PontshoFinalist: Pontsho Manzi

Country of Origin: South Africa

Pontsho Manzi is a businesswoman, author, professional and motivational speaker, facilitator, coach and image consultant. She is a survivor of two breast cancer scares and operations, one at age 16, which resulted in her writing some of her matric exams while in hospital and another at 23 just after she started working! She is a qualified HR practitioner with a Degree in HR Management. Her determination led her to leave formal employment and founded Botlhokwa EvenPro, a holding company with 3 subsidiaries, viz. Recrutrain (training & recruitment) in 2004, FabImage (Image Consulting) in 2007 and Bonisa Media (publishing house for Fabulous Woman magazine and Diary for Fabulous You) in 2011.

Pontsho is the managing director of Botlhokwa Evenpro. She qualified as an image consultant with The Image Academy of South Africa (A Member of the Institute for Colour and Image Consultants for Men and Women in California, USA) in 2006.  As part of the image consulting business, she identified a need to work with women in building their self-esteem through workshops on image management. The positive feedback and success from her image and HR business awakened a desire to share her life story of her trials when she was 16 and started writing her vision for her life in her first diary received from her mom.

Pontsho authored an inspirational diary for women called Dairy for Fabulous You through a publishing company called Bonisa Media. The publishing company is her bold foray into the media world and another platform to discuss more evocative issues that concern women. While working on the sequel to the diary, the feedback pointed to a need of a more frequent publication with women whose lives she had touched through her diary. In response, Pontsho created Fabulous Woman Magazine in 2012 to offer inspiration to women on a regular basis and is amazed by the reach that the magazine could give her in her quest to address women’s issues.

Fabulous Woman magazine covers all aspects of the female life form with an emphasis on spirituality, inspirational stories, women’s hardships, image, finances and careers for all women. The diary and magazine are platforms to address women’s issues on a broader scale and are more than just businesses. Pontsho’s purpose is to provide a platform and become a catalyst for the upliftment and empowerment of women in South Africa and the world.

She has come full circle back to her original purpose and business to encourage dialogue amongst women and strive for women’s unity and authentic sisterhood to change the world. She founded a non-profit organization called FabGalz (2009) and FabGalz Awards to empower young women of SA. She received the Anne Dreyer Rising Star Award (2011) and won the Heroine category in the Feather Awards (2013). She was nominated for SA Most Influential Women (2012) and Shoprite Woman of The Year Award (2012).

Omenesa.jpgFinalist: Omenesa Oruma Akomolafe

Country of Origin: Nigeria

Omenesa Oruma Akomolafe (aka Lady O) is a Power-House Gospel Artist, one who has had exposure globally in America, the UK and in Africa. Omenesa participated in American Idol, Sunday Best, Gospel Dream and other international competitions. A woman with versatile experiences, she has worked as a teacher and a hospice nurse for years. She was also a top salesman at high-end stores in Louisville, Kentucky and a retailer at various American Companies.

Music and Marriage brought her back to her roots in Nigeria, where she launched her Sophomore Album and successfully became the only person in Nigeria to host Blackberry Counselling. Her BB counselling is now a medium to heal the broken-hearted across the globe. She is currently rebranding to make it a way of hosting counselling on other secured media. As the medium grew to thousands of followers, she started an online advertising agency to promote people’s companies, events and products – on a weekly base. She is still running adverts 6pm daily on her Blackberry.

Just recently, she launched her Home-Made Carrot Oil which sold out in five days. It is vegan in origin, for hair and skin. Omenesa also has a Fashion Line that she launched as a ready-to-wear line; the demand for her brand led her to open her shop for fitting and tailoring. She specializes in all forms of Ankara styling as well as Bridals and Asoebi for weddings. Today, Omenesa has been successful at opening a 12 Department Company: House of OMENESA. (Right in the heart of Abuja Nigeria, Omenesa runs Temple: A collection of home-made natural skin and hair products), Pearls International (a monthly forum for women who seek emotional healing), Chinwe Fashion Line (all forms of Ankara styling), Pencil’s Corner (Ghost-writing for busy people), Bullets (an advertising firm), Child’s Passion (School Choir Grooming & Recording, including after-school lessons and musical instruments) Ushers (hosting for every event), OMENESA’s Psychedelic Trade Fair (annually in various states in Nigeria), Safe Haven (baby-sitting, Respite, Grief & Bereavement Care) Refer-Me (Provides Staffing Services and Employment Opportunities), Lady O Media (Radio, Television, Music), ROOTS (Home-Service Hair Styling for Adults and Children), Aurora’s Cuisine (Tasty Food). HOO has also set a mark to pay two Students’ tuition – every academic year.

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