Life By Asha Singh

August's theme of Women Empowerment is in full swing! Every Friday this month you've experienced an interview with another #girlboss and got to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! But why just stop at August? Women should be celebrated every month. So every second Friday for the rest of 2018 you can expect a new another one of these Girls Boss interviews - I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me! This week we chat to Teshie Ogallo, a UCT student and fashion blogger who just this month launched her online store, STYLETECH by Teshie Ogallo.

1. If you could have coffee (Or in your case wine!) with any woman (dead or alive) who would you want to have coffee with?

Haha wine ;) well I'd choose to have it with RIHANNA most definitely. Love her, she's such an inspiration and fashion mogul. Plus we share a birthday and I'm convinced that if, no WHEN we meet we'll become besties!

2. A genie could grant you 3 wishes. What would you wish for?

At this particular moment in time I'd wish for 1. my degree to be handed to me on a silver platter, 2. I'd wish for money to fund my business which would include funding some travel trips that would help grow my brand and lastly I'd wish for 3. continuous good health (mentally, physically, financially) for my family and I.

3. The big question, do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?

Yes I definitely identify as a feminist. First of all, I come from a family of 4 sisters (I am the second born) and have grown up looking up to strong, successful women in my family. Women have been mistreated in the past and continue to be mistreated in the present day on the basis of them being female. I strongly believe in equal rights for all and want to be in the fight to implement equality for all.

4. What are some of the biggest issues young girls in South Africa face? What can be done about them?

Young girls in South Africa face a lot of issues. Some of the ones I've witnessed are rape and lack of sufficient sex education. I think it is important to start teaching our young girls about sex from an early age; warn them about STIs, teach them about contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy or STIs, teach them to love and respect their own bodies, teach them the value of saying "No". Men need to be educated too and taught that they are not entitled to a woman's body. They need to learn how to respect women's bodies.

5. As a blogger and fashion designer, more and more girls look up to you. What example do you want to set for them?

I want to inspire young girls and even more mature ladies to follow their dreams. I've been through a very tough road in university studying something I really dislike and the only thing that's kept me going is my love for my craft. Blogging, vlogging and sewing give me so much joy and help wipe away the tears I may have after a long day at school. I want to inspire ladies to believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Hard work will always pay off, no matter how long it takes...

6. Which female fashion designers do you look up to?

Oh my gosh so many! Off the top of my head, Diane Von Furstenberg, Donatella Versace, Sarah Diouf  (Tongoro Studio) who is from Senegal; girl dressed Beyonce whaaat! Plus I loved her collection when she showcased on the runway during AFICTFW18 (Africa Fashion International Cape Town Fashion Week 2018).

7. The fashion industry is infamously cut throat. What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Stop worrying too much about financial constraints and your competition and just start. If you are uniquely you someone will love and want to buy your products. Identify your target market, and truly understand them. Design with your customers in mind. Don't be afraid to shamelessly market yourself, something I'm personally still working on.. Lastly, get out of your comfort zone and ask people in the industry to guide you on what you don't know.

8. Tell us a bit more about yourself? (Abit about where you're from, what you do, your passions and dreams and goals for the future)

Well I'm a fashion and lifestyle blogger and fashion designer as you probably know by now. I am also a student at UCT, studying towards a Bcom Degree Majoring in Information Systems and Computer Science. I am in my final semester and I am 23 years old. I am originally from Nairobi, Kenya and moved to Cape Town to do my matric in 2013. I love this city and hope to stay in Cape Town for at least (could be more) 2-3 years after graduating while I continue working on building my brand and my business. I also wanna live in Johannesburg for at least 6 months to see what the whole Jo'burg vibe is like. My plans for the future, well obviously to get this degree as fast as possible. I really want to work in the fashion industry, travel the world showcasing my art and become a well-known and successful proudly African fashion house and fashion mogul. While doing so, I want to continue spreading my message of women empowerment and impact change in many women's lives.

9. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

It gets better, keep going.

10. Lastly, where can we find you? 

Source: Canva

It seems like one of the most distinct things about us millennials is our desire to travel (I cannot tell you how tired I am of seeing people's Instagram photos of Thailand - well maybe that's because there's a little bit of envy too!). We're the generation that realizes that life is about experiences not material things. We have the insatiable wanderlust that makes us want to roam every inch of this vast planet. And why not?! There's so much out there to see and experience. Our travels and experiences shape and mould us and allow us to see life from all different perspectives

Possibly the only negative thing about travel is that it can make us pretty broke (Especially when we're students who are already pretty darn broke!), but it doesn't have to. If we're smart about it, we can travel and have an amazing holiday for less than a months rent! One of the ways to do this is to take advantage of specials and flight sales.

Luckily for us, Travelstart is having their birthday sale which includes many of the most popular flight routes and destinations. I'm collaborating with Travelstart to bring you some of the most popular flight destinations and my own travel bucket list that will hopefully ignite your wanderlust and give you inspiration for your next trip!



The most popular flight routes in South Africa, in order of number of flight searches is: Cape Town, Johannesburg (O.R Tambo), Durban, Johannesburg (Lanseria), Port Elizabeth. This is not at all surprising since Cape Town is the tourist capital of South Africa! Although it's slightly more expensive than other cities in SA, I would highly recommend Cape Town as a fake *international* holiday for those on a budget - lets be honest, going to Cape Town is as lit as a vacay overseas!

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To be fair, I've been to Port Elizabeth just a few months ago in January 2018, but I loved it so much I wouldn't mind going back! PE is such a stunning city, at just a fraction of the flight time and cost of a holiday is Cape Town. Besides, it's in close-ish proximity to other amazing destinations like Addo National Park, Knysna (The last time I visited the Garden Route was in 2015 and I have this itch to go again!), Grahamstown, Port Alfred (Which is so underrated!) and East London.

Another local holiday that's at the top of my bucket list is Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park. A quick search on instagram shows how stunning and other-worldly Blyde River Canyon is and Kruger is like king of safari destination so I hope to make these a reality in the next year!



A surprising destination to make it as the most popular regional flight route is Zimbabwe's capital of Harare! Flights to Harare have increased 118% in the past year alone! Harare's breakout growth this year may have been as a result of the changing political climate in the country. 

Windhoek emerged as having the second most flights originating in South Africa. The Namibian capital is also on my travel bucket list!

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Surprise, surprise, I need some Namibia in my life! I was actually supposed to visit this city in the beginning of the year but due to complications it didn't go as planned. That doesn't mean I've given up on it! I would loved to make a few weeks long trip of it and visit Swakopmund on the coast as well as the northern Etosha National Park region. What fascinates me about Namibia is that it is such a vast country that ranges from desert, sea and wildlife

I will admit my regional bucket list is much longer than that. I would also like to visit Botswana, Tanzania and, of course, Zim in the next 2 years!

Source: Canva



London takes the top spot and why not, South Africans have always had a sweet spot for English Tea.  London remains an important tourist and business air route for South Africans and has seen increased capacity with with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and SAA offering direct flights between Heathrow Airport and South Africa. From October 2018, British Airways will launch direct flights between Durban and London marking the first time three of South Africa's largest airports are served with non-stop connections to Heathrow. 

The second and third most popular destinations happen to be Dubai and New York City respectively.

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If you've checked out my instagram stories lately, you would have seen that I've taken up Arabic study. So many people have asked me why and this pretty much answers the question. My international bucket list at the moment is filled with Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Morocco and Jordan and what better way for preparing for those travels than learning the language. I don't think it's even necessary for me to explain why this north African country is at the top of my bucket list. The amount of history in the region is nothing short of spectacular and that's why I hope to visit it next year (Inshaallah).

Source: Canva

That wraps up my list of most popular destinations for South Africans as well as my own travel bucket list! So where are you off to next?
If you've been to any clothing store lately you've probably come across some kind of shirt with the slogan "The Future Is Female" - as soon as corporate finds an opportunity, they commercialise on it and this is no exception. However, the phrase still holds so much weight.

Women are taking over all aspects. This is undeniable. Most undergraduate classes are at least 70% female, stay at home moms are becoming a dying breed and in general women are dominating every sector of life. However the scale isn't completely balanced, especially in the entrepreneurial sector. While this isn't completely new territory for the fairer sex, it tends to be a rather hostile one. That's why organizations like Future Females are so necessary.

What is Future Females?

A movement formed by females for females. It is an empowerment movement aimed to uplift and helps women from all walks of life through their entrepreneurial journey. The organisation first launched in South Africa in August 2017 (Exactly a year ago!) and have already grown to have over 3000 members of the community actively participating to drive our mission globally with events in South Africa, German and Namibia. The Future Females mission is to accelerate the success of aspiring and existing female entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to provide an environment where females can connect, and access the necessary resources.

Why is Future Females necessary?

To break it down for you:

 - Globally, female entrepreneurs received just 2.5% of total venture capital funding in 2016.
- However, companies delivered 63% better return with females in senior leadership positions.
- Globally, women own just 1% of the world’s wealth.

Let that sink in. JUST. ONE. PERCENT.

The Future Females Mission

"We believe that to drive change through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, we cannot have just 50% of the world focused on it.

More focus is needed to encourage and accelerate the success of aspiring and existing female entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Providing an environment, both physically and emotionally, where women can connect with others and access key resources (mentorship, funding, education) is key to accelerating the rate of female entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship globally."

You can attend Future Females

Future Females is a platform that connects, inspires and supports existing and aspiring female entrepreneurs.

We are women that break the mould and think bigger.  We want more and take action to get it.

Future Females are having their first birthday on 28 August 2018 in Durban. You can purchase tickets for the Future Females event in Durban here. The standard ticket on the day is R80 per person, with early bird tickets being R45.

The speakers at the Durban event are Melanie Gard, digital marketing expert, serial entrepreneur and motivational speaker, and Darlene Menzies, who was named one of 6 Top Female Tech
Breakthrough Entrepreneurs in Africa for 2017 by World Economic Forum.

You can also win tickets! To win tickets you can enter on instagram and follow the steps. Goodluck!
You take a boss picture of yourself or a boss chick or dude you’d nominate to win (we don't discriminate), and in keeping with the theme with your caption, tell us how you've failed but learnt from your experience and the growth as a result. Tag @sa_young_female_professional , tag @futurefemales , #futurefemalesdurban#FailFoward.

August's theme of Women Empowerment is in full swing! Every Friday this month you can expect an interview with another #girlboss and get to know what keeps these Queens motivated to do the mostest! This week we chat to Shenai Bridglall, a female entrepreneur running an NPO, who will soon also be launching a new venture in the fashion industry, her footwear brand called Shenai Briglall. 

1. Who are the #girlbosses in your life that you look up to most? 

Definitely my mom. She’s taught me to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings

2. Who is your favourite female fictional character and why? 

Cinderella, she made me realize that it’s okay to be a princess but every girl should know that she’s also fully capable of building her own castle.

3. If you could spend a day in the life of any woman (dead or alive) who would it be?

Emma Watson, she is incredibly talented, versatile and intelligent. I’ve seen her grow from every Harry Potter movie I’ve watched to her becoming a UN Goodwill Ambassador and the face of the #HeForSheCampaign. I find it truly admirable that she used her fame as a tool to inspire and educate people.   

4. The big question, do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?

Feminism... my second favourite F word (my first is food just to clarify). Of course I’m a feminist; and no, I don’t hate men! I think people see feminism as this dirty word and feminists are usually looked down upon because people don’t fully understand what being a feminist means. Feminism means ‘the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of BOTH the sexes.’  If you believe that everyone should be afforded the same opportunities in life, irrespective of their gender, then you’re a feminist too. 

5. You founded a nonprofit called The EssBee Foundation. Can you tell us more about that? 

I started The EssBee Foundation to reduce the generational poverty gap of women in South Africa and provide girls with the resources to become somebodies instead of somebody’s. Our events focus on four central pillars: education, nutrition, personal hygiene and women empowermentWe have grown incredibly since inception in 2016; currently operating in Cape Town, Durban, Port Shepstone and Johannesburg with approximately 40 dedicated volunteers around the country.

6. Nowadays, the hot topic tends to be how to find the balance between work life and more domesticated family life. Do you see yourself choosing between the two?

The most important career choice that a woman makes in her life is who she chooses to marry. Society seems to put more pressure on women to find a man than on men to first be a man; this needs to stop. When your spouse respects and is fully supportive of you and your career, there should never be an ultimatum.

7. What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs? 

A woman should never be delimited from pursing her dreams based on the grounds that ‘a girl can’t do that.’ Believe in yourself and your potential, work hard and be the girl of your dreams and the woman that you needed as a girl.

8. Tell us a bit more about yourself?

I’m just a small town girl with big city dreams

I grew up and schooled in Port Shepstone. Upon matriculation I relocated to Cape Town to complete a Bachelor of Business Science in marketing, statistics and economics from the University of Cape Town. I worked at Google in South Africa and Singapore before pursing the fashion industry and working at TFG. I then relocated to Italy where I completed a Postgraduate qualification in footwear and bag technology from Polimoda as well as sourced manufacturers for my luxury women’s footwear company that I will be launching soon. I returned to South Africa last year to complete my Master of Business Science.

In the midst of my education, work experiences and running The EssBee Foundation, I was a commercial model signed with an international agency and I entered Miss South Africa 2017 before retiring from the modeling world.

9. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Be patient; good things take time. You need to strive to be a lifetime in the making, not an overnight success.

10. Lastly, where can we find you? 

Personal accounts
Instagram, FB & Twitter: @lifeofshenai

NPO accounts
Instagram & FB: @theessbeefoundation

Company accounts
Instagram, FB & Twitter: @shenaibridglall


Read last week's interview with blogger and actress, Sheena Deepnarain.

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