Why I created a magazine to empower my Community?

Why I created a magazine to empower my Community?

Early 2017, I was still thinking about my trip in Congo which happened in October 2016. With a few volunteers, we organised a talk for over 600 students and a workshop for 250 kids, in the form of a drawing competition for www.esimbi.org . It was truly the most amazing experience of my life.

For the first time, I really felt the pressure of weighting every word because I understood the impact they could have on these young people’s lives. Kinshasa taught us lessons we didn’t expect. They say if you want to be a millionaire, spend time with millionaires. Your entourage will determine who you will become. Jay Shetty once said that we live in the perception that others have of ourselves. We can’t be what we have never seen. So how to bring those exceptional role models to these young people in a country that is in constant trouble? So one day, they can inspire to great things and believe that they can be who they want.

We certainly always seek the results but do we want to go through the process of what it takes to have that lifestyle. A life long commitment to being better than what surrounds us. It is hard. It is hard especially when you live in such conditions like these children in Congo. Everything is a luxury to them, a pen, a piece of paper, water.

The idea of the magazine came from all this thinking. I wanted to do something more. I wanted to give them something that they didn’t have and could keep. The fear kicked in about 5 minutes after thinking about making this magazine happen. What would the content be? Who would design it? What title could fit my thoughts? and so on…

It started to feel too complicated already. But a voice was telling me to just do it. It was necessary, not for me but for them. They needed to see people who came from similar backgrounds going places. They needed to look up to them and be inspired.

So I jumped in. I chose to call it ESIMBI ( meaning “it works” in Lingala ) like my social initiative. I then ask a work colleague who was good with graphic design to help me with a logo. My colleague and I started to do research about Congo, the history, the forest, the artists, the charities, etc…. and what we found was amazing. Tons of content.

www.esimbimagazine.com

 

PHOTO-2019-01-16-13-35-36                         Impression

My biggest fear was not to find things to talk about. No content to captivate whoever would read this free magazine that was supposed to be a one off. We simply wanted to give the final product to the schools and libraries. But our audience was larger than that. In fact, it was global. So the project ended up catering a niche of people hungry for knowledge. They want education over entertaining, so our goal became bigger.

I am thankful to every one who helped us on this journey. Especially the ones who told me not to do it because it would ruin my fashion career. This project helped me grow into a better version of myself without even knowing it and I simply hope that this magazine will keep going strong. The african community has a narrative to rewrite and we want to contribute to that immensely.

Impression

 

Impression

 

Advertisements

Discover 5 industries where women are thriving in their careers!

Discover 5 industries where women are thriving in their careers!

Upcoming event today in London

IMG_8999

CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

For this month, March for Women, let’s celebrate ourselves and our achievements. I made some research in order to find 5 industries where women are thriving in their careers.

There is no better way to celebrate women than by discussing the progress women have made in the male dominated workplace. Here are five insights on how to break into these male-dominated industries:

1. Finance

Female accountants and finance workers are not unusual. There are a number of jobs available that women now occupy in the accounting industry and finance sector. Many females find these roles attractive, so the finance industry will need to consider the adjustments that can be made to foster a better work environment for the growing female workforce.

2. Technology

Technology is traditionally dominated by males, but with the job growth in this sector, there are many opportunities for women. About 25 percent of the computing workforce is female. Research shows that the industry will thrive even more with female influence and input, since 85 percent of purchasing decisions are determined by women.

Finding a mentor to help you, displaying confidence and learning everything and anything you can about the industry can only make you more powerful and knowledgeable.

3. Construction

The construction industry is the most male-dominated industry in the world. Construction workers engage in many tasks that require physical strength, which can sometimes put females at a disadvantage. However, representatives in the construction industry say they are looking for females to fill construction roles.

It makes sense to look for women to fill roles in our industry that have been traditionally filled by men. Increasingly, women are becoming aware of the wide array of opportunities available to them in the construction industry and are going after them, which I think is an asset to both customers and employers. Just over 9% of women are employed in the construction industry which is rapidly growing.

4. Engineering

Around 62% of women globally work in the engineering industry. This is one of the most unwelcoming industry for women. With women joining the ranks of their male counterparts more often, opportunities from their diverse viewpoints only means the industry will continue to expand.

The growth of organizations such as IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) and The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) — which seek to find and provide women with support, education and opportunities in the industry — means times are changing for the better in the engineering.

5. Mining

The mining industry has the lowest number of women on company boards as compared to any other industry worldwide. However, females are making tremendous strides to enter this industry.

Organizations like International Women in Mining look to support women entering the field. With the goal to increase women’s participation in the field, the hope is to further balance gender and professional development opportunities.

 

Tips for Breaking Into Male-Dominated Industries

Contrary to popular beliefs, some of the characteristics needed to break into male-dominated roles are not unfamiliar to women. Women are hardworking, determined and when educated a force to be reckoned with. Therefore:

Reviewing the skill sets needed for these jobs and honing them is important to landing a role in the industries discussed above. Do not get complacent, industries, companies and internationals climates change all the time and can impact your industry at all times.

Prove yourself to your before proving yourself to anyone else. Male dominated industries are set to be cut-throat and a very much dog eat dog world. But if you want to be a leader in any industry prove it to yourself by developing a thick skin and pushing through regardless

Setting yourself apart will help you secure a role in a male-dominated industry. After all, men aren’t the only ones who can create rivets. Being the only woman in the room shouldn’t be intimidating it should be empowering. Knowing that you are not only paving the way for other women but also helping make decisions and developing ideas that will impact the world is a goal that every woman should have.

PHOTO-2019-01-16-13-35-36

Read about the Most Profitable Industries for Women Entrepreneurs in 2019!

Read about the Most Profitable Industries for Women Entrepreneurs in 2019!

The Most Profitable Industries for Women Entrepreneurs

It’s no secret that there is an inherent gender bias when it comes to small business financing. In fact, women are approved for small business financing less often than men, and when women do receive loans, theirs are typically for smaller amounts, over shorter periods, and with higher interest rates.

Since 2015 women are owning more and more small businesses which perform better and achieve 3 times more return than businesses ran by a man. Even against all odds, women are some of the best business leaders in the world.

Entrepreneurship is for anyone and women are choosing to be the driving force of entrepreneurial progress. To help encourage more women to enter the world of entrepreneurship, here are the five most profitable industries that you should consider as a woman.

On-Demand Mobile Industries

Mobile businesses — not to be confused with mobile phone apps, although the two aren’t mutually exclusive — are services that travel to their customer’s home or place of work rather than the other way around. Increasingly, consumers are becoming used to receiving what they want in an instant. And why shouldn’t your businesses capitalize on that?

Laundry delivery services, in-home massages, grocery deliveries, getting your errands taken care of — there’s an on-demand mobile service for just about anything you can think of.

Childcare and Child-Related Businesses

Millennials are now the largest living generation, and the need for childcare services is increasing.

There are many opportunities within the realm of childcare and child-oriented businesses. Services for new mothers are very much in demand. Although these businesses require some education and certification costs, they are relatively inexpensive to keep set up.

If you have an interest in instructing children in a number of fields — yoga, gymnastics, music, foreign languages — now may be the perfect time to start that private education business.

Finally, youth is becoming synonymous with technology. Parents want to give their children opportunities to be engaged, entertained, and educated (as well as occupied). If you have an awesome idea for a child-centric learning app for smartphones and tablets, now is the time to start.

img_8003
CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

Online Education

People want to learn more, but they want to do so from the comfort of their own homes and at their own pace. And even if you’re not an academic, there’s probably something you can teach. Offering an online course is a great way to help others while also earning money.

Sites such as skillshare, Udemy, and Udacity, to name a few, you can create videos and share your knowledge and expertise with the world.

YouTube is also a popular place for people to find free content and education, especially when it comes to fitness. Features also now include the option to create closed video live sessions that you can charge people for.

If you’re thinking of getting into the online education, try taking advantage of the community you’ve already built, if they see you as an expert.

Female entrepreneurs may still face an uphill battle, but it’s one worth fighting. The more women we have running small businesses or become head of large corporations, the easier it will be for future generations to do the same. Take advantage of these profitable small business opportunities, and everyone will benefit.

img_8026

What to do to impress your future boss and be prepared for that interview.

What to do to impress your future boss and be prepared for that interview.

How to prepare yourself for an interview? What to do to impress your future boss.

You’ve taken the time to look at the job specifications and decided to apply.  They’ve now contacted you back after looking at your impressive CV and have scheduled an interview with you. If you follow these steps you will always be prepared for an interview either face to face, over the phone or skype.

CHOOSE A NICE AND CLEAN OUTFIT WITH A SHIRT

RIGHT: YES    LEFT : NO

 

Before the interview

Regardless of the type of interview you’re preparing for, research and planning are key. One question that a recruiter will always ask you is why you applied to work for their company. Saying that you need money or that you were bored at home is simply not going to cut it.

Generally, you should:

  • Consider how you’ll explain problematic aspects of your career, such as gaps in your work history if you have any.
  • Identify the skills, interests and experiences that the organisation is looking for by looking at its website and social media channels. Look at the skillset desired for the job role and match them to your experience and roles. If it is a graduate role match the skillset to what you have learnt on your course.
  • Plan your journey in advance, aiming to arrive ten minutes before your interview is scheduled.
  • Prepare answers to common interview questions, as well as your own questions to ask at the interview.
  • Find out about the people who’ll interview you. If you haven’t had time to do a quick check on LinkedIn, add a few questions about their current career at the organisation.
  • Research the issues, trends and opportunities affecting the organisation and the wider industry and how you think your skillset will make the organisation stand out from the rest.

During the interviews

An interview is all about the recruiter and potential manager trying to get a feel and an understanding for you and how you will fit into the company’s style and culture. Winning interview techniques include:

  • Positivity – Be well-mannered with any staff you meet before or after the interview. During the interview, avoid talking about any personal problems unless completely necessary (such as clarifying issues in employment gaps), and never badmouth your previous employers.
  • Body language – Give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after the session. Once you’re seated, sit naturally without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk. Throughout the interview, remember to smile frequently and retain eye contact.
  • Clarity – Give clear and concise answers, waffling will show that you are nervous. Evidence each answer with your most relevant skills, experiences and achievements. It is ok to pause before answering a difficult question to give yourself thinking time, or asking for clarification if, at first, you’re unsure what the question means.
  • Enthusiasm – The interview is not just about your skills. It is also about you. It’s important that you allow your personality to shine throughout, as well as ask thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments.

After the interview

When leaving the organisation, let the interviewer know that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions. If you feel things went particularly well, you could email the interviewer the next day, thanking them for their time. In this email perhaps add any extra information that you think the recruiter would like to know such as your availability and chosen working hours (if a shit patterns was advised).

In most cases, the organisation will now have enough evidence to make their decision.

Don’t worry if you don’t get the job. Simply ask the recruiter for feedback, and build upon that to give an even better interview at the next occasion.

 

IMG_4261

 

11 advice to consider before you kiss 2018 Goodbye?

11 advice to consider before you kiss 2018 Goodbye?

The general mood at the end of 2018 was quite funny to me…

People all seem to struggle with the same things, bad relationships, whom to cut lose or keep in 2019, society’s opinion, finances, drama, anxiety, doubts and fear. We probably would all relate on a quote saying ” May your social media life be as good as your real one for this coming year. ”

For the first time, someone really close to me tried to commit suicide and this simply affected me in ways I didn’t comprehend. But it also showed me how miserable I was feeling by forcing myself to do things that no longer made me happy. It is hard to be honest with ourselves more than it ever was. Hard to keep the noise out with all the social media frenzy. We kinda all are living the painful life of celebrities, trying to keep up with apparences. We are buying into fake friends and fake lives even if we dont realise it straight away, unless you live in the village I grew up in :), they really don’t care about none of these and I almost envy them sometimes…

KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT REAL

 

What is the truth? Is social media bad for our health and mental wellness, or is it actually helping us to cope by dreaming and portraying the life we really want?

Tricky isn’t? Unless you believe in the “Fake it until you make it” motto of course.

This year has been challenging for me and all I wanted was to find my peace. I make to do list all year long, so new year resolutions are nothing special.

Here are the things I would like to work on to achieve that:

1/  Give up overthinking, procrastinating and holding grudges ( yeah… )

2/  Don’t raise your voice, improve your arguments

3/  Quit holding on to the past or even pleasing everyone 

4/  Do what works for you at your own pace

5/  Don’t be afraid to fail, fall or love again. This is the only way to learn more and do better

6/  Focus on progress not speed

7/  Keep your private life private

8/  Spend time with your family 

9/  Do what you are passionate about as much as possible

10/  Unfollow anything that doesn’t go with your vision

11/  Travel, Travel, Travel. The world is such a beautiful place and there is no excuse to not explore it nowadays.

All these because six months of hardcore focus and alignement can put you 5 years ahead in life. Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire. In life, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. That’s the truest  cliché you will read today.

 

FAMILY SELFIES ON MY BDAY

FAMILY PORTRAIT

 

 

Is the Congolese community ready for the Art industry to prosper?

Is the Congolese community ready for the Art industry to prosper?

The answer is YES!

PHOTO-2018-11-10-11-47-37-1

On November 9th, I attended the exhibition AKAA ( Also Known As Africa ) in Paris. This is the first contemporary art and design fair for African art.

It took place at the usual Carreau du Temple and had over 49 exhibitors and 130 artists who came from all around the world.

Here are a few images from my favourite artists, but you can see more on their website www.akaafair.com

ARTIST JP MIKA

 

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-08-4

 

DIDIER CLAES

IMG-20181109-WA0004

 

FREDDY TSIMBA

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-07-7

 

PATRICK BONGOY

IMG-20181109-WA0005

 

MON LOOK PARISIENNE

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-07-6

PHOTO-2018-11-24-12-46-08

The fashion industry: how this industry can revive the Congolese economy.

The fashion industry: how this industry can revive the Congolese economy.

How many jobs do you think are in the fashion industry? I am sure the first ones that come to your mind are fashion designer, seamstress and fashion model. In the Congolese community, those are the most mainstream roles in the fashion industry. However, in fashion there are 100 of them, which include and are not limited to Marketing, Finance, Beauty and Operations. So if the question is can the fashion industry revive the Congolese economy? The Answer is yes, it can be one of the driving forces.

In 2015 Fashion was a $1.2 trillion global industry, which included luxury fashion, fast fashion and accessories (bags, jewellery, watches and shoes). Fashion and apparel industries employ 1.9 million people in the United States and the UK fashion industry is estimated to support 850,000 jobs. The number of people that work in this industry in Congo is unknown to me.

IMG_2359

So why and how are Congolese people so limited in their understanding of an industry they swear to love? If you do not understand what I am speaking of, I am speaking of Sapologie. A term engrained in the brain of every Congolese person regardless of whether they were born inside or outside of both countries respectively.

La Sape, an abbreviation based on the phrase Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (French; literally “Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People”) and hinting to the French slang word sape which means “attire”, is a subculture centered on the cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of Congo respectively. An adherent of La Sape is known as a sapeur.[1] The movement embodies the elegance in style and manners of colonial predecessor dandies.

As Congolese people, we have created a subculture that has been features and respected by not only other African countries, but globally by the likes of African American singers Solange and Jidenna but also, the Chinese community who were heavily involved in Congolese music through Papa Wemba. So if our industry already has a name, already has an impact and is influencing people all across the globe, how are we not or rather how have we not developed a sustainable industry that can create thousands of jobs across both nations and fuel the passion of many artists in that industry?

The main reason is that fashion is not taken seriously, and like any other art, is dismissed over the likes of studies in business, medicine, education and engineering. However, there comes a time when thinking must change and new entrepreneurial ways must be accepted in order to see change.

Why develop Congo’s fashion industry?

The industry is set to double in value in the next 10 years to generate up to $5trillion annually. This presents a huge opportunity for business in Africa, as the combined value of apparel and footwear in sub-Saharan Africa was estimated at $31 billion in 2016.

The fashion industry holds amazing potential to motivate and bring change to some of the most vulnerable people, especially women and children, while advancing the structural transformation needed in the industry and in the country.

The role of creative industries in Congo Kinshasa and Brazzaville.

With 13 million young African joining the labour force on a yearly basis, the development of skill based industry, where people can learn on the job and gain qualifications in a labour intensive sector is imperative to for the stability of our nations. Fashion uses our culture and creativity as a selling point, which can be leveraged both within and outside of the continent.

What can we do to change this?

Investment, training and the industrialization of the industry. There are many more roles outside of being a seamstress in fashion, from textile designer to fashion forecaster, the roles are endless. Let’s broaden the minds of the people in the industry.

Africa currently accounts for just 1.9% of global manufacturing. That figure does not just relate to fashion. With having raw materials available, Congo should focus on moving to the top of the value chain and produce garments targeted at the home and international audience.

Strategic support and investment in local manufacturers should allow the Congolese fashion industry to steadily grow and become an entity of its own