This week Ziada and Mary Ann talk to Emily Waithira Founder of Awali Shea Butter, a business exporting natural organic shea butter harvested in Uganda to Kenya and beyond. She tells us about the challenges of starting up, the importance of having a Team alongside her and why we shouldn’t let fear of failure jeopardise our dreams.

Emily Waithira is the Founder and Managing Director of Awali Shea Butter a company supplying 100% original, pure, organic, raw, unrefined Shea butter from Northern Uganda which is popularly known as Nilotica Shea butter. “Awali” means original in Kiswahili language.
Emily has a background in Finance and Business Administration and holds an MBA in Strategic Management. Together with her sister the two registered Awali Shea Butter in Kenya in February 2016 and the business became fully operational in January 2017. They dedicated the interim period towards product research and setting up business structures and systems. Awali regional sales and distribution point is located in Nairobi, Kenya with its production unit in Kampala, Uganda close to where the Shea nuts are collected.
Awali Shea Butter is driven by its vision “To be a leading player in the natural care industry in East and Sub-Sahara Africa”. Awali‘s unique selling point is its promise of quality and high standards in the Shea industry which will ultimately contribute to sustainability in the Shea value chain. We have set up the right structures to ensure we can meet this. We sell our Shea butter on both retail and wholesale basis.

Awali will achieve its vision by proving our customers with premium quality unrefined Shea butter that treats and cleanses your skin and hair at a fair price. We want the market to be aware and benefit from this amazing product that we and our families have proudly enjoyed.

Connect with and find out more about Emily and Awali She Butter

Facebook: Awali Shea Butter

Instagram: @awali_shea_butter

Contact Awali Shea Butter via quality@awalishea.com and  +254 721 138 953/ +254 718 008 214

This week on Change Making Women we talk to Majo (Marjorie Angella Athurra) of the Gejja Women’s Foundation in Mpigi in Central Uganda. We hear about her own story, her work with women in her own community and how she is working to end shame and secrecy around menstruation.

Majo’s story in her own words:

I was born to two school going teenagers on 16th August 1992. My father was 16 and my mother was 14. I was abandoned shortly after birth. That led me to grow without parents and that parental gap meant I lacked childhood love, guidance and care that every child enjoys as they are growing. That significantly affected my self-esteem and as a result, I hated myself since I was regarded a bastard, useless and a child without any future. At the age of 14, I started my mensuration periods and my guardian at that time suggested I get married since there were no finances to help take care of the basic safe, hygienic and healthy menstruation materials. That gave another picture that they actually wanted to send me early marriage not only to stop being a burden, but also with the hope that through me, they could get some income. However, I managed to continue with school but was staying with whoever offered to house me and finance my education until 2011, when I got a government sponsorship to join Kyambogo University and pursue a diploma in English and Literature. Later in 2014, I joined the Social Innovation Academy where I was mentored and developed Gejja women foundation, an organisation through which I am fulfilling my passion of helping the young girls and women who are in the rural areas and marginalised. This initiative also empowers the widows who have no ability to sustain their livelihoods or educate their children.

Connect with Majo and find out more about her work:

This week we talk to Tanya Geisler, a coach and self-confessed ‘reluctant expert’ in the Imposter Complex about why you shouldn’t let your own self-doubt stop you from making the difference you are passionate about making in the world. We talk some common signs of the Imposter Complex, why if you feel it you definitely aren’t a fraud and concrete strategies for moving through your fears and getting on with the work you long to do.

Tanya Geisler is certified Life and Business Coach (CPCC), TEDxWomen speaker, and writer – she teaches women how to step into their starring roles, own their authority, and overcome the Impostor Complex in their life, in their work, and in their life’s work.

Connect with and find out more about Tanya and her work:

Website: http://tanyageisler.com/

Facebook: Tanya Geisler Coaching

Twitter: @TanyaGeisler

Instagram: @tanyageisler

This week we speak with Kimberly Weiss a Body Positive Health Coach about what it means to truly believe in the possibility of health at any size, why she is so angry about the public health obsession with obesity and why we each need to start with defining what health means for us and our own unique body.

Kimberly Weiss is a body positive, BS – free health coach for normal women that don’t want to manifest things or go on a juice cleanse. She coaches smart women who overthink, try to have it together all the time on the outside and want to stop freaking out about eating an extra cookie (or 5). She knows there is more to wellness than organic apples and kale and teaches people the power of fitness + movement for it’s mental benefits and not just a 6-pack. She can be found over at www.kimberlyweiss.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kimberlyweiss/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WeissKimberly/

In this episode Ziada and Mary Ann speak about menstruation and how the taboos about it affected our lives growing up both in Tanzania and in the UK. They reflect on the fact that having periods is such a normal part of our experience as women, even if we can’t talk about it and how not talking about how menstruation and our cycles affect us it makes things harder. We do some honest talking about the particular challenges we each experience when we bleed and Mary Ann talks about how you can start to get more in tune with your menstrual cycle and plan you work and life accordingly. We also share something about how we experienced our first bleed, about the fact that the number one reason for girls dropping out of school is because they can’t afford sanitary products and Ziada speaks about why that needs to change and what the Tanzanian government is doing about it. We conclude that the change should start with us breaking the taboo and talking about our bleeding with the women and men in our lives.

Some quotes from the show:

‘To pretend that you feel fine is actually a massive effort’

‘It’s a very different state of mind when you are bleeding from the rest of the month’

‘When I am bleeding I’m tired of everything, I’m even tired of hearing myself talk’

‘Allowing yourself to say, you know what I can’t do it and if you do that even the weight of it and the struggle becomes lighter because you are acknowledging it, part of the weight of it and part of the struggle is actually because you are the whole time trying to pretend like you can cope.’

‘All the adverts for sanitary towels and tampons are about how you can do anything if you use then your life can continue as normal’

‘When you are bleeding might be a really go time to think inside of yourself, to do creative stuff, because you are in that slightly altered state of mind, even if you shut yourself in your room to be with whatever you want to be. Then when you are ovulating, that’s the time to go out and have business meetings, you should try to organise your life in a way that respects your cycle basically’

‘I guess it requires a lot of practice and a lot of acceptance’

‘There’s a few days before I bleed when I am really quite nasty, but I am so productive on day 14 or 15, I’m like, yeah, I can do this!’

‘Something that has been happening to women forever, it must have been, it’s part of how the life of our planet is sustained, this ability to create and shed life in our wombs – so why have we made it in to this thing that we have to pretend doesn’t happen?’

‘all these times in school growing up how shameful it would be because a bit of a stain would show on your skirt, you stress over that in class, you aren’t even concentrating’

‘It’s time we should teach our children that its ok, a normal thing and this should start at a younger stage, it needs to be normalised’

‘Growing up for my was different, right now you get hygiene and cleanliness education in school, children now a days know more, us growing up was different, we stayed in for seven days when we began to bleed’

‘I did not know about menstruation until I got it’

‘The thing that was weird for me wasn’t at home, and then it wasn’t like you could talk about it in school, I was like ten, quite young and you couldn’t put your hand up and say ‘I started bleeding’, so although it was factually open at home, at school it was this thing you were trying to hide the whole time, hide the tampons in your bag, not let there be a stain on your skirt, the whole day worrying’

‘We could work with them if we had that awareness, the taboo is holding us back and making it more difficult’

‘Urging everyone to normalise it, it happens to us until it stops happening, it shouldn’t be scary, it should be something as women we can talk about and teach our young woman’s that its ok, not to feel ashamed and embarrassed’