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Brand to build

Brand to build

By Thembe Khumalo
Every week we talk to African leaders about how they are successfully building their business or personal brands for better income and impact on the continent. We uncover what makes them tick, discover what hurdles they have overcome and celebrate their growth and learning.
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Njambi Koikai is a radio & TV host, artist, DJ, actress, event host, endowarrior, and celebrated reggae emcee based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born and bred in Kawangware, she grew up around great musical influences that heavily inspired her interest and career in music. Known for her outstanding persona and stage presence especially in the reggae scene, Njambi came into the spotlight when she hosted a reggae show on Metro FM. A trailblazer and multi-talented superstar, she has cemented her place as one of Kenya’s renowned media personalities. Born and raised by a single mum and her late grandmother in a slum in Kawangware in Nairobi, Kenya, Njambi's mum sacrificed all she had to make sure she got the best education.  As a young child, she suffered a serious identity crisis and teenage delinquency coupled with Endometriosis that saw her go through a very rough period of high school. But  - she came out fighting and today she counts her mother, grandmother, and younger sister as her greatest influences. They instilled great values, the essence of hard work, the importance of prayer, and through their subtle strength, intellectualism and motivation.
March 2, 2021
An entrepreneur who leads with passion and boundless energy, Adetola is as action-oriented as she is thorough. When nothing is moving, she makes it move. A strong advocate for preparation and mentorship, she is a testament to how both these factors can propel you to success if you trust the process. Her never-say-die attitude has lead her into ventures as diverse as events management, auto repairs, entertainment and promotion, food, beverages, business services, and property management. This diversification has enabled her to keep her business afloat and her staff in employment right through the various difficult COVID-19 scenarios which have affect the events and hospitality industries the most. Adetola is a very active member (and former president of the Nigeria chapter) of Junior Chamber International - JCI.  With 15 years work experience in the corporate sector (including banking, construction, manufacturing and hospitality) where she honed her skills in sales, marketing, relationship management, credit analysis and customer service, leadership, and management, Adetola now leverages everything she knows for her own businesses.  In this conversation, she shares the story of her leadership journey as a woman who dares. 
February 23, 2021
Did you know that children who are allowed to climb grow up to be more confident as adults?  The secret to confidence is not really in the climbing - it's the falling that matters most. Children who are allowed to climb become accustomed to falling, and that's what expands their confidence! In this episode Thembe Khumalo shares some of the most frightening moments of her adult life, and how she pushed against her fears to achieve her dreams. We hope these stories help you find the courage to move forward with yours too, and we'd love to hear your feedback on what has resonated with you most in the Women Who Dare series. Email us on or comment in our social feeds @brandtobuildco
February 17, 2021
There is something to be said for a leader who has the call to lead running in her veins and imbued in her spirit. Yawa Hansen-Quao is one such woman. Learning from an early age never to let anyone steal her voice or her power, she grew into a strong, successful, courageous woman who is accelerating African development and economic growth through building a stronger civil service in Ghana.  A visionary leader whose career landmarks include being recognized as one of Africa’s Rising Leaders at the World Economic Forum on Africa, being awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in honour of her pioneering work nurturing emerging women leaders, being the Founder of the Leading Ladies’ Network as well as serving on the board of Ashesi University? There's more, but we want you to focus on this conversation for now! Yawa believes her imagination is one of the most important tools she has, and shares some really game-changing tips for finding your courage. 
February 10, 2021
Saray Khumalo doesn't just push barriers, break taboos and smash ceilings, she also climbs mountains - literally! She became the first black African woman to reach the summit of Mt Everest on her 4th attempt, which tells you everything you need to know about her resilience, determination and strength of character.  But for many years Saray was coasting along, doing the things a good girl is supposed to do and ticking the right boxes. As an experienced business executive, she has a solid track record in some of South Africa’s leading financial institutions as an eCommerce and Loyalty Specialist. It took losing a family member for her to ask herself some tough questions about purpose, passion and the price of complacency. Today she is a global transformational coaching working with executives and business leaders across the world. She is also the founder of Summits with a Purpose, an initiative that has raised funds and built physical and digital libraries in disadvantaged African schools. She believes that literacy and education have the power to change the narrative for the next generation.  
February 1, 2021
Fierce, phenomenal, and utterly fabulous, Modesta Mahiga-Mbughuni is a woman on fire. A lawyer, author, leadership coach and so much more, she was named “one of Africa’s Movers and Shakers” by the Times of London. She is the founder of Modesta.Africa and her mission is to build African leaders for global competitiveness. Her story will make you laugh, cry and applaud, but most of all, it will leave you inspired to play your part in bettering Africa today.
January 26, 2021
Jacqueline Mgido is a renowned celebrity makeup artist, stylist, entrepreneur, and CEO of ​Jackie Mgido Cosmetics​, an international makeup company with locations in Zimbabwe, Los Angeles, Uganda, and Kenya. Jackie’s artistry, dynamic personality, and passion for excellence have enabled her to amass an impressive clientele of critically acclaimed artists, to work on film/television including: MTV, the Billboard Music Awards, The Real Housewives of Orange County, All My Children, Another World, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and the Academy Awards. and to have her work featured in media campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Elle and Forbes magazines. In addition to this, she is the CEO of Jackie Mgido Cosmetics, a brand she founded to "​ ... provide woman across the globe with innovative and affordable products and services that enable them to enhance their natural (beauty/features) rather than change them.​ "  A proud daughter of Zimbabwe, Jackie is thrilled to call Harare home to both the company headquarters and flagship store. She and her team are excited to continue to grow the company organically and are constantly developing a new line of products and services.   Her energy and enthusiasm are unstoppable! Jackie Mgido is a woman who dares. 
January 19, 2021
#26 The Power of African Women
How much do you know about African women?  About their history, their potential and their power....?  This conversation will inform, entertain and inspire you. Now here is a man who understands African women: Mutsa Samuel is a global speaker, a serial entrepreneur and the author of Your Authentic Self.  He has spoken widely in Africa and Europe and spreads his deep love and respect for Africa and Africans wherever he goes. Today he shares insights on African identity, what makes women wonderful and his favourite African women leaders. 
January 12, 2021
Bold and brilliant beginnings at Brandbuilder
We have a very important announcement, and a conversation about the future we want for you, our clients as well as for Africa.  Join Thembe Khumalo and Selina Zigomo on our first episode of 2021.
January 5, 2021
Powerful questions for a year to remember!
As we come to the end of an extraordinary year, how can you make sure you hold on to everything that was good about 2020?  How will you avoid repeating the mistakes you made in the past?  What lessons might you be missing that could propel you forward in the year ahead?  What matters most as you plan your life going forward? I have put together my favourite planning questions for you.  there are some good old favourites that you've heard before, but also a few newbies that might surprise and delight you! Enjoy the conversation and see you on the other side. 
December 29, 2020
No 23. People Need People
I am riding solo this week, sharing a part of my personal story that convinced me about the importance of being part of a community and reminding you of the beautiful Christmas present Brandbuilder has prepared for you.  Merry Christmas 
December 21, 2020
No 22. Falling in love with a wounded land
When other little girls were dreaming of becoming princesses, Debra Magwada already had her eye on a bigger prize - the earth! She learnt from watching her grandfather and the community around him that you have to respect everything that comes from nature - people, animals, plants, land. In this conversation, she shares her journey to becoming one of a handful of female conservation entrepreneurs in Africa, and how she came to be the Founder and CEO of Rejuvinate! Umhlaba, a company that sources financing for land restoration from those who inflict the greatest damage on it. . She also shares some of her deepest insights, including the fact that you are your own motivational speaker. 
December 14, 2020
No 21. Telling it like it is
If you want to do something big, something scary, something amazing, the best person to talk to is someone who has done it before you.  Find out what you can learn, what preparation you need to make and which mistakes you can avoid.  Tariro Makina, Selina Zigomo and Michell Hakata have all taken the brave move to quit the 9 to 5 and go solo. Find out what they have to say about it in this episode.  Then, if you want to know more about building a consulting practice, if you want someone to help you develop an actual actionable plan that you can use to set up and grow your side hustle or full-time consultancy, sign up here for the Monetise Your Knowledge programme, running from 14 to 18 December 2020. 
December 8, 2020
No 20. How do you want to live?
Carl Joshua Ncube isn't just a comedian.  He is an astute businessman who has carefully curated his brand over many years to deliver the life he wants to live.  In this conversation, he tells us how he sees life as a long game of snakes and ladders, how he became who he is today, and why he and his wife are living on a bus in the resort town of Victoria Falls.  If you've ever wondered what it might be like to live your truth, look to Carl and Nelsy, and you'll get the live experience. 
November 30, 2020
No 19. Can you optimize yourself?
Jito Kayumba is a partner in a private equity firm in Lusaka Zambia. But he is more than that. He is a teacher and a student of life - constantly pushing the boundaries of his potential, driving towards excellence and making his contribution to building the kind of Africa we all want to live in. We talked about mastery, about creating systems for succeeding in your field, about personal branding and the role of social media, as well as about what’s hot in Africa right now!
November 25, 2020
No 18. Ideas that Solve Problems
If you love thinking about thinking, and talking about solutions; if you love pondering about purpose and investigating innovation, then you will love this conversation with Musekiwa Samuriwo. An entrepreneur, strategist, designer, author, speaker and consultant, Musekiwa makes a life and a living by using his gifts to add value to businesses, individuals and communities. He has mastered accumulating knowledge and packaging it in ways that make it accessible to broader audiences. His latest book, The Lion and the Maasai Warrior simple and transformative ideas that cost very little - he calls them bare bone innovations, and explores how Africa can use the skills, talents, and time it already has to develop innovations that can solve many of the problems facing the continent. 
November 16, 2020
No 17. It's not about the money in the honey
It's really about the critical role that bees play in the global ecosystem. Terence Chambati is an advertising executive turned conservation entrepreneur.  His story left me gasping on so many different levels.  Listen in to find out how he made the switch, and why the work he is doing is so important, not just for Africa, but in the world.  You'll be inspired by his vision, motivated by his boldness and enthralled by his compassion for and sense of responsibility for the planet.
November 10, 2020
No. 16 Lessons from an Executive Coach
This week Akua Nyame Mensah talks to us about building self-awareness, simplifying engagement and setting and achieving appropriate expectation. But that's not all - she also shares some her of exciting career moves, and the lessons she's learnt along the way.   When a seasoned coach tells you you can "make the most of your future by understanding your present," you can't help but really pause and reflect on your life. Here's hoping this episode results in as much insight and introspection for you as it did for us. 
November 3, 2020
No 15. Unleashing your inner Empress!
Empress Pat is a force of female energy that you do not want to mess with.  Deeply immersed in the media and communication space, she is passionate about recognising and elevating the humanity of all people and especially that of black women.  Pat shares highlights of her journey to recognising her inner empress and how she built an authentic personal brand.
October 27, 2020
No 14. Feeling stuck or frazzled? Me tooooooo!
Join me on a self-coaching journey in this episode as I go through 8 of my favourite ways to find clarity and calm when I am feeling overwhelmed.  I think you'll find it useful:-)
October 20, 2020
No. 13 Who are you and why do you matter?
Who do you want to be?  Where do you want to go?  How do you want to live? These are critical career questions for every leader.  They help you live a life of purpose and align your daily activity to what's most important in your life. Brand positioning is the most important process in building a brand because it helps us figure out where a brand sits in the sea of competition and what territory it seeks to own and dominate.  Listen to Thembe in this episode where she provides some tips about what you can do to start the process of positioning your brand. 
October 12, 2020
No 12. Do you know your power?
If you have ever doubted your power or had any kind of discomfort about standing in your power, you need to listen to this. You will find out what I learnt from Pattie Sellers at Time Inc, and what my mother said to me in the middle of a break-up! 
October 6, 2020
No. 11 African start-ups, systems and scaling
Noreen Makosewe is a London based strategy expert who supports small businesses that are ready to scale. Her path to this sweet spot was more like zig-zagging a jungle gym than climbing a corporate ladder, but that journey helped her get real clarity on what matters most, and what her specific important work is the world should be.   Join us as we hear about her journey and her thoughts on the start-up scene in Africa. 
September 28, 2020
No 10. Women in Leadership in Africa - the ICT Space
What does it take to build a successful brand as an African woman leader? Is there room for women to lead in the ICT sector in Africa? What can women learn from those who have succeeded before them? What does the future look like for the next generation of young women who want to lead? All this and more as we talk to Sonwabise Mzinyathi, Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Africa Women in ICT Forum. Sonwabise is passionate about the potential for technology to help governments and industry bridge the global inequality gap. She is the (Acting) Chair of the Board of Directors for the South African Women in ICT Forum, a Forum that services to create opportunities for women in South Africa’s ICT sector and ICT-enabled industries. She is also the founder of Source Creations, an impact investing company focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) innovation in the technology space. Sonwabise serves as a Councillor on the B-BBEE ICT Sector Council. She has a post-grad in International Relations and is pursuing her MBA with the African Leadership University School of Business. Sonwabise’s career has led her to leadership roles with global tech companies; namely: networking and software company Cisco Systems where she was also a Board Director, fintech data analytics company Refinitiv, and media and data company Thomson Reuters. She has also been a Diplomat of South Africa based at the South African High Commission in New Delhi, India. Currently, she looks after Global Policy and Government Affairs for Southern and East Africa at Global Citizen, which curated Mandela 100 in 2018, in April 2020 curated the One World-Together At Home global broadcast which raised $127 million towards the COVID-19 response, and in June 2020 curated the Global Goal- Unite For Our Future campaign which received support from AU Chair President Cyril Ramaphosa and raised $25 million in COVID19 response initiatives from the ECOWAS region. She is a speaker and a columnist on the topics of economic benefits for diversity and inclusion with a focus on women in tech, ESG investing, sustainable go-to-market strategies that embed UN SDG considerations and ESG investing. Mentoring young people is something she is deeply passionate about and pursues it in her spare time. LinkedIn: Sonwabise Sebata  Twitter: @Sonwabise
September 21, 2020
No 9. Pump up your Productivity with The Goal-getter Girl!
If there’s one thing I learnt in this conversation, it’s that Tafadzwa Bete Sasa doesn’t let you get away with ticking boxes! If you set a goal, you better believe she’s going to require you to achieve it. Join us for this really helpful conversation full of practical strategies to help you be more productive. Tafadzwa Bete Sasa is a high-performance coach, training facilitator and consultant. She designs and facilitates tools and systems to help individuals and teams clarify goals and align day-to-day activities towards the results they really want.  Away from her laptop, she loves hugs and hot chocolate, yellow flowers and spending Sundays on self-care and her favourite humans. 
September 14, 2020
No 8. Can your personal brand survive African politics?
Edward Shila has taken what he’s learnt from a career in advertising and communications as well as his entrepreneurial skills into the political arena in Tanzania. His clear vision for leadership on the continent might just inspire you to do the same!
September 8, 2020
No 7. You Can Find Your Purpose
Are you tired of hearing about how you need to find your purpose? Or not sure what people even mean when they talk about purpose? Then you will love this conversation in which Barbara Mutedzi, a conscious leadership coach opens up about purpose and how your leadership journey can benefit from you knowing yours.    Barbara Mutedzi is a Conscious Leadership Coach trained in neuroscience-based coaching and with a background in health and community psychology; socio-cultural and medical anthropology. As a human catalyst, her purpose is to help you harness and control the power you already have within you, to live your life purpose. Where you may not be sure or need help clarifying your purpose, Barbara helps you on the path to figuring it out. Specific to businesses and leaders, Barbara focuses on sharpening their leadership skills, by honing in on their business acumen, emotional intelligence and agility; all with the purpose of increasing performance, impact and profit.  You can find Barbara on or follow her here:
August 31, 2020
No 6 - What it takes to win in the FMCG industry in Africa!
Our guest Tess Aromesule is a consumer packaged goods expert doing business in Lagos, Nigeria. She coaches and trains SMEs in the FMCG sector on everything from negotiating with retailers to branding.
August 24, 2020
No 5. Let’s talk pricing!
How do small business owners find the right balance between maximizing revenue and making their goods accessible to the people who need them? In this episode Thembe discusses 4 critical things you need to look at in order to get your pricing right. PLUS some bonus pricing tips
August 18, 2020
No 4. Secrets of successful public speakers with Miss Noma
What’s the number one skill you need to be able to sell your business or product? Public speaking! If you have strong presentation skills you will find it much easier to persuade people to work with you. Listen to Noma, a speaking coach and customer service consultant.
July 24, 2020
No 3. Five Good reasons to rebrand
We try to discourage rebranding on a whim, but sometimes the situation does call for a new look and feel! Learn more about when it’s OK to change your visual brand identity.
July 8, 2020
No 2. Branding gets personal
How did we come to start talking about personal branding and what does it really mean? Tune in to learn more.
June 30, 2020
No 1. 8 Powerful Personal Branding Habits
Which habits can you adopt to make sure your personal brand stands out above the noise. In this episode we break down what personal branding is and how you can start to build a good one with great habits.
June 23, 2020