Image Map

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Maintaining Your Joy & Handling end of year stress

As the end of the year comes closer to an end, it can be very easy for one to become overwhelmed and stressed out. We know the feeling, but the key is re-visiting your yearly plan to ensure you are checking off those things you said you wanted to take care of, and not losing your cool if you don't get to everything. We wanted to share 3 tips on how we try our best to balance what we call "year end crase". 

1. Review your annual strategic plan and prioritize 

Reviewing your plan can be overwhelming but we always advise Bosschiques to do quarterly reviews of what they set out to do and adjust appropriately. You know what you can handle and only you know the types of challenges that have come your way. It is never too late to review your plan at times seeing all of the things you set out to accomplish getting those check marks can alleviate some anxiety. In addition to the things you have accomplished, there may be those you haven't. Don't panic, simply prioritize, being that you have 3 months left for the year to roll out, 

2. Remember everyone has a different year plan:

For us here at WCA our year begins on international women's month in march and ends in march. This means we usually don't go so much with the mainstream year end crase when it comes to projects and deliverables  and it helps us stay focused. 

3. Reward yourself by taking a self-care check in:

You all know how big we are on self care. We advise that you do something a bit different this time of the year than your usual self care. If you can manage a short getaway trip and you don't usually do those take one! If you can take that hot yoga class at the gym instead of just taking cycling classes do so! Try and do something different to take care of self and you will have a non routine and mundane experience which should help re-energize you to finish strong. 

4. Rely on your sisterhood and support networks: 
Sometimes it takes a quick phone call, lunch, hangout to get us out of our stressful zones. Even when things seem overwhelming we know the power of hanging out with some of our girlfriends, and just a touch base and how much of an impact that can have on reducing our stress levels. So make love & sisterhood evenings a thing!

Photocredit Afroelle magazine 

 photo mooiSIGFINAL_zpsc16114fb.jpg

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Madam Isha Johansen to attend Fifa Female Football Finals on Royal Invitation to Jordan

Madame Isha Johansen President of the Sierra Leone Football Association and Founder of Premier League FC Johansen is set to attend the FIFA Under-17 Female Finals in Jordan this weekend. Madame President herself has been personally invited by His Royal Highness  Prince Ali of Jordan.
At a time in her career where women and girls in sports are a critical element Madame Johansen would like to undertake as a priority with her work, the high profiled event will provide her the opportunity to interact with young women in Amman who will be inspired by the strides she has made in the field of football.

 The 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s world Cup is the 5th edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the biennial international women’s youth football championship contested by the under-17 national teams of the member associations of FIFA. The Tournament is set to be held in Jordan from 30 September to the 21st of October 2016. Also in attendance will be Fifa President Gianni Infantino and SLFA President are two special guests at the Fifa Womens U-17 finals in Amaan on the 21st October.

Madam Johansen is increasingly becoming a global force striving to drive good governance using the power of football. Her stance for women in leadership positions especially male dominated arenas like football is gaining increasing international and global accreditation. Her visit to Jordan has created excitement in the kingdom where she will address the female national team.

On left Prince Ali and on right Madame Johansen 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Isha Johansen on Disruptive Leadership at the Hogan Lovells Global Women's Executive Summit

On Friday October 7th, WCA featured Bosschique, Madame Isha Johansen, President of the Sierra Leone Football Association and Founder of the FC Johansen Premier League club, spoke at the Hogan Lovells Global Women's Executive Summit on the conference theme  for 2016 The Art of Disruptive Leadership . The summit hosted by Hogan Lovells a global law firm, meant to bring top female executives and presidents in one place to grow, thrive, network and learn from each other whilst being inspired by panels, speeches, and networking sessions by women from various arenas of work, ranging from pharmaceuticals, banking, law, philanthropy etc. 

 The  Hogans Lovells GWES Summit was the perfect way to be inspired whilst connecting with some Bosschiques and a powerful program for women in business around the world to explore challenges and issues women business leaders face and propose the way forward. WCA was in attendance at the event as a guest of Madame Isha Johansen, President of the Sierra Leone Football Association who was invited to deliver a the keynote address on the second day of the two-day global summit. 

Madame Johansen spoke on the topic "Disrupting a mans world". Isha Johansen is the first female president of a football association in Africa and second in the entire world. She has blazed the terrain since her reign of the Sierra Leone football association and her commitment strength and passion to elevating Sierra Leone in the football arena, her numerous philanthropic efforts in the community are one to celebrate as well. Madame Johansen delivered her keynote on the second day of the 2 day high profiled event, and were there to share some takeaways to WCA readers.  We share our three takeaways from  her keynote address at the event below: 

1. Be Committed! Do your work and do it well

No matter what terrain she finds herself in one of the main thing we noticed is that Madame Johansen leaves no t uncrossed and no i dotted. Precision and dedication at it's best. Ms Johansen talked about how she started up FC Johansen a football team for inner city youth in Sierra Leone and the success that came with the team. She discussed one of the key successes of her work with the team attributed to the team and "allowing young kids to dream and to have a hope in life". In 2007 with the team she decided to take the boys out of the country for an international tournament in Sweden. Her commitment to take the kids beyond their everyday world, was commendable and shared brilliantly in her keynote. Madame Johansen shared that the kids had the opportunity to go to Switzerland in 2011 and how it changed their lives for ever. Since then FC Johansen thrives as one of the first if not only to achieve so much success globally in winning international games in various young football leagues. 

2. Do the right thing even with or without applause


It goes without say that Madame Johansen has witnessed her fair share of obstacles and challenges working as a woman disrupting a man's world, in the arena of  football. She explained during her speech that when she decided to take on the role as part of the football association, she might have been a bit naive to the challenges ahead, but needless to say the President and global changer has truly superseded the expectations of her work. 

Despite all of the challenges Isha has faced her key messages remains the same stay focused on the task at hand. Ms Johansen talked during her speech about the challenges but steered clear of all of the discrimination she has faced in Sierra Leone simply because that wasn't the focus of the conference. Instead she focused on the fact that "my fight has always been about good governance and transparency in Sierra Leone". Following the recent trials she faced in Sierra Leone Isha has remained poised focused and undisturbed and setting the key leadership example that in trials and even when no one around you may be cheering you on, continue to persevere. 

This spirit is what we believe has garnered Madame Johansen the global platform, accolades and presence that she has to date. The commitment to do the right thing is what has rendered the global community to respect her work and provided platforms for speaking engagements such at Hogan Lovells and others she has been a part of.  With her commitment to do what is right by her work, Madame Johansen continues to stand out and  ranks amongst very high level global leaders and officials rendering an effortless global applause towards the work she has done. 

3. DISRUPT the mundane and create innovative paths to solve solutions 

Madame Johansen has continuously set trends in football from being the first woman in Africa to be the president of the football association to growing a global brand for herself. From features on major platforms such as the Guardian , New Africa woman magazine, the BBC and here on women change Africa, to speaking at high level Fifa events, we believe this is just be beginning for Madame Johansen and can't wait to see her next chapter unfold.  

During her keynote Madame Johansen talked about her decision to run for president of the Sierra Leone Football  Association "I threw my hat in life has never been about being a woman and feeling sorry for myself, so I went in and the men could see it coming,  I was out to disrupt it not in a negative way but I was curious about it". 

She explained during her keynote that she felt she had done something substantial and stood a chance to win particularly with her work with FC Johansen, having a winning football team for young boys, taking youth out of the country to play for the first time to European teams and  bringing boys from Norway to Sierra Leone, whilst showcasing the power of football and bringing cultures together. Johansen explains that "I saw a group of men talking and nothing tangible to show. I challenged them by saying this is my walking billboard what have you done?" She explained calmly to the audience very self affirmed  "and I won unopposed". Madame Johansen is definitely winning, soaring and disrupting the global scape and we continue to cheer on the Bosschique that she is. 

We hope you are just as inspired about Madame Johansen as we were hearing her speak on her work and her journey.

To read on our past interview of Madame Johansen and to find out more on her work click here: 
WCA's Bosschique(ism) Interview Isha Johansen

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#BornKinkyDealwithit: Africans Gone Natural's Campaign

This month WCA had a quick chat with Africans Gone Natural on their latest campaign #BornKinkyDealwithit  

In speaking to the co-founders of the organization Cynthia Amo and Olivia Frempong. They both share  that On October 1st, AfricansGoneNatural  Inc, launched our #BornKinkyDealWithIt campaign in light of events that took place over the summer in South Africa, where girls were banned from attending school due to rocking their natural hair.  The founder notes "Prior to this incident, our main mission from day one in May 2015 has been to help bring awareness, acceptance, education and empowerment in regards to Natural hair to women and girls worldwide.  With this recent event, we felt it was time to move this initiative forward with full force."  

We asked the ladies of the organization to share the top three reasons we should all be paying close attention to the campaign and here is what they had to say about the campaign: 

#BKDWI Empowers girls and women to embrace their God given hair!

AGN: At AfricansGoneNatural, our whole motive was to help young girls and women learn to embrace their God given hair. We live in a society that has developed its own social "norms" and we identified the need to spread awareness to the fact that natural hair is and should be accepted in all aspects of society. For many years, women of African descent amounted to straightening their hair with relaxers and so when the boom of natural hair women occurred, there was negative feedback. Slowly the number of women desiring to have hair return to its natural state has increased, and it is our passion in helping women embrace this. When the case in South Africa occurred it affected us personally as it spoke volumes to confirm the very reason why we do what we do to help enlighten women with the need to come to terms that it is okay to accept the way your hair grows on your head.

#BKDWI Educates people on the treatment and maintenance of their hair

AGN: Along with the desire to enlighten people with the acceptance of natural hair it's also our mission to help educate people on how to care for, treat and maintain their natural hair. We provide support daily through our various media streams with hair care and maintenance tips as well as do it yourself recipes in an effort to help inform people on how to maintain their natural mane. This serves as a way to encourage and unite the natural hair community by bringing natural hair divas together.

#BKDWI Invokes a mindset and cultural paradigm shift on the issue of hair

AGN:Last but not least our mission at AfricansGoneNatural is to help people worldwide internalize that there is more "Beyond the Kink." Natural hair is only one of the most empowering things that a young girl or woman can possess. Our goal at AFRIKINKY is to help women embrace their natural hair and in term apply their fierceness to other aspects of their lives such as fitness, business, education and spiritual. Our goal is to inevitably incorporate all areas of their lives to empower and excel them to be the very best that they can be, to thrive in this society to help make an impact. We hope that through our #BORNKINKYDEALWITHIT campaign, we can help initiate this movement and help made a change in this world.

We wish the campaign well and we hope you all stay connected with the movement. You can follow more on the campaign @Africansgonenatural via Instagram. 
Images Courtesy of @Africangonenaturals 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Turning "little" minds into Big dreams: Introducing Ariana Oluwole

Ariana is someone I have admired for quite some time. She has a certain confidence about her that you just automatically like her even if you have never met her in person. This was how I got to learn about her work with Narnia Daycare. For an industry so important, Ariana has found a way to brand her work in Sierra Leone of working with young children and providing high quality child care and learning as they grow up. She is changing the landscape of childcare as a young woman who left the corporate world in pursuit of her dreams and I had to make sure WCA captured and told her story. WCA has also shared Ariana's story via Guardian Nigerian and soon to be Afroelle Magazine. We are so proud to feature her this month and we know you will be blown away by her passion, drive wit and commitment to serve and raise up the next generation of African leaders.


In speaking to Ariana we understand that she sees herself as "An artist, I create beautiful things. I am good at building something out of nothing", she describes herself as a producer, actor and an artist. She shares her journey with me on how she came to the work that she does. She has a humbling way of talking of her values, because she believes that one should "respect people no matter their status". Ariana goes on to tell us that she is a proud Sierra Leonean woman; her golden rule? "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you"

 "I was very shy growing up and hid that by getting lost in the magic of books a habit I picked from my mama who had the most incredible library by age 8, I was bored with the fairy tales and wanted more, I read books by Jane Austen; Charles Dickinson Catherine Cookson; C.S Lewis; Louisa May-Alcott and George Elliott.

I learnt how to share at a very early age when I went from being the only daughter in a nuclear family to sharing everything with my cousins, who sought refuge with us during the rebel war. I was quick to discover the children that needed babysitting in our neighborhood as I loved how appreciative they were of every single effort that I would make"


Selfcare is such an important value of ours here at WCA that I always want to know how women who are balancing so much take time to take care of their mental, physical and socio emotional well being.  Ariana shared some of my favorites including getting pampered and being at the beach! In her own words she shares her ways of getting self care by telling us that; 

"I love massages and foot soaks they are calming and relaxing to me. On a daily basis I indulge myself in essential oils depending on my mood. You are most likely to find peppermint or lavender oil in my small purse. Very recently I am learning to take short 5- 10 minutes break during work to meditate on soothing scripture verses or just music. After such breaks, I feel rejuvenated!

When I can afford it, I love spending time at out lovely beach resorts. The beach is my favourite place on earth; I could literally live on a beach and not get bored. When I disappear next to you be sure to find me speaking to the waves."


Leaving a job to pursue one's life long dream is not an easy feat, so Ariana tells us a bit about what inspired her to take the leap to start Narnia Daycare. 

She tells us that Narnia Daycare was born out of a desire to cater to the needs of children; before birth, birth; babyhood and toddler stages with a holistic approach.
Ariana worked in the marketing, administration and business support for several years but always had a passion for working with children.

Her  pivotal point was having her son in 2012, she discovered there was no one to take care of her son the way her or her Mom did. With encouragement from her support who reminded her of her life long dream she took the leap of faith and as she puts it "simply because I wanted the best for the life I had brought into the world".  With her mom's educator background of 40 years she had the perfect combination she needed to launch her dream day care center Narnia Day Care. 

The name Narnia is based on her favourite children’s book by C.S lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia. Ariana says "I want to create magic for children, I want to encourage self- discovery, build a kingdom were good always triumphs and a space were every child would be free to be themselves! Narnia is the early learning Adventure."

When starting a company there are many challenges that come with the terrain, and there are also many solutions that arise from those obstacles one has to overcome. We asked Ariana to tell us about challenges she faces when doing business in Sierra Leone. 

Ariana shares that though she is very optimistic two of her major challenges have been infrastructure and Human Resources.  In regards to infrastructure she shares that renting is very expensive and landlords mostly request 2-3 years payments for long leases. She was able to create a space out of a family home which has helped alleviate her issues with renting. With Human resource she tells us that "growing and keeping a good team is a struggle" but being the champion that she is she shares the solution  is that " I have learnt to keep our staff motivated and we have cultivated a team spirit where everybody has a vested interest in Narnia. We are making good investments in training and knowledge acquisition."

Ariana shares her love for her company and the biggest contribution to the growth of her business 

" I love the hustle and bustle of Narnia, it feels like home. There are no dull moments; we are constantly on the move. I love the fact that I am building the future leaders of Sierra leone, I am creating the change that I long to see. I believe the golden rule has helped in both handling my team and clientele. At Narnia, the customer is King. We go the extra mile with a human touch."

We ask her 10 years from now where she sees Narnia and her current work and she tells us;  

"The possibilities are endless, I see us franchising in other African countries, doing night care and boarding services for babies and toddlers. I see an empire meant to meet the wishes of children. I wouldn’t limit myself by saying too much now."

Every Bosschique evolves throughout their business so we were keen to know what area of work Ariana has grown in and what she had learnt from that growth?

She shares that she has grown in the area of  Team Building.  That meeting people half way is valuable when running a business and because of this has lessened her micromanaging of staff. She explains that " I am learning to trust in the power of the team rather than self. I have accepted that Narnia is not Ariana but a legacy that must be preserved for all time."

What should someone should have if they want to enter into this field and most importantly be successful. Ariana shares her recipe for success with us: 

1. Be Passionate- To work with children you have to interested in them, affected by them and similarly express your love for them
2. Be Patient- Patience is needed every second of every minute with the children as well with their parents and guardians, with your staff, with nature and the environment. Everything around caregiving and education works with good timing.

3. Show Empathy- One must be connected with everyone you interact with so strongly that you share in their feelings, sharing their joys and sorrows

We treasure sisterhood at WCA so we know our Bosschiques do as well but we want to know why. 
Ariana shares that Sisterhood is everything to her; she expresses so passionately that  "African women are raised to be there for each other and we will do better if we understand that when one African woman wins we all win."

Ariana finishes her interview with poise and ease and shares her final thoughts with us on Women and Africa by ending with our favorite line: Women change Africa because we are resilient in our service to our communities.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Eldeen Elba
The Sierra Leonean economy is in dire need of a streamlined and engaging workforce. Edleen B. Elba and Fullah Musu Conteh are two professionals in the Human Resource field helping to develop, recruit and retain talent in various sectors for the Sierra Leonean workforce. Edleen is a Chartered Human Resources Analyst who owns JobSearch, a human resources management company while Fullah is co-founder and managing human capital consultant at human capital solutions firm TV-PG.
In this article by Moiyattu Banya caught up with both ladies and got them to share some tips on building human capital for any business.

It is a known but sad fact that the average job seeker in Africa is a young person. Add to this the African Development Bank’s prediction of a youth bulge on the continent. This just begs the question, how will African countries cope with the increase of young people who will far outweigh available opportunities? In post-conflict countries like Sierra Leone, that rate is even higher. According to the 2013 Status of Youth Report released in Sierra Leone, over 70 percent of young people live under a dollar a day. The country’s unemployment rate is at 60 percent and is one of the highest in West Africa.

Ladies, how important is setting up an efficient team? What key attributes should young women possess for business?

Edleen: Your team is critical.
Hire employees with the right attitude. They may not be the most qualified or experienced but you can always train them.  People with integrity and those who care about their personal development and business growth are likely to be more committed and therefore, more productive.
Fullah: Be professional at all times with your team.
When it comes to your team and standards, be professional. Culturally in Sierra Leone, the lines tend to blur between professional and personal relationships. This situation, if not well-handled, can diminish one’s image as a leader. Case in point, as a start-up, you may have set systems in place and your policies may be top-notch. However, consistent adherence can be a challenge when clear-cut boundaries are not set. Evaluate your leadership style, and ensure your  team is in agreement with your expectations.  Always check for non-compliance to policies and structures, address the culprits and help them improve on compliance. However, if they still don’t fit in, let them go, irrespective of who they are.

What would you consider critical for a young woman setting up a business?

Fullah : Understand your business market.
Understand your competitors, know what the market needs, lacks or has in abundance – then strategically come in. To this end,  you can create a niche that caters to your passion and also the market. Use that knowledge to find mentors who can help you reach your goals and potential customers/clients. Know when to take a step back and when to aggressively push with a service or product. While at it, align with international best practices and contribute to Africa’s consistent growth. It’s best to do away with the standard TIA aka “This is Africa’s way” by ensuring that you adapt to best business practices for your clients’ sake and personal prestige. The bar should be raised, always.
Fullah Musu Conteh

Let’s talk about the dream team. How can one effectively manage a team without breaking it?

Edleen:  Share your vision!
I would say, share your vision with your employees and give them responsibilities. If they are actively involved in the decision-making process, they are more likely to believe they are a vital part of the business.
Also, it is important to have open communication channels. This is essential to any relationship.  Be fair, give regular and effective feedback.

How do we maintain personal control in the face of business expansion?

Fullah: Know and understand your strengths and weakness.
Once you do, find ways or people who can help close that gap. For example, I am a transformational person and monotony bores me to distraction. Owing to this, I  do not consider myself a sales person as I am terrible at selling my organization’s new products and services. To address this weakness, I have a strong team consisting of a competent operations person and a passionate business development individual. I design products and services while the operations person follows through with implementation. The role of the business development individual is to get clients while I work quietly behind the scenes to make us all happy.

This article was originally posted on she leads Africa: visit

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Your Dream Team will Lead you to Your Next Level

A few weeks back I attended She Leads Africa She Hive NYC. I learnt a lot in being in the space and I am grateful for having the opportunity to be surrounded by so many amazing African women. One of the things I took away from the event was the importance of having the right people on your team. This month we will focus on some of the key elements of having the right team and how do you actually build the right team. For purposes of our discussions this month let us keep in mind that Teams are defined very loosely. A  team can be a group of people you bring together for a short term project, or for something much longer term being for e.g. your business or your organization. A team can also be your network of people who are in your inner circle that you can count on to move and shake things to move you to the next level of your career, business or organization.

When we launched love and sisterhood campaign it was a very intentional approach to assure women that indeed we can work together and most importantly it is critical for women to work together as we believe we can do so much if we do.

So as we take the journey this month to talk about teams, we look forward to sharing some gems with you all and also learning from you all on your experiences on working on highly effective teams as well as building those teams.

 photo mooiSIGFINAL_zpsc16114fb.jpg

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...