#ColourMyAfrica features Emmanuel, New Pocket Square designs!!!

Beautiful new week!! Its an exciting one for us as we feature Emmanuel and launch three new pocket square designs!!

Let’s meet you

Emmanuel (ColourMyAfrica)

Thanks for this feature, always a pleasure to connect with individuals and platforms focused on promoting Africa. I’ve evolved over time, and will continue to do so, but the parts of me that have remained fairly constant through the years are my passion for Leadership Development and helping people realize (and actualize) their full potentials. My academic training was in the Engineering domain but, in my characteristic way, I’ve evolved into the Management Consulting industry where I happen to be having lots of fun 


What makes you a proud African?

My continent is “loaded” with potentials; sadly, we’ve not always done a good job at harnessing these potentials but part of what I’m trying to contribute to is developing thinkers and skilled visionaries who’ll go a significant way to lift us out of our current situation. I don’t need to give an analysis of our potentials along the economic and human capital lanes, these things aren’t news to most people. The whole world knows Africa can be the next global success story if it gets its act together, I’m interested in being one of those who ensure it does!

What is your best African brand / business and why?

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Shoprite! Which is ironic because I don’t exactly like to shop or anything; but I find that the retail industry has significant potential in creating jobs and driving, arguably, any sort of brand revolution under the sun. I like the idea of multiple distribution channels and stores which, of course, will require a sound logistics / supply chain strategy; maybe this is the cerebral part of me speaking (lol), but we can all agree that job creation and poverty alleviation is a good thing for Africa. I find that retail has such potential and I’m eager to see us evolve away from informal to more structured and efficient retail

Who is your most respected African business leader and why?

Strive Masiyiwa 2 Econet logo

 Strive Masiyiwa

He was born into chaos, and had to flee his hometown when he was 7 years old.. His mom happened to be interested in retail too (see what I mean? lol) while his dad was a miner; very modest beginning. Fast track to the future and he’s the founder of Econet Wireless, arguably Zimbabwe’s most successful business, and a major philanthropist focused on giving back to society

 In his story, I see vision, resourcefulness, efficient management, leverage and humility; interestingly, these are also some of the qualities that I seek to instill in every potential leader I cross paths with, this is part of what will transform our Africa!

Describe your desired Africa in 10 years?

 A world power that houses a bunch of purpose-driven and visionary individuals who devote their resources (time, money, skill sets etc) to ensuring that Africa consolidates and maintains its global leadership seat

How would you colour Africa? List the colour(s) and what it/they represent?

Haha, this might be a tough one, but here goes.. Blue and white;


 Blue signifying peace and rest to every form of political instability (thus, setting a foundation for meaningful socio-economic development) while White signifies completeness and perfection, our desired future state

What is/are your best B&G product(s) and why?

Definitely the pocket square… I believe this will change as more “male-friendly” offerings come on stream. Haha!

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Introducing our new pocket square designs:

Classy design                                                                         Sea blue design

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Denim design

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The new designs will be available on Konga this week!!!


Thank you.

#ColourMyAfrica is proudly powered by Belle&Grace


Instagram logo@BelleandGraceAfrica

 :    @belleandgraceaf

  :   Belle & Grace

B&G is featured on Sunday Punch

Beautiful new week!!

Hope your weekend was restful. This week we feature the interview of our Creative Director published on Sunday Punch newspaper (a Nigerian newspaper) of  18th October, 2015 page 44

Punch Feature

A good business must address a need –

The founder of Belle & Grace, Esther Adegunle, 28, talks about her fashion outfit, in this interview with Motunrayo Joel

Tell us about  Belle&Grace

Belle & Grace (B&G) is a fashion and social enterprise that promotes Africa’s beauty through its products and weekly blog posts. It was incorporated three years ago and has since grown its product portfolio from 1 to 5. They are aprons, pocket squares, neckpieces, robes and tops all made with beautiful African prints. As part of B&G’s social campaign,   every week a blog post is written about the beauty and pride of Africa to remind our clients and readers about Africa’s beauty.

How did you get trained for the type of business you are involved in?

I got most of my training from past business ventures (successful and failed) and my undergraduate/ master’s study (BSc. Economics & MSc. Business Analytics & Consulting). Also as a Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) student, I learnt accounting related skills from the institute. My soft skills are being developed daily as I work with suppliers, clients and team members. I believe in continuous learning so I am still in the training mode.

Have you always been entrepreneurial?

Yes I have.  During my undergraduate studies I had series of retail businesses; selling shirts with my brother to selling accessories; I had a mini savings business for my roommates. I believe I have grown to be entrepreneurial.

Also, during my NYSC, I sold toast bread in my place of assignment because I realized my colleagues always asked for my toast bread so decided to make extra to sell at work. Lastly, I converted my personal car into a taxi (it was a failed business but I learnt from it). In my mini-business journey, I have learnt that people start businesses for different reasons; to make extra income (most common), to meet a need/ solve a problem and to fulfill purpose. The last two reasons make the entrepreneur stand even in turbulent times.

What inspired the creation of your business?

Belle & Grace is inspired by Africa’s beauty that needs to be promoted. Many people including Africans have lost hope in Africa and don’t see the beautiful features and greatness of our great continent. It is Belle & Grace’s mission to promote Africa’s beauty and remind people of our great continent.

Our product portfolio has developed based on needs recognition; our first product (Aprons) was developed because I couldn’t find lovely kitchen aprons to buy so I designed one. Also, before my wedding we needed unique bridal robes and couldn’t readily get it so we made robes with African prints.

What are the major challenges faced early in the business and do you still encounter them?

Initially, it was getting the right designers to work with but we have stabilised in that area. Now we have reliable and talented designers we work with. The power constraint is common for most Nigerian businesses, Belle & Grace supplements it with generator which is not cost effective. Lastly, efficient delivery of our products used to be a challenge when we began however we have partnered with a logistics firm that assists in our delivery. Outsourcing has helped us focus on our core competence.

What was your starting capital at  Belle & Grace?

Belle & Grace started with as low as N70, 570. I believe in starting lean and expanding with time.

Do you offer trainings?

When the opportunities arise, I speak on my business experience. Belle&Grace does not offer technical trainings for now.

Do you think young entrepreneurs are receiving enough support?

I think there is a growing support for young entrepreneurs both from the private and public sector such as mentoring and coaching platforms and business competitions. However there are still a large number of entrepreneurs that do not have access to these support. Many more organisations need to embrace supporting young entrepreneurs in the university. Grants and loans need to be more accessible to young entrepreneurs at lower interest rates.

What is your advice for unemployed graduates?

I will simply ask “What is in your hands?” So aside the degree and certificates you have, what else is in your hands? What problem can you solve with what is in your hands? What are people doing that you can do better at? Identify it, develop it and use it.

If you could go back to when you started, what would you do differently? 

I have enjoyed the entire process and still enjoying it. I may just have started somethings earlier like partnerships with other Afrocentric businesses and outsourcing our outbound logistics (delivery).

Do you think entrepreneurship is in the blood? Or is it something that can be learnt?

I believe like leadership, entrepreneurship is learnt over time. I don’t think some people are born to be entrepreneurs. We can all learn to be entrepreneurs in one area or the other. Organisations grow when employees are intrapreneurs hence problem solvers/ solution providers within their organisations.

What are the plans for the future?

We want to be able to reach out to more people in our mission to promote Africa’s beauty. We want to build a sustainable business that engages and employs people within our production chain.

What are your thoughts on the state of unemployment in Nigeria?

There is a high unemployment rate in Nigeria, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts it at 7.5% in the first quarter of 2015. However I believe the rate is much higher and also underemployment is high in our country. It is a fundamental problem that needs to be tackled and some people have seen it as a business opportunity like the job connecting companies/ recruitment agencies.

Furthermore, we need to train our children to be enterprising; give them a certain amount to start a business in secondary school (this can be done during the holiday) and business competitions should be encouraged in secondary school. In the university, practical business courses should be taught and students should manage the universities’ business activities.

There are certainly many problems in our country waiting to be solved. These problems are entrepreneurial opportunities to be harnessed. We must not fail to harness them.

What motivates you?

I am highly motivated by the potential of Africans and Africa. I believe in its greatness and that’s what B&G is about. I desire to see African businesses top the Fortune 500 list.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy reading on business issues, researching and window shopping.

What is your view on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees?

I look forward to them performing on their designated roles (soon to be disclosed). Like most Nigerians, result is what we want to see, so I look forward to them bringing positive changes to our economy.

Special thanks to our friend and editor Chris Imaralu, Belle & Grace appreciates you


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 :    @belleandgraceaf

  :   Belle & Grace

Thank you for reading. We will love to hear from you.

#ColourMyAfrica features Bolu

Beautiful evening. Hope you had a great weekend? This week on #ColourMyAfrica, we feature a beautiful and cheerful young lady.


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Lets meet you:

My name is Boluwaji Akinlade. I am a teacher (I am so in love with knowledge and education) , computer scientist, music director and a big God-lover. 🙂

What makes you proudly African?

I’m proudly African simply cause I was born african. God had a reason for it being so and I don’t object. I love everything about my being African. God makes all things beautiful and when He does, He knows it’s good.

What is your best city in Africa?

Lagos, Nigeria! Lol. It has taught me a whole lot. The beauty in its dirt, noise, hustle and bustle, etc. It comes across to me as a tourist city. Everything in it has a story to give. Simply open up to it. I am not a noise fan but I learn from it. It speaks silently but definitely 😉

City of Lagos

Lagos Nigeria

Who is your African leader and why?

Wow! Okay tough choice but I will choose Nelson Mandela. He showed that even in the midst of chaos, you can be a peaceful leader/servant. Simply show how it is done.


Describe your Africa in 10 years

My Africa in 10years is a place of refuge, the chief cornerstone and the force to reckon with. A solution provider and the gun that triggers the bullet of change. The land flowing with milk and honey, a peaceful and God-conscious land.

How would you Colour Africa?

What else! Green, white and a big dash of blue *giggles*. Green represents life and growth, white represents peace and blue represents LOVEEEEEEEEE!!! Share a little bit of love everyday! It changes the world!


What is/are  your best B&G product(s)?

Are you kidding me? I love them all. Lol. I love the apron cause its got GIANT pockets *giggles*,

I love the pocket square because your favourite man can rock something english in traditional appearance, lol.

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I love the robes because I plan to get them for my wedding and shift things a bit from tradition 😉

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and I love the blouses because the african prints on them shake them up from the norm.

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I love B&G products. They take you away from the norm. 😉 Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Thank you.

#ColourMyAfrica is proudly powered by Belle&Grace


Instagram logo@BelleandGraceAfrica

 :    @belleandgraceaf

  :   Belle & Grace

We will love to hear from you.

Truly Nigerian…..

Beautiful evening and great new month!!!

It was Nigeria’s 55th Independence some days back!!! B&G is proudly African and Nigerian!!!

Lets explore the beauty of Nigeria’s cultural attires



South South 








South West


The true beauty of Nigeria is it’s diversity. We are not Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or Edo we are simply Nigerians from different part of Nigeria. Let’s work toward making Nigeria a truly GREAT nation.


Happy 55th Independence Nigeria

Thank you


Instagram logo@BelleandGraceAfrica

 :    @belleandgraceaf

  :   Belle & Grace

We will love to hear from you.