while we’re still over budget, it’s not ridiculously over budget – it’s a much more expected and manageable (in theory) amount. While I’m happy with the way it looks, I wonder how the audience will feel about it, it’s such a different feel to it. But I’m proud of it, so guess that’s more important.

Back to my ‘what next’ dilemma. Sometimes in life you have to give up this to move ahead. In our case that means downsizing. Perhaps we did it too early anyway. There’s a lot of lessons learnt in running your own business, it’s not all glamourous, it’s a lot of late nights, hardwork, and huge responsibilities – not only to ensuring that you meet your legal obligations but also taking care of your staff. I recall someone visiting the office and saying that the way the boss sleeps, is different from the employees. And it’s so true I’m sure. Our stresses are definitely different.

So all these considerations are necessary when making the decision of what to do next. But in life, as my better half says, ‘courage is doing what you are scared of’. We operate in a state of fear of the unknown, sometimes crippling us to make decisions and incapacity to actually move.

The problem is that you don’t know what the outcome will be, until you try. I feel like I’m coming full circle – back to the beginning – which is scary. But I’ve learnt a lot of lessons, which will help me build an even more successful brand, as scary as it is, you have to dust yourself up and keep it moving, what do you have to lose?

I am looking forward to make next step, even if on the surface it looks like a step back, as it should put me a position to take a giant leap forward! I can’t be afraid of the future, and I can only look back to reflect on lessons learnt but not dwell on it.

Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!