“The measure of a man is not how many times you fall, but how many times you pick yourself up.”

Photos 27th Feb_-4Teboho Mafodi’s entrepreneurial journey began when he and a friend launched a small IT business. His friend worked full time so he ended up doing 100% of the work for only 50% of the profits. The business, even though it was profitable, was put under strain because of the one sided relationship.  It was during this challenging time that he met a well-respected South African entrepreneur who offered to mentor him. Exiting from his partnership he began the next part of his business journey under the guidance of his new mentor.

Teboho started his training as his mentor’s driver, taking him to meetings and learning valuable insights as his mentor discussed business with him in the car. Teboho was soon promoted to personal assistant and later was asked to be the Project Manager at one of his mentor’s companies.

Loving his new position as a Project Manager, and in true entrepreneurial fashion, he spotted an opportunity to start his own business.

Launching Rehlohonolo IT & Business Solutions in early 2008, Teboho was soon running his new venture full-time. The business was growing nicely, but without the proper understanding of business basics and finance, it went into liquidation. 

Looking back on this earlier business activity, he comments “I couldn’t separate my money from that of my business. It might seem like a simple thing now, but I didn’t have anyone to ask so I just never knew.”

Not to be defeated, Teboho started a new company in 2010 called the TM Group. Focusing on Construction and Property development, he used his earlier successes and failures to build a business that promises his clients with both quality and speed, two value propositions not found often together in that sector. His business is registered with the Construction Industry Development Board and, with a Level 5 grading, can complete projects up to R8 million.

A growing business needs constant attention, guidance and advice and so it was in 2013 that he applied and was accepted at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg. The Foundation Course assisted in the business basics and his continued journey through the Advanced Course has proven invaluable to him. “ The Branson Centre has helped me in the most amazing way. It has helped me formalise my business more. They have helped me put systems in place, formalize my record-keeping and better understand the operational aspects. The Branson Centre has also helped me see value in my business and encouraged me to constantly improve my business model.”

Since joining the Branson Centre, Teboho’s business has grown from 2 to 34 employees and his projected annual turnover for the year is R6,5 million.  This is truly impressive given his humble beginnings. But it’s not just about the money. “As an individual you constantly grow and, hopefully, mature mentally and emotionally. You start realising that what you thought mattered before doesn’t matter now.” He goes on to say “It’s key to fully discover your purpose as an individual and know what you want for yourself.”

When asked about his biggest business challenge, Teboho answers without hesitation “It’s the fact that I am an entrepreneur. Banks and many other institutions regard us as high-risk because we run our own business. Our employees qualify for finance when they want to buy a property but the same banks don’t want to invest in us.”

He has great plans for his business. His company has joined the property development game and they also diversifying their client base to become more sustainable.

When asked to share a piece of advice with other African entrepreneurs, Teboho commented “Know what you want when starting out and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.”

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The 2015 edition will run on the 9th and 10th of October, at their new home which is Arundel Village Shopping Centre.

Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe 2015


FASHION WEEKEND ZIMBABWE (FWZ)was created to support and increase the economic development of small businesses in the Fashion and Design sector. This year’s exciting lineup includes knowledge share through inspirational talks, workshops and fashion presentations:

Fashion and Design TEDxTalk

TED is a platform for ideas worth spreading. Started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, TED today shares ideas from a broad spectrum – from science to business to global issues- in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independent TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe is proud to be hosting a local TEDxTalk with influential profiles in partnership with TEDxHarare.


The goal is to bring three key speakers to discuss the future of Fashion and Design and the opportunities present for Zimbabwean Designers. This knowledge share we hope inspires design and opens new opportunities for the local sector. Join in as they discuss their inspirations, stories and the Zimbabwean Fashion and Design Industry as a whole. Speakers include Jan Malan from South Africa, Africa’s most respected and known show producer. Jan conceptualized MNET Face of Africa with the first one held in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe in 1998. Diana Opoti from Kenya is the Ambassador of 100 days of African Fashion, and listed as Africa’s most influential people. From Zimbabwe Jeremy Youmans is the Director of Zimbabwe Clothing Manufactures Association Zimbabwe and has been influential in the resuscitation of the Clothing and Textiles industry.

Buyers Room Workshop

Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe has been actively engaged in the development of the fashion and design sector, through skills training and providing market access. We bring together two top Zimbabwean designers Pai Chideya of Demoyo and Danayi Chapfika of Haus of Stone, to discuss opportunities and challenges of reaching new markets. Selly Raby Kane and Victorine Sarr from Senegal join the workshop to discuss their journey in the design sector and how the Senegalese industry is adapting to the new demands being placed on African fashion. The workshop is open to the design industry (clothing, textiles, jewellery, crafters and basketry artisans) and covers topics such as markets, quality control and sustainable fashion. Buyers Room Workshop will be held on the 10thOctober 2015 at 11am, entry is free.

Opening Charity Cocktail

Each year Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe supports a charity during its opening cocktail. This year we are proud to be supporting Road Safe Zimbabwe, with 2% from our ticket sales from the Opening Charity Cocktail going towards ensuring safer roads. Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe will be pledging this profit to ensure continued safer crossing zones for children by donating these proceeds to lolly pop officers at school zones. Opening Cocktail will be held on the 9th October 2015 at 6.30pm,entry is $15.

Fashion Presentations

Designers this year are called and challenged to design a SS16 ready to wear collection that will be presented to an audience of 100 people. The presentation will be showcased to local buyers and customers. It is our hope that through this presentation designers build their client base and start actively utilizing platforms like Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe to build their business, and market share. Designers presenting from Zimbabwe include HARARE OG (Harare Originals), Eileen M Jewellery, Maison Du Style and SellyRaby Kane, Senegal will be the only showcasing international designer closing the event.Fashion presentations will be held on the 10th October 2015 from 3pm to 7pm, entry is $10.

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Jidenna is nothing short of royalty in his latest photoshoot.

The “Classic Man” teamed up with All Things Ankara — a style site that highlights West African ankara print fashions — to promote “Nigerian Renaissance,” the website’s Nigerian Independence Ball. The photos from the shoot are breathtaking.


Jidenna will serve as the ball’s co-ambassador, taking place Oct. 17 in Maryland, along with philanthropist and model Jessica Chibueze. The clothes were designed by the website’s founder Nikki Billie Jean who, along with others, made the designs to reflect a mix of their African heritage and the French Renaissance. Jidenna, Chibueze and a few models flaunt their vibrant West African attire in front of a backdrop fit for 16th century royal monarchs.


Earlier this year, Jidenna, whose father is from Nigeria, received backlash for making comments about his negative experiences in Nigeria due to his fair skin. He responded with anopen letter expressing his cultural pride:

There is no question that Africa is playing a pivotal role in the future of our planet and that Nigeria, with it’s booming economy and burgeoning middle class, is a driving force. I will continue to play my role in the Renaissance taking place in Nigeria and Africa at large.


Jidenna’s pride is certainly evident in this spread and if the photos don’t convince you, the video will. Watch below.

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Sunday’s wondrous supermoon — seen across the world as a remarkable, historical red lunar eclipse — was actually a deadly force for iconic wildlife in Africa.

“Full moon periods are known as the dreaded ‘poachers’ moon,’ said Simon Bloch, a freelance journalist in South Africa, who recently reported on a white rhinokilling spree that left eight rhinos dead in one regional park.


The threatened animals were slaughtered between Friday and Monday morning inside the KwaZulu-Natal’s flagship Hluhluwe-Imfolozi wildlife reserve, Bloch told The Dodo. He said at least six of those killings took place over the exact period of the supermoon lunar eclipse, which lasted from sunset on Sunday to sunrise on Monday.

At least six of the rhinos had their horns hacked out of their faces. Four died from lethal chemical darting; two others were shot by a rifle.

In his story for South Africa’s Times newspaper, Bloch said 86 rhinos have been slaughtered in that area in 2015 already. Ninety-nine rhinos were killed in all of 2014 in the same region.

Bloch noted that massacres are often heightened during full moons and brightened skies, because it allows for high visibility, “thus eliminating the need for unnatural light sources such as flashlights in the bush, which could give their positions away to watchful eyes — it makes it easier to see one’s quarry/target.”

Some of the carcasses were found less than one mile from the memorial entrance to Hlhuluwe. Bloch says that despite the park’s efforts to combat poaching, it’s a losing battle on many levels: “There are some exceptionally dedicated and skilled anti-poaching rangers,” he says. “However, insufficient man-power and budget expenditure makes it difficult to keep rhinos safe from criminal syndicates that operate with inside information, and have the bush-craft skills and weaponry to infiltrate the expansive reserves, which are protected wilderness areas.”


According to Oxpeckers, an investigative environmental journalism project, from 2010 to 2015, 4,714 rhino deaths have been reported in South Africa.

In a slight sliver of respite in lunar eclipse killing, one wounded adult rhino was found with his horn cut off but still alive. “The animal had been chemically darted, but perhaps the dart fell off, or he was not hit with a lethal dose,” said Bloch.

The rhino is expected to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately, the winter cold is leaving, and longer days are ahead: “We are now going into summer months, where it gets light at 4:30 a.m. and only dark after 7:30 p.m. now to January,” explained rhino conservationist Dex Kotze, founder ofYouth 4 African Wildlife and one of the strategists for Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions in Johannesburg, which is taking place around the world this weekend.

“The extra light really assists the poachers,” Kotze told The Dodo. “There is just so much more time for poachers to be in out in the veld/bush with weather conditions playing in their favour.”


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Bloggers can seriously influence the way industries think — in fashion and beyond. It’s not for nothing that famous brands, big and small, enlist the services of these bloggers like crazy. These trendspotters, on top of the latest innovations, can ramp up sales of some brands and make others better-known.

In the universe of African fashion, this phenomenon is equally well-known — but it goes beyond direct influence on transactions and sales. We must be equally aware of the influence that is not as palpable and material: bloggers are able to make their interests the flavor of the day, resulting in a globalization and democratization of African fashion (via the trend of wax print fabric).

Globalization comes about when prominent bloggers have an influence that goes beyond the framework of their country of residence. Their blogs and social networks are followed internationally by people like you and me, but also by industry professionals such as fashion journalists, stylists and some even by professional buyers.

There’s democratization because the bloggers’ takes on fashion impact very large audiences, who do not necessarily know African fashion.

It’s undeniable that African fashion, boosted by the trendiness of wax print, has had a more than positive turn in recent years. Lately, it’s been featured in top venues and even in the mainstream press. But if a craving for African prints is on the rise among celebrities and stars, don’t forget the important contribution that bloggers have made and continue to make in this evolution and the industry in general. Here is a small, non-exhaustive selection of bloggers, located all around the world who, in my opinion, are contributing to boosting this fashion.

PS: I chose bloggers who don’t specialize in wax or African fashion, but I won’t forget about all my colleagues, like Kukua from the blog African Print in Fashion or Mary from Pagnifik.

In France, Fatou N’Diaye from the blog Blackbeautybag hardly needs an introduction. Between multiple collaborations with leading brands such as L’Oreal and Kookai, Fatou also the time to ask for smaller brands such as By Natacha Baco or sophisticated, urban African online shops like Moonlook and Inyu.

Fatou N’diaye en By Natacha Baco

Fatou N’diaye en By Natacha Baco

Fatou N’diaye pour Inyu

Fatou N’diaye pour Moonlook

Another French blogger is the beautiful and sparkling Gaëlle-Vanessa Prudencio of the blog The curvy and curly closet. In July 2014, Gaëlle-Vanessa partnered with the Senegalese brand Belya to launch a capsule collection dedicated to large sizes, all made of wax print and woven cloth.


Gaelle- Vanessa Prudencio en Belya


Gaelle-Vanessa Prudencio en Belya

Folake Kuye Huntoon is a famous fashion blogger who runs the site Style Pantry. Her refined look, feminine and full of finesse, made her famous internationally. She’s spotted several times with pretty outfits in wax print, including clothing from the brand Demestiks New York.

Folake Kuye Huntoon en Demestiks NY

Folake Kuye Huntoon en Demestiks NY

Folasade Adeoso is one of the queens of the head wrap. Her site Art by Fola invites you along on a floral, artistic and colorful journey. In October 2014, she opened her first pop up-store in New York to promote the launch of a brand of accessories and wax print jewelry called 1953.

Finally, bloggers Vanessa and Luna of Project Tribe adorn their Instagram account: colorful looks, rich in wax and Aztec prints. This summer, we saw them wear beautiful outfits from the brand Chichia London.

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As more people Rwandans continue to embrace the use of social media to communicate, more young entrepreneurs in various sectors are using Twitter to engage their followers and spread the word about what they are doing.+

Here’s a list of top 10 of the most interesting young Rwandan entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter:+

1 – Edwin Mukizawabo

Very engaging and conversational, Edwin tweets is your bet when it comes to straight comments on topics of current affairs. He’s the major shareholder in Union Trading Company, a business that employs over 200 people.+

2 – Innocent Kaneza

A tech addict, Kaneza is among Rwanda’s most respected coders. His company, Esicia, has been a leader in software development, web design and development, mobile applications solutions over the years, working with government, telecoms, banks, insurance companies and NGOs. Kaneza dropped out of college in 2004 to become one of the most successful young business leaders.+

3  – Akaliza Keza Gara

Currently pursuing her post-graduate studies, Akaliza is a “serial entrepreneur” who founded Shaking Sun, a company that offers services in web development, graphic design and animation. Her recent adventure is Yambi Animation Studios. Akaliza pioneered the ‘Rwandans on Twitter’ (#RwOT) hashtag.+

4 – Clement Uwajeneza

Formerly CEO of software company AxIS, Uwajeneza is currently leading the implementation of the Rwanda Online platform, an integrated platform that will exclusively offer Government services in Rwanda, via web and mobile.+

5 – Gael V. Ruboneka

Co-founder and CEO of illume Creative Studio, Gael is Rwanda’s leading photographer. A biologist who spent much of his childhood in the Akagera National Park and lived in Gabon for 10 years doing research, he’s the author of Butterflies of Gabon (2010).+

6 – Diana Mpyisi

Diana co-founded Spoken Word Rwanda with aim to bring people together to celebrate the expression of self mainly through poetry, spoken word, and music. She is also the founder of Blue Oceans, a consultancy firm that specialises in media, communication and creative arts.+

7 – Gilbert Rwabigwi

A social entrepreneur, Rwabigwi is Rwanda’s top youth literacy advocate. He is the founder of YouLI, a nonprofit that helps young Rwandans enhance their literacy and writing skills. He is also one of the people behind Ejo Group, a business that specialises in social media and content marketing.+

8 – Matthew Rugamba

Founder and Creative Director of House of Tayo, a fashion house which “aims to showcase this African Sophistication, Style and Flavor through contemporary, locally made clothing and accessories.”+

9 – Clarisse Iribagiza

CEO at HeHe Labs, Clarisse has been Rwanda’s most celebrated young entrepreneur since her 2012 Inspire Africa win. Early this year, Forbes featured Clarisse among Africa’s top 30 most promising young entrepreneurs.+

10 – Aphrodice Mutangana

A social entrepreneur who initiated the Incike project, Aphrodice is the founder of FOYO Group, a tech company that offers e-health and advertisement solutions. Earlier this years, he launched Napteker, a pharmaceutical directory that provides information on important issues pertaining to drugs in Africa.

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Kgomotso Mogapi, founder of the A’dare Women Wellness Centre, was not born an entrepreneur, but rather became an entrepreneur to solve a problem.

Graduating as a doctor from the University of Cape Town in 2005, Kgomotso thought she would spend her life working in hospitals, saving lives. “Only four years later I had left the practice of medicine having felt that I was not really contributing to the quality of life of the people I was serving.”


In 2009, frustrated that she was not making a difference as a doctor in the live’s of people who continued to suffer from preventable diseases, she chose to create a company that would find a solution to the problem of healthcare and in 2010 started the A’Dare Women Wellness Centre with a few other young women.

“We offer preventative healthcare, wellness and lifestyle solutions to women, with focus on keeping women healthy. Our centre is located in Mabopane, Tshwane and our services include:  lifestyle intervention plans , screening services, general and women specific consultations. We also provide support services such as women’s products and Veggie Pharm,” says Mogapi.

Whilst doing her locum, Kgomotso realized that 80% of her consulting database was women and children under the age of 12. Her turning point was when she consulted with a 23-year-old woman with cervical cancer who had been turned away from the government hospital when she was 21. “Cervical cancer is a preventable disease and it our offering through A’Dare Women Wellness Centre could have helped not only that young women, but many more like her!”

The A’Dare Women’s Wellness Centre identifies potential life-threatening diseases (with focus on cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension and obesity) and treats and, sometimes, reverses them. 

“We are actively reducing the burden of disease by identifying risky lifestyles, medical conditions in their early phase and thus we are able to change the course of health of our clients. Through our education programme we also empower our clients to take the health of their family into their hands. We are thus contributing to a healthier, productive community,” she says.

They empower women in the community by employing and training them to work in their Centre and they aim to empower young girls by supporting them in two healthcare education programmes: South African Women in Aviation and Kula Youth Networks Girl Power.

It took Kgo otso five years to develop the preventative model of healthcare for women in a country where healthcare is primarily curative.

“I realized that my knowledge of medicine and my passion for the work would not be enough to get the business to where it needed to be. So I went in search of a place that would teach me about business,” she says.

The Branson Centre helped her learn the language of business, to understand the importance of a business model and to believe it was possible to build a business that was a force of good.

“I’ve learned so much, but this stood out for me to make me resilient in tough times: Life and building a business is like climbing a mountain; sometimes, often, you may need to return to base camp (the bottom) to recharge, and sometimes, you may not even reach the summit, but, never give up and keep training,” says Mogapi.

The A’Dare Women’s Wellness Centre is now financed by Nedbank, has exposure in the media and is looking to grow by using technology to make the healthcare model accessible and to have this model as the primary healthcare model in South Africa.

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