My name is Oumi Kulthum Abdul Rahman
El-Kindiy. I am a general Manager at a family owned company in Botswana called
RMC Marketing. I am also the owner and manager of a new company registered in
South Africa, Demiguard. Both companies provide bespoke event management
services. On my own, I offer dissertation consultation services to students
concluding their masters, as well as social media management services to small
companies. I am a hobby blogger an amateur photographer and a closet poet. I am
also the holder of an MBA from the University of Botswana and an MSc in
Strategic Management from the University of Derby.
As part of the social corporate responsibilities RMC Marketing
trains up and coming professionals in the fields of marketing, event management
and sound engineering, I personally design the training schedule and train
these specially selected youth; to date I have graduated more than 15 award
winning students in Botswana. Concurrently I have overseen more than 19
dissertation papers in fields related to SME development, process improvement,
management, service delivery, finance and agriculture.
My ultimate dream is to make a difference of a sizable
proportion in the development of people, through projects that encourage team
building, confidence building, gender equality, leadership development and
community improvement. I have over the years proposed communal playground,
written about gender equality, volunteered for communal development and poverty
eradication programs, run a fitness camp as well as launched a university
expatriate student organization.
X for Xenophobia: I have been an
expatriate for most of my life, having lived in a foreign country for more than
25years and even then, my application for naturalization was denied…Thrice!
The reason behind most of my failures and by this, I am referring to the
inability of my projects to reach the proportions they could was because there
is a general negative opinion of expatriates where I live. My citizenship
application was denied because even though I have 2 masters degrees I do not
have what it takes to be a citizen of this country.
Perseverance: In spite of the
challenges afforded to me for my nationality, my gender and my race I have
persevered through capitalizing on the gaps. Where I can partner, I do. Where
there are opportunities to learn I take, if I can network I do. I look for the
advice and take it when I can. If I am challenged I take a back seat and
reassess the situation, always planning and playing the field until I reach my
ultimate goal. I get what I want the best way I can.
Respect: If there is one single virtue
that I value its respect. I try my best to respect and teach respect to people
as I am a constant victim of a lack of respect. I respect people’s time, their
patience, their privacy, their decisions and their person. I get the best
service from my subordinate staff because I treat them with respect, I don’t
put badges to the respect either. A cleaner is an employee and is notches above
an unemployed graduate any day in my book IF this person works hard for their
bread without looking down on any other person’s job or work. There is a
definite direct relationship between respect and the quality of service
delivery a person receives. There is not one virtue that is so easily
undermined yet so valuable. I believe in and trust in the currency of respect.
My aunt, she was an alcoholic. When my aunt got divorced, my dad
took her and her children in. I was 10 years old, at the time, I had no idea
what a divorce actually meant psychologically. And even now, in retrospect, I
do not believe that I fully grasped her influence on all of us, up until now.
She made me understand that depression is a physical emotional state, that we
show through our actions what we are feeling, that perhaps drowning our sorrows
in narcotics and alcohol is not always a cry for help but a form of
self-flagellation, she made me understand how we can undermine our own worth
and do so purposefully so that we actively get punished. I watched a
well-educated woman sell her soul for a man and decided I never wanted to be
that way. I never wanted to let my situation of other people’s opinions of e
dictate how I lived my life.
No name girl Botswana: This is the
young woman who risked her life to post on her public media, a conversation
between a member of parliament and an assistant minister as a cry for help that
raised awareness and prompted public action against people of power who take
advantage of minors in rural areas. Just like this nameless victim, I want to
be able to stand up to the people who think that they can get the best of me
and get away with it in a way that will not compromise my safety or integrity.
I also want to inspire others to stand up for themselves.
Khadijah Al-Kubra the wife of the Prophet
Mohammad S.A.W: Other than being a successful business woman of her time and
respected by men when women were seen as commodities as opposed to people. What
inspires me about her is that she married an employee well below her income
bracket and showed him respect, this is a quality that many lack these days.
She then encouraged him to pursue his aspirations in spite of them being
opposed to the status quo of the time. She was his sponsor and his biggest
supporter through the tough times and even then maintained her respected status
in the community. I aspire to be a woman like that, one who knows her role in a
partnership is to be a pillar of support to her partner(s) to build combined
wealth and to use her influences to benefit all the partners not matter what
strife they befall while building and maintaining a respected position in
Mr. Abdul Rahman El-Kindiy (My
Father): My dad did not receive a university education and I am certain that
had he not had 5 children and supported his family financially he would have
been a multimillionaire. Thankfully he valued family and education above money
and material things. He is a role model because he is a survivor. He launched
his business with a 50 buck investment and grew it to the multimillion business
it is today using life hacks we under value. He then uses his skills to train
up and coming aspiring technicians for free. My vision to be as altruistic as
he is by sharing my skills with the youth at a much larger scale through my
foundation in addition to being able to construct working business with minimal
I believe I am actively on the path to
my first goal which is to launch a foundation geared towards creating safe and
educational play areas for children aged between 2 and 10years. In order to
achieve this goal, I will need to create strategic relationships with funders
and organizations in order to finance these play areas. Thus far, I have taken
an online course on writing proposals for funding and securing funds.
Currently, all my discussions and plans are being advised by my mother who is
the finance director of RMC Marketing.
I believe that our biggest challenge
is how we perceive ourselves. We are constantly being bombarded with negative
messages through our cultural practices and upbringing. The more rural the
female the more desperate her need to be empowered, but even then there are
among them strong willed people who can inspire these young girls to find
technical gaps in their culture to allow them to grow and progress. The easiest
way to tackle this would be to educate both young girls and boys at the same
time on the role a combined work or labour force has on the economy (equality
without bias), giving both genders the right set of skills for their
environment to improve their work productivity, this way we do not necessarily
remove these young women but to give them a choice by affording them the
opportunity to help themselves if they chose to. African women have very few
challenges, being black and female is now an advantage and must be utilized
until we are perceived to be on par with the rest of the world.
The best way to relax is with a good
book and a cup of coffee. I am on a learning curve looking to improve my
vocabulary while being entertained. Besides, the stress that the characters
experience in the stories somehow surpass any experience I would have and make
life more palatable.

MY   –  
African women have been the subject of
much abuse for a while. Either being sold to slavery or the victims of
stereotyping or stigmatizing. African women are the reason behind why African
men behave the way they do and where they are not the cause, they are the
victims just ask Winnie Mandela. African woman have endured centuries of this
stigma, abuse and mutilation. They hold positions of power and get very little
acknowledgement for it and where they do there is always a backhand insult
linking her rise to some exploit. African woman are backed by their cultural
upbringing this is why they can withstand much abuse. Small businesses are run
by African women which means that by default African women keep the economy
alive and provide the daily basic needs of people to function in their
quotidian activities. All this needs to be recognized and celebrated. And in
order to ensure that these women know that they have the choice to grow, they
must be empowered by whatever means possible.
If I had the privilege of working with
the African Union in women advocacy and empowerment department; I would love to
1. Help promote young women in
business or their businesses through my social media management skills
2. Offer training where I can
especially in areas of business development, community development or problem
3. Assist with event management where
the event is training, conferences, launches, networking, market days etc.
4. public speaking and representing
the Union as an when I can.
If there was one piece of advice I
could give it would be this: you may be the product of your upbringing but this
is not your final destination. Look for opportunity where you can or make it