SARAH DIOUF .jpgFinalist: Sarah Diouf

Country of Origin: Senegal

Sarah Diouf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ghubar; a digital fashion and arts magazine created with the aim of showcasing an alternative to the false and monotonous reflection of Africa as seen in most print publications. Ghubar stands for realness, difference, and acceptance of the world in it’s global totality. Ghubar is an online publication for all.

The first issue was launched on January 9, 2009 and quickly gained the spotlight with nominations for the UK Online Media Awards and in 2010, Sarah won the Cosmopolitan Fashion & Style awards, while Ghubar was sought after by top brands such as Reebok, Audi and Nissan, for advertorial collaborations which boosted the publication even further.

In January 2014, Ghubar celebrated its 5th anniversary, confirming the viability of the project, and an international brilliance in Africa, Europe, and North America. Ghubar gave Sarah the opportunity to extend her expertise in digital communication and visual production to the service of brands and institutions through her agency :  Spread360,  which clients now list now includes the Presidency of Senegal, Amina Magazine (The first African women’s magazine), Akouma Tv (A Cameroonian independent cultural channel), and numerous start-ups.

With a vision of a bigger picture, in May 2014, Sarah will add one more title to her media endeavours launching a new publication: NOIR, a high fashion and lifestyle magazine dedicated to the new African woman; redefining her in an African expansion and globalization context.

In an attempt to break the bridge between the English and French-Speaking Africa, re-introducing her as one, NOIR will gather contents that matter to black women – worldwide, positioning itself as the ultimate African feminine lifestyle guide.

VenicaFinalist: Vénicia Guinot

Country of Origin: Republic of Congo

Vénicia Guinot is often referred to as one of the youngest upcoming Media Gurus from Africa and, since age 18, she has already made her way to the most sought after media houses within the continent and abroad. Up to this date, Vénicia Guinot has worked for renowned media houses such as: Ventures Africa (Nigeria), Cuisine Noir (California, USA), AMINA (Paris, FRANCE), NUDEA Magazine (Paris, FRANCE), Folk Magazine (Oslo, NORWAY), International Working Lady Magazine (Kinshasa, DRC) to name but a few.

As a Multimedia Journalist, Radio Host and Producer, Vénicia Guinot has produced her very first radio talk show “The Vénicia Guinot Show” for Radio Tongolo, a French-based online station. She is currently making her way through the TV production industry and more news about her upcoming projects will be shared with the public as things unfold.

To this day, Vénicia Guinot is a Goodwill Ambassador for three non-profits organizations: Mother Teresa Home in South Africa (Terminally-ill HIV/AIDS infected parents & toddlers) and Continent Noir Foundation (Fight against Poverty) in Africa. This young woman is a definite and highly influential young African figure, whether you admit it consciously or not, in the outreach of new thought ideas and innovations into the general culture of her time.

Being one of the Winrock International Scholarships recipient for seven (7) years in Brazzaville/Republic of Congo, a programme initiated by President Bill Clinton for African girls because he believed in power of educating girls as a way of fighting poverty. Thanks to former President Bill Clinton, the Villa Washington in Brazzaville, the CUSAA and the Winrock International Team, Vénicia Guinot has had the chance to realize her dream of becoming a bi-lingual professional Multimedia Journalist and a young inspiring figure in Africa and beyond. As one of her achievements, Vénicia Guinot magazine was featured few years ago in “The Power Of Real-Time Social Media Marketing,” a bestseller written by Beverly Macy and Teri Thompson; a book which is now part of the Harvard University curriculum.

Mary.jpgFinalist: Mary Olushoga

Country of Origin:  Nigeria

Mary Olushoga is founder of awpnetwork.com, an online platform powering small business success for African entrepreneurs.

The AWP Network is recognized by the United Nations World Summit Youth Awards (WSYA) and was listed as an Apps4Africa Innovation by the United States Department of State. The AWP Network is also known to be one of the leading organizations supporting African Women in Technology. Olushoga is the first-ever GOOD Maker/Oxfam America International Women’s Day Challenge Winner, a Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Associate, and an Oxfam America Sisters on the Planet Ambassador. Olushoga received a bachelor’s degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York and a Master of Science degree from Baruch College. She has served as a Public Policy Fellow at the University at Albany, Center for Women in Government and Civil Society and most recently participated in the Sub-Saharan African Women In Public Service Fall Institute.

Olushoga has featured on BBC World News, Black Enterprise, iwantherjob.com, AFK Insider, Applause Africa, BET Networks, and has presented her work on women entrepreneurs at the Columbia University Africa Economic Forum, the United States Department of Labor Strategy Meeting on Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, and Disability, W!se Institute, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations ECOSOC Youth Employment Forum, and the Rockefeller Foundation Tech Salon. Olushoga also writes for GE Ideas Lab and the Huffington Post.

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).

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