Basadi Masimolole is a well-known face in the social scene, revered as a mean marketer and fashionista.
However, she is now carving a new albeit similar path in her life, merging her passions to create a soaring brand known as Celebrating Africa.
In an interview with BG Style, Masimolole shares that she left Multichoice where she was in marketing last year after eight years with the company. “The plan was to take a break for a month and get back into the knick of things,” she says. However, it lasted a bit longer than she had anticipated which was welcome as it accorded her time to reflect on her life, career and plans. She came up with the idea to create Celebrating Africa, a registered business, after realising that Africa is brimming with talent and untapped potential. She intends to work with brands that are exclusively African. She cites Choppies and Kwese as brands she has plans to work with, as their stories are exclusively African. “We often talk about the monopoly aspect of Choppies but it is a brand that started in Botswana. Imagine how much we would capitalise if we celebrated that part. Choppies is now spreading across Africa and now India, we could be looking at ways of incorporating our dreams and ideals into the brand instead of talking it down,” she says.
She points out that the owner of Kwese, Strive Masiviya also inspires her. “Before, there was just Dstv and now there is this African man who is making television accessible to all Africans. It is amazing.” Those and other stories inspire her and she wants to work with small and big enterprises to change perceptions on Africa and get African brands and people out there on the global platform. “We always say that Europe looks down on us but they rely on us to feed them with our narrative: what is it? How will we be taken seriously if we look down on ourselves?” Her ideas lean heavily on the ethos of Black Consciousness, the African Renaissance and Pan Africanism.
Coming back home, she points out that the challenge is that Batswana don’t know how to blow their own horn. “It is like taboo to point out that you are great and exceptional: we are expected to wait for other people. But look at Nigerians they are proud of their history, culture, languages and lifestyle.
“They are proud of their culture and that is how they have created a niche in business and culture. Now you hear people talking about a Nigerian sound: it sells the people and the country too,” she adds. Masimolole is also working on creating a virtual agency to accommodate all the different interests.
Masimolole is also studying psychology through UNISA. She says that she is passionate about helping people, especially as she comprehends the struggles that different people go through in life. “I have my own fair share of challenges and pains so I understand when people are hurt and in pain,” she explains. Her divorce a few years ago left her shaken to the core but she has lived to tell the story. “It was a difficult time for me to deal with the emotions and everything but I got help. I did therapy and counselling, something that helped me go through the process. I started from the point of denial to acceptance,” she says.
Away from her projects, Masimolole is a socialite but finds solace in writing, a pastime she finds therapeutic. She also minds what she eats, jogs and does yoga: she candidly refers to herself as a health freak.