This ShE is Empowered session focused on the enhancement of our ShE Leaders’ soft skills including public speaking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and networking to advance their career development. The modern professional world requires quick and advanced ways to sell yourself for the next life-changing opportunity. Africa Matters Initiative knows that some of the most impactful partnerships, lucrative business deals, and even mutually beneficial friendships were the result of well-crafted elevator pitches. With this in mind, we tasked our ShE Leaders to write an elevator pitch about themselves, present it to a fellow leader in their cohort, and then report their findings. Both of the write-ups below outline Amina and Kitso's discoveries about one another and show just how much one can share and learn from a professional elevator pitch:
Amina’s write up
Kitso Dube is a 28-year-old Zimbabwean woman with 4 years of experience in microfinance and is currently transitioning into digital financing. Kitso is passionate about microenterprise and helping farmers in rural communities, particularly young farmers and leaders. Kitso is so amazing and I am glad that I met her.
Kitso’s work advocates for SDGs 1, 2, and 8. In Zimbabwe’s agro-based economy, Kitso observed that most farmers, especially in rural communities have difficulties in cultivating their crops and selling them. To help these farmers, Kitso supports them with small loans to support their agricultural activities and links them with potential buyers (mostly companies) of their farm produce.
Her efforts and activities led her to several communities where she funded farmers’ purchases of farming inputs. As a result, these farmers reaped great harvests and saw their farming projects scale over time. Kitso’s activities directly promote the achievement of SDG2 (Zero Hunger) because the agricultural sector offers key solutions for development as it is at the center of eradicating hunger and poverty. She also promotes SDG1 (No Poverty) by offering loans to these farmers for their economic advancement and financial empowerment. Her work also promotes SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) by creating sustainable economic growth conditions for these farmers and facilitating their partnerships with companies that offer them fixed contracts.
Kitso’s write up
I had the pleasure of meeting Amina Mubarak, a 21-year-old midwife who is passionate about the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls. An interesting aspect she shared with me was that while nursing was not necessarily her first choice, she grew to love it as she saw how much her community needed her assistance. I realized that one doesn’t need to wait for the perfect conditions to lead, we have the ability to bloom where we are planted. Amina continues to expand her existing skillset by collaborating with different organizations and advocating for the rights of girls who cannot fight for their own rights.
During the course of her work, she noticed how most pregnant patients in her community were teenage girls, who in most cases struggled during labor because their bodies weren’t well equipped to handle child delivery, due to their young age. She took a keen interest in this and discovered that the reason behind the high rates of teenage pregnancies is that most of the girls are victims of child marriage and this has subsequently led to an excessive school dropout rate for girls in her society. Together with organizations in her community, Amina advocates for girls’ right to education. She believes that when girls are educated, they have the room to fully reach their potential.
Listening to Amina passionately speak about the work she does make me realize the power of sharing experiences. I was inspired by what she does. Truly, we are the ones we have been waiting for.