Africa is rising. There is really no doubt about this but the question remains, how many people are willing and ready to preach this gospel? Konnect Africa sure has got a team mate who is fiercely on the move, spreading the news from the peak of the mountains to the ends of the world.
Farai Gundan is the African serial entrepreneur who has assumed the responsibility of spreading this good news and projecting a desirable narrative of Africa.
The Zimbabwean born, US based TV and Radio personality has been featured on various international and local platforms. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show with this on her mind,
“to talk about my first love, Africa and African women & girls”
She was also profiled on www.oprah.com. She guest-writes for Forbes.com: “The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012” and “Thirteen African Celebrities To Watch In 2013.”
This young woman of substance has gathered a number of accomplishments under her belt.
She is one of the nation’s leading experts on African women in media and technology, and the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of two tech startups; FaraiMedia LLC www.FaraiMedia.com, a mobile & online advertising network and AfricaTripDeals, an end-to-end online hotel marketing and reservation system specifically designed to serve the African hotel, travel & tourism industries.
Farai is a sought-after speaker, having spoken at institutions such as Princeton University, Wharton Business School.
Her reason for starting up Farai Media is clear,
“With the growth of African publishers, we wanted to offer an online and mobile advertising platform that specifically targeted African audiences, both diasporan and on the continent,” she explains, “With Farai Media, we also wanted to be specialists of the African consumer audience so that we could connect top brands with influential publishers to reach and engage African consumers.”
“There are numerous dynamics that factor in with the differences between online advertising here in the US – or the West – versus on the continent, Online and mobile advertising in Africa is still in its infancy. There are several inputs along the value chain that are needed to grow this ecosystem, such as internet ubiquity [and] low internet costs for consumers.”
And on the impact of mobile advertisement on Africa, she opines;
“Africa is second to Asia in mobile subscriptions. The advantage of this is that, if you use mobile/online advertising, your consumers can potentially carry your marketing message with them on a device – as opposed to on television, radio or on a laptop where they literally have to go home or [to the] office to log on to see your marketing message. I see how effective it is here in the US and that it could have a bigger impact back on the continent.”
It is amazing how this lady of class juggles several activities without flinching. In her interview, How we made it in Africa, she says;
“Call us a tad bit crazy, but my co-founder and I are working on two tech startups at the same time which obviously means a lot of work for us. But I think that’s the exciting thing about Africa, the opportunities for innovation and disruption are tremendous.”
Farai derives great joy in tracking and celebrating the success stories of African world-wide, especially in the diaspora.
She is a Producer and the Lead Anchor of the ground-breaking women’s talk-show “Point Of View” on Afrotainment Television Channel. And also the Producer and Host of Afrotainment Music Channel’s number one popular music show, “AfroHits Top10”.
She has been nominated for the Bishop Desmond Tutu Fellowship and Young People in International Affairs (YPIA) “Top 35 Under 35”.
As a thriving media expert, she encourages African women to step out and be the best they can, without fear and timidity as they have been endued with grace and strength to make a difference in their endeavours.
“The one thing I have learnt about African women, and I am one myself, is the strength that we have. And I think that sometimes we underestimate our strength or underestimate our abilities and capabilities of being able to get things done.”
“I don’t have any children yet but I marvel at mothers and wives who also juggle a career or run a business. I marvel at that ability,” she emphasised.
“The ability to multitask, run a household, raise children and manage a career or run a company simultaneously; it speaks to the fact that women are able to execute.”
Her advice to business women on the continent is to make sure that they stand out and speak out wherever and whenever.
“Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask. Let your presence be known.”
In conclusion, she says,
“I think that African women are one of the best kept secrets. The demographic dividend in Africa of our women is one of our greatest and most enduring assets. I honour us, and I honour those who have gone before us and have paved the way.”
What are you waiting for?
© 2014, Lovelyn Okafor. All rights reserved.