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Balancing work and creativity

Group photo with the social media team at Enterprise Africa Summit in Ghana 2017

Group photo with the social media team at the Enterprise Africa Summit in Accra 2017

My friend Amina Maikori is a Nigerian author, who published her debut novel The Demystification of Stephen last year. She recently interviewed me about work and creativity. We spoke about my career, making music, writing and DJing. Here’s an extract:

Amina: What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the process of handling teams across 19 countries?

Rossouw: I’ve learned that it’s important to have a sense of the larger purpose of the work you’re doing as a team. Often you’ll find two people disagree about the way to do something and after an open conversation you’ll realise it’s because they have very different ideas of the bigger goal. I’m learning about the methodology called Agile at the moment. One of the principles I’ve gotten from it, is that you don’t start by saying “We’re gonna build a car”. You start by saying “we want to transport people”. And then you figure out as a team what form that solution should take. It could be a bicycle, a bridge, a hoverboard or a camel. It depends on the needs of the people you’re trying to serve.

Continue Reading…

Do Nigerians distrust Google?

Dammy Krane looking over shoulder

There’s something strange about the way Nigerians are using Google search. If you compare the number of Google searches coming from Nigeria, it’s disproportionately low compared to other African countries, relative to online population size.

Let me give you an example. According to Google trends, the most popular searches in any country are typically three things: the name of that country, the word ‘facebook’ and the word ‘news’. Nigeria has 59 million internet users, three times more than Kenya has. And yet, Kenya has double the amount of searches Continue Reading…

Billboards in Dakar

Vital margarine

I went to the westernmost point of Africa two months ago. Dakar is the capital of Senegal and sits on a triangle-shaped peninsula that prods into the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the unique features of this city is the coastline, known as the ‘Corniche’. Its high cliffs are unlike the prime coastal properties of Cape Town that exist as the terrain of the wealthy. There may be luxury hotels along the Corniche, but whole stretches of it are unoccupied. Anyone can access the edge of the dusty cliffs. Some people even build makeshift homes on it.

Driving along the Corniche highway, I noticed how Continue Reading…

How to spot local trends using Google’s hidden tool

Kente inspired sweatshirt

Can I see local fashion trends using Google’s Keyword Planner?

That’s what I am wondering this week.

Let’s imagine that I own a clothing business in Tanzania, and I wanted to know if there is a growing demand for a specific fabric style in a neighbouring country, such as Kenya.  One way I could get the answer is by relying on trend forecasters, market research or online articles about fashion in Kenya.

But what if I wanted to know that answer for 20 African countries? What if I needed up-to-date figures that I can compare, instead of one person’s subjective opinion?

So I played around with Google’s Keyword Planner, which is actually Continue Reading…