Posted Saturday, November 24 2012 at 02:00
How I did it: Lulu Kitololo, 29, Partner, Asilia Creative Agency UK/Kenya
- Save 10 per cent of all your income. I did this since childhood so it helped me when I left employment.
- Set up all your business registration and taxation systems properly at the very beginning, no matter how small you are.
- Find a like-minded business partner.
- Maintain connections with your previous employers and clients. Some of them are still working with us, three years on.
- When you decide to branch out on your own, tell everybody. Friends, relatives, and former colleagues helped promote us so we could get more business.
- Use social networking for brand visibility and client leads.
Imagine Africans who love who they are, as they are, and so love each other and the environment that nurtures them.
Confident and assertive, they are engaged in charting their growth and celebrating success on their own terms.
Imagine all who are inspired by Africa sharing their passion through mutual empowerment and collaboration. I call this feeling Afri-love and I have had it for as long as I can remember.
When I left Kenya to pursue higher education in the US, I gained an even greater interest in where I came from.
I was constantly meeting Africans from all over the world. I observed that, diverse as our homelands were, we had a lot in common.
Especially a love for the lands that were so much a part of us, no matter where we happened to be.
A passion for Africa
After I completed my bachelor’s degree in communication and design, I worked as an art director in two agencies — NYC Digitas and UNION.
I felt that my work did not really resonate with my values, so I decided to follow a different route.
I enrolled for my master’s at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. They have an amazing library which to me was like a giant playground.
All these books, journals, magazines, and newspapers from Africa — including our very own Weekly Review.
I loved every minute of it. I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do when I graduated.
My masters degree in African studies seemed totally unrelated to anything. At this point, I was pursuing what I loved.
What kept me going was a combination of confidence in my diligence and faith that the way forward always becomes clear when you stay true to yourself and what you love.
I knew that my education, experience, and ambition would enable me to “land on my feet.”
I found employment at a sustainability communications agency in London called Futerra.
I spent three years there, using design to encourage sustainable development but left because I wanted more control over my time and more freedom to do my own projects.
For a while, I had grappled with the idea of creating a brand that represented the Afropolitans in the diaspora and at home.