May 12, 2017


Economic experts have said that to form a solid stable economy there is the need to engage in entrepreneurial activities especially among developing nations. Topics along this line have formed the basis of discussion for political leaders, investors and analysts in their quest towards finding lasting solution to youth unemployment and other similar challenges threatening the stability of nation’s economy.

There is no doubting the utmost importance of these activities which have been identified as a viable engagement tool for youths and women who form the bulk of untapped human resource in Africa. It is on this note that Lindi Gillespie, the Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Africa in an exclusive interview with Amazons Watch Magazine, shed some light on some of the loopholes in Africa’s business space that prevent foreign investment while sharing from her wealth of experience as a multi-talented entrepreneur, some approaches which can help groom women entrepreneurs. Excerpt:

In few sentences, please describe the person of LINDI GILLESPIE.

Ms. Gillespie is a South African entrepreneur, a multi- talented business person with experience covering a diverse range of fields and extending over a period of two decades. She grew up in Port Elizabeth and finished her Bachelor of Economics degree at the University of Cape Town. She also holds a Marketing Management diploma from the University of Cape Town Business School. Ms. Gillespie has a natural flair for communication. Her scope includes networking and connecting people and companies, not only in Southern Africa but also globally.

Presently in Africa, there is a recent trend which seems to support the importance of entrepreneurship and business ownership rather than total dependence on government jobs. As an expert in business and investments would you say the main solution to the challenges faced by the continent will be solved by the exploration of new businesses?

I will say that entrepreneurship is incredibly important to the economic growth of countries and businesses. Entrepreneurship encourages foreign investment which is imperative. I also believe Government plays a vital role in enabling entrepreneurial activities. This is because Government decides on taxes and where the public money is spent.

According to a 2010 report by ABSA Small Business South Africa, small business failure rates are as high as 63% in the first two years of trading. What in your opinion is the cause of this alarming figure and how do you think the tide can be changed?

Most startups fail. It is a natural phenomenon for small businesses to struggle in the first two years. What is important however, is how they weather the storm in their business. These small businesses might have failed because of improper planning or inadequate finances-there are many reasons why businesses including big ones fail so by following strict business plans and considering the consequences of risks to be taken I believe small businesses will stand a better chance.

Some investors within and outside Africa are skeptical when it comes to committing their resources to a business person of African heritage. Why do you think this is so and in what ways can Africans change the narrative in order to attract foreign investments?

In my opinion this is so because, Africans have little or no background in modern business. For most, it is a first generation circumstance. In those cases political and financial investment are natural. This should not be a source of discouragement as there is new elite in Africa who are showing encouraging characteristics such as Dangote in Nigeria; Masiyiwa in Zimbabwe, and many other top business men and women across the continent who through their businesses have attracted one form of foreign investment or the other. These people have understood the tricks of doing great business in Africa and should serve as guide for others who want to do good business such that more and more investors will be confident having partnerships with Africans.



What are some of the challenges you have encountered during the cause of bridging the gap between business people and possible investors?

It really depends and one cannot generalize. One of the major challenges have to do with the issue of corruption in government which brings about undue bureaucracies; making decision making very slow. Political interference is common as well.

What will be your advice to young women who wish to start up a business that will attract investments?

Take the leap and follow your dreams no matter what the circumstances are. Study as much as possible as knowledge is power. Look into all the options of financial support as government has support programmes for entrepreneurs and foreign funding.

Be positive and spend time with influential, successful people as they will support your ideas. A successful entrepreneur needs to spend time with successful people who have reached success as they will inspire you through knowledge, to supporting your vision and stimulate your thinking.

How does Atlas Africa reach out to business people who actually need to expand their businesses through networking but have never heard of Atlas Africa?

We are working to do an expansion and update our website to International standards to make for easy flow of information. We are also growing our network of contacts within and outside the country. With this, we will be more visible to the public.

As a woman in top executive position, what is your take on the issue of marginalization against women across regions?

In Africa this is a particularly serious problem. In Southern Africa these are mainly patrilineal male dominated lineages. Women are marginalized and treated as minors in the culture. This has to be curbed because it greatly affects and cuts short the potentials of women in the society when in fact women have a lot to offer.

As a business expert there are low moments from time to time. How do you encourage yourself on those days when it seems like things are not just right?

That is every business persons experience without exception. What distinguishes a successful business person from failures is a simple determination to carry on.

What’s the best way for the readers of Amazons Watch Magazine to connect with you?

Skype- lindigillespie

Linkedin- lindigillespie

Office- +27828009234



More women are flooding the business world in recent times with the knowledge that women can be and do whatever they choose. With this news zeal, some women have made costly mistakes while some others struggle to break even- only a few have had an almost smooth sailing journey.

Although companies have begun to apply women-friendly rules in the business space, women are still faced with the obvious reality that they have to battle it out with their male counterparts in order to make their mark and as such seek methods on how to navigate these one-time male exclusive spaces successfully.

Mamokete Ramathe, CEO, Mamor Capital South Africa, in an exclusive interview with Amazons Watch Magazine, has identified self-worth as a key factor which every woman must cling to in order to thrive in business circles. She also shares some of her big success secrets and suggest ways by which women can impact more in society. Excerpt:

Can you tell us more about MAMOKETE RAMATHE, and some of the positive advices and attributes you carried on from childhood which helped to shape the woman you have become?

I am the founder and CEO of Mamor Capital, a boutique transaction advisory firm focusing on mergers and acquisitions as well as project finance transactions. Mamor Capital’s offering includes deal structuring of debt and equity transactions for small to medium sized enterprises and capital raising activities. The investment arm of the business focuses on targeting investment opportunities within technology, media, telecoms and energy sectors.


My professional experience spans across Corporate Finance advisory, Private Equity, Mezzanine Finance, Infrastructure Project Finance and Mergers and Acquisition. A winner of the Association of Black Securities Investment Professional (“ABSIP”) Project Financier of the Year (Individual Category) Award for 2014. 

My principles are premised on the belief that recognizes the value of diversity in thinking and collaboration as well as embracing unique attributes in each individual. I’m very passionate about the development women in business and initiatives aimed at unlocking people’s potential.

The one thing that sticks out when I think about my upbringing and what kept me going as I was growing up is how I observed the resilience and inner strength demonstrated by mother who was a school teacher and had to carry most of the responsibilities when my dad could not be there for us. She encouraged me to carry and keep my dreams alive as she continued to demonstrate passion and commitment towards her profession as a teacher, in and outside the classroom, she taught me to love what I do and never let circumstances cloud my vision of the future. She recently retired after many years of demonstrating passion, love and caring for children’s education and well-being. I draw a lot of inspiration from how my mother and her strength.

I was raised in a family where spirituality was embraced and the relationship with God was encouraged, I continue to see God as the source and foundation of everything I do and it is my relationship with God that keeps me grounded. I learned the importance of education and continuous learning and developing skills as a critical path to growth and staying relevant.

I’m now married to my best friend, lover and great dad to my two kids, the support and love they give me keeps me going and I’m grateful to know that I can pursue my dreams, live out my passion and share my life with others whilst I demonstrate to my kids that life is lived from the inside out and not from the outside in. I teach them that their dream and inner sense of power can help them rise above all challenges provided they are fully alive to that truth.

What were some of the choice dreams and aspirations you had growing up as a young girl, and how far would you say you have come towards achieving them?

My choices and dreams were evolving in line with the amount of experience, knowledge and exposure acquired overtime. Prior to me completing my matric I had limited knowledge of the vast career opportunities one could pursue in various fields and it is safe to say that I had only been exposed to teachers, nurses, doctors, policemen as successful professions in my community at the time. I however yearned for something different, I needed to experience a world outside of where I’ve been and do things I had not seen done during our years growing up, so any of the professions I’ve seen before were as a result not an option for me. I was going to be successful in another way, I was going to do something different, I was going to make my family proud, and I was just going to do something out of the norm with what our reality was growing up in the township. I always wanted to be someone who can inspire others, I used to occupy various leadership positions at church and at school and my love for serving within the community grew in me and I always knew that I would want to find myself at the service of others no matter what I did. It is on the back of this desire that I find myself utilizing whatever opportunity I get to contribute towards the upliftment of others when it is in my power to act.

You have risen fast up the corporate ladder from Corporate Finance Executive at Cazenove (SA) through the enviable position of the Executive Head – M&A division at Vodacom and now the CEO of Mamor Capital (Pty) Ltd. What are some of the challenges you faced as a woman, rising fast up the corporate ladder? 

I quickly learned that the corporate environment can be a contentious ground as people contend for their survival, recognition, validation, etc. Sometimes other people’s values allow them to pursue self-interests and contend for their existence at the expense of others. In my career journey I was not shielded from such people but I also came into contact with such and it is important to have a strong sense of worth when you come against such people or circumstance that seek to prevail at your expense. On the other hand, I also learned that corporate environment provides a platform for us to express who we are and make our mark through service. Growth opportunities are there and it is incumbent upon us to utilize opportunities presented to us and make them count. The important thing I learned in encountering both situations at different facets of my life is having a sense of self-worth. It is very important that you don’t let the world define you but you give meaning to your existence and teach the world about who you are and what you are about. It is important that I’m always deliberate about setting my goals and designing a path of how I plan to achieve my goals. I have also been very fortunate to meet people who are like minded and selfless in their approach, whenever I come into contact with such people, I embrace them and keep them within my circle of network because it is through learning from great men and women who are visionaries that I can also grow to be an inspiration to others. Indeed, challenges will always be there and mine have come in numbers but somehow I have always looked within myself to find courage, determination, self-worth and a will to succeed.

Being able to create a network of people I can trust, who in most cases are more successful than me in other areas, whom I can learn and be accountable to. This has really strengthened my capability to navigate through a lot of challenges. I don’t face challenges alone in silence I have the confidence to speak up and share my views and benefit from other people’s wisdom. At the same time, I avail myself for others to draw from my experiences especially other women in business as well as students or young professionals who require that kind of support.

I am blessed to have a professional coach who challenges me, at every point with regards to my career goals and leadership journey, her role is to hold me accountable to a path I’m set out to achieve, and ensure that there is clarity and intention behind every move I make. I owe my growth and success to such partnerships as I believe this journey requires good partnerships and strong support structure.

Having held several Leadership positions in the corporate world; where, and in what roles would you say women appear in the Talent Pipeline?

To date women have made remarkable gains in higher education and in studying towards fields that were previously male dominated. We still see women entering the job market in high numbers and rising to management positions, however the rate at which women break into higher and executive level positions is still challenging and needs much improvement. This is a societal issue that needs to be tackled from various angles including top leadership in corporates, and implementing targeted programs aimed at empowering and supporting women. I’m so pleased to have been part of other initiatives aimed at recognizing companies that are intentional in pushing the gender transformation and empowerment agenda in South Africa, with initiatives like those we are headed in the right direction.

One of the biggest barriers to making progress in gender equality is said to rest in the minds of men and women, and is known as Unconscious Bias; how have you been able to deal with this in your journey up the corporate ladder?

Self-awareness is very foundational to me, because it helps me set boundaries and define how I want to play within the rules of the game in the corporate or business world. For as long as I’m clear about what I want to achieve and the environment I require to enable me to achieve what I am set out to achieve, I can easily recognize the behavior that is out of quilter with my values and belief system and address it for what it is. It all starts with knowing and understanding self so you can call out a behavior that is unfounded towards you.

People will try to deal with us as women according to how they were socialized and what their internal belief system tells them about what it means to be a woman. Ultimately it is about asserting myself. In so doing, a person holding a narrow view of who I should be can learn from me authentically standing up for myself. If we do not define our true self the world will attempt to misdefine and confine us. We should exercise our own personal power in projecting who we are lest we allow others to determine our worth.

In the course of your career, you have demonstrated a great dedication towards the development of women, assuming your new role as the CEO of the newly established Mamor Capital (Pty) Ltd.,What Policies would you put into place to move the organization toward Gender Equality?

The newly established Mamor Capital is a boutique transaction advisory firm with an investment arm aimed at targeting acquisition opportunities in targeted sectors. Mamor Capital will focus mainly on investment opportunities within TMT and Energy sectors which is the sector where I believe more and more women should participate at strategic ownership levels and various parts of the value chain to drive value. We need more women representation that have the capacity to lead and develop others, as well as participate meaningfully to grow the economy.

I have the opportunity to partner with other women in projects, and to bring in more women when identifying the right investment opportunities. I will continue supporting various mentorship programs aimed at empowering women to unlocking their potential and pursuing their purpose.

Aside your routine activities, what are some of the things that MAMOKETE RAMATHE does leisurely?

I go to gym regularly, read business and personal development books, going to church, outings with my friends and spending quality time with family is very therapeutic for me.I take time to give talks and speak when invited to share my perspective on leadership and women development. I also enjoy spending time with my mentees, i.e. young professionals and other women in corporate, as I draw inspiration from an exchange that takes place during mentorship sessions.

What’s the best way for the readers of Amazons Watch Magazine to connect with you?

They can connect with me through; Facebook: Mamokete Ramathe and on Linkedin:





In order to bridge the gender gaps and create an enabling avenue for women to thrive in emerging economies, it is important for already established women to lend a helping hand to other women across regions through mentorship, valuable tips, as well as different forms of empowerment.

It is against this backdrop that the Amazons Watch Magazine in a recent interview with Lindy Wafula, Founder of Village Ventures International, focused on finding out the basic tenets of social enterprise.

Ms. Wafula shed some light on her experiences as a social entrepreneur, the challenges she faced and how she managed to surmount those challenges. She also gave useful suggestions on how women across regions can take charge of their lives. Excerpt:

In few sentences, please describe the person of LINDY WAFULA.

Lindy Wafula is a social entrepreneur and founder of Village Ventures International which is a social enterprise aimed at empowering women, youth and people with disabilities with skills and resources for leadership, enterprise and sustainable community development. Lindy Wafula is a go-getter and committed into achieving sustainable development goals.  

When we talk about women empowerment in Africa what we see is a situation where women are being taught handcraft. Are there any conscious efforts on your part to train women on financial independence both along career paths and in business ventures?

Yes. I have not only advocated for women to be trained in leadership, vocational skills and financial independence but also steered projects to empower women with technical skills most especially in trades that have been called Male jobs. One such project is the Lady Mekanika Project which I launched in Makadara, Nairobi to empower women with automobile mechanics Skills for enterprise development. To date we are proud of the successes of the young women we trained as majority now run their own automobile clinics while others are employed by big automobile dealer companies in Kenya.

I am also making effort to train women in mobile technology first through repair of mobile phones and also creation of mobile Apps.

Village Venture Kenya aims to make impact by investing in social innovation for enterprise development. One of the major challenges in Africa is the sustainability of projects. What are your strategies towards ensuring the sustainability of this project?

The social entrepreneurial aspect of our organization Village ventures International aims to raise income from our activities either as equity from investors or capital investment from the beneficiaries to ensure continuity and sustainability. Previously, while running Project Africa which was purely a non-profit organization, we struggled to ensure there was continuity of projects and programs because of dependency on grants. From this experience, we learnt that we can adopt the social enterprise and social impact methodology and we are able to raise some capital from subsidized fees paid towards our services to the community.

Although there is an improvement in the number of women in political offices and top executive positions, there is still a wide gender gap in the workforce. What are some of the ways you think this gap can be bridged?

Indeed there is a gender gap in top management and leadership both in the private and public sectors in Africa. We need to continue speaking to women that it is possible for us to rise to the top. That what a man can do a woman can do. Most importantly, power is not given power is taken. Therefore, women must dare to engage in leadership both in the public and private sectors. I have dared not only to start up and run Village Ventures International but I have also made attempts and run for elective office in Kenya. On two occasions that I ran, first in 2010 and in 2013 general election, I was competing against men. In 2013 Election, I was 3rd overall meaning that it is possible to run and win elections.

However, there must be deliberate efforts made to support women with skills and resources they need to rise and stay at the top while delivering essential services that communities need. Women must be encouraged to network and build alliances that ensure their skills are recognized whenever opportunities arise.

As a prospective member of parliament in Kenya, what will you say are some of the women-friendly policies that should be passed into law for women to enjoy societal benefits?

I have not been a Member of Parliament in Kenya yet but I have that vision. I have run in elective politics in Kenya two times and lost. But I have not given up the vision. From outside parliament in Kenya, I would like to see women friendly policies such as the two-thirds gender rule which aims to have two-thirds of elective seats and public appointments being occupied by women. This will promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in leadership.

What are some of the challenges you have encountered while being a voice of women in your country?

First and foremost, the greatest challenge has been lack of financial resources to support the great vision of providing vocational skills and other services to women, youth and people with disabilities in my community. My organization has been dependent on grants given to us by partners on goodwill but these are mostly one time grants. Being that we are determined to effect social change and it may take at least 5 years to see the impact of our work. One time grants can only be likened to a teardrop in a wild fire of poverty and needs affecting communities.

The other challenge is the effect of cultural beliefs that undermine women as subordinates and therefore cannot lead. I am still struggling to prove to my community that women too can be successful political and business leaders who are able to effect positive socio-economic change.

Last but not least, the other challenge is the economic deprivation that women in community suffer making them over dependent on men.  Lack of skills and resources for enterprise development has been a reason why women are unable to start-up businesses that they can earn income from and be financially independent. Lack of financial independence means that women and girls are unable to make decisions on matters that concern them and their households. This means that even when we have conceptualized and designed projects that are aimed to empower women and girls, they must get permission from their male sponsors in order to participate

What in your opinion is the most pressing issue faced by African women today?

In my Opinion, the most pressing issues affecting African women today include:

  1. Illiteracy and lack of vocational skills
  2. Lack of financial support
  3. Lack of representation

What is your take on the issue of marginalization against women across regions?

Marginalization and gender disparity is still a major problem in many parts of Africa. I think that many governments in Africa have not prioritized the primary sustainable development policies. In almost every country in Sub-Saharan Africa, poverty reduction strategies still do not take into account differences in income and power between men and women thus hampering efforts to finance programmes that reduce inequality. In addition, the majority of African women, are still denied education and employment, and have limited opportunities in trade, industry and government.

In your opinion what is the one thing that will positively affect the status of women such that their contributions to society will be seen and felt?

The One thing that will positively affect the status of women in Africa, such that their contributions to society is seen and felt is for African women to organize themselves into a strong feminist and women suffrage movement from the grassroots village level, up to nationally and continentally. We must borrow a leaf from the feminist movement that has effected change in Western society and advocate for greater access to education; more equitable pay with men; the right to initiate divorce proceedings; the right of women to make individual decisions on their sexual and reproductive health, the right to own property, and the right to vote and be voted for. By doing these, women in Africa will have been empowered not to wear the face of poverty because elimination of all forms of discrimination against women will have been achieved by a much greater extent that it is today.

What’s the best way for the readers of Amazons Watch Magazine to connect with you?

Twitter @LindyWafula

Linkedin: Lindy Wafula



A woman who was arrested on charges of entering the UAE illegally through a border has been languishing in a Dubai jail for three years after two East European countries refused to allow her entry.

The Dubai Human Rights is seeking to resolve the issue and has approached the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Brigadier Dr. Mohammed Al Murr, Director of General Department of the Human Rights of Dubai Police, said that the Dubai Human Rights is in touch with a number of consulates of these countries. The UNHCR is also currently in contact with concerned Abu Dhabi authorities to find a solution to the problem.

Al Murr said in 2011, the 27-year-old entered the country on a tourist visa, using the passport of an East European country. She did not leave the UAE even after her visa expired, and was arrested and deported.

In 2014, she entered the country illegally through one of the borders and was arrested again. Authorities ordered her deportation. After the end of her jail term, the woman was taken to the consulate of the country whose passport she carried on her previous visit. But the East European country in question refused to allow her entry, saying that the passport is forged. The woman returned to Dubai jail, and has been there since then.

Al Murr pointed out that recently the Dubai Human Rights learnt about the situation of the woman. She tried to communicate with her country of birth, and country where her family is residing, but the authorities of that country refused to accept her. She moved to another East European country when she was 10.

Al Murr also said the General Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs is coordinating and communication with the consulates of the two countries. One of the countries responded by saying that there is no data of the woman, while the other said they were investigating the matter and won’t allow her entry until they know the details.

He said that Human Rights Department contacted the office of UNHCR, which has promised to probe the matter and resolve it.


Details from Datafolha’s latest study, “Visible and Invisible: The Mistreatment of Women in Brazil,” reveal that roughly 12,000 women are victims of some form of violence each day in Brazil.

Each hour some 503 women are victims of a moral offense, physical violence or unwanted touching. Two out of three Brazilians have witnessed these acts and other forms of aggression against women.

The most common form of harassment, according to the survey, is disrespectful comments on the streets.

The study was commissioned by the Brazilian Forum of Public Safety and undertaken between February 11 and 17. Approximately 2,000 people were surveyed, of which over 1,000 were women.

Ben Hur Viza, a federal district judge ruling on cases of violence against women, stated that oftentimes victims don’t file reports due to fear of being considered culpable or blamed for the attack.

“Why did he attack you? Why didn’t you say no or why didn’t you leave the relationship if he hadn’t previously attacked you? Such questioning transfers the blame from the man to the woman,” Hur Viza said.

Fernanda Silva was married for 20 years and was frequently attacked by her husband.

“We’d argue and he always beat me. I lost my job twice because of this. My eyes and parts of my body were red. I didn’t have the courage to report him because of my family and my child with autism,” she said.

Like Silva, 60 percent of attackers were current or ex-partners or husbands of victims. Nevertheless, 52 percent of these victims didn’t file police reports. Only 11 percent of women even went to the police station and 13 percent sought help from family members.

Source: tele sur

Have you ever wondered why most preschool and early school curriculums are often filled with various short breaks and play times? Experts find this to be very important in the development period of a child. I remember that growing up back home, we had several kinds of outdoor swing sets at our playground, and people often asked us if we were running a day care in our home. We had our neighbours and kids from other homes coming over to our playground every chance they got. I never fully understood the reason for all of those swing sets or the interest it attracted from other kids.

I guess my mum, being a school teacher fully understood the positive effects and importance of a child’s playtime, hence the thoroughly equipped playground we enjoyed. We also had a working time table which included a few hours of outdoor playtime daily.

I recently came across an article by Dona Mathews of beyond intelligence, which stated that Playtime is one of the most cost-effective investments a parent can make in a child’s education; Dona’s article helps us have a better understanding of how important playtime is, in a child’s life.

She writes: If you want your child to grow up to be confident, co-operative, intelligent, creative, and successful, protect his playtime from all the encroachments of life in a fast-paced, ambitious, technologically wired world.

Playtime is one of the most cost-effective investments a parent can make in a child’s education. It requires nothing more than time, space, and imagination. It does require your faith in her inner strength, her capacity to make her own fun; it requires stepping back and letting your child discover who she is, what she enjoys doing, and the ability to pursue her own interests.

While parental support for learning is enormously important to kids’ success, that can be tragically overdone. Instead of being filled with spontaneous improvisation and discovery, children’s time is increasingly being scheduled by adults and gobbled up by electronic devices. By robbing kids of ample time for imagination, exploration, and collaborative invention, we are taking away essential opportunities for them to develop the skills required for real achievement and fulfillment over time. There’s more and more evidence demonstrating the importance of playtime in kids’ lives.  Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison wrote, “Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” Psychologist Peter Gray wrote, “Play deprivation is bad for children. Among other things, it promotes anxiety, depression, suicide, narcissism, and loss of creativity.” Parenting writer Katie Hurley wrote, “Through play, children learn to master their fears, assert their needs, process and cope with their emotions, and learn to get along with others.”


Although it may look like they’re wasting time, kids involved in imaginative play are discovering what they like doing, what they want to learn more about, and how to interact successfully with others. Scheduled classes, clubs, and sports activities, and adult-organized outings to museums and performances can be important enrichments, but kids’ lives shouldn’t be so tightly scheduled that there’s no time left for unstructured playtime. Too much focus on enrichment and achievement can actually impede children’s cognitive and emotional development.

And when playtime happens in a natural setting, that’s even better, kids are calmer, more optimistic, healthier, more creative, and more academically successful when they spend lots of time outside. Outdoor playtime opens up a world of possibilities that can expand the imagination, stimulate all the senses, and free the spirit in ways that indoor activities and screen time can never do.

Andrea Nair wrote recently about ways parents can protect their kids’ playtime. They included

  1. Let the child choose one or two activities at a time. A child who has lots of interests can choose which one or two he wants to pursue seriously (with scheduled lessons, games, and/or practicing) at a given time—maybe piano and swimming through the winter, and drama and soccer in the summer.
  1. Do interested activities casually rather than as a scheduled event. If your child has already chosen her one or two activities for the season, but wants to participate in one more, look for informal options. Maybe she can arrange a neighborhood soccer game with her friends instead of joining a league.
  1. Stay (mostly) away from screens until the age of four. Most experts agree with the American Pediatric Association’s recommendation that children under two should have NO screen time (mobile devices, computers, TV, video games). Waiting until later for frequent access is even better. It is hard to compete with a flashing, bright screen, and introducing screens too early can kill the desire for free play.
  1. Take your child to different natural environments, without directing the play. Let your child explore new places like a nearby wooded area, a riverbank, a sand pile, a friend’s backyard.
  1. Let your child decide what to play with. It’s great to provide some simple toys—building blocks, pots and pans, paper and crayons—but parents do not need to “entertain” their children. The natural urge to explore kicks in when a child has enough time and space to become curious.


  1. Back up at playgrounds. Make sure the play space is safe for your child, and then back away. Keep your eye on your child, and be available if she needs you, but give her the space to push her own safety boundary. Don’t deprive her of the important learning that happens from making mistakes.

Finally, we can all see that playtime is extremely important for a child’s wellbeing, so let’s endeavour to allow them this cost effective development.


La June Montgomery Tabron is the president and CEO of The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.

The first African American to head the foundation in its 83 year history, Tabron 54, is a native of Detroit, United States. She was raised in a family of ten children in inner-city Detroit, and studied at the University of Michigan graduating with a business degree in business administration. She also has a Master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tabron has a long history with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), having started her career there at the age of 24. She began as a financial controller and rose in the ranks of the company within a time span of 26 years, into her current role as the president and CEO in January 01, 2014.

It is no myth that African American top CEO’s are rare and African American Women CEO’s are even rarer, taking a look the landscape of Fortune 500 companies across the United States.

This woman of colour has set the pace for many more to come.