Yoliswa Dube is a vibrant and dynamic young
woman who is constantly finding ways of bettering herself and the lives of
others. I have a dream and am determined to live that dream. My journey started
at St Columbas High School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe where I was appointed Head
Girl of the school. It was a leadership position which came with
responsibilities that have shaped me into the woman I’ve become. During the
same year, I was part of the Zimbabwe Junior Parliament, which sought to
advocate for the protection of children’s rights across the country. The
journey continued at the Midlands State University where I was thrust into another
leadership position, being a hostel sub-warden. I’ve worked as a journalist in
Zimbabwe’s media industry for a couple of years. I write feature stories for
The Chronicle, a print media entity based in Bulawayo and lifestyle stories for
its sister paper based in the same city, Sunday News. I pioneered a fashion
column – Pattern & Style – published in The Saturday Chronicle. It has been
running successfully for almost two years now. The column has grown in
readership and continues to be a weekend favourite for many – women and men
alike. The column is not just spicy for the sake of it but seeks to disseminate
inexpensive and realistic fashion tips. It throws brickbats to wardrobe
disasters and bouquets to fabric slayers. Pattern & Style has become a lifestyle
which has given birth to the blog www.stayera247.blogspot.com which I believe
will soon grow into a lifestyle magazine. While reading and writing afford me
soul food, editing quenches my thirst for perfection. I have edited a book by
award-winning novelist Philip Kundeni Chidavaenzi, The Latter Rain as well as
the National Handbook For Counselling Gender Based Violence Perpetrators. I
love travelling and believe you haven’t truly lived if you’re not constantly
visiting new places. I hold a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in English and
Communication and in the process of completing a Master of Arts Degree in
Applied English Linguistics.


Excellence: I’ve always believed in
doing things, no matter how small, excellently. The Bible says if you do
excellent work, you’ll stand before kings. Paying attention to detail and
working “excellently” has opened doors I never imagined. It has taken me to
places I never thought and created mutually beneficial relationships. You’ll
never be recognized unless you do something excellently.

Perseverance: The world is no bed of roses. There’ll constantly be challenges
from all angles. Nothing always comes easy so you have to fight. I’ve had to
fight for what I have now. Without perseverance, I wouldn’t be here to tell the
story today. I’ve developed a thick skin and realized giving up is never an
option. You fall five times and get up seven times. Eventually, it’ll all be
worth it.

Warmth: Warmth is attractive. When you show a little kindness and empathy, people
relate to you better. A key component of any success is building lasting
synergies and relationships. You can’t walk it alone, you need other people to realize
your dream and you need to treat those people well.


I may not be a household name but I want to leave a great legacy my children
and my children’s children can be proud of. I want my name to be said and great
works are spoken of. Not wanting to be a nobody has been of profound influence.


My mother: She is my hero. She’s shown me that hard work and a sense of
direction always pay. Because of her, I know to set goals and make them happen.
There’s nothing too difficult to do, even for a woman. Focused people are

Pastors Tich and Prinsisca Tanyanyiwa: For years I’ve watched their
relationship and said, “I want this too”. They’ve shown me that marriage is a
beautiful thing. Having come from a home where my parents divorced when I was
very young – I was indifferent about marriage and had strained ideas of the
family unit but because of their example, I look forward to my own marriage and
building a happy home and family in the very near future.

Oprah Winfrey: I want to be a media
powerhouse like her – for myself, for my children, for other women and for the
rest of the world. A little cocky maybe but yes, I’m a media mogul in the


The next five years are about career growth and the establishment of the
Pattern & Style brand into a fully-fledged glossy lifestyle magazine. My
fiancé (who’ll be husband in five years) and a close friend are closely linked
to the vision, which we’re constantly discussing and perfecting.


While significant strides have been made to address gender inequality,
violation of sexual rights and abuse, I feel African women still lack
opportunity, especially in male-dominated spheres. It takes a lot for a woman
to be put in a leadership position without assumptions that she slept with
someone doing the rounds. Some women are even afraid to dream big and still
believe it’s not their place to be dominant figures. I’ve over the years,
mentored young girls and encouraged them to work towards making their dreams
come true. That no one has the right to tell them they can’t. More and more
girls in Africa are getting an education but remain limited by their mindsets.
They get an education but remain unsure of themselves and what they can or want
to achieve.


Travelling is my biggest passion. It doesn’t have to be beyond borders or
overseas – they’re always new places to explore close to home. And, a little
siesta now and again never hurt anybody!

MY   –   I.C.E.

Because she’s a phenomenal breed! She has a lot to contend with but still
stands. Against all odds – patriarchal systems and inadequate resources, she
always has to find means to conquer and does just that.


I’d want to engage women in self-help projects. If you empower a woman and give
her access to finances and resources, you have taken care of a whole group of
people. Because women are such compassionate human beings, their harvest
doesn’t benefit them alone but their families and communities as a whole. It’s
called the ripple effect. Empowering women financially would go a long way in
eradicating poverty on the continent.


Never give up – it doesn’t matter what odds are stacked against you, fight for
what you believe in. Know you worth. Never let anyone, hand you over $1 deals, your
are worth so much more. I’ve understood and want to impart the notion that if
your dream doesn’t scare you, then it’s not big enough – you have to work
towards it, one day at a time. Most importantly, seek God – He will perfect all
that concerns you.