Behind the scenes at the Glenmorangie Whisky Tasting in Dar

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This is a shot of me and my friend E at the Glenmorangie Whisky Tasting that happened last weekend at Lugalo Golf Course in Dar-es-Salaam. I’m wearing the orange dress and my afro is back!

The Tanzanian Beauty Industry Landscape 2013

Beauty 1

The beauty industry in Tanzania is split into a variety of different products and segments. This report will focus on observations about the Dar-es-Salaam market which is the largest in the country as the city is key for economic development in Tanzania.

Locations

Cosmetics and general beauty products can be purchased around the city but key locations to purchase beauty products include:

  • Kariakoo
  • Mwenge
  • Mlimani City
  • Msasani

Retailers

There are many retailers from kiosk retailers who sell vipodozi (cosmetics) in street shops to larger box retailers that have glossy stores and marketing materials. Here are some of the key retailers of beauty products in Tanzania – if I have forgotten some, please let me know:

  • Shear Illusions – this company sells many beauty products definitely priced for the middle-class Tanzanian female consumers who might be married or in a relationship, working a fulltime job. Their products include false eyelashes, lipsticks and hair care products. This company sells on the more expensive end of the market.
  • Atsoko – this company seems to me to be trying to compete with Shear Illusions as it also sells more expensive beauty products for the market. Continue reading

Tanzanian Lacquer

Just a collection of photographs I have taken of the environment around me in Dar-es-Salaam & Zanzibar that I thought you would all like.

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Coco Beach, Dar-es-Salaam

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These stunning doors were on a hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar that I took last year. They are so intricate and stunning!

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Fashion for breakfast! I went to the local cafe in Shoppers Plaza in Mikocheni with the latest issue of Fashizblack from Paris. Makes me want to look glossy if only I was motivated to lose weight!

What is going on where you are and what do you think of these photos?

Business Notes: New Month, New Assistant

My new assistant starts tomorrow and he will be a mix between a social media assistant and affiliate marketing assistant for one of my business, the career website, which is going through a massive rehaul after it was attacked. He will be representing the social media side for the moment until I sort out the website.

He is going to be temporary for 5 weeks, working 5 days per week. He needs to execute for me, but moreover it is also a test to see whether my business website can work with someone else working on it.

It is going to be such a huge relief to know that he is working on it. One thing I will say is getting a Tanzanian person who is up to scratch for this temporary role has been very hard for me because quite frankly, many people are not good and I received at least 50 applications from people who were not serious. He got the job because he was serious and he followed up many times.

Whether he is a good investment remains to be seen, but I am looking forward to seeing what he can come up with. No more excuses – time to start making success happen day by day!

What are your business/career goals for the year?

Why it is better for people to think you are dumb

I had a nice time going home, but there were several examples of people talking me for the court jester. Case in point: my older sister asked me to take out her friend to this shopping centre called Slipway, near our house in Dar-es-Salaam. We wanted to go on this boat that takes you to Bongoyo island. When I was trying to buy the tickets, I got the impression they were trying to con me by telling us to pay two fares (one ‘marine tax’ + one boat fare). And then they told us, that to go on the boat, the boat had to have a capacity of 4 people, so they wanted me and her to pay for two phantom, fake people. I was like….wtf?

I refused. One of them said because my sister’s friend L was not from Tanzania, she would have to pay a foreigners fee which is more expensive than for Tanzanians. I was like….? I didn’t accept it til they showed me the form that the government had sanctioned. The one of them said to me that I should pay a foreigner’s fee too because I didn’t sound Tanzanian. And naturally, they all started laughing at me. I just shrugged it off and was like, no I am Tanzanian but I know for sure that we are not going on this wack boat. So we left. Then what happened? 10 minutes later or so, the captain of the boat found us and told me he would take both of us for less than the marine tax & boat fare combined.

This kind of attitude is why some African businesses are not growing. Here is what I learnt from this episode.

1. It is better for people to think you are dumb as they tried to do with me. Then when they saw I wouldn’t be conned, they came looking for us to still try and sell me shit.

2. Being Tanzanian does not mean speaking Swahili with a crystal Dar accent. I still speak Swahili, whether or not it is up to your standards  is completely irrelevant to me.

3. Incidents like this make me seriously wonder if this is an attitude problem with certain people.

What do you think? Is it always better to play dumb? When I was 18, things like this would really hurt me for someone to try and devalidate my identity by saying I spoke with an accent, but I have got to the point where I absolutely do not care anymore. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone except my mother and my late father.

If my mum is okay with me and my father is proud of me whereveer he is, that is good enough for me and everyone else can fuck off.