Ann Brown, 12:50 pm AFKI Original
When Eugenie Nyirambonigaba was 13 she lost her parents and most of her siblings during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She went to work as a housekeeper for British expats and was exposed to spices from around the world. Her employers recognized her culinary skills and urged her to return to school. Eugenie talked to AFKInsider about being a woman in business in Rwanda.
Ann Brown, 3:21 pm AFKI Original
Samir Da Graça built his Cabo Verde clothing brand Kriolife from a hobby to a global line based on the local expression “sodade” — longing for something. Kriolife represents the culture of the Cabo Verde diaspora, Da Graça told AFKInsider. Spending most of his childhood traveling, he said he understands the longing immigrants have for their homelands. Da Graça and Kriolife are now based in Praia.
Ann Brown, 2:00 am AFKI Original
When Maite Makgoba created her African doll brand, there were already black dolls on the market. Her toy creation isn’t just a black doll — it’s a doll with South African style. Makgoba’s advice to other African businesswomen? “Formalize your businesses from get-go and target every possible funder,” she told AFKInsider. “Rejection is part of the game.”
Ann Brown, 11:53 am AFKI Original
Nigerian-born fashion designer Honey Malaolu creates luxury African designs that blend ethnic fabrics with high-end international style. Her business is based in London — second home to a growing number of ultra-rich Africans — and the brand sells globally from London and Barcelona to Dubai and Johannesburg. “This allows me to keep growing by placing my feet in two worlds,” she told AFKInsider.
Ann Brown, 10:22 am AFKI Original
Tonye Rex Idaminabo found a way to make money celebrating African excellence. A Nigerian lawyer and entrepreneur, he started the African Achievers Awards. The awards honor individuals and organizations that devote energy toward building stronger communities and improving Africa’s international profile. Africans have the solutions to their own problems at their fingertips, he said in an AFKInsider interview.
Ann Brown, 11:58 am AFKI Original
It took six months to get his first contract, but when he did, it was from the City of Cape Town. Today, his clients include Eskom, De Beers and Metrorail. Meet Anda Maqanda, founder of engineering company AM Group. At age 30, he’s one of the pioneers in South Africa’s energy sector overhaul.
Ann Brown, 7:16 am AFKI Original
Cabo Verde is known for its great music tradition. But what of more contemporary artists? Do they have a shot of fame? Fame maybe, but not so much fortune if they remain in the small archipelago off the coast of Senegal. Even Cabo Verdean music legends such as Cesária Évora didn’t achieve full fame and compensation until they left the country. Now, newcomer ELL Cosme, who has just released the third single from his upcoming album, is at this career crossroads.
Ann Brown, 6:03 am AFKI Original
Katherine Dhanani was named the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in more than 20 years on Feb. 25, signaling a deepening relationship that was strained between the two countries since Somali forces brought down two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters in 1993.
Ann Brown, 3:48 am AFKI Original
Atti Worku, a former computer geek-turned-Miss Universe contestant, graduated cum laude from Columbia University in the U.S. with a BA in sustainable development and a dream to help children in her native Ethiopia. A decade ago, Seeds of Africa was merely an idea Worku had to create an educational program. Now Adama, Ethiopia, is home to her Dream School.
Ann Brown, 1:17 am AFKI Original
When Honey Ogundeyi founded Fashpa her mind was set out to create Nigeria’s leading online fashion retailer–and she did just that. Ogundeyi didn’t know exactly what she was doing. Even after working for a decade as the top online marketer for several renowned tech giants, she still had doubts if she could be successful on her own.